FORT HOOD, Texas – An infantryman can take on several roles in the U.S. Army and one of the roles is marching into battle. However, some of the 1st Cavalry Division’s infantry soldiers roll into battle with M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Infantrymen with Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd “Greywolf” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. trained and qualified gunnery Table XII, Oct. 17, within training areas here.
The crews began their gunnery with Tables II through VI in early August. These tables focused on developing the drivers’ skills. They also helped to develop the coordination between the three mounted crewmembers, who operate the Bradley and the six soldiers who dismount – or exit the Bradley to face obstacles – both to eliminate enemy objectives.
During Table VI, they also live-fire qualified with the Bradley’s main weapon – a 25mm M242 Bushmaster cannon.
“The guys are very good at what they do,” said 2nd Lt. Scott Severance, a platoon leader with A Company and Hanford, Calif., native. “They’re very proficient at it.”
In addition, the Troopers are required to go beyond Table VI and complete Table IX. This Table evaluated dismounted soldiers’ tactical and gunnery skills on stationary and moving targets over a period of four days and three nights.
“I’m kind of anxious to figure out what all I get to do,” said Pvt. Brandon Mealer, a dismounted infantryman with A Company and Brewton, Ala., native. “This is what I signed up for. It’s my job, and I like it.”
The Trooper’s training and qualifications continued to Table XII, where four crews came together to form their platoon and execute a mission together. The platoons were evaluated on their execution of collective tasks within a live-fire environment.
The purpose was to form a cohesive platoon and maneuver through the range to attack the enemy as a unit, said Sgt. Nelson Rosa, an infantryman with A Company and native of Puerto Rico.
Severance said that it’s basically the platoon leaders working with their platoons and that it was going to be a good learning experience for him.
Mounted crewmembers engaged enemy threats when possible. When it was not practical for the Bradley to engage, the dismounted infantrymen were informed of the issue, and they exited the vehicle to handle it – such as clearing a house or a gulch.
“Whenever they need us, we’ll dismount, clear a trench, clear a bunker … and just make sure we are executing to standard,” said Sgt. Anthony Johnson, a native of Merced, Calif., and team chief with A Company Table XII does not have a time limit for the platoons, but it does have a high standard of completing each task.
“I feel we’ve done pretty good – I mean we’ve had new guys come in, and they’ve pretty much just picked up right where we left off before,” Johnson said. “There’s really no lagging in any areas.”