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Raider Ready Reserve conducts team live-fire exercise

By Sgt. Ryan Hallock A gun team from the Raider Ready Reserve (R3), 4th Bde., 2nd Inf.Div., reloads during a team live-fire exercise.

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It's a new year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Army is changing. From budget cuts to the new opportunity for women to serve in combat positions, the Army as we know it is entering into a new era. One thing that won't be changing within the ranks is the way we train.

The Soldiers of the Raider Ready Reserve, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division proved that during a team live-fire exercise at Range 60 Jan. 29 and 30. R3 is organized, equipped, and trained to execute rear detachment operations focused on maintaining Soldier, Family, training and equipment readiness that instills confidence in forward deployed commanders.

Range 60 is in the wilderness. It's mother nature. There's no exchange to shop at, no Burger King; there are just evergreens, Meals Ready-to-Eat and live ammunition.

The training exercise involved the same drills the infantry has used for decades: reacting to enemy contact, bounding and assaulting through the enemy.

"A fire team moving under direct fire has been the same since World War II," said 1st Sgt. Shayne L. Charlesworth, R3 first sergeant. "Cover me while I move. Then you move while your buddies fire." The exercise allowed new leaders to assume team leader and squad leader positions. The fire teams warmed up with iterations without ammunition. Once the teams worked out the kinks, they moved into blank-round iterations.

"This is basically for the team leader to learn how to control his guys and for his guys to be able to listen to him and react with him under fire and distress," said Sgt. Brandon Driscoll, team leader, R3.

This was Driscoll's first team leader position. Magazine changes, staying on line and being vocal were fundamentals his team practiced before live-round iterations.

"It's definitely a lot harder," Driscoll said of his leadership position. "Having to run back and forth to my Joes and moving them is a lot harder work than just having to bound up once and listen to my team leader."

"I really think that some of these young Soldiers will make outstanding team leaders, squad leaders and platoon sergeants in the near future." Charlesworth said.

Some R3 Soldiers have already deployed to Afghanistan and the rest are preparing to join them if called upon. "My expectations are pretty high," Charlesworth said. "I know that because of the caliber of Soldier we have, they are capable of doing so much more than the average Joe around the world."

The second day of training brought rain, softening the ground for Soldiers' dives during bounding movements. By midday during the live-fire exercise, the teams were running through the course smoothly. "I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm a lot better team leader than when I got out here," Driscoll said. "It helped me progress as a Soldier by guiding a team and feeling confident in that in a combat situation."

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