Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment “Iron Rangers,” 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division are spending the majority of September in the field where they will conduct a variety of training that increases their readiness and lethality. The battalion has temporarily moved from their current rotation at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania to a field environment at the Land Forces Combat Training Center Getica in Cincu, Romania. While in the field, the battalion had the opportunity to complete a variety of gunnery exercises to qualify the Soldiers and crews on their weapons systems. Between Sept. 8-17, 2021, the battalion executed gunnery tables with their M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle crews.
Gunnery for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) consists of multiple table exercises that test both the individual and the crew’s knowledge of their weapons and their ability to engage targets. Table III begins with a dry-fire run of the range that allows crews to become familiar with the movements and practice communication. The training culminates in table VI which is a live-fire qualification for the crew. Crews consist of three soldiers, the driver, the gunner and a commander, all of which must communicate effectively and quickly to navigate the gunnery range and engage the various targets within the table exercises. Throughout the training the “Iron Rangers” looked to qualify 23 crews in this gunnery.
“The opportunity we have been given to train with multinational partners is fundamental to our mission here in Europe. Today we continued in our pursuit of warfighting excellence by conducting crew qualifications and exercising command post operations. I am proud to command this formation and can’t wait to see what our rotation holds,” said Capt. Harrison Fletcher, commander, Alpha Company, 1-16th IN,1st ABCT, 1st ID.
“I just got out of basic training a few months ago and this was my first live gunnery experience. We had some hold-ups regarding tree dust blocking the gunnery sights, but we were able to get past it and get rounds on the target. Overall we did quite well with getting rounds on target so today’s training was a success,” said Pfc. Evan Morlan, a BFV driver assigned to 1-16th IN,1st ABCT, 1st ID.
Maintaining proficiency with these weapons is key to increasing the lethality of our force and promoting enhanced readiness within the European theater. The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theater is critical in projecting forces at a moment’s notice to support the NATO alliance. The weapons systems that crews must become proficient on are the M242 Bushmaster 25mm Chain Gun and the M240L machine gun. This crew gunnery was a building block for a culminating multinational exercise that will take place from Sept. 21-28, 2021. The upcoming situational training exercise will feature coordination with multiple allies including service members from Romania, Portugal and Poland. It will build upon our strong relationships with these nations and increase our interoperability. It is critical that the U.S. stands side-by-side with its allies and partners to maintain overmatch and increase lethality against future threats.