Marine Corps

July 12, 2012

Live Fire: Marines Unload Ammo in Corporals Course First

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Story and photos by Lance Cpl. Zac Scanlon
Desert Warrior Staff

Cpl. Wyatt Aschenberenner, left, an MCAS Yuma Corporals Course student and a native of Phoenix, scans a building for enemy threats with Cpl. Jonathon Russell, a another student and a native of New Berlin, Wis., at Range One near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9.

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.  As they get up from the engagement, a phrase is called out: “Unload, show clear!”

“This is something new actually,” said Sgt. Andrew Gutierrez, chief instructor of the MCAS Yuma Corporals Course and a Fannin, Texas native. “This is the first ever live fire event [MCAS Yuma] Corporals Course ever conducted.”

The course is designed to help enhance the Marines readiness in combat situations.

“We decided to implement something that would take the Marine into the actual environment and make him think as a noncommissioned officer,” explained Gutierrez.

Sgt. Andrew Gutierrez, the chief instructor of MCAS Yuma’s Corporals Course and a native of Fannin, Texas, gives a safety brief before Marines start table three qualifications at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9. The live fire event is the final culminating event before these Yuma Marines graduate the course.

During the live fire course, two Marines patrol through a mock urban town.  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.

“They’re going to leave here with table three qualification,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jimmy Spence, H&HS deputy director of MCAS Yuma’s Corporals Course. “Not too many Marines, especially at the air station, get that.”

With ample safety training provided prior to beginning the live fire event, students were able to focus more on improving their marksmanship skills.

“They’re definitely taken the right precautions to make it safe, fun and be able to learn at the same time,” 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.  So, for those newly promoted corporals or NCOs looking for the next challenge, talk to your command leadership about signing up.

An MCAS Yuma Corporals Course student sights in down-range at the beginning of table three qualifications at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9. The students calibrated the scopes on their rifles by firing down-range and adjusting the scope depending on where their rounds landed.

Cpl. Jonathon Russell, an MCAS Yuma Corporals Course student and a native of New Berlin, Wis., lays down in the prone position while firing at a target at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9. This was the first pair of Marines to run through the newly-made endurance course.

Cpl. Jonathon Russell, left, a Corporals Course student and a native of New Berlin, Wis., uses the bounding tactic with Cpl. Wyatt Aschenberenner, a Corporals Course student and a native of Phoenix, as he suppresses the enemy at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9.

MCAS Yuma Corporals Course students wait for the go-ahead to fire upon their targets during table three at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9. As part of the training, Marines got to pre-qualify before qualifying for that day. The live fire training was part of the graduation requirement for Corporals Course.

MCAS Yuma Corporals Course students and range coaches look at their targets after firing for table three practice at Range One, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 9. Table three qualification is a required training prior to deploying.




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