Mortar crews conduct recertification
Crew members with Troop A, 4th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 1st ABCT “punch the tube” on a M121 Mortar System mounted in their M1064A3 Mortar Track June 25 during the unit’s four-day mortar certification at Fort Riley. The training is in preparation for the platoon-level exercise the squadron will conduct next month. Photo by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson
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About 20 Soldiers from the cavalry scout mortar section of 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division put their skills to the test on the mortar certification range for a Table VIII from June 24 to 27 at Fort Riley.
The training is a semiannual requirement similar to Soldiers' M4 qualifications, said Capt. Victor Fields, fire support officer, 4th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt.
Crews from troops A, B and C participated in the training, firing the 120mm ballistic training round at their targets, said Staff Sgt. Christopher Martin, squad leader, Troop A.
"The crews have been working up to this part of the certification over the past month," Martin said. "The buildup to the certification began with the gunner's exam and the fire direction center Soldier's written exam."
Each crew was graded on a "go" or "no-go" rating, he said.
The crews had 21 tasks and multiple sub-tasks that they had to receive a "go" on to become certified.
The crews fired out of a M1064A3 Mortar Track Vehicle, firing multiple iterations of three to six rounds at each target, Martin said.
"I've been a mortarman for four years and have fired over 2,000 mortars during my term of service," said Spc. Jacob Bailey, gunner, Troop A. "No matter how many times I've shot mortars, I love to keep shooting them. To me, this still gives me an awesome feeling."
The training was in preparation for the platoon-level exercise the squadron will conduct next month.