Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Marines and Sailors from Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, completed drills during a live fire range July 23 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The servicemen were divided into two 4-man teams, consisting of a team leader, an assistant team leader, a light machine gunner and a rifleman. The teams conducted several drills based around pre-planned scenarios.
The scenarios began with the team on a small hill, sighting in on targets several hundred meters away. The team’s missions during the scenarios ranged from observation and photography to elimination of enemy targets and drawing fire from one team to the next.
The main purpose of the training was to validate the standard operation procedures for different situations, and ensuring the procedures work in a live fire situation, said 1st Lt. James White, the Scout Sniper platoon commander.
“You’re not going to practice anything other than what you’re going to do in combat,” said Cpl. John Buban, a Scout Sniper team leader. “This is the first time I’m working with this team so I’m working to make things flow fluidly.”
The teams would respond accordingly to variables in each scenario presented to them by either the platoon commander or platoon sergeant. Each team member had to know his job and the other team members’ jobs in order to efficiently complete the drill. Many scenarios ended with the teams providing suppressive fire, and doing a shoot, move, communicate style of withdrawal.
The main weapon system used by the scout sniper team is the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, with an effective range of about 800 meters. The other members of the team used a M249 light machine gun or M4A1 carbines. This range of weapons allow the team to accurately engage long range targets, while also maintaining the ability to provide suppressive fire.
Actual shooting is only about 10 percent of what we do, said Buban. Observation drills, learning how your eye works, immediate action drills and lots of physical training are a big part.
Each team completed the drills in full gear, continuing to run, shout, and shoot until the exercise was complete. After each drill the teams would receive feedback letting them know what worked well and which areas to improve on.
“We come out here to train like this because realistic training sets us up for success,” said White. “Successful execution of procedures they’ve put work into brings the Marines together.”