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1st ID hosts Germans at M-16 range

By Spc. Joe Alger

WUERZBURG, Germany (Army News Service, Aug. 11, 2005) - Soldiers from 1st Infantry Division participated in a partnership range with German Soldiers from 13th Panzer Division in Wuerzburg Aug. 9.

While the 1st ID Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company qualified with their M-16A2 rifles, 14 Soldiers from the 13th Panzer Division were also given an opportunity to fire the weapon for the first time.

“They’re doing the same qualification as we do,” said Staff Sgt. Larry Gormley, 1st ID’s noncommissioned officer in charge of public affairs. “They get 40 rounds to qualify and get a chance to zero beforehand. It’s good training for them. Our goal today is to get everyone qualified and have a good time.”

The 13th Panzer Soldiers, who traveled from Leipzig to the range, were provided barracks the night before by 1st ID. Gormley said this gave them an opportunity to get a good night of rest before going to the range.

“It’s a four-hour drive here from Leipzig, so if they were to drive up here and qualify the same day, it would be pretty exhausting for them,” he said.

Even though it was the first time the German Soldiers had fired the M-16, and all the instructions had to be translated for them, they learned very quickly, Gormley said.

“They’re doing really well,” Gormley said. “They went through the zeroing part of the range very quickly. If they shoot that well on the qualification part they’ll all do fine.”

All of the 14 German Soldiers who participated in the range qualified with the M-16. Ten of them qualified marksman, while four qualified as sharpshooters.

Gormley and Master Sgt. Gering Hfwelgable, HHC, 13th Panzer Division, organized the training. This was the first partnership exercise between the two units, but they don’t plan on making it the last.

Another event, planned for September, is the German Schutzenschur marksmanship qualification. U.S. Soldiers will attempt to qualify using the Mg-3 machine gun, MG-78 rifle and the P-8 9mm pistol.

“It’s great training with the German soldiers,” Gormley said. “They all seem very positive about coming out here and doing this event.”

The German Soldiers were equally pleased with the outcome of the partnership exercise.

“It was a nice day for shooting, and I had a good time,” Hfwelgable said. “I look forward to the American Soldiers coming out and firing our weapons.”

(Editor’s Note: Story by Spc. Joe Alger, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

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