By Pfc. Bailey Anne Jester
1st Cavalry Division public affairs
"Fire and adjust! Fire and adjust!"
The commands came fast and loud from the vehicle commander as he spotted targets during a recent gunnery round on the Brook Haven Gunnery Range at Fort Hood.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were organized into three-man crews to train and qualify at a Humvee gunnery range Oct. 1 to 7.
Designed for the three-man crews to work on their skills as gunners, drivers, and truck commanders, the event allowed gunners to fire the .50-caliber and M240 machine guns from the top of moving Humvees.
"These training exercises prepare us for missions while deployed," said Capt. Ries Korstjens, Bravo Company commander. "The reality of today's fight is that we are going to be operating out of up-armored Humvees, which are not organic to this unit."
The weeklong training event helped gunners with engagement skills and target acquisition, aided drivers with learning tactics, and the vehicle commanders with fire control procedures.
"Dedicating this time to prepare these soldiers for deployment is paramount to our success," Korstjens said. "We plan on doing this multiple times before we deploy."
Driving down the lanes, the gunner, driver and truck commander kept their eyes open looking for targets to pop up. Once spotted, the crew members determined distance and direction, then the gunner locked onto his target and pulled the trigger.
The humvee gunnery exercise was difficult because the vehicles were moving, making the weapons bounce around a little more, according to Sgt. Javier Rangel, a team chief assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
"I have always enjoyed going to the range and working on improving myself," Rangel said about his experiences at the range.
"We are leaving this place with better trained soldiers than when we arrived," Korstjens said.