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    Paladins fire from Speicher for the first time

    Staff Sgt. Neal sits inside a M-109A6 Paladin

    Courtesy Photo | Staff Sgt. Donnie Neal, section chief, 1st Platoon, Battery A, 1-41 FA, sits inside a...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

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    Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Mills
    1st BCT PAO

    FOB SPEICHER, Iraq - Glory's Guns in the form of 1st Platoon, Battery A, are making their presence known at Forward Operating Base Speicher near Tikrit. The platoon, from 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, were stationed at FOB Summerall near Bayji.

    The move was made soon after the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade took over the Bayji sector, said Cpt. J.T. Townsend, assistant fire support officer, 1st BCT.

    "They were brought down (to FOB Speicher) because of the increased indirect fire threat," said Townsend. "Once Danger closed there was a higher indirect fire threat (to the Division Headquarters on Speicher)."

    Their coverage of Bayji since their move to Speicher from Summerall has not changed significantly, said Townsend.

    1st Platoon was busy during their tenure at Summerall. While there, Townsend said, they shot the second highest number of rounds in the 1st BCT area of operations. They were also one of only two platoons to conduct artillery raids.

    During one raid, said Staff Sgt. Donnie Neal, a Memphis, Tenn. native and the 4th Section chief, the platoon rolled outside the gates of Summerall to the outskirts of Bayji.

    "It was fast and furious," said Neal. "We pulled in, shot and then left."

    Besides the occasional artillery raid Neal admitted that manning the gun day in and day out "gets kind of old."

    "(Operation Iraqi Freedom I) was different," said Neal. They moved fast and reacted to where the enemy was, he said. "OIF III it was more planned out."

    1st Lt. William Dennison, 1st Platoon platoon leader, said living at Summerall wasn't bad at all. "We were totally detached (from our battalion)," said Dennison. "It was just me and the platoon sergeant. We were on our own."

    "(The platoon's deployment to Iraq) was what we expected," he said, "except maybe not to shoot so much."



    Date Taken: 12.21.2005
    Date Posted: 12.21.2005 10:11
    Story ID: 4154
    Location: TIKRIT, IQ 

    Web Views: 767
    Downloads: 435