Recon Marines refine marksmanship skills

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Story by LCpl Damarko Bones on 04/20/2017
Marines with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division conducted a series of firing drills to enhance their urban combat capabilities at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 9-14, 2017.

Recon Marines conducted the training as part of a workup to attach to the Maritime Raid Force, which will deploy with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit later this year. As part of the MRF, Marines are expected to be able to raid buildings, compounds, houses or even ships with great speed and precision.

One portion of the training included a close-quarters tactics range which included different styles of barricade shooting and square-based shooting.

"This training is paramount for our community to excel because you can be required to raid a house or compound at any time while deployed. This training guarantees that we have the necessary capabilities to do so," said Sgt. Austin Larkins, a team leader with the unit. "We're also conducting practice for a qualification called the mod-qual. This qualification is required for any Marine to be able to raid houses. We have to conduct the [qualification] every week [in the upcoming course] to ensure that we are always above the standard required."

This training prepared the Marines for an upcoming, nine-week course with Expeditionary Operations Training Group which aims to fine-tune the Marines' ability to conduct urban operations.

The shooting drills conducted are regarded as a more advanced style of training that most Marines aren't accustomed to performing.

"This training works by forcing you to sight in on targets while moving, having a higher heart rate while firing, and transitioning to your secondary weapon while firing," said Sgt. Joe Bennaugh, a team member with the unit. "These kinds of drills help with fire and movement, urban environments, potential hostage situations and close-quarters combat."

The Marines with 2nd Recon. Bn. are continuing to refine their skills so they are ready for whatever challenge they face during their upcoming deployment with the 26th MEU.

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