FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A team of paratroopers toting a litter sprinted to the aid of four casualties trapped inside a Humvee. They each rushed to a door and pulled their comrades from the vehicle. The Troopers loaded the wounded onto the litter and carried them to safety, one-by-one. With the enemy less than 100 meters away, the team took cover and engaged their adversaries from rooftops, doorways and around corners, eliminating the forces as quickly as possible.
Along with the sounds of gunfire were cheers and good-natured taunts coming from Paratroopers on the sidelines. More than 30 Paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, volunteered to compete in the Saturday Proficiency Marksmanship Program on April 14. Hosted by the 2BCT’s 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, the Troopers came in on their day off to spend extra time on the range.
“The only thing that makes a shooter better is trigger time,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Eldridge, 1-325th AIR’s master gunner and native of Philadelphia. “This is a way to keep those combat skills sharp.”
Each wielding an M4 carbine and an M9 pistol, the volunteers were broken down into teams of four. To stimulate their adrenaline and make the competition more combat-related, the first event was a littler-carry. Each team evacuated four dummies from a Humvee, carrying each “casualty” about 50 meters to a pre-designated point. Once the dummies were out of harm’s way, each team member rushed to his specified station on the range and their time started.
Each station consisted of five different barriers the Troopers were required to fire from, as well as a Keep In Memory System list. The soldiers quickly checked the KIMS list at each barrier, which specified which targets were marked as enemy combatants and which targets were civilians or coalition forces. The team’s time stopped when all members had fired from each barrier and expended all of his ammunition. Time was added to each team’s total for misses and hitting incorrect targets.
The event was an opportunity for soldiers to gain proficiency at transitioning between two weapons, said Capt. Brendan Terry, commander of A Company, 1-325th AIR.
This extra training is especially beneficial to troopers with less experience on the range. Pfc. Michael Galloway, an infantryman assigned to A Company, 1-325th AIR, just arrived to the unit last month. The Russellville, Ala., native said he volunteered to participate in the SPMP to become a more skilled marksman.
Although the competition was designed to be a fun event in which soldiers could test themselves against their peers, it also promoted muscle memory and allowed soldiers to gain familiarity with weapons they may not use on a regular basis, said Terry, a Columbia, Md. native. “The more opportunities a soldier has to get his hands on a weapon and put rounds down range, the better.”
|Date Posted:||04.19.2012 21:14|
|Location:||FORT BRAGG, NC, US|
|Hometown:||COLUMBIA, MD, US|
|Hometown:||PHILADELPHIA, PA, US|
|Hometown:||RUSSELLVILLE, AL, US|
|Hometown:||SAN ANTONIO, TX, US|
This work, Trigger Time: Falcons race the clock and each other at Saturday Proficiency Marksmanship Program, by SSG Kissta DiGregorio, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.