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Cpl. Nathaniel Jones, shooter, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Shooting Team, finishes firing an M1911 pistol during the D-Day Match sponsored by the High Desert Competitive Shooting Club at the Combat Center Rifle Range, June 6, 2015. The Excellence in Competition Pistol Match consisted of firing from the 50 yard line and the 25 yard line. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/ Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

Marines experience weapons from Greatest Generation

6 Jun 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd 10th Marine Regiment

Operation Neptune,  the largest amphibious assault in history better known as D-Day, began June 6, 1944, as Allied Forces liberated Normandy, France.

            In memory of D-Day, the Marines of the Combat Center Shooting Team participated in the Combat Center D-Day Match sponsored by the High Desert Competitive Shooting Club. The match was held at the Combat Center Rifle Range, June 6 and 7, 2015.

            “This event allows us to experience a piece of history,” said Cpl. Kevin Evans, statistics non-commissioned officer, Combat Center Shooting Team. “History is a huge part of the Marine Corps, and being able to use an event like this to remember an historical event like D-Day is a great opportunity.”

            The match consisted of five events along the course of two days. On the first day, shooters participated in an M1-Garand Rifle Match, a Springfield Rifle Match and an Excellence in Competition Pistol Match.

During the M1-Garand and Springfield matches, the participants shot three courses of fire from the 200 yard line. First, the competitors shot 10 rounds slow-fire in the prone position. During the course of fire, officials scored and marked the shooters’ targets after every shot. The next portion of the competition was the rapid-fire phase in the prone position. The shooters would fire 10 rounds within 80 seconds and all 10 shots were scored after the allotted time. During the final slow-fire portion, the participants fired 10 rounds from the standing.

            “Having the opportunity to participate in an event like this is a great experience,” said Sgt. James Marker, head coach, MCAGCC Shooting Team. “The courses of fire for these matches are similar to what the armed forces were doing during that time. This event allows us to experience what kind of marksmanship the Marines and soldiers of that era would have [practiced].”

            During the Pistol EIC match the participants used competition versions of the M1911 pistol throughout three courses of fire. The shooters first fired 10 rounds, with a time limit of 10 minutes and from 50 yards away. They then moved to the 25 yard line and fired two magazines of five rounds each with a time limit of 20 seconds per magazine. The last course called for participants to fire two magazines of five rounds with a time limit of 10 seconds per magazine at the 25 yard line..

            “We held the EIC matches so the participants can earn points to become distinguished marksmen,” Evans said. “The other matches give everyone a chance to fire some weapon systems they may not get the chance to use very often, which is why participating in events like these are a great opportunity. The EIC matches allow the participants, especially the Marines, to earn something from participating.”

            On the second day, the participants competed in the Vintage Rifle Match and the Rifle EIC Match. During the Vintage Rifle Match, participants ran the same courses of fire as the M1-Garand and Springfield matches while using any rifle from the WWII time period.

            “Not everyone has a M1-Garand or a Springfield,” Evans said. “Giving the shooters the opportunity to use their other rifles allow for more people to participate.”

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