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    New York Army Guard Cavalry Troopers hone mortar skills at annual training

    New York National Guard Cavalrymen hone mortar skills at Fort Drum

    Photo By Alexander Rector | Indirect-fire Infantrymen with the 2-101 Cavalry Squadron perform range operations...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Alexander Rector 

    New York National Guard

    FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Soldiers assigned to the New York Army National Guard’s 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry have been hard at work here honing their mortar marksmanship skills while supporting the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s (IBCT) annual training.

    The training brought together mortar crews from each of the squadron’s three troops, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, to train with the M120 and M224 mortar.

    “We’ve got a lot of rounds to shoot,” said Staff Sgt. John Brois, a section leader with Troop Alpha, out of Geneva, New York.

    The M224 Mortar is a 60mm, weapon with an effective range of nearly 3,500 meters. The M120, is twice the size of the M224, and can fire mortars nearly twice as far.

    The crews that operate these guns don’t fight alone though, their main mission is to use the mortar guns in order to assist ground troops.

    “We support the cavalry scouts,” Brois said. Cavalry scouts conduct mounted and/or dismounted reconnaissance and are known as the eyes and ears of any operation. “They can call us up on a fire mission, and we’ll fire on a target that they give us.”

    Each team consists of three Soldiers in order to operate the mortars.

    “You have a gunner, an assistant gunner, and an ammo-bearer,” said Brois, an Addison, New York, resident.

    The positions on the mortar team are earned through experience and proficiency, starting with the ammo-bearer and ending as a gunner.

    “I’ve been with the unit for 4 years and I’m the gunner for gun two,” said Spc. Jeff Clark an indirect-fire infantryman with Bravo Troop based out of Jamestown, N.Y. “Before I became a gunner, I had to be an assistant-gunner first; I had to work up to the position I am in now.”

    From there Soldiers get off the teams and become mentors and sections leaders like Brois.

    “We only get to do this once a year and we learn something new every time,” said Brois. “You can always better yourself; my job is to teach them and I just love doing it.”

    Nearly 4,000 Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard will continue to conduct their month-long training. The majority of the Soldiers come from the 27th IBCT whose main headquarters is out of Syracuse, New York.

    This annual training period is being used to provide each unit within the brigade an experience similar to a combat training center, and will better prepare them for their upcoming rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center scheduled for 2016.


    Date Taken: 07.16.2015
    Date Posted: 07.20.2015 12:09
    Story ID: 170536
    Location: FORT DRUM , NEW YORK, US

    Web Views: 120
    Downloads: 0