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    Dragons breathe fire missions

    Dragons breathe fire missions

    Photo By Sgt. Bailey Kramer | Soldiers from Battery A, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, conduct live...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Bailey Kramer 

    1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Artillerymen from the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, fired their 100-pound projectiles, round after round, this week to train and certify their M109A6 howitzer crews.

    Before a deployment, Army units are required to rotate through one of the Army’s Combat Training Centers. Next spring the 1st Brigade Combat Team will deploy to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.

    “Part of the deployment and NTC requirements are to be certified in our jobs,” explained Killeen, Texas, native, Maj. Brandon Reeves, the Dragons operations officer. “Part of the process, is qualification.”

    NTC is the Army's premier training center. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, NTC has transformed to focus on continuous counterinsurgency operations that reflect the current and rapidly changing battlefield.

    “While in Iraq our soldiers got out of the habit of being artilleryman because they were always on patrols,” said Reeves. “Now we can get them back to working like the artilleryman they are.”

    Training began Oct. 4 and will continue until the 20.

    “It’s been fun out here, and [I] have learned a lot,” said, Littleton, Colo., native, Spc. Michael Claunts, a cannon crewmember assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery. “I feel like I am returning to the roots of my job.”

    Although artillery is a major focus of the Dragon’s training, it will not be the only training conducted. Fire Support Teams also sharpened their skills.

    “The [Fire Support Team] training is highly important,” said native Capt. Zachary Peterson, from Genoa, Wis., the commander of Btry B. “Without our support, communication between batteries and missions would all be impossible.”

    According to the U.S. Army Field Manual 6-30, the primary responsibility of Fire Support Teams is to "bring all means of indirect fire in support of the maneuver commander.” This includes artillery, mortars, naval gunfire and close-air-support.

    “We send out the messages to everyone,” continued Greenville, S.C., native, Spc. Christopher Wanser, the advanced field artillery tactical data system operator assigned to Btry B. “It all goes through us.”

    The AFATDS automates and facilitates fire support planning and current operations. During battle, AFATDS provides up-to-date battlefield information, target analysis, and unit status, while coordinating target damage assessment and sensor operations.

    “This training is good for all the soldiers” Reeves said. “Although they all have different jobs, they still need to train together in order to work together.”



    Date Taken: 10.14.2010
    Date Posted: 10.18.2010 13:13
    Story ID: 58338
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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