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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Camp Pendleton, CA
U.S. Marines, Kuwait Armed Forces snipers train along-side one another

By Cpl. Timothy Childers | 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit | December 03, 2012

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Sniper rifles from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were staged at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12, in order to conduct live fire exercises with members of the Kuwait Armed Forces. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21.  The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Sniper rifles from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were staged at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12, in order to conduct live fire exercises with members of the Kuwait Armed Forces. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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Lance Cpl. Syrus Isfahani, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, staples a paper target at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12.  The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Lance Cpl. Syrus Isfahani, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, staples a paper target at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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U.S. Marines from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, send rounds down range at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

U.S. Marines from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, send rounds down range at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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U.S. Marines from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, send rounds down range at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

U.S. Marines from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, send rounds down range at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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Staff Sgt. Nathan C. Stocking, platoon sergeant, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, instructs members of the Kuwait Armed Forces in basic marksmanship techniques at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Stocking, 29, is from Phoenix, Ariz.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Staff Sgt. Nathan C. Stocking, platoon sergeant, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, instructs members of the Kuwait Armed Forces in basic marksmanship techniques at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Stocking, 29, is from Phoenix, Ariz. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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Staff Sgt. Nathan C. Stocking, platoon sergeant, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, instructs members of the Kuwait Armed Forces in basic marksmanship techniques at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Stocking, 29, is from Phoenix, Ariz.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Staff Sgt. Nathan C. Stocking, platoon sergeant, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, instructs members of the Kuwait Armed Forces in basic marksmanship techniques at a firing range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Stocking, 29, is from Phoenix, Ariz. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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Lance Cpl. Matthew Long, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 enhanced marksmanship rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Long, 27, is from Kilgore, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Lance Cpl. Matthew Long, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 enhanced marksmanship rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Long, 27, is from Kilgore, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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Lance Cpl. Matthew Long, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 enhanced marksmanship rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Long, 27, is from Kilgore, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

Lance Cpl. Matthew Long, scout sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 enhanced marksmanship rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Long, 27, is from Kilgore, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 Enhanced Marksmanship Rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring, during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12.  The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a M39 Enhanced Marksmanship Rifle at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring, during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released)

A U.S. Marine from Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a semi-automatic sniper system at a marksmanship training event near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 12. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in the bilateral training exercise with the Kuwait Armed Forces Nov. 11-21. The purpose of the exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)


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12.03.2012 --

KUWAIT – Marines shielded their eyes the best they could as a sand storm moved across the firing-range. Wind-speeds reached more than 30 miles-per-hour, which made a dead-center shot at more than 500 yards seem impossible. What may have seemed unfeasible was made achievable by the scout snipers of Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. They flawlessly brought down targets at a firing-range near Camp Buehring during Exercise Eager Mace 13, Nov. 10.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participated in an annual bilateral training exercise with Kuwaiti Armed Forces Nov. 11-21 called, Eager Mace. The purpose of this exercise was to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners.

During this training event, the Scout Sniper Platoon from Weapons Company went to one of many firing ranges around Camp Buehring and trained alongside a Kuwaiti Armed Forces unit. The team helped teach some basic marksmanship skills to junior members of the Kuwaiti military.

“We assisted with teaching basic marksmanship skills for the Kuwaiti soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Nathan Stocking, platoon sergeant, Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It’s good that we can train them, so that they have the capability to protect themselves.”

The real work was done within the Scout Sniper Platoon, as they took advantage of the unique training opportunities the firing range provided.

“At the range we practiced quite a lot of advanced marksmanship techniques in simulated combat surroundings,” said Stocking. “Camp Pendleton doesn’t facilitate this kind of training. Because of the range’s size and facilities, we were allowed to practice more advanced drills that we wouldn’t be able to simulate at most [military] bases back home. As Marines, we know these techniques by the book, but we can truly prove the concept at this range.”

The range also provided a unique training environment, compared to the platoon’s home base of Camp Pendleton. The high winds, dust clouds and terrain features, that comprise the region, gave the snipers a new challenge to build on and improve their skills.

“I always enjoy an opportunity to train somewhere different,” said Cpl. Dakota Mortensen, a scout sniper with the platoon. “We had an opportunity to zero our weapons to meet this type of environment. We can use the data we gathered to prepare us for any possible contingencies in the future. This is also our first opportunity we’ve had on deployment to fire our weapons and knock the rust off,” added the 25-year-old, Ephraim, Utah native.

In order to hone their craft, the 14-man team conducted a number of maneuvers including unknown distance, limited exposure and movement to contact drills.

“I enjoyed being with the platoon and having all day to concentrate on shooting,” added Stocking, a 29-year-old, Phoenix, Ariz. native. “We took the opportunity to find and correct deficiencies. Everyday we increased the distance, decreased the target size and changed weapon systems. By throwing different variables at the snipers we made it harder, but it made them better.”

By shooting from early morning until dawn, braving sand storms and an unfamiliar environment, the scout snipers were challenged, and were able to effectively train and learn alongside Kuwaiti soldiers.

The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.