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"Thank God, the guns!".

Other items of purchase on the army's Operation ARCHER shopping list for Afghanistan are new artillery pieces. The old fleet of M109 155-mm self-propelled guns have only' recently been put into mothballs. That decision to discontinue using heavy artillery coincided with the purchase of lighter, more mobile 105-mm howitzers.

It was felt that the heavy old M10gs had no place on the post Cold War battlefield. However, as our troops prepare to deploy into the U.S. forward operating base in Kandahar, military planners are frantically looking to purchase some 155mm calibre guns from the U.S. Army. The reason for this abrupt about face is the fact that the new GPS guided (precision) artillery munitions are not produced in the smaller 105-mm calibre. The idea is to pick up six 155-mm howitzers from the Americans, and then borrow U.S. Chinook helicopters to fly them around the countryside in support of our troops.

Once in place however, these guns deliver a lethal barrage out to a distance of 30 kilometres. While those statistics are impressive, it remains to be seen exactly how effective these long range guns will be in a theatre of war where the insurgents use booby traps and "shoot and scoot" ambushes. Nevertheless, Canadian artillerymen are not about to look this gift of six new cannons in the mouth.
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Title Annotation:INCOMING: Hits & misses
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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