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Posted: August 31, 2017 11:45 a.m.
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396th Conducts First Sustainment Gunnery

Photo by Spc. Elizabeth White/

Soldiers with the 396th CTC, 87th CSSB, 3rd IDSB, on Fort Stewart troubleshoot a weapon jam during the company’s sustainment gunnery live fire exercise Aug. 25. This is the first sustainment gunnery on Fort Stewart and its purpose is to train and validate the 396 CTC teams to be able to provide convoy security, area defense and personal security details in all operational environments.

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Soldiers with the 396th Composite Transportation Company, 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade conducted a sustainment gunnery on Aug. 25 as part of the Pyramid Focus exercise on Fort Stewart. This was their qualifying event before their culminating convoy live-fire exercise in September.

The unit has been conducting gunnery operations, since Tuesday, to qualify on their weapons systems. They fired mounted .50 caliber Browning machine guns and M240 machine guns. They utilized Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations to engage various targets from simulated troops, vehicles, and moving targets.

Teams of four would roll out in their M-ATV’s to a firing point and, with direction from the control tower, fire at the targets using the CROWS. The Soldiers relied on all elements of the team to successfully hit targets.

“It was rugged in the beginning,” said Sgt. Alan Mitchell, a motor transport operator with the 396th CTC. “Now they are excelling in the vocals, in radioing to one another.”

A gunnery takes place every six months and the purpose is to train and validate the 396th CTC teams to be able to provide convoy security, area defense and personal security details in all operational environments.

The Pyramid Focus exercise takes place every year as the culminating training exercise. This year, the company added the gunnery and a range.

“This is the first time a sustainment gunnery has taken place on Fort Stewart,” said 1st Lt. Nadia Pascetta, a platoon leader assigned to the 396th CTC. “It was a challenge creating it from the bottom up. We created scenarios of our own using the standard as our basis.”

Through extensive research and asking experienced personnel for guidance, the company is able to create their own exercise to better train the sustainment Soldiers. And while the gunnery is a basic, true to form exercise, the convoy live-fire exercise will be the company’s own thing.

The convoy live-fire scheduled for September will feature their convoy acting as a rolling security element. They want to prepare for future missions and deployments.

 

“We’ll work out the kinks here so we can be better for the next time,” said Pascetta. “We can create and sharpen a new element that will be integrated in the sustainment brigade.”


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