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I Marine Expeditionary Force

In Every Clime and Place

1st Combat Engineer Battalion participates in machine gunners course

By Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray | I Marine Expeditionary Force | January 21, 2014

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Lance Cpl. Alex Cruz, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines fired four different machine guns during the two-week machine gunners course.

Lance Cpl. Alex Cruz, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines fired four different machine guns during the two-week machine gunners course. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Lance Cpl. Daniel Vitellaro, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a M249 light machine gun during a two-week machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course taught the Marines how to effectively operate machine guns in combat scenarios.

Lance Cpl. Daniel Vitellaro, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a M249 light machine gun during a two-week machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course taught the Marines how to effectively operate machine guns in combat scenarios. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Lance Cpl. Ryan Pearson, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun during a two-week machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course focused on the M249 light machine gun, the M240, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher.

Lance Cpl. Ryan Pearson, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun during a two-week machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course focused on the M249 light machine gun, the M240, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion line up on the firing line at a range aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines fired the Browning .50 caliber machine gun as part of a non-infantry machine gunners course.

Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion line up on the firing line at a range aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines fired the Browning .50 caliber machine gun as part of a non-infantry machine gunners course. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Marines feed ammunition into the browning .50 caliber machine gun during a machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course was approximately two weeks long and taught the Marines how to operate machine guns effectively.

Marines feed ammunition into the browning .50 caliber machine gun during a machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course was approximately two weeks long and taught the Marines how to operate machine guns effectively. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Lance Cpl. Daniel Vitellaro, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires the Browning .50 caliber machine gun at a machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course focused on the M249 light machine gun, the M240, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher.

Lance Cpl. Daniel Vitellaro, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires the Browning .50 caliber machine gun at a machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The course focused on the M249 light machine gun, the M240, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Lance Cpl. Ryan Pearson, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, tells the machine gunner which targets to aim for aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The training was part of a two-week machine gunners course.

Lance Cpl. Ryan Pearson, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, tells the machine gunner which targets to aim for aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The training was part of a two-week machine gunners course. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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Lance Cpl. Alex Cruz, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines from 1st CEB participated in a two-week machine gunners course.

Lance Cpl. Alex Cruz, a Marine with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, fires a Browning .50 caliber machine gun aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 15. The Marines from 1st CEB participated in a two-week machine gunners course. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion recently participated in a non-Infantry machine gunners course aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.

1st CEB specializes in conducting shore party operations during amphibious landings and providing close combat engineer support to the Marine infantry.
 
The Marines of 1st CEB are required to handle and effectively operate weapons used in combat, skills the course provides over the eight training days.

Lance Cpl. Daniel Vitellaro, a Marine with 1st CEB, said the non-infantry machine-gunner’s course gives non-infantry Marines the proper tactics to effectively operate machine guns used in combat.

“We take classes on four different types of machine guns,” Vitellaro said. “We use The M249 light machine gun, the M240, the Browning .50 Caliber machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher.”

 Lance Cpl. Alex Cruz, a Marine with 1st CEB, said the course is designed to teach the Marines every aspect of the weapon systems they use.

“We learn the characteristics, how to perform immediate remedial actions and the rates of fire,” Cruz said. “Then we get into machine gun tactics, and my favorite part, firing the weapons.”

The course improves the Marines combat effectiveness and bolsters their sense of self-reliance.

“We have been practicing every day and every night, over and over, until it has become muscle memory,” Vitellaro said. “This course made me confident that if I am deployed and I have to man a machine gun, I could get behind that weapon and operate it effectively.”