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Life-fire training exercise for helicopter door gunners

Airmen from the 22nd Helicopter Air Base at Namest took part in a regular training exercise at Boletice training area last week.

A door gunner with his M134D-H Minigun machine gun
A door gunner with his M134D-H Minigun machine gun

The aim of the week-long exercise was to refresh the airmen’s flying and shooting skills and techniques under cold and adverse winter conditions in the Sumava mountains.

"More than 60 soldiers left the Namest base on Monday, January 15 for Boletice to participate in helicopter navigation techniques and shooting exercises. Throughout the week, pilots practiced their skills at the Ondrejev and Brzotice shooting ranges while approaching the ranges from various routes, and door gunners with machine guns neutralised ground targets," said Captain Petr Ungermann, Commander of the 3rd Flight at Namest and lead organiser of the exercise.

The new gunners began with live-fire exercises from ground level, followed by shooting exercises from the doors of hovering helicopters. Because a majority of air gunners had previously taking part in foreign operations, they were keen to share their knowledge and experiences with the newcomers.

Upon graduating from the University of Defence, the door gunners’ training is followed up by approximately 12-18 months of courses and exercises of tough military drills, as well as real-life practice situations.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek


January 26, 2018


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