FORT A.P. HILL, Va. -- Marines with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division completed a live-fire exercise at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Sept. 2.
Over two weeks, the unit conducted a battalion-level field exercise. The marksmanship training was part of the battalion’s training and readiness standards. During the field exercise, the battalion also evaluated its Marines on platoon level gunnery techniques and procedures, strategic mobility exercise procedures, and basic combat skills.
During the exercise, Marines performed fundamental marksmanship training with the M4 service rifle and the M249 squad automatic weapon, keeping the Marines familiar with firing weapons at targets from an unknown distance and sustaining the “every Marine is a rifleman” mindset.
During the live-fire exercise, Marines fired 30 rounds of ammunition to battlesight zero their individual weapons. A battlesight zero is the sight settings placed on a service rifle for combat and allows Marines to engage an enemy threat without adjusting the elevation of their weapon.
Unlike most shooting ranges the Marine Corps uses, the range at A.P. Hill had mechanized pop-up targets that gave instant feedback to the Marines.
“[This range] is more realistic than any range that we normally do,” said Cpl. Zachary Zoerman, an assault amphibious vehicle crewman with Company C, 2nd AABn. “The targets actually move, and they respond when you hit them. This helps us because we know exactly when we hit the target.”