[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        May 23, 2008
Training

Massachusetts field artillery unit 
conducts training at Fort McCoy

      FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- Your squad leader says 'go;' you and your buddy look at each other and each take a deep breath. Then, you kick open a door and enter an enemy stronghold while looking down the sights of your loaded rifle. The hallway is clear, but there's a door to your left and another to his right. Your squad leader says 'GO!'

Photo: A Soldier from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of Massachusetts encounters a scenario at Fort McCoy's Live-Fire Shoot House. (Photo by Billy Cargile)
A Soldier from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of Massachusetts encounters a scenario at Fort McCoy's Live-Fire Shoot House. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

      Moving through the Live-Fire Shoot House, kicking in doors, shooting targets and sounding off was the order of the day during extended combat training for Pfc. Michael Miskell, a cannoneer with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

      "It was awesome, good training," said Miskell, "I'm learning proven tactics that are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan."

      The 101st traveled to Fort McCoy to conduct live-fire artillery missions and to take advantage of the post's other facilities, such as the Live-Fire Shoot House and the Urban Assault Course.

      "My aim is to provide artillery-specific training with a focus on real-world mission training and scenarios in support of the Global War on Terror," said Lt. Col. Mark D. Schulze, Commander of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment.

Photo: Personnel from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of Massachusetts fire their howitzers at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Billy Cargile)
Personnel from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of Massachusetts fire their howitzers at Fort McCoy. 
(Photo by Billy Cargile)

      "My desired end-state is a complete training event that was both physically and mentally demanding. The training stressed leadership at all levels and included roles for platoon leaders and platoon sergeants in the preparation and development of the Squad Battle Drill LFX (live-fire exercise), (Live-Fire) Shoot House LFX, and Urban Assault Course," said Schulze.

      "We are working as a team, safely, with live ammunition and pulling together as a unit," said Staff Sgt. David Solari, a fire control sergeant with Bravo Battery.

      Solari, a veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, performed security force missions in Iraq and infantry missions in Afghanistan.

      "The unit is conducting dismounted infantry squad movement tactics in urban and rural environments," said Solari, "Real-world scenarios like the ones we are doing have an excellent training value because every Soldier is an infantryman."

(Lally is a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

 

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