News: Artillery Marines are ‘Kings of Battle’ in Kajaki
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Napoleon once referred to artillery as the king of the battlefield. And that’s how Marines with Fox Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 6 look at their deployment.
Fox Battery has operated in Kajaki for about four months, firing their Howitzers, providing base security for 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and conducting patrols to the Kajaki District Center for key leader engagements.
“We provide direct support for 1st Bn., 8th Marines and 2nd Bn., 5th Marines,” said Sgt. Tucker J. Ward, section chief, Fox Battery. “We’ve fired all kinds of artillery in for them. In case they get in situations they can’t get out of, we will drop a smoke screen or (high explosives) on a target for them.”
For many of the Marines, deploying with Fox Battery is an exciting opportunity because artillery Marines don’t usually get the opportunity to fire in the volumes that have been seen in Kajaki.
“We don’t fire every day,” said Tucker, 30, from Portsmouth, Va. “Sometimes there are days where we fire a whole lot.”
While the fire missions are helping infantry Marines complete their missions, Fox Battery Marines are also conducting patrols to the nearby district center. They support the Marines who regularly meet with the district governor.
“We head down to the DC every couple of days, and while we’re there we provide security,” said Cpl. Christopher A. Turner, section chief, Fox Battery.
The Marines say their security mission in the district center is important, but their main role is their firing mission. They say their role is important because they are potentially saving friendly lives when they fire.
“We have assisted the grunts in clearing out the area north of Kajaki,” said Turner. “They’ve had big operations in that area, and because of our support they were able to complete their missions with minimal casualties.”