DVIDS – News – Sabot Academy is back ready to teach new Senior Gunner Course candidates

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SLOAN, Nevada – After a difficult year of canceling, reducing or modifying in-person training in the Army Reserve due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Sabot Academy has returned this year, ready to train the next group of senior gunner candidates across the 76th Operational Response Command. The Sabot Academy is an 11-day, two-phase course designed to train non-commissioned officers in artillery-related tasks and doctrine for their participation in the US Army Reserve Command Senior Gunner Course.

The first phase was a distance learning portion from October 11-15, for students to learn and complete courses associated with vehicle identification, to include American, Allied and threat vehicles, as well as characteristics and l identification of ammunition. Phase two followed closely on October 17-24 as a resident phase allowing students to learn training strategies such as planning and preparing unit training plans, range safety, crew artillery (to include direct fire engagement process, scenario development, fire controls, and crew assessment) and pre-fire instruction on M240 machine gun weapon systems and M2.

The USARC Senior Gunner Course, which is only offered at Fort Hunter Liggett, is a three-week course that equips each student to be proficient in every phase of operations, from the gunner to the field operator. the control tower. Due to the intensity and complexity of the training in this short period of time, the course would only have a 60% success rate. ORC’s 76th Sabot Academy was established in 2019 in response to soldiers in the command who had failed to graduate from the senior gunner course returning to their home units, requiring more training and preparation. . The Academy from its first class, achieves its target goals as graduates return to their brigades and battalions providing training to their units as some new students already come with knowledge already acquired.

“What’s different about the Academy this year is that we are starting to see the effects of the program at the tiered levels, so now these students don’t come here anymore and have never heard of shooting before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Sanders, a native of Martinsburg, West Virginia, 76th ORC Division Principal Gunner, Sabot Academy Creator and Principal Instructor for the 76th ORC. “They are now familiar with the Senior Gunner program, they know the Sabot Academy and the majority of the class this year has attended an artillery event before. “

While some of the soldiers in the class have arrived locked down and loaded with some familiarity with the training given at the Academy, there are a few students in the class who are learning this information for the first time. One of these students is Master Sgt. Blair Weaver, a squad leader assigned to the 377th Chemical Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“It’s really an eye opener. I didn’t realize there was so much involved with the senior gunner,” Weaver said. “So being able to come here first and get some practical knowledge and a opportunity to touch guns really helped. “

Another soldier who was new to the artillery program was the Master Sgt. Nayeli Crosby, operations NCO and originally from Sun Valley, Calif. And assigned to the 455th Chemical Brigade.

“I think if you don’t have experience or knowledge of what artillery is like, it seems like a lot at first because I felt overwhelmed,” Crosby said. “But after a few days we are now doing the practical things and I think this is something that is even good to teach for the battle assembly on how to get to the tables.”

Like Crosby, Staff Sgt. Matthew Harcarik of Flemington, NJ was in his post two years earlier as the inaugural class student in 2019. He was new to marksmanship training, but his goal was to excel at the Academy and finish with success the main gunner. Course. Well, not only did Harcarik pass the course, he returned to school as an instructor and now joins the 76th ORC as Sander’s successor as the Command Senior Gunner and Academy Chief Instructor. .

“I am an Academy success,” said Harcarik. “This mission was unknown to me before I entered the division and then it was because my unit was in charge of a shooting event, actually that’s why I’m here where I am today. I think we have one of the most robust sustainment artillery programs. “

For the five-day in-person training, Harcarik helped Sanders provide the classroom and hands-on instruction as he prepares to take on the role of instructor. Sanders moved to Fort Bragg, NC in November to take up the post of USARC Senior Gunner. While sad to leave the program he created, he is excited about his future and how his new position can help the 76th program and other commands across the Reserve.

“It’s a bit bittersweet because I’ve been at 76 for three years now and I really got into this program when it was just starting out and worked extremely hard to take it forward and get this knowledge base through our command. and establish what is emerging as a routine operation, “Sanders said.” I will always be in direct communication with Master Sgt. Harcarik as the Mission Support Command (MSC) Senior Gunner and in addition to other MSCs to make sure that the program and work that I have somehow implemented here, I certainly intend to implement and assign command training guidelines of the USARC level. ”

Date taken: 25.10.2021
Date posted: 11.04.2021 21:00
Story ID: 408726
Site: SLOAN, NV, United States

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