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April 19, 2012

K Troop Soldiers fire first TOW missiles in more than a decade

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By Sgt. Zachary A. Gardner
11th ACR Public Affairs Office
Photo by Sgt. Zachary A. Gardner
Soldiers from K Troop, 2nd Squadron,11th Armored Cavalry Regiment fire a BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link guided missile at the Desert King Mortar Range on Fort Irwin April 12. The range marked the first time that TOW missiles have been fired on Fort Irwin in more than a decade.

Soldiers from K Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment fired a BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link guided missile at the Desert King Mortar Range on Fort Irwin April 12.

The range marked the first time that TOW missiles have been fired at Fort Irwin in more than a decade. K Troop, an anti-tank troop, used the range as an opportunity to hone their anti-tank skills for training rotations. Seven crews from K Troop, consisting of 31 Soldiers, fired 31 missiles during the range.

“The more training we get, the better we are on the battlefield and the better we are able to train the rotational training unit when they come through,” said Staff Sgt. Mitchell C. Shaw, platoon sergeant for K Troop’s second platoon. “This is just another event that will help make us more lethal in and out of the battlefield.”

The TOW crews from K Troop took a two-week course on the Improved Target Acquisition System, the firing system for the TOW missile, before holding the range. There they were introduced to the TOW’s electronic training system where they each earned 20 different qualifications on the TOW system.

“They make the system as real as possible,” said Shaw.  “You have to do all the same steps that you would have to do on a real range with hangfires and misfires. So, they knew exactly what to do before they even go on the range.”

Following the TOW range, K Troop will compose a continuity book so future Soldiers will be able to learn from K Troop’s experience and establish a standard operating procedure for the Regiment.

“It’s probably one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever gotten to shoot… other than an AT4,” said Shaw.




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