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Truck crew gunnery.

Truck gunnery, originally conceived from FM 17-12-8 and later FM 3-20.8, was designed to train reconnaissance elements in the same crawl-walk-run methodology as other weapon system platforms. During the crawl phase, MK-19, .50 caliber, and M240B gunners fire using Volume I, Small Arms Weapons Training Strategy, and the appropriate 3-22.X series manuals through tripod-mounted qualification. The walk and run phases of qualification for the gunners are covered in the HBCT gunnery manual. The walk phase is crew gunnery, and the run phase is advanced gunnery.

Truck crew gunnery trains the crew to take the knowledge and skills learned during preliminary gunnery and apply it to the basic gunnery tables exercising the crew and the weapon systems in both fully operational and degraded modes. Truck crew gunnery tables should also be utilized by all combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) elements within the HBCT until Volume III, Combat Support/Combat Service Support Gunnery, is released. The culmination of truck crew gunnery is Table VI, crew qualification.

The inherent flexibility built into FM 3-20.21 allows the commanders to tailor the engagements to support their anticipated contemporary operational environment (COE). For example, units deploying to an urban area with a threat of infantry and unarmored vehicles could focus on short range engagements with targets placed in and around urban facades. Some units may not have a contingent area of operation. In this case, commanders may opt to design scenarios to support a variety of threats at all range bands in any environment.

Truck Crew Engagement Process: DIDEA

The engagement process is the process of detecting, identifying, engaging and assessing targets on the battlefield to ensure their rapid destruction. The detect, identify, decide, engage, and assess (DIDEA) process provides an iterative, standardized, and systematic approach to target engagement activities across the user spectrum, from the individual infantryman to indirect fire controllers. The individual actions of the DIDEA process are summarized below:

Detect--The acquisition and location of an object in the operational environment.

Identify--A systematic process supporting the characterization of detected objects as friend, enemy, or neutral.

Decide--Determination of appropriate application of military options and weapons resources on identified objects.

Engage--Specific application of military options/weapons resources.

Assess--Did the applied weapons resources bring about the desired effect?

Chapter 6 of FM 3-20.21 outlines the techniques used in the engagement process or DIDEA for all truck crews.

Truck Crew Gunnery Concept

Throughout FM 3-20.21 there is an inherent flexibility for the commander to train for his anticipated COE. In the development of FM 3-20.21, the gunnery doctrine team from both the Armor and Infantry Centers removed all task prescription from the gunnery manual and established only minimum proficiency levels (MPL) to maintain critical skill requirements and to have a standard evaluation methodology for every weapon system platform in the HBCT; therefore, regardless of unit type (combat arms, CS, CSS), every truck crew will be evaluated in the same manner for both preliminary and basic gunnery.

Though truck crew gunnery was specifically designed for scout/ reconnaissance units in the combined arms battalions (CAB) and reconnaissance squadrons, the tables have two further purposes. First, these tables should be used throughout the brigade for both CS and CSS units. Elements such as distribution platoons, transportation companies, and military police platoons, for example, now share a common evaluation process with their combat arms counterparts. Commanders should tailor truck crew gunnery with similar engagements that the latter units can expect while in combat; for example, transportation units traveling at actual rate of march speeds engaging close range targetry.

Second, these tables are also used for units that will deploy in nontraditional roles. For example, artillerymen can be organized as dismounted rifle squads or armor and infantrymen deployed to an AOR where they will have two vehicle sets or will be on HMMWVs exclusively. It is noteworthy that these truck crew tables will be replicated in the two subsequent weapons proficiency manuals: SBCT and IBCT.

Table Design and Development

In order for truck crews to conduct crew gunnery, the crew members must complete the following prerequisite training prior to conducting full-caliber, live-fire exercises:

[] Crewmembers must pass all gunnery skills tests (GST) tasks; and

[] A crew must pass Table II--crew proficiency course.

Outlined below is the new table layout for truck crews during basic gunnery.

Table III trains crews to proficiency using the assigned weapon system on a stationary vehicle against stationary single targets. The inherent flexibility of FM 320.21 allows commanders and master gunners to arrange targets in a realistic array. The crews will fire four day and three night engagements. As a common theme throughout crew gunnery, friendly targets are included in all crew tables to give the crew practice in combat identification.

Table IV trains crews to employ direct fire to destroy threat targets from a stationary or moving vehicle. The crews engage stationary area and point targets during day and night conditions. Table IV is a building block toward Table V. The unit commander can modify Table IV to train weak gunnery areas or to sustain or improve the crew's strengths or weaknesses.

Table V trains the truck crew to engage moving and stationary targets with the platform weapon systems. It requires the crew to call on all the knowledge gained and lessons learned during Tables I through IV and employ those skills against various targets during day and night operations. Table V prepares the truck crew for Table VI, crew qualification, by presenting engagements with task conditions similar to those on Table VI.

Table VI is a single-vehicle qualification table. It evaluates the crew on the entire engagement process outlined in Chapter 6 in various firing conditions. Table VI is designed to evaluate the crew's ability to put steel on target quickly, while ensuring proper combat identification on a course that presents friendly, neutral, and threat target arrays at realistic ranges. The firing vehicle crew engages single, multiple, and delayed target presentations from a moving and stationary combat vehicle. Table VI consists of five day and five night firing tasks.

To underscore FM 3.20-21 uses MPLs to maintain the critical skill requirements during truck crew gunnery. Below are the MPLs that must be conducted, as a minimum, on both the crew proficiency course and crew qualification tables:

* 1 friendly or 1 neutral target during the day and night for all tables;

* 1 defensive engagement during the day and night for all tables;

* 1 offensive engagement during the day and night for all tables;

* 1 short halt engagement during the day and night for all tables;

* 1 CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) engagement during the day and night for all tables;

* 1 call-for-fire target during the day and night for all tables (Cavalry units);

* .50 cal./MK-19/M240B:

** 1 point target 900m or greater during the day and night for all tables;

** 1 point target 200m or less during the day and night for all tables; and

* MK-19:

** 1 area target 1,500m or greater during the day and night for all tables.

Truck Crew Evaluations

For the development of FM 3-20.21, both the Armor and Infantry Schools came together to develop one standard for evaluating gunnery within the HBCT for all of its weapon system platforms. The greatest change that the reader will discover is the decade long reversal from the TPU (trained, needs practice, untrained) system of scoring to point scoring. For readers that understand both mechanized infantry systems of scoring (past and present), it is important to note that the future point scoring system is similar to the TPU in that the MPL for the future crew gunnery is directly tied to the 70-point line on the timing matrixes. Just as the former point scoring system and current tank point system are evaluated, crew-duty penalties are imposed to ensure that crews practice proper engagement techniques and system procedures. There are five categories of crew-duty penalties:

* Applied immediately to each engagement

** Immediate disqualification--Crew operates with hazardous conduct.

** Automatic zero point--Crew disregards a requirement for an announced task, conditions, and standards.

** 30-point penalty--Crew fails to adhere to basic safety or force protection precepts.

* Applied as a total at the end of each phase (day/night)

** 10-point penalty--Crew fails to perform fundamental leader/crew tasks.

** 5-point penalty--Crew fails to employ correct engagement techniques or respond properly to fire commands.

Essentially, crews receive a numerical score based on their exposure to the threat matrix. Once the score is obtained from an engagement, the crew receives 100 points if there were no crewduty penalties to assess. The crew will receive a lesser score for the engagement if an immediate crew-duty penalty is assessed. For example, immediate disqualification penalties are assessed for the negligent discharge of the weapon system and firing outside the range fans; an automatic zero applies when a crew engages a friendly target or fails to fire a CBRN engagement in MOPP; or a 30-point penalty occurs when crews fail to destroy both targets in accordance with the threat timing matrix. Ten and five-point crew cuts are cumulative for a table phase. For example, a 10-point penalty is assessed against the crew for fundamental leader and crew-type tasks, such as improper fire command, using improper ammunition, etc. Five-point penalties are assessed if the crew uses improper engagement techniques, responds improperly to fire commands, etc.

The table above shows the truck crew ratings that will be received by the crew after completing Table VI, crew qualification.

Truck crew gunnery tests the crewmembers' ability to take knowledge and skills learned during preliminary gunnery and apply it to the basic gunnery tables exercising the crew and the weapon systems in both fully operational and degraded modes. Though truck crew gunnery was developed for the reconnaissance elements commanders should utilize it for all wheeled systems in the HBCT to include combat support and combat service support elements until Volume III, Combat Support/Combat Service Support Gunnery, is released. Flexibility in FM 3-20.21 allows the commanders to tailor the engagements to support their anticipated COE. Training managers are encouraged to develop the basic gunnery tables similar to their in-theater threat.

We encourage commanders, master gunners, and training managers to read the coordinating draft of FM 3-20.21 and ask them to contact the Stryker/Bradley Proponent Office with recommendations for the gunnery manual. The point of contact is Sergeant First Class William Simons. He can be reached at (706) 544-6201 or

Truck Crew Tables: Chapter 10

Table III--Section Proficiency Exercise

Table IV--Section Practice

Table V--Section Qualification

Table VI--Platoon Proficiency Exercise

Sergeant First Class William Simons is the BFV doctrine and systems lead for the S/BPO and future chief. He has served for 19 years in the Army and is a combat veteran; his previous assignments include serving as squad leader, section leader, platoon sergeant, and battalion master gunner. SFC He is a graduate of the BFV Master Gunner Course, the Battle Staff NCO Course, the Advanced NCO Course and holds a bachelor's degree in Management with a minor in Political Science and is nearing completion of a master's degree in Public Administration.

Distinguished Crew scored at least 70 points on at least
 9 of 10 engagements.
 Crew scored 900 to 1,000 points overall.

Superior Crew scored at least 70 points on at least
 8 of 10 engagements.
 Crew scored 800 to 899 points overall.

Qualified Crew scored at least 70 points on at least
 7 of 10 engagements.
 Crew scored 700 to 799 points overall.
COPYRIGHT 2006 U.S. Army Infantry School
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Author:Simons, William
Publication:Infantry Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Previous Article:Preliminary and basic gunnery for the HBCT.
Next Article:Rifle squad gunnery.

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