ANA artillery live fire
April 7, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The Afghan National Army 205th Corps held an artillery live fire exercise at Forward Operating Base Wolverine on April 6. Two gun crews and one D30 122mm gun from each of the four ANA brigades supported the exercise.
The event included static displays and an introduction to the D30 gun crews. Before the demonstration began, the ANA checked rounds, performed test fires and made the necessary corrections. Each section shot multiple two-round fire for effect missions, and then rotated with the other sections from their brigade.
"This is the first ANA artillery live fire exercise and the purpose is to demonstrate ANA fire capability," said 1st Lt. Michael Brady, a platoon leader from 4-2 Infantry Division. "There was a month of planning that went into effect between multiple units. We brought roughly 200 Afghans together here in Zabul to do a six-day validation training program and to make sure the ANA knew what they were doing."
The 205th Corps was established in 2004 and the International Security Assistance Forces elements have been focused on preparing all Afghan security forces to assume responsibility.
"The demonstration went very well today. Of course you have a few minor hiccups in every live artillery fire exercise that you do, but it went relatively smooth," said Army Sgt. 1st Class John Lewis, platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, 205th Artillery. "We've seen drastic changes, they've picked up a lot, and they've improved their times on both fire direction and on the gun line. The forward observers on the hill are making the necessary corrections."
Brady said artillery is very important for Afghan soldiers for many reasons, especially since the ANA does not have as many air assets as Coalition Forces do. Therefore, if there are ground forces engaging with the Taliban or any insurgent activity, they need to rely on indirect fires to provide support for them.
"Our overall goal for them was proficiency, being able to show that they know how to shoot artillery and shoot it well," said Brady.