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Prerequisites for live-fire operations at the National Training Center.

This article addresses some confusion about live-fire exercise (LFX) qualification standards at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California. To participate in brigade combat team LFXs at NTC, engineer platoons must have completed a Table XII (platoon LFX) within the previous 9 months (or 12 months for Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units).

Leaders of engineer units often believe that they must conduct a "maneuver" Table XII and an engineer qualification table (EQT) XII to meet the qualification standards for the NTC LFX. This confusion comes from a misunderstanding of gunnery training standards as defined in Field Manual 3-20.21, Heavy Brigade Combat Team Gunnery, (1) and Training Circular 3-20.31, Training and Qualification, Crew. (2) The Combat Engineer Integrated Training Strategy, presented in Table 12-5 in the field manual, shows Collective Gunnery Training Tables VII-XII and EQT IX-XII. This is misleading since the requirement for engineer platoons is EQT, as stated in Appendix E (Engineer Squad Qualification Tables): "During the advanced phase of gunnery, engineer platoons will conduct EQTs IX through XII." (3) EQT XII is the standard for engineer platoon gunnery qualification. By following the engineer gated training strategy, units meet the qualification requirements for the NTC LFX.

Field Manual 3-20.21 is now used as the only source for EQTs. In 2010, the heavy brigade combat team gunnery manual was changed so that it became a single-source manual for gunnery training. The EQTs from Training Circular 5-150, Engineer Qualification Tables, (4) were incorporated into Field Manual 3-20.21 and are no longer in a standalone training circular. Field Manual 3-22.3, Stryker Gunnery, (5) follows a pattern similar to the heavy brigade combat team manual--it does not include training strategies for antitank guided missile platoons or platoons that are not infantry. There is no gunnery manual for echelon-above-brigade companies.

The following qualification standards apply for participation in LFXs at the NTC:

* Engineer platoon--Platoon must have completed EQT Table XII within the previous 9 months (or the previous 12 months for Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units).

* Bradley fighting vehicle--Bradley commander/gunner must have completed Table VI in the previous 9 months (or the previous 12 months for Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units).

* Stryker fighting vehicle/M113 armored personnel carrier--Vehicle commander/gunner must have completed crew qualification in the previous 9 months (or the previous 12 months for Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units).

* Assault breacher vehicle/Mine-clearing line charge crew--Crew must have fired a live rocket and inert charge within the previous 12 months.

* Demolitions--All demolitions training must have been completed within the previous 12 months.

* Crew-served weapons--Standards are in accordance with the most recent field manual for the weapon.

* Individual weapons--Standards are in accordance with Department of the Army Pamphlet 350-38, Standards in Weapons Training (Standards in Training Commission). (6)

Units that do not meet these standards can participate in LFX training in a nonfiring status or request a waiver through the brigade combat team commander, subject to approval by the commander of the NTC Operations Group.

Endnotes:

(1) Field Manual 3-20.21, Heavy Brigade Combat Team Gunnery, 3 September 2009.

(2) Training Circular 3-20.31, Training and Qualification, Crew, 17 March 2015.

(3) Field Manual 3-20.21.

(4) Training Circular 5-150, Engineer Qualification Tables, 16 June 1998.

(5) Field Manual 3-22.3, Stryker Gunnery, 9 March 2006.

(6) Department of the Army Pamphlet 350-38, Standards in Weapons Training (Standards in Training Commission), 22 November 2016.

Major Thueme serves as the current Sidewinder 03, the brigade engineer battalion trainer at NTC. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial technology management from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in engineering management from Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla.
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Title Annotation:CTC Corner
Author:Thueme, Andrew A.
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Date:May 1, 2017
Words:628
Previous Article:An Engineer's farewell to the Army evaluation task force.
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