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Patriotic Article
Military
By USMC Pfc. J Nava

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Sailors Master Their Rifles for Nearing Deployment
(August 3, 2010)

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Bravo Forward Surgical was formed on Okinawa by U.S. sailors from around the world. Coupled with Marine support elements, Bravo Forward Surgical will deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical support to service members across the region.

The training was necessary as the M4 will be the teams' primary weapon while deployed.

Many of the sailors had not fired an M4 before. For many, it was also their first time firing an assault rifle.

The instructors taught the sailors weapons safety rules, the different weapons conditions, different firing positions and corrective actions.

"The instructors did a great job in teaching us," said Navy Capt. Peter True, a psychiatrist with Bravo Forward Surgical. "They took us through step-by-step and gave us a very good introduction to the weapon.

"It was especially good for someone like me who has never fired the M4 carbine before," he added.
 Sailors with Bravo Forward Surgical, 3rd Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sight in on targets at a familiarization range on Camp Hansen, July 20, 2010.
Sailors with Bravo Forward Surgical, 3rd Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sight in on targets at a familiarization range on Camp Hansen, July 20, 2010.

Before the shooting commenced, the sailors took time "snapping in," practicing the various firing positions. While the sailors practiced each position, instructors explained the mobility versus stability of each position.

"They're learning everything just like we did back in boot camp," said Sgt. Joshua Dargis, a weapons coach and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense specialist, at 3rd Medical Bn. "We're teaching them from the ground up."

After a couple of hours of "snap in" time, each sailor was given 140 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition to hone marksmanship skills on green, plastic enemies.

"There's nothing like firing a weapon to really get to know its ins and outs," True said. "We got to see how the scope worked, how accurate it was, and we tested it out with all of our gear on."

The sailors fired while sporting the Modular Tactical Vest complete with Small Arms Protective Inserts, magazine pouches and the Kevlar helmet, like they would wear in a real combat situation.

"After firing, I now feel a lot more prepared and comfortable with my weapon," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Brengman, a psychiatry technician with Bravo Forward Surgical.

Article and photo by USMC Pfc. J Nava
III Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

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