Soldiers train, build and defend a short range air defense site - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Soldiers train, build and defend a short range air defense site

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - On Tuesday, 24 soldiers from different army posts wrapped up a training session at Fort Sill on how to build and defend a short range air defense site, also known as SHORAD, that will help prepare them for combat.

It's part of the Army's renewed focus on protecting front line units from low-flying threats, which primarily relies on Stinger missiles which can be fired from a shoulder-launcher, or mounted on Humvee. These soldiers have been training for the past five weeks.

With so many emerging threats in the world, the Army wants to have a solution when it comes to stopping attacks using devices as small as drones, to the more conventional large aircraft. The training will give soldiers the ability and the equipment to be prepared for those challenges.

The training requires 2 soldiers to fire the weapon. One soldier is the gunner and the other helps direct and assist where to aim.  

Private Evan Brazier said the most challenging part about today's training was the visual aircraft recognition.

"It's real hard to be able to look through a pair of binoculars and identify what aircraft is what when you look at them flying around the sky most of them look the same so its hard to tell which one are friendly and which ones are not," Brazier said.

Staff Sergeant and Instructor Juan Gonzalez helped with the SHORAD training. Gonzalez said this is the first time soldiers have been exposed to this type of training at Fort Sill.

"It was an honor and privilege to be with these soldiers as well as a challenge to get non avenger or stinger personnel to be trained because they have their primary MOS's and for them to be selected was a good idea and we just want them to be successful period," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said its vital for Brigade Combat Teams to have this type of training.

"Its important to have the short range air defense because in all types of training all over the United States and the world they are asking for the stinger missile its very important," said Gonzalez.

This was the first time Fort Sill had this special type of training, because of the success they hope to grow the course and program in the future.

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