Indiana National Guard Pfc. Seth Graves of Frankfort, Ind., infantryman in Company D, 2nd Battalion, 151 Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Frankfort, rappels from the 45-foot tall rappel tower at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Ind., July 27. (Photo by John Crosby, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs
By John Crosby, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs
EDINBURGH, Ind. — Approximately 275 Soldiers of the Indiana National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment conducted annual training at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Ind. in early August 2013.
These northern Indiana infantry troops honed occupational specific skills at small arms ranges, sniper ranges and Atterbury’s live fire shoot house.
This range allows for troops to maintain combat readiness through intense urban warfare training, "stacking up" to tactically clear simulated enemy compounds room by room. Safety oriented observer controllers operating the range assist units through crawl-walk-run stages, bringing them to speed for the actual live fire facility.
Conducting room clearing operations in close quarters using live ammunition while shoulder to shoulder with fellow Soldiers helped instill a higher level of confidence in their infantry skill set, said 2nd Lt. Nathan Pitt, Evansville, Ind., platoon leader in Company B, 2-151 Infantry.
"This skill set is extremely important for infantry Soldiers, certainly in combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, clearing these big cities of insurgencies block by block and buildings with
multiple complex rooms," said Pitt. "Practicing this here at home is a huge deal for these Soldiers, getting them used to going through this live fire scenario builds their muscle memory and makes them that much more comfortable and confident in their skills and prepares them for the real thing."
The battalion snipers also seized the opportunity to build on their skills during annual training.
"It’s been great, anytime you can come out and get some trigger time, get our guys comfortable on the weapon systems is great," said Sgt. Jerry Peavey, Indianapolis, squad leader in Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
Peavey helped train several new Soldiers on the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System to prepare them for sniper school.
"Experience behind the weapon, getting familiar with the scope, actually seeing what the targets look like from various ranges, getting the fundamentals down and getting a good basic understanding of these weapons systems really helps these guys prepare for school."
Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Brent Richards, South Bend, Ind., said there was a visible confidence boost within his troops throughout the two weeks.
"You can see their confidences are increasing as they walk through and build up to the Live Fire Shoot house," said Richards. "There is a lot of preparation to get to that point, but when they get to that level they realize that their hard work has really paid off. It’s really been a good training event and good development for all."
The battalion will return in September to use the Live Fire Shoot House again.
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