News: Paratroopers help validate Sniper Range
Story by Sgt. Terrance Payton
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, tested their marksmanship skills as they participated in a sniper range Oct. 16, 2013.
Two sniper teams from each of the brigade combat teams took part in the division lead training, which will validate the newly built range that is scheduled to open soon. The feedback from this validation process will help determine if any changes are needed prior to the range opening.
“The best thing about this range is re-familiarizing with moving targets,” said Spc. Chandler Bray, an infantryman with 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, who has attended Sniper School. “Its not just known distance and a fixed target, so it’s good to be able to test what you have on a moving target.”
The range will be the first sniper field firing range at Bragg. With targets ranging from 100-meters to 1000-meters, the Paratroopers have to consider distance, elevation, weather conditions as well as adjustments to their sight picture prior to engaging the target.
“The range is going to improve the brigade by giving us a capability that we don’t currently have, which is the ability to engage moving targets,” said Staff Sgt. Raymond Miller, brigade master gunner with Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “There are vary few ranges outside of Fort Benning where you actually get the chance to engage moving targets.”
“The moving targets are a bit more challenging, but it’s a good thing,” said Spc. Ralph Almaguer, and infantryman with 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. “Different scenarios with targets moving at different speeds keep you alert and keep you ready. Its great practice.”
“This is the first time most of the soldiers have shot moving targets since sniper school or basic training,” said Miller. “It’s a perishable skill. If you don’t constantly refine what you need to do to actually engage moving targets it can go away.”
“In places like Afghanistan and Iraq targets never remain stationary,” said Miller. “Giving them this capability is going to make them a more lethal, more effective warfighter than they currently are.”
“I’m still learning the position and still getting used to being behind the gun,” said Almaguer. “This training will help me be more valuable to my section.”
Bray went on to say that this was the furthest range that they have been able to shoot at Bragg which was a positive.