Soldiers here are set to deliver a firepower demonstration March 15 on Red Cloud Range. Afterward, post leaders plan to highlight Fort Benning’s mission as part of a noise-mitigation and awareness campaign.
Troops in Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles will conduct maneuvers while firing cannons and bullets on targets downrange during the hands-on training exercise, or HOTEX. The hourlong event, scheduled for 3 p.m., also includes Infantry squad, mortar, machine-gun, rifle and other live-fire demonstrations.
“This is an opportunity for community members to come out and see young Soldiers in action, and see the firepower our Army is capable of up close,” said Monica Manganaro, deputy director of the Fort Benning Public Affairs Office. “I think seeing this demonstration will help community members better appreciate what we ask our Soldiers to do on the job. You can’t sit on the bleachers at a live-fire exercise and not feel a genuine sense of pride in our Soldiers and what they do for us as a nation.”
A public meeting on the operational noise effects of weapons and training across Fort Benning will take place afterward at Marshall Auditorium in McGinnis-Wickam Hall, the Maneuver Center of Excellence headquarters on Main Post. The forum begins at 4:30 p.m.
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“We have been working with the mayor and surrounding communities to address the potential impacts of our training,” said Col. Jeffrey Fletcher, the garrison commander, who’s set to kick off the meeting with welcome remarks. “This Open House will allow community members to see training for themselves and get answers to questions about why we train, how we calculate noise and what we are doing to mitigate the impact of noise.”
Lt. Col. Sean Barnes, commander of 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 316th Cavalry Brigade, will talk about Armor School tank training and requirements to fire on ranges. He’ll discuss which courses require live fire, how many rounds they use, the difference between training rounds and live ammo, and the importance of having Soldiers fire on ranges in training before they have to pull the trigger in combat.
Ellis Leeder, Fort Benning’s noise and environmental management system program manager, will give a presentation on how sound travels, how post officials track noise on and off the installation, and what’s acceptable in terms of noise levels.
A representative from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate will answer questions and assist with filing a claim for damages sustained by training noise, officials said.
Transportation to the demonstration and meeting will be provided at no cost. Buses will depart the National Infantry Museum parking lot at 2:20 p.m. and return at about 5:45.
To attend, RSVP to Brad Castleberry at 706-545-2238 by Monday.