U.S. Army field artillery.
1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, Fort Riley, Kansas, Hamilton's Own, Faithful and True
The 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery received equipment and new equipment training on field artillery systems from December 2009 to February 2010 as part of Army Force Generation. The focus at this stage was on individual-level training designed to integrate new Soldiers and leaders, and to prepare the unit for certification as a Fires battalion.
During March and April, the battalion conducted section and platoon gunnery. In March, Delta Battery fired the first artillery rounds, for Hamilton's Own, since 2006. In May, 1-5 FA conducted training tailored to becoming an advise and assist battalion. The batteries trained on mounted combat patrol, counter improvised explosive device, company intelligence support team and other essential tasks in conducting offensive and defensive operations. The battalion staff participated in the brigade warfighter exercise in preparation for full-spectrum operations at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.
In June, the battalion's focus turned to its pending movement to the National Training Center and the preparation and loading of equipment for rail operations. 1-5 FA conducted a successful rotation at the NTC, combining both maneuver and artillery missions as part of full-spectrum operations. The battalion's hard work and efficiency resulted in its validation on mission essential tasks in preparation for possible future deployments.
1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, Fort Knox, Kentucky, Swift and Bold
The Centaurs of the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery were activated in October 2009, at Fort Knox, Ky., and began receiving equipment in December to prepared for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
In March, they conducted section certification and qualification, and finished their mission readiness exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. Along the way, the Swift and Bold Battalion fired more than 5,000 rounds in training, received and integrated more than 200 Soldiers, fielded and trained all of their command and control systems, and trained a battery as motorized infantry.
In May, they conducted a live-fire 'walk-and-shoot' for all of the brigade's infantry companies and cavalry troops. The battalion stands ready to support the Duke Brigade in their combat deployment.
1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, America's First Team
1st Cavalry Division, Fire Support Element
While assigned to the Multi-National Division-Baghdad, the 1st Calvary Division, Fire Support Element provided joint Fires command and control for five brigade combat teams and one combat aviation brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10. Utilizing the full spectrum of lethal and non-lethal fire support systems, the fire support element coordinated four Excalibur and two Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System-Unitary missions, more than 2,400 indirect fire missions, 16,000 hours of fixed-wing close air support and more than 20,000 hours of aerial electronic attack support in support of American and Iraqi troops. The FSE also coordinated and executed 25 distinguished visitor and congressional delegation visits, including the president and the vice president of the United States. In addition the FSE enabled the integration of the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, Effects Management Tool and the Joint Automated Deep Operations Coordination System. The digital systems in concert with Firefinder radars and meteorological systems allowed for complete fire support situational awareness, vertically and horizontally across the battlefield. The FSE also provided transitional validation for incoming brigade combat teams on joint Fires procedures resulting in no infrastructure damage or injuries to civilians during counter fire.
1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Brigade Combat Team, Dragons
The 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, has adapted to become a versatile combat unit capable of achieving success in a variety of missions and was exemplified through operations over the past year.
In February 2009, the 1-82 FA deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10. The Dragons performed concurrent missions as a battle-space owning maneuver element, partner to Iraqi security forces and three hot gun sites in Baghdad. Initially attached to 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Bravo Battery maintained continuous 155mm firing capability at Forward Operating Base Hammer, while both Alpha and Bravo Battery conducted maneuver missions east of Baghdad out of FOB Hammer, Combat Outpost Cashe South and Joint Security Station 4 Corners. Both batteries effectively generated positive results with both civil affairs and combat missions helping the local governance and people of Iraq.
At the mid-point of the deployment, the Dragons rejoined 1-1 CAV and moved their operations into northern Baghdad. Bravo Battery manned three hot gun sites (FOB Hammer, Camp Taji and JSS Istiqlal) and fired in support of three U.S. brigade combat teams and their Iraqi partners. Alpha Battery continued to perform their maneuver mission out of JSS Sheik Amir, north of Baghdad. Bravo Battery fired more than 1,000 rounds of 155mm that included a hipshoot fire mission and several Excalibur missions. Throughout the deployment, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery provided support in the form of tactical operations center operations, quick reaction forces, battalion fire direction operations, radar operations and base defense operations. The Golf Fire Support Cell also provided logistical support for the Dragons, running daily resupply missions, and around the clock maintenance operations to ensure the Dragons could achieve any mission. In February, the 1-82 FA redeployed to Fort Hood.
Since February, the Dragons have conducted reset operations. The Dragons focus has been on the fundamentals of individual and crew-level tasks. Training events included small-arms and crew-served ranges and Paladin call for fire simulators.
The Dragons of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery have embodied the motto 'Can and Will' with tenacity and pride throughout a complex deployment to Iraq and continue to live that motto everyday throughout our current reset and training mission.
3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Red Dragons
The Red Dragons deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in January 2009. The battalion was given authority for the city of Kirkuk, the largest city in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team's area of operations and bordering Kurdish areas in vicinity of the 'Green Line.' The mission required the Red Dragons to organize as a maneuver battalion and secure the population in Kirkuk, which was the heart of the ethnic struggle in Iraq and widely considered the main effort of American forces in shaping a future Iraq. Partnering with Iraqi police and the Kurdish regional army (Peshmerga), the Red Dragons reduced violent extremist activity by more than 75 percent over the course of the year. The complexity of the environment required more than thirty Iraqi-unit partnerships many of which had never before partnered with American units. The mission also required the maintenance of more than 100 spheres of influence. The battalion led the way in both civil and information operations as well, completing the largest civil projects in Multinational Division North. The Red Dragons were the first in Multinational Division-North to fire Excalibur munitions.
Upon returning to Fort Hood, Texas, the battalion has completed reset operations and has again begun conducting Howitzer Tables I-XII in order to qualify lethal-artillery platoons and will soon transition to light cavalry gunnery and squad livefire exercises in preparation for the Joint Readiness Training Center and eventually deployment to Operation New Dawn.
The Red Dragon team stands ready to lead the way to any contingency area world-wide to accomplish any mission our leaders ask of us.
'Red Dragon! Can and Will!'
3rd Brigade Combat Team, Greywolf
2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, Steel Dragons
The Steel Dragons of 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, deployed in November of 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. The battalion was organized as a maneuver battalion and given the land owning mission for eastern Mosul and the northern portion of the Nineveh province. The battalion controlled the ethnic fault line commonly referred to as the 'Green Line' or 'Disputed Territories.' The battalion also focused on implementing the new operating procedures required by the Status of Forces Agreement, ensuring that the Iraqi security forces were in the lead for all security operations. Since redeploying, the battalion has focused on reintegration, reset operations and Artillery Tables I-XII, aimed at qualifying our personnel on artillery core competencies prior to transitioning to a motorized rifle battalion. Though battalion timeline for deployment was shortened by five months, the battalion still shot more than 1,000 rounds ensuring that all Paladin crews were qualified through AT VI and two platoons were qualified through AT XII. This allowed the battalion to maintain an artillery capability and demonstrated that the fire support system was absolutely capable of providing timely and accurate Fires for the Greywolf Brigade.
The battalion started unstabilized gunnery and will continue preparations to support multiple-mission sets during the upcoming mission readiness exercise at the National Training Center and deployment in support of Operation New Dawn in early 2011.
4th Brigade Combat Team, Longknife
5rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, Black Dragons
The Black Dragons of 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery continued to provide supporting Fires for the Longknife Brigade while preparing for deployment to Iraq. After completing Army Force Generation reset, the battalion conducted a training cycle to prepare for combat. Tasked to provide lethal platoons in both traditional artillery missions and motorized security assignments, the Black Dragons conducted its first full artillery gunnery density in more than three years. Completing Artillery Tables I-XV, the battalion fired more than 3,100 rounds in six months.
Demonstrating the traditional adaptability of the field artillery, the battalion was task organized to field motorized security platoons to support a wide array of deployed missions, including close escort of the provincial reconstruction team, United National Assistance Mission for Iraq, and other governmental and non-governmental partners. Finally, we fielded, certified and deployed the first EQ-36 Counterfire Radar System in the Army, and demonstrated the capabilities this new system will bring to the force.
The Black Dragons are currently deployed to Mosul, Iraq, and tasked with providing both lethal and responsive Fires in support of the Iraqi security forces as well as security escorts for the Ninewa provincial reconstruction team.
'Can and Will!'
2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Korea, Second to None
1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Red Lions
In August 2009, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10. In the spring of 2009, the battalion trained to conduct both maneuver and field artillery missions, and completed the military readiness exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. Upon arrival in Iraq however, Task Force Red Lions was given a change of mission; supporting the State Department's Diyala provincial reconstruction team-one of the top priorities for the United States Division-North commander. They immediately adjusted their mission, becoming Task Force Governance and Civil Capacity, and adapted the organization to provide direct support to the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, its maneuver battalions and the Diyala PRT improving governance and the quality of life for the citizens of the Diyala province.
Providing proper oversight for the entire province, a battery commander was assigned as direct support to each of the four maneuver battalions for the brigade non-lethal line of effort. Each maneuver battalion had their own operational environment, with boundary lines that nearly paralleled the five Qa'da (district) boundaries within the province. The battery commanders worked directly with the maneuver commanders and the local government to improve systems and programs. To accomplish this, TF GCC conducted split-base operations from the primary tactical operations center at forward operating base Warhorse, with battery commanders at FOBs Normandy, Grizzly, Caldwell and Cobra. These commanders paired with their U.S. State Department counterparts and would nest their missions within the mission parameters for both the 3rd SBCT and the State Department. Each commander had a platoon sized movement team, which supported both battery commander and PRT movements, and fulfilled security requirements, enabling hundreds of key leader engagements.
Additionally, TF GCC provided junior officers as special assistants in support of the Diyala PRT's major lines of effort--Agriculture, Economics, Rule of Law, Infrastructure, and Governance. Task force GCC provided an additional five movement teams for these lines of effort. These teams were vital in allowing the State Department to attend regular meetings with government officials at all levels.
While providing support to the PRT, the task force simultaneously fostered an idea to stimulate economic development in the Muqdadiyah Qa'da by distributing a large number of micro-grants to store owners within the market. This market, had been destroyed during years of heavy fighting and had never fully recovered. The plan ultimately generated thousands of jobs and revitalized the pitiable economic situation responsible for many security concerns within Diyala. After seeing the improved economic and security conditions within Muqdadiyah, the task force initiated a bold economic development plan for an additional two Qa'das; Khalis and Khanaqin (Jalula). These economic development teams were made up of an officer and platoon-sized element of Soldiers, with oversight from local PRT. The operation once again resulted in the successful revitalization of the market areas while creating jobs, building commerce, and ultimately increasing security. Upon the completion of the mission, more than 2,920 micro-grants and $19 million in the Commander's Emergency Response Program, had been responsibly distributed.
TF GCC formed several cells to facilitate project and program development and execution throughout the Diyala province. The project management cell, operated as a functional staff section that assisted in the processing and responsible management of millions of dollars and the infusion of money into the economy of the province, resulting in; $1,130,867 in humanitarian assistance, $42,500,601 in micro-grants, and $22,179,120 in essential services projects. Once this program was established, it was utilized throughout the brigade and shared with other brigades throughout the United States Division-North.
The task force's military intelligence shop also had to be reorganized in order to work within the parameters of a governance and civil capacity mission. An intelligence fusion cell was created and was responsible for more than 250 governance and civil capacity summaries that captured the key leader engagements, intelligence reports, operational support intelligence, and all other non-lethal focused intelligence critical to the analysis. The IFC ultimately proved to be essential in carrying out the TF GCC mission and the information that was gathered from their operations enabled the growth of provincial and Qa'da-level governance.
During the March 2010 Iraqi national elections, the task force played a key role in identifying 380 polling sites within the Diyala province. In support of United States Forces-Iraq, the task force escorted U.S. Embassy and international observer teams to numerous polling sites prior to, and during the election to facilitate the transparent process and the validity of the historical elections.
In addition to the battalion's role of supporting the PRT, the battalion manned and maintained the only howitzer 'hot gun' in the United States Division-North's operational environment. The task force safely and accurately fired more than 100 rounds of 155 mm artillery in support of terrain denial missions.
3rd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Stryke First
Since its reactivation on April 17, 2007 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery have been training for a maneuver mission in anticipation of deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have been executing training events to include maneuver live-fire exercises and certifications through the battery level. With the pending deployment to Afghanistan, the battalion re-focused, while at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., all of its efforts on artillery core competencies and organizing to provide decentralized artillery direct support to 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). Upon the battalion's return from NTC, 3-17 FA fielded 18 M777A2s, conducted new equipment training and live-fire exercises, section qualifications and certified nine platoon fire direction centers and additional gun sections. These tasks were conducted while the battalion simultaneously prepared all their equipment for shipment to Afghanistan. By the time the battalion began deploying personnel in June of 2009, it had reorganized into nine firing platoons with two guns and an FDC section each. This reorganization would allow the battalion to locate firing assets throughout southern Afghanistan and provide more flexibility and fire support coverage to maneuver units.
Throughout June and July of 2009, the battalion deployed to Kandahar Airfield in Regional Command--South. The battalion prepared for combat operations by conducting reception, staging, integration, and onward movement tasks, conducting limited calibrations in the Afghan desert and learning how to properly rig the M777A2 for air movement.
The brigade's three infantry battalions and a cavalry squadron were given tactical control of 3-17 FA's three firing batteries. Alpha Battery established firing capability with three platoons in the Zabul province and provided indirect Fires to 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry and a Romanian infantry battalion. Bravo Battery provided two firing platoons in support of 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment in the southeast Kandahar province. Charlie Battery established two firing platoons in northern Kandahar province in support of 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry. The battalion established a fourth firing battery, Foxtrot Battery, consisting of one platoon from Bravo and Charlie Batteries, to support 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry in the western Kandahar province. Additionally, Soldiers from 3-17 FA manned the Joint Border Control Center located at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak near the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.
The first combat test for the battalion came in August and September 2009 during a brigade operation, Operation Opportunity Hold. Charlie Battery delivered more than 300 rounds of lethal and non-lethal munitions in support of the 1-17 Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry. This operation tested the ability of the battalion to support the batteries logistically with supply, especially ammunition, and to coordinate with the brigade support battalion. The Redlegs of 3-17 FA passed the test and applied lessons learned to future operations in Zabul, Helmand, and Maiwand provinces of southern Afghanistan. Additionally, Charlie Battery fired the battalion's first XM982 Excalibur round in support of combat operations.
In December 2009, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) received a change in mission requiring them to secure the main supply routes and establish freedom of movement for the local populace, Afghan national security forces and coalition forces. This change required the repositioning of maneuver battalions and their supporting artillery batteries. To support this, Alpha Battery moved six times within two months. With Alpha Battery's move to Maiwand and Helmund, Foxtrot Battery was disbanded in January.
Charlie Battery, also consolidated two of its firing platoons at FOB Frontenac in northern Kandahar province, and began work to establish another fire base to expand its fire support coverage for the battalion. The fire base, positioned near the volatile Baghtu Valley in Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar province, was located on an abandoned Canadian FOB, and named 'Fire Base Baghtu.' Charlie Battery, with support from the 1-17 and the brigade's engineer company, oversaw all construction of perimeter defense and life sustainment infrastructure. Once complete, Charlie Battery occupied FOB Bagthu with two platoons, one as a hot gun platoon and one to provide security. The battalion's maneuver training in anticipation of deployment to Iraq allowed Charlie battery to provide all aspects of security to the fire base to include dismounted patrols into surrounding mountains, perimeter defense and convoy logistics patrol security to and from FOB Frontenac.
As the battalion repositioned to support the brigade's freedom of movement mission, the number of platoons needed to provide fire support decreased. The battalion maintained six firing positions from January until its redeployment. The other platoons all provided maneuver support to the infantry battalions and cavalry squadron in the form of combat logistics patrol security, FOB defense and quick reaction forces.
Throughout the deployment, every firing platoon was called on nightly to provide illumination Fires in support of the maneuver task forces conducting counter-improvised explosive device operations and to disrupt enemy movements and operations. Targets ranged from planned targets along main routes of communication to targets of opportunity. All platoon FDCs became extremely proficient at every type of illumination missions such as coordinated illumination and lateral spreads.
Of the 6,248 artillery rounds the battalion fired, the battalion delivered more than 3,600 illumination rounds. Other munitions that the battalion utilized included the experimental XM1066 infrared illumination, which received high marks from supported maneuver units and fire supporters, and the XM982 Excalibur Block I, which was used effectively to destroy insurgent positions on multiple occasions.
The effectiveness of indirect Fires and its contribution to mission success in a counterinsurgency environment culminated in June. As the Taliban increased operations during the traditional spring fighting season, 1st Battalion and special operations forces conducting operations in northern Kandahar utilized indirect Fires from Charlie Battery extensively to include an Excalibur mission, smoke, and high explosives, which resulted in multiple enemy personnel killed in action.
This operation proved that timely and accurate indirect Fires combined with welltrained and proficient fire supporters advising their maneuver commanders can have a tremendous impact on friendly success against insurgents. As a part of the first Stryker Brigade to deploy to Afghanistan, 3-17 FA BN, Stryke First contributed to improved security in southern Afghanistan and provided accurate, responsive, and lethal indirect fire support to all of the 5-2 ID (SBCT) maneuver battalions, special operations, and coalition partners.
3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, Marne Division
1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery, Patriots
In December 2008, 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery, Patriots, redeployed from Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-08 to Fort Stewart, Ga. The battalion served as both a direct support Fires battalion and a land-owning unit with the second largest area of operations within the 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. In March 2009, the 4th HBCT transformed to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, trading in its self-propelled M109A6 155mm Paladin howitzers for towed M119A2 105mm howitzers. To support the brigade's movement from a 'heavy' to a 'light' Fires battalion, 1-76th Field Artillery conducted equipment familiarization and training with the 3rd Battalion, 319th Parachute Field Artillery, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Senior leaders from the battalion participated in classes and 'train-the-trainer' hands-on exercises, in April 2009, to better educate their leadership in the tactics, techniques, and procedures of light, towed artillery pieces.
After several months of gunners' testing and section certifications the battalion was ready to conduct livefire training in July 2009. Throughout the following months, the battalion successfully completed Artillery Tables VIII and XII gunnery. In January 2010, 1-76th FA led the 4th IBCT through the first 'walk and shoot' in the brigade's history. This exercise trained leaders of 4th IBCT's infantry battalions, cavalry squadron, special troops battalion and sustainment battalion in the concept of fire support integration by utilizing all brigade fire support assets.
In February, 4th IBCT began training for deployment in support of OIF/New Dawn as an advise and assist brigade. With its new mission, the battalion parked its howitzers and headed to the field to conduct Vanguard Focus, Table VIII and XII wheeled gunnery, and conducted a rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.
In July, the 1-76 FA deployed to Camp Ramadi, Iraq, and assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Camp Ramadi security force mission. They also supported the stability transition teams at the Anbar police directorate and the Anbar operations center in Ramadi. 'Duty--the Spirit of '76!'
1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, The Rock's Support
In October 2009, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, The Rock's Support, deployed as part of the 3rd Brigade, Sledgehammer, 3rd Infantry Division to contingency operating base Delta, Wasit province. The Sledgehammer Brigade deployed as one of the first advise and assist brigades in Iraq, and in support of this effort, the battalion continued to demonstrate the mental agility and flexibility required by transforming into a motorized task force and conducting partnered operations in support of Iraqi security force assistance and civil capacity.
Operations conducted by the battalion involved leveraging attached stability transition teams with their associated battery/ company to advise, train and assist our ISF partners in order to create/sustain a professional force capable of neutralizing violent extremist networks and providing sustainable security for the populace. The battalion's organization and partnerships included: Alpha Battery, 1-10 FA, Automatic Steel and STT 12 working with the Wasit federal police brigade, Golf Battery, 203rd Forward Support Company, Spartans, and STT 13 working with the 8th Iraqi army divisional transportation directorate; an operationally controlled military police company Vikings/Piranhas and STT 14 working with the Wasit Iraqi police, and Bravo Battery, 1-10 FA, Raging Bulls, providing support to the provincial reconstruction team.
Task Force 1-10 FA supported Iraqi national elections in March. In collaboration with Iraqi security forces, the battalion conducted vulnerability assessments of countless polling locations and ballot storage sites as well as advised and assisted with the election security plan. The result was an extremely successful and credible election with no incidents.
Civil capacity was another major effort conducted with partners in the PRT and enabled by Bravo, 1-10 FA. The Raging Bulls provided movement planning, support and security to the PRT as they worked to facilitate efforts with business and agricultural development, social and essential services, governance and rule of law. The battery logged thousands of miles in support of the PRT's efforts to advise, assist and train provincial government agencies, plan projects in support of essential services and agriculture initiatives, and conduct post-project assessments.
Despite the operational tempo, the battalion also made time to celebrate their roots as artilleryman training on core artillery competencies. In May, the battalion conducted artillery tables in order to train crews on individual and section collective tasks. This included artillery skills proficiency tests, gunner's test as well as Paladin and fire direction center section certifications. The training concluded with a modified section qualification using all guns and FDC sections to qualify on a modified live-fire.
The battalion proudly joined a long legacy of artillery units to command and control COB Delta, Wasit Province, Iraq and returned to home station.
1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery, Battleking
Artillerymen of the Battleking Battalion, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery, deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom / New Dawn in October 2009 and returned to Fort Stewart Ga., in October 2010. The battalion executed a complex mission set during the deployment in support of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division based out of contingency operating site Marez and contingency operating site Irbil, Iraq.
The Battleking Battalion lived up to its Hawaiian motto 'Kalia-I-Ka-Nu-U', or 'Strive To Reach The Summit,' throughout the deployment. The Battlekings were responsible for all operational reporting occurring in the city of Mosul, the capital of northern Iraq's Ninewa province and the second largest city in Iraq. The 1-9 FA provided military support for several U.S. Forces-Iraq units and U.S. interagency partners within the city of Mosul, across Ninewa province, and in the Kurdish regional area capital city of Irbil. Among these were the Department of State's Ninewa provincial reconstruction team, the United States Division-North Reconstruction Cell, 38th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, Iraqi army stability transition teams, Iraqi federal police stability transition teams and the United Nations assistance mission for Iraq. The main effort of the battalion was military support to team Ninewa PRT who provided consultation on reconstruction efforts, rule of law, governance and economics directly with the Ninewa provincial government.
A highlight for the Battlekings was the military support provided to team Ninewa PRT and the 3rd Federal Police Division during the March 2010 Iraqi national elections. Military support to the Ninewa PRT allowed them, along with senior State Department officials, to travel throughout the disputed internal boundary areas of northern Iraq and provide reports back to Washington, D.C., on the effectiveness of the election process. During the elections 1-9 FA also established a tactical command post inside the 3rd Federal Police Division headquarters to advise and assist the police and synchronize operations across volatile western Mosul. The net result of this combined operation was a safe and secure election environment with record-breaking voter turnout.
Although the Battleking Battalion excelled in their military support mission to advise and assist, they still maintained their Redleg core competencies of shoot, move and communicate. The 1-9 FA employed its M109A6 Paladin howitzers on numerous occasions of the deployment. The booming presence of the Paladin howitzers, firing in support of the brigade's counter indirect Fires and counter improvised explosive device campaign, proved effective on the battlefield. The Battlekings also executed an artillery raid in support of an Iraqi security force named operation and executed a combined-arms live-fire exercise featuring OH-58D aircraft, mounted and dismounted with Iraqi army soldiers. Notably, Bravo Battery fired the last artillery rounds of OIF on Aug. 31, 2010. Alpha Battery then began a new chapter in the history books by firing the first artillery rounds of Operation New Dawn on Sept. 6, 2010.
While on their fourth deployment to Iraq and with more than 1,100 combat patrols conducted, countless advise and assist engagements and more than 700 artillery rounds fired, Battleking Soldiers proudly demonstrated the versatility and effectiveness of Redleg Soldiers.
1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, Glory's Guns
The 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, Glory's Guns, distinguished itself in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. The battalion spent the year in combat operations supporting Iraqi security and stability during the seating of a democratic government. In December 2009, Task Force Glory established its headquarters at Camp Stryker, Baghdad, Iraq. The battalion provided a direct support howitzer, firefinder radar, and meteorological coverage to three brigade combat teams from four joint security stations across Baghdad province. From January to April 2010, Glory's Guns proved its versatility, providing not only counter-fire coverage for United States Division-Center, but also serving in a maneuver role as the first advise and assist brigade, 3rd Infantry Division reserve. In March, the task force partnered with Iraqi security forces to disrupt violent extremist network efforts to attack voters during the national elections. The task force contributed directly to the disruption of vehicle-borne improvised explosive device movement into the city of Baghdad.
Task Force Glory established and fostered a partnership with the Iraqi Field Artillery School at Abu Ghurayb. Serving as a conduit between the schoolhouse and United States Army Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., Glory's Guns prepared the Iraqi army to field M198 towed and M109A5 self-propelled howitzers. By assisting with the development of training plans and sharing tactics, techniques, and procedures, the Soldiers of Task Force Glory laid the ground work for ISF to field a professional, well-trained core of artillerymen and an enduring strategic partnership between our Armies.
As a part of the brigade's decisive operation, security force assistance and stability transition teams from Glory's Guns partnered with three corps-level headquarters to enable the Baghdad, Karkh, and Rusafa operational commands' security and stability operations. From December 2009 to December 2010, Task Force Glory directly assisted Iraqi operational commands in the planning of operations for: election security, ballot movement, pilgrimage security, and targeting violent extremist networks.
In May, the task force established an enduring partnership with the 1st Federal Police Division at Joint Security Station Loyalty. Commanding and controlling operations from the combined division operations center, they provided a secure and stable environment in eastern Baghdad. Together they conducted combined operations targeting violent extremist networks and significantly reduced indirect fire and IED attacks in the nine Nisan and Karadah districts.
As a result of the partnership, the 1st Federal Police Division developed enduring capabilities making it a formidable security force, capable of targeting networks, exploiting evidence, and securing the populace, earning their trust. Task Force Glory trained, advised and assisted them in developing a division action arm, an explosive ordnance disposal team, improved human intelligence networks, and improved logistical systems
4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, Ivy Division
On July 22, 2009, the 4th Infantry Division formally uncased its colors at Fort Carson, Colo., after fourteen years of calling Fort Hood, Texas, home. The move returns all of the Ivy Division's artillery to the same installation.
Over the last year, the division's four artillery battalions maintained a rapid pace of operations and supported rotating brigade combat team deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Iron Gunners have honed their abilities to deliver accurate and lethal indirect Fires, transitioning to serve as motorized rifle battalions and providing security force assistance to host nation forces. The division's U.S. Air Force partners, the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron has deployed teams to both Iraq and Afghanistan and assisted at home station by providing close air support training and participating in Joint Fires Observer training courses. The 13th ASOS also conducted tactical air control during the Falcon Air Meet in Amman, Jordan, promoting airpower and multinational integration to Jordanian, United Arab Emirate and Pakistani air forces.
This fall, the division headquarters returned to Iraq and will serve as the headquarters for United States Division-North. They will oversee operations as the mission shifts from the combat operations of OIF to stability operations and oversee the responsible drawdown of U.S. troops as we transition this mission, Operation New Dawn, to the auspices of the U.S. Department of State and the government of Iraq.
To facilitate this new mission, the division Fires cell has reorganized from a traditional Fires and effects cell to a Fires and stability operations cell, serving as the primary synchronizer and integrator of strategic communications, continued development of civil capacity, and transition to other U.S government agencies as well as the traditional duties of lethal and nonlethal Fires and electronic warfare. The division will focus on continuing support to provincial reconstruction teams as they transition to embassy branch offices and consulates as well as advising and assisting Iraqi security forces.
During the past year, and well into the future, the Iron Gunners of the 4th ID displayed both their adaptability and resourcefulness as they support the division in the delivery of lethal Fires, security force assistance and stability operations throughout the world.
'Ironhorse Thunder! Steadfast and Loyal!'
4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery, Straight Arrows
The 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery, Straight Arrows, was a battle-space owner of the Al Mansour District in Baghdad, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09. During this deployment the battalion supported two joint-security stations and conducted more than 3,500 total patrols in the district. The Straight Arrows redeployed in March of 2009, changed battalion commanders in June 2009 and immediately moved to Fort Carson, Colo.
July and August were spent standing up the battalion, establishing systems, conducting reset operations and building combat power. The fall of 2009 gave the battalion opportunities to conduct multiple squad and platoon-level training events. The Straight Arrows finalized the fielding of their howitzers from PMHBCT during the week of Thanksgiving and then immediately conducted Table VIII certification. The training provided Soldiers an excellent environment with temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees and several inches of snow. In January 2010, 4-42 FA deployed in similar weather conditions to provide lethal indirect Fires in support of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger training on Fort Carson ranges. The battalion's deployment mission was finalized and the Straight Arrows transitioned the entire formation to a motorized infantry battalion.
The battalion deployed for Raider Blitz, a brigade field training exercise, as a motorized infantry battalion. The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Raider Brigade, deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center for counterinsurgency training, in April. with the Straight Arrows conducting maneuver operations as a battlespace operator. The battalion also completed deployment preparations, conducted final training for theater requirements and executed torch and advance party operations.
The battalion initiated relief in place/ transfer authority with 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment as part of 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne in late July and have assumed responsibility for security for the city of Farah, Farah province, Afghanistan. The unit is currently conducting security force assistance operations with the Afghanistan national army, the Afghanistan provincial police forces and supporting the national defense security. The battalion remains focused on security operations in support of the Farah province and the city of Farah as well as increasing Afghanistan national security forces capabilities and capacities across the entire province.
3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, Thunder Tide
Upon redeployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom in August 2009, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division completed reset and returned to the basics at delivering lethal Fires. The Thunder Pride Battalion spent March training and testing the battalion's leaders, Paladin crews, and fire direction centers in preparation for qualification. During April and May, the battalion qualified through Artillery Table XII and honed their collective tasks at the battery level in preparation for Artillery Table XVIII.
Concurrently, the brigade's fire supporters from 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment and combat observation lasing team platoon were progressing through their M7 Bradley fire support and M707 Knight vehicle qualifications. The culminating fire support event was a company level combined-arms live-fire exercise integrating lethal Fires from the Thunder Pride Battalion, organic mortars, close combat attack and close air support.
In June, the Thunder Pride Battalion was put to the test, with the assistance of 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 214th Fires Brigade, as they successfully executed an external evaluation. This exercise tested the battalion's accurate and timely delivery of Fires, movement, ammunition resupply, and command and control system.
Thunder Pride Soldiers then began their preparation for deployment by transitioning to a motorized battalion and preparing for their scheduled mission rehearsal exercise at the JRTC in February 2011.
3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, Pacesetters
The 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, Pacesetters, conducted full-spectrum operations during a 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2007 to February 2009. A part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, OIF 07-09 was the third deployment for the Pacesetters since the start of the Global War on Terror. The battalion conducted entry control point operations for the International Zone as well as security-escort operations in and around the Baghdad area of operations. In February 2009, the Pacesetters redeployed to Fort Carson, Colo.
After reintegration and refit operations were complete, the battalion and three batteries held changes of command in May 2009. With new leadership in place, the battalion conducted individual and collective tasks to prepare for oncoming missions. At the end of September 2009, the Pacesetters deployed for Operation Iron Strike, where they conducted traditional artillery missions, dismounted combat patrols, military operations on urban terrain and counterinsurgency operations.
At the end of October 2009, the Pacesetters got their final practice session during their rotation at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. During the rotation the battalion was the first artillery unit to be the main effort for a brigade combat team level operation at NTC.
The Pacesetters started the new year with deployment preparation and refinement of their individual-level tasks. After all equipment was shipped out, the battalion reinforced classroom language and cultural training from local Iraqis, now living in the United States. The 3-29th deployed in support of OIF 10-11 in March and was given one of the largest battle spaces in the brigade combat team area of operations.
2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery, Steel Warrior
Following two, back-to-back deployments to Iraq with a nontraditional artillery mission, the Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division had to quickly prepare for deployment to northeastern Afghanistan; arguably one of the most volatile and potentially lethal environments of operation for U.S. Forces. During this deployment, the Soldiers of the Steel Warrior Battalion would be asked to serve in both a traditional artillery role as well as serving in the 'all too familiar' nontraditional role as 'infantillery.' The brigade made 'rereding' the cannoneers of the Steel Warrior Battalion a priority and focused on the basics such as manual gunnery and howitzer crew drill. After laying a solid baseline, the train up culminated with a combined-arms live-fire exercise during which the Steel Warriors shot missions in support of a base defense to include danger close missions. In preparation for deployment, the commanding general of Fort Carson authorized the Steel Warriors to grow their 13Bs, cannon crewmembers and their 13Ds, Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems specialists, numbers to 110 percent and 125 percent respectively in order to allow the battalion to man all six of their two-gun fire bases with howitzer crews and fire direction centers capable of conducting continuous operations for a year. Following a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation that further sharpened the gunnery skills of the battalion, they deployed with their brigade to Afghanistan in June 2009 as a battalion ready to provide Fires in support of Task Force Mountain Warrior. The cannoneers of the Steel Warrior Battalion were trained and ready to man both their organic M119s and M198s during the deployment.
The mountainous terrain of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Konar and Laghman confirmed all the tactics, techniques and procedures that 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division passed on to the battalion leadership during their pre-deployment site survey. Upon arrival in N2KL, TF Steel Warrior became a composite field artillery battalion having M119s, M198s and M777s to command and control. High-angle fire missions became the standard, with artillery fire missions averaging 800 rounds a month in support of combat operations and troops in contact. Over the course of the year, the Steel Warrior Battalion refined its tactics, techniques and procedures to further promote the lethality of its missions while minimizing the potential for civilian causalities on the battlefield. In addition to recounting our last year's events the Steel Warriors want to pass on some of our lessons learned from a year of fighting in Afghanistan.
TF Steel Warrior was successful in using the Excalibur round in combat. The precision of the round made it ideal for use against anti Afghan forces in fortified positions on mountain sides. In August of 2009, an infantry platoon came under attack from three fighting positions. The platoon forward observer immediately transmitted a call for fire to his battalion's 120mm mortars. The 120mm HE fire was able to suppress the AAF, but could not dislodge them from their fighting positions. The infantry company commander, with the advice of his company fire support officer, requested Excalibur munitions. An M777 section fired two rounds of Excalibur. As a result, the AAF along with the fighting position were destroyed, allowing the platoon to continue its mission. Given the mountainous terrain of eastern Afghanistan, we did not have routine need to use the Excalibur munitions; however, TF Steel Warrior fired a total of 12 Excalibur rounds from August 2009 to June 2010. The accuracy and non-ballistic trajectory allowed these munitions to get behind the rock formations and abandoned buildings to destroy targets that were unaffected by conventional field artillery and mortar munitions.
With multiple small combat outposts and forward operating bases throughout the TF Mountain Warrior area of operation, we ensured that there were multiple indirect systems at each location capable of mutual support. Base defense was taken very seriously, and the threat of being overrun was constant. Even with these precautions, COP Keating was attacked by more than 300 insurgent fighters. Early in the fire fight, the mortar teams at both COP Keating and Outpost Fritsche were suppressed and unable to provide fire support. This forced all indirect Fires to come from the M777 platoon at FOB Bostick. Combining the Fires from the M777 platoon along with close combat attack and close air support, TF Steel Warrior was able to provide fire support coverage for more than 24 hours. The Steel Warriors' standard operating procedures for ammunition resupply was tested and validated. The battalion was able to quickly resupply the M777 platoon with ammunition from other firing platoons within the TF Mountain Warrior area of operation. After the attacks on COP Keating and OP Fritsche, TF Steel Warrior built a rapid response artillery package with a floating M119A2 howitzer and crew from FOB Kalagush. The gun was pre-rigged for air movement with a basic load of ammunition. The gun and fire direction center crew maintained pre-packaged equipment, similar to a division ready company concept. This gave the 4th IBCT commander the ability to provide Fires in support of any operation.
The final lesson learned came from a troops-in-contact situation that was once again in mountainous terrain. The observer requested smoke to help mark a target, but the white phosphorous round fell short and landed in a farm killing cows and goats. This created a serious information operations problem in an area in which trust in coalition forces was already threadbare. TF Mountain Warrior had previously identified this problem and sent an operational need statement request to the Fires Center of Excellence outlining the need for 155mm HC smoke for commanders to use without the negative consequences of white phosphorous. TF Mountain Warrior was able to perform an assortment of smoke missions in populated areas, limiting the use of white phosphorous smoke to material destruction missions and as a marking round for close air support in unpopulated districts.
The Soldiers, NCOs and officers of the Steel Warrior Battalion served with distinction in the mountains of Afghanistan. Their ability to adapt to and overcome any obstacle or task was beyond compare. The Soldiers of 2-77 FA returned to Fort Carson, Colo., in June ready to reset and train.
10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, Mountaineer
3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, Centaurs
3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, a 105mm towed howitzer battalion, Fort Drum, N.Y., relied on many of the lessons learned from previous deployments and experience. The unit deployed from October 2008 and March 2010.--
In March 2009, the battalion began field exercises to 're-red' themselves in field artillery basics and reset from the previous deployment's mission of infantry tactics and patrolling. Howitzer sections completed firing safety certification and by early summer the unit was able to field a battalion of 16 guns for live-fire exercises.
Mid-2009 was a time of bridging the field artillery and infantry operational capabilities. In May, Operation Centaur Zenith kicked off to provide training and experience in a mix of standard-mounted patrols, non-lethal interaction with the populace and continued howitzer firing training. The two firing batteries, Alpha and Bravo, showed their capabilities to quickly adapt to scenarios of reacting to improvised explosive devices and emergency fire missions in the same patrol event. Solider with 3-6 FA deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center in August 2009 fully prepared for future missions and completed their pre-deployment certification by focusing on infantry and patrol tactics. The unit rounded out the year's return to field artillery training by providing Fires during a brigade fire support coordination exercise, firing 350 artillery rounds at targets supporting infantry maneuver tactics.
A series of rapid changes at the end of 2009 caused the battalion to adjust quickly to new missions. The deployment to Iraq was cancelled as national priorities shifted. New requirements, in conjunction with another major change in personnel and the need for recertifying howitzer sections for a new mission, provided readiness in preparation for an early spring deployment to Afghanistan. The primary mission became partnering with the Afghan national police in Faryab province, northwest Afghanistan. The Centaurs quickly adapted once again to a patrolling/infantry mindset and have excelled in this mentoring capacity, conducting continuous combined operations with Afghan security forces and fellow international security assistance forces units from Norway, Latvia and Sweden.
Thorough preparation and training has made 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery ready for any mission. Its assets are the professional Soldiers that quickly adapt to situations and provide expert effects. Never bound solely to its original field artillery duties, the Centaurs stand ready to deploy and engage wherever they put boots on ground.
5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Thunder
The 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, Fort Polk, La., spent last year preparing for a dual maneuver and Fires mission in Afghanistan. After completing reset, the battalion trained on Artillery Tables I-XII, firing 11,000 rounds as we regained our artillery skills. The battalion executed off-site training at Camp Guernsey, Wyo. and U.S. Army Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah, in conjunction with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons. While conducting this off-post training, fire supporters concentrated on all aspects of fire support to include; combined live-fire exercise, close-combat aviation, close-air support, and mortars. The Thunder Battalion used this opportunity to train how to operate in mountainous terrain and in a cold-weather environment, in order to replicate conditions of the unit's future deployment. This training prepared the batteries for the safety requirements for intervening crests and the effects the weather would have on the Soldiers and equipment.
Already proficient at Fires tasks, the battalion trained as a maneuver task force for JRTC rotation 10-09. During the training the battalion was responsible for holding three combat outposts and conducting key leader engagement with local leaders to change the attitudes and mindsets of the local populace toward the Afghan government. The batteries were successfully able to change the population's mindset within their respective areas of operation to support the government, Afghan national army and coalition forces. The battalion was the first to successfully turn an enemy centric population center into a positive area for coalition forces.
After receiving an M777 mobile training team, the battalion spent the remainder of 2009 preparing for its dual mission set of maneuver and Fires. The battalion is scheduled to deploy to Logar and Wardak providences in Afghanistan in the early fall. The task organization is consisting of one artillery battery acting as maneuver and one artillery battery in the traditional role by supplying Fires. It also consisted of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery acting as a maneuver, command and control element for another task force, and with one infantry company to round out our task force. 'Steel on Target'
25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Tropic Lightning
3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Never Broken
The 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery, is located on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and is part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Broncos, and the Tropic Lightning Division. Although a 105mm artillery battalion, the battalion's past two deployments have been as a maneuver task force. In 2006, 3-7 FA deployed to the province of Kirkuk in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Not only did they conduct a traditional counter-fire mission, but 3-7 FA also set itself apart as a maneuver task force conducting infantry-type mission sets. In 2008, the battalion deployed to the Salah Ad Din province in Iraq, partnering with Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government to strengthen security and build civil capacity and improving the quality of life for the people of Tikrit.
After the battalion returned in October 2009, it underwent its first deliberate reset following three consecutive one-year deployment cycles. In light of its pending deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the battalion refocused training efforts on its more traditional mission essential task of delivering field artillery Fires. The battalion underwent a deliberate 75-day certification program that included Big 3 and gunner training and certification concurrent with artillery skill proficiency training and testing. The battalion's fire direction centers conducted consolidated training augmented by the inclusion of gunnery mobile training team from Fort Sill, Okla. This week-long training allowed all of the battalion's FDC sections to receive higher-level training on manual gunnery. Additionally, the mobile training team incorporated lessons learned from units recently returned from OEF, allowing the battery to begin applying those lessons almost a year prior to their deployment.
All field artillery officers were required to pass the cannon and safety tests. Due to leader turnover, FDC section certifications were not conducted until the battalion conducted a training deployment, Operation Steel Fortitude, on the island of Hawaii.
Operation Steel Fortitude was the first time the battalion was able to conduct artillery live fire since April 2008. This was one of the few opportunities, for the battalion, to train as a collective unit. The battalion also conducted small-arms and crew-served weapons range densities on all assigned systems in both day and night conditions. The battalion decentralized training to the battery level. Each of the batteries, HHB Hardcore, Alpha Battery Wardogs, Bravo Battery Bulls, and Forward Support Battery Gladiators, conducted training independently while integrating key battalion enablers. The battalion strived to meet the five requirements for accurate predicted Fires utilizing the battalion's Q-36 radar in both friendly and hostile fire modes. Every firing section conducted Artillery Table VIII live-fire qualification and Bravo battery conducted a modified artillery table XII mission list.
Every Soldier in the battalion was required to zero and qualify on the known distance range prior to conducting standard qualification on their assigned weapon. Getting the Soldiers accustomed to firing at ranges exceeding 300 meters was the first step in preparing for engagements in Afghanistan. Additionally, every Soldier was required to familiarize on a collection of crew-served weapons including the M249, M240B, M2 .50 cal, and the MK 19. This instilled the confidence that regardless of military occupational specialty, every Steel Soldier can emplace fire accurately, and maintain each of these weapons.
Aside from individual training, all of the battalion's movements were conducted tactically. Every battery conducted tactical foot movements between ranges, bivouacking over night before moving to the next range. Each element in the battery accumulated over 30 kilometers traveled during the course of a five-to-seven-day period. Each battery also conducted a community service or community relations event with the local community in Hawaii to facilitate cultural interaction, demonstrate good will and replicate conditions we expect to see during deployment.
During September, the battalion was organized into its task organization for combat, sponsored a much needed 13B, cannon crewmember, Advanced Leadership Course mobile training team, conducted recovery operations, and updated standard operating procedures at all levels. The battalion returned to the Pohakuloa Training Area in October to refine and deliver Fires TTPs. Every maneuver company/troop commander and platoon leader in the brigade will participate in this training, stressing company level fire support planning and coordination and leader call for fire training. All enablers will be applied in supporting the battalion's 105mm Fires along with the maneuver battalion and squadron's organic mortars.
The Wardogs of Alpha Battery will reorganize and train as maneuver, the Bravo Bulls, will continue to train as the battalion's primary firing element. The Hardcore Soldiers of Headquarters Battery will support the brigade's fire support coordination exercise and train the battalion's personal security detachment and the Gladiators of the support battery will provide all classes of supply and support to the entire battalion and deployed elements of the brigade participating in the fire support coordination exercise.
Following this second deployment to Pohakuloa Training Area, the battalion will look to re-certify its leadership prior to participation in the BCT's National Training Center rotation in January 2011. Regardless of the mission assigned, the battalion stands ready to support its motto.
'Never Broken by Hardship or Battle.'
82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, All American
The division headquarters deployed in May 2009 to Afghanistan and assumed command of the Regional Command East in June. With the responsibility for operations in Afghanistan's eastern provinces, Combined Joint Task Force-82 was charged with a multitude of tasks that included not only major combat operations of hunting terrorists cells but also facilitating the country's second national election, the initial surge of increased forces and the continued task of coaching, teaching, partnering and mentoring the Afghan national security organizations. In June of 2010, control of RC-E was handed over to the 101st Airborne Division and the paratroopers of the 82nd returned to Fort Bragg, N.C.
The 82nd Joint Fires Cell deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom 09-10 and conducted joint operations that covered the entire spectrum of both traditional and non-traditional field artillery and Fires support tasks. The JFC provided mission analysis planning, execution oversight, coordination, and critical liaison duties that reached from the strategic and operational levels to the tactical level. The 82nd JFC was given responsibility of refining targeting conducted by the intelligence cell, and coordinating the daily management of the close air support allocation and apportionment for the CJTF area of operation. The JFC also provided field grade and company grade officers to coalition partners. These officers performed duties ranging from fire support officers to targeting officers. Targeting. With the joint military intelligence shop and
Targeting. With the joint military intelligence shop and field artillery intelligence officer focused on developing actionable intelligence to target threats in real-time situations, the JFC targeting team looked at an extended timeline for threats and the overall working of threat networks. With this type of deliberate investigation into threat networks the JFC team began to identify catalysts to the threat network's operations and sustainment that had not traditionally been targeted on a large scale. With a constant flow of intelligence about individual actions and movements, the JFC attempted to understand what facilitated any number of events, such as terrorist, criminal, narcotics activities; failed public services and governmental corruption. They also focused on how these events ultimately impacted not only Combined Joint Task Force efforts and operations, international development and aid efforts, but the people of Afghanistan and the government itself. What unfolded was a web of interconnected relationships and associations of which only a small percentage was affected by lethal targeting and actions.
In November of 2009, the JFC targeting team was tasked with standing up and running a group to focus on developing these identified opportunities into targetable events for the CJTF commander, and the RC-E Fusion Center was born. The fusion center contained personnel from multiple staff functions from within the CJTF, but also included inter-agency partners, special operations personnel and host nation intelligence personnel. As the team developed into a cohesive group, it was given the specific responsibilities of threat network targeting, the development of measures of effect and measures of performance; and negative influence targeting, which focused on the non-lethal enablers that supported and reinforced threats facing coalition force efforts and Afghan stability. The overall success of the RC-E Fusion Center was the creative and asymmetrical way in which they not only viewed the problem set, but the recommended offensive and defensive actions and responses to for the CJTF commander to consider. The lasting effect of this effort is the creativity injected back into the targeting elements of the staff and the infusion of all staff functions and how everyday activities can have significant impacts on the area of operation.
Fires coordination. Coordination included current operations battle tracking and resource management. The current operations staff provided coordination and asset de-confliction between the brigades to the higher headquarters agencies to include multi-service and coalition partners. The JFC joint Fires planners also coordinated the division's close air support planning efforts for all future operations to ensure that adequate support would be provided for the maneuver brigade's operations.
The JFC provided planning and coordination across the battle space for both direct support and general support indirect firing systems ranging from 120mm mortars to artillery systems including the 105mm, 155mm, rockets and coalition systems operating within the division's area of operation. The JFC efforts ensured that the division commander had the flexibility to provide indirect Fires covering maneuver areas, targeted areas of interest, and reinforcing priority of effort operations as required. This coordination included pre-assault Fires planning, air-assault movement coordination, and logistic coordination.
The JFC provided oversight and coordination for the division's target acquisition assets. This included the operational and tactical planning for daily operations. The JFC managed the reset program which was vital to the target acquisition operations throughout the division's battle space. The target acquisition planning and coordination, at the JFC level, ensured that sensor management and critical logistic support received the priority required to maintain an operational readiness rate above 90 percent throughout the deployment. The JFC provided maintenance oversight and tactical planning with the Target Acquisition Battery and the field service representatives. The TAB and FSRs managed multiple types of target acquisition systems and managed several repair centers. The JFC coordinated and scheduled critical new equipment training and software upgrades for proper employment of the target acquisition systems.
Upon returning to Fort Bragg, N.C., the 82nd Joint Fires Cell is working to update our current modified table of organization and equipment as well as becoming a primary staff section independent of the operations section. Near term efforts include major-combat operation and joint forcible-entry exercises which focus on the core competency of the division, to secure a lodgment setting the conditions for follow on forces in full-spectrum operations.
1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery (Airborne) Loyalty
After a successful deployment to the Karadah political district in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-09, during which the unit partnered with Iraqi security forces and oversaw the transition to the new security agreement, the 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery (Airborne) aggressively returned to its core competency mission--conducting forcible entry parachute assaults and providing close supporting Fires to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. In order to ensure all maneuver platoon and company-level training live-fire exercises would be supported by trained and ready artillery firing units, the 1-319th had to immediately focus on lowlevel collective training even before reset was complete. The unit met all reset objectives for personnel and equipment ahead of schedule and immediately massed efforts on leader training, especially at the junior officer level, in order to regain technical expertise and prepare leaders for Big 3 and fire direction center certifications. The battalion also provided oversight for consolidated fire-support training and fire-support team certification as well as sponsoring and hosting joint Fires observer mobile training teams and courses. The battalion conducted multiple artillery live-fire exercises and exercised the team Fires concept during seven brigade combat team level airborne operations, with BCT mortars and M777 sections from the 18th Fires Brigade. During 3rd BCT's training cycle, the Loyalty Battalion provided close supporting Fires for both platoon and company combined arms maneuver live-fire exercises.
Both prior to and following the brigade combat teams training, 18th Fires Brigade provided evaluation teams for two firing battery exercise evaluations and target acquisition platoon evaluations, which focused on the 82nd Airborne Division Redbook standards. The external evaluations provided the final preparation for the October rotation, at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., which was the first full-spectrum operation rotation in more than seven years. The battalion is ready to assume the global response force. 'Loyalty! H-Minus!'
17th Fires Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Thunderbolt
In 2009, the Thunderbolt Brigade began deploying units in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Target Acquisition Battery began the deployments with Foxtrot Battery, 26th Field Artillery deploying to Iraq in February 2009. The brigade subsequently deployed two Fires and effects coordination cells in April and June of 2009 to OIF in support of Multinational Division-North and Baghdad. They were then followed in July by the brigade headquarters, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery (Air Assault) (155mm TOWED), 308th Brigade Support Battalion, and 256th Signal Company deploying to OIF as a ground owning brigade, Task Force Thunderbolt, in Multinational Division-South. In October 2009, the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery (HIMARS) deployed to Afghanistan, conducting route clearance operations, typically an engineer mission. The 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery (HIMARS) remained at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., performing the duties of rear detachment. Over the course of the brigade's deployment, Thunderbolt Soldiers performed a wide range of standard and non-standard missions that included partnering with the 14th Iraqi army division in Basra, Iraq, performing route clearance duties in Afghanistan, and supporting Warrior Forge 2010 and ROTC: Leader Development Assessment Course.
Task Force Thunderbolt as a ground-owning brigade in the Basra province consisted of more than 2,000 Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and other governmental agency personnel. In conducting full spectrum operations, the brigade headquarters coordinated the activities of the mobile training teams from the U.S. Marines, Army, and Navy while they partnered with their Iraqi security forces counterparts.
They were also responsible for tracking and responding to indirect fire attacks, coordinating close air support, planning passenger flights out of the province, and providing direct partnership to the Basra Operation Center. While working with the BaOC, the brigade military intelligence shop mentored their Iraqi counterparts on targeting methodologies resulting in the disruption and capture of several prominent insurgent cells operating in the province.
The brigade's partnership with the BaOC paid dividends during the Iraqi national elections held in March. They were able to assist the Iraqi security forces in coordinating for the security of the populace and the international observers tasked with observing the election. Their efforts resulted in an election free of disruption from insurgent activity. The brigade was relieved and returned to JBLM in July where they are currently resetting in preparation for future deployments.
5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery (HIMARS), First Round
In October 2009, the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, First Round, deployed Batteries Alpha, Charlie and a headquarters element to Afghanistan. The battalion was spread throughout the theater during their deployment with platoons from Alpha Battery supporting the 372nd Engineer Brigade under Regional Command East, Charlie Battery supporting the 4th Engineer Battalion in Regional Command South and the headquarters element located in Forward Operating Base's Spin Boldak and Sharana.
Alpha Battery supported multiple operations with platoons providing security for route clearance operations throughout Regional Command East. The distance between the platoons proved a challenge for battery leadership as they conducted a change of command midway through the tour. Elements from the battery were also tasked with providing trail defense for suspected insurgents.
Charlie Battery initially deployed to Kandahar and was attached to Task Force Thor. They were subsequently relocated to FOB Spin Boldak where they were responsible for providing security for route clearance patrols throughout Regional Command South. A small team from the battery was attached to United States Forces South Southwest to run the J3 Force Protection Cell as well as standing up the first Mine Action Center in the theater.
The headquarters element from the battalion deployed to FOB Sharana where they ran the mayor's cell as well as assuming control of the base defense operations center. Throughout the deployment they were responsible for maintaining the continuity of the battalion which was spread over a large geographic area.
The battalion is scheduled to redeploy in October 2010 to JBLM where they will reconstitute the battalion and begin training First Round Soldiers on their core field artillery skill sets and prepare for future deployments in support of OEF.
1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery (HIMARS), Deep Steel
Since January 2009, the 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery, Deep Steel, has kept up with the long standing traditions it has created since its inception. In February 2009, 1-94 FA started new equipment training and fielding of the new M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System equipment. Upon completion of the fielding, all three batteries successfully conducted a certification live-fire exercise at the Yakima Training Center, Wash. Since then, the Deep Steel Battalion has completed and certified their crews safely in November 2009 and again in April 2010. As they head into the new fiscal year, the battalion is looking forward to executing their next LFX certification in early November.
Upon completion of the new equipment training course, the battalion was tasked with two major operations: one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the second supporting ROTC's annual Warrior Forge. In support of OIF, the battalion provided a 30 Soldier fire and effect coordination cell detail supporting the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq. The group trained for the mission and deployed mid July 2009 and redeployed in June 2010.
The battalion was also tasked to support Warrior Forge 2009 and 2010, the single largest training event in the Army. The battalion was in charge of all the support efforts from building lanes and weapons ranges to providing transportation support for all the cadets and cadre as the ROTC Support Mission Command supporting more than 11,800 future Army lieutenants.
1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery (Air Assault), Gunslinger
The 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery (Air Assault), Gunslinger, deployed to Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq in July 2009. During the course of their yearlong deployment, the battalion performed multiple tasks that improved the overall security and the quality of life throughout the Basra province.
During the unit's tour, the battalion conducted more than 3,000 combat patrols with no combat casualties. These included counter indirect fire patrols, provincial reconstruction team, and transition team escort missions. The battalion's C-IDF patrols were effective in disrupting insurgent mortar and rocket cells from attacking COB Basra and other key locations throughout the province. Additionally, the battalion significantly improved the readiness of the 14th Iraqi Army Division and the Basra border police by supporting multiple U.S. military transition teams and border transition teams. The battalion also helped improve the quality of life of the citizens of Basra by supporting multiple PRT projects throughout the province.
The battalion played a major role during the Iraqi national elections in March 2010. The unit assisted with ensuring the legitimacy of the elections by providing escort security teams to International and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq election observers.
Upon completion of their mission the Soldiers of the Gunslinger Battalion returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord where they are preparing to transition from an M198 battalion to a M777 battalion as well as continuing to train for future missions is support of OEF.
308th Brigade Support Battalion, Red Lions
In the lead up to the brigade's deployment, the 308th Brigade Support Battalion, Red Lions, ensured logistics flowed in preparation for the intense training for every pre-deployment exercise. The battalion designed and executed the first-ever forward logistics element for the Yakima Training Center, Wash., in a total of seven rotations supporting three field artillery battalions. The battalion never missed a beat by simultaneously supporting the brigade, continuing force generation, and preparing, training, and certifying all 284 Soldiers in 130 essential deployment tasks. The battalion special projects officer also developed, coordinated, and synchronized continued logistics support for the field artillery battalion remaining at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This included supply support activity, combat service support automation management office, ammunition, service and recovery, and direct support maintenance.
The battalion deployed at only 73 percent strength, 216 Soldiers replacing the 204th BSB, 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team with 415 Soldiers, not including the medical company. The entire leadership took on the herculean task to provide the same capabilities and support as a unit nearly twice its size. The concept of support was completely revised to consolidate convoys, incorporate minimum manning, build convoy security detachments providing convoy force protection, and ensuring logistics would never hinder combat operations.
The 34th Infantry Division commander recognized the 308th BSB as the best support battalion setting the highest standards for logistics support, retrograde, and drawdown while at the same time, being the smallest support battalion in all of U.S. Division--South. Concurrently, the division inspector general recognized the 308th BSB administrative shop as the best of eight battalions, being the only one with zero deficiencies and the 308th BSB as having the best safety program in the division. Both Headquarters and Headquarters and Bravo Company were awarded the Commander's General Safety Award in 2010 due to their unblemished safety record setting the standard for safety excellence.
Foxtrot Battery, 26th Field Artillery
Foxtrot Battery, 26th Field Artillery, began the brigade's deployments on Feb. 17, 2009, when they deployed to multiple locations within Iraq. The battery provided Sentinel radar coverage for five outlying forward operating bases in Multi-National Division Baghdad, South and North. Soldiers with F-26 FA were responsible for screening over 30,000 cubic nautical miles of airspace, ensuring safe air operations throughout much of the theater of operation.
Assigned to MND-N, F-26 Soldiers worked in the division air and missile defense cell providing information on downed aircraft, screening airspace, and working with the Joint Tactical Terminal, Air Defense Systems Integrator, Tactical Air Integration System, and upgraded versions of the Air and Missile Defense Work Station and Forward Area Air Defense Systems.
Upon completion of their mission, the Soldiers of F-26 redeployed to JBLM where they are currently fielding Q37 radars and preparing for future deployments in support of OEF.
18th Fires Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Steel
The 18th Fires Brigade remains decisively engaged deployed in Afghanistan with cannon, rocket and Firefinder Radar Systems. Light howitzer M777A2 equipped firing batteries from 1st Battalion, 321st Field Artillery (Airborne) and the 3rd Battalion, 321 Field Artillery continue to provide close-support Fires to U.S. combat forces throughout Regional Command East while High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery provide precision long-range Fires throughout the country. Many of our firing platoons operate from austere remote outposts far removed from the comforts of larger forward operating bases. Despite the hardships of daily life and the strain of lengthy deployments, the gunners from 18th FiB have persevered and responded with both precision and lethality when called upon. Currently, the Firefinder Radar Systems in Afghanistan are manned by one of the brigade's forward support companies from the 188th Brigade Support Battalion, operating in an 'in lieu of' status and although most are logisticians, they are trained and certified on the Firefinder Systems.
At Fort Bragg, N.C., the Steel Brigade remains busy training and preparing our batteries for upcoming deployments to Afghanistan. At the same time, we continue to support the 82nd Airborne Division's global response force with the integration of a composite battery consisting of both M777A2 howitzers and HIMARS launchers. Over the past year, XVIII Airborne Corps' joint forcible entry exercises have provided several opportunities for us to fully integrate M777A2 and HIMARS systems as part of forced entry exercises at Fort Bragg.
In February, the brigade provided support for the XVIII Corps headquarters and 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division when those units began their rapid deployment to Haiti, as part of the disaster response following the devastating earthquake. Alerted in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, 18th FiB troops worked around the clock, guarding key nodes throughout Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base and rigging supplies for airdrops and air movement. In March, the brigade headquarters traveled to the Republic of Korea and represented the XVIII Airborne Corps during the exercise Key Resolve.
1st Battalion, 321st Airborne Field Artillery, Warrior
The 1st Battalion, 321st Airborne Field Artillery, Warrior, concluded 2009 with a successful 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, firing more than 18,000 rounds in combat. The battalion successfully redeployed on Jan. 23, 2010. In March, sections began fire direction center and howitzer section certification training, with emphasis on fire direction centers and top 5 certification. Also, the Warrior Battalion continued to hone its skills in conducting airborne operations. Alpha and Charlie Batteries each participated in joint forcible entry exercises, which included night-time drop zone missions in support of brigade combat teams from the 82nd Airborne Division.
In the summer, Alpha and Bravo Batteries sent trainers and six M777A2 howitzers to Fort Campbell, Ky., where they trained deploying Soldiers on fire direction center operations and the 'insand-outs' of the M777A2 to include firing Excalibur munitions.
Alpha Battery will conduct a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation in October at Fort Polk, La., and Charlie Battery will participate in the exercise Jaded Thunder at Avon Park, Fla. Currently, Delta Battery, attached to 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery is deployed to the Kunar province of Afghanistan, and looks forward to their redeployment at the end of the year. The Warrior Battalion also continues to conduct drop zone missions, maintaining airborne proficiency and accurate-timely Fires.
3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery, Thunderbolt
The 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery, Thunderbolt, is currently operating on two fronts: Headquarter and Headquarters, Bravo, and Delta Batteries are currently forward-deployed to eastern Afghanistan. Alpha and Charlie Batteries began an intensive training cycle to certify their Soldiers in July. The training culminating with a mission-readiness exercise in September, as the batteries prepared to relieve the battalion headquarters and their sister batteries in Afghanistan. Over the next few months training consisted of three major training exercises as well as numerous weapons ranges, classes, and other required training. There was also a joint training exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Our deployed units, Bravo and Delta Batteries and 583rd Forward Support Company, continue to execute combat operations providing outstanding Fires and target acquisition support to our maneuver forces. This summer, in Afghanistan was equally busy; the 101st Airborne Division conducted a transition of authority with the 82nd Airborne Division in June.
3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, Steel Rain
The 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, Steel Rain, has continued to maintain its joint deployment mission in Afghanistan, providing precision Fires with devastating effect, since the spring of 2006. The 3-27 FA operates the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System; a wheeled vehicle equipped with a frame-mounted launcher module capable of delivering precision global positioning system guided munitions up to a distance of 270 kilometers, making it an ideal kinetic strike platform for high-value targets. The battalion is one of three HIMARS battalions in the active army and its launchers are capable of being transported with munitions via C-130 aircraft, making it a very practical strike option to shift locations throughout the Operation Enduring Freedom theater.
Alpha and Bravo Batteries are deployed in support of the ongoing joint mission and are conducting a relief in place/transfer of authority in preparation for Bravo Battery's deployment. Between deployments, firing batteries have participated in several joint exercises, mission readiness exercises, and training in support of the battalion's ongoing mission. The rapidly transportable capability, combined with the HIMARS ranges, lethality and precision, make 3-27 an integral part of the 82nd Airborne Division's global reaction force. As part of the GRF, 3-27 stands by to deploy and deliver rocket and missile Fires in support of the 82nd Airborne Division within 96 hours of notification.
188th Brigade Support Battalion, Steel Eagle
The 188th Brigade Support Battalion plans, synchronizes and employs combat service support to the entire 18th Fires Brigade and the 82nd Airborne Division. The 188th BSB provides the 18th FiB with distribution, based on centralized logistics, utilizing distribution, field maintenance, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and forward support companies. Additionally, the 188th BSB has command and control responsibilities for the tactical network and communications companies within the brigade.
HHC is able to establish and achieve the highest level of administrative and logistical readiness, in order to provide logistical support to the 18th Fires Brigade. Alpha Company, the Distribution Company, is capable of producing and distributing purified water, distributing bulk fuel, establishing and managing an ammunition holding area for operations, as well as other support activities for the 18th FiB and the 82nd Airborne Division. Bravo Company, the Field Maintenance Company, is capable of establishing field maintenance with ground support, communications, electronics, armament shops and recovery capabilities for the battalion and the brigade.
The battalion's 54th, 135th, and 583rd Forward Support Companies allow the rapid establishment of field maintenance and direct support to the field artillery battalions within the 18th Fires Brigade. These companies also provide direct support to elements that deploy from the field artillery battalions. This ensures that the brigade's mission is continuously being met--whether deployed or in garrison. The functions that the 188th BSB provides to the 18th Fires Brigade are done without fail and with exceptional technical expertise.
Over the past year, the brigade's Target Acquisition Battery, Wolfpack, has supported the 82nd Airborne Division units with the Q36 and Q37 Radar Systems, meteorological and survey assets. Delta Battery, 26th Field Artillery (target acquisition) has been involved in more than 15 cannon and HIMARS battery live-fire exercises, six firefinder radar and meteorological certifications, three joint forcible entry exercises for the XVIII Airborne Corps, and one Joint Readiness Training Center rotation. Besides ongoing support to the 18th Fires Brigade and the 82nd Airborne Division, D-26th FA is currently preparing for its second combat mission in Operation Enduring Freedom. The battery's keys to a successful mission in OEF will come from section-level training that is well planned, rehearsed, and simple, yet effective.
Over the past year, the 206th Signal Company, Punishers, has supported the 18th FiB by providing operational network support. The company provides secure and unsecure data and voice capabilities, as well as retransmission capabilities to units at all levels within the brigade. The company's notable missions include Secure Enroute Communications Package Improved and Joint Network Node support for the 82nd Airborne Division's joint forcible entry exercises, brigade digital exercises, as well as JNN and command post node support missions for 1-321, 3-321 and 3-27. In January, 206th Signal prepared to deploy to Haiti with the 20th Engineer Brigade to provide network operations capabilities. Additionally, from February until March, the 206th sent personnel to support the 18th Fires Brigade command group during its involvement in the exercise Key Resolve in South Korea. This year, the 206th Signal Company organized and executed its first company field training exercise, as well as its first live-fire range.
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne)
In October 2009, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, deployed to the local training area in support of Operation Gun Smoke II, a brigade-level training exercise. In December 2009, the unit completed a command inspection, followed by half-day schedules through. In February, HHB participated in a brigade digital exercise and supported the deployment of the corps headquarters and the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team during Operation Joint Endeavor, providing humanitarian relief to the disaster-struck nation of Haiti. In March, HHB was the main effort in the exercise Key Resolve, a joint-readiness exercise in South Korea. In August, the 18th Fires Brigade began its portion of the brigade's War on Excess: a three-phase operation to inventory and eliminate excess equipment. The battery continues to distinguish itself by providing global reaction force support and a brigade assault command post in support of XVIII Airborne Corps joint forcible entry exercises.
41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, Railgunner
The 41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, successfully completed an Army Force Generation reset phase in January 2010, following operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-09. The brigade's major lines of effort included comprehensive Soldier and family fitness, leader development, materiel readiness, and mastery of warrior fundamentals to facilitate future collective training. In February, 41st FiB transitioned to the ARFORGEN train/ready phase, employing a Fires Gate Training Strategy. After being deployed for 15 months and performing non-standard missions, the Railgunner Brigade is once again focused on Fires core competencies in support of full-spectrum operations.
The brigade delivered its first training rockets down range in March, successfully qualifying Multiple Launch Rocket System, fire direction center, radar, and ammunition crews to Fires Table VI standards. After fielding new tactical command posts in April, the brigade then progressed to Fires Table XII platoon qualification in May. During June, the brigade conducted its annual 'Best-by-Test' competition to inspire excellence and recognize the top Multiple Launch Rocket System, fire direction center, supply, communications, maintenance, food service, and personnel sections in the formation. During July, the brigade moved to Fires Table XIII/XIV battery-level training and MLRS gunnery live-fire exercise. Concurrently, brigade and battalion command posts underwent Battle Command Systems of Systems Integration Training to work fire-mission threads, increase vertical and horizontal connectivity, and develop full integration of Army battle command systems. As the Railgunner Brigade's delivery units were safely firing more than 400 rockets, the 589th Brigade Support Battalion expertly deployed the entire brigade support area to the field on numerous occasions and provided outstanding logistical and maintenance support.
During August, the 41st Fires Brigade deployed a team of leaders to Korea to observe the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise. The exercise provided brigade and battalion leaders and staffs a unique opportunity to observe the role and responsibilities of a Fires brigade in a high intensity conflict training environment. The lessons learned from this intense exercise significantly enhanced the brigade's battle staff competencies.
In September, the 41st saw the execution of Fires Table XV battery/company external evaluations. All 16 company-sized elements, underwent a rigorous 96-hour evaluation based upon their full-spectrum operations mission essential task lists. Successful completion of this critical training gate resulted in agile, lethal batteries and companies capable of shooting, moving, and communicating in a high-intensity conflict scenario. Capitalizing on this momentum, the brigade underwent phase III of the Battle Command System of Systems Integration in October, quickly followed by a series of brigade command-post exercises through November.
In December, the 41st FiB will conduct a Battle Command Training Program warfighter exercise at Fort Hood, Texas to improve the brigade's ability to integrate Fires into full-spectrum operations in a high-intensity operational environment. Brigade and battalion commanders and staffs will exercise command and control, the operations process, fire planning, counter-fire operations, precision strike, force protection and sustainment to increase collective proficiency. The two-week exercise is the capstone training event of the brigade's ARFORGEN train/ready phase and will validate its ability to deploy, fight and win.
A fully modernized and modularized Fires brigade, the Railgunner Team is a 'team of teams' consisting of three subordinate battalions and three separate batteries/companies:
The 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, Deep Strike, was the Army's first M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System battalion and today stands ready to deliver the full arsenal of MLRS rockets and missiles. The battalion is home to the 1st Cavalry Division's Soldier of the Year and the brigade's 'Top Gun' launcher section.
The 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery, First Strike, is also a fully modernized M270A1 MLRS battalion fully capable of delivering all MLRS munitions in support of full-spectrum operations. First Strike earned honors as 'Top Fire Direction Center' in the brigade's annual best section competition.
The 589th Brigade Support Battalion, Iron Caissons, are a premier multifunctional logistics battalion capable of providing sustained support to the entire Railgunner Brigade. Their outstanding supply, distribution, and maintenance support resulted in the brigade's 'Top Maintenance Section' honor during the past year.
The brigade's extremely successful year in the ARFORGEN train/ready phase would not have been possible without the phenomenal efforts of its three separate batteries/companies. The Brigade Headquarters Battery, Hardrock, provided first class support of the brigade command posts as well as medical support. The 324th Network Signal Company, Phoenix, provided seamless network support to the entire brigade facilitating voice and digital communications. Finally, the brigade's Target Acquisition Battery, Alpha Battery, 26th Field Artillery, Wolfpack, provided expert radar, meteorological, and survey support.
Since April, the 41st Fires Brigade has been under the training and readiness authority of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 41st Fires Brigade and its subordinate battalions share a historical, common lineage with the First Team from Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Bosnia, and OIF. With training oversight and mentorship of the Red Team, the 1st Cavalry Division's Fires elements, the 41st Fires Brigade revamped and updated the 1st Cavalry Division Red Book, a compilation of crew and collective training standards to ensure effective integration of Fires in support of full-spectrum operations. The Railgunner Soldiers take great pride in providing accurate, timely, and decisive Fires for America's First Team and stand ready to answer our Nation's call. 'Railgunner Strong!'
75th Fires Brigade, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Diamond
For the Diamond Brigade, the last 365 days have been a whirlwind of redeployments, reset, deployments and a tremendous amount of training. The brigade headquarters redeployed its trail party from Iraq in May 2009 and immediately began preparing for the redeployment of its two Multiple Launch Rocket System battalions, 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery and 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery. Both battalions would reach the end of their deployments in support of contingency operations overseas later that summer.
The 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery, Red Dragons, wrapped up their mission conducting detainee operations at Camp Bucca, Iraq and other sites. They began redeploying in May 2009. Task organized into a headquarters detachment and two companies for the mission, the Red Dragons successfully completed a 15-month rotation for this critical mission. At the same time, the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, Mission Ready, also task organized as a headquarters and two companies, completed their 15-month mission providing security-force companies and trainers to Joint Task Force Horn of Africa based out of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. During its unique deployment, the Mission Ready Battalion trained with forces from Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and other nations around the African continent.
While the MLRS battalions redeployed, the 100th Brigade Support Battalion remained deployed to both Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. The 100th BSB had been task organized into two companies for missions in Iraq; Alpha Company, responsible for detainee operations and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, functioning as a combat sustainment support battalion headquarters. However with the surge into Afghanistan, HHC became one of the first units to rotate from Iraq into Afghanistan to meet the rapid buildup of forces, leaving Alpha Company in Iraq to support detainee operations. The remainder of the 100th BSB deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan to execute sustainment operations for both Army and U.S. Marine forces.
While the remainder of the brigade deployed or enjoyed a well deserved post-deployment leave, the 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery traded its M109A6 howitzers for M777A2s in preparation for a possible deployment to OEF. The 1-17th FA, reorganized in order to provide additional fire direction centers and two-gun sections for the mission. Although the mission never came to fruition, 1-17th FA was able to conduct section to battery live-fire and field exercises throughout the fall and into the early part of winter on the M777A2.
As 1-17 FA prepared, 2-18 FA and 3-13 FA drew equipment and began key leader training on MLRS operations for the NCOs and officers who, after 15 months downrange, had not been on the launchers for almost two years. This early leader training proved to be the right step in rebuilding leader and Soldier competence on the systems.
Building on the initial leader training, both battalions began preparing sections for certification with the first sections certifying and qualifying by December 2009. In January, while the Fires battalions prepared for a joint-combined-arms live-fire exercise, the 100th BSB concluded operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and redeployed to Fort Sill, Okla., in November and December.
Through the end of 2009 and early in 2010, the 75th Fires Brigade also restarted its transformation, which had been on hold since 2007. The brigade refitted older equipment, installed newer systems and fielded additional systems throughout the brigade. Tasked to support the Network Enterprise Technology Command's operational validation exercise and European Command's Austere Challenge 10 joint exercise, the fielding of the brigade's Tactical Battlefield Command Systems was pushed forward into November 2009, so that the brigade would be able to use the systems to support the NETCOM OPVAL. In addition to the Blue Force Tracking and TBC Systems, the brigade began to upgrade older systems such as the Q-37 or replace them with newer ones such as the Profiler Meteorological System. Throughout the spring and into the summer, the Diamond Brigade's transformation process would continue until its conclusion in June with the fielding of the brigade's new modular command post system.
The Diamond Brigade entered into the new year executing its first joint-CALFEX in conjunction with fire supporters from the 75th Rangers, U.S. Marines from the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company and Kiowa helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. The exercise provided the diverse group of fire supporters with a great opportunity to exchange lessons learned from recent deployments. The Diamond Brigade coordinated assets, including close air support from F-16s, AC-130s and B-52s, and delivered cannon and rocket Fires in support of joint Army-Marine fire support elements for the first time since 2007. By the end of the exercise, the brigade had fired more than 1,000 rounds and 100 rockets in support of the joint fire-support teams.
In February, Fort Sill was subjected to an ice storm that left parts of the post and much of the surrounding community without basic utilities and created a tremendous amount of debris from fallen tree limbs. In conjunction with the Fires Center of Excellence, the 75th Fires Brigade parked its howitzers and launchers, put all non-essential training on hold and dispatched most of its lift assets to clear the installation. Over the next 4 weeks, Soldiers from the Diamond Brigade moved more than 5-ton loads of debris from the garrison area, allowing the installation to quickly restore all functions to the community.
As the brigade wrapped up its support operations, 2-18 FA and 3-13 FA completed their planning for battalion training exercises at other installations. In March, 3-13 FA deployed to Fort Bliss, Texas, to take advantage of the extensive training opportunities there and at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The Red Dragons concluded a month of ranges, section/platoon training and battery operations with live-fire operations in the Texas desert.
While the Red Dragons prepared to redeploy to Fort Sill, 2-18 FA initiated its deployment to Fort McCoy, Wis. The Mission Ready Battalion deployed by both road and rail, with the 15th Transportation Company road marching 50 HMMWVs and HEMTTs nearly 1,000 miles across five states as part of the company certification for its upcoming deployment to Iraq. Closing on Fort McCoy, the Mission Ready Battalion certified the 15th TC for deployment, executed small-arms ranges, conducted platoon and battery-level training and executed livefire operations throughout the month of April.
As 3-13 FA redeployed from Fort Bliss and 2-18 FA deployed to Fort McCoy, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery and brigade headquarters received notification that it would deploy to Afghanistan in ninety days to support the NATO training mission. The Copperhead Battalion reacted swiftly. Drawing up-armored HMMWVs from the pre-deployment training fleet, working on individual certifications for deployment and receiving individual equipment as part of the rapid fielding initiative; by the first week in June, the Copperheads completed a culminating-training exercise and soon after deployed to support OEF.
At the same time, the brigade staff and the 258th Signal Company deployed to Grafenwohr, Germany, to support both the NETCOM OPVAL and the EUCOM Austere Challenge 10 exercise. Deploying ahead of the brigade staff, the 258th SC and the brigade's signal shop conducted operations in support of the NETCOM OPVAL in order to improve the ability of units to seamlessly transition data from home station to any theater of operation. In order to complete the OPVAL, the brigade headquarters deployed with all of its TBC systems to Austere Challenge 10 to replicate both a maneuver brigade headquarters and a general support MLRS battalion. Working alongside French and Polish ground forces, the Diamond Brigade headquarters successfully proved that it could quickly and effectively serve as a joint force headquarters in support of a multi-national operation.
June 2010 began with the return of the 100th BSB to the field for company training exercise. For the Centurion Battalion, which just completed its equipment draw from the Left-Behind Equipment program and weathered a significant turnover in personnel, it was the first time in more than a year that many of the Soldiers had the opportunity to work within their military occupational specialty. The timing of the FTXs, coming at the end of its ARFORGEN reset, could not have been better as it would prepare the 100th BSB to support the entire brigade during the upcoming Joint-CALFEX with the 1st ANGLICO and elements of the 10th Special Forces Group in August 2010.
The Diamond Brigade moved into the late summer with a changeover of the command teams in three of its four battalions during the month of June. July would see the brigade preparing for its second Joint-CALFEX and the deployment of a battery from 3-13 FA to the National Training Center in support of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. After 365 days of great training, the short-notice deployment of 1-17 FA, the conclusion of the brigade's reset and the transition of much of the brigade's leadership, the Diamond Brigade remains prepared for its next mission. 'Tough as Diamonds.'
210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Korea, Warrior Thunder
The Soldiers of the 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, are fully integrated into the only forward deployed, committed division in the U.S. Army. As we recognize the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, 210th Fires Brigade service in the Republic of Korea continues the long history of the U.S. Army Field Artillery on the peninsula. The 210th FiB worked closely with our Korean allies and is fully integrated in 2ID plans and operations defending the ROK. The brigade has an extremely high-operating tempo focusing on the skills required by major-combat operations. Comprised of its two M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System battalions, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery, On the Minute and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery, Steel Behind the Rock, provide the commander's lethalartillery formations with ranges and capabilities that only existed in the dreams of those who repelled the Chinese and North Korean forces more than half a century ago. None of this firepower can be unleashed without the maintenance and sustainment capabilities of the 70th Brigade Support Battalion, Blacksmith. The 210th Fires brigade is a self-contained, self-sustaining fire support asset that provides 2ID and our Korean allies' maximum flexibility to conduct full-spectrum operations. The brigade's assigned and attached batteries and companies provide target acquisition, communications, and air defense, further enhancing the capabilities of Warrior Thunder and creating a true 'Fires' organization!
Often coined 'the main effort of the main effort,' the brigade's initial-mission set includes numerous attachments from both inside and outside the division and close liaison with MLRS equipped units from the Republic of Korea army. Whether it is supporting theater level events and exercises such as the Aerial Weapons Surveillance System testing, Key Resolve, and Ulchi Freedom Guardian, combined live-fire exercises with ROK MLRS battalions, or division focused events such as the 2ID War Path series, Warrior Thunder stands together to defend the Republic of Korea. No other Fires brigade can claim the unique priorities that accompany the awesome responsibility that the 210th assumes for the execution of the 'Fight Tonight.'
While the 210th Fires Brigade is truly unique based on its mission, no organization can do it alone. The 210th fosters and maintains the relationships needed to win the counter-fire fight and more. These relationships include the full-time teammates within our ranks, the Korean Augmentation to U.S. Army, unit-to-unit tight bonds at echelon, a spirit of volunteerism and cooperation within the local and surrounding community, and finally one of a trusted ally and partner with our go-to-war comrades in the Republic of Korea army. Critical training events that link the Thunder Brigade with our Republic of Korea allies include the Third Republic of Korea army field-training exercise, monthly tactical discussions and combined-live Fires with Korean artillery battalions that continue to hone our war-fighting skills and tactical interoperability.
Additionally, teaming with the local citizens and leadership fosters mutual understanding and enables the 210th Fires Brigade to obtain a reputation that of a solid and dependable neighbor. Finally, working closely with our Korean teammates on the challenging issues that face any military organization, U.S. or Korean, the 210th has built a close relationship of trust and confidence that truly captures the spirit of Kapshi-Kapshida!, 'We go together!'
214th Fires Brigade, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Leader
Transformed from a traditional field artillery brigade to a Fires brigade in 2006, the 214th Fires Brigade is a capabilities-based unit that provides precision, close and deep-lethal artillery, conducts logistics, is network-centric and provides command and control of Fires for full-spectrum operations. The unit's transformation provided increased lethality, modularity, and expeditionary support for joint operations.
Designed to be self-contained, the Leader Brigade's organization includes a Multiple Launch Rocket System battalion, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System battalion, a cannon artillery battalion, a brigade support battalion, a target acquisition battery, and a signal company.
The brigade tested the ability of its units to work together during a brigade field training exercise in April 2010. The exercise saw units conducting full-spectrum operations training tasks such as a masscasualty exercise, vehicle-recovery operations, fixed-site security training, refueling operations, counter-improvised explosive devices training, and culminated with brigade fire missions that for the first time since the transformation to a Fires brigade massed cannon and rocket fire on a single target.
The 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery, Deep Attack, continued to demonstrate its lethality with precision rocket Fires in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2006 until 2009, 2-4 FA lead a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System task force that rotationally provided precision firing capability for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq and later U.S. Forces-Iraq. Task Force Leader was turned over to the 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, Steel Warriors, in December 2009. In May, 2010, 2-4 Field Artillery completed a National Training Center rotation with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and saw their Alpha Battery conduct the first live-fire mission of an M31 GMLRS at the training center with pinpoint accuracy. This unit has more than proven that artillery is still a viable option in today's counterinsurgency fight.
The 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, Rock Hard, continued their support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with multiple out of design radar section deployments. Currently, 2-5 FA continues to man counter-fire radar sections in Iraq as they do their part to protect the force. Soldiers with 2-5 FA continue to train for full-spectrum operations and provided indirect fire support to assist Soldiers and leaders training at Fort Sill, Okla., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, Steel Warriors, conducted precision rocket Fires in support of OIF when they assumed control of the brigade's GMLRS task force in Iraq in December 2009. In June, 1-14 FA completed the task-force mission successfully and redeployed to Fort Sill bringing the most up to date tactics, techniques and procedures from theater and sharing them across the brigade to enhance training and readiness.
The brigade's 168th Brigade Support Battalion completed its first National Training Center rotation in May in support of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. While there, Soldiers from the battalion acted as observer controllers, as well as opposition forces. The maintenance support provided to a reserve unit, by the battalion's Bravo Company, was the driving force in maintaining the unit's fleet and earned commendations for its outstanding performance.
The 168th Brigade Support Battalion's supply support activity earned honorable mention status in its first time competing in the U.S. Army Forces Command Supply Excellence Award competition. The annual contest places active component, U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army National Guard units into separate categories, and then divides those categories according to the volume of equipment maintained by the warehouse.
Activated on Sept. 18, 2006, as part of the Leader Brigade's transformation, Hotel Battery, 26th Target Acquisition Battery, is currently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom with the deployment of the battery headquarters target production section. Soldiers with the H-26 continue to prepare for additional deployments in support of OEF. Additionally, the battery is assisting with radar training for 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Soldiers, who are preparing to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 529th Network Signal Company provides network support to the entire brigade. The 529th NSC deployed to support Operation Unified Response, the U.S. military's official aid campaign in response to the Haiti earthquake. The 529th NSC provided information network support that helped to facilitate aid and relief efforts. This was the largest scale engagement for the unit since it was reactivated in 2007. The signal company also provided command post node equipment and teams in support of Task Force Leader.
As one of the most versatile and lethal formations in the Army, the 214th Fires Brigade is fully transformed and ready to support full-spectrum operations across the globe.
434th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
The 434th Field Artillery Brigade receives, in-processes and trains more than 17,000 basic combat training Soldiers and 3,000 Warrior Transition Course Soldiers annually. This basic combat training program of instruction transforms civilian volunteers into Soldiers, who are competent and confident in their war fighting and technical skills; who demonstrate the requisite character, values and warrior spirit; and who can contribute to their first units of assignment successfully.
During the past year, the brigade has encountered several transitions to include the implementation of a new basic combat training program of instruction that puts training emphasis back on the basics. The new program of instruction, utilizing feedback from combat-experienced officers and NCOs across the Army, focuses on the most important basic skills that Soldiers need to comprehend to include handling, firing and maintaining their individual weapon, the application of combat casualty care, the preparation of the mind and the body for the physical and mental demands of deployment and combat, the maintenance of situational awareness, voice communication skills and Army values.
The new basic rifle marksmanship and the advanced rifle marksmanship strategy is enabling Soldiers to fire more ammunition than ever before in basic training while simulating stressful combat like conditions. The brigade is also fully engaged in implementation of the new physical readiness training amongst its basic training, Warrior Transition Course population and permanent party Soldiers. The intent of this recent publication is to improve the physical conditioning of the average trainee while best preparing that Soldier for the first unit of assignment.
In January, the 434th Field Artillery Brigade also began executing gender-integrated basic combat training to further support manning requirements of a growing Army. The brigade graduated its first gender-integrated class in March and has more than seventy cycles scheduled for this calendar year. The brigade also continues to execute the Army's only Warrior Transition Course. The Warrior Transition Course is a 32-day program of instruction designed to integrate former U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard personnel into the Army as well as reintegrate prior service Army personnel back into the force.
In addition to the brigade's organic reception and training battalions, and a detachment, a mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Training Battalion has brought expanded training capacity to Fort Sill, Okla., this past year, by training more than 3,000 Soldiers. In early 2011, the brigade will permanently activate an additional active component battalion in lieu of the annual reserve component augmentation. The 434th Field Artillery Brigade continues to adapt to meet increased accession and training requirements necessitated by the growth of the total Army.
The 434th Field Artillery Brigade footprint continues with major facility renovations this year to include the trainee barracks upgrade program, construction of two new 'super dining facilities,' new training battalion classrooms and future construction of a new reception complex. This will enhance the brigade's ability to provide world-class training and support to our nation's newest Soldiers.
428th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Cornerstone
For many artillerymen, their journey begins here within this unit. Whether developing the technical skill sets necessary to fight and win our nations wars or fostering and developing leaders for today's force, the building blocks are established here.
Over the past year, the brigade has encountered many challenges spanning from incorporating new concepts in training development to providing external support to multiple agencies, both nationally and internationally, with a large percentage of this being executed during a time of flux.
Some of the transition the organization has witnessed is the deactivation of 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery in April 2010, which was chartered to train Basic Officer Leadership Course lieutenants phase two, coupled with the migration of the skill sets trained in BOLC II to 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery to inception of the BOLC B concept as well as two battalion changes of command, and the brigade change of command.
The organization now consists of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, comprising the brigade's administrative, logistical and command and control nodes; 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery, which provides direct support to training events with their two firing batteries and one support battery; 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery, which is chartered with the mission of sustaining the officer education system to include Basic Officer Leader Course B; Warrant Officer Basic Course; Warrant Officer Advanced Course; the Field Artillery Captains Career Course and the Pre-Command Course for those field grade officers selected for battalion and brigade command; and the 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, whose mission is to train seven 13 series military operational skill sets.
2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, Big Deuce
The mission is simple, to deliver Fires and perform logistics operations in support of the United States Army Fires Center of Excellence, execute ceremonial salutes for the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill. This battalion is the 'workhorse' within the brigade. Currently the 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery executes an average of eight BOLC B classes a year averaging more than 150 lieutenants per class. Big Deuce supports seven, live-fire shoots for BOLC B. This support assists the fire support cadre chartered to evaluate the lieutenant's ability to call and adjust fire. In addition to this support, 2-2 Field Artillery provides live-fire support for seven Marine shoots, 10 pre-command classes, and 47 13F, fire support specialist, AIT classes. Last year, the battalion spent 256 days in the field supporting a variety of training venues. The two firing batteries fired a combined total of 32,523 rounds of a variety of munitions.
External support within the brigade is continuing requested due to the uniqueness of equipment we are assigned and the seasoned personnel we have. In June 2010, Alpha Battery, 2-2 Field Artillery was deployed to the United States Military Academy at West Point to deliver Fires in support of cadet summer training. Following a four day train up, the battery delivered more than 6,500 and trained 1,400 cadets to compute data and deliver Fires. This mission was not only unique in training future officers in artillery skills, but also providing a venue for the cadets to get a holistic picture on what the field artillery does and provide a reference prior to branch selection.
1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery, Hard Charger
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery, is to execute initial military training, professional military education and leader development to train physically fit, competent, confident, and adaptive field artillery leaders for the operating force; individually capable of immediately contributing to their new unit of assignment by integrating and executing lethal and non-lethal Fires.
To begin the year, training and doctrine combined Basic Officer Leadership Course II and III into what is now called BOLC B and the Alpha Battery element, which began training on tasks that were previously taught by BOLC II. Throughout BOLC B, the battalion trains field artillery lieutenants in 61 common core tasks, in addition to, fire support, fire direction, and platoon leader blocks. The first three weeks, focus on the tasks that migrated from BOLC II, in-processing into the Army, basic rifle marksmanship, land navigation, combatives, and other common core tasks then transitions into field artillery technical training with common core tasks being reinforced throughout the rest of the course.
In addition to executing BOLC B, the Field Artillery Captain's Career Course has implemented the military decision making process initial assessment exercise. This requirement initiated from the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Texas, is centered on giving a common scenario to all branches of the Army.
To bolster the battalion's training for the contemporary operating environment, the unit has partnered with the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College, where our military and graduate students are involved in a scenario driven exercise involving interviews by journalism students. Students attend a seminar on media relations, discuss media engagements, conduct practice interviews, and receive feedback from the professors. The concept of the operation is the journalism and FACCC students are given a practical exercise. Both the FACCC and OU students, are given approximately 48 hours to digest the practical exercise and develop questions and talking points for the engagement. The interview is taped and the OU faculty will play selected interviews for after action review. Overall, this exercise has been a great venue for both sets of students to prepare for the current operating environment.
Throughout all of our courses, the battalion has integrated cultural and language training. This training enables the students to gain an understanding of what culture really means and how it is significant to counterinsurgency operations. All students are required to submit a cultural paper during their course and BOLC B students are required to complete one block of language training utilizing Rosetta Stone software.
1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, Teamwork
The 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery trains advanced individual training and deploying Soldiers to be skill-level 1 qualified in field artillery core competencies, providing the Army with combat ready field artillery Soldiers. In addition to training all seven field artillery military occupational specialties. We train more than 7,000 Redlegs on an annual basis. The Teamwork Battalion provides logistical and administrative support to the 94M, radar repairers and the 94S, PATRIOT System repairer and AIT Soldiers.
One of the major challenges for fiscal year 2010 was the reconfigured AIT field training exercise. The primary mission was to create a training environment where all seven of the 13 Series MOSs go to the field together to re-create, in training, what they will see once they graduate and report to their first duty assignment. Prior to the implementation of 120 Hour AIT field training exercise, Soldiers being trained by the 1-78 FA did not have the opportunity to experience the synchronized fire support system. It has enhanced a field craft and training proficiency of the unit's students and cadre members.
In February, 1-78 FA implemented a comprehensive Soldier fitness program into their Support Cadre Training Course, where a cadre member is trained on resiliency and performance enhancing skills and how to teach them. These skills have proven efficacy in contributing success of teams, leaders, families, students, executives and military personnel. The skills learned include emotion awareness and regulation, impulse control, de-catastrophizing, perspective, effective communication, challenging negative beliefs, problem solving and real-time resilience.
In addition to its primary mission of training AIT Soldiers, the Teamwork Battalion also provides its skilled cadre to the rest of the force. In the past year, the unit has provided support to the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany and has deployed cadre to support missions in Afghanistan, Honduras, and Senegal. The organization's cadre is on the cutting edge of transformation projects such as the brigade combat team modernization program at Fort Bliss, Texas, infantry brigade combat team testing at Fort Benning, Ga., and testing the new EQ-36 radar at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. The unit has also provided equipment and instructors to assist deploying units in their pre-deployment training and provided real-time reach back for units that are currently in Afghanistan when they have questions about the AN/TMQ-52A Meteorological Measuring Set, the Profiler. The unit has also hosted several visits by foreign military leaders, showcasing both our Soldiers and the latest in field artillery training and equipment. 'First and Always'
3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment, Camp Osan Air Force Base, Korea
Over the past year, the 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea has conducted numerous theater level exercises (both joint and combined), several local exercises, a Saint Barbara's Day Ball, a Hill 180 (Battle of Bayonet Hill) commemoration along with a long list of military training, community and family events. The unit has moved into a transitional headquarters in preparation for our new headquarters, which is forecasted to be complete in fiscal year 2012. The 3rd BCD-K is poised and ready to 'Fight Tonight.'
The 3rd BCD-K coordinated air assets in support of ground operations as well as operational and intelligence situational awareness to the Air Component Command during four Peninsula Operational Exercises. The PenORE tested the Air Force's ability to execute combat operations, receive follow-on forces and defend the base from attack.
In order to maintain the 'Fight Tonight' posture, the 3rd BCD-K conducts two major joint/combined exercises yearly. The first of these is Key Resolve and it exercises the theater's reception, staging, onward-movement and integration abilities while maintaining contact with the enemy. The exercise is conducted during March and the 3rd BCD-K continues to provide seamless and timely integration of personnel, resources, and intelligence to support combined military operations.
The second major joint/combined theater level exercise is Ulchi Freedom Guardian normally conducted in the month of August. UFG is a joint and bilateral exercise conducted on the Korean peninsula. The 3rd BCD-K's pivotal role is to provide the coordination link between the Ground Component Command and the Combined Air Command for the purposes of coordinating and synchronizing the execution of joint fires in high-intensity combat scenarios.
The celebration of Saint Barbara's Day is a time-honored tradition shared among all artillery men and women around the globe. Due to the unique combined environment of the 3rd BCD-K, we have also had the honor of inducting four Republic of Korea Army officers and NCOs into the order.
Each February, the 3rd BCD-K hosts a memorial ceremony for the Korean Peninsula to honor the veterans who took part in the decisive action at the Battle of Hill 180, also known as "Bayonet Hill" on Feb. 7, 1951. The ceremony commemorates the men of Easy Company, 27th Infantry Regiment, Wolfhounds, commanded by CPT Lewis L. Millett who led a bayonet charge against a well-entrenched and larger Chinese force and ultimately prevailed. This year's Battle of Hill 180 was more memorable than previous celebrations due to the fact that Millet passed away on Nov. 14, 2009.
Under the leadership of COL E. J. Degen and SGM Walter Edwards, the 3rd BCD-K continues to train hard, maintain tactical and technical proficiency and stand at the ready to 'Fight Tonight. Strike Deep!'
5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
The 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, is assigned to the U.S. Army Pacific. The detachment also serves as the Army service component commander's liaison to the 613th Air and Space Operations Center and 13th Air Force. The 5th BCD's presence in the Pacific Command area of responsibility significantly enhances the theater's warfighting and deterrent capabilities for joint forces.
Exercises. The PACOM area of responsibility is a robust blend of joint and multinational operations, and as a result, the 5th BCD's relevance and roles continue to expand. An essential role for the detachment is supporting the Pacific Command theater campaign plan that is designed to enhance multinational relationships and combined war fighting skills. The PACOM AOR is dominated by over 4,000 miles of water and as such is indicative of the maritime environment. To accomplish this mission, the detachment participates in numerous joint and combined-annual exercises such as Terminal Fury in Hawaii; Yama Sakura, Japan; and Talisman Saber, Australia; and represents any Army force operating within the theater. The most recent exercise, Terminal Fury (May 2010), represented a unique opportunity to execute the BCD mission in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps forces in the Pacific acting as the joint forces land component command. This was the first cooperative effort between both Marine and Army forces during this exercise. In addition, the 5th BCD is in the final planning phases for Yama Sakura in Japan, January 2011. The BCD will enable joint air support in a bilateral way between I Corps and Japanese forces as our partner for the exercise. The 5th BCD's regional focus, integration and expertise afford ARFOR the flexibility to facilitate introduction of land component forces into the PACOM theater, apply joint Fires in an integrated fashion, and enables theater campaign plan efforts aimed at forging relationships with regional multinational partners. In preparation for the July 2011 Talisman Saber Exercise, 5th BCD is working hand-in-hand with the newly established Australian battlefield coordination detachment, helping them assess and improve their standing operating procedures. In April 2010, the 5th BCD hosted an Australian bilateral visit focused on assisting the Australian self defense forces establish a more robust BCD within their formation. Future visits are planned to assist the Australian BCD train and integrate its battle command systems into Australian air force operations center. Members of the 5th BCD have coached and mentored Australian counterparts on all aspects of the BCD's mission and integration with the 613th AOC. The Australian BCD is ready to demonstrate its capability during Talisman Saber 2011.
Other endeavors. Since achieving full-operating capability in June 2009, the 5th BCD pursued several other capability building endeavors in addition to the theater campaign plan mission. It consistently supports Army joint support team exercises by sending highly trained and qualified NCOs to perform the BCD mission at various mission readiness exercises and rotations at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. These exercises help the Army joint support team provide realistic training in air support coordination for contingency operations. And in return, the BCD receives graduate level training from the AJST's comprehensive mobile training team in preparation for joint exercises. The 5th BCD also works very closely with program manager battle command. PMBC provides unique automated systems expertise and innovative solutions to operational challenges to the BCD. PMBC assisted with several issues over the past year and enabled the BCD to develop a unique two network digital bridge allowing for full communications between ARFOR and the 613th AOC. All of this completed over 4,000 miles of ocean. The 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment is also postured to manage training, readiness and oversight to of ground liaison detachments within the AOR. Ground liaison detachments are the vital link between ground and air assets at the Air Force wing level. They are a critical enabler to effective joint Fires.
It has been an eventful and productive three years since the 5th BCD achieved full operational capability in July 2007. The 5th BCD is uniquely positioned in its role by improving the joint cooperation, capabilities and culture of our armed forces in the Pacific theater.
'United in Victory!'