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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit


31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

Ready - Partnered - Lethal

Okinawa, Japan
Multination training for snipers

By Lance Cpl. Courtney G. White | | February 16, 2012

U.S. Marines with the Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon, a part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, trained alongside the Royal Thai Marine Corps and the Republic of Korea Navy SEALs during scout sniper training at Recon Camp, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16.  

The training was part of Exercise Cobra Gold 2012, an annual multinational exercise co-hosted by Thailand and the U.S. which is designed to advance security throughout the Asia-Pacific region and enhance interoperability with participating nations.

“The training consisted of shooting unknown distances in different positions,” said Sgt. Luis Morales, a scout sniper with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st MEU. “Everyone had the chance to shoot in the standing, kneeling, and sitting with the tripod. You don’t always get the chance to shoot in the prone, so it’s important that the snipers familiarize themselves with the different techniques.”

The training also touched on more advanced sniper training including max point blank and mil-holds, said Morales.

“During this period of instruction we are providing the riflemen with knowledge that they can take to improve their marksmanship and fighting capabilities,” said Morales.

Marksmanship fundamentals for a multi-threat engagement are key for any sniper, said Staff Sgt. Darrell Rushing, a scout sniper platoon sergeant with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st MEU.

“In a given situation, individuals can pop up out of nowhere and you need to have the confidence in your weapon system as well as your ability to shoot a target at any distance,” said Rushing.

It is important that snipers have a one shot, one kill mentality, said Chief Petty Officer Young M. Lee, a Navy SEAL with Seal Team 3, Republic of Korea Marine Corps.

“As a sniper we need to be proficient in what we do, therefore, the more shooting we are able to do, the better we become,” said Lee. “It is very worthwhile to train with our allies as well, to know that we can count on them when we need them.”

The best part of participating in multinational training exercises is the ability to learn from each other’s tactics, knowledge and procedures, according to Capt. John Rossiter, the Amphibious Reconnaissance platoon commander.

“Working together with the Royal Thai Marine Corps and the Republic of Korea Navy SEALs definitely builds trust and familiarity between the nations,” said Rossiter. “It increases our ability and willingness to work together and we do hope to work with them more in the future.”