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    Brigade Soldiers participate in U.S Army Small Arms Championship

    Cyber Brigade Soldiers participate in U.S Army Small Arms Championship

    Photo By Steven Stover | FORT BENNING, Ga. – Soldiers from E Company, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion...... read more read more



    Story by Steven Stover 

    780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber)

    FORT BENNING, Ga. – Soldiers from E Company, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), participated in the U.S Army Small Arms Championship (All Army), an advanced combat live-fire training event held by the U.S Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), March 8 – 14.

    During the event Soldiers representing units from U.S. Army Special Forces Command, U.S. Army Forces Command, ROTC Programs, National Guard and Reserve components, competed in various events to include multiple combat rifle and pistol matches.

    Overall, the team from Echo Company, Staff Sgt. James Hansen, Sgt. Justin Gershen, Sgt. Rachael Nuttall, all signals intelligence analysts (35N), and Sgt. Matthew Santiago, a cyber operations specialist (17C), improved from their second to last place finish last year, in their first year competing, to place 41st out of 45 teams. Additionally, two team members placed in the top 40 percent of all competitors. Out of 235 competitors in this year’s competition, Hansen ranked 142nd and Gershen ranked 150th.

    Hansen stated their rakings “may not seem very high, but the level of competition is very high.” He then went on to explain how the competition is conducted.

    “The number of matches that a competitor has to compete in range from combat pistol matches ranging from 10 to 35 meters in the standing, kneeling and prone positions in various time constraints that range from target engagements in 3-15 second strings; to combat rifle matches that ranged from 100 to 500 yards standing, kneeling and prone positions,” said Hansen. “All courses of fire are conducted under timed strings of fire. The competition also includes a day of multi-gun matches that allow competitors to engage with both weapon systems against multiple cardboard and steel targets and awarding points based off time to complete each stage and number of hits on targets.”

    Hansen, the team leader for this year’s competition, said it was Capt. Joe Lucas, the former E Company commander, who inspired the company Soldiers to compete at this level.

    “The training is excellent,” said Hansen. “The ability to compete against all types of shooters, and then bring back those learned skills and techniques from some of the best shooters in the military, will make our formations better.”

    Gershen said units benefit from the team member’s attendance.

    “(We are) able to teach soldiers at all levels the shooting techniques learned, which cover both fundamental and advanced techniques for both weapons systems we employ,” said Gershen. “Things that we learned include: firing positions, sight picture/alignment, trigger squeeze, breathing and long distance target engagement with an M4 with irons and optics. I will pass these lessons on by teaching Sergeant’s Time Training, and being at future ranges, to enable a positive learning environment and provide guidance during live fires.”

    “Personally, I learned how to create a steady standing position to fire the rifle from, as well as a new technique of how to hold the rifle in the kneeling position so as to have greater control of the weapon and more steadiness while firing,” said Nuttall.

    “I learned how to calm myself down and how to breathe while shooting. I also learned how to stabilize my kneeling position to have better accuracy,” added Santiago. “I will pass on what I know during range days with the company, showing my soldiers the tips and tricks to make them better shooters.”

    The team’s travel was funded by the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber) and next year’s team will either be led by Gershen, who will attend the Special Forces Assessment and Selection later this year, or Santiago. Nuttall “wishes she could attend next year,” but she was recently selected to attend the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy where she will use her “learned skills to train new Soldiers.”

    For those interested in joining the team, future competitors can contact Gershen or Santiago. Throughout the year they will be developing a base threshold competitors will have to meet in order to be considered for the team.



    Date Taken: 06.10.2020
    Date Posted: 06.10.2020 11:47
    Story ID: 371810
    Location: FORT BENNING, GA, US 

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