Skwierzyna, Poland -- Soldiers from the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, the 'Lifeline Battalion,' 2nd Brigade Armored Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, took to the small arms ranges at Wedrzyn Range Complex, 23 Oct., to gain proficiency on the M240B machine gun before the kick-off of the Battalion's major convoy protection platform training event in the upcoming months.
The M240B machine gun is a general-purpose machine gun used to attack targets beyond the range of individual weapons, and is an integral part of a unit's defense.
Leaders within the Lifeline Battalion have been diligently working on a training plan that will ensure Soldiers sustain the skills necessary to engage targets and maintain security during convoy operations.
The 299th BSB deployed to Central Europe with the 2nd ABCT for a nine-month rotation under Atlantic Resolve, designed to provide a continuous U.S. armored brigade combat team presence in Europe.
"It's about progressively strengthening our core competencies and certifying lethal crews to sustain and demonstrate our readiness, said Capt. Corey Dyke, Operations Officer, assigned to Headquarters, 299th BSB. "We wanted to certify our ability to secure and protect the lines of sustainment to the front lines."
Unit training cycles begin with the development of individual Soldier skills, then build up into the skills required to operate in progressively larger groups.
After their individual qualification, Soldiers will be tested as a team on their weapon systems in the advanced gunnery tables, conducted while arrayed as a convoy on a live fire range, said Dyke.
"The convoy escort and security skills gained throughout this training will be useful during the multi-national exercises the Brigade has planned in 2018 such as Combined Resolve, which will give them an opportunity to exercise their skills practiced during their training," said Staff Sgt. Isaac Crabtree, range noncommissioned officer in charge.
"Everything builds on individual skills. Getting Soldiers in their gear and out on the range to qualify on weapons such as the M240B machine gun begins that process of sustaining the necessary readiness to win in any contingency," said Crabtree.