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Marksmanship Unit Teaches Advanced Skills in Baghdad
DoD-AFPS ^ | Feb. 4, 2004 | Spc. Andrew Meissner

Posted on 02/04/2004 2:15:50 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl

American Forces Press Service 

Marksmanship Unit Teaches Advanced Skills in Baghdad

By Spc. Andrew Meissner, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 4, 2004 - At a firing range on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport, the sharp crack of gunfire echoes out through the palm trees.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Hampton, an instructor and shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit service pistol team, helps out a student with his shot placement at the unit's range at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Photo by Spc. Andrew Meissner, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image); high-resolution image available.

The weapons being used vary greatly, from M-9 pistols to M-4 carbines to M-249 squad automatic weapons. Soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from Fort Benning, Ga., are sharpening fellow soldiers' shooting skills.

The way they see it, instructors from the unit are in Iraq to teach and demonstrate the potential every soldier has as a rifleman.

"This is advanced, close-quarters marksmanship," said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Gibbs, noncommissioned officer in charge of the unit's service pistol team. "We don't teach tactics; we teach marksmanship technique."

Instruction is set up as a "train the trainer" exercise. The instructors train soldiers who then take new practices back to their units and teach them to others at smaller ranges.

"What we're doing here is strictly offense," explained Staff Sgt. Aaron Hampton, service pistol instructor and shooter. "(We teach) how to move, shoot effectively and keep moving."

Shooting while moving, either on foot or in a vehicle, is stressed in this training. Hampton explained that unlike marksmanship qualification ranges where there is one firing point, this training introduces the concept that both the target and the shooter may be moving.

"It's total training -- shooting, accuracy, movement left and right, up and down -- things that you might encounter while out on the streets," said Hampton.

For many of the students, this is the most time they've spent shooting on a single day.

"This is very fast-paced; it keeps soldiers interested," said Staff Sgt. Gary Harris, a military policeman with the 1st Platoon, 501st Military Police Company. "You shoot a lot of rounds, and that's always good when you get to shoot."

Harris said he was having fun, but also knew that he was learning an invaluable combat skill. "You never know when a threat is going to pop up two meters from you and you're going to have to engage. It's very effective training," Harris explained.

Although the marksmanship instruction highlights stealth and quickness, the students have to be precise. "In this type of environment, it's really good to be able to shoot fast and accurately," Harris said. "But it doesn't do any good if you shoot 10 rounds in two seconds if you're not hitting anything."

(Army Spc. Andrew Meissner is assigned to the 1st Armored Division Public Affairs Office.)

Related Web Site:
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit

Staff Sgt. Aaron Hampton, an instructor and shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit service pistol team, demonstrates an exercise he is about to teach to soldiers at a firing range on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Photo by Spc. Andrew Meissner, USA
Staff Sgt. Gary Harris, a military policeman with the 1st Platoon, 501st Military Police Company, squeezes out two quick shots at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit range on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Photo by Spc. Andrew Meissner, USA


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; gnfi; iraq; training

1 posted on 02/04/2004 2:15:52 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; TEXOKIE; Alamo-Girl; windchime; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; ...
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 4, 2004 - At a firing range on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport, the sharp crack of gunfire echoes out through the palm trees.

Soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from Fort Benning, Ga., are sharpening fellow soldiers' shooting skills.

The way they see it, instructors from the unit are in Iraq to teach and demonstrate the potential every soldier has as a rifleman.

"What we're doing here is strictly offense," explained Staff Sgt. Aaron Hampton, service pistol instructor and shooter. "(We teach) how to move, shoot effectively and keep moving."

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2 posted on 02/04/2004 2:17:10 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bullseye ~ Bump!
3 posted on 02/04/2004 3:04:37 PM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Excellent post! Another member of the USAMU team, Max Michel Jr., hails from my very own shooting range. He is (or was, his enlistment may have recently ended) on the USAMU action shooting team, using open (unlimited) pistol. I heard him shoot during practice years ago - it sounded like automatic weapons fire! He holds the range record for the steel plate match - dropping 5 steel plates at a range of 25' starting with hands in a surrender position. His time: 1.80 seconds! Pretty amazing...

I have the honor of taking over as webmaster of Max's website (maxmichel.com.) As of this post, the transfer hasn't taken place yet, so if you take a look now, you're still seeing the old site. The temporary URL for the new site is http://www.gbundersea.com/max. (It's under construction, so not all of the features are working yet.)

The skill of Max and others like him is truly incredible. It's great to see those skills being utilized well, by training other troops. According to Max's bio, he instructed Special Forces, Navy Seals, Rangers, Military Police, and others.

4 posted on 02/04/2004 3:05:34 PM PST by gbunch (God bless our President and our troops.)
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To: *bang_list
Bang
5 posted on 02/04/2004 3:14:27 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Way cool! Checked out some of the stuff on the website, and apparently they compete in Skeet and air rifle competition.

Kind of odd- I'd think they'd want to focus more on IDPA/Three Gun type matches...not much need for .177 snipers!

6 posted on 02/04/2004 4:27:15 PM PST by fourdeuce82d
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Does it not strike anyone else as .. well.. odd that they are teaching marksmanship to troops already deployed in the theater? What were these troops doing that was more important back before they were deployed, or even pre hostilities? Attending "sensitivity training?"
7 posted on 02/04/2004 7:08:24 PM PST by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
"You never know when a threat is going to pop up two meters from you and you're going to have to engage."


8 posted on 02/04/2004 7:17:05 PM PST by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
9 posted on 02/04/2004 9:30:18 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: gbunch
Bump for later.

L

10 posted on 02/04/2004 9:33:00 PM PST by Lurker (Don't p*** down my back and tell me it's raining.)
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To: gbunch; Shooter 2.5
Outstanding!, Shooter, check post #4
11 posted on 02/04/2004 10:04:17 PM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; *bang_list
Am I on yer ping list RC ?...........you find all the good stuff I hate to miss out on.

Stay Safe !

12 posted on 02/04/2004 10:11:54 PM PST by Squantos (Salmon...the other pink meat !)
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To: in the Arena
That is so cool. I mentioned a couple of times already that my time from a concealed for a single A zone target at 18 feet is 1.8. I can't imagine how he does five targets. That's awesome.
13 posted on 02/04/2004 10:13:23 PM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: Shooter 2.5
I thought I had saw a post of yours like that...that is some amazing speed...
14 posted on 02/04/2004 10:20:44 PM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: Shooter 2.5; in the Arena
Here's a couple of video clips (mpegs) which are buried on his site. They show Max in action. Clip 1 Clip 2

A couple of years ago, some guys at the range were talking about one plate match which, as usual, came down to Max and his father, Max Sr., who is also a fine competitive shooter. In that last round, Max Jr. was so confident (and fast) that he intentionally dropped the plates in the order 1-5-2-4-3 and still won!

15 posted on 02/04/2004 10:51:29 PM PST by gbunch (God bless our President and our troops.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
16 posted on 02/04/2004 11:08:49 PM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: gbunch
Jeeeez.

I always wonder what kind of muscle you need to keep the muzzle from flipping. I know they have compensators but the aim point must rise a little.

I have Rob Latham's "Shooter Ready" video tape. He holds more records than anyone in the world. You can buy it from Dillon Precision.
17 posted on 02/05/2004 7:43:59 AM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: Shooter 2.5; in the Arena
I was talking to Max's dad today, Max Sr. He said that the official time in the plate matches doesn't stop until the last plate falls all the way down. He told me they've calculated the fall time at 0.20-0.25 seconds. This means, worst case, that when Max Jr. shot the 1.80, he drew his weapon (starting from a surrender position with his hands above his head) and fired 5 aimed shots in 1.60 seconds. Incredible!

Also, I found out that Max is indeed still on the USAMU team. He has been in the Army 5+ years, and also is about to graduate college with his bachelor's in criminal justice.
18 posted on 02/07/2004 12:09:33 AM PST by gbunch (God bless our President and our troops.)
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To: gbunch
It sounds just impossible. I know they have the tricked out holsters and the guns are muzzle heavy with compensators with light bullets but still....

A dedicated person can perform the impossible. I keep hearing about Miculek and what he can do with a revolver is stunning. He chose a revolver because he didn't want to wait for the slide action.
19 posted on 02/07/2004 6:51:53 AM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: Shooter 2.5; in the Arena
Shooter,

See this post on Max's website: http://www.maxmichel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=92

I just ran across it. Amazing...
20 posted on 02/13/2004 5:13:26 PM PST by gbunch (God bless our President and our troops.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
""This is very fast-paced; it keeps soldiers interested," said Staff Sgt. Gary Harris, a military policeman with the 1st Platoon, 501st Military Police Company."

Yippeeeee! My old unit, and my exact Platoon! Only I was there 30 years ago! Fun to see it mentioned somewhere.
21 posted on 02/13/2004 5:18:10 PM PST by Lockbar
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To: Lockbar
BTW: I must say that when I was in the Military Police 30 years ago our firearms training was pretty shoddy. I never had the chance to fire a 1911 again after leaving MP school at Ft. Gordon, GA. And we only qualified once with M-16's during my tour in Germany. Not good. We had one Specialist 5th class who was a "lifer" who had never fired a M-16 before. He said he qualified in basic with the M-14 and carried a .45 pistol and M3 Greasegun in Vietnam. Even at that time when I was a "kid" it reminded my of the scene in the movie "Battleground" when they had to show the old timer how the M1 Garand worked. Thank god their seems to be more emphasis put on realistic firearms training in the "Army of One".
22 posted on 02/13/2004 5:31:20 PM PST by Lockbar
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To: gbunch
I can't believe what the human body is capable of doing. That's truly amazing.
23 posted on 02/13/2004 7:11:54 PM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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