FORT DEVENS, Mass
. – The 182nd Cavalry Regiment spent a day of their annual training to host a presentation allowing family and friends direct interaction with static displays of equipment and a live-fire demonstration of an infantry squad and mounted small-arms fire at the range complex on July 22, 2009.
After a short bus ride into the range complex, family and friends were greeted by Staff Sgt. Patrick Jennings of the 182nd who gave a brief introduction on the heritage of the regiment. The unit’s ancestry is part of the nation’s first military organization started by the Massachusetts Militia in 1636, said Jennings.
The 182nd established static, unarmed displays of mortar systems, M2 machine guns mounted on Humvees and M240 machine guns on the ground for their civilian guests to get an up close and personal look at modern military equipment. The Soldiers of the 182nd answered questions and explained the operation and basic mechanics of the weapon systems used by the unit.
Family and friends then gathered on the bleachers looking downrange as Lt. Col. Arthur M. Elbthal, commander, 182nd Cavalry Regiment presented the unit’s flag and pointed out several battle streamers commemorating their involvement in nearly every major conflict in our nation’s history including the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Soldiers of the 182nd next presented the unit’s capabilities as a cavalry and infantry unit, showing Humvees with mounted M2 machine guns, an infantry squad in the standard wedge formation, and snipers camouflaged with face paint, green, leafy suits and brown wrappings on their M16 rifles.
The finale began with the firing of Humvee-mounted machine guns and grenade launchers on targets downrange while the infantry squad used “fire and maneuver” tactics to simulate forward movement under enemy fire in combat.
The 182nd will be reformed as an infantry unit in the near future and many of the senior noncommissioned officers in the unit are seasoned in the use of modern infantry tactics. “The idea is to place effective fire on the enemy – well aimed shots – so the enemy can’t fire back so the others can move forward,” said Staff Sgt. James S. Medeiros, who led the infantry squad on the range.
“This is the first demonstration I’ve ever done in the National Guard and it’s great that the families can see what their family members do, instead of trying to put it to words,” said Medeiros.