PACIFIC OCEAN -- The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was fired from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during Dawn Blitz 2017 Oct. 22.
The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
It enables Marines to engage targets within minutes after firing and features an advanced targeting system that strikes with an extremely high accuracy rate. The system also features a greater range than traditional artillery, allowing smaller units to cover a larger area.
The demonstration on Anchorage consisted of HIMARS engaging a land-based target with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U).
"We had two training objectives for today's shoot," said Army Maj. Adam Ropelewski, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), lead planner for sea-based expeditionary fires. "The first training objective was demonstrating this capability and, second, we wanted to have good effects on the target. We achieved both objectives. We destroyed the target at 70 kilometers while at sea."
Developing sea-based fires alternatives such as the HIMARS afloat and proving them to be effective provides an opportunity for our Navy and Marine Corps team to evaluate, refine and improve processes to be ready for the future fight.
"In an environment where we are operating in contested waters, we are finding a way to be able to support the land force with deeper strike capabilities," said Capt. AJ Kowaleuski, an artillery officer with I MEF.