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Photo Information

A Marine from Company C, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division; loads his weapon during a live fire exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 19, 2011. The purpose of the exercise was to train the Marines within the company to maneuver under fire.

Photo by By Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Silent but deadly

19 May 2011 | By Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Marines and sailors from Company C, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, conducted fire and maneuver operations aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 16-20, 2011.

The purpose of the exercise was to familiarize the Marines on fire and maneuver drills by conducting multiple live-fire operations throughout the week.

“When we do special reconnaissance where we cross through large open danger areas, we might encounter situations where we have to maneuver quickly while suppressing the enemy,” said Sgt. Tom Maloney, a team leader in the company. “The goal is to be aware of the amount of ammunition you have left, staying on line with the rest of your team and engaging the enemy.”

The importance of the training was demonstrated when the Marines began to run through the exercises and were given constructive criticism from their platoon sergeant and commander.

“It lets the new guys out here understand that thirty rounds goes quick and you can’t get sucked into one target when you have multiple surrounding you,” said Maloney. “Those are some of the reasons why this training is so important.”

The company spent the whole week in the field conducting multiple drills such as combat marksmanship training, machine gun live fire and M203 grenade launching.

“We’re pretty much preparing for pre-deployment training,” said Maloney. “We’re becoming familiar with everything before we even begin our deployment workup.”

The Marines ran through each drill without rounds to get a feel for the movements and then added live ammunition when they felt comfortable.

“The Marines out here are doing really well.  This is good training,” said Sgt. N.F. Hager, a team leader in the company. “A lot of people can forget the basics, but we repeat it over and over for a reason. There are some junior Marines out here that benefit a lot because we’re able to really hit on the most important elements of the training where we need the most work.”

While this training is helpful for the development of a reconnaissance Marine, the company’s busy schedule makes it difficult for them to spend the amount of time preferred on perfecting the Marines' abilities. It is crucial these Marines take as much as possible from the exercise.

“We try to conduct training like this as often as possible,” said Hager. “It is beneficial to everyone here, even the Marines who have done it before.”