By Sgt. Arjenis NunezOctober 30, 2017
FORT BENNING, Ga. (October 25, 2017) -- Soldiers training alongside the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade conduct foreign weapons familiarization training at Ft. Benning, Georgia in order to strengthen their warfighting capabilities and assist allied partners, Oct. 25.
The foreign weapons training is a familiarization course on the Russian DShK heavy machine gun, Russian PKM machine gun, Belgian FN FAL light battle rifle, Russian SVD Dragunov in addition to other foreign weapons.
"Our mission statement is to familiarize Soldiers in weapons systems that fire 12.7mm cartridges and below to properly set up a static small arms range in a foreign country," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Weigel, a senior instructor writer for Charlie company, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Weigel said this training assists 1st SFAB advisors in developing a rapport with allied partners as well as providing a better understanding of the weapons they use in combat.
In addition to 1st SFAB Soldiers receiving this training, Task Force 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment received this training.
"Task Force 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment is supporting the 1st SFAB as a security force element. As a security force element, the battalion is training with 1st SFAB advisor teams to build unit cohesion for any future missions. The security force element's mission is to secure the advisor team so the advisors can focus on supporting their foreign security force partners," said Maj. Matthew Fontaine, a public affairs officer assigned to 1st SFAB.
"This training is going to assist me and other TF 1-28 Soldiers in developing our security proficiencies," said Private First Class Jacob D. Ridout, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to TF 1-28. "We'll also be ready to use weapons systems our allied partners use if needed."
Understanding foreign weapons and working alongside our allied partners is one piece of the advisory puzzle. Providing security for the advisors is essential to ensuring mission success, said Ridout.
Becoming familiarized with different weapons that are not normally used by Army Soldiers was only half the challenge for Private First Class Julian Duran, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to TF 1-28.
Duran said memorizing the functions checks for each of the foreign weapons is difficult and continued practice is required.
"The best method to being strong assets to 1st SFAB is to continue to practice," said Duran. "This training here will help us set up ways to learn new systems and quickly adjust to fit the needs of the 1st SFAB and the Army."
The 1st SFAB is currently recruiting promotable specialists, sergeants and staff sergeants in combat medicine, vehicle maintenance, logistics, explosive ordnance, disposal, communications, field artillery, and military intelligence.
Soldiers interested in joining the 1st SFAB should contact their branch manager for more information.