Lance Cpl. Chris Pedroza, a rifleman with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, the “China Marines,” fires an M240G medium machine gun during low-light live-fire machine gun training at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, March 11, 2019. Pedroza, a native of Apple Valley, California, graduated from Apple Valley High School in May 2016 before enlisting in January 2017. Alpha Company Marines are the small boat raid specialists for BLT 1/4, the Ground Combat Element for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU partnering with the U.S. Navy’s Amphibious Squadron 11, provides a flexible and lethal force ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region.
US Marine Corps
4th Marine Regiment
An infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Based at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan, it is part of the 3rd Marine Division of the III Marine Expeditionary Force.
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 Marines and sailors. The 31st MEU consists of a company-sized command element, a battalion landing team (BLT), (an infantry battalion reinforced with artillery, amphibious vehicle and other attachments), a medium tiltrotor squadron (reinforced), (which includes detachments of short take-off, vertical landing airplanes and heavy, light, and attack helicopters), and a combat logistics battalion. The 31st MEU is based at Camp Hansen, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan. The 31st MEU is the only permanently forward-deployed MEU, and provides a flexible and lethal force ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region.
M240G medium machine gun, officially the Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M240, is the US military designation for the FN MAG (“Mitrailleuse A Gaz,” Gas operated machine gun; alternatively, “Mitrailleuse d’Appui General,” machine gun, support, general) a family of belt-fed, gas-operated medium machine guns that chamber the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. The M240G is the ground version of the original M240 or M240E1, 7.62 mm medium class weapon designed as a coaxial/pintle-mounted machine gun for tanks and LAVs. The M240G can be modified for ground use by the installation of an “infantry modification kit” (a flash suppressor, front sight, carrying handle for the barrel, a buttstock, infantry length pistol grip, bipod, and rear sight assembly).
Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Harrison C. Rakhshani/Released.