Cold Steel enhances a lethal Army Reserve force
First Army Master Gunners and Vehicle Crew Evaluators observe Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mah, one of the few Master Gunners in the Army Reserve, conduct a VCE course during the Operation Cold Steel exercise in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Mar. 23, 2017. According to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command News Center, a master gunner is a technical and tactical expert and advisor to the commander and advises the commander on anything related to the vehicle platform or weapons system and helps develop all the materials necessary to conduct gunnery and live fire exercises. Operation Cold Steel is the U.S. Army Reserve’s first large-scale live-fire training and crew-served weapons qualification and validation exercise taking place from March 9 through April 25, 2017. Cold Steel is key to ensuring that America’s Army Reserve units and Soldiers are trained and ready to deploy on short-notice and bring combat-ready and lethal firepower in support of the Total Army and Joint Force partners around the world. In support of the Total Army Force, First Army Master Gunners participated in Cold Steel to provide expertise in crew level gunnery qualifications, and to develop Vehicle Crew Evaluator training, preparing units here and when they return to their home stations to conduct crew served weapons training and vehicle crew gunnery at the unit-level. 475 crews with an estimated 1,600 Army Reserve Soldiers will certify in M2, M19 and M240 Bravo crew served weapons mounted to various military vehicle platforms across 12-day rotations (15 crews per cycle) through the seven-week exercise. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Master Sgt. Anthony L. Taylor)