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Cpl. Alexander Decker, Marksmanship Programs Management System, and Staff Sgt. James Fehr, Weapons Training Battalion range officer, participate in the fifth annual Combat Shooting Competition Oct. 28 hosted by Weapons Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The week-long tournament challenged Marines in the application of basic fundamentals of marksmanship in a simulated combat environment.

Photo by Sgt. Ida Irby

2nd MAW Marines take on ground unit during marksmanship competition

20 Nov 2015 | Cpl. N. W. Huertas 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marine competitors demonstrated their cunning marksmanship abilities through austere weather conditions during the Weapons Training Battalion’s 5th Annual Combat Shooting Competition at Marine Corps Base Quantico, V.A., Oct. 26-30.

Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, Weapons Training Battalion, School of Infantry East, and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion competed against each other as they eliminated a series of targets with different weapon systems during the annual competition.  

Although the Marines with MWSS-272 qualify yearly on a rifle range, none of the team members had ever participated for a marksmanship competition. The Marines volunteered to be a part of the event to test their skills and abilities, and share esprit de Corps.


MWSS-272's team competed in a preliminary competition at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune going head to head with various units there, to earn their position in the event in Quantico. The squadron's four-man squad went on to win the team match portion of the competition and placed 3rd in the individual competition at the event in Quantico.


“There's no better way to build camaraderie and morale than being in a team competition, especially when you take home the team trophy,” said Sgt. Maj. Gregory N. Mitchell, the MWSS-272 sergeant major. “When these Marines saw their chance to compete in this competition, they knew that it would be a once-in-a-life time opportunity.  This was a very determined group of Marines and they knocked it out of the park.  The commanding officer and I are very proud of these Marines and their accomplishments.”


“In addition to the opportunity to compete against fellow Marines and develop a sense of camaraderie, this event allowed the competitors to be the teacher, coach and mentor to the other Marines of MWSS-272 by honing their skills of marksmanship in a simulated combat environment,” said Mitchell.


MWSS-272 is a component of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River. The squadron’s mission is to provide aviation-ground support to a Marine Aircraft Group and support other elements of the Marine Air Control Group for expeditionary operations.


“Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary,” according to Gen. Alfred M. Gray, the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps.


Marines have held their reputation for their marksmanship skills since their establishment in 1775. The 240-year-old organization trains Marines to be proficient in their job field and their basic combat skills. The dedication to training and the high standards are what allow Marines to maintain their constant state of combat readiness regardless of their designated military job specialty.


“As the commanding officer of MWSS-272, I was incredibly proud and very happy to hear about the success of the Marines,” said Lt. Col. Patrizia Dienhart-Stabile. “I have great confidence in my Marines, they are an amazing group of motivated young men and women. For MWSS Marines to outshoot Marines from other units where shooting is their daily ‘bread and butter’ is truly inspiring.”
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing