CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan --
Reconnaissance Marines are conducting marksmanship training drills as part of the Dynamic Assault Course taught by the Special Operations Training Group on Camp Hansen’s Range 16 April 25 to May 27.
The Marines, with Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Force Company, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III Marine Expeditionary Force, are participating in this training in preparation for an upcoming deployment. The Dynamic Assault Course is a five-week course, with the first two weeks focusing on marksmanship, said Staff Sgt. Jason Adkins, the lead instructor for the course.
The next three weeks focus on tactics, where the students learn insertion, breaching objectives with explosives, and the proper techniques used to secure an objective. Dynamic Assault Course instructors are all reconnaissance Marines from SOTG, III MEF Headquarters Group, III MEF. This class is important as it pushes a force reconnaissance platoon’s skills to a high level and provides the Marines with the required certification to be part of a force reconnaissance platoon, Adkins said. With the training, the platoon can be employed by its commander to carry out direct-action missions, he added.
During the first week of training, Marines fired the M1911 .45 caliber pistol and M4A1 service rifle while training at ranges simulating different urban environments. “(The training) is very important for the type of mission(s) we do,” said Staff Sgt. Lin Barrios, assistant platoon sergeant for the platoon. As part of the MEU, the Marines need to know how to operate in different environments, said Barrios.
After familiarizing themselves with their weapons and zeroing in their aiming points, the Marines moved to live-fire shooting in a close-quarters situation. “I like all the tactics,” said Cpl. Angel Robles, a reconnaissance Marine with the 31st MEU and a student in the course. “There’s all kinds of stuff going through your head. (When entering a room), you have to remember if you’re one man, two man or rear security.”
In close quarters situations, teams of four to six Marines enter a room using proper room-clearing techniques, identify the threats and use the proper method to take them down. You have to have a certain mindset for it, said Barrios. “(There’s) a thousand ways you can take over a house, and there’s a thousand ways to mess it up. At this level, you have to be in the correct mindset to do the job. “Most of the Marines are responding very well to (the training),” added Barrios. “It’s very important to throw them in this kind of environment early.”