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Public Affairs : Small Unit Tactics team conducts weapons training

Small Unit Tactics team conducts weapons training

Story and photos by Kathy Eastwood
Staff Writer
WEST POINT, N.Y. (March 26, 2014) — The West Point Small Unit Tactics team conducted Advanced New Equipment Training, or A-NET, at Camp Smith from March 15-17 and again March 20-22.

The training was led by instructors from Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier Sensors and Lasers, with one day for classroom instruction and three days of live-fire using the M4 Carbine Rifle and other weapons systems. The M4 is designed for lightness, speed, mobility and firepower and is the standard issue for brigade combat teams.

Each cadet, NCO and officer fired more than 1,000 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and 5.56mm Ultimate Training Munitions (UTM) ammunition while practicing at multiple target shooting, barricade shooting, urban assault, distance shooting and night shooting.

“The training is to better understand the employment of their individual weapons with assigned optics equipment, such as the night vision goggles or PVS-14 and laser illuminator or PEQ-15,” U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Daniel J Macsay, officer-in-charge, said.

The goal of this training is to teach students how to integrate these systems in a combat-simulated training environment under both day and night conditions. The course is a great confidence builder for leaders and Soldiers in how to use modern technology to win on the battlefield.

The trainers are contracted to work with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to improve mission critical performance through classroom instructions and live training.

“Our job is to teach Soldiers limited visibility shooting by using thermal, lasers and night vision devices attached to the rifle,” Victor Combs, instructor, said. “We travel around the country to military installations to teach Soldiers to use the equipment properly.”   

Class of 2016 Cadet Spencer Ellis engages targets at Camp Smith March 22 during a live-fire exercise.
Class of 2014 Cadet Alfred Fields (right) and Class of 2015 Cadet Scott Mccabe clean their M4 Carbine Rifles before live-fire exercises at Camp Smith March 22. Six cadets volunteered to forego spring break to train on rifles and specialized equipment.The West Point Small Unit Tactics team conducted two sessions of Advanced New Equipment Training with instructors from the Army’s PEO Soldier program.

Class of 2014 Cadet Luke Kramer said it was the first time they trained on the thermal and laser equipment.

“We usually have just the red dot,” Kramer said. “We did night shooting before at Camp Buckner, but this is a lot more to learn. We actually know how to use it now.”

Most of the cadets seemed impressed with the additional equipment on their weapons, especially the thermal equipment.

“A guy has a gun that you can’t see, but with the thermal equipment, you can see the gun tucked inside his coat,” Kramer said. “It is a cold spot.”

Kramer said the instructors are all very knowledgeable and most are former Special Forces operators.

Six cadets gave up spring break to volunteer for this training for the second weekend and all said they have learned a lot and enjoyed the training.

“The people we are learning from are really personable,” Class of 2014 Cadet Alfred Fields said. “I am usually nervous when shooting and I haven’t shot a lot as some of the guys have. The equipment is really cool though.”