By Pvt. Justin Naylor, 2nd BCT, PAOOctober 24, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, took part in crew serve weapon and dismounted training at Sugarloaf Multi-Use Range at Fort Hood on Oct. 17.
"The purpose of this training is to get the new guys familiarized with the gun systems and crew serve weapons," said Springdale, N.C. native, Staff Sgt. Derrick Martin, a squad leader for Battery A.
It is important to train the new Soldiers the best, said Martin. They are often the most eager to participate in this type of training and come into it with a better attitude than most of the soldiers who have been deployed before.
The training puts Soldiers through different scenarios and helps them distinguish between what is a threat and what is not, said Martin.
It also helps them learn to manage ammunition, which can be an important skill for an artillery Soldier, said Tampa, Florida native, Brian Allen, a canon crew member for Battery A.
The training teaches Soldiers to be aware of their sectors of fire, said Pvt. Luis Rodriguez, a canon crew member for Battery A.
This training also helps soldiers feel more comfortable with this unit.
"I feel very confident with the unit and I know that they have my back," said Rodriguez.
Although this is not Rodriguez's first field training with Battery A, he said he loves this type of training and enjoys going out and shooting weapons and "...lighting some targets up".
This type of field training is very common place for artillery Soldiers, who can expect to train at the ranges several times a month, said Allen.
But, as the deployment moves closer, the training schedule starts to slow down. Soldiers are encouraged to enjoy the time they have left with their family, but the leadership is quick to remind the Soldiers that they should keep this training close to their hearts.
"You can never be too familiar with the weapons and the maneuvers," said Allen.