As we discussed DA PAM 350-38 (also known as the STRAC) and how it affects training for the paratrooper. I am now going to go on a talk through of how to use this publication to figure your round allocation for the year for a company. You can find the STRAC at the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByiIPNyo3GLUeENlb3lGSVU5OHM
Take the Infantry company we discussed before; we have 118 paratroopers with M4’s in it. The Chapter of DA PAM 350-38 that we would reference would be chapter 5 (Infantry). Adobe page 151 gives us the first STRAC table we reference, which is table 5-2. The way this table is set up is the frequency gives the number of times in one year your individual paratrooper will receive this Ammunition. In the case of zero ammunition for the M4A1, they are allocated 18 rounds, twice a year (Frequency under the AC column).
If I keep following the table down, it shows under various conditions, with CCO, without CCO, With Engagement Skills Trainer, Without Engagement Skills Trainer. At the bottom of the table, it gives you what the total is, based on Weapon/optic combination type.
So Someone with an M150 RCO (also known as the ACOG) gets how many rounds? The answer is the same amount as the person with the CCO. This means that a soldier with an M150 RCO can get 614 rounds annually just for zero and sustainment, and qualification training.
614 rounds sound like a lot, but if I do the math, that works out to 154 rounds per quarter, which means I can do one eighteen-round zero, one forty-round practice qualification, one forty round record qualification, one-night laser zero, and one practice night qualification per quarter.
One of the other benefits of the STRAC is that it is flexible. You can forecast your ammunition based on the non-EST portion of the table, and still use the EST to meet the requirements for those qualification parts. That frees up ammunition for the unit to use in other training.
So to figure out the total ammo allocation for the M4A1 strictly for qualification and learning weapons mastery skills, for our company, we take that 614 rounds mentioned times the total number of WEAPONS in the arms room and on the Table of Organization and equipment. If you recalled yesterday, I said we had 145 weapons on the MTOE. That means we now have 89,030 rounds of 5.56-millimeter ammunition for the company, Rounds for 27 weapons doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize it means the difference of 16, 578 rounds for the company.
That is the allocation for sustainment and qualification of one weapons system for a company. It does not cover specialty training like Squad Designated Marksmen, which is covered under the collective training tables of STRAC, along with things like live-fire exercises and advanced rifle marksmanship.
The STRAC tables include all ammunition types for all weapons systems organic to the Army. The key is to know which type of unit you are requesting, for example; a Military Intelligence company doesn’t get as much ammunition to train with as an Infantry company. They have different roles in the fight, and the Infantry’s is to close with and destroy the enemy. The Military Intelligence company still should train with their weapons and know how to use them correctly; it is just not their primary task in combat like the Infantrymen.
The main takeaway from this is for units to get awareness of what they are supposed to be having for their formations, and what they actually get. Knowing what you are authorized makes a big difference in how much you actually get. As the old saying goes: ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’