Fort McCoy News Oct. 14, 2016

Artillery Soldiers train on battery marksmanship

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment (1st, 121st) completed five days of Battery Marksmanship Improvement Training on five weapons at Fort McCoy in late September.

Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment of the Wisconsin National Guard train on the M249 machine gun on Range 26 at Fort McCoy.
Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment of the
Wisconsin National Guard train on the M249 machine gun on Range 26
at Fort McCoy.



Sgt. Fredrick Wuhrman (left), training noncommissioned officer for 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment, Battery A, helps fellow Soldiers gather up ammunition during training at Range 26.
Sgt. Fredrick Wuhrman (left), training noncommissioned officer for
1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment, Battery A, helps fellow
Soldiers gather up ammunition during training at Range 26.

"Soldiers gain (proficiency) on multiple weapons that they might not normally use," said 1st Sgt. Scott Hale, Battery A first sergeant and battalion operations noncommissioned officer in charge for the 1st, 121st. "This was our first attempt at conducting the course, and our hope is this will lead to more training of this kind in the future."

The entire training effort included 21 Soldiers — 18 of whom were students. The Soldiers trained on the M4 rifle; M240, M249, and M2 .50-caliber machine guns; and the Mark 19 grenade launcher. The Soldiers trained primarily at Fort McCoy's Range 26, one of the installation's 31 live-fire ranges. Sgt. Fredrick Wuhrman, training noncommissioned officer for 1st, 121st Battery A, said the training went well.

"The students soaked up the training," Wuhrman said. "Throughout the training, we were identifying solutions for improvements for future classes, too.

"Also, since this was essentially a 'train the trainer' course, the Soldiers who completed this training will be able to share what they've learned with other Soldiers throughout the unit," Wuhrman said.

Hale said the training helps Soldiers to be better shooters and also better trainers so they can help increase proficiency in unit marksmanship and weapons-related tasks.

"We worked for a while to get this training set up," Hale said. "I was glad to see how well it worked out."

Future versions of this training likely will take place at Fort McCoy, Hale said.

The 1st, 121st is part of the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, which is based out of Milwaukee. Attached to the 1st, 121st is Battery A located in Sussex, Wis.; Battery B in Plymouth, Wis.; and the 108th Forward Support Company, also located in Sussex. The 1st, 121st operates the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

For more information about training opportunities at Fort McCoy, call the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Training Division at 608-388-5038.