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    Marines get one shot at elite sniper status

    Marines get one shot at elite sniper status

    Photo By Capt. Adam Miller | Sgt. Vincent J. Petitto validates the placement of his round on a target May 16 in the...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Adam Miller 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan – Marines concluded a two-week Special Reaction Team certification course May16 in the Central Training Area.

    The Headquarters Marine Corps Special Reaction Team Phase II Marksman/Observer course is approximately 80 hours of cumulative instruction time and teaches the principles of position and concealment, observational skills, marksmanship and ballistic advantages in support of barricaded subjects and hostage rescue operations, according to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Training SRT Marksman/Observer student manual. The course focuses on intervention tactics for stronghold assault situations.

    “Our mission, especially at Headquarters Marine Corps Law Enforcement Training, the Marine Corps’ police academy, is to provide the best training in law enforcement so that we can provide the best law enforcement (Marines) for our United States Marine Corps,” said Maceo B. Franks, the executive director of Marine Corps Police Academy East. “The course covers the whole gamut of what an actual sniper would need in order to engage targets, especially in a high-threat environment.”

    The culminating event of the course was a one-shot, cold-bore marksmanship qualification in which the students fired an M110 semi-automatic sniper system. The final test simulated a real-world scenario in which the SRT member had one opportunity to eliminate a threat without the aid of practice rounds. It was a pass-or-fail qualification with no second chance.

    “If you think about the SRT’s job, snipers, all they get is one shot,” said Gunnery Sgt. Hart E. Holmberg, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with EOD Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It relates to my job (as an EOD technician specifically) because we work in a high-stress environment. We can use this training to render unexploded ordnance safe because it teaches us to hit a small target, like a fuse. From that aspect, this training has given me a lot of confidence.”

    The course brought together Marines with various units across multiple military occupational specialties assigned to III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

    “I was in the infantry my first four years, and by far this job is the most fun I’ve had with my time in the Marine Corps,” said Sgt. Vincent J. Petitto, an SRT commander with the Provost Marshall’s Office, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, MCIPAC. “I like the broad spectrum of work we get to do as an SRT member. I like that every day I could be doing something different. The training is fun, the unit is small so the camaraderie is high between the team members, and that is saying a lot coming from my infantry background because I made a lot of lifelong friends. It’s the best job I’ve had by far.”



    Date Taken: 05.16.2014
    Date Posted: 05.21.2014 03:25
    Story ID: 130594
    Hometown: LONG ISLAND, NY, US
    Hometown: ROCHESTER, MN, US

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