2nd BCT gets familiar with new weapons systems

| March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 25th ID, practice clearing procedures for the M2A1 machine gun during a familiarization course, Feb. 8, at Schofield Barracks.

Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 25th ID, practice clearing procedures for the M2A1 machine gun during a familiarization course, Feb. 8, at Schofield Barracks.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Robert M. England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — In an Armywide effort to keep Soldiers equipped and up to date with the latest weapons, technology, equipment and doctrine, “Warrior Brigade” Soldiers attended familiarization courses, here, Feb 7-10.

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, attended familiarization courses for the M2A1 machine gun and the new M320A1 grenade launcher.

The brief training courses covered the upgrades to the machine gun and introduced Warrior brigade Soldiers to the grenade launcher.

The curricula for both courses provided about a day’s worth of instruction, said Brett Little, a training specialist for Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, or TACOM, Warren, Mich.

The instruction focused on the basic operation for each weapon, Little added.

“We’re teaching the characteristics and basic maintenance and operation,” Little said. “We’re not showing these Soldiers how to shoot, but, instead, how to effectively use the weapon.”

The instruction also covered revisions to the M2A1 machine gun over its predecessor, the M2, Little said.

“The M2A1 makes the operator’s life a lot easier,” Little explained. “There’s no more headspace and timing; it’s already set for them. The barrel is also a quick-change barrel and can be done in less than 30 seconds.”

The M320A1 grenade launcher provides many improvements over the previous model, the M203. The system has upgraded day- and night-vision sights and can even function as a stand-alone system as opposed to the M203 (grenade launcher), which needs a host weapon to mount to, Little said.

Spc. Blake Rogers, infantryman, 1st Battalion, 27th Inf. Regiment, 2nd BCT, added that the ease of use adds a level of comfort to operating the weapon, further increasing Soldier proficiency.

“The ambidextrous safety switch is handy in that it is easily accessible, no matter which hand the shooter prefers to fire with,” Rogers said. “The pistol grip is similar in that you don’t necessarily have to change your firing hand. The barrel also opens outward to remove the empty shell casing, instead of sliding forward.”

Sgt. 1st Class Gery Bruce, training specialist, TACOM, said that he hopes the familiarization will help Soldiers accurately and effectively use the weapons.

“We want them to have a working knowledge of the weapon systems and all its components,” Bruce said. “We want them to be comfortable knowing how to operate the weapons, so that when they take these weapons to the range and load ammunition into them, they can focus more on their fundamentals and putting rounds on target.”

Little said that units that have received their M320A1s were scheduled to fire training rounds at a range, here.

Little said that the course gives 2nd BCT Soldiers the ability to pass on their skills to their team and squad mates, increasing the unit’s lethality down to the fire team level.


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Category: News, Training

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