Shoot, Move and Communicate: Wolverines conduct advanced rifle marksmanship training
April 18, 2013
1st Lt. Jason A. Sexton
1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan (April 15, 2013) --U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force "Wolverines," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan, took part in an advanced rifle marksmanship range at FOB Sharana April 10-13.
Paul Middlemore, a U.S. Law Enforcement Professional attached to TF "Wolverines," had Soldier's functional weapons skills in mind when he designed the range. The range configuration enabled Soldiers to test their skills at engaging both stationary and moving targets simultaneously, increasing their ability to effectively engage the enemy.
"The object is to have the Soldier change location after each target, while reloading and communicating as they would in actual combat," said Middlemore. "When they get comfortable I activate a moving target in addition to the stationary ones."
Different levels of cover forced Soldiers to change between the prone, kneeling and standing positions, simulating how Soldiers might move during enemy contact.
The course took several hours to set up but only seven minutes to complete, in the views of the Soldiers who executed the range, it was a long seven minutes.
Each shooter had a spotter that doubled as a lane safety. The spotters had an additional responsibility to evaluate the shooters form, foot placement, trigger squeeze and how well they took cover while changing magazines.
"The most difficult part of the course was keeping your wits about you while you are becoming winded from moving to different areas of cover and concealment on-top-of calling out commands," said U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Thomas, an intelligence analyst assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, TF "Wolverines."
Thomas' performance met with the training objective; effectively engaging targets while maneuvering through the course. Thomas, who has prior deployment experience said this course would be good for all Soldiers.
"Every Soldier needs to go through the training and keep their skills sharp because you never know what will happen in combat," said Thomas. The level and amount of training involved with this particular range is better than most of what he has seen throughout his time in the military.
The belief that training merely leads up to deployment is a misconstrued notion. Basic Soldier skills such as marksmanship are always needed because you do not know when you will be called upon to use them. Conducting realistic and relevant training, such as this range, is important to all Soldiers both while deployed and at home stations.