Virginia Army National Guard (VNG) soldiers in the US has completed a training on the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) system.

The training was designed to familiarise soldiers with the M153 CROWS, which allow gunners to engage targets without leaving the armour protection.

The system can be mounted with the 40mm MK19 grenade launcher, the M2 Browning 50-caliber machine gun, the M240 Bravo machine gun and the M249 machine gun, as well as other vehicle platforms.

Additionally, the CROWS system features four-axis targeting and colour day and thermal cameras to enable the operator to engage targets while on the move or stationary, as well as at night.

Tank Automotive Command contractor and instructor Donald Nelson said: “The CROWS keeps the soldiers inside safe.

“They can identify and lase their target, giving them a distance to where the target is, allowing the weapon station to either elevate or depress for the strike of the round.”

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Training included a basic introduction, safety description and familiarisation with the CROWS operation.

Subsequently, the personnel learnt about weapons configuration and installation.

116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team First Lieutenant Walter Best said: “This is essential for us. We have three CROWS systems we are signed for that my squad has and we need people who know how to use them.”

“The whole idea is to train the trainer. Anybody who goes through this course, at the end, should be able to give a course and help train up the platoon or company. That is the goal at the end of this.”