Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Ruth Pagán
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
The sound of gunfire rang out across Fort Carson as Family members, Soldiers and civilians sharpened their marksmanship skills during the privately owned weapons range event held at Range 1, Saturday.
The POW range, open to servicemembers and their Family members ages 10 and older, Department of the Army civilians, retirees and contractors, gave gun owners an opportunity to receive coaching from Soldiers and practice shooting their privately owned weapons safely. Soldiers with 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, volunteered at the event.
“We have the Soldiers from (1st Sqdn., 10th Cav.), who is the sponsoring unit here today, as the (range) safeties and instructors,” said Jose Colon, range supervisor and organizer of the event. “They are helping individuals who might not be as comfortable with their weapon; so they are coaching them and overseeing them to make sure they are being safe.”
Participants were free to shoot their weapons on their own or could request one-on-one coaching from safeties.
“I think I’m with professionals here and am receiving excellent assistance,” said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Janet Weaver. “The Soldiers are showing me techniques I didn’t know before.”
The POW range is run by the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson Safety Office in conjunction with Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Directorate of Emergency Services; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and receives support from volunteering Soldiers from sponsoring units.
“We are supporting the range doing range safety, putting the targets together, directing traffic and helping out any way we can,” said Sgt. Robert Long, Troop D, 1st Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg.
Volunteers were allowed to participate as well.
“It’s nice to be able to do my job today, and it is another day out for me to have fun and maybe shoot at the very end,” said Spc. Jacob Chege, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg.
The POW range is held the third Saturday of the month, January-October.
“We intend to do this monthly and improve,” Weaver said. “I’m grateful for this facility to be able to practice and get better both as sport and personal protection.”
The free event allowed participants to have fun while they learned and improved their shooting skills.
“Bottom line: it’s an opportunity for people to come out, shoot and have a good time,” Colon said.