630th Military Police Company trains German Bundeswehr unit
November 27, 2013
BAMBERG, Germany (Nov. 5, 2013) -- Bamberg's shooting range is at the outskirts of the city and not easy to find, but on some days -- depending on the wind direction -- you can hear the cracking sounds of firing M4 and M16 rifles or M9 pistols. Fifteen Soldiers from the German Bundeswehr's 4th Logistics Battalion, or the "Elephant Battalion," stationed in the Franconian city of Volkach, honed their shooting skills with Bamberg's 630th Military Police Company Oct. 29, 2013.
The German Soldiers competed for the American marksmanship qualification badges, said 1st Lt. Breanna Good, platoon leader at the 630th MP company, who organized the common exercise.
"These exercises are the result of a long lasting partnership with our fellow American comrades," said German Hauptfeldwebel [Master Sergeant] Markus Janovszky, who brought his team to Bamberg's shooting range. The American shooting badges can be worn on the German dress uniforms, he explained.
"Usually we shoot the German G36 rifle. The American M4 is a very handy weapon, an optimal firearm for this distance," said Oberfeldwebel [Sgt. First Class] Dennis Scharf, a Bundeswehr shooting instructor.
Safety is the number one priority on a shooting range.
"All commands come from me," range safety officer Staff Sgt. Wilbert Williams makes clear before anyone is allowed to start the exercise. Prior to that all German Soldiers received instructions how many rounds have to be fired at each target; German master sergeant Janovszky translates and gives some last tips for successful aiming. All Soldiers, as well as the press representatives, have to wear proper hearing protection.
After shooting 18 rounds to zero the M4, all competitors receive 40 rounds to fire at the targets that are set up in a 25 meter distance. The task is to shoot ten rounds from a prone, supported position, then ten from an unsupported position, followed by 20 from a kneeling position.
"Twenty-three hits are required to qualify," said Good.
Thirty to 35 hits are good for the sharpshooter badge. With 36 to 40, the shooter is awarded the expert badge.
Accurateness is not just needed for the riflemen shooting at the targets at Bamberg's shooting range. Every single round that's handed out is counted. All bullet casings are collected after the exercise, and the numbers have to match.
The shooting results were collected and a few German end English words are exchanged. Shooting instructor Scharf is proud of his 40 hits.
We didn't expect anything different from our instructor," said Janovszky.
The American badges will be presented during a common ceremony when Lt. Good's unit will pay their German comrades a visit in the near future. Then the G.I. will shoot for the German shooting badge, the "Schuetzenschnur."