News: Officers learn fire team leadership
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
QUANTICO, Va - The lieutenant stands in the pit with his hands wrapped around the grenade. He hears the command: “Twist pull pin.” With steady hands, he pulls the pin out. “Prepare to throw,” and instantly he stretches out his left hand out in front of him and prepares to throw. “Throw,” he throws with full force and ducks for cover after the release.
Two platoons from Delta Company, The Basic School, started the Squad Weapons Munitions Field Firing Exercise on June 21.
During the exercise the Marines familiarize themselves with multiple weapon systems that are used by fire teams. The weapons include the M249 squad automatic weapon, M203 grenade launcher, AT4 light anti-armor weapon and live M67 grenades.
“We do this training so the lieutenants can understand the capabilities of a fire team can provide,” said Capt. Kyle Kurtz, the staff platoon commander for Delta Company.
The training started with the lieutenants learning how to throw practice grenades. Once cleared by an instructor, the lieutenants were taken to range Three Bravo to throw live grenades.
Once they have successfully thrown a live grenade, the lieutenants were taken to range 15 Alpha to learn how to conduct immediate actions and learn how to zero their rifle combat optic on a M249 SAW as well as shoot the M203 and AT4,
The lieutenants are taught more then just how to use the weapons, they learn how to properly instruct their Marines.
“It’s a good introduction to being a leader of Marines,” said 2nd Lt. Chad Nowicki, with 1st platoon, Delta Company, TBS. “The instructors are more concerned with showing how the weapons work, so we can teach our Marines.”
This was the first exercise where the lieutenants have been allowed to fire live rounds, and get a feeling of what it feels like.
“It’s nice to be able to experience firing these weapons first hand,” said 1st Lt. Amanda Babbitt, with 1st platoon, Delta Company, TBS. “I know that if I’m ever put in a combat situation, I will use the training I’ve learned here.”
All of these lieutenants will leave this training with a better understanding of how to use these weapons and also how to teach other Marines how to use it, Kurtz said.
“The overall training was a good opportunity for me to see what we will be doing as platoon commanders,” said 2nd Lt. Nathan Romig, with 2nd platoon, Delta Company, TBS.