Personnel from US Marine Corps (USMC) Base Camp Lejeune have participated in the annual rifle qualifications (ARQ) at Stone Bay Bravo range.

The USMC is expected to deploy the new shooting qualification by next year to help enhance the marines’ combat effectiveness during operations.

MCB Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Installations East Weapons Training Battalion Gunner chief warrant officer 3 Eric Brown said: “It’s a more combat style and combat situation shooting.

“There was an assessment done, and we realised that the current method of rifle training and rifle qualification was not adequate to meet what the needs were on the battlefield for lethality from the marine.”

The shooters donned combat gear during the new firing programme, which includes a Kevlar helmet and flak and shot using their assigned weapon, such as M4, M16 or the M27.

The new firing course starts at the 500-yard mark, following which the shooters move forward until the 15-yard line. They will shoot at the same target for the entire course.

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Marines will only shoot an exposed enemy target, not ‘Able’ or ‘Dog’ targets.

They can also use a supported prone position while using the gear to aid the rifle.

The training will include moving targets, box shooting, and night shooting. A sitting position will not be used, while kneeling, standing and prone positions will.

Brown added that these changes are expected to affect the number of marines who qualify as expert marksmen.

In July last year, US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) declared that the Mk13 Mod 7 long-range sniper rifle is fully operational.