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thedrifter
12-04-02, 08:15 AM
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- More than 60 West Coast Marines trained their weapons on each other, Nov. 16, during "Paintball Persecution," an annual paintball tournament sponsored by the Single Marine Program (SMP).

Teams from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego trekked to Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton's paintball complex for the tourney.

The tournament was points based, according to Alisa Hertzler, coordinator, SMP. Like an advanced game of capture the flag, Marines low crawled, ran and took cover all in quest of victory and possession of a red flag positioned in the center of the field.

A maximum of 100 points could be scored if a team eliminated their opponent without losing any players, captured the red flag, and placed it on their opponents' side.

Players earned points for each "kill," and the points were tallied at the end by game referees.

The field, riddled with barriers and hiding spots, offered some cover and concealment to the trained leathernecks, but as one MCRD Marine put it, it was mostly for fun.

"Some of the other Marines have used simulation rounds before, but when they get out here they realize it's a lot more than they expected. I think it's good training, but it's more fun than anything else. It gives people a chance to see how they work under pressure," said Sgt. Ott Donald, training noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Service Battallion, MCRD.

The first place team, "Beginner Walk-Ons," spend their duty days at MCB Camp Pendleton, possibly giving them the home field advantage over the second place Miramar team, "Paint Sponges." The Sponges, comprised of Marines from Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Fuels here, turned up the gas in the final round, but were narrowly defeated by the Camp Pendleton team. Hailing from the dusty desert known for its combined arms exercises, the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, team took their spot on the podium with a third place overall finish.

At the very end, Hertzler said, the teams came together for a free for all to expel any extra paint rounds and prove which player is the baddest of them all.

The tournament was available to participants at little or no cost depending on equipment used. Pizza and soft drinks were provided by SMP.

Sempers,

Roger