FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – The Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment “No Slack”, 1st Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) spearheaded training at the range qualifying their Soldiers on individual and crew-served weapon systems.
No Slack is the first battalion within the brigade to conduct range operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With priorities of maintaining deployment readiness as the brigade prepares for a fall rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center-Fort Polk, Louisiana, the battalion leaders found a way to train effectively while following COVID-19 safety precautions to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus.
1st Lt. Quinn Malone, platoon leader, B Co., 2-327th Inf. Regt., led his Soldiers through the M-17 pistol range.
“We’re still enforcing social distancing while we’re out here,” Malone said. “We also clean and sanitize the pistols after every iteration. It’s awesome to finally be out here training.”
All of Malone's Soldiers were spread out on the firing line, occupying every other firing point.
Spc. Jacob Manha, infantryman, B Co., 2-327th Inf. Regt., felt comfortable while qualifying with his weapon.
“We have a good setup out here,” Manha said. “This has been a long time coming after all of the time spent in my room. I’m ready to get back to our op tempo of training. It’s always nice to put rounds downrange.”
No Slack Soldiers also had the opportunity to qualify on the M320 grenade launcher and become Combat Life Saver qualified while awaiting their time to shoot on the range.
1st Lt. Russell Merrill, platoon leader, D. Co., 2-327th Inf. Regt., led his unit at the M320 grenade launcher range.
"We've had a 100% qualification rate," Merrill said. "We also established a plan to have our Soldiers get CLS qualified while they're out here to maximize our time while maintaining social distancing."
Seen in an open field behind the bleachers on the M320 grenade launcher range, you found five Soldiers spread over 6 feet apart while taking the written and hands-on exam portions of the CLS qualification test.
Sgt. Vanessa McBride, senior medic, 2-327th Inf. Regt., led the CLS testing for the unit.
“Our medics were just out on Range 11 qualifying on the M-240B machine gun,” McBride said. “We took the time to train our Soldiers out there as well. We started with eight Soldiers earning their CLS qualification last week and we have five out here today. We have 13 qualified in the company so far and the goal is to get everyone qualified to ensure success in the future.”
No Slack Soldiers will continue to prepare themselves for JRTC and beyond as they maintain their readiness to defend the country.