Stallions take on gunnery challenges
October 13, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - "Fire and adjust! Fire and adjust!"
The commands came fast and loud from the vehicle commander as he spotted targets during a recent gunnery round on the Brook Haven Gunnery Range, here.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were organized into three-man crews to train and qualify at a humvee gunnery range, Oct. 1-7.
Designed for the three-man crew's to work on their skills as gunners, drivers, and truck commanders, this event allows gunners to fire the .50-caliber and M240 machine guns, from the top of moving humvees.
"These training exercises prepare us for missions while deployed," explains Annapolis native, Capt. Ries Korstjens, commander of Company B. "The reality of today's fight is that we are going to be operating out of uparmored humvees, which are not organic to this unit."
The week-long training event helped gunners with engagement skills and target acquisition, aided drivers with learning tactics, and the vehicle commanders with fire control procedures.
"Dedicating this time to prepare these Soldiers for deployment is paramount to our success," Korstjens added. "We plan on doing this multiple times before we deploy."
To qualify on each of the four tables, the crews must score 700 points out of a possible 1000. Each table is composed of a series of 10 engagements; six day and four night. Crews must successfully qualify on each table in order to progress to the final table, Table VI. Upon completion of Table VI, a crew is considered qualified.
Driving down the lanes, the gunner, driver and truck commander keep their eyes open looking for targets to pop up. Once spotted, the crew members determine distance and direction, then the gunner locks onto his target and shoots.
This humvee gunnery exercise is more difficult because the vehicles are moving, making the weapons bounce around a little more, according to Comstock, Texas native, Sgt. Javier Rangel, a team chief assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
"I have always enjoyed going to the range and working on improving myself," Rangel said about his experiences at the range.
"We are leaving this place with better trained Soldiers than when we arrived," Korstjens concluded.