By Spc. Christopher T. Grammer, 50th PADAugust 7, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The 108th Military Police Company honed their skills with the AT-4 anti-tank rocket launcher during a live fire range exercise at Fort Bragg July 27.
Anti-tank rockets are an expensive and deadly tool in the arsenal of the 108th MP Co. Downrange, each vehicle carries an AT-4 for use during their many patrol if necessary.
"This training helps us downrange by letting the joes know how to utilize the weapon system," said Sgt. 1st Class Fuller Mitchell, a platoon sergeant in 108th MP Co. "It familiarizes them with the weapon so it's not the first time they pick it up when they hit the ground in combat."
Live rockets were fired at battle-damaged tanks by a select few during the exercise to show the Soldiers the destructive power of an AT-4 rocket.
"It was fun," said Pfc. Robert Adam Milhoan, an MP with the 108th MP Co. and one of the Soldiers to fire a live rocket. "It wasn't as bad, as I thought it would be, the kick wasn't as bad but the boom was loud."
Some of the Soldiers of the 108th MP Co., like Milhoan have never deployed and lack experience with this weapon in their arsenal, but all of them understand its importance.
"If something happens overseas, I know I can pick it up and use it," said Milhoan. "I'm more comfortable and have more confidence using it because of this training."
The AT-4 was originally produced to counter enemy armor, however the use of guerrilla tactics by organizations such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have spawned new troop tactics and procedures for its use.
The 108th MP Co. uses the AT-4 in combat for eliminating threats of snipers, gun-trucks and well-defended enemy positions. Because of the need for the weapon system during the 108th MP Co.'s upcoming deployment, it becomes necessary for every Soldier who may pick one up to be familiar and proficient with its use.
"We do a lot of patrols downrange," said Milhoan. "Anything can happen on a patrol."
Training to fight is a part of life for Soldiers in today's Army. Firing ranges and training prepare war fighters to pick up their weapons, react instinctively to enemy threats and continue the mission.