FORT HOOD, Texas -Within weeks of an approaching field training exercise in preparation for this year's upcoming deployment, troops assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted humvee training, here, at the Blackwell Multi-Use Range March 12.

Capt. Jesse Anderson, C Company commander, mentored his engineers in utilizing the humvee's for possible route clearance missions on their future deployment.

"The training helps the Soldier understand the basis of putting the weapon in operation for combat," said Anderson, from Grand Marais, Minnesota.

The essential goal for the 4th BSTB field training exercise was familiarizing and qualifying each Soldier on the tactical vehicle's weapons systems so that they gain confidence in their equipment and enabling them to use overwhelming fire power to suppress the enemy, said Anderson.

Although a number of the Spartan Soldiers have had previous gunnery training, for some of the Soldiers, this was the first time they fired a weapon from a vehicle.

"We try and make the training as realistic as possible with what they might experience," said Michigan native, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Koths, one of the battalion's platoon sergeants. "The Soldiers are learning how to work together and develop crews," he said.

The battalion's humvees use either an M2 .50 caliber machine gun, M240B machine gun or the M249 Squad Automatic Weapons to engage targets out to 600 meters and complete the mission. Depending on the engagement, troops fired up to 800 rounds.

"It's a good feeling when you train a Soldier and they get something out of it," said Koths, "It lets you know that what you do makes a difference."