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    3-29 FA Soldiers Conduct Direct Fire Exercise

    3-29 FA Soldiers Conduct Direct Fire Exercise

    Photo By Capt. Scott Walters | A M109A6 Paladin crew with Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment,...... read more read more

    By Staff Sgt. Ange Desinor
    3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, Public Affairs, 4th Infantry Division

    GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany – Soldiers of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted a direct fire exercise with M109A6 Paladin howitzers, at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Sept. 12.

    “This is part of our certification Table VI, section certifications” said Capt. Ryan George, commander of Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div. “Direct fire allows us to have a dynamic ability to engage the enemy directly or indirectly.”

    This is a rare occasion for the Pacesetters since they don’t usually get a chance to directly see the targets they are firing at.

    “This is a great opportunity for us since training at a smaller range isn’t always feasible,” said George. “This is a really good training opportunity for us to maintain our readiness.”

    There are many ways that an artillery unit can use direct fire.

    “From my perspective on using direct fire to destroy the enemy, I like to think of it from a defensive posture,” said George. “As we are behind the front line of the tanks or Bradley Fighting Vehicles, we actually have the capabilities to defend ourselves instead of utilizing one of the brigade’s other assets.”

    “Normally when we train, it’s indirect fire, and today our focus is direct fire,” said 2nd Lt. Maria Caputo, a fire direction officer for Battery B, 3-29 FA. “We usually get information on the current enemy posture from a direct fire center or from the forward observers and process that information to engage the enemy from afar.”

    The cannoneers don’t see the targets during indirect fire missions. Paladin crews can indirectly fire on an enemy as far as 30 kilometers away.

    “Today, we take the fire direction control out of it and have the crews fire at targets that they can see,” said Caputo. “This is something that we haven’t done in a while so it’s good to take on any opportunity to do direct fire. This will definitely enhance our readiness level as Soldiers take on unique or rare training events.”

    Conducting direct fire training as a part of Table VI certification was just one example of how the Iron Brigade has approached its deterrence mission by integrating flexibility with lethality.

    “This is another way of pushing our artillery crews to perform beyond normal expectations,” said Caputo. “I think the Soldiers will be able to look back and be proud of what they have done so far during Atlantic Resolve.”

    The Iron Brigade has been training in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve since January. Atlantic Resolve is an unprecedented training opportunity that strengthens interoperability and builds lethality with 25 Allies and partners across Europe.

    “This training is something I’ve never done before,” said Spc. Carlos Santiago, a cannon crew member for A Battery, 3-29 FA. “We are a resilient and adaptable group of Soldiers; anything new that we are told to do, we are able to accomplish it. This is a great learning opportunity and my crew did well today. I am really proud of our performance during Atlantic Resolve.”



    Date Taken: 09.13.2017
    Date Posted: 09.13.2017 09:52
    Story ID: 248070
    Location: GRAFENWOEHR, DE 

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