LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army field artillerymen with 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, provide heavy artillery support as Afghan and U.S. ground maneuver forces conduct operations to increase security in Logar province.

A group of artillerymen from Battery A, 1-76 FA, was selected by unit leaders to provide reliable and timely fire support with the M777 howitzer, which is able to fire a GPS guided round, and other artillery cannons.

"They picked us for a reason and it definitely shows," said U.S. Army Spc. Adam Lefebvre, a native of Worcester, Mass., and an assistant gunner with Btry. A. "Missions come down, [and] we're ready."

Inspired to serve his country after Sept. 11, Lefebrve, now 20, followed the steps of family members before him and joined the Army after high school.

Preparing for his first deployment was the toughest thing he's had to endure so far Lefebvre said, but he is proud and has learned a lot from his section, which he calls family. "The team is what gets it done ... no one person can shoot that gun by themselves."

The section members have specific duties to conduct a fire mission, but they have learned each other's jobs and are able to execute without hesitation.

"We work really well, hand in hand," said U.S. Army Spc. Benjamin Zeeman, an ammunitions team chief for Btry. A, and a native of Green Bay, Wis. "Every day I'm learning."

"In the heat of the moment ... [the artillerymen] have stepped up to the next level," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dave Carbary, a howitzer section chief with Btry. A, from Sterling Heights, MI.

Carbary said the unit was selected based on their experience and knowledge of the artillery pieces. They must ensure the proper fuse artillery combination is used and executed safely, accurately, and timely to support security operations.

The artillerymen also have a partnered mission to advise and assist the ANA. Carbary said artillery capabilities are important for the ANA in order to protect their own people and military as they build a sustainable force and government.

Lefebrve said he looks forward to returning home and spending time with his wife and son, who was born in December, but is also prepared to help train other Soldiers now that he has the experience of serving in a combat environment.

"I love my job," he said, "The further I progress in my career, the better it gets."

Carbary, who is on his third combat tour, said he also can't wait to see his wife and their son, who was born in January.

Page last updated Sat August 31st, 2013 at 03:27