U.S., German soldiers cross train in marksmanship
During their time in the military most service members will become familiar with a specific group of weapons, and fire these same weapons year after year, to maintain and improve their marksmanship skills with these weapons.
German troops form Multinational Battle Group South fire the M4 at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The Germans fired and qualified with the M4 and the M249. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: German troops form Multinational Battle Group South fire the M4 at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The Germans fired and qualified with the M4 and the M249. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th P
Photo 1 of 5: German troops form Multinational Battle Group South fire the M4 at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The Germans fired and qualified with the M4 and the M249. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Staff Sgt. Miguel Perez, retention specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, handles a G36 during a familiarization class Oct. 20. Perez, Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard, along with 34 other Soldiers qualified with three different German weapons and earned the Schutzenschnur Medal. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Staff Sgt. Miguel Perez, retention specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, handles a G36 during a familiarization class O
Photo 2 of 5: Staff Sgt. Miguel Perez, retention specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, handles a G36 during a familiarization class Oct. 20. Perez, Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard, along with 34 other Soldiers qualified with three different German weapons and earned the Schutzenschnur Medal. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
A group of U.S. Soldiers handle G36 rifles during a familiarization class Oct. 20 at the German Orahovac Range. The U.S. Soldiers fired and qualified with three German weapons, the MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: A group of U.S. Soldiers handle G36 rifles during a familiarization class Oct. 20 at the German Orahovac Range. The U.S. Soldiers fired and qualified with three German weapons, the MG3, G36 and the P8
Photo 3 of 5: A group of U.S. Soldiers handle G36 rifles during a familiarization class Oct. 20 at the German Orahovac Range. The U.S. Soldiers fired and qualified with three German weapons, the MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
German Staff Sgt. Sebastian S., fires an M249 during a cross training event at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The German troops qualified with the M249 and the M4 earlier in the week the U.S. Soldiers qualified with the German MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: German Staff Sgt. Sebastian S., fires an M249 during a cross training event at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The German troops qualified with the M249 and the M4 earlier in the week the U.S. Soldiers qualif
Photo 4 of 5: German Staff Sgt. Sebastian S., fires an M249 during a cross training event at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The German troops qualified with the M249 and the M4 earlier in the week the U.S. Soldiers qualified with the German MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
Staff Sgt. Alberto Mantilla, military police officer, 544th Military Police Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, gives an M4 familiarization class during a cross training exercise Oct. 22 at Camp Bondsteel. Mantilla, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, is a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
5 photos: Staff Sgt. Alberto Mantilla, military police officer, 544th Military Police Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, gives an M4 familiarization class during a cros
Photo 5 of 5: Staff Sgt. Alberto Mantilla, military police officer, 544th Military Police Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, gives an M4 familiarization class during a cross training exercise Oct. 22 at Camp Bondsteel. Mantilla, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, is a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard) Download full-resolution version
German troops form Multinational Battle Group South fire the M4 at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The Germans fired and qualified with the M4 and the M249. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
Staff Sgt. Miguel Perez, retention specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, handles a G36 during a familiarization class Oct. 20. Perez, Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard, along with 34 other Soldiers qualified with three different German weapons and earned the Schutzenschnur Medal. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
A group of U.S. Soldiers handle G36 rifles during a familiarization class Oct. 20 at the German Orahovac Range. The U.S. Soldiers fired and qualified with three German weapons, the MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
German Staff Sgt. Sebastian S., fires an M249 during a cross training event at Camp Bondsteel Oct. 22. The German troops qualified with the M249 and the M4 earlier in the week the U.S. Soldiers qualified with the German MG3, G36 and the P8. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)
Staff Sgt. Alberto Mantilla, military police officer, 544th Military Police Company, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Multinational Battle Group East, gives an M4 familiarization class during a cross training exercise Oct. 22 at Camp Bondsteel. Mantilla, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, is a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – During their time in the military most service members will become familiar with a specific group of weapons, and fire these same weapons year after year, to maintain and improve their marksmanship skills with these weapons. Firing a foreign weapon system is a rare opportunity not many Soldiers receive; however U.S. Soldiers and German troops both had this opportunity during a recent training event.

U.S. Soldiers visited Orahovac, the German shooting range on Oct. 20 for a chance to qualify with the German issued P8 pistol, G36 rifle and the MG3 machine gun.

“The American Soldiers are going to fire our weapons, after a familiarization class, for qualification,” said German 1st Lt. Johannes S. “If the Soldiers qualify with our weapons they will receive the Schutzenschnur Medal.”

The “Schutzenschnur” is the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency and is authorized to be worn with the Class A uniform by enlisted Soldiers who earn it.

“Going out and firing the German weapons was a rare opportunity for us,” said Staff Sgt. Alberto Mantilla, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, military police officer, 544th Military Police Company, Multinational Battle Group East. “It’s a great chance for our Soldiers to see what other nations are firing and to expose them to new things.”

The 35 U.S. Soldiers who participated fired all three weapons and their scores were recorded and used to calculate which of the Schutzenschnur Medals would be awarded: bronze, silver or gold.

The German troops took their turn at firing the American weapons at Camp Bondsteel on Oct. 22.

“(German soldiers) fired the M4 and the M240,”said Mantilla, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. “They shot both weapons for qualification according to Army scoring methods.”

“I really like the (M4)”said German Petty Officer 1st Class, Andre A. “It’s a little heavier than our rifle, but the recoil is really limited.”

After the Germans fired the American weapons a ceremony was held for the award presentations. Medals were awarded to qualifying Americans, while eligible Germans received certificates and badges signifying their qualification.

The medals and certificates are always nice to have but it’s the event and experience that the service members from both nations will remember.

“This has been a lot of fun,” said Spc. Juan Carlos Munoz, 544th MP Company, Coamo, Puerto Rico. “Coaching these guys on our weapons has been a lot of fun. Letting them fire our weapons and getting to fire theirs is pretty special. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
 

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