U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY -- The mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, or repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat. A lesson Marines are taught in boot camp, which is carried throughout their entire career.
Marines with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, and Security Forces for Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC), conducted a live fire and maneuver exercise on Jan. 11, 2015, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
The live fire exercise was in preparation for a future, larger-scale range to help keep SPMAGTF-CR-CC’s Security Forces primed and ready if called to action.
The day began with dry runs of buddy rushing without ammunition to ensure every Marine could conduct the course of fire safely by understanding each pair’s route of maneuver.
“This training gets Marines more proficient at close quarter shooting, which is a big deal,” said Lance Cpl. Jacob Fuqua, a LAAD gunner with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 3rd LAAD Battalion and Security Forces, SPMAGTF-CR-CC. He added that, although 3rd LAAD Marines practice with one another often, being able to get the timing right with the additional augmented Marines was very beneficial.
Marines began in the prone position along the firing line. They loaded their first magazine and began the course.
Alternately bounding forward, pairs at a time, from barrier to barrier, each stationary team provided cover fire for the moving team until reaching the final barrier and using the remainder of their rounds.
“Everyone is getting the ability to… communicate while firing,” said Marine Sgt. Phillip Smith, a squad leader for 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 3rd LAAD Battalion and Security Forces, SPMAGTF-CR-CC. “They get a good bearing for getting behind barriers and still maintain[ing] cover fire for their fellow Marines.”
After finishing the maneuvering portion of the range, the squad prepared for and conducted two other courses of fire before wrapping things up for the day.
“We are out here doing the mission of the Marine Corps Rifle Squad,” said Smith. “This is how we train, because this is how we fight.”