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    Operation Ready Force Breach

    Photo By Sgt. Brenton Nordyke | Army Reserve Soldier from the 444th Mobile Augmentation Company, 479th Engineering...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Brenton Nordyke 

    220th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT DRUM, New York - Every year, Army Reserve Soldiers, leaders and units increase capability and readiness through annual training exercises that enable them to support the Total Force and maintain combat readiness.

    This year Soldiers from the 444th Mobile Augmentation Company, 479th Engineering Battalion, received training on the M2 .50 caliber machine gun and the Mark 19 grenade launcher, March 20, 2018. The 444th MAC has been training here for the past 20 days participating in Ready Force Breach to improve the units' capabilities when using crew serve weapons.

    For the 444th MAC, Ready Force Breach provides an ideal training environment and scenarios to sharpen their skills and work as a team. Unlike traditional summer annual training, these Soldiers set out in cold weather gear ready to endure arctic like temperatures as they trained on the crew-serve weapons to bring the fight anywhere, in any condition.

    Ready Force Breach is an operational training exercise meant to cross train combat engineers into various occupational specialties within the Army engineer career field. This type of exercise allows the Soldiers to be more versatile, thus making them better prepared for deployments. The end result is to teach the importance of the three pillars of Army engineering: mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability.

    Soldiers started their training at the range with gunnery team qualifications, then moved into weapon familiarization to see their capabilities. The weapons training gave Soldiers experience shooting the Mark 19, an automatic 40 mm grenade launcher designed to eliminate enemy threats at distances up to 1,500 meters and the .50 caliber machine gun which is designed to bring the fight to enemy armored vehicles, and low-flying aircraft.

    In order to properly train the Soldiers, the unit leaders develop training tables that are designed to establish a common standard for skills by adding structure to the unit's training plan and ensuring a consistent battlefield result.

    “We've been doing Mark 19 and .50 cal weapons familiarization the past few days and gunnery team qualifications,” said Pvt. Paul Miller, a combat engineer assigned to the 444th MAC. “The unit has been making a lot of improvements since we started with our tables. A lot of the gun crews were skeptical at first, but now they've got behind the weapon and they've started to get familiar with it. We had a lot of people qualify.”

    According to Miller, the training definitely improves their readiness because the possibility is that they could go anywhere at any time. He felt it was colder than he would like it to be but it was good training.

    “Most of the time when you do your extended training it's two to three weeks in the summer,”said Sgt. Alex Ruffing, 444th MAC combat engineer,. “So its good to give the troops a chance to see what the cold weather is like.”

    The Army Reserve is prepared to go anywhere in the world at any time with maximum lethality. As part of their preparation, Soldiers receive training on multiple weapon systems that they will use on the ever-changing battlefield.

    “It makes us capable to fight in other terrains, countries, and areas so you're mentally prepared for different elements,” said Ruffing.

    The training here is making the Army Reserve the most lethal force in the history of the United States. After Task Force Breach, the 444th MAC will be ready to utilize their training to provide mobility, counter-mobility and survivability on the battlefield.



    Date Taken: 03.20.2018
    Date Posted: 03.27.2018 13:02
    Story ID: 270661
    Location: FORT DRUM, NY, US 

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