The silence of the morning sea air shattered as Marines with Charlie Company threw a wall of lead at targets off the side of USS Boxer (LHD 4) May 11.
Today’s training in the Combat Marksmanship Program refreshed combat shooting skills Marines need to be successful if engaged in a fire-fight.
“During this training we built stable firing positions so we could effectively get rounds on target in the kill zone to take out the enemy,” said Cpl. Matthew W. Ewy, team leader with Weapons Platoon Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The CMP training required Marines to perform left and right pivoting maneuvers, quick reaction drills and magazine change drills including both tactical and speed reloads.
“This keeps the weapons handling proficiency up,” said Gunnery Sgt. Xavier P. Altamirano, from Daming N.M., platoon sergeant for weapons platoon. “If you don’t do it you start to lose the skills you were taught; you always want to stay on top of it.”
Ewy, from St. Paul Park, Minn., said the training is always beneficial even if the Marines think they are good.
“You could always improve on this kind of shoot we do, nobody is perfect every time. We have some good shooters and some that need some work, so there is always room for improvement,” said Ewy.
Altamirano says there is not much for Marines to do aboard ship, so they start to get away from the training they are familiar with on land. Since most of this training is taken away, the Marines have to adapt—this is why conducting CMP training once a month is important.
The 13th MEU and Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group are currently on a deployment in support of regional and Maritime Security Operations (MSO).
In addition to BLT 1/1, the MEU is composed of its Command Element; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Reinforced); and Combat Logistics Battalion 13.
Cpl. Matthew W. Ewy, team leader with Weapons Platoon, Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and native of St. Paul Park, Minn., practices pivoting maneuvers during training in the Combat Marksmanship Program on the flight deck of USS Boxer (LHD 4) May 11.