Rounds on Target
The crackle and hiss of rounds pouring down range paired with the acrid smell of cordite filled the air April 16 at Camp Hansen’s Range one complex.
Seven Soldiers with the 247th Military Police Detachment and 24 Japanese Security Specialists who work at U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa, tested their proficiency in small arms while mastering the fundamentals of marksmanship.
“Fundamentals or basics are the key foundation in which any task or mission is completed,” said Sgt. 1st Class Robert A. Cree, Detachment Sergeant. “Once key fundamentals are mastered for any task, it is what equips Soldiers with the necessary skills to excel in any future endeavors,” he said.
Proficiency in various weapon systems is a key aspect to the training, which also strengthened mutual assurance in the partnership between the Soldiers and their Japanese counterparts.
“The USAG-Okinawa Security Guards are critical in accomplishing the Provost Marshal Office mission here on Okinawa,” said Capt. Nathan Elkins, Provost Marshal and Director of Emergency Services. “Without them we could not assist, protect and defend … knowing that they can effectively use the weapon they carry everyday brings a level of trust and confidence to everyone that works and lives on Torii Station” he said.
For Cree, an ex-Drill Sergeant, focusing on the basics builds a solid foundation of confidence for future tasks and mission success, while giving Soldiers and Master Labor Contractors a chance to hone a skill that is vital yet perishable.
“Improved confidence in one’s weapon system ensures the Soldier is able to accomplish the job of a Military Police Soldier which is to Assist, Protect and defend Service members, Families and property on the island of Okinawa,” he said.
According to Army Field Manual 3-22.9, Army Marksmanship, there are four fundamentals that must be mastered: Steady position, proper aim, breath control and trigger squeeze.
Understanding the mechanics of any machine is imperative to becoming an expert with that machine. The same premise applies to rifle marksmanship.
“Every Soldier is a rifleman,” said Elkins. “Marksmanship is a basic skill that is taught to every Soldier upon entering the Army and is honed and polished consistently. Marksmanship also brings confidence in the MPs abilities to handle any situation.”