1st Battalion 22nd Infantry


Alpha "Gators" Bradley crews qualify



Sgt. 1st Class Gilbert Nail, Bradley commander and platoon sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry,
scans the range for potential targets before conducting crew gunnery pre-qualification training that occured Oct. 27, 2004
at the Dalton Mountain Multi-use range.




Story and photos by Spc. Rodney L. Foliente, 4th Inf. Div. PAO
October 2004


Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, completed crew qualification gunnery Monday
on the unit’s newly issued Bradley M2A3s.

     The crews began their 11-day field training exercise Oct. 22 and performed day and night operations on three different ranges
to test crew coordination and target acquisition with the new A3 systems.

     “ The training is going excellently,” said 1st Sgt. Rohan McDermott, Co. A, 1-22 IN. The unit was using brand new equipment
and had quite a few new Soldiers, said McDermott, but the Soldiers were learning and improving every day.

     The training was extremely beneficial and allowed the Soldiers an opportunity to learn firsthand all the new capabilities of the new weapons system
and other enhancements, added Sgt. Brandon Stalding, a Bradley commander.

The Company Commander and his crew, of Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, relax as they wait for cattle to escorted off the range
during crew gunnery pre-qualification that occurred Oct. 27 at the Dalton Mountain Multi-use range.


     The training has been fun, said Spc. Matthew Brown, a Bradley gunner. “I love firing the Bradley, and I love the new improvements.”
He said he felt the controls were more convenient and the system was quick and easier to use.

     “ It’s a good learning experience,” agreed Pvt. Zachary Mayo, a Bradley driver. “We’re getting to know the Bradley a little better,
and we’re learning to function better as a team.”

     The Bradley is a fully armored, fully tracked vehicle designed to transport and support infantry. The firepower is impressive, said Mayo.
The Bradley is capable of taking out tanks and other vehicles and large groups of enemy troops.
It fires a 25 mm Bushmaster cannon and a 7.62 mm M240C machine gun.

     The new system allows the Soldiers to be more efficient and more lethal in accomplishing their missions, said Mayo,
and that adds a greater degree of safety to their jobs.

     The new capabilities and upgrades are very impressive, added McDermott.
The system includes a second generation Forward Looking Infrared sighting system that allows greater day and night target acquisition.

     It also includes a commander’s independent viewer, noted McDermott. This allows the commander and gunner the ability to simultaneously search
and lock on to targets. Once a target is destroyed, the turret automatically swings to the next selected target.
The commander also has the ability to switch his screen to display exactly what the gunner sees.

     The M2A3 equips the crew with more situational awareness than the previous version, said Stalding. “It allows us to have a hunter-killer capability.”
 The system is really amazing, he added. With the night-vision on the 2nd generation FLIR, the crew can see a first-aid pouch
or camelback outline on a Soldier about 500 meters out, said Stalding.

     The A3 also integrates the Force XXI Battle Command for Brigade and Below software, said Stalding. This promotes information superiority in the battlefield, allowing all components of the attack force to share visual and technical information.

     If one crewmember spots a target’s location or surrounding geographical features, he can share it with the whole command, explained Stalding.
This feature increases the overall effectiveness of the mission.

A Bradley M2A3 Infantry Vehicle crew fires the 25 mm Bushmaster cannon at pop-up targets
during the Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry crew gunnery pre-qualification training
that occured Oct. 27 at the Dalton Mountain Multi-use range.


     The new Bradley M2A3 is an impressive weapons platform, said Sgt. Ronald Wycoff, a dismount squad leader and alternate Bradley gunner.
The Soldiers are training hard so when they deploy, they can utilize the system with the highest level of proficiency.

     In Iraq, the enemy attacks from roofs or from the spaces between buildings, explained Pfc. Marco Medina, a Bradley driver.
The enemy attacks with hit-and-run tactics. The new system allows a Bradley crew to spot multiple enemies at the same time.
The crew engages and destroys targets with greater speed and efficiency.

     So in the meantime, the Soldiers are getting dirty and having fun with the new A3s, added Medina. The unit is a quick response force,
and if called to action, it is ready. “We’re training and getting ready to go back to Iraq.”

 Everyday, Soldiers review lessons learned in Iraq, said McDermott, and the new system will definitely help in any combat situation.



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