~ NGMTC conducts live rehearsals with 39th BSB, Ark. National Guard
by Theresa Austin, Capt. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – A random phone call about targets, led to the 39th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) fulltime staff receiving first class training from the elite shooters of the National Guard’s All Guard Marksmanship Team prior to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (CNGB) Phase Three Postal Matches hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, Ark. May 18, 2017.
The All Guard Team was scheduled to conduct range rehearsals prior to the CNGB, then Maj. Dwayne Page, NGMTC chief of competitions, received a phone call asking for assistance with targets. After a brief conversation, he offered that the 39th BSB of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), let the All Guard team practice range rehearsing and training with their Soldiers, therefore allowing the 39th BSB to focus on conducting their annual fulltime arming qualification requirements.
“Working with the 39th BSB gave us the opportunity to work out kinks before we have several National Guard Soldiers on ground from across the nation,” said Page. “This was also a good opportunity for the Arkansas National Guard to see the capabilities of the All Guard Team members, and receive training on Soldier tasks they have never been taught before.”
The 39th BSB staff was very grateful for this opportunity to receive their training from the All Guard Team.
“I wish we could have them come out and teach the whole unit,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Slaughter, Charlie Company, 39th BSB supply NCO. Staff Sgt. Shandy Erisman, Bravo Company, 39th BSB training NCO, also, said, “The whole unit could benefit from this training.”
Sgt. Mandi York, Headquarters Company, 39th BSB personnel NCO could definitely testify to the quality training they are able to provide.
“I have not qualified the last two years,” said York, “but with this instruction I finally qualified. The instructors were all attentive and patient; letting you try over and over until you got it right.”
Not only did the less experienced shooters gain confidence, but the experienced shooters also took away new techniques and skills.
“I shoot expert always,” said Erisman, “but the PMI they taught me on my M4 is the opposite of what I was taught in basic training, and used about half of what they taught me today. I have been taught for 18 years not to rest the magazine on the ground, but they taught us to do that and hold the magazine well, which made me more comfortable shooting and made me more relaxed, when I am normally stressed about it.”
Resting the magazine on the ground and gripping the magazine well, was recently added to the regulation after research conducted by a former member of the All Guard Team, Mark Richards, who proved this to be a beneficial technique.
Not only were the instructors knowledgeable, but were patient, working specifically with each person to address their individual needs.
“One of my weaknesses was pistol grip, and they assisted with adapting my grip to fit my needs, since I have small hands,” said Staff Sgt. Athena Staples, Headquarters Company, 39th BSB operations NCO. “And with the M4,” she continued, “they moved my ACOG and taught me about the white and black shadows when looking through the optic, and how to adjust your cheek position based on the shadowing.”
This one on one coaching helped out the 39th BSB Soldiers, from their most skilled marksman to the Soldiers who had been struggling.
“This allowed the 39th BSB to increase their training time and receive premiere training from the All Guard Team,” said Page, “but, this was also, an opportunity for the All Guard Team, who needed to check their teaching methods, to see if they could do them more expeditiously and effectively, prior to moving into the CNGB. At the CNGB, they would be working with many more Soldiers and trying to get them on and off the range quickly.”
“Overall, this was a win-win situation,” said Page.
For more information about getting involved, contact Maj. Dwayne Page 501-212-4531 or visit us on the web at https://ngmtc.wordpress.com.
For more photos visit our Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskW5exJX.