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V Corps Artillery.

V Corps Artillery is ready and relevant. During the past two years, V Corps Artillery, the Victory Corps Artillery, Schwetzingen, Germany, has served as the only forward deployed corps artillery. As the thunder behind the V (US) Victory Corps, it is a proud member of Freedom's Expeditionary Force, US Army Europe.

Preparations were ongoing to deploy to Southwest Asia as Operation Iraqi Freedom loomed on the horizon. The Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), V Corps Artillery, began deploying to the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility to train and prepare for possible hostilities with Iraq. The Soldiers and leaders of HHB, V Corps Artillery, worked tirelessly to create a Field Artillery support plan (FASP) that would meet the objectives of V Corps' Contingency Plan Cobra II.

The corps artillery deployed a robust package for the Combined Forces Land Component Command's (CFLCC's) exercise Lucky Warrior in October 2002 followed by the deployment of the Force FA (FFA) Headquarters and Fires and Effects Coordination Cell (FECC) in late November for CENTCOM's exercise Internal Look. Conducted in the Kuwaiti desert, these exercises were instrumental in honing the critical fire support synchronization skills that proved essential to V Corp's success during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Throughout all phases of the operation (pre-war planning and training, hostilities, and post-hostility stability and support operations, called SOSO), V Corps Artillery units displayed tremendous flexibility and endurance in both the high operational tempo drive to Baghdad and SOSO's fluid environment that followed high-intensity combat operations.

During combat, V Corps Artillery units fired 414 ATACMS missiles, 857 MLRS rockets and more than 18,500 howitzer projectiles. The FECC conducted 309 targeting boards in support of the V Corps and I Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF) offensive.

V Corps Artillery fired the first sense and destroy armor munition (SADARM), ATACMS Block IA and ATACMS unitary rounds in combat with accuracy and effects never achieved before.

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During hostilities, the corps artillery commanded and controlled three artillery brigades (41st, 17th and 214th FABs), consisting of 11 battalions and more than 5,000 Soldiers and 1,468 vehicles.

After major hostilities ended, V Corps Artillery pioneered the tactics and techniques for removing millions of pounds of captured enemy ammunition (CEA) from the battlefield as Task Force Bullet.

41st FAB. The Railgunners arrived in theater on 7 March 2003 and, within seven days, completed reception, staging, on-ward movement and integration (RSOI) process. On 20 March, approximately 122 Soldiers from HHB, 41st FAB, and more than 400 Soldiers from 1-27 FA, the Gridsmashers, opened the artillery phase of the war when they launched 22 ATACMS against Iraqi command and control nodes. Hours later, all three batteries from 1-27 FA executed a fire plan in support of IMEF shaping operations before the launch of ground operations.

On 21 March, the brigade conducted a 350-mile ground assault with the 101st Airborne Division as the corps general support reinforcing (GSR) brigade. Occupying Forward Area Rearm/Refuel Point (FARP) Shell with the 101st, the Gridsmashers delivered additional fires in support of the Screaming Eagles and the 11th Aviation Regiment. On 8 April 2003, 2-18 FA from the 212th FAB joined the brigade at Objective Bushmaster south of the Karbala Gap, firing several Block 1A missiles during the next several days. By the end of major combat operations, the 41st FAB had fired 194 ATACMS in support of V Corps and IMEF.

As major hostilities were ending, the Soldiers of the 41st FAB were given a new and exciting mission. As part of the overall scheme of operations for Phase IV of Operation Iraqi Freedom, V Corps assigned the brigade the mission of providing command and control for the movement of captured enemy equipment (CEE) and CEA from multiple locations throughout the theater to centralized collection points. The brigade's Task Force Bullet coordinated the consolidation and destruction of more than 56 million pounds of captured Iraqi ammunition.

The brigade's mission continued to expand, and on 25 April 2003, V Corps assigned 1-27 FA the mission of setting up and running the V Corps Joint Visitor's Bureau (JVB). The JVB coordinated the arrival of, hosted and provided security escorts for more than 480 official visitors, including heads of state, members of the US Congress, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. It also conducted tours within the area of operations.

On 20 September 2003, the brigade established an Iraqi Civil Defense Corps Academy in support of the MultiNational Division Central South and began training the first of more than 850 local nationals to be integrated with Coalition Forces before transitioning into to a new Iraqi Army.

The 41st FAB redeployed to Germany on 6 March 2004 after successfully completing its mission in the CENTCOM area of operations.

V Corps Artillery Headquarters. The headquarters conducted a relief-in-place, culminating in a historic transfer of authority (TOA) from V Corps Artillery to III Corps Artillery on 1 February 2004, concluding a triumphant year in Operation Iraqi Freedom. V Corps Artillery units returned to Germany in February and March 2004.

Since that time, the V Corps Artillery has focused on reconstituting combat power and retraining personnel. The V Corps Artillery's focus now turns toward preparing for future missions with a series of joint exercises planned for the coming months.

Ready when V Corps needs a Victory--Victory Thunder!
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Title Annotation:Silhouettes of STEEL
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:892
Previous Article:III Corps Artillery.
Next Article:XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery.
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