News: Basic marksmanship key to success
Story by Capt. Michael Thompson
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — With surgical skill and violence of action, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers storm through doors and hallways of the Camp Shelby live-fire shoot house as part of training in preparation to the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan. The $3 million facility hosts 16 cameras, four entrances and 11 targets for dynamic training scenarios and on-screen after action review capabilities.
“This is the nuts and bolts of that worst case scenario you might see outside the wire where guys are practicing going into a hostile environment that is inside an urban setting,” said Maj. Matt Howard, security force officer in charge for the 48th IBCT who serves with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as a bomb technician. “So getting those fundamentals so where we can do that safely, learning what to shoot, and simultaneously, and sometimes more importantly, what not to shoot.”
The reflexive fire techniques use a combination of point shooting and sight-based shooting to create military tactical training to allow soldiers quick reaction in close quarter combat operations such as those in urban environments.
Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center became a mobilization site in June 2004 and continues to meet the challenges of providing for our nation’s defense by serving as a mobilization training center. It is the largest state-owned mobilization site in the nation, and supports a wide variety of training and logistical support activities. Camp Shelby has mobilized and demobilized over 200,000 service members since beginning its mission as a U.S. Army Forces Command Primary Force Generation installation.
“Marksmanship is the key,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eddie Fonoti, an observer-coach/trainer from the 158th Infantry Brigade evaluating 48th soldiers from an elevated walkway after they clear the rooms, pointing out mistakes and providing tips on how to do it better. “Without marksmanship, you will not eliminate the threat.”
First Army Division East subordinate units, the 177th Armored Brigade and the 158th Infantry Brigade, advise, assists and trains reserve component units in accordance with Department of the Army and U.S. Army Forces Command directives in order to prepare units to achieve Army Force Generation-directed readiness requirements. These units provide valuable training assistance to enhance the 48th IBCT’s readiness for their assigned overseas deployment missions.
The Georgia National Guard continues to provide interoperability to global operations through continued combat rotations to Afghanistan in support of ongoing contingencies, stability operations and Defense Support of Civil Authorities at home. The 48th IBCT spent most of 2013 preparing for their future overseas deployments to Afghanistan. Additionally, the 48th IBCT was the first Army National Guard unit selected to support the Department of Defense’s Regionally Aligned Forces mission and will deploy select units to Central America to advise and train military forces of partner nations in 2014.