FORT CARSON, Colo.-- Soldiers of Company B, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division certified their marksmanship skills during M2 .50 caliber machine gun qualifications at Range 119, Oct. 1."We're trying to get all of our Soldiers qualified on our .50 cal weapon system," said 2nd Lt. Andrew Kriz, platoon leader, Company B, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., a native of Chester, Virginia. "This will get our new privates affiliated with the Army and the types of weapons we use."After zeroing their weapons, Soldiers conducted day and night qualifications where they must hit six out of ten targets at ranges up to 1500 meters away in order to qualify."This training is important because even though we're a support battalion, we're self sufficient," said Sgt. Brent Atkinson, team leader, Company B, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "We're going to make sure that we have the warfighting capabilities to engage the enemy."The training familiarized newer members of the unit on the weapon system and allowed the veteran Soldiers to get reacquainted."Most of them are new Soldiers and have little to no experience on these weapon systems," said Atkinson, a native of Spokane, Washington. "The main thing is getting some trigger time. The more trigger time that they get on these weapons systems, the more comfortable they're going to be on them."Each M2 .50 caliber machine gun was mounted on a tripod and Soldiers used the traversing and elevating mechanism to make sublte changes to their aim."There isn't too much of a kick while it's on the tripod," said Pvt. Dyllan Leitner, wheeled vehicle mechanic, Company B, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "You just have to stay focused, breath right, lock in on your target and shoot it."One by one, the targets slowly lowered as each Soldier became more familiar with the M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
"It was a good experience and I'm glad I got to come out and do it," said Leitner, a native of Stockton, California.