Marines Practice Firing at Night on Ship

14 Jun 2011 | Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson

Marines with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted a night combat shoot aboard USS Bataan, June 14, 2011.

The Marines practiced the important aspects of combat marksmanship including basic firing, firing while moving and reloading while engaging a target, all at different distances and made more difficult by operating at night with night-vision goggles.

“Using our NVGs makes a difference,” said Cpl. Bradley J. Friang Jr., a squad leader with Fox Company and Cary, N.C., native. “It’s a whole different aspect of shooting. Everything’s different at night than it is during the day.”

Marines train to overcome associated challenges with NVGs such as a loss of depth perception and a grainy image.  If a Marine’s weapon fails he must be able to fix the problem without seeing it.

“Shooting at night really helps people become technically proficient at manipulating the weapon,” said Lance Cpl. Damian P. Holschwander, an assault squad leader and Coopersburg, Penn., native with Fox Company. “You can’t just look at the problem; you have to feel around the rifle.”

With the aid of an infrared lasers attached to their weapons, Marines are able to fire a volley of accurate rounds into the darkness at their intended targets.

The laser is not simply point-and-shoot, you have to know your range and how the laser is zeroed to compensate for the bullet’s trajectory, Friang added. 

“The shoot went well,” said Friang. “It shows the areas we need to work. It was very beneficial, especially on this ship where we could be called on at any time.”

The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group serving as a potent, formidable and deterrent force who continues to train and improve their capability 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 an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a 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.

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit