CAMP SUFFISANT, Curacao -- In their fourth week of their training in Curacao, the Marines of 2nd Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, will participate in a week-long competition known as the Tri Deux Colours against Dutch and French marines, aboard Royal Netherlands Marine Corps Base Camp Suffisant, Curacao, Oct. 22, 2010. The competition will include land navigation, amphibious operations and marksmanship.
Utilizing the rifle ranges of Dutch marines, 2nd Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Co., practiced their marksmanship in order to prepare for the upcoming competition.
“We’ve been doing team immediate action drills, getting the Marines more proficient with sniper rifles, and practicing high stress shoots in order to prepare for the competition,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kevin T. Dale, the platoon sergeant of 2nd Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Co. “We’re refining our skills as close to the competition as possible because it will make us that much better.”
Force Reconnaissance Company has won the competition previously and Dale plans on winning the Tri Deux Colours again, he said, adding “we really want to bring the torch back for the United States.”
The Marines practice marksmanship with a wide variety of weapons throughout the training evolution to ensure their familiarity with the different systems for the upcoming competition, and more importantly – for future deployments.
“We’re training with the M4 carbine, M240 squad automatic weapons, M9-A1 pistols, the M107 special applications scoped rifle and the M40-A5 sniper rifle,” said Dale.
Aside from the competition, the Marines of 2nd Platoon make an effort to visit the range regularly to practice their marksmanship.
“These Marines have a skill set that requires shooting their rifles every month,” said Capt. William F. Heinzalmann, the executive officer of Force Reconnaissance Co. “The Marines are incredibly proficient with their weapons. If I don’t ensure that they are given the opportunity to shoot regularly, the Marines won’t be able to sustain their skills with the weapon systems.”
The Marines use their time on the range to hone their marksmanship skills as well as gain familiarity with their weapons systems.
“We got a lot of good training out of coming here,” said Cpl. Shane H. Marrett. “We had the chance to learn a lot about our teams and how each other shoot. We’ve definitely became a lot more efficient with our weapon systems.”
The pinnacle of the marksmanship training was a visit from Sgt. Maj. William F. Fitzgerald, the sergeant major of United States Marine Corps Forces South. Fitzgerald received a demonstration of the M107 special applications scoped rifle and the M40-A5 sniper rifle.
“It’s a great honor to have the sergeant major come out here and see what we’re doing and how well our snipers perform,” said Marrett.