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Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
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Marines stand “at the ready,” and wait for their virtual targets to appear during training in the Combat Center’s Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer, Feb. 8, 2011.

Photo by Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt

2/7 HQ Co. spends day sharpening infantry skills

11 Feb 2011 | Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marines with Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, attended refresher courses at Building 1707 to increase overall unit readiness and brush up on some infantry basics, Feb. 8, 2011.

The Marines attended classes covering the Improved First Aid Kit and the Combat Life Savers course. They also refreshed their knowledge on weapons organic to an infantry unit and practiced with some of the weapons in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer, a simulator which fosters hands-on, realistic weapons training.

“The whole point of the training is to teach non-infantry units infantry knowledge, since they are in an infantry battalion, and could potentially be out there with them,” said Sgt. Nate Gerhart a combat marksmanship instructor. “For [communications] guys, it is very likely that they’ll be attached to an infantry unit, so it’s very important that they are familiar with the necessary skills.”

The company made it their mission to get as many Marines out to the training, Gerhart said, estimating that more than 60 percent of the company came through that day.

While training in the ISMT, Marines practiced hammer pairs, failure to stop drills and engaged moving targets to hone their shooting fundamentals and get a better idea of what needs improvement.

After each simulation, Marines were shown their shots in succession to help them associate what they were doing at the time to where their virtual rounds landed, he said.

“If Marines take it seriously, it’s good training,” Gerhart said. “You also don’t have to worry about all the logistics, like arranging transportation to the range and picking up ammo. With the ISMT, you just come in for a couple of hours.”

Lance Cpl. Alex Rodriguez, a Marine who shot at the ISMT that day, said the simulator helped to reinforce basics he and some of his fellow Marines don’t get to use often.

“[Communications] units don’t usually get a chance to get out there and shoot so shooting in the ISMT gives us a good refresher,” he said.

The day spent training in infantry weapons and skills, could come in handy as the unit prepares to deploy with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit later this year.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms