News: Mustang’ soldiers conduct gunnery, build on crew relations
Story by Sgt. Quentin Johnson
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Regardless if they are deployed or stateside, soldiers continue to join together and train as one to hone their skills.
Soldiers from Companies C and D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment “Mustangs,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a modified Table VI tank gunnery exercise at a training site near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Nov. 21 – 24.
Reasons for the exercise were twofold - to have tank crews operational if they are called to a future mission, and familiarize crew members to each other and their positions in the tank, explained 1st Lt. Nicholas Potter, platoon leader for Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment.
Unlike a full-scale gunnery Table VI, which encompasses five day and five night engagements, Mustang troops only performed the day engagements, said Potter who hails from Strongsville, Ohio.
More than eight tank crews shot five engagements each at multiple targets utilizing four weapons systems to include: a 120 mm cannon, a 7.62 COAX machine gun, a 240B machine gun and a .50-caliber Browning machine gun, he explained.
“The engagements were set as a defensive posture, offensive posture and simultaneous where the gunner, tank commander and loader used the main gun and three machine guns to combat simulated enemy soldiers and tanks,” continued Potter.
Crew changes were made during the Mustangs time in Iraq, he said. Until now, the crew members have not had a chance to work together and may have switched positions within the tank.
“These are all different crews. There were changes to gunner positions and we introduced seven new tank commanders,” said Potter. “Despite the changes, they did excellent.”
Seeing their excellence firsthand was Sgt. Russell Meadows, a tank commander for Company D and five-time deployed veteran. He said coming into the gunnery he had high expectations of his new crew and they were all met.
“It was amazing to see how the younger soldiers of my crew improved in just four days,” explained Meadows.
More experienced crew members worked with the new or less experienced soldiers to build their confidence and familiarize them with their equipment, added Meadows from Fort Stewart, Ga.
“Platoon cohesion was good. The more experienced soldiers helped familiarize the younger soldiers to what they would be doing within their crew positions in the future,” he said.
With their gunnery achievements behind them, Potter said the tank crews from Companies C and D are more than qualified to take on any mission if they are called upon to do so.