We are continuing our discussion on the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy (IWTS), specifically, we will be addressing how to use it for planning and resourcing our training.
Considerable thought and planning need to go into how we schedule our small arms ranges. An Experienced NCO is usually the one to do this in the ABCT and SBCT formations; these are your school-trained Master Gunners. The IBCT formations have inconsistencies in the level of training of their units’ SNCO’s in training management due to conflicting requirements (an example of this would be Jumpmaster school for Airborne Leaders). Consequently, units in the IBCT formation have challenges in getting what their requirements for ranges scheduled, and have inconsistent results when they do across a formation. Many have not put in the appropriate amount of training before getting to Table VI (the qualification table).
The IWTS also states that each unit has to have a subject matter expert in the Unit Training Program outlined in the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy TC 3-20.0 dated June 2015. Chapter two illustrates the Training horizon and gives senior NCO’s a checklist of what should be done when for training to be successful. The UTP consists of the Commanders’ assessment, METL analysis for the assigned unit, Warfighting skills analysis of the individual Paratrooper, and a simulation and gaming training assessment of available facilities for conducting the training. All of these will impact the training goals of the unit.
The UTP works around the T-week. For those not exposed to it, the T-week is the week the training is planning on being conducted. According to the IWTS, units are supposed to have planned and resourced their training from weeks T-21 to T-13. That means 5 months out, units are expected to be looking at the Long Range Training Calendar, and putting in there when they are going to be conducting qualification Table VI, and backwards planning accordingly.
Once the unit knows what ranges they want to use, they need to schedule it in RFMSS. Even if they do no not have an account for RFMSS, senior NCO’s conducting the planning can reference the two-week read-only calendar and tell their Battalion Land NCO what they need to be reserved. Check the post from December 21st if you have any questions on how to navigate the RFMSS two-week calendar.
If a unit knows they have scheduled ranges 12 weeks out (the earliest we are able to on Fort Bragg), then they need to have the plan finalized for Table I (Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction) to be conducted at T-6 (six weeks out from range day). Currently, most units do PMI the day, or the week before. This does not give the Paratrooper time to conduct the repetitions needed for weapons mastery. Six weeks out gives the paratrooper time to build on before going to the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) Table II of the IWTS.
Table II of the IWTS is supposed to be conducted at least monthly starting at T-12. Units need to be in the facility performing all the tables on the EST training plan for M4. Picture 2 illustrates what these are. To be able to have every soldier go through all of these tables will require the unit to plan ahead to ensure that they have enough trained NCO’s as operators for the EST, and ensure that they have enough instructors present to assist the day of training.
TableIII (dry-fire drills) of the IWTS should also begin to be conducted at T-6. This is going to ensure that the Paratrooper gets sufficient repetitions of the drills we discussed back on the 29th of December. Paratroopers need to conduct drills A through K at least once in one setting between T-6 and T-1. Once Drills A-K are done concurrently, Squad leaders should know where they need to place extra emphasis on the training of their Paratroopers in specific drills and work that into the training plan. We will discuss this further on Thursday.
So to sum up, we’ve addressed the first three tables of the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy, what the time frames are for their implementation prior to the T-week of the range, and what the requirements are for their implementaion. next time we will discuss the live-fire events (tables IV-VI) and how to resource them.