News: ‘King of Battle’ goes digital
By Lance Cpl. William J. Jackson
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Marines with Battery K, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, geared up with their digitally-upgraded M777A2 Lightweight 155mm Howitzer, Oct. 6, to display the “King of Battles” quick-firing capacity during Exercise Steel Knight aboard the Combat Center.
The digital capabilities allow the gun line to communicate faster and more efficiently with fire direction control specialists, and almost eliminating human error. This new technology will make Marines “more responsive,” said Capt. Eric Williams, 3rd Bn., 11th Marines’ battery commander.
The Digital Fire Control System on the gun receives information from FDC and displays the necessary information, such as round type and charge needed to fire the Howitzer on target, said Cpl. David Evans, a Battery K field artillery cannon crewman. The FDC can also give instruction on when to fire the shells.
“As far as firing, it really hasn’t changed the procedures for the gun line, for emplacing and displacing and carrying out the mission,” Williams said. “All it has done is compressed the time that we need to actually put rounds down range.”
Exercise Steel Knight is a large-scale combined arms exercise where the Marines train as a competent Marine Air Ground Task Force. It’s the largest field training exercise the Marine Corps has to offer with more than 5,000 Marines participating, from Sept. 18 – Oct. 13.