FORT CARSON, Colo. - It seemed like war at range 145 early Oct. 23, with booming .50-caliber machine gun fire from Strykers, echoing impacts of 120mm mortar and 155mm howitzer rounds, and shrieking rockets fired from AH-64 Apache helicopters.
The complex mission was just part of 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, culminating their 11-day gunnery with a Table XII live-fire qualification.
Table XII is an advanced platoon qualification that requires a platoon leader to integrate indirect fire, maneuver through existing lines of fire and actively communicate with higher headquarters.
"We moved out and had a couple of key tasks that we had to hit, but it was mostly moving, shooting and communicating as a platoon," said 2nd Lt. Robert Parker, platoon leader, Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. "I think we did incredibly well; this is really the first exercise that we've done as a platoon."
Stryker platoons engaged stationary and moving targets in conjunction with live-fire from Stryker mortar carriers, infantry dismounts, M777A2 howitzers from 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division and AH-64 Apaches from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
"We've made the lane as complex as possible to stress our platoon leadership, so they can handle the most difficult situations in combat," said Lt. Col. Steven Barry, commander, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. "Their ability to synchronize all of their actions in a live-fire environment is very impressive."
During the certification, the platoons used tactics like spreading out their formation to increase fields of fire and forcing their drivers through difficult routes for camouflaged maneuvers.
Sgt. Michael Wolfe, cavalry scout team leader, Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division, said he hasn't driven a Stryker in more than a year but was able to quickly adapt to the tough terrain due to the capabilities of his vehicle during his platoon's certification.
"It's a lot better than any of the other vehicles that we've had," said Wolfe. "At first, you think you're stuck, but then the eight-by-eight wheel drive kicks in and the Stryker keeps moving slowly until you're over the hill."
All nine scout platoons of the squadron successfully completed their official certification with day and night operations of the event.
"The effort to do this for a squadron in an 11-day time span is intense," said Barry. "I'm really proud of everything we accomplished out here and thank 1st SBCT and the units on Fort Carson who helped us pull this off, because we couldn't have done it without them."