1st Tank Battalion, stationed at Twenty Nine Palms (for good reason too) was conducting amphibious operations at Marine Base, Camp Pendleton last week. After finishing the training with the LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) the Tanks began live fire exercise of their 120mm smooth bore gun.
Cpl Price, an 1812 tank crew member, told local reporter "During our live fire, we had fired about 1700 rounds as fast as we could. We don't generally do that, but there was some admin screw up and we were given way more ammo than we asked for and were told we couldn't go on liberty until we shot all of 'Gunny's Damn Rounds"
One private, who wishes to remain anonymous due to apparent consequences from other information he had previously provided, said "I was giving my gunner rounds as fast as I could. I was told if I slowed down, they'd bury me out here with the rest of the ammo we could never actually shoot. I've never seen so many empty shells before. As a Private, I aways have to police call this sh*t, and that really sucks"
The local community around Camp Pendleton is no stranger to loud noises. "With live fire ranges including artillery and air to ground munitions firing regularly, we've kinda gotten used to it. But last Friday was absolutely ridiculous" San Clemente resident, Todd Baker says.
Price, 22 year old Texan, said "Goddam I love the Marine Corps! We decided that the best way to dump all these rounds was to fire them simultaneously." He explained that his 1stSgt, an 18 year enlisted Marine with no plans to ever get out, made the Marines "cover and align" the tanks in a perfect row. "Like, you don't understand, we had a string that was 700 ft long, and every tank had to be literally perfectly in a row. It took us 4 hours" Price later explained, that one of the gunners, a Lcpl also from Texas, came up with the idea to get the whole battalion to fire at exactly the same time until all the rounds were expended. The idea was perfect. We came up with a plan to stack all the rounds perfectly so we could feed the gunners as fast as we could."
A tank battalion consists of 58 M1A1 Abrams Tanks. All 58 tanks in a perfect line firing 120mm Kinetic Energy rounds each producing roughly 190 decibels, simultaneously, over and over, 30 times. Unintentionally, the Marines created a theoretical positive feedback loop shockwave. A positive feedback loop happens when a microphone picks up the audio from an amplifier and continues to reamplify itself, it was that.. but with 58 tanks.
Corpsman "Doc Borepunch" (Petty Officer Seamore) reported that he was expecting to hand out motrin and fresh socks for all the inevitable hearing damage but, instead the only concerns he noted were several Marines saying they had erections that lasted over 4 hours.
Another Marine who was already "off work" because his Gunny "actually lets people go at the time he says" was enjoying the San Onofre Beach with his girl friend when he heard the rising shockwave. "You could feel the ground shaking and then I actually saw the propagating disturbance. My eyes were vibrating for a few seconds, but I definitely saw a massive pulse of energy heading towards San Clemente."
The mayor of San Clemente said his population is 64,875. That is precisely the number of phone calls I got on Friday afternoon. I'm a decent guy, I know there's a Marine Corps base right behind us, but "Holy Sh*t. I don't really want to start a war with the Marine Corps, but some of my residents can be pretty compelling. I filed the complaint that afternoon."
Randy Byers, California resident and also 3M spokesperson, said "Come on guys, we're already paying out millions in a hearing loss suit, I mean, what the hell?!"
1st Tank Battalion is scheduled to head back to 29 Palms Monday afternoon. The battalion commander did allow his Marines the liberty as planned, but strongly advised all Marines to head south, towards San Diego. "Hell, Tijuana would be safer for you guys this weekend, just stay outta San Clemente"