1-27th Strykers try new gunnery training at PTA

| November 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
Lt. Col. Chuck Bergman (left), commander, 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, awards Sgt. 1st Class Charles Harris and Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Johnson, Army Achievement Medals for their Stryker Gunnery Skills Training plan, Nov. 6.

Lt. Col. Chuck Bergman (left), commander, 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, awards Sgt. 1st Class Charles Harris and Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Johnson, Army Achievement Medals for their Stryker Gunnery Skills Training plan, Nov. 6.

Story and photo by
1st Lt. Hannah Smith
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii — Stryker gunnery crews from 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, trained on gunnery ranges, here, Nov. 5-6.

These ranges served to qualify crews on the M2 .50 caliber machine gun and MK-19 grenade launcher using the Remote Weapon System in a Stryker.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Harris, Company C, and Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Johnson, Co. B, both senior noncommissioned officers with the 1-27th Inf. Regt., spearheaded the development of the new training plan for Stryker Gunnery, here, as this training that could not be carried out at Schofield Barracks.

“The Stryker Gunnery Skills Test has 19 tasks that crews can complete at Schofield Barracks, but that is only half of what can be done at PTA,” Harris said. “Sgt. 1st Class Johnson and I made a checklist of common problems we see in Stryker gunnery crews and made that our central training plan for getting crews qualified at PTA.”

The Wolfhound’s plan at PTA included four days at Range 8 completing the training that Harris and Johnson created on common problems of crews, followed by four days at the Digital Multipurpose Battle Area Complex to qualify on each weapon system.

“We go through all the agony and pain of fixing things out at Range 8 before heading over to the BAX to qualify,” Harris explained. “It’s been a team effort.

“The great thing about PTA is that we get the full attention of gun teams while here,” Harris continued. “Soldiers don’t have appointments and taskings to go to, so the whole crew is available for training all day, and so that’s what we do.”

“The last time the Wolfhounds got to qualify like this was back in Korea over a year and a half ago,” said 2nd Lt. Dave Forrester, platoon leader, Co. C, 1-27th Inf. Regt., who ran the qualification range at the BAX.

“The time and dedication Sgt. 1st Class Johnson and Sgt. 1st Class Harris have put into ensuring teams are trained on something they haven’t done in a while is really giving us an advantage,” Forrester stated.

Lt. Col. Chuck Bergman, commander, 1-27th Inf. Regt., also took note, saying he was very satisfied with the Stryker gunnery at PTA.

“When the government shutdown occurred, it completely demolished our plan to go to PTA,” said Bergman. “We waited and waited, and by the time the government turned back on, we could only send our Stryker gun crews to qualify without interfering with our Contingency Response Force-level mission in January.”

The training couldn’t have been successful without Johnson, Harris and their instructors, added Bergman.

For their efforts, Johnson, Harris and six trainers were awarded the Army Achievement Medal.

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Category: News, U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa (USAG-Pohakuloa)

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