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FAST Company’s guardian angels provide over watch

By Sgt. Calvin Shamoon | Marine Corps Security Force Regiment | October 14, 2016


NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA DAM NECK, Va. – “Every Marine is a rifleman,” is a motto taught to Marines when they begin recruit training. For a select group of Marines from Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, not only are they riflemen, they are designated marksmen.

Designated marksmen from 6th platoon, Company A, FAST, engaged in sustainment training at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck, Va., Oct. 12. The designated marksmen worked primarily with the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, used spotting techniques as well as firing from challenging positions in a house and atop a berm.

“The [Marine Corps] Security Force Regiment does not have sniper assets, therefore they need a precision rifle and information-gathering assets for individual platoons,” said Sgt. Lucas Anderson, designated marksman instructor. “The designated marksmen offer the ability to take the precision shot, minimizing collateral damage, and gathering the data.” 

During the initial course, Marines go through five weeks of training which is broken down into three phases. Phase I consists of introduction into equipment and field skills. Phase II focuses on marksmanship and familiarization with the M110 SASS. The final phase is employment of the knowledge the Marines learned by simulating a scenario to see how they operate under stress with instructors evaluating their performance.

“It’s physically and mentally challenging. We’re trained to go through stressful situations and work fast and be precise,” said Cpl. Issac Camberos, a designated marksman for 6th platoon, Company A, FAST.  “We’re that first line of defense; we have a wider range to cover as opposed to close-quarters battle. We are there to observe, report and we’re usually the first to take contact.”

After one day of sustainment training, Marines were able to sharpen their skills and retain their status as designated marksmen.

MCSFR protects embassies around the world and is focused on fixed-site security. The designated marksman and their spotter observe the area of operation, whether it is at Guantanamo Bay or an embassy in Europe. Having these guardian angels provide the added capability to help FAST Marines accomplish their mission.