News: FET practices live-fire
Story by Cpl. Jennifer Pirante
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Every Marine is a rifleman – or in this case, rifle-woman.
Members of the I Marine Expeditionary Force Female Engagement Team completed M4 Carbine rifle and M9 service pistol combat marksmanship training at range 407 here, Oct. 28.
The 5-day course is one of many training events the FET is required to undergo before their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. The training is designed to develop, sustain and improve individual defensive combat shooting skills in order to supplement the overall FET mission, to reach out to the local Afghan population.
“It’s similar to table three of the rifle range,” said Sgt. Sheena Adams, Female Engagement Team platoon leader and instructor.
“They learned how to do box-drills, double-tapping, single shots and fast movements between kneeling, standing and prone positions.”
Marines also learned how to shoot, maneuver and transition between the M9 and M4 weapon systems when one runs out of rounds. Each Marine maneuvered in full personal protective equipment, which adds approximately 40 pounds to the Marine’s initial body weight.
“While they are patrolling out there, they are going to be in their full PPE, which is their flak, their kevlar, their gloves and eye protection,” Adams said. “This helps them become comfortable shooting and transitioning weapons with all their gear on.”
The team also participated in a night shoot to gain familiarization on how to shoot with night vision goggles.
According to Marine Corps order 3574.2K, pertaining to the Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Program, being a well-trained Marine means having the confidence required to deliver accurate fire under the most adverse battle conditions.
So far, the FET has shown progression in their physical, tactical and mental readiness.
“Being a part of this and watching them go through training is similar to what I experienced when I was going through it,” Adams said. “I can see them progress just like we did, going from unsure to being confident and comfortable with their weapons handling.”
During upcoming weeks, the FET is slated to participate in counter Improvised Explosive Device training.
“They will learn how to detect IEDs and how to react,” Adams said.
“After that, they will be doing [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected] training to learn how to drive the vehicles, so they will be able to assist with the battalions out there.”
According to Adams, the FET is unique because its Marines were brought together from a variety of different military occupational specialties to train and accomplish one mission. Their basic knowledge of combat and marksmanship provide a common foundation for all the different skill sets the Marines can apply to make sure the mission is accomplished and everyone comes home safe.