U.S.

April 1, 2016
 

‘Fury’ Troop conducts Bradley gunnery

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Story and photos by Gustavo Bahena
Public Affairs Office
A round that is fired from a 25mm M242 Bushmaster.

This March, the National Training Center did not host a brigade for a training rotation, allowing Troopers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment some additional time to conduct their own training.

Normally the regiment is fully engaged in their role as the opposing force, which “fights” the visiting unit. With a break from the training mission, Soldiers of F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, conducted gunnery tables with their M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. They conducted tables 1-6 for the first time in several years, according to Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wortmann, master gunner for 1st Squadron, 11th ACR.

Capt. John Piccione, commander of F Troop, said eight of his Bradley crews and three from E Troop set out to complete the tables, which if completed successfully, would qualify the crews to shoot a Bradley’s 25mm main gun and the 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.

“This is a significant step for the troop, for the squadron, for the 11th ACR,” Piccione said. “It hasn’t been done in quite some time, so all the hard work that went into it from August until now shows that it’s a pretty significant jump for the entire regiment.”

Piccione stated the crews were doing a great job and showed a dramatic improvement during the few days they spent at the range. He was confident the crews would be qualified after table 6.

Wortmann explained that each Bradley crew consists of a driver, gunner and commander – whose role can be filled by a staff sergeant up to the troop commander. Crews fire live ammunition in tables 4 to 6, which includes shooting the 25mm M242 Bushmaster at targets ranging from 900 to 1800 meters; the 25mm ammunition can be armor piercing or high explosive rounds. The crews will also fire the machine gun at targets in the range of 300 to 800 meters.

Second Lt. Richard Smullen, 3rd Platoon leader for F Troop and acting commander of Bradley vehicle 3-1, said the training was an opportunity to learn new things and become more proficient. His crew was serving together for the first time and included Spc. Matthew Wells, driver, and Sgt. Va Sam, gunner.

Smullen and his crew learned all the commands involved with firing – which can be nerve-wracking he acknowledged – and became familiar with each other’s actions. After becoming comfortable with the process, firing down-range got “really exciting.”

“They’re doing a great job,” Smullen said about his crewmembers. “The difference, from when we started, is night and day.”

Sam stated the crew spent many hours in pre-training, which included using simulators. Once at the range, the crew had to step up and be thoroughly focused.

He had served as a driver in a previous duty station, but now really likes being the one firing the weapons.

“I actually have to identify the target, engage the target and keep apprised the (Bradley commander),” Sam said about his new role.




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