FORT CARSON, Colo. - Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted real world self-defense scenarios and a pistol qualification to enhance readiness Jan. 26, 2018.
The event included pistol marksmanship training where Soldiers practiced holstering and re-holstering the weapons to engaging targets. The pistol-shooting course tested the Soldiers' ability to engage targets at different distances while on a time limit. The key leader engagement (KLE) qualification required Soldiers to react to enemy engagements at closer distances while mounted on vehicles.
"We ensured Soldiers were qualified expert, were technically proficient and improving upon their previous skills by exposing them to scenarios found within real-life missions," said 2nd Lt. Jacob Decker, platoon leader, 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg. "The result (of the training) is (having) competent and confident Soldiers in the use of their (weapons)."
The training will help Soldiers understand what is expected of them downrange, Decker added.
Sgt. Joel Ibarra, combat medic NCO, Company A, 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg., said he enjoyed the training. "Recoil management was the biggest thing I learned," said Ibarra. "Now, not only can I engage the enemy initially, but I can manage recoil in order to re-acquire targets and be effective in any situation."
Recoil management, according to Ibarra, is the ability to anticipate the "kick" of a weapon before it happens, thus being able to prepare through grip and posture to better control the weapon and accurately engage the target.
Although Ibarra is a medic, he said it is important for all Soldiers, regardless of military occupational specialty, to learn marksmanship techniques because readiness should be a mentality across the entire formation.
"Toward the end of the training we noticed Soldiers who had little experience with the (pistol) were able to engage the targets more confidently, effectively and comfortably," said Decker. "It was great training and it was also the final event in a training series, which will allow the Soldiers to perform to the best of their ability in this upcoming deployment."