News: Tomahawks train up on call-for-fire
Story by Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment “Tomahawks”, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, took part in call-for-fire familiarization training enhanced by the use of a high-tech simulator, July 10.
The Call for Fire Trainer provides realistic observed fire training in support of all indirect fire and close air support mission tasks across simulated battlefield environments. Its capabilities are used to instruct all levels of personnel in tasks, procedures and mission planning.
“This is as effective as you can get in a classroom setting,” said 1st Lt. Scott Hasenpflug, fire support officer with Company C, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Regt.
You can do nearly everything you could in the field, he explained, describing the numerous possible scenarios and variables which can be re-created by the system and displayed on-screen in remarkably natural and convincing detail.
According to Chris Dorsey, CFFT instructor and operator, the unit was diligent in giving their soldiers the classroom portion of the training prior to arriving at the simulator, where they applied that knowledge.
One by one, soldiers aimed binoculars at the virtual landscape in front of them and called in their fire missions. Plumes of black smoke rose to the sky, notional targets neutralized.
An enemy stronghold, a convoy of trucks, a jet refueling in the open and an anti-aircraft site were all reduced to ruin under the impact of artillery shells after the necessary ranging adjustments.
“You can teach this in the classroom all you want, but for the soldiers it’s a lot easier to be able to see the cause and effect of what they’ve learned,” said Dorsey.
For Spc. Cody Webster, an infantryman with 2nd Platoon, Company C, his goal is to become proficient and able to train others in executing a call-for-fire, he said.
“It’s very good to be able to train these guys up without putting anyone in harm’s way,” said Dorsey. “It’s a great job,” he added. “I love training soldiers.”