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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit


15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

America's Vanguard Force

Camp Pendleton, CA
Kilo maintains rifle proficiency at sea

By Cpl. John Robbart III | | April 10, 2013

Many say that warriors can never afford to be out of shape physically; however, staying proficient in marksmanship is equally important.

Fifty Marines from Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted the Combat Marksmanship Program on the flight deck of USS Peleliu, April 6. While the 15th MEU is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, serving as  forward-deployed, flexible sea-based MAGTF responsibility, they conducted the range to keep their skills razor sharp.

“The range we are conducting ensures proficiency in combat marksmanship fundamentals,” said 1st Lt. Eric M. Montgomery, platoon commander, 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “The course demands quick, accurate shots in a short amount of time,” added the 29-year-old native of Willoughby, Ohio.

Each shooter fired 50 rounds at targets up to 25 yards away. The targets had three designated areas: a two by four inch box on the head and a spot on the chest and pelvic areas. Shots inside the marked areas were scored as two points and shots on the target were scored as one.

“Marksmanship is a perishable skill. It requires constant iterations to maintain good muscle memory,” said Montgomery. “Additionally, conducting these drills in a short amount of time mimics the friction found in combat on a smaller scale.

”Safety was the main priority like many ranges. To mitigate the risk and ensure good training, safety officers monitored the shooters while firing, and a line non-commissioned officer called out commands to let shooters know which drills to conduct.

“This was fun,” said Lance Cpl. William R. Eddy, rifleman, 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It’s good training for junior and senior Marines alike. It’s like they always say ‘Practice makes perfect,’” added the 22-year-old native of Phoenix.

Kilo Company serves as one of three rifle companies that make up BLT 3/5, the 15th MEU’s ground combat element.

The 15th MEU is comprised of approximately 2,400 Marines and sailors and is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group.

Together, they provide a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force capable of conducting a wide variety of operations ranging from humanitarian aid to combat.