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The Mountaineer Online



Artillery battalion certifies sections to support infantry


Soldiers from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, occupy a training area with M119A2 howitzer crews and fire direction centers ready to begin computing firing data to send artillery rounds down range. (2-15 FAR photo)<br />
Soldiers from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, occupy a training area with M119A2 howitzer crews and fire direction centers ready to begin computing firing data to send artillery rounds down range. (2-15 FAR photo)

2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment release

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, recently conducted section-level, live-fire certifications as the unit prepares to integrate with and support the training mission of the brigade’s other battalions.
The “Allons” Battalion was required to certify that its 105 mm howitzer sections, fire direction centers, survey section and Q-36 radar section could successfully perform its mission.
The entire qualification process began two months earlier with battery-level leadership training to be certified as trainers and evaluators.
Soldiers took written examinations, trained on howitzers in the motor pool and conducted rehearsals.
After three long nights in the field under harsh conditions that included heavy snow, wind, freezing temperatures and sleet, the Soldiers proved that they could provide accurate and timely fires and mass their effects on the target to defeat the enemy.
“Besides a few hiccups with the training areas, the weather was the only factor that caused training to be difficult,” said Capt. Benjamin Rhoads, “Allons” Battalion fire direction officer. “Arctic stakes proved to be worth their weight in gold when trying to set up tents on a giant block of ice.”
1st Lt. Brad Johns-Parson said section certification helped develop the sections into a cohesive and combat ready unit.
“The training allowed us to perfect and create new systems that will allow our platoon to succeed in any environment,” Johns-Parson said. “Our section chiefs are now certified and readily confident to employ accurate and timely fires.”
To close out the training, “Allons” Soldiers conducted one last mission with multiple howitzers during a time-on-target mission.
TOT missions mass fires at the same time, maximizing effects on the target.
Howitzers from both firing batteries, the forward observers on the hill and the battalion fire direction center successfully coordinated and fired a TOT mission, massing its effects on the simulated enemy.
“The guys got a real opportunity to get back to the basics this week with section occupations, crew drills into live fire, and a time-on-target fire mission,” said 1st Lt. Rob Johnson, A Battery’s fire direction officer.
The Soldiers of A Battery demonstrated the talent of the Army’s No. 1 firing battery, Johnson said. The battery received the 2013 Henry A. Knox Award last year, which recognizes the best active-duty artillery battery Armywide.





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