News: 4/1 FA displays technical supremacy during Gunner’s Bash
Story by Sgt. Victor Everhart
FORT BLISS TRAINING AREA, Texas – With the glimpse of deployment around the corner, soldiers assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, also known as the Gunner’s, conducted a fire control exercise to improve the technical and tactical skills of maneuver commanders, as well as fire support officers and forward observers.
The fire control exercise, known as Gunner’s Bash, tested many different skill sets, from calling for fire accurately, to putting rounds on target in a timely manner, all while ground units were maneuvered on their objective.
“I think it’s good for the guys to know how they’re utilized in modern-age warfare,” said Sgt. 1st Class Craig Dalen, a Minot, N.D., native. “Letting the guys know their rounds were going to be used as a weapon and maneuver mechanism, for soldiers meeting the enemy head on or at distance.”
“We’re supporting them with our 155mm rounds, so there is training value all around; my guys get to put more rounds down range and become more acquainted with their weapon systems and the different positions within a battery section,” said Dalen, a platoon sergeant assigned to Bravo Battery 4/1 FA. “The soldiers maneuvering get to feel what a 155 millimeter round feels like when targeted in their vicinity, as well as the experience of maneuvering in a more conventional war style with explosions going off while they charge the hill.”
Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, and that concept was the driving force behind Gunner’s Bash.
“Unit preparation becomes more solid the closer we get to this potential deployment,” said 1st Lt. David Rossignol, a Burke, Vt., native. “We’re practicing those proper habits and techniques for safety, because you know what they say; ‘the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in fighting.’”
At the section level where the guns are operated, teamwork and camaraderie are among the biggest qualities to possess, trusting the man to your left and right is extremely important.
“Besides getting the soldiers to train and become more effective at their respective tasks, becoming a more family oriented team is one of my biggest goals,” said Sgt. Steven Mills, Bravo Battery team chief and Atlanta native. “We’re going to be all we have out there, so making sure everyone knows everyone else’s strengths and weaknesses only makes us stronger as a team, which also makes us a stronger unit.”
“I’ve never deployed, so anytime we get the guns out to go shoot I’m excited,” said Pfc. Calvin Lindsey, a Marion, N.C., native. “It gives me a small look at what deployment is going to be like, so anytime I can become a better soldier and become more technically and tactically proficient, I’m all for it.”
When asked what was his favorite part of going out and training on his weapon system he replied, “Seeing everybody in the moment and getting to know my team better and becoming that ‘family’ that everyone in the Army hears about deployed units. I feel that same pride and togetherness when it’s just us out here doing our thing,” said Lindsey.
“When all is said and done, I’m just proud of my guys in everything they do; from their work ethic, to their bearing, it’s all coming together just the way it needs to. They’re taking the training serious, working hard and making sure the job gets done,” said Rossignol.