Spc. Armstrong, Pfc. Walker, Spc. Redding and Spc. Clayton, all of 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, await fire commands during the day dry fire of short-range marksmanship training Nov. 5 in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, took a break from their pre-deployment artillery training to get back to the basics during a short-range marksmanship exercise Nov. 5-9 at Fort Drum's Range 41A.

Over the past few months, 2-15 FA Soldiers have been busy gearing up for their upcoming deployment next year with rotations at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., and National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

While their primary training fo-cus has been firing artillery, the battalion stepped away from the gun line to execute the five-day SRM event.

The training allowed more than 100 Soldiers, NCOs and officers from the battalion to ensure mission readiness and reinforce their ability to engage targets at the range, as well as during short-range combat scenarios.

The participants were required to zero and qualify on their individual weapons, know the proper firing stance and movement techniques, and complete reflexive fire and target discrimination training. For many, this was the first time they executed SRM since basic training.

Because artillerymen don't often train on SRM, they enjoyed the opportunity to close in on their targets and engage with direct fire for a change.

"SRM is a good training tool because it teaches Soldiers to always be ready, aware and alert, making them a better marksman and a harder target for the enemy," said Spc. Robert Reeg, an ammunition team chief in A Battery, 2-15 FA.

During the unit's deployment, they will be responsible for a fires mission and play an advisory role. The range not only allowed the Soldiers to become more familiar with their individual weapons, but it made a positive impact on their confidence and left them better prepared for their upcoming deployment.

"There is always an uncertainty of mission," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Powell, a gunnery sergeant in B Battery, 2-15 FA. "In the Army -- in this war -- our mission can change today, tomorrow or five months into our deployment. The field artillery as a branch has always been expected and able to conduct a wide range of operations. The Soldiers can fire artillery very well, but training like this gives them confidence to take on any mission."

Mayville serves with B Battery, 2-15 FA.

Page last updated Thu December 6th, 2012 at 00:00