By Staff Sgt. Sharon MatthiasFebruary 12, 2018
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - Leaders from 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division know Soldiers must maintain fundamental skills.
Capt. Corey Dyke and 1st Lt. James Mashburn, both assigned to 299th sought to improve their unit's ability to perform well under pressure during a mounted, live-fire training exercise, in Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 8, 2018.
The 299th BSB is currently deployed to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. effort to deter aggression in Europe and to strengthen existing relations with ally and partner nations.
Under the supervision of Dyke and Mashburn, the 'Lifeline' Battalion set up a network of operators, who monitored communications and software located at the range control center, as 299th BSB Soldiers performed their set tasks.
The training was designed to test each Soldier to perform their assigned job while executing fundamentals in offensive and defensive soldiering task in a convoy.
"This training gives us the capability to protect our own convoys as we move out, and it also protects us in the BSA (brigade support area) when we're in the field," said Dyke. "This gives our crews practice engaging enemy targets on the move and in stationary positions."
The 299th BSB training also provided participants the chance to develop crew communications skills in a vehicle loaded with equipment and supplies.
"Getting sustainers qualified while driving the type of vehicle they will be driving with an actual load on the back, whether that's MREs (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) or fuel," explained Dyke from the control center.
As the next iteration of training began, Dyke quieted as a hurried voice over the radio filled the center.
"Targets at 50 meters!" shouted the vehicle's leader over the radio.
"On the way," the gunner for the vehicle replied. A burst of rapid gunfire echoed amongst the trees from a distance shortly thereafter.
The convoy was under attack and it was time for the Soldiers to apply lessons given to them in previous classroom instructions. Their enemy, represented by plastic human and vehicle silhouettes painted in olive-drab green, were quickly eradicated.
On this vehicle shooting range, Soldiers faced simulated attacks from moving and stationary enemy.
"Each target pops-up for 90 seconds, and the way the scoring works, you have to identify and engage the targets within 90 seconds or else it falls down," said Mashburn an ordinance officer. "Your time starts when you start putting rounds down range."
The Soldiers were given 340 rounds for six different scenarios, said Mashburn, thus requiring each Soldier to manage the use of their ammunition.
Staff Sgt. Daryl Carroll, with 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd ABCT participated in the training exercise and found it challenged him.
"I do say that this training is well worth it," said Carroll. "It should be taken seriously because it does help."
This training is helping lower enlisted Soldiers further hone their skills as they continue supporting Atlantic Resolve.
"The training was good," Said Pfc. Sandy Peralta, a motor transport operator and native of Hawaii. "I am learning a lot."