Marines Fired So Much Artillery at ISIS, They Burned Out This Howitzer.

Many, if not most Americans are unaware of the role the United States is playing in the ongoing civil war in Syria. The images here, though, are evidence of the intensity of the fight. The Marines have fired so many rounds through this M777 that they’ve burned out two barrels.

The howitzer was used in the defense of the Syrian Democratic Forces as they fought ISIS in Raqqa.

“They fired more rounds in five months in Raqqa, Syria, than any other Marine artillery battalion, or any Marine or Army battalion, since the Vietnam war,” Army Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, a senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained to Marine Corps Times.

“In five months, they fired 35,000 artillery rounds on ISIS targets, killing ISIS fighters by the dozens,” Troxell noted.

The 777 has been brought back to Fort Bliss, Texas.

“Operated by a crew of eight to 10 troops, the Triple 7 fires 155mm precision and non-precision munitions,” Business Insider notes.

The old-school projectiles can travel more than 18 miles. Excalibur rounds, which are precision guided, add another 7 miles on that estimate and are reported to be accurate within 30 feet.

While the lands and grooves still appear sharp in this image, the barrel isn’t capable of ensuring the accuracy the troops need for surgical strikes at 25 miles. Time for a new one.

“It’s awesome,” Spc. Garcia told BI. “Limas don’t really get you wild up, but when you get to the hotels, it gets your blood going.” The L shells aren’t as powerful as the H rounds.

The gun can be elevated to hit targets at closer range.

Or it can be leveled to hit targets at exceptionally close distances. This is a rarity, as the guns are designed for a supporting role.

There’s more than one that needs attention, too.

The 777 from the backside.

The howitzer’s targeting system.