Servicemembers learned valuable lessons about long range marksmanship, ballistics and elemental factors in the Practical Extended Range Rifle Course on Joint Base Lewis-McChord from Feb. 7-11.
The PERRC course is a five day course developed to train and enhance non-commissioned officers' and servicmembers' marksmanship skills using the outcomes based training model.
It teaches Servicemembers how to engage and destroy targets up to 600 meters with the M4 or M16 rifle, Back-up Iron Sight and Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight.
"Before coming to this [PERRC] course, I thought I had basic knowledge of the ACOG, but I found out that I was wrong," said Senior Airman Brian M. Petersen, Terminal Tactical Control Party, 5th Air Support Operations Squadron.
The course focuses on five major training objectives: proper supported and unsupported positioning, basic application of fundamentals with the BUIS and ACOG, distance judgments plus or minus 50 meters from 100 to 600 meters, iron sight manipulation and engaging multiple targets using an ACOG.
"This training teaches you how to keep the bad guy hunkered [down] and makes him think twice about what he's going to do, which gives you the upper hand," said Sgt. 1st Class Raul B. Vidallon, non-commissioned officer in charge, Combat Marksmanship Training Course, Fort Lewis Warrior Training Academy."
Vidallon and his team stress the importance of basic weapon knowledge at the beginning of each course.
"We start off with PowerPoint presentations, where we talk about the weapon system, nature's elements, and how they affect your bullets with certain long range distances, ballistics and shooting positions," Vidallon said.
"Once we're done with that, we take the [Servicemembers] out to zero their iron sights, because it's [always] important to do so before you zero your optics," Vidallon added.
Once zeroed, Soldiers began shooting groupings of 10 rounds with their BUIS, beginning at 100 meters, checking their targets and making adjustments after each 10 rounds. Soldiers would shoot up to 30 rounds at each known distance before moving back 100 meters.
As Servicemembers continued to increase their distance from the target, they were continually challenged by the elements and round ballistics they learned about at the beginning of the course.
After completing the 600 meter grouping with their BUIS, Servicemembers zeroed their ACOGs and started the process all over again, working their way back to 600 meters.
The final event, known as the "PERCCulator," forced the Servicemembers to apply all the marksmanship fundamentals learned throughout the course and included a physically demanding twist to raise their heart rate to simulate the stress of battle.
Servicemembers began the "PERCCulator" by waiting for the signal from the cadre at the 600 meter berm. Once the signal went off, they had one minute to sprint to the 500 meter berm, assume a good prone shooting position and engage their target with 10 rounds. Once complete, they loaded a new magazine, waited for the next signal and continued the assault toward their designated target.
This process would continue in one minute iterations with Servicemembers alternating shooting positions designated by the cadre, to include the sitting and kneeling position, until the Servicemembers fired their final 10 rounds at 100 meters.
"What we teach are important courses because any [Servicemember] needs to know the capabilities of any weapons system their assigned," Vidallon said. "That way they can be at their best effectiveness on the battle field."
In addition to the PERRC course, the Warrior Training Academy offers the Combat Marksmanship Training Course and the Combat Pistol Application Course.
All of the courses offered at the Fort Lewis Warrior Training Academy are open for all military branches; however, very few Servicemembers outside of the Army take the opportunity to obtain the knowledge the academy has to offer.
Joint forces training enhance knowledge and combat communications shared on the battle field between the different branches of service.
"I can take this knowledge back to my unit and teach them so we can use these methods effectively down range," Peterson said.
We encourage everyone to train with us and take it back to their units just like we encourage our Soldiers to do so, Vidallon said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16