Considerations

Trainers must consider the impact of limited visibility on the soldier's ability to prope rly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and combat firing skills. These fundamentals/ skills include:

Operation and Maintenance of the Weapon. Handling the weapon, performing operation and function checks, loading and unloading, and maintenance are affected by nighttime conditions. Movements are slowed, tasks take longer to complete, vision is impaired, and equipment is more easily misplaced or lost. Because combat conditions and enforcement of noise and light discipline restrict the use of illumination, soldiers must be trained to operate (load, unload, and clear), service, and clean their weapons using the lowest lighting conditions. Although initial practice of these tasks should occur during daylight (using simulated darkness) to facilitate control and error correction, repeated practice during actual nighttime conditions should be integrated with other training. Only through repeated practice and training can the soldier be expected to perform all tasks efficiently.

Immediate Action. Under normal conditions, a soldier should clear a stoppage in three to five seconds. After dark, this task usually takes longer. Identifying the problem may be frustrating and difficult for the soldier. A tactile (hands only) technique of identifying a stoppage must be taught and practiced. Clearing the stoppage using few or no visual indicators must also be included. The firer must apply immediate action with his eyes closed. Dry-fire practice using dummy or blank rounds under these conditions is necessary to reduce time and build confidence. Training should be practiced first during daylight for better control and error correction by the trainer. Practice during darkness can be simulated by closing the eyes or using a blindfold. Once the soldier is confident in applying immediate action in daylight or darkness, he can perform such actions rapidly on the firing line.

Target Detection. Many of the skills discussed in Appendix B apply to target detection after dark. light from a cigarette or flashlight, discharge of a rifle (muzzle

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