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Fire coordinate exercise readies 'Vanguard' company commanders
Pvt. Robert Jefferson and Pfc. Matthew Bowling, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, fire a 60 mm mortar during a 4th IBCT fire coordination exercise at Fort Stewart, Ga., April 30.

FORT STEWART, Ga. – Company commanders were measured on their ability to coordinate indirect fire, close combat attacks and close air support for light-infantry soldiers on a simulated battlefield as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Divisions first fire coordination exercise.

The live-fire training, held April 24-May 2 at Fort Stewart, Ga., helped the commanders determine exactly what support-by-fire asset to request, and they were validated on their soldiers’ ability to properly execute their commands.

“Echelonment of fires is a task critical to Infantry leaders,” said Capt. Jason Dupuis, commander of Company D, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT. “We learned to always have a plan for an asset at every step of the operation, just in case we need to use it.”

The company commanders specifically honed skills in mass effects; using the right tools –be it artillery, mortars, close combat attacks, or close air support; maintaining pressure on the enemy and enhancing and facilitating maneuvers.

“The training event gave our fire support team a 360 degree assessment of where we are at and where we need to be,” Dupuis said.

All four maneuver units within the Vanguard Brigade exercised their company commander’s ability to integrate fire support assets while mortar men and artillerymen simultaneously engaged multiple targets.

“I felt this was one of the best training events I have participated in since I’ve been a part of this brigade,” Dupuis said. “We put in a tremendous amount of effort and it really paid off. I picked up a great deal of knowledge on fires planning that I feel will benefit me in the future as an Infantry leader.”

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