Two Marines cautiously walked and waited for potential enemy contact, not knowing where they will take enemy fire from next. Then, a sudden break in the silence occurs as the sound of gunfire erupts. Both Marines hit the ground as fast as gravity could take them. Once the enemy is located, they engage.Â As they get up from the engagement, a phrase is called out: â€œUnload, show clear!â€
â€œThis is something new actually,â€ said Sgt. Andrew Gutierrez, chief instructor of the MCAS Yuma Corporals Course and a Fannin, Texas native. â€œThis is the first ever live fire event [MCAS Yuma] Corporals Course ever conducted.â€
The course is designed to help enhance the Marines readiness in combat situations.
â€œWe decided to implement something that would take the Marine into the actual environment and make him think as a noncommissioned officer,â€ explained Gutierrez.
During the live fire course, two Marines patrol through a mock urban town.Â When the sounds of gunfire are heard, targets simulating enemies appear in makeshift buildings where the Marines have to engage. Once the targets drop, the Marines continue on until their next engagement.
Along with this new live fire component, all Marines also qualify on table 3 which is a qualification needed to deploy.
â€œTheyâ€™re going to leave here with table three qualification,â€ said Gunnery Sgt. Jimmy Spence, H&HS deputy director of MCAS Yumaâ€™s Corporals Course. â€œNot too many Marines, especially at the air station, get that.â€
With ample safety training provided prior to beginning the live fire event, students were able to focus more on improving their marksmanship skills.
â€œTheyâ€™re definitely taken the right precautions to make it safe, fun and be able to learn at the same time,â€ said Cpl. Anthony Ward, a Corporals Course student.
The live fire event is expected to be an integral part of future MCAS Yuma Corporals Course evolutions.Â So, for those newly promoted corporals or NCOs looking for the next challenge, talk to your command leadership about signing up.