1st CAV artillerymen train Soldiers, NCOs in range operations
February 27, 2012
FT. HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted rifle marksmanship training at the Black Gap range complex here, Feb. 8.
The "Black Dragons" planned and executed this zero range to allow their leaders and Soldiers to train this foundational task of basic rifle marksmanship in preparation for subsequent rifle qualification ranges.
Capt. Martin Piecuch, a native of Staten Island, New York, and now Alpha Battery, 5-82 FA, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.'s commanding officer, said that he hoped this range would help his Soldiers gain trust and confidence in their leadership to train them to effectively prepare for combat.
"These Noncommissioned Officers put a lot of hard work in the last few weeks, training the Soldiers on Basic Rifle Marksmanship," Piecuch said.
This afforded the unit's junior leaders the opportunity to plan the training in accordance with the 8-step training model and establish proficiency on the fundamentals, from which they can build upon during upcoming ranges.
The range was "a culmination of a bunch of events," said 1st Sgt. Keith Hemenway, also assigned to A Battery, 5-82 FA, The unit conducted many preparatory tasks such as pre-combat checks and inspections, training at the Engagement Skills Trainer, and boresighting the rifle optics.
Despite the Field Artillery's main job of providing indirect fire in support of maneuver forces, they have regularly been called on to do a multitude of other missions during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Hemenway, a native of Beverly, Mass.
"We can adapt to serve as infantry, we can adapt to serve as Military Police," he said. That's why this range is so important.
Spc. Alfred Brewington, a native of Rockford, Ill., now serving as a Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist with A Battery, agreed.
"Basic Rifle Marksmanship gives us something to rely on if the guns go down or we're in close quarters combat," he said.
The "Black Dragons" range served a dual purpose. The Soldiers gained proficiency on important fundamental skills, and their leaders gained confidence and important experience on how to plan and execute their own training in accordance with the 8-step training model. Both skills will enable the unit to build off of what they learned and move on to more advanced training.