Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps is testing a new, shorter, more realistic shooting qualification, the service announced Tuesday.
Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina are testing fire at Bravo range at Stone Bay in what the service describes as "possibly the most drastic change to the annual rifle qualification in nearly a century."
During the new course of fire, shooters will wear combat gear to include a Kevlar helmet and flak while shooting their M4, M16 or M27, according to the Marine Corps.
The new course of fire starts at the 500-yard line, with shooters working their way forward to the 15-yard line while shooting at the same target the entire course.
"It's a more combat style and combat situation shooting," Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Brown said in a press release.
Marines will also only shoot at exposed enemy targets -- as opposed to "Able" or "Dog" targets -- and will be authorized to use a supported prone position during the course of fire.
"There was an assessment done, and we realized that the current method of rifle training and rifle qualification was not adequate to meet what the needs were on the battlefield for lethality from the Marine," said Brown, weapons training battalion gunner for Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune.
The new training also includes moving targets, box shooting and night shooting, the Marine Corps said.