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Military police hone marksmanship skills aboard ship

By Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | | October 3, 2011

As Marines participating in Exercise Dawn Blitz continue to get their sea legs, Combat Logistics Regiment 17 military policemen got a feel for firing their weapons aboard USS Bonhomme Richard, Oct. 1.

The differences may have been minor to an outside observer, but looking down the sights, the Marines could see their targets moving with the ship.

“It was an experience,” said Cpl. James L. Nelson, an MP with CLR-17. “It’s a little different than solid ground with the boat rocking on the waves.”

The shooting was similar to growing their sea legs, something they have done recently, as this is the first time aboard ship for many of the Marines. Marines at every level used this chance at sea to refine what it takes to plan, embark and operate at sea, with the emphasis on a large-scale amphibious landing.

“It’s good training,” said Nelson, 23, from East Liverpool, Ohio. “I’m enjoying it so far because it’s different and it’s new.”

This was the MPs first opportunity to fire aboard Bonhomme Richard since they left San Diego, Sept. 28.

“It was a good chance to throw rounds downrange,” said Gunnery Sgt. Dorian A. James, company gunnery sergeant, MP Company.
“Shooting on ship is different than shooting on land.”

While the Marines shot their rifles on the starboard side of the ship, sailors fired M16s portside. The leaders of MP Company had little trouble coordinating the shoot with their Navy counterparts who run the ship.

“We literally said ‘Hey, this is what we want to do,’” said James, 35, from Denver. “[The Navy] has been very supportive of our training needs.”