In keeping with the mindset that every Marine is a rifleman, devil dogs from U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific conducted training with the M-1014 shotgun and the M-67 hand grenade at the infantry demolition range here Feb. 25.
Marines were familiarized with the M-1014, a weapon mainly used among infantrymen and Special Forces. MarForPac training noncommissioned officers demonstrated proper handling, safety, assembly, disassembly, technical data and target engagement of the M-1014.
Before a live-fire exercise, training NCOs ensured Marines understood the course of fire and emphasized the great power of the shotgun’s recoil.
In order to keep Marines in a combat mindset, while they waited for their turn, they did push-ups, jumping jacks and other physical activities, exhausting them before they went through the course. This practice simulated the fatigue experienced in combat after hours of foot patrols and endless days.
During the course of fire, Marines fired from standing and kneeling positions at different distances.
“It’s important for Marines in all (military occupational skills) to be familiar with different weapons. In Iraq everyone turns into a grunt,” said Sgt. Tomas Becerra, marksmanship NCO. “Even though your MOS isn’t infantry, you could be asked to use a weapons system you aren’t used to.”
For first-time shotgun firers, the experience was different than what they were used to. It allowed them an opportunity to fire something other than the M-16A2 service rifle they have known since boot camp.
“This was my first time firing a shotgun. It was a lot different than what I expected, but I enjoyed it. It’s nice to learn about different weapons the Marine Corps has,”said Lance Cpl. Nathan McCord, combat photographer.
After a refresher course on the specifics and safe handling of the hand grenade, Marines threw four practice rounds to prepare.
Some Marines were nervous. Others hadn’t thrown a grenade since initial training. From concrete bunkers, Marines had two chances to put all they could into throwing their grenades, making their best attempts at engaging their targets. As soon as the grenades were airborne and after seeing where they landed, Marines dropped and took cover from the blast.
“I forgot how powerful the hand grenade is. Hearing the explosion brought it all back,” said McCord.
Participants were appreciative for the expertise the training NCOs brought to the range and the chance to get out of the office for some training.
“This is awesome training. It’s a rare opportunity in a command like ours to get to do things like this, so it’s great that this group of Marines took advantage of it,” said Sgt. Shawn Davenport, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Planner.
Through spurts of rain and overcast clouds, Marines stayed motivated and made the most out of the training day.
“Even though the weather wasn’t really on our side, the range has been going nice and smooth,” said McCord.
The day ended on a high note, with everyone pleased with the success of the range. The training NCOs felt the training objectives were well met and received by the Marines.
“We had smooth training today. There were no safety violations and Marines seem more confident with different weapon systems,” said Becerra. “We came out here to motivate the junior Marines at MarForPac and build some camaraderie. Everyone did great today.”