Fort AP Hill, Virginia –
During the Defense Logistics Agency Joint Reserve Force's April Battle Assembly, about 50 JRF members went to Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, for weapons training.
Overall, about 200 service members, including mostly Army soldiers and some DLA JRF sailors, participated in the familiarization and qualification course, done in in conjunction with other units.
Two different weapons, the M16 rifle and the M9 pistol, were used during the two-day course.
The host unit was the 2290th U.S. Army Hospital and the U.S. Army Potomac Recruiting Company.
“This group, led by [Army] Maj. Rena Patierno, helped tremendously and we couldn’t have done it without their support,” said the DLA JRF officer In charge at the range, Army Capt. Lukas Toth. “This was a great exercise and a good opportunity to work with others.”
Army 1st Sgt. Tony McCarty was the range noncommissioned officer in charge, with more than a decade supporting Special Forces units. He was recently with the Asymmetric Warfare Group and has developed future Army weapons qualifications and standards.
“We were very lucky to develop this relationship with an NCO with the experience 1st Sgt. McCarty brings to the table,” Toth said.
Lightning kept participants waiting for the morning of the first day. During the rain, the instruction started with introductions, some refresher familiarization, proper shooting techniques, aiming, loading, barrel positioning, eye dominance and updated techniques to “zero” a weapon.
Next, the participants were given ammo to practice the techniques with. Many had been through similar training but said the instruction was very helpful.
“This is great hands-on training and it’s a good way to get familiar with your weapon,” said Army Capt. Rowan Webster from the DLA Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office. “I wish we could do this more often.”
After all the troops were cycled through practice, they tried to qualify. Under different requirements, including time limits and positions, participants were expected to shoot the weapon correctly and hit the target a certain number of times.
Navy Rear Adm. Ron MacLaren, director of DLA's JRF, talked to many service members participating in the event and presented coins to those who helped make the event a success.
Other participating units were the 151st Legal Operations Detachment and Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets from Georgetown and George Mason Universities.
“Overall, the training was a great success,” Toth said. “The goal was to gain familiarization with the weapons for combat readiness and qualify for deployments in support of DLA.”