First Lt. Tadamine Kitaguchi, right, from B Company B, 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, concentrates from the kneeling supported position as Sgt. Steven Morse, left, serves as his safety. Photo by Pfc. Steven McDonald, B Co., 123rd BSB, 4th BCT, 1st Armored Div.
Capt. Allin L. Whittle
B Co., 123rd BSB, 4th BCT, 1st Armored Div.
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. – Soldiers of B Company, 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, began conducting their small-arms gunnery range training here to familiarize and train on advanced rifle marksmanship techniques for the M4 rifle.
Before any hands-on training, Soldiers received their mandatory range safety briefing and range orientation from the range officer in charge, 1st Lt. Tadamine Kitaguchi, and the range safety officer, Sgt. 1st Class Felecia Hamilton.
The range noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Thomas Guthrie, then provided instruction and hands-on training for each Soldier.
The training was broken into day and night portions. During the daytime portion, Soldiers conducted a “dry-fire” practice lane without rounds, and then they were given six five-round magazines to start their live-fire.
Soldiers engaged pop-up targets around several different obstacles from the kneeling-supported and standing-unsupported firing positions. All Soldiers had to successfully engage three out of five targets at a distance of 25 meters in a 40-second time period.
Pfc. Steven McDonald from Company B, 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, gears up for the night-fire exercise. Photo by Sgt. Antonio Cline, B Co., 123rd BSB, 4th BCT, 1st Armored Div.
For the night portion, Soldiers received two 15-round magazines to engage seven out of 30 targets in two minutes while using night vision goggles and aiming lights.
“I like the fact that the trainers took the time to show and teach us everything,” said Pfc. Geoffrey Walker of B Co. “We worked well as a team.”
Kitaguchi, also from B Co., said he could not agree more.
“It’s quality training that keeps our Soldiers motivated out here,” said Kitaguchi. “It just goes to show you that training can be a fun experience.”
Though the Soldiers learned much from the daytime training, most of the excitement about Range 5 seemed to focus on the night-fire exercises.
“I loved night fire,” said Pvt. Chavis Crossley of B Co. “Everything looked better with the NVGs on.”
Taking lots of pictures from his cell phone was Pfc. Steven McDonald who said, “Night fire was awesome. We get to see why the Army owns the night.”
The training was set up to prepare Soldiers for their scheduled deployment to Iraq in mid-2011.