IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. --
Precision-like shooting has become more than a goal for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force, it’s a requirement. To meet this standard, they proved their skill to Special Operations Training Group during a live-fire qualification, May 8.
The qualification involved shooting on the move from up to 50 yards away and, for those armed with a pistol, it included a weapons transition while closing in on a target. Completing this course is the first step Marines took before beginning more in-depth exercises as the ground portion of Realistic Urban Training moves forward.
“The live-fire marksmanship is a way for Marines to improve their firing skills, confidence and ability to engage their targets effectively,” said 2nd Lt. Mitchell X. Rhyner, platoon commander, Security Element, MRF, 15th MEU. “Our goal for the Marines is surgical shooting,” added the 24-year-old native of State College, Penn.
Rhyner defined surgical shooting as hitting exactly where you want to hit on a target, and the precise standard he sets for his Marines is no easy feat. These elite warriors are required to have 80 percent of their shots land in the designated portions of the target in order to qualify.
“We make every effort possible to minimize collateral damage while accomplishing our mission,” said Sgt. Kyle M. Savoy, force reconnaissance Marine, Assault Element, MRF, 15th MEU. “Shooting in the designated areas is demanded of us because when we are called upon to apply our training, not being proficient could result in the wrong people getting hit,” added the 26-year-old native of Los Angeles.
At the end of the day, brilliance in the basics was what was evaluated in the Marines.
“This was a great opportunity for me to apply the basics and perfect them,” said Lance Cpl. Tyler D. Coleman, machine gunner, Security Element, MRF, 15th MEU. “It’s important to remember to control your breathing to achieve an accurate shot,” added the 19-year-old native of Oxnard, Calif.
The 15th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,300 Marines and sailors and are conducting this training to prepare for their deployment scheduled for this fall.