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    118th Field Artillery looks back in preparation for future

    Preparing for the future

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Perry | Spc. Bobby Williams, a cannon crew member with Springfield’s A Battery, 1st...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Chris Stephens 

    124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    GEORGIA GARRISON TRAINING CENTER, Ga. – To know where you’re going, one must know where you’ve been.

    For Soldiers in the Georgia National Guard’s 118th Field Artillery Regiment, times are changing as they are set to re-activate Battery C, while also upgrading their artillery systems to align with the digital age.

    “We’re excited about moving from the 105 to the 155 (mm) howitzers, as well as standing up a new battery,” said Maj. Rodney Tatum, regimental operations officer. “(Those two things combined) will allow us more flexibility and the ability to reach out 4,000 or 5,000 more meters. We’ll be able to support a wider range of activities.”

    Re-activating Battery C brings back a portion of the unit that is full of history.

    Tracing its lineage back to 1751 as part of the Georgia Militia in the district of Savannah, the 118th has been a part of many U.S. conflicts.

    From defenses in Georgia and Florida from 1776-78 to the War of 1812 to service in the Confederate Army in the battles of Sharpsburg (Antietam), Gettysburg and Manassas (Bull Run), the unit served early and often.

    Action in World War I, Normandy, the Rhineland and Central Europe in World War II brought continued support for the nation. Again, in Iraq (2005-06) and Afghanistan (2009-10), the unit answered the nation’s call for federal service.

    It was in 2006, after returning from Iraq, the unit de-activated C Battery.
    “As big Army has changed, so has our unit,” Tatum said. “We’ve always been here to support the Army’s overall mission.”

    It’s that history of the unit that many of the Soldiers know and love.

    For Staff Sgt. Dustin Williams, howitzer section chief in A Battery, the way field artillery was done in the past is what he loves.

    “I love the old school way of field artillery,” he said. “Putting in the numbers and the hands-on stuff is what I love. Don’t get me wrong, the new systems we have coming in are taking field artillery to the next level, nothing beats doing the equations and coming up with the solution without the aid of a computer.”

    “As NCOs, we are still going to have to make sure our Soldiers know how to do that in case the computerized system ever goes down. We have to be mission-capable no matter the circumstances.” Williams added.

    So, as the unit upgrades to a more digital system, knowing their history will remain an integral part of the unit.

    “We have so many officers who were enlisted Soldiers in this unit and they wanted to come back here as officers,” Tatum said. “Many of the enlisted guys also grew up and went to high school together. We love what we do and understand where we’ve come from.”

    Story by Sgt. Chris Stephens
    124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment



    Date Taken: 03.07.2015
    Date Posted: 03.10.2015 13:47
    Story ID: 156512
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 
    Hometown: SAVANNAH, GA, US

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