News: Gunners learn sharp shooting
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
QUANTICO, Va. - The sniper looks down the scope at his target. His spotter gives him the distance-: 412-meters. His sights go up and down with each breath as his aim comes to rest on the enemy. With a slow steady squeeze of the trigger, the round spirals down range and hits its mark at center mass.
More than 20 officers participated in a one week sniper training package that took place on Range 14 Charlie on Wednesday.
The sniper training is part of the seven-month Infantry Weapons Training Officers Course that all new gunners must go through.
This training allows them to become more familiar with the weapon systems and tactics said an instructor of the Infantry Weapons Training Officers Course. That way when they’re there out teaching they’re Marines, they can teach them properly.
In order to be a gunner a Marine must first serve a minimum of 14 years in the infantry field then submit a package. If selected, the Marines is promoted to chief warrant officer 2.
This is the first training the gunners go through after being selected. Upon completion, the gunners will be assigned new duty stations, where they will instruct Marines on what they learned here.
Throughout training cycle, the officers are brought up to speed on several weapons including the M110 SASS, a semi-automatic sniper rifle, and the M107 SASR, a special application scoped rifle.
During the sniper training, the officers shoot in teams of two. One Marine is the shooter while the other is an observerm, giving the shooter adjustments to make.
The officers train in both positions and shoot at targets from distances up to 412-meters.
We’re training them to have advanced marksmanship skills,” said an instructor from IWOTC
The students felt they were getting the most out of the class.
“The training here is excellent, these instructors are really top notch,” said Dan Ianglois, a student in the IWOTC. “It’s more than just shooting out here.”
The officers learn to shoot the sniper rifle in the prone position, kneeling with a tripod and off of rucks, which are their back packs.
“My favorite part so far has been the shooting,” Ianglois said. “Anytime a Marine can come out and shoot ammunition is a good thing.”
At the end of the course, there was one point the instructors hoped their students took with them.
“The most important thing the gunners can take away from this training is how important it is to get their Marines out on the range,” said an instructor from IWOTC. “This skill is perishable and will degrade over time if the Marines don’t constantly refine their skills.