Machine Gun University: We Train the Trainer
August 6, 2014
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- The sound of weapons firing rips through the sky as Soldiers from the 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, fire at targets with their crew-served automatic weapons at Machine Gun University, Aug. 1, on Ingman Range, Camp Casey, South Korea.
Machine Gun University is a week-long class which aims to prepare noncommissioned officers to become experts in various crew-served arms so that they can bring their special training and expertise back to each of their units.
"The intent of the class is to train the trainer," said Sgt. 1st Class Paul Johnson, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the program, and a native of Fremont, Calif., assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., "We are creating subject matter experts in each battalion so they can train other Soldiers in their units."
The program was designed specifically for automatic weapons such as the M2 .50-caliber machine gun, the M240B medium machine gun, and the M249 squad automatic weapon. The training is designed to give theoretical approaches to understanding our crew-served weapon systems. The students were also able to gain hands-on experience firing those weapons later in the week.
As the primary instructor of the course, Sgt. 1st Class Adolfo Arlequin, from Puerto Rico, a field artillery surveyor/meteorological crew member, assigned to HHB, 210th FA Bde., believes these classes play a crucial role in training.
"This class enables NCOs to be more tactically and technically proficient in crew-served weapons," said Arlequin. "Then they can pass on their knowledge to their subordinates across their battalions."
For Staff Sgt. Daniel Dyer, a canon crew member assigned to Battery A, 1st Battalion, 15th FA Regiment, 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., the class was an opportunity for him to develop as a leader and a better Soldier.
"As a leader I can take what I learned from this and use it to familiarize my Soldiers with the fundamentals of clearing the weapon, disassembly, reassembly, functions checks, headspace and timing on the M2 .50-cal., and immediate actions on these crew-served weapons," said Dyer.
According to Johnson, the trainers will be able to better instruct junior Soldiers with their expertise on the weapons systems.
"The Soldiers are going to learn how to properly deploy these weapon systems and engage the enemy," said Johnson. "That is our goal."