• FT. HOOD, Texas--Range safety Staff Sgt. Davie Diaz, from Houston, Texas, now serving as a Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, identifies the targets in the firing lane for Spc. Ryan Haa, a native of Orlando, Fla. who is assigned as a Cannon Crewmember to A Battery, during a qualification range here Feb. 8, 2012.

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Range safety Staff Sgt. Davie...

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Range safety Staff Sgt. Davie Diaz, from Houston, Texas, now serving as a Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry...

  • FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ryan Haa, a native of Orlando, Fla., now serving as a Cannon Crewmember with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, shoots down a target during the "Black Dragons" qualification range here, Feb. 8, 2012.

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ryan Haa, a native of...

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ryan Haa, a native of Orlando, Fla., now serving as a Cannon Crewmember with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, shoots down a target during the "Black...

  • FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Kevin Forbes, a Cannon Crewmember with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, originally from Pasadena, Calif., instructs Sgt. Oriole Owokoya, a native of Houston, Texas, now serving as a medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5-82 FA, on how to perform remedial actions on the .50 caliber heavy machine gun. Forbes led concurrent training on the .50 caliber heavy machine gun and the M249 squad automatic weapon while the Soldiers waited to take their turn on the range held here, Feb. 8, 2012.

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Kevin Forbes, a Cannon...

    FT. HOOD, Texas--Spc. Kevin Forbes, a Cannon Crewmember with Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, originally from Pasadena, Calif., instructs Sgt. Oriole Owokoya, a native of...

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.

Page last updated Mon February 27th, 2012 at 00:00