GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany - U.S. Soldiers with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade participated in live-fire aerial gunnery training on Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Sep. 14, as part of their semi-annual gunnery training that began Sept. 9 and continues until Sept. 20.
The exercise prepares 12th CAB Soldiers for multinational exercises such as Royal Black Hawk, which takes place in October with the French military. Royal Black Hawk will involve aerial gunnery, dual door gunnery, and air assault training with UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
“We’re participating in our semi-annual aerial gunnery qualification for all our crew chiefs,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeffrey Kenny, 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion, 12th CAB. “Our Soldiers are going over table nine which is a multishift gunnery event involving night vision.”
The training lasted into the early hours of the morning, with crew chiefs firing non-stop from their Black Hawks. Crew chiefs assist and direct all aircrew members on their flight. Their help is crucial for pilots and gunners to be able to coordinate and provide effective fire.
“This training is important to maintain aircrew members' proficiency and accuracy with the M240H weapons system, and to have a culminating event for the battalion,” said 1st Lt. Joseph Caudill, Alpha Company Platoon Leader, 1-214th GSAB and pilot, 12th CAB. “The training is going great, and I’m really looking forward to the dual door gunnery this weekend.”
For Soldiers to qualify they must score a 70 percent or higher in a target engagement area while shooting the M240H from a flying helicopter.