Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, conducted Table 3 Intermediate Combat Rifle Marksmanship Training with the M4 Carbine assault rifle May 5 here.
The training was part of the Marine Corps’ effort to provide additional combat marksmanship training to Marines regardless of their occupational specialty, according to Sgt. Wesley Cary, ammunition chief for Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac, and a shooter at the event.
“Table 3 is a more realistic form of combat shooting,” Cary said. “It helps prepare Marines for combat operations.”
Table 3 functions as the third step in a building block system for marksmanship. Currently, the majority of Marines are required to qualify on the Table 1 Known Distance course of fire and the Table 2 Field Fire course.
During Table 1, Marines fire from distances of 200, 300 and 500 yards. The course of fire forces Marines to focus on the fundamentals of marksmanship to ensure accurate shooting and to familiarize Marines with making site adjustments to their weapons.
During Table 2, Marines fire at moving targets, conduct combat reload drills, fire at multiple targets and are taught how to deliver stopping or killing shots from distances less than 100 yards from their target.
Table 3 training takes it a step further by requiring Marines to fire as they close with their targets from distances of as far as 25 yards to as close as five yards and teaches them how to quickly engage a target to their right or left.
“This training is outstanding,” said Capt. Marcos Azua, comptroller for Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac. “We may be a headquarters unit, but eventually we will rotate out of here to a unit with a normal deployment rotation. This helps us ensure we keep up with the current gear, tactics and procedures Marines use in combat. It keeps us current.”
Prior to firing, Staff Sgt. Michael A. Johnson, company gunnery sergeant for Headquarters Company, HQSVCBN, familiarized the shooters, who were mostly senior officers and staff noncommissioned officers, with the M4 Carbine assault rifle and the rifle optics required for qualification.
The Marines received 50 rounds for practice and another 50 rounds for the qualification portion of the exercise.
Although combat units have been conducting Table 3 training and more advanced shooting packages for years, it only recently became an annual requirement for most Marines across the Corps.
“I think this training is needed and is long overdue,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kevin M. Kozma, MarForPac’s force deployment chief. “This is my first time doing movement to contact. In combat, you have to acquire your target and move. This is much more realistic and it’s a good opportunity to familiarize ourselves with these rifles and reinforce that every Marine is a rifleman.”
HQSVCBN has offered the training on a regular basis since the beginning of the calendar year.
“I wasn’t identified to come out here,” Azua said. “I came out because I love to shoot, its good training and it’s what Marines do.”