Tag Archives: 82nd Airborne

Everything You Wanted To Know About Wind, Target Conditions, & Shooting Moving Targets (But Were Afraid To Ask)

We will be continuing our prior discussion Aiming as a part of the shot process. Specifically, we will be focusing on how Target Conditions, moving targets, the wind, and limited visibility affects the Paratrooper’s hold. All of these will be addressed individually. The conditions that the threat presents to the Paratrooper that affect their ability to engage it are as follows: the threat’s range, the nature of the threat, and the terrain surrounding it. We will discuss each one of these separately. Accurately estimating the range to the threat is determined in one of two methods: immediate and deliberate. Immediate methods are some of the most reliable methods of determining range based on time constraints of the battlefield. Immediate methods are the front-sight post method, the BDC method (RCO), the recognition method (formerly appearance-of-objects method), the 100-meter unit of measure method, and the Laser Range Finder. Deliberate methods will be discussed in another post. Of these methods, the most commonly used by the Paratrooper will be the front-sight/BDC method and the 100-meter unit-of-measure. The recognition method can be employed. However, it takes frequent practice to remain proficient at. The 100-meter unit-of-measure method also takes practice visualizing the distance of 100

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Foundations of the Shot Process: Dryfire

We will discuss dry-fire. Where do we start at to build a solid foundation for our shot process? What References do we use? TC 3-22.9 dated May of 2016 has an excellent section discussing dry-fire drills in Appendix D. These Drills are built around the following Principles: Mindset, Efficiency, Individual Tactics, and Flexibility. We will discuss each one of these separately. Mindset is the Paratrooper's ability to perform the functional tasks of operating the weapon under stress. TC 3-22.9 states that "continuous combat is stressful...The Soldier’s ability to function under stress is the key to winning battles, since, without the Soldier, weapons and tactics are useless... Maintaining a tactical mindset involves understanding one’s level of awareness and transitioning between the levels of awareness as the situation requires escalation or de-escalation." In other words, Mindset is what will make or break your focus on your environment. Efficiency in reference to these drills is the Paratrooper being able to use the minimal amount of time and resources to achieve their desired outcome with their weapon. Once efficiency has been achieved in their drills, Paratroopers will be able to focus on the overall tactical picture while still being able to produce repeatable results

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Complex Engagements

To continue the previous article about aiming as a part of the shot process. Specifically, we will be focusing on what complex engagements are, what three conditions affect complex engagements (shooter, target, environment), what a hold is, why a Paratrooper would use a hold, and what the differences are between an immediate and deliberate hold. All of these will be addressed individually. TC 3-22.9 dated May 2016 states that a complex engagement is 'any shot that cannot use the CoVM [Center of Visible Mass] as the point of aim to ensure a target hit. Complex engagements require a Soldier to apply various points of aim to successfully defeat the threat.' What this means for the Paratrooper is that they will have aim off of the center of visible mass of the target to achieve terminal effects on the threat. Complex engagements are classified by three separate conditions that are not normally a part of the shot process: The shooter, the target, and the environment in between them. We will discuss each one of these in a little more detail. The shooter's conditions are ones that are not typically encountered while shooting. Having to fire the weapon canted/in a Hawkins Position

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Achieving Zero With An M4

For this one we will be discussing how to achieve a good zero with the M4 Rifle. This is the first rounds that the Paratrooper will be firing with their weapon, and for some, it sets the tone in their minds as to what they will actually achieve on the live-fire range. For a zero to be effective, we need to have diagnosed many of the shooter's problems prior to them coming out to the range. This happens during Tables I, II, and III of gate 4 of the IWTS, if you are not sure what that is, reference my post from this Tuesday to give you a better idea of the IWTS and what it is. The paratrooper needs to have 'built the muscle' prior to coming out to the zero range. Just like we do in physical fitness training, if you don't put in the repetitions, it shows on your PT test. Similarly, with your zero, if you don't take the time to learn how to properly handle the weapon, you won't be successful on the range. Dry-fire exercises, like dime-and-washer drills, are a good start. Paratroopers need to be pulling their weapons out of the arms room

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Range Facility Management Support System

For this discussion we will be looking at how the two-week read-only calendar for the Range Facility Management Support System can be your best friend in finding available ranges on Fort Bragg. In the first picture below, you can see the link for the calendar highlighted in red. Keep In mind, you will need CAC card access to get on this website. Once you are on the read-only calendar, you will come up to a blank page, that will have a calendar drop-down with tomorrow's date in it (highlighted in red in the second picture). To the right of that, is the facilities you are requesting. Fort Bragg has structured RFMSS so that you request actual and virtual training facilities through different menus. The Drop Down in picture three illustrates this. An example of your virtual site would be the Engagement Skills Trainer. So say I am planning on conducting training on January Third and want to use Range 1. I would click on the date showing in the window (which should be showing tomorrow's date, in my case, it's the 22nd of December). I will then select the date starting at the range I am looking at, so I

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Integrated Weapons Training Strategy

We will be discussing the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy in more detail. The IWTS is structured with four gates, six tables for each gate. As with an x/y chart from algebra, we start at the bottom left with Gate 4, which is individual/Crew served Gates. The tables for the individual and crew served weapons start with Table I: Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction. This should be conducted prior to every range-density cycle. For the Paratrooper, it is the same as going through pre-jump every time before going to jump. You have to refresh your memory as to what right looks like, and reinforce the good habits that are going to keep you alive. A comparison could be made table I being the same as the Gunnery Skills Test required for Bradley/Stryker crews. Table II is the simulations table, This includes your TADSS Simulators, such as the EST. This is important because, it gives the NCO's a chance to assess what the Paratrooper is doing by using the tools built into the EST to assess trigger squeeze, sight picture, etc. This gives the Paratrooper good repetitions building the muscle memory prior to conducting live fire. Table III is the Dry-Fire Drills, This builds

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Shot Process: Aiming

TC 3-22.9 dated May 2016, states that aiming is "the continuous process of orienting the weapon correctly, aligning the sights aligning on the target, and the application of the appropriate lead and elevation during a target engagement." In order to achieve this, regardless of what you are using, the Paratrooper needs to keep the following five things in mind: Weapon Orientation, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Point of Aim (POA), and Desired Point of Impact (POI). We will discuss each of these in further detail. Weapon orientation is the paratrooper pointing their weapon in the direction of a threat. This means both in horizontal and vertical weapons orientation. horizontal weapons orientation is aligning with the sector of fire, vertical weapons orientation usually is applied in urban or mountainous terrain where there are multiple elevation changes to threats. Sight alignment is the relationship between the aiming device and the firer's eye. What process used to achieve sight alignment, depends on the type of aiming device used by the paratrooper. If iron sights are used, it is the relationship between the paratrooper's eye, the rear sight aperture, and the front sight post. If the aiming device is an optic, the paratrooper will achieve

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STRAC Continued

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

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DA Pam 350-38 (Standards in Training Commision)

For this discussion on Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, I will be discussing DA Pam 350-38 (Standards in Training Commision). This book is used in conjunction with TC 3-20.0 (Integrated Weapons Training Strategy, May 2015). Both of these books are the bible for the amount of ammunition that individuals are supposed to shoot in a given year. STRAC is broken down based off of unit type. Chapter 2 covers Armor units and Armored Cavalry Squadrons, Chapter 3 covers artillery units, Chapter 4 covers Air Defense Artillery units, Chapter 5 covers all versions of Infantry units (ABCT, SBCT, IBCT) for active, and guard components, Chapter 6 covers Engineers, Chapter 7 covers Aviation, Chapter 8 Covers Military Police, and Chapter 9 Covers Sustainment and Support Weapons Systems. Chapter 10 covers ammunition allocations for Combat Training Centers and Deployment Exercises, Chapter 11 Covers SOCOM, Chapter 12 Covers Contingency Operations and Mobilization guidance for National Guard and Reserve. This book is revised annually based on changes made by the council of colonels. Now that we have the basic information on what STRAC is, what does it do for the Paratrooper? This publication lets the Airborne leader know how many rounds they are allocated for training,

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Shot Process: Stability

Today we will be discussing the first functional element of the shot process: Stability. While some would say that stability is the most important element, we want our paratroopers to realize that all these elements need to work together in order to achieve a hit where they are aiming at. TC 3-22.9 states that stability 'is provided through four functions: support, muscle relaxation, natural point of aim, and recoil management. These functions provide the Soldier the means to best stabilize the weapon during the engagement process.' Support is provided either by the Paratrooper's body (natural means), or by artificial means (e.g. a tripod) Either of these will work, what the paratrooper needs to take into consideration when employing these forms of support is how much time they have to assume the position, and how stable a platform that natural or artificial support provides. When assuming a position, the paratrooper will work out a pre-shot routine as a part of their shot process. This is recommended when you have the time to take a well-aimed shot, or when you are zeroing. The Paratrooper should have a defined start point (e.g. starting at the non-firing hand or the feet) and work their

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