National Guard weapons training prepares troops for battle - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National Guard weapons training prepares troops for battle

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 By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Our nation's troops constantly stay on the minds of many Americans. A lot of training and skill sets are involved in performing certain duties.

As Army National Guard troops assemble and take apart weapons, their hearts are set on serving our country

" What I really noticed is the National Guard is so organized," said recruit Leticia Acosta. "Everyone has a place to be and we're told what to do."

17-year-old Acosta has her heart set on the education the Guard provides as she's also learning to how shoot a weapon.

"It's an awesome opportunity to obtain job skills and apply money towards education," said First Sgt. Lashley.

Lashley says the simulators teach troops how to shoot certain guns used at war.

"When you shoot 300 to 400 meters out, what might be a hair off here could be a foot off down there," Lashley said.

That's why it's key to be precise. To see what these troops go through, Sgt. Lashley helped me suit up. The gear is about 60 pounds lighter than the gear troops use in the Middle East.

I got in position so I could learn how to improve my sight alignment when shooting an M4 rifle.  I position the gun deep in my shoulder and put my nose close to the charging handle to get a good sight alignment.

That's what one recruit is doing on this simulator. Among others, it rates breath control, trigger squeeze, and steadiness. A diagonal line on a computer screen shows an uneven shot. That's why Sgt. Lashley wants to perfect their skills.

"The National Guard strives trying to send soldiers to training with a focus on hands-on knowledge," Sgt. Lashley said.

Acosta says she'll use her knowledge to ultimately become involved in military interrogation while translating Arabic into English.

"I'm excited and nervous but I'm ready," Acosta noted. "I'll be one of the first people they bring over which doesn't scare me a bit because I'm with the Army National Guard."

The same goes for other recruits striving for the same excellence. Many recruits are getting ready for active duty. Acosta graduated high school early. She'll be going to active duty in March so she can become involved in Military Intelligence.

Recruits will perform more weapons training at a site specifically set up for them at the Marine Corps Logistics Base next month.

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