Capt. Michael Benson, the commander for Troop A, 5th Sqdn., 7th Cav. Rgmt., said the intent of the exercise was to replicate conditions on the battlefield and see if the Soldiers could still hit targets as their stress level increased.
Though this wasn’t the first time the Troopers did a stress shoot, it was the first time doing it alongside their Hungarian allies.
“The neat thing about this exercise was the participation of the Hungarian unit with us,” said Benson. “We would have a team of their Soldiers with a team of ours and move down the lane simultaneously, enabling the cross talk between host nation and ourselves.”
The stress shoot began with Soldiers carrying a weighted casualty litter followed by a 20-meter low crawl and 3-5 second buddy rushes for 250 meters, with Soldiers carrying M240B machine guns with full ammunition canisters to simulate the machine gunner and the assistant gunner.
“Pretty good smoker,” said Benson. “It met the intent of combat stressors and their ability to still engage targets under fire.”
With the Soldiers breathing heavy and their heartrate elevated, they traded out the M240 for their primary weapon, the M4 carbine for the U.S. Soldiers and an AK-47 for the Hungarian Soldiers.
At the firing line the Soldiers moved as two-man buddy teams, engaging targets as they bounded forward.
"Initially, U.S. Soldiers and Hungarian Soldiers moved in alternating bounds, engaging targets on the move, then transitioned at the end of the lane,” said Benson. “As they reached the end of the lane we simulated a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear attack using colored smoke, where at this time Soldiers dawned their [NBC] masks and continued to engage targets.”
Spc. Bennet Francois, a cavalry scout with A Trp., 5th Sqdn., 7th Cav. Rgmt., said the stress shoot was a great training opportunity, especially doing it alongside the Hungarians.
“The work experience with the Hungarian Soldiers is pretty cool,” said Francois. “The stress shoot was pretty intense, I wasn't expecting it. It was probably the most competitive stress fire I have ever done.