Guardsmen train on Guard Fist II - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Guardsmen train on Guard Fist II

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December 11, 2003

Valdosta - South Georgia soldiers are gearing up for their next deployment.  Lowndes County's Army National Guard unit is training on the Guard Fist II simulator.

It doesn't look like your typical combat environment. The usual armored tanks and guns have been replaced with desks and computers. But the Guard Fist II simulator is one of the best kinds of training these soldiers can get. "With the possibility of getting deployed, any training we can do on equipment that will get us ready is great," said Specialist Donald Grantham.

It teaches them the key component in a combat situation, how to call for fire. "This is critical," said Collier. "One of the major things that came up in Iraq was that every soldier needs to know how to call for fire, and this trainer allows them to practice that and see the effect of what they're doing."

The soldier sitting in front represents a forward observer. "The forward observer calls in the necessary information to the FDC," said Collier. The two behind him are the FDC, or Fire Direction Control team. "The FDC calculates and sends the information to the guns, and then the rounds are fired," said Collier.

Using maps, protractors, and a watchful eye, they can pinpoint the enemy and perfect their firing ability. "It allows them to see the rounds' impact and make adjustments which is something they can't just do on a regular basis because of the cost of ammunition," said Collier.

And although they're not sure of their next deployment, this tool will give them the skills they need for when the time comes.

posted at 2:45PM by ashley.harper@walb.com