Marines bring firepower to explosive training
Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan -- "Frag out!” is yelled from the protective pit as Marines huddle, sheltering themselves from the impending blast. Seconds later, the ground vibrates and an explosion generated by an M67 fragmentation grenade sends dirt falling back to Earth.
This was only a fraction of the training required of interior guard members with Combat Logistics Regiments 35 and 37 June 13 at Range 10 Camp Hansen.
Being a qualified basic rifleman is a skill-set required of every Marine regardless of military occupational specialty, rank or billet. However, the Marines of CLR 35 and 37’s interior guard must learn additional skills along with refreshing old ones.
“Today, the Marines qualified with the M1014 semi-automatic shotgun, M67 fragmentation grenade, M9 service pistol, and completed intermediate combat rifle marksmanship training with the M16A4 service rifle,” said Maj. Randall L. Parker, the tactics, readiness and training officer in charge with G-3, operations and training, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Our goal through this training is to give them the basic skills they need to be an armed Marine standing the interior guard.”
Because 3rd MLG is responsible for providing its own security in both deployed and garrison environments, the duties of the interior guard can range from patrolling the inside of the perimeter to responding to threats.
“We have to be able to take care of ourselves and ensure that the Marines are confident in their skills,” said Parker.
The day of qualifications involved in-depth periods of instruction on the capabilities of the weapons systems being fired, as well as rehearsals of the courses that the Marines would execute.
“The Marines will be familiarizing themselves with the weapons through assembly and disassembly drills, as well as receiving classes on the fundamentals,” said Gunnery Sgt. Thomas R. Fuller, a TRT instructor. “Upon completion of this, they will participate in the combat shotgun and the intermediate combat rifle marksmanship training courses.”
Since recruit training, the Marines have been familiar with the M16A4 service rifle, but for many of them it was the first time they have handled a shotgun, according to Lance Cpl. Jacob L. Crawford, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force planner with CLR-37, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
The combat shotgun course had strict guidelines with a set time limit of three minutes to complete. The Marines were required to fire the weapon using different positions to include standing and kneeling.
“After completing this course, Marines should have confidence in themselves as a result of the skills they acquired,” said Fuller. “They will also be able to provide 3rd MLG with a prepared guard force.”
The Marines with the regiments left the range self-assured that the skills they learned will help them accomplish their mission as members of an interior guard.
“By completing these qualifications, we now have a force of Marines ready to deploy as an interior guard,” said Parker. “We will be able to fight tonight.”