Basic MK 19 gunnery skills and gunner qualification continues in units. Once soldiers learn individual and crew skills, the unit must help them sustain those skills. To do this, leaders follow the annual gunnery-training program provided in Appendix E, Annual Gunnery Training Program. In addition to sustaining skills, the unit incorporates the MK 19 into collective training exercises such as platoon and squad live-fire situational training exercises (STXs).
a. The strategy for sustaining basic MK 19 gunnery skills includes annual or semiannual instructional and qualification range firing. However, the unit must set up a year-round sustainment program. Key elements of the sustainment program include training the trainers, refreshing preliminary skills, and using devices to remedy the training of soldiers who have trouble qualifying on the MK 19.
b. The unit also trains the gunner in other skills such as night firing; mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) firing; engaging moving targets, using camouflage, cover and concealment; firing and maneuvering; and preparing or selecting a fighting position. The unit also integrates these skills into tactical training. The references at the back of this manual contain additional guidance on the training for these skills.
c. The unit integrates individual and leader MK 19 tasks into collective training such as squad, section, and platoon drills and STXs as well as company LFXs and field training exercises (FTXs). Organizational mission training plans (MTP) and drill books include the tasks, conditions, and standards for the collective tasks in these exercises. These books also explain how to plan and conduct such collective tasks. Based on the type of organization, the unit evaluates collective exercises in leader and trainer after-action reviews (AARs). Objectively evaluating both individual and unit proficiency indicates the readiness and future training requirements.
d. Trainers schedule live fire after the soldiers demonstrate preliminary skills. For initial fire, the trainer conducts an instructional exercise. This improves the soldiers' ability to acquire targets with the MK 19. Once soldiers understand the gun and demonstrate the skills needed to acquire a target, the trainer conducts additional live-fire training and target-detection exercises at various ranges. To develop proficiency, soldiers have to master targets and scenarios of increasing difficulty. After initial individual training, the trainer conducts qualification fire on a range to evaluate each soldier's skills. When conducted in accordance with Chapter 4, Marksmanship, this evaluation also gives leaders some insight into the unit's skill and training effectiveness.
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