Machine gunners assigned to 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), trained on the fundamentals of their most casualty producing weapons in their platoons Feb. 22-26 during Machine Gun University.
The culminating event was hosted Feb. 26 at Range 11 where the weapons squad leader, machine gun teams and Soldiers within the class conducted a timed event showcasing the technical and tactical expertise with their M249 SAW and M240B machine guns.
First Lieutenant Dakota King, assistant operations officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-327 Inf. Regt., was in charge of operations on the range during Machine Gun University. During his tenure within the Above the Rest battalion, this is the best training he’s witnessed and participated in on post.
King credited the success of the event to the noncommissioned officers.
“They led this from resourcing the training, validating the training and incorporating the action of the university,” he said. “This university increases the lethality and proficiency of our machine gun teams and gives a more in-depth knowledge of their weapons systems and tactics for all of our infantryman.”
The Soldiers put every skill they learned to the test during the final event. Machine gun teams raced down the range path along Market Garden Road for a timed event to showcase and prove what they learned through the university. Once the teams arrived at the range, Soldiers tactically moved into their machine gun positions at the strict direction of the weapons squad leader.
Private First Class Jayden Moody, machine gunner, C Company, 1-327 Inf. Regt., enjoyed the training and learned a lot from the university. He felt he could’ve done more to achieve perfection, but was overall pleased with his team.
“This went really well today and all week,” Moody said. “I shot really well today for the final event. The teamwork has been great. The assistant machine gunner, instructors and my squad leader really helped out a lot. It’s a team effort.”
The Soldiers were ecstatic to be training out on the range.
“Being out here feels great,” said Pfc. Mario Flores, B Company, 1-327th Inf. Regt. “I love training in the job that I do.”