FUNshoot News - Training Standards
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I am concerned with an anomaly that I have since seen in both U.S. Army Reserve units and National Guard units with regards to knowing, understanding, and complying with the qualification standards IAW with TC 3-22.40.
The following examples all occurred within the last six months and are a common trend: Units arriving to train without in-depth knowledge of how the ‘Gates to Live Fire’ corresponds with both the live fire portion of qualification table VI and with how to effectively use the EST Simulations to conduct Tables II, IV, V. I wonder if senior Army leadership knows what is really going on during training.
Example #1: Unit arrives for a BA (drill) weekend to conduct both EST Simulations and Live fire record qualification. Unit finds out that to properly conduct Table II to standard IAW TC 3-22.40, it takes approximately 1 hour/10 Soldiers. Unit has live 5.56 ammunition sitting on the range and commander decides to pull all Soldiers from the EST to shoot live 5.56 prior to Table II. Unit sends Soldiers who successfully qualified live back to the EST to conduct Day CBRN, Night Limited Visibility, and Night CBRN. All other Soldiers stayed on the live fire range attempting to qualify the minimum standard of 23/40. Unit is fully aware of the new standard but what Company Commander wants to explain to his or her Battalion Commander that live 5.56 was turned back into the ASP in bulk and never fired?
Example #2: Unit arrives to EST without proper PPE and wants Range Operations to print a score card.
Example #3: Unit arrives to the EST with junior enlisted Soldiers who do NOT know how to properly handle a weapon let alone load a magazine into the magazine well. Unit does NOT have competent NCOs nor a Master Marksmanship Trainer. The EST operator has to stop training to conduct a hasty weapons PMI.
Example #4: Unit (a Training Division, no less) disregards the TC standards for Table IV basic that states all soldiers must achieve 4/5 hits during the Confirmation at Distance and Application Hold-Offs.
End State: A majority of U.S. Army units do not fully grasp nor comply with the Army standards for qualification and there is NO excuse, period. It is rather difficult for a Company or Battalion to conduct both the EST Simulations portion of the Gates to Live Fire and actual live fire qualification during one single Battle Assembly. Units are not conducting Tables I and III correctly.
DPTMS, Training Support Branch
Unfortunately, there are also too many examples of personnel that aren't up to speed on small arms training as these four examples indicate. While there are some Soldiers and Range Operations that are well versed, too many are not.
The Department of Army has no formal mechanism to identify the difference, there being no MOS or ASI for this. Worse, there is not even a proposal of how to even attempt to rectify this. The majority of U.S. Army units do not fully grasp nor comply with the Army standards for weapons training and qualification. Current Army leadership is either unaware or just doesn't care.