USS BATAAN --
Marines and sailors with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted combat marksmanship firing drills at sea aboard the USS Bataan, April 18, 2011.
The BLT conducted sustainment training to prepare for any environment the Marines and sailors may encounter while deployed with the 22nd MEU in the Mediterranean Sea.
During the drills, Marines and sailors used rifles and live ammunition to fire on silhouette targets positioned on the ship’s edge. The “Warlords” fired rounds from multiple shooting positions, simulating closing with hostiles from various distances and angles.
The training concentrated on the Corps’ philosophy of striking the chest, head and pelvic regions of a target, effectively neutralizing the threat. The riflemen fired shots while tactically closing with the targets, and practiced quick reloads while in a simulated engagement.
“Warlords” who participated in the training encountered wind gusts and the ship’s unstable deck while firing on targets. Weather conditions made holding a steady firing position difficult for the shooters to maintain.
“We are used to being on ground; dirt, grass, when we do it,” said Sgt. Matthew D. Lippincott, an infantryman and native of Fort Myers, Fla.
Lippincott said many Marines and sailors with the BLT fired aboard a ship for the first time, and weren’t acclimated with the vessel’s unpredictable shifts while at sea.
However, following the drills, the shooters reviewed targets for scoring. The results showed the Marines fired at the targets with precision.
“We are the ones on the ground – we’ve got to be qualified for it,” Lippincott added.
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and will continue to train and improve the MEU’s ability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to a hostile environment or crisis.