By First Lt. Michael Smith, 3-3 BCTMay 27, 2010
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank are resources Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, use that provide an advantage over the enemy.
Without the knowledge to properly employ those resources, the Soldiers lose that advantage.
In order to maintain their skills, 2nd Bn., 69th AR Aca,!A"Panther,Aca,!A? Soldiers constantly train to better themselves.
Battalion Soldiers conducted training with their tracked vehicles April 29 - May 8 at the Besmaya Range Complex, Diyala Province, Iraq. This opportunity enabled the Soldiers to improve their gunnery skills.
The gunnery training started with a safety brief. Then crewmembers conducted the Gunnery Skills Test, which included loading and unloading ammunition.
Aca,!A"Training on these perishable skills keeps Soldiers familiar with the equipment and is the cornerstone of operational success,Aca,!A? said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Holland, 2nd Bn., 69th AR, from Wooster, Ohio.
The training enables crews to become proficient on operating their equipment.
After completing several tasks, the crews move to their first position. Once there, the tank and Bradley commanders give commands to the gunner, and the crew engages a set of targets.
All tasks are graded by a crew evaluator. Upon completion of the table, the crews receive an Aca,!A"after-action reviewAca,!A? from the evaluator to let the crew know their weaknesses and strengths.
According to the 2nd Bn., 69th AR, leadership, the gunnery training was a success for all crews that participated. It was a great experience for the Panther Soldiers too, giving them the opportunity to brush up on their skills, the leadership said.