|Realistic, hands-on mortar training highlighted a
live-fire weekend for an Illinois Army National Guard cavalry squadron
at Fort McCoy.
Members of the 2nd, 106th
Cavalry Squadron, an Illinois Army National Guard unit, fire a 120 mm
mortar shell during a training scenario at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Moncrief, a mortar section leader for
the 2nd, 106th Cavalry Squadron of Dixon, Ill., said two mortar
sections conducted 120 mm mortar training at Fort McCoy during a
The training included firing daylight and illuminated mortar rounds,
“We can do dry drills on a football field or a one-acre sized
location back home,” Moncrief said. “But training at an Army
installation allows us to do the full range of training and to use
Unit personnel also get to train on related skills needed for a fire
mission, including scouting, observing, locating and engaging an
enemy with fire and using indirect-fire procedures, he said.
Training at Fort McCoy allows unit members to learn and practice the
techniques to find and locate targets and how to incorporate the
skills needed to fire mortars.
“There’s only so much you can do with dry-fire drills,” Moncrief
said. “This gives us work to improve our skills and develop the
teamwork we need to accomplish a mission. It adds to the realism of
Personnel learn how to give and receive fire commands and set the
data sights on the weapons system, he said.
“It means a little more to the troops when they have the actual
rounds in their hands and they have to go through the steps to
fire,” Moncrief said. “It creates the stress you have firing the
mortar and the realism helps them prepare for the mission.”
Unit members also took advantage of other training opportunities at
Fort McCoy, such as training in vehicle-recovery operations.
For more information about scheduling ranges at Fort McCoy, call