CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - I Marine Expeditionary Force, Special Operations Training Group, Special Missions Branch conducted a training event for 1st Reconnaissance Battalion scouts aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb 12.
The event consisted of live fires and known distance ranges with targets extending upwards of 1,000 meters. The SOTG special missions branch prepares and further trains specially qualified Marines in their area of expertise.
“This evolution of training was a simple battle sight zero of the .50 caliber snipers rifle. We shot at 300 meters, and at 1150 meters,” Said Staff Sgt. Roland Leblanc, Staff non commissioned officer in charge for Urban Sniper 1st SOTG. “We also put true zero with both the M-110 SAS and the M-40 rifles at 800 meters.”
The multiple weapon systems applied during the event were present to confirm the accuracy of the scout’s rifles before continuing on to exercises and support roles worldwide.
“We do this because we want them to have a good zero when they go on to further operations with the Marine expeditionary unit,” said Leblanc. “When they deploy it’s essential to have a reliable weapon.”
With the wide variety of scenarios that present themselves to Marines, training is always taught with a realistic application.
For the scouts, shooting through objects becomes a factor when dealing with long-range engagements, said Sgt. Daniel McFarland, force reconnaissance scout, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.
“We did a glass shoot as well,” Daniel McFarland said “We shot through panes of glass on a target to simulate an urban environment and to see the deviation of shooting with and without glass as a variable.”
SOTG’s aim is to make the best better. Sharpening the basics for these Marines hones the skills they already possess as they develop they’re skill set.
“We just recently did the SOTG urban sniper course back in August,” said McFarland. “The things we’re doing now are a continuation of developing the skills we picked up then.”
Training with a realistic approach helps to better prepare the shooters for their vital role as scouts in support of operations around the world.