05 – 18 February 2017
Our focus these past two weeks was conducting PLT LFX on West McKeithan Pond (WMP) from 3-10 FEB, D/1-508 PIR’s recovery from heavy weapons gunnery at Fort Benning, and ORS preparation.
1-508 PIR Readiness Statistics:
1-508 PIR - Overall Individual Qualification: 100%
1-508 PIR M4 Qualification: 100%
1-508 PIR M9 Qualification: 95.5%
1-508 PIR Aggregate Crew Qualification: 100%
1-508 PIR M240 Qualification: 100%
1-508 PIR M3 Carl Gustav: 78%
1-508 PIR Aggregate Platform Qualification: 100%
1-508 PIR 60mm Mortar: 100%
1-508 PIR Aggregate Personnel Non-Deployable: 7%
1-508 PIR MRC-3 Total #: 9
1-508 PIR MRC-4 Total #: 10
1-508 PIR MED Board Total #: 19
1-508 PIR Chapter #: 13
1-508 PIR SRP Packets Complete: 98% (significant time fixing these this week – storyboard attached)
1-508 PIR Aggregate OR Rate: 80%
1-508 PIR Pacing Item OR Rate: 83%
1-508 PIR Overdue Services: 0%
1-508 PIR NMC Equipment Over 60 Days: 3
1-508 PIR Delinquent Lateral Transfers - Internal: 1
1-508 PIR Delinquent Lateral Transfers - External: 5
1-508 PIR Pieces of Excess Property: 11
UAS FY17 Flight Hours to Date: 60 Hours RAVEN, 20 Hours Instant Eye
FIGHT TONIGHT – READINESS
Marksmanship. On 2-3 February, 1-508 PIR executed two days of Reflexive Fire Ranges prior to Platoon Live Fire Exercises. HHC’s 1SG Gilmer was the lead trainer on Range 50A where every squad (over 150 Paratroopers) of A, B and C Co executed CQB tables in preparation for maneuvering while firing and entering/clearing rooms on the PLT LFX objective.
Medical Skills. From 2-11 February, the medical platoon supported Platoon Live Fire Exercises at WMP with simulated scenario casualties for 18 different Platoon LFX iterations. This week, our medics began the Live Tissue Training to better prepare them for combat operations.
Small Unit Tactics. During PLT LFX, all companies used their non-LFX time to execute Troop Leading Procedures and STX in a near-by training area. Companies focused on maneuvering (day/night), gun drills, squad/platoon ambush, night land navigation, and patrol base activities. Additionally, the Scout Platoon executed STX training with ODA 3316 (3D BN, 3D SFG) that focused on their sniper and recon teams executing long range patrols.
Mastery of Maintenance. J Co (our Forward Support Company) executed 2 daily LOGPACs in support of 1-508 PIR’s forward operations at WMP. During this time, they also executed 24hr maintenance operations completing repairs and services on 2 x M2, 3 x M240, 44 x M4, 6 x rolling stock, and 26 x PVS-14 NVGs. The BN turned in 4 x SAMS boxes this past week for reimaging as part of the GCSS-A transition and completed 6 PSDs for excess property turn-in – removing 10 pieces of equipment from our property books. Upon returning from PLT LFX, J Co spearheaded our BN Recovery operations and ORS preparations by fixing and servicing 1 x M2, 1 x M4, 1 X 120mm mortar, 14 pieces of rolling stock, and 11 x Radiac sets were turned in for calibration to TMDE.
Airborne Proficiency. 1-508 PIR executed no airborne operations during this reporting period.
Live Fire Exercises. 1-508 PIR executed PLT LFX on WMP these past two weeks. Prior to executing the LFX, every leader (PSG and above) executed a TEWT on the range that served as the second portion of battalion LFX LPD. This TEWT covered weapons effects, surface danger zones, and maneuver corridors that greatly aided in the platoons’ performance during the LFX. 1-508 PIR validated all 9 platoons on 2 separate SBF positions, a squad attack, mechanical breach, and room clearing. 60mm mortar crews fired FRTR rounds in support during the entire LFX iteration. Our British officer, CPT Henry Mitchel (a Heavy Weapons Platoon Commander in 3 Para) observed each weapons squad and shared TTPs on planning and employing machine guns in support of maneuvering units. Major AAR comments included the need to build depth in PLTs (having more than the minimum qualified M240B, M320, and M249); PCIs (creating a standard across all formations and bringing all the necessary equipment to the field); machine gun proficiency (gun crews need more experience with marksmanship, crew drills, ammo conservation, and actions to clear stoppages); and employment of AT Systems at night (creating Innovative ways to enhance the accuracy and targeting of the AT-4 at night).
UAS Operations Overview. 1-508 PIR hosted a RAVEN/UAS Rodeo for 37 Paratroopers across 3BCT and 1BCT from 1-11 February. This event certified 21 new operators and recertified 14 operators. The first week of training was held in 1-508 PIR’s classroom, where Paratroopers conducted classroom instruction and simulated flight training. The second week consisted of flight operations on All American DZ. Additionally, all RAVEN UAS operators were trained and certified on the PUMA UAS – the first training conducted on this system in 3BCT. This training also assisted 1BCT in validating the L3 Tactical Rover E Radio.
School Updates. 1-508 PIR currently has 53 Ranger-qualified Paratroopers, with another 5 currently in Ranger School. We currently have 35 Jumpmasters, with 2 awaiting PWAC and another 2 currently in the Jumpmaster Course. Additionally, this week we have 2 leaders in the Air Movement Officer course and 10 leaders in the Airborne Leader Course, leaving only 11 leaders remaining across the entire BN that still need to attend ALC.
WIN TOMORROW’S FIGHT
Over the next two weeks, 1-508 PIR will be preparing for ORS inspections as we move towards GRB 1 assumption on 15 March. Additionally, MAJ Rhodes and MAJ Scher will be attending the S3/XO Course, along with the D-210 conference in preparation for JRTC this fall. Finally, 1-508 continue to execute ORS re-inspections as applicable and the DRC ROC Drill.
NEXT TWO WEEK'S FOCUS
Training Week 22’s focus will be ORS inspections and preparation for GRB 1. This week will culminate with an S3-Air Brief and IMC for the following week’s BN JFE. Training Week 23’s focus will be a BN JFE and ORS re-inspections. 1-508 PIR will jump onto an offset DZ (Salerno) before maneuvering west towards Holland DZ in order to secure the airfield to allow for (notional) airlands. This week will conclude with Pay Day Activities on 03 March.
MAJ Dru Rhodes
1-508 PIR Operations Officer
3BCT, 82nd ABN DIV
FURY FROM THE SKY