By Sgt. Shiloh Capers
CINCU TRAINING AREA, Romania — Soldiers from Bravo Company, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, are honing skills in a week of aerial gunnery training at the Cincu Training Area in Romania.
The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade has presence in multiple countries in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a U.S. endeavor to fulfill NATO commitments by rotating units throughout Europe.
During the training, the crew flew to the range and loaded the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter prior to departing on a set course. On the course, the crew engaged targets at multiple points. At the end, the crew reversed, flying the helicopter back along the path and engaging the targets with the 240H machine gun, building lethality for the brigade.
Throughout the course, the crew is actively engaged in crew search, carefully viewing the area of operation in sectors to acquire targets. Communication is key to accurately locate and describe the target to the other crew members.
During the flight, an evaluator ensures the helicopter weapon systems operate properly and that the crew is proficient at suppressive fire while maintaining aircraft duties.
Except for certain training tasks, aerial gunnery cannot be completed indoors in a simulation. Realism is the most important factor of gunnery training. Firing while in an operating aircraft is necessary to understand how wind and terrain can be an obstacle or advantage for the crew.
“Doing gunnery is still simulated but it’s one of the most realistic things that we can do as a company,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Seifried, Black Hawk chief and maintainer, Bravo Company, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. “Getting our pilots, our crew chiefs proficient at firing the weapons out of the helicopters makes us battle ready at any time and shows that our unit is capable of deploying.”