Training continues in units on the basic skills taught in IET. Additional skills such as area fire are trained and then integrated into collective training exercises, which include platoon and squad live-fire STXs. (A year-round unit marksmanship training program is explained in Appendix A.) The strategy for sustaining the basic marksmanship skills taught in IET is periodic preliminary rifle instruction, followed by instructional and qualification range firing. However, a unit must set up a year-round program to sustain skills. Key elements include training of trainers, refresher training of nonfiring skills, and use of the Weaponeer or other devices for remedial training.
Additional skills trained in the unit include semiautomatic and automatic area fires, night fire, MOPP firing, and moving target training techniques. Related soldier skills of camouflage, cover and concealment, fire and movement, and preparation and selection of a fighting position are addressed in FM 21-3, which must be integrated into tactical training.
In the unit, individual and leader proficiency of marksmanship tasks are integrated into collective training to include squad, section, and platoon drills and STXs; and for the collective tasks in these exercises, and how they are planned and conducted, are in the MTP and battle drills books for each organization. (Force-on-force exercises using MILES are discussed in detail in TC 25-6). Based on the type organization, collective tasks are evaluated to standard and discussed during leader and trainer after-action reviews. Objective evaluations of both individual and unit proficiency provide readiness indicators and future training requirements.
A critical step in the Army's overall marksmanship training strategy is to train the trainers and leaders first. Leader courses and unit publications develop officer and NCO proficiencies necessary to plan and conduct marksmanship training and to evaluate the effectiveness of unit marksmanship programs. Training support materials are provided by the proponent schools to include field manuals, training aids, devices, simulators, and programs that are doctrinal foundations and guidance for training the force.
Once the soldier understands the weapon and has demonstrated skill in zeroing, additional live-fire training and a target acquisition exercise at various ranges are conducted. Target types and scenarios of increasing difficulty must be mastered to develop proficiency.
Initial individual training culminates in the soldier's proficiency assessment, which is conducted on the standard record fire range or approved alternates. This evaluation also provides an overview of unit proficiency and training effectiveness.
General marksmanship training knowledge and firing well are acquired skills, which perish easily. Skill practice should be conducted for short periods throughout the year. Most units have a readiness requirement that all soldiers must zero their rifles within a certain time after unit assignment. Also, soldiers must confirm the zeros of their assigned rifles before conducting a qualification firing. Units should conduct preliminary training and practice firing throughout the year due to personnel turnover. A year-round marksmanship sustainment program is needed for the unit to maintain the individual and collective firing proficiency requirements to accomplish its mission (see Appendix A).
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