3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Huff scans for targets during aerial gunnery at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Apr. 27. Aerial gunnery allows Soldiers to train on their weapon systems to maintain the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Savannah Roy, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division)
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Huff scans for targets during aerial gunnery at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Apr. 27. Aerial gunnery allows Soldiers to train on their weapon systems to maintain the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Savannah Roy, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division) (Photo Credit: Spc. Savannah Roy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Belts of 7.62 mm ammunition sit ready to be loaded and fired from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during aerial gunnery at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Apr. 27. Aerial gunnery allows Soldiers to train on their weapon systems to maintain the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Savannah Roy, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division)
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Belts of 7.62 mm ammunition sit ready to be loaded and fired from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during aerial gunnery at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Apr. 27. Aerial gunnery allows Soldiers to train on their weapon systems to maintain the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Savannah Roy, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division) (Photo Credit: Spc. Savannah Roy) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Hankey, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, scans his sector during an aerial gunnery exercise, April 27, 2021, on Fort Stewart, Georgia. Aerial gunneries allow Soldiers to train on mission essential tasks, and improves the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Anthony Ford)
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Hankey, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, scans his sector during an aerial gunnery exercise, April 27, 2021, on Fort Stewart, Georgia. Aerial gunneries allow Soldiers to train on mission essential tasks, and improves the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Anthony Ford) (Photo Credit: Pvt. Anthony Ford) VIEW ORIGINAL
A group of U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, exit a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter after performing a successful aerial gunnery exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia, April 27, 2021. Aerial gunneries allow Soldiers to train on mission essential tasks, and improves the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Anthony Ford)
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A group of U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, exit a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter after performing a successful aerial gunnery exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia, April 27, 2021. Aerial gunneries allow Soldiers to train on mission essential tasks, and improves the brigade’s combat readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Anthony Ford) (Photo Credit: Pvt. Anthony Ford) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Stewart, GA - Pilots and aircrew members of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, took to the sky during aerial gunnery at Fort Stewart, Georgia, April 26 to May 7.

Aerial gunnery is a semiannual requirement for pilots and aircrew members to maintain their confidence and proficiency with a M240H machine gun. Aircrew members of 2nd Bn., 3rd GSAB are required to pass a series of tests known as “tables” to achieve the qualification.

Gunnery tables I-III involve academics and simulator training. After honing their skills in the simulator, pilots and aircrew members proceed to the live-fire tables, completing both day and night iterations. Gunnery tables IV-VI are engagements from the helicopter to ground targets. Tables VII-IX consist of two aircraft working in tandem to destroy targets. Tables X-XII are the culminating event, in which aircrews are shooting their weapons from the aircraft while executing an air assault scenario.

Pilots and aircrew members utilized both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to effectively engage their targets.

“Aerial gunnery is a compilation of tasks that begin with non-rated crew members being instructed in basic marksmanship principles, and culminates in successful completion of a mixed aircraft, platoon sized live-fire event,” said 1st Lt. Mitchell Yelenosky, the officer in charge of the aerial gunnery.

Gunnery requires a slew of tasks in order to function smoothly, from the sufficient amount of aircraft, to the tactics classes, to the range space available.

“The most crucial part of conducting a smooth and successful gunnery is having able and motivated crew chiefs and aviators,” Yelenosky said. “We are lucky to have exceptional crewmembers that can be trusted in such complex and difficult tasks.”

Aerial gunnery is an essential qualification and training opportunity for pilots and crewmembers. It trains aircrew members to work under varying and complex constraints, as one aircraft or as part of a multi-ship mission set, and certifies crewmembers as lethal professionals.

“It is critical for our crew chiefs to be familiar and, ultimately experts, with their weapons while conducting aerial missions, as it validates our ability to protect our aircraft during a wide variety of assigned missions, including air assaults,” said Maj. Joel Castro, the 2nd Bn., 3rd GSAB executive officer.

“The battalion as a whole performed exceptionally during the table gunnery in which we successfully qualified thirty-five crew chiefs in the UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.”