U.S. Marines demonstrate inter-service HIMARS quick fire missions in Thailand

The U.S. Marine Corps has demonstrated its ability to conduct a joint quick-response fire support mission with its rocket artillery during an exercise in Thailand.

Called the Combined Joint HIMARS Rapid Insertion (CJHIRAIN), the mission saw the insertion of one of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s M142 Hi-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) by a U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II special operations airlifters at the Chandy Range in Thailand.

The Marines then executed a simulated quick fire mission, before rapidly embarking back on the MC-130J to exfiltrate the launch point. In addition to the Marines and U.S. Air Force, the mission also involved Thai Marines providing ground security with additional American Marine Corps troops.

The objective of the CJHIRAIN mission, which took place during the annual Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand, showcases the U.S. military’s ability to employ the HIMARS in “a contested area in order to quickly fire in and exit a battleground”, according to a Marine Corps news release.

It added that the Cobra Gold CJHIRAIN mission followed several successful executions of ship to shore HIMARS operations at the exercise, and marked the first time the 31st MEU employed HIMARS with a joint, bilateral force.

The Marines had previously employed its own KC-130Js Hercules airlifters to demonstrate the same capability, which they called the HIRAIN, at 2019’s Exercise Talisman Sabre in Australia.

“The 31st MEU is the only MEU in the Corps with HIMARS,” said Col. Robert Brodie, commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “Working with joint and multinational forces, we were able to rapidly deploy the HIMARS demonstrating our collective capability to respond to any threat under any circumstance.”

Rehearsing rapid infiltration and exfiltration missions using the HIMARS improves the 31st MEU’s ability to respond to threats in the Indo-Pacific region with a long-range precision fire. The 31st MEU’s successful CJHIRAIN is a demonstration of the unit’s ability to employ lethal effects from air, land and sea.

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