CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with Security Platoon, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division took part in 1st Marine Division Schools Non-Infantry Machine Gun Course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Nov. 26, 2014. The Marines fired M2 Browning heavy machine guns, M240 B medium machine guns, and M249 squad automatic weapons.
Marines with Security Platoon, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, shoot the M2 Browning heavy machine gun during the 1st Marine Division Schools Non-Infantry Machine Gun Course aboard Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 26, 2014. The platoon is made up of Marines from all different military occupational specialties within the Division. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. John Baker)
The security platoon is staffed with Marines from various military occupational specialties within the division. Some stem from combat related fields; however, not all. Because of this, the Marines have to train together with the weapons they could employ in future combat environments.
“We're out here to familiarize them with the weapons,” said Sgt. Brice Michalek, from San Diego, a machine gun instructor at Division Schools. “We want them to understand the basics of employing these systems.”
The purpose of the security platoon is to clear an area and then provide a defensive position for the headquarters and support company when the Division deploys to hostile territory. It's important that these Marines are proficient at their jobs.
“We spent five days in the classroom learning about the weapons,” said Pfc. Brian Alvarado, a member of the Security Platoon who is from Los Angeles. “Now were applying everything we've learned and firing the weapons.”
Division Schools held classes teaching the Marines everything they need to know about the weapons systems. At the end of the classes, Marines were tested on the knowledge they learned.
“The classes are important, because it gives them the basic understanding of the weapon,” said Michalek. “When they come onto the range, they should know the immediate action drills along with how to load and unload the weapon.”
The machine gun is a valuable tool on the battlefield in both offensive and defensive scenarios. Knowing how to apply this weapon system is a valuable skill for these Marines.
“The machine gun has a lot of fire power,” said Alvarado. “They can put more rounds down range, shoot larger rounds, and give us a better advantage than our basic rifles could.”
Division Schools helps keep 1st Marine Division mission ready by holding training and classes every month for Marines throughout the unit. Combat skill proficiency for every individual Marine is a standard upheld by every unit, allowing the Marine Corps to remain America's force in readiness.
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. John Baker
Provided through DVIDS
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