USS Denver, At Sea -- Marines and sailors of Company F. and Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, challenged their marksmanship skills by firing multiple weapons from the flight deck here, March 19.
Their accuracy was tested with varied ranges and movements during the seven-hour event. Marines alternated between the M4 carbine, M16A4 service rifle, M9 pistol and M240B machine gun. The training was part of the Marine Corps’ Combat Marksmanship Program.
Groups of 16 practiced quick engagement drills while closing from a distance of 50 meters with rifles, and teams of four closed from a distance of 25 meters with pistols. Machine gunners fired from the back of the ship at floating targets that quickly faded away as the ship steamed forward.
The course of fire for each weapon is a challenge by itself, but doing the training on a moving naval vessel provides a unique experience.
“It was definitely different, trying to keep your balance out there,” said Lance Cpl. Brian T. Carmichael, a scout sniper team member for Weapons Co., BLT 2/5, 31st MEU, and a native of Altoona, Iowa. “It’s just one more factor to make our marksmanship training a challenge.”
The 31st MEU is currently completing its certification exercise, evaluated by Special Operations Training Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, to assess the unit’s ability to accomplish mission essential tasks while deployed aboard the ships of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group. The 31st MEU is the Marine Corps’ force of choice for the Asia-Pacific region and the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.