FORT SILL, Okla. (July 13, 2017)-- Note: This is the sixth in a series following five National Guard recruits in C/1-79th Field Artillery Basic Combat Training, who are in the Split Option Program.
The warning that a fragmentation grenade was winging its way toward an "enemy" was shouted hundreds of times at the start of the fifth week of basic combat training for C Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, June 27.
The day began at the Sgt. 1st Class Tony Burris Hand Grenade Complex here with a round of M69 practice grenades tossed at human-shaped dummies.
Instructors from Headquarters and Headquarters Support, 434th Field Artillery Detachment, taught the trainees how to release the safety clip, pull the pin and hold the safety lever (called the spoon) until ready to throw it. In five seconds it went off as if the fuse were only a small firecracker.
Once that was mastered, they marched uphill and crammed sardine-style into a shelter as they awaited their turns. From a concrete throwing pit, each trainee threw two live M67 grenades into a sand trap. A loud, satisfying "Ka-boom!" announced a successful toss.
The M67 has a kill radius of five meters, a wounding radius of 15 meters, and shrapnel-producing radius of 230 meters. It has a six-second fuse, but BCT instructors train for a three to five second detonation.
Two days later, the BCT trainees worked on their qualifications, employing a variety of techniques to engage the enemy with practice grenades, which included crawling in pairs up to a bunker and tossing in grenades, throwing from prone and kneeling positions, and hitting a wheeled vehicle.