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NEWS | July 29, 2022

WAREX 78-22-02: Crew-served weapons go hot with M2

By Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas J. De La Peña 361st Theater Public Affairs Support Element

U.S. Army Reserve forces continue to be Ready to Fight Now and Build the Future Force during Warrior Exercise 78-22-02 by providing M2A1 machine gun training to Soldiers assigned to the 470th Movement Control Battalion, July 23, 2022, at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The 84th Training Command’s range safety officers and master weapons instructors provided familiarization training, including how to load, clear, and provide immediate and remedial action to shoot the weapon safely during training and tactical operations.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shamal Crews, 84th Training Command master weapons instructor, says the U.S. Army trains sustainment units to provide security for their teams in austere environments.

“Readiness is paramount to safety when Soldiers go downrange,” Crews said. “It’s important for all Soldiers to get behind these weapons and learn more about them so they can better protect themselves out on the battlefield.”

The U.S. Army has a new framework – the Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM - to help integrate and synchronize the force to meet regional requirements. Exercises like WAREX provide 470th MCB Soldiers opportunities to have a well-maintained ready force able to respond to contingencies and ensure long-term warfighting readiness.

“Crew-served weapons are portable weapons or systems assigned to individuals or teams that consist of a gunner, assistant gunner and ammunition bearer,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Marie Vanneste, 84th Training Command, Task Force Railgun range safety officer. “When the 470th MCB Soldiers come to the line, we’ve already provided classroom instruction and are giving them a chance to exercise their skills in a live-fire familiarization event.”

There are six crew-served weapon tables that assess a Soldier’s ability to demonstrate proficiency of the weapon and ultimately qualify on the weapon system.

Tables one through three include preliminary marksman instructions and evaluations, simulations on the engagement skills trainer (EST2000) and training using dummy drill inert (DDI) cartridges. DDIs replace live ammunition in training scenarios to test the Soldier’s ability to clear the round and continue firing.

Table four and five will have Soldiers zero, group and practice drills from the Training and Qualification – Individual Weapons manual, TC 3-20.40. Lastly, Soldiers will qualify in a live-fire proficiency event for table six.

Crew-served weapons also include subcomponent training on additional capabilities including night fire and possible Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) situations.

Soldiers interested in becoming a master gunner can sign up for the U.S. Army Reserve’s Senior Gunner Course offered at Fort Hunter Liggett, California. The three-week course allows every student to be proficient in each phase of the weapons operations, from gunner to control tower operator.