[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                    November 27, 2009 
Training

Weapons qualification among tasks mobilizing Soldiers must complete

Story & Photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems and Services

Weapons qualification may seem like a simple and very basic task on a list of approximately 20 warrior tasks that all mobilizing Soldiers are required to successfully complete and certify on during their training at Fort McCoy.

This task is the most important one of all, according to Stan Seipel, lead supervisor for range operations.

Photo: With both thumbs pressing on the “butterfly” trigger, Pvt. Jesse Stull keeps his eye focused on the rear iron sight of the M-2 .50-caliber machine gun he is firing on a Fort McCoy range. Stull is with the 162nd Engineer Company of Dallas, Ore., which is training to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by Tom Michele)
With both thumbs pressing on the “butterfly” trigger, Pvt. Jesse Stull keeps his eye focused on the rear iron sight of the M-2 .50-caliber machine gun he is firing on a Fort McCoy range. Stull is with the 162nd Engineer Company of Dallas, Ore., which is training to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The number one reason the weapons training and qualification is conducted is to save Soldiers’ lives and to protect their comrades during a time when they may need to use that weapon, while operating in a threat environment.”

“Mobilization training will be their last chance to live-fire and qualify with their assigned weapons before they deploy,” Seipel said. “Weapons qualification includes learning how to operate their weapons while building Soldiers’ proficiency, confidence and trust to employ the weapon the way it was designed to be utilized.”

Weapons that Soldiers are trained on during their mobilization training at Fort McCoy consist of the; M-16 series/M-4 rifle, M-249 squad automatic rifle, M-249 light machine gun, M-240B light machine gun, M-2 .50-caliber machine gun, M-203 grenade launcher, MK-19 40MM grenade machine gun and the M-9 pistol.

Weapons qualification conducted on live-fire ranges consists of hitting a target or targets. Distances are as close as seven meters for individual weapons and up to 1,300 meters for crew-served weapon systems. Some of the positions the weapons are fired from are the prone, kneeling, standing, and a series that includes firing while wearing protective masks, on some of these weapon systems.

The 181st Infantry Brigade weapons team conducts all pre-marksmanship training (PMT) for all mobilizing Soldiers.

PMT training is conducted before Soldiers move to a live-fire range and, more specifically, it is designed to prepare them for the range.

At a minimum PMT consists of; disassembly, cleaning and re-assembly of weapons, Seipel said.

 

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