War Turtles soldiers strike the range
May 19, 2011
- Soldiers from the 4th Platoon, 181st Chemical Company, participated in a live fire exercise
- tested the soldiers on their training with the new remote weapons system for the mounted .50 caliber machine guns on their armored vehicles
YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. - Soldiers from the 4th Platoon, 181st Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Battalion participated in a live fire range May 7 at Yakima Training Center, Wash., to qualify with their Fox M93A1 and Stryker M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles.
This tested the soldiers on their training with the new remote weapons system for the mounted .50 caliber machine guns on their armored vehicles. Spearheading this military advancement is the 181st Chemical Company.
"Today, we're doing a live fire exercise of the remote fire system for the .50 caliber," said 2nd Lt. Charles Davis, platoon leader, 4th Platoon 181 Chem. Company, 2nd CBRN Btn. "We're the first operational unit to be equipped with these new systems."
During a chemical attack, the military still has to be able to respond to enemy contact with the purpose to engage and destroy the threat. The Fox and Stryker answer the call. With the ability to operate within a contaminated area, these NBCRVs employ their remote weapons system from within the safety of their armored vehicle.
From within the vehicle, the machine gun can be fired from a comfortable seat surrounded by toggles, switches, monitors and a joystick. The gunner can bring up distant targets with a flick of his thumb and engage with a trigger squeeze.
As a member of the reconnaissance platoon, Sgt. Donovan Hurley, truck commander, 4th Platoon, 181st Chem. Company, 2nd CBRN Btn, is eager to put this new equipment through its paces.
"This is a really good opportunity to spearhead this new equipment for the Army," Hurley said. "We get to learn the capabilities of the Stryker and how to properly operate the machine gun."
With its simple controls and intuitive design the remote weapons system has been built to ease the operator into effectively handling the new equipment.
"It's like a video game," Hurley said. "It has a joystick and looks like something out of Call of Duty."
This training is just one more step in bringing this unit to full combat readiness for a potential deployment order which will require they be "wheels up" after 48 hours' notice.
Despite its video game-like qualities, the new remote weapons system allows soldiers to effectively and safely engage and destroy enemy targets regardless of adverse conditions.