• Italian soldiers fire the German machine gun (MG3) during the ¨Schutzenschnur" German weapons qualification June 17. German soldiers monitored the participants and offered up advice on how to handle the weapons. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    German troops host range for MNBG-E

    Italian soldiers fire the German machine gun (MG3) during the ¨Schutzenschnur" German weapons qualification June 17. German soldiers monitored the participants and offered up advice on how to handle the weapons. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha...

  • Multinational Battle Group-East soldiers familiarized themselves with the German MG3 machine gun and P8 pistol in preparation for qualifying for the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    German troops host range for MNBG-E

    Multinational Battle Group-East soldiers familiarized themselves with the German MG3 machine gun and P8 pistol in preparation for qualifying for the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th...

  • Italian soldiers inspect their targets with their German safeties during the German weapons familiarization June 17. To qualify, soldiers had to hit a minimum of 10 shots with the German MG3 machine gun over three circles and one shot in each of three circles with the P8 pistol. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    German troops host range for MNBG-E

    Italian soldiers inspect their targets with their German safeties during the German weapons familiarization June 17. To qualify, soldiers had to hit a minimum of 10 shots with the German MG3 machine gun over three circles and one shot in each of three...

  • German safeties observe and offer advice as French soldiers familiarize themselves with the German MG3 machine gun during the German weapons familiarization June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    German troops host range for MNBG-E

    German safeties observe and offer advice as French soldiers familiarize themselves with the German MG3 machine gun during the German weapons familiarization June 17. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

PRIZREN, Kosovo - Soldiers across Multinational Battle Group-East participated in a German-hosted range event June 17 that gave all soldiers the opportunity to familiarize on German weapons in preparation for the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency.

The German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency, known as the "Schutzenschnur," is a combination of the German service rifle (G36), pistol (P8) and machine gun (MG3). If the number of required hits is met, troops qualify in either bronze, silver or gold standards.

U.S. Army Spc. Joshua Lytle, a soldier with Multinational Battle Group-East, said he was surprised at the differences between German and U.S. weapons.

"Trigger squeeze is the biggest difference," Lytle said. "The MG3 tricked me a little bit. I thought I had it on safe, but I just had to pull it back more than I thought I needed to."

The German troops have hosted more than several separate qualifications. Kosovo Forces German army Command Sgt. Maj. Angelo Fuchs said each event is very important.

"Here we have the possibility to bring different nations together," Fuchs said. "So not only do Americans have the opportunity to shoot with us [the Germans], but also other nations like the Slovenians, the Swiss, and so on."

Lytle seconded Fuchs thoughts, but added a personal reason for having events like this.

"It's important because it builds relationships between different countries," Lytle said. "And to me it's important because I'm part German and to take part in something like this is just something very personal."

Fuchs added that not only are events like this enjoyable for soldiers to participate in, but it also breaks down potential barriers.

"What I figured out is, it is very challenging for some [people] to overcome the language problems and when they meet here in such locations, the language [barriers] suddenly become not that important," Fuchs said. "So they meet each other [at the range] and some day when they have to work together, and that happens very often, then they have no problem to find common bases because they know each other."

Page last updated Mon June 24th, 2013 at 00:00