SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 – More than a dozen Soldiers from the two Army Reserve theater engineer commands (TECs) trained on the Javelin Close Combat Weapon System over a three-day course in August at Fort McCoy.
The Javelin is a man-portable weapon that can defeat a broad spectrum of close combat threats providing fire-and-forget technology, which allows Soldiers the opportunity to engage a second target, according to the Army description for the system.
This was the first time the Army Reserve awarded an additional skill identifier (ASI) for the weapon in 10 years due to unit transformation. TEC units are converting some of the mobility augmentation companies (MACs) and sapper companies to a new type of combat engineer company with two new variants — an infantry and armored version (which will be known as the CEC-I and CEC-A).
“Due to a change in MTOE (Modification Table of Organizational Equipment), the Javelin is now one of the major weapon components we will have for the CEC-I, route-clearance companies, and sapper companies, replacing the AT4 (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) for those companies,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Artino, senior gunner, 416th Theater Engineer Command.
The Fort McCoy course was a proof-of-concept program to set the pavement for engineers to receive the ASI during a follow-on 80-hour training course.
“Soldiers walk away from this course being able to assemble, engage, and correct malfunctions on the Javelin system. They’ll be proficient in the Javelin training system and should be able to achieve a 98 percent first time gunner success after this course,” said Artino.
Combined training offered engineers from both TECs to be able to get their hands on the equipment and set the stage for what is to come during the transformation.
“I appreciate the fact that they put this training on for us — especially us lower enlisted,” said Pfc. Benden Ingram, a combat engineer under the 416th TEC. “Plus, there’s the added benefit to disseminate that information back to the unit.”
This train-the-trainer concept was led by contractors with the Systems, Studies and Simulations (S3) Inc. out of Huntsville, Ala. The instructors, Scott Haymaker and David King, said this blended class was one of the top they have trained.
“After almost 15 years of training, this is one of the more highly motivated classes,” King said.
Haymaker agreed, adding that they were the “most engaged, interactive, and attentive group of Soldiers.”
The 416th TEC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Matthew Baker and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Boyd visited training Aug. 20.
“We hope this will be a reoccurring event,” Boyd said. “This is an important piece of weaponry for our Soldiers that changes and enhances their capabilities on the battlefield.”
Future training will be held throughout the transformation process to get all engineers within the TECs trained on the Javelin Close Combat Weapon System.
BY SGT. 1ST CLASS JESSICA ESPINOSA
416th Theater Engineer Command
By Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Espinosa