STB officers, NCOs, Train on EST2000
Story by Pfc. Crystal D. Eldridge
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office
Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Special Troops Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command, are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring their Soldiers are properly trained prior to upcoming deployments - not only in specific job-related skills of logistic importance, but in life-or-death soldiering skills as well.
To aid these officers and NCOs, the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Terence J. Hildner, has directed Engagement Skills Training, EST 2000, to become part of all PMIs for the battalion.
"The system is a superb individual skills trainer because it allows trainers [and] leaders to monitor and make corrections on zero [and] qualification techniques - trigger squeeze, point of aim, breathing. Leaders are able to diagnose shooting errors and provide immediate feedback to Soldiers on errors. Better yet, EST 2000 provides an opportunity to fire all weapons systems in the battalion. This is especially important due to resource constraints on [ammunition]," Hildner said.
Battalion leaders received instruction on the EST 2000 at the Battle Simulation Center here January 10 and 11. The training was to familiarize the battalion leaders on the capabilities and functions of the EST 2000 trainer, the battalion commander said.
The training was sponsored by Capt. Burr Miller, commander of the 565 Quartermaster Company.
"This system is by far the best training resource that the Army provides to help train Soldiers on weapon shooting skills. Unlike older training systems, such as the weaponeer, the EST 2000 allows NCOs to give and receive immediate feedback to their Soldiers as well as a greater ability to diagnose and correct shooting problems. This, coupled with the ability to practice 'shoot, don't shoot' and collective live fire events before actual range operations, makes the EST 2000 the most realistic training tool available outside of actual range operations," Miller said. "If companies are not using this tool, they are missing out on a fantastic training tool that the Army provides."
The training showed the officers and NCOs exactly what is available for them to use in training Soldiers, said Master Sgt. Edward Zurita, of the 13th COSCOM Special Projects Office, who participated in the training.
"It's something that [Soldiers of the COSCOM] should go through," Zurita said. "The COSCOM - we're the guys on the road."
Zurita pointed out the fact that Soldiers of the COSCOM are called upon to travel in convoys, one of the most dangerous assignments in theater today. Therefore, weapons proficiency is a must, even if the command is logistical in nature.
"We have to know just as much as the grunts," Zurita added, "and our jobs, too."
The master sergeant continued by saying many Soldiers come into support operations expecting to spend their careers in an office. This is not the case, he said.
"No! You're going to have to leave!"
This is why engagement skills training is so important, Zurita said. It is important because the officers and NCOs want to bring their Soldiers home safely, and that depends on every Soldier being properly trained.
EST 2000 will provide these newly trained leaders with a better opportunity to ensure success for their Soldiers, companies and battalion. All that is required now, said Zurita, is the officers and NCOs putting into action what they have learned.
Master Sgt. Edward Zurita, of the 13th Corps Support Command's Special Troops Battalion, trains on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 in preparation for upcoming deployments. Photo by Pfc. Crystal D. Eldridge, 13th COSCOM Public Affairs Specialist