Stinger Range Operations
Live firings are necessary to sharpen Stinger gunner skills and to provide opportunities for gunners to overcome any fear of firing the weapon. With the limited number of ranges and Stinger weapons available, live firings must be prepared, organized, and conducted so that maximum realistic training value is gained. This chapter discusses the operation involved in the live firing of Stinger.
The Stinger range OIC should conduct a range reconnaissance before his unit occupies the range. The range reconnaissance should provide answers to the following questions:
Related to the OIC's reconnaissance, the following areas as indicated must be located and established:
Range requirements are contained in AR 385-62, local range regulations, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) procedures, and unit SOPs. These references are the basis upon which plans for personnel and equipment requirements are determined. All current references should be placed in a range notebook with directions for handling emergencies. The range notebook should be continually updated regarding safety changes and any changes to established local policies. AR 385-62 should be a must in such a notebook, as well as MEDEVAC radio frequency, hospital phone numbers, and directions to the nearest aid station.
A well-organized range provides maximum firing time. The range should be organized to best support the firing. A sample range layout appears in the illustration below. A good range SOP will save time and energy for all concerned. The SOP should include guidelines for occupying the range and should describe actions to be taken for specific tasks, such as fighting down range fires, issuing weapons, and a sound traffic pattern for entering and exiting the range, in particular the immediate firing area. TC 25-2, contains additional information on Army range requirements.
Installations where firings take place will normally have a range control office. This office is responsible for the coordination and safe conduct of range firing for all units using range facilities. Normally, section chiefs will be required to receive a range briefing from this office prior to using a range. This office will also provide a set of local range regulations and policies and will usually require the unit to sign for range facilities upon occupation of the range.
The post range officer controls all ranges by wire or radio communications. The communications system is used for obtaining clearance to fire, making reports, coordination, and ceasing fire. The range communications system enables the range officer to shut down the range immediately in case of emergency.
The OIC controls firing by several means, including flag, radio, telephone, public address system, or messengers. Wire is preferred for communications with target operators and demolition personnel in the impact area. In all cases, the OIC plans for a backup communications system to prevent delays.
The OIC designates personnel and assigns duties to assist him in preparing and running the range.
The safety officer or NCO will--
The NCOIC will supervise range details connected with range firing.
The ammunition NCO will--
The target detail officer or senior NCO will--
The firing station NCO (coach) will--
Additional range personnel include the following:
The OIC should insure that he has the following on hand:
A plan must be developed for opening and closing the range and conducting Stinger firings. Duties of the OIC, NCOIC, and safety officer or NCO should include the elements contained in the following illustration.
All personnel to fire are given a detailed briefing by the OIC. The OIC discusses the purposes, objectives, standards, and firing procedures to be followed. The OIC reviews the Stinger gunnery techniques applicable to the type of firing conducted.
Prior to live-firing exercises, gunners will track targets on both left-to-right and right-to-left crossing courses using THTs. During the firing exercises they will not fire except on orders from the NCO assigned to coach each gunner. Gunners at the tracking positions (in barricades) will track and simulate engagements on the same targets assigned to gunners at the firing positions. Coaches will make necessary corrections to gunners on both firing and tracking positions.
On command from the OIC, the gunners proceed to the firing line, draw a Stinger weapon, and go to the designated firing point. The coach takes a position to the left of the gunner and assures that all safety measures are complied with. The coach is able to communicate with the OIC/safety officer in the tower. The coach will relay the following commands to the gunner:
Crossover is announced when the target is at crossover to assist the gunner in performing the firing sequence, particularly in the case of high-speed courses (when the gunner fires after crossover).
The OIC should have complete control over the activities taking place on the range. In addition to conducting a successful firing, he has responsibility for insuring that all safety and security procedures during the conduct of the firing exercise are enforced. Some helpful hints and key items that the OIC should address are contained in the illustration below.
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