Colorado Springs

Military Matters: Fort Carson platoon trains with life-saving weapons system

Military Matters: Fort Carson platoon...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Private First Class Logan Inderrieden makes it look easy. And he admits - it is.

"It's like cheating."

Instead of exposing himself through a hole in the roof, he uses a joystick and a monitor to engage his target.

 "It's kind of like playing a video game in there. Instead of me being up in the turret, I'm behind a seat, looking at a screen, shooting a gun."

This targeting system, called the Crow, is so advanced - the first round has a 99.9 percent chance of hitting. And, a gunner, like PFC. Inderrieden controls it from armor-plated safety.

"It's awesome, better than shooting big machine guns."

"He was not kidding when he says it's cheating. The accuracy that we see and the ease at which my soldiers can use the crow system – it's incredible," Capt. Dave Millikan said.

All the ammo actually stores in the mount – so does a sensor suite that allows zooming, thermal imaging and a laser range-finder.

"So, I'll laser that target and it will adjust the ballistics," Inderrieden said.

This is the first time this unit is getting training on the Crow. The last five weeks were spent learning how to use  it, individually.

"The gunners themselves got to work on firing, accuracy, calling out targets," Millikan said.

The drivers learned how to maneuver in tough but realistic conditions. Then, the training incorporated multiple vehicles with Crow Systems, attacking targets as a platoon.

"What we do today is applicable whether we're deploying to Europe or overseas to the Middle East or here at home supporting Fort Carson," Millikan said.

It's training that is improving the safety and accuracy of convoy patrols, something being called wave of the future.

"The reality is, it's where we're headed and we need to get behind it or we can get run over by it," Millikan said.

The first Crow Style vehicle was used in Iraq in 2004 with great success. Since, it's improved with technology and can be attached to all kinds of battle vehicles, even a Stryker or the M1 Abrams main battle tank.


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