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    Cold Steel Task Force Boosts Lethality for Army Reserve and National Guard

    Cold Steel Task Force Boosts Lethality for Army Reserve and National Guard

    Photo By Sgt. Javier Amador | Sgt. Joshua Kohon, a native of Lake Forest, Illinois, and a weapons instructor with...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Javier Amador 

    210th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Ft. McCoy, Wis. - Soldiers with the 489th Transportation Company, 143rd Sustainment Command Expeditionary (TCSC) out of Jacksonville, Fla., conducted a tactical vehicle crew-served weapon qualification range July 25, 2019.

    The range is part of the 2019 Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 86-19-03 with a mission to increase the lethality posture of Army Reserve and National Guard units.

    Crew-served weapons normally, such as the M270 series, M249 series machine gun, as well as the Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher, require more than one Soldier to operate . Gunnery ranges are implemented as part CSTX operations in order to re-familiarize soldiers in their weapons systems use. This type of training enables units to maintain Soldier confidence and their overall combat effectiveness.

    “Out here right now, we are conducting live-fire exercises for the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle), firing different weapons systems, kind of getting a feel for those weapons systems,” said Sgt. Joshua Kohon, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., and a weapons instructor with the Task Force Cold Steel Mobile Training Team (MTT), 86th Training Division out of Ft. McCoy.

    “When we receive the troops, we take them through a (electronic) simulator. Their second day with us is all dry fire and blank fire, running them through the (gunnery) tables so we can give them an idea of what to expect. And on their third and final day, they have live fire. They will go down one time per day and one time per night.”

    The live-fire qualification standards are scenario driven tasks which test the ability of the designated convoy commanders. MTT trainers like Kohon, evaluate the crews on the performance of each task.

    “They have snipers they have to engage and call out. They have chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks (CBRN), they have to perform a call for fire. And finally, they have to secure a landing zone and call up a nine-line for medical help.”

    Sgt. Thomas Gearhart of the 489th brought a group of nine Soldiers that he organized into three vehicles for the exercise. Gearhart, a native of Walla Walla, Wash., and senior motor transport operator for his unit, found the training to be a good indication of the gradual approach Army forces are taking when training Soldiers. He credits the training with giving him and his crew the knowledge and assurance they need to perfect their teamwork and increasing their lethality on the battlefield.

    “They were a little anxious before the live-fire, but as we went through the different stages of the training, their confidence grew. We completed a three-vehicle convoy through the live-fire exercise with no (safety) incidents. It was definitely a good process for us.”

    Spc. Kendall Honican of Cincinnati, Ohio and a water treatment specialist with the 810th Quartermaster Company, 643rd Regional Support Group, out of Maineville, Ohio was a gunner for her unit's convoy. She remarked that she appreciated the training and feels that she is prepared to do her job on any missions to come.

    “Today was the first time I went through the live-fire exercise, which was a little terrifying, but now we're doing really well. We've gotten a lot faster and more proficient.”

    Gunnery expertise is one of the most decisive factors in ensuring victory on the battlefield. It is a skill set that Reserve units need to maintain, and one that the Cold Steel MTTs play a pivotal role in developing.

    “We have to increase lethality. The Army Reserve is lacking gunnery (training) so we are here to set a standard, implement that standard, and ensure troops enforce that standard. We are also a tool for the Army to use to receive gunnery (training). I do not check boxes. I will only give them a go when I know they are ready.”



    Date Taken: 07.25.2019
    Date Posted: 08.01.2019 15:26
    Story ID: 334122
    Location: FT. MCCOY, WI, US

    Web Views: 94
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