FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
The New Equipment Fielding Facility here assisted a short-staffed NEFF at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, by fielding the latter’s Sig Sauer M17 semi-automatic pistols earlier this fall. The 88th Readiness Division’s NEFF fielded 440 of the pistols from Fort Jackson’s NEFF which resulted in McCoy fielding a total of 880 of these pistols.
“Not only are we here supporting our original nine to 10 states that we normally support, but we’re also going to be supporting the entire southeast region of the United States as part of this fielding,” said Bryan Witherow, the NEFF equipment transition site manager.
This pistol fielding, which included items such as holsters, magazine pouches, and cleaning kits, were then redistributed to 169 U.S. Army Reserve units, said Witherow. He said this fielding also included optics for large machine guns that were previously fielded.
The pistols are deemed as lethal equipment which means that the units are required to receive training on them before they are issued. Once they are issued, they are either shipped to their home stations, an Equipment Concentration Site, or the Soldiers transport them to their units. Witherow said there are vaults available at the NEFF that are monitored with an intrusion detection system and are integrated with the police department regarding an incident.
The instructors included Jimmy Morris assigned to the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Michigan He said the Soldiers were taught the characteristics of the weapons, how to disassemble and assemble them and how to perform a functions check. Morris said this was the first training at McCoy this Fiscal Year and it was “maintenance driven.”
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Pinkney, an operations noncommissioned officer assigned to the Deployment Support Command, 377th Theater Sustainment Command, Birmingham, Alabama, said the training was “awesome. It covered everything on the weapon and without this class I probably would not know how to take it apart or even put it together,” said Pinkney.
Once the Soldiers completed their training, they entered a vault where the new pistols were still in boxes. In here, the serial numbers of each weapon were checked and verified on a DA Form 3161 or a request for issue or turn-in, any discrepancies were corrected, and the proper paperwork was completed for each method of transportation.
Witherow said that this fielding is a “very small fielding” because twice a year the NEFF averages between 3,500 and 4,000 weapons. The NEFF also is comprised completely of military technicians which means its staff can decrease because MILTECS can be called up for their Reserve duty obligations. Witherow cited an example of how his property book chief supported the fielding as a Soldier which meant she transported her unit’s pistols to her home station.
This fielding was a success because Pinkney said he feels confident that he can train his Soldiers on the weapon. He may be able to shoot one of these M17s.
“If the officers will let me,” said Pinkney with a laugh.