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Maintaining readiness during COVID-19


Last updated 5/27/2020 at 12:14pm

G. Connor Salter

Soldiers fire machine guns on Fort Carson's M240B Machine Gun Range on May 14. The soldiers pictured are with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Army Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. According to Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Richter, some of these men are becoming qualified to use machine guns through this exercise. The event lasted all day, and was followed by a night shooting exercise where soldiers trained with illuminated targets. Richter spoke to members of the press about how important the exercise was, and noted it was the Battalion's first in-person training exercise since COVID-19 started.

"It's good to be out and training again," Richter said.

To avoid health risks, everyone on the training site (including journalists) had to wear a mask, submit to a questionnaire, get screened for temperature, and wash their hands at a station. Each person made a point to follow social distancing guidelines throughout the exercise. Richter said there have been zero COVID-19 cases in the battalion so far. "The safety of our soldiers is of utmost importance."

Sgt. Alejandro Velez was one of the medics present at the exercise. When asked what it's been like as a healthcare professional to integrate the COVID-19 precautions along with his other responsibilities, he said, "It hasn't been too difficult. There is a lot more going on, but it hasn't been much different or difficult than normal."

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