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    353rd Transportation Company Perform Four-Day Weapons Qualification

    Army Reserve Soldiers Wait as Grenade Explode

    Photo By Sgt. Adriane Kientzy | Soldiers from the 353rd Transportation Company throw live grenades for qualification...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Adriane Kientzy 

    103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

    CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 353rd Transportation Company, located in Buffalo, Minn. drove their M915A2 semi-tractor to Camp Ripley on June 21, 2017 to conduct a four-day weapons qualification during their one-weekend a month battle assembly for the Army Reserve.

    The Soldiers prepared their assigned M16 rifles for qualification at the zero range immediately upon arrival at Camp Ripley. They were also able to conduct mandatory classes after spending the day traveling and zeroing their rifles.

    The next day was followed by shooting at the qualification range with popup targets. After qualifying on the rifle range the Soldiers also took the time train, shoot and qualify while wearing a nuclear, biological and chemical (also known as NBC) protective mask. Other Soldiers assigned with an M249 squad automatic weapon, a light machine gun, conducted a zero and qualification on their weapons.

    Intermingled with the qualification range was Army Warrior Tasks conducted by the 457th Transportation Battalion. Soldiers were taught about their basic warrior skills, such as how to evaluate a casualty, determine land marks and figures, and how to call in a 9-line medical evacuation. Other Soldiers were brought to the night vision goggle (NVG) driving course to familiarize themselves with the course for the night time training.

    Groups of Soldiers simultaneously completed the night driving course as soon as night fell. “This is the coolest thing I have ever seen,” stated 1st Lt. Christian Olson as he looked through the goggles at the dark area around and the sky above.

    Other Soldiers remained on the rifle range for night time qualifications with their M16 Rifles. Once they completed their task, they swapped places and completed the other training being conducted.

    Crew-served weapons training started on Saturday. Soldiers broke into teams and zeroed their M240B machine gun moving onto the pop up qualification course. After the teams had qualified Soldiers were allowed to familiarize themselves with the weapon system by doing fan fire, or just shooting freely on the range.

    The company then switched to the .50 caliber heavy machine gun for qualification and familiarization.

    When asked what his favorite part of the weekend was Sgt. David Melanz stated, “Shooting the .50 Cal because it’s a great weapon system – It’s exhilarating to shoot."

    Other Soldiers were taken to the grenade range for an opportunity to practice and throw live grenades. They started with dummy rounds for practice before moving onto live grenades. “It was fun to throw them because it doesn’t happen very often,” said Pvt. Benjamin Uke. “It was a new and fun opportunity.”

    Although the company returned to Buffalo to download all the equipment that was needed to complete the required training and to clean the weapons they fired, the training didn’t stop however. The company also completed Master Resiliency Training – teaching Soldiers how to be resilient in their civilian and military life.

    Pvt. Nickolas Irvine, a new Soldier, had a lot to share about his first weekend with the unit. “It went a lot faster than I thought it would,” said Irvine. “Shooting the .50 cal for the first time and seeing how far the rounds can go was a lot of fun. We got in a lot of good training.”



    Date Taken: 09.24.2017
    Date Posted: 09.26.2017 14:37
    Story ID: 249681
    Location: CAMP RIPLEY, MN, US 
    Hometown: BUFFALO, MN, US
    Hometown: CAMP RIPLEY, MN, US

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