By Pvt. Nicholas VidroMay 22, 2017
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- As Pfc. Kevin Green, a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) gunner with 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, enters his High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), his smile rapidly evolves into a look of somebody meaning business. He's dedicated hours to this pinnacle of his training, the gunnery table. A training exercise like this is the ultimate test for the infantryman and his unit in terms of teamwork. The Soldiers of the 2-12th set off to the range on May 22, 2017 to initiate the opening steps to this test at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany.
The gunnery table training starts at the individual level where Soldiers are tested on the knowledge and maintenance of their equipment. Then they are tested as a single HMMWV crew to see if the vehicle commander can effectively direct his team. From there the Soldiers move into a section movement, consisting of two HMMWVs, where the section leader is tested on being able to use teamwork to successfully direct the vehicles in a firefight. The general criteria are the same as the number of Soldiers grows, culminating in a later company-wide movement. The goal is to engage an enemy force as fast as possible.
2nd Lt. Zachary Sostak, the leader of 3rd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, shed some light on the importance of such gunnery table training.
"This sort of training teaches troops how to operate as a crew internally, and today we're teaching them how to work between two vehicles. Eventually we're going to move on to working as a platoon with five vehicles," he said.
The gunnery table is the first of many of the training exercises that these light infantry units will undertake. Each one will be a stern test for the Soldiers on every level. Additionally, they'll be conducting scenario driven exercises and live ammunition exercises. All exercises will be conducted during day and night to prove the Soldiers are effective at all times.
The 2-12 Infantry Soldiers are in country as part of an emergency deployment readiness training exercise. The exercise goal is to asses a unit's speed of assembly as well as to ensure the US Army can deploy a unit anywhere in the world, at any time, should the need arise.
The Soldiers of the 2-12th were given a brief two weeks to get ready for the deployment which included a multitude of training and screenings to ensure the troops were combat ready. The rapid assembly of troops from Colorado to Germany was even more impressive when considering they had just returned from Afghanistan late last year.
Speed seems to be one of the defining traits of the 2-12th as Soldiers assembled and embarked on this deployment to Germany with so little advance warning, not to mention heading out to the field shortly after their arrival. While they haven't had many moments of rest since leaving Colorado, they've kept in good spirits about their duty and the tough training road ahead. Pfc. Green emphasized what has allowed the 2-12th to stay focused.
"Team work is very important and the teams here work well together, like we're a big family," he said.
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