By Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsOctober 23, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Infantrymen have longed utilized their skills in combat to conduct movement on foot, but in keeping with the armor tradition, they have began qualifying on their Bradleys.
More than a dozen Bradley crews from B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted Gunnery Table V live-fire exercises at Jack Mountain Multiuse Range, here Oct. 15 to 16.
Table V is the final step before Bradley crews participate in their individual crew Table VI qualification, said Capt. Travis Walter, B Co. Commander. Crews participated in Tables I through IV the week prior to ensure their Bradley's, weapons systems and communication equipment functioned properly.
The three- to four-man crews engaged simulated targets utilizing different scenarios ensuring their proficient in their positions while building team cohesion, Walter added.
"We need to see that crew cohesion, knowing they will work together to have an efficient engagement time while properly identifying the target during both day and night scenarios," he said.
As most crew members were infantrymen who never participated in a Gunnery or mechanized exercise, it was key that experienced Soldiers took the lead.
"Our unit has a handful of individuals with gunnery experience and (B Co. leaders) look to them to train, coach and mentor the less experienced," Walter stated.
Spc. Stephen Miller said he was thankful for the experiences taught by his peers.
"I have a better understanding of the weapons systems and maintenance because of the invaluable knowledge passed on to me by my Bradley commander," Miller added, an infantryman with B Co.
Experienced infantrymen went a step further during training to ensure their less experienced crewmembers are ready for the qualification table.
"We built on the foundations of our craft, ensuring we know our positions within the Bradley, our weapons, and how to maintain and repair the equipment, which seems to be the greatest challenge for us," said Sgt. Jonathan Lane.
Despite the maintenance challenges, Lane was impressed with his crew's performance, and confident they would succeed in the Table VI crew qualification.
"The crew did really well. We clarified a lot of issues and improved since Table II," Lane added, an infantryman with B Co. "Doing so well through the challenges says a lot about my crew."
Walter said while all crews did well and are ready for qualification, he wants the crews to focus on the experience, fundamentals and cohesion rather than chasing a high score.
"A little healthy competition is good," Walter said, "but I would like the crews to go into Table VI and come out qualifying with a great experience, being proficient in their fundamentals and with a greater cohesiveness among the crewmembers."
B Co. is scheduled to conduct Tables VII through XII next month.