SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, Queensland, Australia --
The Marines and Sailors of Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted individual and unit combat marksmanship packages here, following the conclusionof exercise Talisman Saber 2013, July 30 and 31.
The first day of shooting featured the Combat Marksmanship Program, where Marines and Sailors conducted shooting drills from 50 yards down to five yards from their targets, stressing close-combat shooting techniques. Each shooter’s goal was to place well-aimed shots in target areas on man-sized silhouettes while slowly advancing.
The second day tested each squad's ability to communicate effectively, maneuver through rough terrain and provide accurate suppressing fire in a woodland environment. The Marines patrolled through unfamiliar territory until they simulated contact with the enemy. The squads performed buddy rushes, engaged notional machine gun bunkers, and decimated paper targets.
The live-fire training emphasized the development of advanced marksmanship and squad-level tactics in unfamiliar terrain, taking advantage of the unique Australian terrain and conditions.
“It's the core of who we are as Marines and what we do as a combat-oriented institution,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher M. McCain, a platoon sergeant with Co. G., BLT 2/4, 31st MEU, and native of Advance, Mo. “If we don't continually hone our skills, they will depreciate. ”
Talisman Saber 2013 is a biennial training activity between the U.S. and Australian armed forces that provides realistic and relevant training necessary to maintain security, peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the Marine Corps’ force in readiness for the Asia-Pacific region and the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.