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2nd Marine Logistics Group

Camp Lejeune, N.C.

8th ESB stays sharp on trigger

By Cpl. Shawn Valosin | | April 16, 2014

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A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon under the supervision of a personnel safety officer at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  Marines with the company also fired M-240B medium machine guns and M-2 .50-caliber machine guns to maintain proficiency with weapons systems they may utilize during deployments. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon under the supervision of a personnel safety officer at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Marines with the company also fired M-240B medium machine guns and M-2 .50-caliber machine guns to maintain proficiency with weapons systems they may utilize during deployments. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A personnel safety officer readies ammunition for a Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group on the firing line at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. The training helped the Marines learn how to release accurate, controlled bursts of machine-gun fire under the guidance of safety officers who provided feedback on the Marines’ performance. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A personnel safety officer readies ammunition for a Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group on the firing line at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. The training helped the Marines learn how to release accurate, controlled bursts of machine-gun fire under the guidance of safety officers who provided feedback on the Marines’ performance. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  The hands-on training was particularly important to the battalion’s Marines, who not only conduct their own missions, but regularly augment other units in the field.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. The hands-on training was particularly important to the battalion’s Marines, who not only conduct their own missions, but regularly augment other units in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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Ammunition belts cover the tables of the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., while Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group distribute it amongst themselves April 14, 2014. Marines with the company used M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons and other machine guns to lay waste to targets at varying distances. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

Ammunition belts cover the tables of the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., while Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group distribute it amongst themselves April 14, 2014. Marines with the company used M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons and other machine guns to lay waste to targets at varying distances. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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Pfc. Delaney Mulroy, a combat engineer with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group prepares ammunition prior to firing at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  The training helped familiarize the Marines with various weapons systems commonly used throughout the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

Pfc. Delaney Mulroy, a combat engineer with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group prepares ammunition prior to firing at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. The training helped familiarize the Marines with various weapons systems commonly used throughout the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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An M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) lays in wait at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. A few moments later Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group used the SAW and other machine guns to lay waste to targets at varying distances. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

An M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) lays in wait at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. A few moments later Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group used the SAW and other machine guns to lay waste to targets at varying distances. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-240B machine gun while a personnel safety officer feeds ammunition at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  Marines with Alpha Co. received courses on the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M-240B and M-2 .50-caliber weapons systems prior to firing the weapons to build confidence and maintain proficiency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-240B machine gun while a personnel safety officer feeds ammunition at the SR-8 range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Marines with Alpha Co. received courses on the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M-240B and M-2 .50-caliber weapons systems prior to firing the weapons to build confidence and maintain proficiency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Instructors prepared the company’s Marines for the range by holding several classes before taking to the firing line and engaging targets up to 400 yards away. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Instructors prepared the company’s Marines for the range by holding several classes before taking to the firing line and engaging targets up to 400 yards away. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A Marine with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group releases a burst from an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a live-fire range at Camp Lejeune, N.C, April 14, 2014. The battalion spent several hours training its Marines to be proficient with a variety of machine guns they may encounter on the modern battlefield. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group releases a burst from an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon during a live-fire range at Camp Lejeune, N.C, April 14, 2014. The battalion spent several hours training its Marines to be proficient with a variety of machine guns they may encounter on the modern battlefield. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  Marines with Alpha Co. fired SAWs, M-240Bs, and M-2 .50-caliber machine guns to maintain proficiency with weapons systems they may encounter in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

A Marine with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group fires an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) during a machine gun shoot aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Marines with Alpha Co. fired SAWs, M-240Bs, and M-2 .50-caliber machine guns to maintain proficiency with weapons systems they may encounter in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group prepare ammunition prior to firing at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014.  Approximately 33 Marines with Alpha Co. peppered targets with multiple machine guns in order to maintain proficiency with the weapons systems and build confidence. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group prepare ammunition prior to firing at a machine gun range aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 14, 2014. Approximately 33 Marines with Alpha Co. peppered targets with multiple machine guns in order to maintain proficiency with the weapons systems and build confidence. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin) (Photo by Cpl. Shawn Valosin)


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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with Alpha Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group assaulted the SR-8 range here with M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons, M-240B medium machine guns and the Corps’ old work horse, the M-2.50-caliber machine gun, April 14.

“We want to familiarize our Marines with the weapons systems they will be using on convoys or in tactical environments,” said Sgt. Matthew Monteforte, a State College, Pa. native and platoon guide with Alpha Co. “Some of these Marines haven’t fired machine guns since Marine Combat Training. This allows them to get hands on with the actual machine guns and builds their confidence with the weapons systems.”

Approximately 33 Marines with 8th ESB attended the training. They received classes the week prior to firing and additional instruction the morning of the shoot.

The courses covered characteristics of the machine guns such as rates of fire and maximum effective ranges. They also reviewed operating procedures, maintenance and immediate actions designed to clear jams and keep the weapons blazing on the firing line.

“I love getting to shoot guns that are bigger than myself,” said Lance Cpl. Julianna Bolanos, an Austin, Texas native and combat engineer with the company. “It’s good knowledge to have, so if we get deployed we’ll be confident in our abilities to use the weapons systems.”

The Marines fired at targets ranging from 100 yards to 400 yards away. Prior to firing each weapon, the shooters were required to answer a question about that particular machine gun from the personnel safety officers.

The Marines slid behind their machine guns on the firing line early in the afternoon and released more than 2,000 rounds in controlled bursts under the guidance of their PSOs.

Marine units routinely use each of the weapons systems fired by 8th ESB in deployed environments, whether mounted on a vehicle, carried by hand or nestled inside a helicopter.

Proficiency with the guns is crucial, especially for the Marines with the battalion, who not only carry out their own missions, but routinely augment other units in operational environments.

Alpha Co. spent more than three hours conducting drills at the range, ensuring that every Marine had the opportunity to get hands on with the weapons and left confident in their ability to employ them at a moment’s notice.
Image2nd Marine Logistics Group Image8th Engineer Support Battalion ImageAlpha Company ImageAustin ImageBolanos ImageCamp Lejeune ImageConfidence ImageCpl. ImageDelaney ImageII Marine Expeditionary Force ImageJulianna ImageLance Cpl. ImageLMG ImageM-2 .50 Cal ImageM-240B ImageM-249 Squad Automatic Weapon ImageMachine Guns ImageMarines ImageMatthew ImageMonteforte ImageMulroy ImageN.C. ImagePennsylvania ImagePfc. ImagePreparedness ImageProficiency ImageSAW ImageSgt. ImageShawn ImageState College ImageTexas ImageUSMC ImageValosin

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