BEMOWO PISKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland- U.S. Army cavalrymen from 2nd Cavalry Regiment's Fox and Eagle Troops were the first U.S. Forces ever to fire the coveted MK 310 programmable air burst munitions here Nov. 12, 2020.
U.S. Cavalry Troops were picked to do the honors because their up-gunned Stryker vehicles, nicknamed Dragoons, are the only vehicles in the U.S. Army equipped with the special 30 mm quick-firing cannon weapons platform that allows for the use of these extremely precise and deadly rounds.
Veteran Jack Cooper, Vertex Solutions lethality consultant, and his team were flown in from Fort Benning, Georgia to lend their expertise.
“What is special about these munitions is that they have a three-mode function. They can be shot and point detonated, where they explode when they hit the target; shot with a deadly delay, where they explode after they hit the target; or, they can be shot in air-burst mode, where we have the ability to set time, distance, width and depth,” Cooper said.
Cooper explained that the onboard computer sets a box around the target and the operator fills the box with a certain pattern to get the effectiveness and conditions desired. Once the Soldier pulls the trigger, the user-friendly computer system does the work with deadly accuracy.
“So far, the system is performing very well,” Cooper said. “It's a game changer.”
Squadron Master Gunner Staff Sgt. Bryan Miller, who is responsible for fielding the equipment, agreed and said the new rounds will give 2nd Cavalry, currently deployed as part of enhanced forward presence Battle Group Poland's Task Force Cougar, the upper hand against any potential aggressor in the region.
“This is it. We have this round in our go-to-war stock here right now,” Miller said. “If the enemy horde was to come over that hill we could get that ammunition up and running and ready to go. And now our soldiers have the confidence in actually shooting, not a training round, but the full service ammo.”
“This is the first time in my career that I have seen them actually using service ammunition– so to be able to fire this is awesome,” he added. “This is a first ever.”