Inside the Gates: Soldier weapons training

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:46 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While COVID-19 has slowed down many things, it hasn’t deterred Spartan paratroopers.

“You train how you fight,” Weapons squad leader with the 4/25 Spartan Brigade SSG Quintin Gosha said. “That’s what I’ve always been told.”

Today paratroopers are pulling the triggers on M2-40 Bravo machine guns.

“It’s a very big gun,” Gosha said. “It shoots a lot of bullets.”

Weapons familiarization training is something these soldiers spend a lot of time doing. Each paratrooper is taught how to tear down, rebuild and shoot each weapon. Paratroopers learn to use anywhere between eight and 12 different weapons and train in Alaska’s extreme weather to make sure they are ready for any event or circumstance.

“With the COVID stuff, we haven’t been able to shoot for a couple months,” Assistant gunner with the 4/25 Spartan Brigade Spc. Richard Hill said. “So we’ve been doing non-live training and doing gun drills. Today we got to come down here and put some rounds downrange.”

It’s an important exercise that trains these paratroopers for both offensive and defensive attacks should they ever encounter an enemy. It also trains them how to stay safe.

“Safety is always a thing,” Gosha said. “If you’re not wearing the proper PPE, gloves, all that good stuff then you, for one, you can go deaf shooting that gun. Anything can happen. You can get debris in your eye. If you’re not wearing the proper gloves and you’re touching cold metal, you can get contact frostbite. If you don’t have the proper lubricant for it, then it will lock up. It will freeze the bolt to the rear.”

The Alaska climate is just another aspect U.S. Army Alaska takes advantage of in ensuring they always have the upper hand when called upon.

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