MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Approximately 28 Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 completed the Machine Gun Assistant Instructor Course at the Basic Skills Training School aboard Camp Lejeune today.
The purpose of the course is to teach non-infantry Marines how to properly employ machine guns to ensure they have the necessary skills to defend their unit’s position in a real-world scenario.
Now, those Marines are qualified and ready to assist their comrades on the ground.
“The training is beneficial because it teaches Marines what to do during certain operations like engaging an artillery battery,” said Lance Cpl. Kaheem J. Sharpe, an automotive organizational mechanic with MWSS-274.
During the two-week course, the Marines learned proper operating procedures and basic fundamentals of the MK-19 automatic grenade launcher, the M240B medium machine gun and the M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun.
The newly-certified machine gun assistant instructors completed more than 30 hours of classroom instruction, said Sgt. Milton L. Winrow, a machine gun instructor at the school.
“The Marines performed great,” said Winrow. “They more than exceeded the expectations I set for them.”
Sharpe said before coming to the course, he hoped to gain better understanding of the weapons systems and have the knowledge he needs to instruct others as well. He said he now feels confident in his abilities and looks forward to teaching his counterparts.
“This training benefits not only our unit,” he said. “It benefits the whole aircraft wing, because we need people to operate weapons in theater. Now we can instruct and pass on our knowledge to others in different units.”