BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - Iron Rakkasans and War Rakkasans recently trained with CROWS pros on latest systems.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment and C Company, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry met with the civilians who provide training on Common Remotely Operated Weapons Stations at Bagram Air Ffield recently for the 40-hour operator equipment training. The training was to familiarize Soldiers on the stabilized mount, correctly mounting the various weapons it can accommodate and working with the electronics.

"I'm definitely getting confidence (on the system)," said Sgt. Craig J. Albert, a 3/187 infantryman team leader, originally from San Antonio, Texas. "The pros are the thermals and the laser range finder, but the lack of peripheral vision is a con."

Private 1st Class Donovan K. Ehrhardt, a Redlands, California native who is on this first deployment, said the instructors are good and he is learning how to properly mount the system.

"My guys are not certified," said Columbus, Ohio native Sgt. Matthew J. Zolman, 2nd platoon leader, C Company, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry. "I'll certify the junior Soldiers who have not worked with the equipment."

Zolman went on to say that he thinks it's 'extremely important' for Soldiers to have a chance to work with the equipment. He said it can be used by Soldiers working at entry control points, towers and in vehicles.

The Soldiers learned how to mount the system to the vehicles they will be using, how and why to collimate the scope and how bore sighting helps guarantee a first time hit.

The CROWS system is a stabilized mount that contains a sensor suite and fire control software. It supports four different weapons and can be integrated onto more than 20 platforms as well as fixed site applications. CROWS allows Soldiers to acquire and engage targets while remaining in an armored vehicle or command post. CROWS falls under PEO Soldier, Product Manager Crew Served Weapons, Project Manager Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station and is supported in theater by Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) personnel who are aligned with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade.