Spouses of U.S. Army Africa's Security Cooperation Division (SCD) members enjoyed a social outing in Vicenza, April 25. Of course, living in Italy one would naturally think perhaps these ladies spent a day purse shopping, shoe shopping, or maybe even participating in an Italian cooking class, right? But, no -- these ladies spent the day at the Caserme Ederle firing range!
Mac Lake, training support specialist and engagement skills trainer operator, said "The Ladies of SCD" exceeded his expectations.
"They were exceptional, grasped the techniques very quickly, and shot to standards," Lake said. "We only had three hours and they listened, were very receptive to the instructions given and did a fantastic job."
Catherine Seltzer Mitchell said when she and her husband, Col. Timothy Mitchell, chief of SCD, were assigned to the U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, she had the rare and exciting opportunity to participate in a live fire range with a visiting Navy Seal team.
"From the experience, I learned not only a little about using various weapons, but I was also exposed first-hand to the professional training that our servicemembers receive," Catherine said. "That was over five years ago, and that experience remains one of the highlights of our tour in Chad."
A few months ago, Mitchell along with other officers in SCD used the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) in preparation for their Annual Weapons Qualification.
"Remembering how much I enjoyed the firing range in Chad, my husband thought this might be a great opportunity for our spouses, so together we coordinated the event," Catherine said. "The facility provided a safe environment to expose spouses to the type of training our husbands undergo... and an opportunity for our spouse group to do something out of the norm."
Fay Ryan, who is now the resource manager for USARAF Operations, previously worked in SCD and remains an honorary member of the group.
"Mac showed us how to use the weapon, and I learned a lot," Ryan said. "Mostly I enjoyed being together with everyone and the camaraderie -- it was just fun being together."