Yakima Training Center hosts National Guard citizen-soldiers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Training Center hosts National Guard citizen-soldiers

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Citizen-soldiers in the Washington Army National Guard are training in Yakima. The 1-161st Infantry Regiment is in their three-week annual training session at the Yakima Training Center. Most of the citizen soldiers have other jobs to support themselves. But like active-duty soldiers, they can be deployed at any time. The Yakima Training Center helps prepare them.

"A little harsher weather out here so it actually gets us a little better trained on that. So it's not as easy as it would be anywhere else. Also this area gives us a lot of range to flex, do some good drills and actually be able to fire big rounds," said Spc. Jacob Smalser, who works full-time in the Honor Guard and is a volunteer firefighter.

The citizen-soldiers use a simulator called the Bradley Conduct of Fire Trainer (COFT) before they fire tank ammunition. Scoring for gunnery training is based on passing seven out of ten scenarios. Accuracy and timing are the main factors. The Yakima Training Center also has mortar fire and sniper training.