CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- With every round sent down range, the Marines of 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion sharpened their skills as they completed close-range firing during a Combat Marksmanship Program qualification, Jan. 13.
The CMP qualification is an integral part of the battalion’s effort to maintain readiness and also allows the Marines an opportunity to get hands-on time with the weapons.
“As combat engineers, we’re here to support the infantry units, so we need to be [skillful] with our weapons,” said 2nd Lt. Joseph Bianca, a platoon commander with the unit. “We have to [hone] our marksmanship skills and keep improving on them.”
The CMP qualification is a useful tool for accomplishing more than just increasing weapon skills.
“The CMP shoot enhances basic infantry skills by making the Marines shoot various events,” Bianca said. “The different courses of fire contained a portion in which you engage a target while moving toward it. This simulates a scenario where a Marine would have to move toward an enemy at close-range to engage him”
This training helps develop basic rifleman skills similar to training infantrymen would conduct, Bianca added. It allows for better continuity between the infantry and the 2nd CEB when the time comes for them to offer their support on the ground.
Many of the Marines in the battalion agreed that close-range drills are an essential skillset for all Marines to have.
“Close-combat engagements are important to understand because when you’re within 500 meters of that target, you’re going to need to be accurate, precise, quick on the trigger and quick on the reload,” said Staff Sgt. Elliot Stamschror, a platoon sergeant with the unit. “That way, you can make sure it’s them and not you.”
This training is a key component in ensuring the battalion remains at optimal readiness.
"This type of training benefits the Marine Corps by allowing these Marines to continue to train every year and keep their skills honed and sharp, so that way we're ready to go whenever we're called upon," Stamschror said.