News: Ammunition retrieval tests unit readiness
Story by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis
CAMP CASEY, South Korea – The 210th Fires Brigade is part of the Counter Fire Task Force, with a mission to provide timely and accurate rocket and missile fire in the defense of the Republic of Korea.
To accomplish such task, 210th Fires Brigade must practice using realistic training environments to uphold the standard of the 2nd Infantry Division.
The 210th Fires Brigade conducted an Ammunition Combat Load Retrieval Exercise Oct. 17-18 on Camp Casey. The retrieval, uploading and transporting of the brigade’s ACL is critical to the success of the brigade’s mission.
“It is a semi-annual training event that our brigade executes,” said Maj. Brandon P. Toolan, a native of Philadelphia, the brigade operations officer. “The goal of the exercise is to practice and train our ability to upload our go-to-war ammunition combat load in a timely, sequential fashion in order to expedite our deployment off of Camp Casey to our initial battle position so we can provide those fires in a timely and proficient manner.”
For one soldier, this realistic training provides him with an overall picture of possible threats that soldiers can face every day on the Korean peninsula.
“We can be called to go to war at any given moment,” said Spc. Anthony Burton, of Jacksonville, Fla., a motor transport operator assigned to Battery A, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment. “It is our job to get our ammunition as quickly as possible, and get it out to the multiple launch rocket systems crew members so they can do their job, which is sending rockets down range.”
Time is the unit’s biggest challenge; however, safety is one of the most important factors while performing the training.
“We have to be fast but at the same time we do not want to jeopardize the safety of soldiers or damage the equipment,” said Burton.
Damaged equipment can slow down the mission due to the fact that they cannot be replaced right away.
“Ammunition handlers have to be a lot more proactive in what they are doing to ensure they are doing the right things,” Capt. Daniel Dotson added, a Hampton, Ga., native, the battery commander for Battery B, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment. According to Dotson, they use training pods as training aides throughout the year to stay proficient.
The Ammunition Combat Load Retrieval Exercise is an event that tests the 210th Fires Brigade’s ability to alert its formations and upload critical ammunition. This realistic training is an effective way to enhance the unit’s readiness to "fight tonight" and win, if called upon.