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US Army Exercise Tests Soldier Lethality Under Stress

The US Army 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) has conducted an exercise to test soldier lethality under stress.

Held at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Vermont, the ”stress shoot” exercise challenged participants to navigate obstacles, complete various fitness tasks, and engage six targets accurately.

According to the 86th IBCT, soldiers had to complete 15 push-ups, step through 10 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle tires, and crawl under barbed wire to reach the first firing point.

Participants then sprinted to the next firing point to hit the third target and used another magazine with only two rounds for the fourth target.

After hitting the fourth target, soldiers rushed to the final firing point, where they encountered a weapon malfunction.

They had to perform corrective action to fix the issue and successfully hit the last target.

“Just going out and shooting a few rounds and coming back in doesn’t really get you ready for anything else other than doing that exact task,” one of the participants said. “But if we can add a little stress, a little sweat, pick the heart rate up, I think it benefits everybody especially if we go and actually do it for real.”

Creating a More Lethal Fighting Force

The 86th ICBT explained that bolstering the lethality of soldiers remains one of the US Army’s top modernization priorities.

The drill subjected soldiers to similar physiological stressors to what they would face under real combat conditions.

When soldiers become acclimated to performing in highly stressful situations, they can engage targets quickly and efficiently Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Bates said.

“We want to train to defeat our enemies, challenge soldiers, and make us a better and more lethal fighting force ready to defend the US however we’re called to do,” he remarked.

Stress shooting exercise
A US soldier aims at a target after navigating obstacles and completing fitness tasks. Photo: Staff Sgt. Barbara Pendl/US Army
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