They gathered in the pitch black. It was freezing as the Marines
prepped their gear and warmed the boat engines in the dark. After
daybreak, they finally boarded their floatable bridge sections en
route to the ranges across the New River on March 10, 2014 with a
full day of shooting still ahead of them.
Even with the war
in Afghanistan winding down, the operational pace for the Marines of
Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics
Group has remained high. The revitalization of the Marine Corps'
amphibious readiness has opened up new doors to future deployments.
Large Image - A Marine with Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support
Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group steers an Improved Ribbon
Bridge with an MK III Bridge Erection Boat near Camp Lejeune, N.C.,
March 10, 2014. Boats and IRBs were used to move heavy equipment and
Marines across the New River to rifle ranges as part of an annual
Inset Image - Staff Sgt. Scottie McDaniel
(right), a Burlington, N.C., native and a combat marksmanship
trainer with Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd
Marine Logistics Group, and Cpl. Tyler Comar (left), a Hillsborough,
N.C., native, supervise Marines during the table three and four
portions of the combat marksmanship program aboard Camp Lejeune,
N.C., March 10, 2014. Marines with the company fired more than 7,000
rounds during day and night shoots.
(U.S. Marine Corps photos by
Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin)
Chances to train for these missions are at a premium for
the unit designed to turn water into land.
they gathered in the darkness, rifles in hand. More than 30
of the company's Marines used their unique water-borne
capabilities to ferry their gear and equipment across the
They set up their tents and began their dry
run through the Marine Corps' Intermediate and Advanced
Combat Rifle Marksmanship tables – characterized by quick
reaction shooting and moving to engage targets.
Tyler Comar, a Hillsborough, N.C., native and a combat
engineer with the company served as the combat marksmanship
trainer responsible for making sure everything ran
“All these guys out here are your buddies,”
said Comar. “I know I love to shoot, and I know these
Marines love to too, but nobody wants to shoot if the range
doesn't run smoothly.”
Comar walked the line of
Marines, shouting commands as volleys tore through the
Lines of Marines shifted on their feet, with
their eyes never leaving the target. Though anxious to
unleash hellfire on their paper foe, they waited and
listened intently for the command, “TAR-GETS!” On the cusp
of that one word all Marines fired.
itself is an extension of each Marine's annual rifle
marksmanship training, designed to advance marksmanship with
combat shooting fundamentals. Rather than standing still
while firing three-shot drills, each Marine engages the
enemy on the move and from multiple distances, bringing more
realistic scenarios to the range.
The Marines wore
full body armor. With their cumbersome load now baking under
the midday sun, they fired shot after shot. Comar walked the
line of shooters and observed their performance, offering
tips along the way.
Even the number of rounds fired
by Bridge Company, more than 7,000 during the course of the
range, was designed to create a level of comfort and
familiarity between the shooter and his weapon.
the sun set and the moon rose, Marines donned night vision
goggles and started the nighttime portion of the range.
Infrared lasers attached to their rifles allowed them to see
their points of aim without giving away their position. They
changed directions on the shooting line and walked towards
their foe, following the laser lines in the night and
“The night shoot was difficult, but we're
doing what Marines do,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Bostic, a
Dublin, Ga. native and combat engineer with the company.
“Working in a shop all the time isn't enough. When we get to
come out and shoot, I feel like I'm doing something
After the dust settled, and only the
remains of the paper targets were left, they packed up their
gear, thoroughly cleaned the ranges, and settled back into
their tents for the night. At daybreak, they broke down
their camp and headed for the coast and their waiting boats.
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin
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