November 20, 2014 --
Shots were fired and in the blink of any eye a chest was seared. Additional shots pierced the head and other extremities of a silhouette during Combat Pistol Program qualification. The training was held recently at the pistol range aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
The newly implemented CPP allows Marines to fire at life-like silhouettes rather than the round targets. In an effort to provide practice in a more combat focused fashion, tight time restraints are also part of the new qualification requirement.
Sgt. Nicolas Lazzaro along with other Marines travelled to Parris Island, South Carolina to attend three weeks of combat marksmanship coaches’ course.
Lazzaro also attended one month for combat marksmanship training course. According to Lazzaro, the team is now certified to train Marines aboard the base, who need the Combat Pistol Program training.
‘This course is a lot more similar to what a person might face during combat,” Lazzaro, said.
Participants must complete a variety of drills using 40 rounds fired from the seven, 15 and 25 yard lines. At the seven-yard line, controlled pairs are completed. At the 15-yard line, controlled pairs and speed reloads are required. From the 25-yard line, successful single shots are required. With each drill, very tight time constraints must also be met. Some drills allow as little as five seconds to complete.
“It’s a lot more realistic and much more challenging to complete,” Jim Bass, flight surgeon mag 49, said. He described retrieving the weapon from a holstered position, getting a good grip and an accurate aim in the time frame given as extremely difficult, but very similar to what to expect in combat.
“Even though it was harder, I enjoyed it much more this way,” Bass explained. “I like being able to practice and perfect these skills on a range rather than test my ability for the first time in an actual combat situation.”
Lazzaro said the program was implemented aboard MCLB Albany Oct. 1. He advised each Marine authorized to carry a pistol will be required to complete the new training. For additional information about CPP, call Sgt. Nicolas Lazzaro, 229-639-6130.