CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — During a three-week trek to the northern Arabian Gulf, members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit sharpened their battle skills.

Some of the busiest Marines, in the Deep Reconnaissance Platoon, fired their weapons day and night during “close quarters battle training,” according to combat correspondent Lance Cpl. Willard J. Lathrop.

“Recon Marines tucked elbows and gripped weapons as they worked through a progressive series of shooting drills to hone their ability to react quickly and accurately with their weapons,” Lathrop stated in a release from the Essex Amphibious Ready Group.

The 31st MEU deployed with the USS Essex, USS Harpers Ferry and USS Juneau in mid-August for action in the northern Arabian Gulf, providing a “Strike from the Sea” capability, Lathrop stated.

“Nobody else in the Marine Corps gets to shoot as much as we do,” stated Cpl. Christopher R. Rodriquez, from El Paso, Texas. “We learn so much about shooting that will save your life in combat, which is why we are constantly training.”

Rodriquez was quoted as saying he especially liked speed-reloading drills “because it turns into a sort of competition to see who can reload faster.”

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