Home Americas USMC activates first long-range missile battery with Tomahawk ground-based launchers

USMC activates first long-range missile battery with Tomahawk ground-based launchers

Rogue Fires Long Range Fires Tomahawk battery
The activation of the battery is a major step in providing 1st MARDIV with additional long range missile and over-the-horizon fire support capabilities. Photo: US Marine Corps

US Marine Corps (USMC) hailing from the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division activated the Marine Corps’ first long-range missile battery at an event held on July 21 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu in California.

The newly activated battery is set to undergo training with long-range fires launchers, specifically designed to deploy Tomahawk cruise missiles, along with other supporting assets.

As stated in the official announcement, the main objective is to fine-tune the system’s structure and requirements, ensuring its effective utilization.

“This is a historic chapter in the Marine Corps and the 11th Marine Regiment. The American people expect the Marine Corps to prepare for war,” said Col. Patrick Eldridge, the commanding officer for 11th Marines.

“There are nefarious states and actors in our world today who are credible threats to their neighbors, to our allies, and to the United States. The requirement for this capability now exists and the SecDef turned to the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps turned to 11th Marines, and we turn to Alpha Battery and our test and evaluation partners to make this capability a reality,” he continued.

Photo: US Marine Corps

Prior to the activation of the long-range missile battery, USMC conducted the inaugural live-fire test of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from the Navy/Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) during the last month.

The recent firing event marks the third time the Raytheon-built NSM has been deployed from Oshkosh Defense’s Remotely Operated Ground Unit for Expeditionary (ROGUE) Fires vehicle. The initial live fire occurred in November 2020, followed by the second event in August 2021 during Large Scale Exercise 21.

The Long Range Fires system that will be employed by the battery will consist of a ROGUE Fires carrier integrated with a single MK-41 vertical launch system (VLS) for the employment of an encanistered Tomahawk missile.

The NMESIS batteries consist of 18 launchers based on the JLTV design and are divided into two platoons of nine launchers each, further subdivided into three sections of three launchers.

“NMESIS is the Marine Corps’ material solution for the ground based anti-ship missile capability through the Remotely Operated Ground Unit for Expeditionary Fires platform,” explained Staff Sgt. Derek Reddy, the NMESIS team leader for 11th Marines, during the flight test.

The USMC aims to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) with four fully equipped batteries by 2025 and reach full operational capability (FOC) when all 14 planned medium-range missile (MML) batteries are fielded in 2030.