15th MEU News
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Master Sgt. Raul Penton sights in on his target before engaging it during a table three shoot aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 4, 2014. Table three is part of the Combat Marksmanship Program, which is designed to keep Marines in a combat mindset and ready for what the mission might demand. Penton is a communications chief with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht

15th MEU keeps up on their combat mindset

8 Sep 2014 | Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in a Combat Marksmanship Program table three shoot Sept. 4-5, 2014, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The Combat Marksmanship Program is designed to provide practical and realistic training for the combat environment Marines can encounter.

“Marines have to be ready to fight at any moment,” said Sgt. Brian Bishko, supply administrator, 15th MEU. “We always have to be ready; we always have to be trained and familiar with our weapons.”

During the training, they conducted different types of drills to help them prepare for a fight. They practiced pivoting as well as shooting while moving toward targets ranging 5-25 yards away. While shooting, the Marines had to acquire and engage their target in an expedient matter. 

Marines are required to do the table one and table two shoot annually, which consists of shooting from the sitting, kneeling, prone and standing positions at targets 200-500 yards away. They also practice shooting drills at static and moving targets. However, table three focuses more on a combat mindset.

“I think this is more practical training,” said Bishko. “There are not a lot of times you’re going to be engaging a target 500 yards away. Most of the time, Marines are going to be close quarters and that’s why we train this way.”

Corporal Noah Pullin, a combat marksmanship coach and small-arms repairman, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, explained the main purpose of this training is to get Marines familiar with their weapons and different types of engagements so if something happens, they are able to remember what they learned and apply it.

“A lot of people come out here and look a little timid,” said Pullin, “but by the end of the day they’re going back at it and they’re almost pros.”

Since all Marines’ jobs don’t require them to handle their weapons daily, this type of training gives them an opportunity to refresh their skills.

“The biggest thing I got out of the training is just familiarizing myself with my weapon again; reevaluating my methods and my shooting posture,” said Bishko. “We always have to reevaluate ourselves, make our adjustments and see where we’re at.”

The combat marksmanship training has added significance for the 15th MEU, which will begin preparing to deploy next month. Once deployed, they will need to be ready to respond to any situation, and maintaining these vital skills helps to ensure that readiness in an unpredictable and sometimes volatile world.

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit