FORT RILEY, Kan. –
Six days. Ninety-nine crews. Approximately 300 personnel. These elements and a partnership between the 4th Cavalry Multi-Functional Training Brigade and 76th Operational Response Command seamlessly integrated during Operation Gauntlet, a gunnery exercise and a turnkey event March to April 2019 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Terstegen, a senior observer coach/trainer and master gunner assigned to 4th Cav. MFTB, served as an adviser to the senior gunner for the 76th [Operational Response Command] as they assisted the 209th Regional Support Group with gunnery operations and qualifications during Operation Gauntlet.
“[4th Cav.] is here observing, coaching, teaching, and mentoring their senior gunner through the gunnery processes,” Terstegen said.
“The success of Operation Gauntlet is successful on two different levels, Terstegen said. “It allows Soldiers from units across the 76th [Operation Response Command] to get some gunnery experience and for Soldiers that have shot gunnery before this. This was an opportunity to build muscle memory through repetition and target acquisition from conducting fire procedures.”
After Terstegen guided Staff Sgt. Ryan Sanders through the process of running a gunnery. Sanders said he was able to take what he learned and apply it to Operation Gauntlet. As he issued commands from the tower, stopping only to move the next mounted gun crew in to qualify.
Operation Gauntlet was composed of six events or tables, and was designed with a crawl-walk-run methodology. The initial table of the gunnery evaluated the crew members’ ability to properly and safely operate the weapons systems, and culminates with a mounted live-fire qualification.
Sanders recognized the benefit of Operation Gauntlet to the Soldiers saying that this type of training is not easily accessible when it comes to the Reserve Component.
Spc. Taylor Glover, a common remotely operated weapons station operator assigned to 379th Chemical Company, finds that soldiering often takes a backseat to the other demands of the Army.
“We don’t get to do a lot of this,” Glover said. “Being able to do this is awesome for the fact that we’ll be able to implement these skills during future exercises or deployments.”
He said that the training develops that trust if he ever has to deploy with his unit.
Glover added, “When you first join the Army, you’re taught that we’re a brotherhood. We’re supposed to rely on each other and we’re supposed to help each other out, because in the end we have to rely on each other, [the training] and that’s all we have.”