Truck Company Alpha concludes Desert Scorpion with defensive shoot

14 May 2009 | Lance Cpl. Zachary J. Nola 1st Marine Division

Marines from Truck Company Alpha, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division wrapped up their participation in the pre-deployment training exercise called Desert Scorpion with a convoy to Range 103, where they participated in a live-fire squad defensive shoot here May 6.

“We had squad defensive shooting. Teams went up (to the firing line), shot on lanes and competed against each other’s scores,” said Staff Sgt. Chad Lane, 30, a section leader with Truck Co. A, who is from Turlock, Calif.

After a mid-morning brief, accountability and safety checks, the Marines of Truck Co. A, loaded into their vehicles and began their mission of safely and proficiently, carrying out a short movement convoy from their base camp at the Quackenbush training area to Range 103.

Once at the range, and after some weapons maintenance, the hard chargers of Co. A educated those Marines in the company who had never used rifle combat optics before during a quick instructional class.

Shooters using RCOs for the first time were coached on using the optic’s sights, making elevation and wind adjustments and maintaining eye relief. They were also reminded to lightly tap the piece of equipment after making an adjustment to ensure its internal prism adjusted properly.

Once the optics class concluded, weapons were battle-sight zeroed and the Marines moved on to the live-fire portion they had been waiting for.

“This (range) teaches them squad defense and to aggress moving and stationary targets so we can employ our Marines on the ground and get them into the fight,” said Lane. 

The Marines, armed with 100 rounds of ball ammunition and 10 tracer rounds, took to the range’s firing line and hunkered down in one of it’s 12 premade defensive positions.

On the tower’s command, each two-man team would fire at the immobile and moving targets that would appear down range, simulating the defense of their fixed position. After defending their positions from simulated attacks, Marines on the firing line would then listen as the tower listed the accuracy of their rounds.

“This was a good training event and we all had fun. It prepared us for combat and when we go (to a combat theater) we’ll be ready.” said Pfc. Derek Mussell, 21, a motor transport operator with Truck Co., who is from Atlanta. “It’s good being with your brothers and this is a good range so it was a good way to end.”

Once the firing stopped, Co. A returned to camp and prepared themselves for the return trip back to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., where they would spend the weekend relaxing before returning to work in preparation for their next mission.

1st Marine Division