N.C. Guard 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team prepares for XCTC
By Sgt. Ason ForsythFebruary 10, 2018
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A dry-fire exercise means that no ammunition is used, however, soldiers conduct all training safely as though live rounds are being shot.
"In this phase we are going through dry-run Bradley gunnery qualification tables," said Master Sgt. William Scharinger, 1-252nd Armor Regiment Master Gunner. "During next drill we will conduct live fire exercises."
Bradleys are armored personnel carriers designed to transport troops while providing covering fire.
A Bradley crew is a three-soldier team consisting of a Bradley commander, a gunner and a driver. Crew tasks include disassembling and assembling a M240L Light Machine Gun, and a M242 Bushmaster, 25 millimeter, chain-driven auto cannon. Crews also work together to destroy targets in a simulated combat exercise.
"There are so many different elements that come into play and it is important to create cohesion between the various groups," Scharinger said.
In the near future, these crews will join with the rest of the 30th ABCT to attend XCTC training at Fort Bliss, Texas.
"With training we can synchronize out efforts across all the battalions down to platoon size elements," said Col. Robert Bumgardner, commander of the brigade. "There are a lot of working parts and having all units training at one time gives us the ability to catch issues we might not have had."
The XCTC program is an instrumented brigade field training exercise designed to certify platoon proficiency in coordination with First Army. The end goal of XCTC is to ready the 30th ABCT for the National Training Center (NTC) which further qualifies the brigade for deployment.
"We are going through crawl, walk, and run phases to get units ready for deployment," Bumgardner said. "You rise to the level that you train at -- we need to train at a higher level."