MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The annual pistol marksmanship training is being phased out of the Marine Corps, and the Combat Pistol Program is being introduced to Marines at Stone Bay Rifle Range, a satellite installation of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
With assistance and approval from the operating forces, Weapons Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico developed, tested and validated an improved pistol training program resulting in Marines effectively employing the pistol using basic engagement techniques.
The CPP is slated to replace the pistol marksmanship training used now. It is more combat-oriented, introducing a holster and a silhouette target with human features. Marines have been working to perfect the program since 2008.
“The program puts Marines on the spot,” said Capt. Cade Sanchez, the Weapons Training Battalion office in charge at Stone Bay Rifle Range. “The holster and target put them in a realistic situation.”
During the course of fire, participants quickly un-holster their weapon and effectively engage the enemy target. Marines will now draw from a holster, conduct tactical reloading and employ tactical techniques used in a combat situation, such as threat assessment, unlike the previous program.
The course of fire is much different from the last qualification course. The distances of fire are the same, but the new CPP requires Marines to complete seven stages of fire at seven, 15 and 25 yards, shooting a total of 40 rounds in a series of fire ranging from five to 12 seconds.
The course is efficient and fast, said Capt. Patrick Port, a company commander in Weapons Training Battalion at Stone Bay Rifle Range.
The new series of fire is aimed toward preparing Marines for the quickness and effects combat has on the body, said Sanchez.
“I’m excited to see how the program grows,” said Sanchez. “The Marines we’ve seen participate have enjoyed shooting.”
The course of fire is slated to replace the old marksmanship training Marine Corps wide no later than the fall of 2014. With more realistic situational training, the program prepares Marines to effectively deploy a pistol during combat.