RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE RANGE, South Korea – Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, who are attached to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division for a nine-month rotation in the Republic of Korea, conducted a collective gunnery at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, South Korea, from June 14 to July 11. The gunnery allowed Soldiers to qualify to be certified to execute combat operations.
The Soldiers participated in a walk-thru leading up to the gunnery exercises. They used the crawl, walk, run process where they practiced how to operate the weapons safely all the way through until each individual Soldier was able to qualify with their weapon system.
Throughout the process, Soldiers gained confidence in what they had learned and the capabilities of their equipment. The exercise also allowed the Soldiers to gain valuable feedback from the experts.
“It’s great to see what areas they’re strong in and what they need to improve,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jose Padilla, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-12th Cav. Regt., and a native of Methuen, Mass.
The gunnery allowed Soldiers, who had participated in the exercise in the past, to gain a new perspective and lend a helping hand to those engaging in the learning process for the first time.
“It was fun to see it from an observational perspective,” said Padilla. “I was able to help platoons execute better or to tell them what to sustain, all while helping them learn to trust their equipment.”
Gaining confidence in their knowledge and equipment gives Soldiers the ability to go into combat and succeed at a moment’s notice, giving them the ability to “Fight Tonight” if the need arises.
“If these Soldiers can go out there and perform well, then there’s no reason why they won’t feel confident doing this in a real-life combat scenario,” said Padilla.
“Our unit is here to support and enforce our Republic of Korea partnerships,” said Maj. Jared Rudacille, an operations officer with 1-12th Cav. Regt., and a native of York, Pa. “We also are solidifying our workings with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and the 2nd Infantry Division.”
The gunnery allows Soldiers to practice the fundamentals of their areas of expertise, while carrying out the basics of their jobs that they may not get to practice in garrison. This necessary training helps Soldiers to gain newfound knowledge as they brush up on skills that may have become rusty.
The Soldiers trained in every area necessary to be capable and competent at their jobs, including how to handle a vehicle rollover and working on fire commands to make sure everyone says the proper commands at the right time.
“Our Soldiers really look forward to coming out here and get back to the basics,” said Rudacille. “This is the bread and butter of what we do.”