Targets "killed" in 664th OD drive-by shooting
Story and Photos by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas — The turret mounted M240 machine guns swiveled back and forth as the Soldiers searched for their plastic adversaries in the windows of a roadside building. Suddenly, the targets appeared and the air filled with smoke and the tat-tat-tat of machine gun fire.
Soldiers of 664th Ordnance, 180th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), completed a convoy live fire exercise here Oct. 16, to familiarize them with shooting the M240 machine gun from the turret of a moving High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
The training was one simple scenario of three to four humvees per convoy with a Soldier in each vehicle’s turret. Popup targets in the windows of a standalone wall represented a very real situation Soldiers in Iraq have faced many times.
“[We want them] to have confidence to be able to be in a turret on a gun truck and be able to engage that weapon system when necessary,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Joel Duncan, a 664th OD ammunition specialist.
“That was the first time I got to be in the turret. It was fun,” Private 1st Class Deja Roberts, a 664th OD ammunition specialist said.
“We’re focused on realistic training, the kind of things these Soldiers will be seeing in Iraq,” said Capt. Ted Zagraniski, the commander of the 664th OD.
Although the unit’s mission in Iraq currently does not include convoy escort, he wants them to be ready.
Zagraniski wasn’t the only one who thought the training was important.
Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, commander Combined Arms Support Command, who visited Fort Hood to attend 13th SC(E)’s Warfighter Symposium, stopped by to observe the training.
664th OD trained for the last three months to prepare for an Iraq deployment early next year.
The unit will be spread out across Iraq to fulfill their primary mission of ensuring U.S. troops have a steady flow of ammunition.
664th Ordnance Soldiers fire machine guns at popup targets on a convoy live fire range here, Oct. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)