Marines get back to basics of combat marksmanship

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First Sgt. Richard M. Allen stands ready to pivot during an intermediate combat rifle marksmanship shoot July 24 at Range 8 on Camp Hansen. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Henry J. Antenor)
First Sgt. Richard M. Allen stands ready to pivot during an intermediate combat rifle marksmanship shoot July 24 at Range 8 on Camp Hansen. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Henry J. Antenor)

Marines get back to basics of combat marksmanship

by: Lance Cpl. Henry J. Antenor | .
Okinawa Marine Staff | .
published: August 02, 2013

Marines line up one by one with targets 15 yards to their right. When given the command, they pivot toward their respective target, rapidly sight-in, and send pieces of the target flying as their rounds find their mark.

Marines with Company B, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, completed the intermediate combat rifle marksmanship course July 24 at Range 8 on Camp Hansen to build on the fundamentals of being a Marine rifleman.

The drills familiarized the Marines with how to effectively employ their weapons in close-quarters combat situations, according to Capt. Jay M. Woods, the Co. B commander, 3rd LE Bn.

“It’s a confidence builder,” said Woods. “It will improve their skills and their marksmanship with constant repetition, and make them better warfighters. It’s brilliance in the basics.”

The Marines began the course of fire by shooting in the prone position at 36 yards to align their rifle combat optics. Once the RCOs were aligned, the course of fire consisted of firing at various distances and at different aim points on the target using a number of firing techniques.

One such technique is known as a hammer pair, which consists of two single-shots fired rapidly. Another similar technique was the controlled pair, which required precision over speed with two well-aimed shots.

“The course applies the basics of rifle marksmanship and combat rifle marksmanship and adds extra movements to each course of fire (to include) pivots and forward advances,” said Cpl. Robert J. Smith II, a military policeman with Co. B, 3rd LE Bn. “We want to make sure these Marines are comfortable and confident with their rifles. When they deploy, they should be able to use their rifles like an extension of themselves.”

The Marines who deploy to operational theaters use these skills in their everyday jobs, according to Woods.

“This unit is charged with forwardoperation base security, route security, convoy security and more,” said Woods. “While fulfilling these duties, the fundamentals become second nature to the Marines facing danger and can be applied when the enemy appears.”

The training gave the younger Marines a chance to familiarize themselves with weapons while ensuring the entire course of fire went well, according to Woods.

“Everything turned out to be a success,” said Woods. “The Marines were able enjoy themselves while they built on the fundamentals.”