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    17th Field Artillery Practices Rapid Artillery Firing at Newly Opened Airfield

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, UNITED STATES

    11.16.2018

    Courtesy Story

    17th Field Artillery Brigade

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, 17th Field Artillery Brigade conducted a Rapid Air Insertion with a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) into Yakima Training Center, Yakima, Wash., Nov. 15, 2018.

    The HIMARS is a member of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family and is capable of striking targets up to 300 kilometers away. The HIMARS is intended to engage and defeat enemy artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, and light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations.

    As part of the operation, The HIMARS was loaded into a C17 Globemaster III from the 62nd Airlift Wing, over 100 miles away, landing at Selah Air Strip at Yakima Training Center. The HIMARS system then unloaded, moved into its firing position, fired and then loaded up again in almost 40 minutes and was in the air back to McChord Field.

    “It shows we have the capability to insert long range precision fires anywhere in the world we can land an airplane,” said 1st Lt. Bradford Cozby the Platoon Leader of 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery. “We have done this training before, but this will be our first time doing this live fire at Yakima.”

    This training was a demonstration of the 17th Field Artillery Brigades ability to rapidly strike long distance targets and move before they can even be detected. Another capability used in the training was a GPS system called the Joint Precision Airdrop System, or JPADS, that communicates between the HIMARS and the C17 Aircraft to track its location while moving.

    “What the JPADS allows us to do, is when the launchers get onto the plane they acquire a signal from the plane,” said Cozby. “So when they take off, they’ll know where they are the entire time they’re in the air.”

    Normally the HIMARS would have to reacquire its GPS coordinates after exiting the plane in order to fire, wasting valuable time. With the JAPDS system it tracks these GPS coordinates while in flight because the C17 GPS system transmits to the HIMARS.

    “This is unique because we are able to get into a C17, get to where the fight is quickly and get the rounds on target,” said 1st Sgt. James Reddick of Alpha Battery. “We can help out the nations that need us and when we get there, it’s quicker.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.16.2018
    Date Posted: 11.16.2018 19:39
    Story ID: 300369
    Location: JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, US 

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