Marines chamber fundamentals: Okinawa Marines train in California desert
TWENTYNINE PALMS, California -- Okinawa based Marines fire an intermediate marksmanship course and train in chemical warfare defense Jan. 23 at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, during Integrated Training Exercise 2-15.
Marines with Headquarters Company, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force practiced sighting in rifles, combat marksmanship and use of protective suits used in toxic environments.
Different rifle courses or “tables” keep Marines weapons proficient, preparing them to operate in any situation or environment.
“Table three alpha (rifle course) is the third in a sequence of events for personal rifle qualification,” said Capt. Steven E. Christopher, company commander for Headquarters Co., 4th Marines and a Derry, New Hampshire, native. “It gives Marines more experience in a combat marksmanship style of shooting. They conducted controlled pairs, hammer pairs and shooting while moving. The most important thing a Marine can get from training out here is experience and an increased proficiency [with] their personal weapon.”
The rifle course tests Marines on close combat marksmanship, according to Lance Cpl. Cody T. Strassburg, a motor vehicle operator with 4th Marines, and an Elk Point, South Dakota, native. Marines also shot table three bravo (rifle course), which is the same course as table three alpha, except shot at night. This helps Marines become familiar with night vision equipment and capabilities, according to Lance Cpl. Colin M. Weathers, a rifleman with 4th Marines, and a Brockton, Massachusetts, native.
“It’s important for Marines to practice on the range because it ensures that everyone knows how to use their rifle and how to accurately engage targets,” said Lance Cpl. Bradley C. Easterly, a rifleman with 4th Marines and a Lorain, Ohio, native.
Marines also participated in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense activities, according to Sgt. George R. Phillips, a CBRN defense specialist and instructor with 4th Marines.
“We went over (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear exchange, which is when you change out of a contaminated [MOPP] suit without spreading the contamination,” said Phillips, a Morehead, Kentucky, native.
“Shooting after being in a gas chamber is good training for marksmanship and adjusting to different situations,” said Phillips.
“We have to be able to defend ourselves in a hostile environment,” said Seaman Zachary T. Maines, a hospital corpsman with 4th Marines and Milwaukie, Oregon, native. “You never know what is going to happen.”