MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO --
When Marines mix training, military grade weapons and their natural urge to be the best, they get Quantico’s Combat Shooting Team’s motto “competition breeds excellence.” And that was exactly what the Marines of the CST were aiming for as they conducted Long Range Training at Range 14D on Feb. 5.
The Marines engaged multiple targets from between 200 to 500-plus yards while being timed.
“We are not only learning, but also teaching techniques and steps to pass on to Marines headed to combat that will help them when it comes to marksmanship,” said Sgt. Cody Nelson, curriculum developer/competitor instructor, CST.
Initially, the Marines began shooting while standing or unsupported, and doing snap drills to warm up. Many of the CST Marines believed that, if someone trains unsupported and can shoot well in that position, then, as they progress to supported positions, shooting will come easier.
After the warm-up, one by one, the Marines were given a scenario where they had to engage certain targets based on their scenario. Marines would potentially have to shoot in different positions such as, standing, kneeling and prone.
After shooting at their first station, they rushed to their next station and engaged those targets.
As each person finished his scenario, he looked back at the person with the stop watch to verify their time. And with each person, there was a burst of excitement for beating the best time thus far or a defeated facial expression with verbal promise of winning in the next scenario. But, one thing did not change throughout the scenarios, and that is the marksmanship experience and the delight, not as trainers or teams, but as Marines, fighting for the only title they know: Being the best of the best.
“The training we do here is vital,” Nelson said. “All we are doing is taking what the Marine Corps has already had in effect and building on it. The more training we can offer makes Marines more accurate, thereby, more lethal in combat. Accuracy in combat, could be the difference between a Marine being killed in action or going home to his wife.”
The CST will host a three-gun match May 29. Units competing should bring their own military-issued weapons as CST may not be able to provide them. Also, CST asks that competitors be proficient with manipulating their weapons.
“If you want to test your skills and knowledge in a mobile simulated combat situation, then come out to the three-gun match,” said Sgt. Brandan Jansen, team captain, CST. “No matter if you win or lose, you will definitely learn lessons you can take back to your unit.”
For information on the three-gun competition or training with shotguns, pistols or rifles, call 703-432-8496.