JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Artillerymen with A Battery, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade conducted a live fire demonstration to provide training support for cadets during Warrior Forge here July 16.
Warrior Forge is a training program for Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets that takes them out of the schoolhouse and places them in the field, said Spc. Christopher M. Hay, a Lena, Ill., native, an assistant gunner with A Battery.
During that time they undergo a series of scenarios with active duty units. It’s a chance for cadets to sharpen their skills and put everything they’ve learned to the test, he said.
A Battery was a necessary element in a specific combat scenario during the cadets training, said battery Commander Capt. Brant Green, a Gilbert, S.C., native.
In that scenario, cadets simulated driving in a convoy that hits roadside bombs, disabling their vehicles and allowing overwhelming enemy forces to ambush them, Hay said.
At the cadets’ disposal to combat the opposing force were infantry, artillery and air support assets, played by real active duty units, he said.
A Battery provided field artillery support for the cadets by operating 155 mm howitzers and firing live rounds at the simulated enemies, he said.
“[The scenario] shows the cadets how a combined arms fight would take place if deployed,” Green said. “That way they can get a broad overview of how small arms, indirect fire and aviation assets come into play.”
The exercise also demonstrated how possible it is to turn the tables on enemy combatants in a desperate situation, said Sgt. Tyler Osborn, a Spokane, Wash., native, now a sections chief with A Battery.
“[The cadets] get to see the awesome power of our armed forces, mainly in this case the United States field artillery,” Osborn said.
As someone who’s been through the Warrior Forge training, Cadet Jermaine Moss, a Chicago native, now in the Cadet To Lieutenant Training program and currently working with A Battery, attested to the importance of seeing field artillery in action.
“They don’t call artillery the king of battle for nothing,” he said.
Sgt. Jared S. Montgomery, a Lansing, Mich., native, now a sections chief with A Battery, said the cadets weren’t the only ones who got to see the power of artillery.
Generally artillerymen never get to see where their rounds hit, but during Warrior Forge some of Montgomery’s Soldiers went to where the cadets trained during an iteration of the scenario.
“I got to see what we do for the battlefield and when exactly we are called in to support,” said Pfc. Jonathan I. Gary, a New Albany, Ind., native, now a cannon crew member with A Battery.
Knowing cadets and his own soldiers gained a better understanding of the battlefield made Warrior Forge a rewarding experience, Montgomery said.
“I’m glad I got to do it and [my soldiers] got to do it,” he said. “Warrior Forge is a fun experience. I would love to do it again.”