On Saturday, 100 Marine reservists spent the day fine-tuning their skills as some get ready to deploy to Iraq. The exercise took place far away from a Marine base. The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports the training is different from what Marines normally experience. And, the new techniques they learn could, one day, save their lives.
"Everything's a basic and it's just who can get to the basic first that wins," Marine Corporal Travis Calanoc.
The Marines are double-checking the basics, preparing for war.
"This is a world class facility that we get to use right here in our own backyard and that's huge for us," said Marine Major Lance Windel.
Training like this is usually conducted on a military base. But on Saturday, it was under the direction of Mike Seeklander at the United States Shooting Academy.
"I'm a former Marine so I have a pretty good understanding of what their mission is and what they have to do in battle," said Mike Seeklander.
But, he also brings something else to the table: a different perspective.
"The speed that these guys can get rounds on target is incredible, it's not something that we train to as well as we should in the Marine Corps," said Major Lance Windel.
"The reality is giving and taking damage relates to a fight. We want these guys to be giving more damage and taking none when it comes to fighting the enemy," said Mike Seeklander with the United States Shooting Academy.
More than two dozen of these Marines will be deployed to Iraq by year's end. The drills are just a few more checks and balances to keep them out of harm's way.
"Every single one of them has what they need to be a Marine and that's heart. That's the one thing that's not lacking. That's the one thing that makes it easy to train them," said Major Lance Windel.
As for the group that's getting ready to deploy. They're going to head out in November and after a few weeks of training they'll be in the Middle East for about a year.