By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
McCoy’s mobilization range operations employees do more than just
observe ammunition being shot down range by mobilizing Soldiers during
Range Safety Officer Calvin
Marcellis (left) assists Staff Sgt. David Walker of the 464th
Quartermaster Company load ammunition during an M-9 live-fire
exercise. (Photo by Tom
to Scott Johnson, a range safety officer (RSO) for Team Eagle Systems,
"We provide Soldiers trust and confidence with their assigned
weapons, ‘marksmanship skills’ and a validation requirement for
deployment. The training we offer to these Soldiers gives us a sense
of pride that we have done everything we can possibly do before they
are sent into ‘harm’s way,’ and a good feeling that they will
come home safely."
Eagle systems is the contracted organization that provides
mobilization range operations services for the Fort McCoy Directorate
of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS).
our section is tasked to conduct live-fire training and qualification
ranges for all Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who are mobilizing and in
support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom," Johnson said.
"We prepare them as best we can for any weapons firing situation.
Safe operation of ranges and weapons firing is our primary
Eagle Systems also works closely with the 181st Infantry Brigade
weapons team that conducts all primary marksmanship training (PMT).
prepares and provides mobilizing Soldiers with regulatory guidance and
standards that prepare them for weapons qualification and what will be
expected prior to going to the range, Johnson said.
the range, the RSOs are, at one moment or another, at the shoulder of
every Soldier picking up a weapon and ammunition, and glancing at any
of hundreds of targets downrange.
Range Safety Officer Scott
Johnson (left) assists Spc. Deanna Lippert load a 40 mm grenade
into an M-203 grenade launcher attached to an M-4 rifle. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
help the Soldier with adjusting the sights of the weapon to engage the
target," Johnson said. "We want the Soldier to succeed. We
see Soldiers come out to the range unsure of what to do"
the end of the day they become qualified with their weapon, and know
they have completed a job well done. That’s the real satisfaction of
RSOs working this job. Our number one priority is to help the
Soldier." Johnson said.
McCoy’s mobilization training includes weapons from the 9 mm pistol
to the .50-caliber machine gun. That includes the M-4/M-16 rifle
series, M-240B machine gun, M-249 squad automatic weapon, M-203
grenade launcher and MK-19 automatic grenade launcher. Shotguns and
sniper rifles sometimes are employed in the arsenal as well.
Marcellis, one of the range managers with the Team Eagle Systems
staff, said, "Our team works with every Soldier having a hard
time manipulating their weapon."
are here to show them there are several ways to safely, successfully
and accurately shoot a weapon. We can figure out one way or another
for a Soldier to effectively utilize their weapon. We help build their
confidence and self-esteem to do it," he said.
coach them on different shooting techniques and the fundamentals of
shooting — body position, sight picture/sight alignment, trigger
squeeze and breath control," Marcellis said.
explained the complexity of the range firing process has the added
technical-mechanical aspect of the different close-combat optics,
night sights and lasers.
also noted most Team Eagle Systems RSOs have served in the military,
including Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Some of the team’s
personnel still are servicemembers with the National Guard or Reserve.
"We are prior-service, experienced personnel. It is a team
effort, and a well-choreographed system," he said.
is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc.,
contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)