Soldiers make moves to hit moving targets
April 25, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. (April 25, 2013) -- Soldiers from 168th Brigade Support Battalion conducted convoy live-fire training April 17-18 on the East Range here. Its purpose was to train the Soldiers in convoy operations and battle drills during a logistical vehicle movement.
The live-fire exercise prepared Soldiers to shoot and successfully engage enemy targets while moving from a vehicle. Scenarios were set for Soldiers to drive through, such as reacting to contact while mounted. But the Soldiers of the "Make It Happen" Battalion also reacted to an improvised explosive device and provided medical care to "wounded" battle buddies.
The training consisted of three high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles armed with M249 light machine guns. Each vehicle crew consisted of a driver, a truck commander and a gunner.
Crews communicated through single-channel ground and airborne radio systems, which were essential in keeping each other informed to complete the objective. These communication systems provided multimode voice and data communications, supporting ground, air-to-ground and ground-to-air-line-of-sight communications links.
Before rolling out, the convoy commander gave an intelligence brief to the Soldiers letting them know what to look for on the mission. Once the objective was complete, the Soldiers conducted an after action review to share thoughts and give feedback on ways to improve the training.
"I think the training was very successful," said 1st Lt. Kurt Wolford, an ordnance officer leading the convoy. "It gave a lot of the newer Soldiers a chance to experience training that the battalion normally does not participate in."
Another reason this training was successful was because it brought everyone together as a team, and they learned from Soldiers who had conducted convoy operations, said Wolford.
One of those Soldiers was Sgt. Zachary Ereman, a small arms repairer.
"I believe the training gave the younger Soldiers a good experience because it provided them the chance to see what it would be like if they go overseas," said Ereman. "This was also a chance for me to sharpen up my skills."
The battalion did very well during the training, said Ereman. "They followed a lot of the tactics, techniques and procedures used when I was down range."
This was the first convoy live-fire exercise for Spc. Shane Gallagher, a welder, who was a gunner in the training.
"I believe I did pretty well for this being my first time firing from a moving vehicle," said Gallagher.
"I was able to touch-up on things I have been rusty on, but the training also gave me a chance to learn new things about convoy operations," he said.