3rd Maintenance Battalion lights up night
CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- “Marines on the firing line, assume a standing position. You will fire a controlled pair directly at your target.” The commands are shouted as Marines with 3rd Maintenance Battalion make last-minute adjustments to their night vision goggles. On the command “Fire!” the loud staccato emitted from M16A4 service rifles cuts through the night.
This event was a portion of a night live-fire exercise during the intermediate combat rifle marksmanship rifle qualification for Marines with 3rd Maintenance Bn., Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Aug. 13 at Range 13 near Camp Schwab.
The Marine Corps intermediate combat rifle marksmanship program is built around combat-oriented shooting with the goal of familiarizing Marines with engaging targets while subjected to combat limitations.
“It is combat oriented toward fast target acquisition with two to three seconds to shoot three to four rounds,” said Gunnery Sgt. David C. Peel, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of support platoon and motor transport maintenance chief with the unit.
The Marines continued firing after the sun set, using an advanced target pointer illuminator aiming light, or PEQ-15, in conjunction with NVGs furthering their combat skill-set.
“The night-fire portion of this training, paired with usage of NVGs and PEQ-15s, allows the Marines to build their confidence,” said Peel. “If they are ever in a combat situation, they will be comfortable with their skills and understand what they are doing.”
The night drills consisted of practicing hammer pair drills, two shots fired rapidly; controlled pair drills, consisting of two well-aimed shots; and failure-to-stop drills, two shots to the chest and one to the head or pelvis.
“In a combat situation, you are unsure and do not always know where your target is going to be,” said Lance Cpl. Alejandro Sanclemete, a water support technician with the unit. “This has improved my skills as a shooter.”
The emphasis on combat-marksmanship skills and maintaining a combat mindset is important for Marines in units across the fleet, and the 3rd Maintenance Bn. is no different.
It is critical for these Marines to excel in combat-oriented shooting to better prepare for future missions or exercises whether deployed or in garrison, according to Cpl. Kyle G. Bailey, a marksmanship-training chief and automotive organizational mechanic with the unit.
“It is critical that they are relaxed when handling the weapon,” said Bailey. “I feel that this training adequately (prepares) these Marines for combat.”