FORT STEWART, Ga. — Raider Soldiers once again led the way in modernization when they fielded the U.S. Army’s new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle last week on Fort Stewart,The fielding process ended with a familiarization firing on June 5 at the base’s sniper range.The team consisted of noncommissioned officers from all over the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. They were the first in the Army to field the SDMR, named the M110A1.They started their training earlier in the week with initial familiarization in a classroom setting. This enabled the Soldiers to become educated with the new weapon system before conducting live fires.After the initial training, where they learned about the assembly and disassembly, functionality, and operation, the Soldiers took to the sniper range for zeroing and confirming with a civilian team from the Tank-automotive and Armament Command out of Detroit.“The whole intent for this is new equipment training,” said David Parris, a former infantry Soldier, and one of the civilian experts from TACOM. “We have given them a rifle that is precise and capable of closing the capability gap of 300-600 meters, which means it fills the maximum firing distance gap between the standard issue rifle and the sniper rifle.”The SDMR fires a 7.62x51mm NATO round and comes equipped with a variable zoom scope. The manufacturer also added a bi-pod, adjustable butt stock, and an upgraded trigger to enhance the weapon system’s precision fire capabilities.“This weapon is an upgrade to the whole squad layout, and you can even work it in to combined arms warfare,” said Sgt. Patrick Nissen, a scout from the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1ABCT, 3rd ID. “I shoot long range, both in the Army and recreationally, and I really like getting down behind this weapon, it is very comfortable, it is a great rifle, and I really do enjoy it”Once the fielding process is complete, these NCOs will be able to take what they have learned and share it with the Soldiers of their respective units. This will be another way the Soldiers of Raider Brigade build and maintain lethality.