News: Infantrymen fire into platoon-level training
FORT STEWART, Ga. – After becoming proficient with individual, team and squad-level tasks, soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, took training to the next degree and conducted platoon live-fire exercises, May 15-18.
With 130 rounds per rifleman, more than 30 ‘China Battalion’ soldiers advanced into a simulated battled field together with the same objectives in mind - to perfect their platoon’s tactical movements and to defeat the unknown “enemies” that lurked ahead.
The enemies, in this situation, were pop-up targets that the soldiers spotted amidst Fort Stewart, Ga.’s, dense underbrush and woodlands. And though these enemies did not fire back, Sgt. 1st Class Alphonso McLaughlin said that the training still offered the Troops a practical feel for proper platoon-level procedures.
“We try to make it as realistic as possible,” the platoon sergeant with Company A, 3rd Bn., 15th Inf. Regt., said. “It helps stress to my soldiers that they need to move with a purpose, get behind cover and fight through—even if you are tired.”
The live-fire lane was about 1600 meters long, and along the route the Infantrymen had to react to encountering a suspicious vehicle, simulated improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance, multiple enemy personnel and simulated friendly causalities. The troops also had to call for fire and integrate mortar support during what turned into an hour-long operation.
Sgt. 1st Class McLaughlin said that the focus of the training was not only for his soldiers to showcase their firing and maneuvering ability on enemy forces, but it also tested his squad leaders’ ability to make correct fire and movement commands.
“It can get tricky at the platoon level,” he said, emphasizing the importance of good communication on the battlefield. “We don’t want to commit fratricide.”
One of the squad leaders with Company A, Sgt. Matthew Caron, said that the training was beneficial in that it illustrated to his soldiers that the battlefield is ever-changing.
“Situation changes from time to time and you have to be willing to change with it, adapt and overcome,” he said. “This training gives us an idea of how to react to possible enemy situations, so we’ll know just what to do if we ever are faced with the enemy.”
Caron said the platoon-level training was a milestone for the soldiers in his unit. Battalion executive officer Maj. John McLaughlin agreed.
“The live fire lanes are where we make our money,” he said to the soldiers during their after action review. “It’s where you are going to save lives later on.”
Date Posted:05.25.2012 13:36
Location:FORT STEWART, GA, US
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