FA Soldiers
Sgt. 1st Class Clifton Blowe, left, a cannon crewmember for Battery A, 1-15 FA, gives tips to Warrant Officer 1st Class Christopher Thompson, the 1-15 FA targeting officer, on the use of an aiming circle during the 'Guns Challenge' Sept. 4 at

Officers and senior non-commissioned officers from 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2-9 Infantry and 302nd Brigade Support Battalion underwent common field artillery and Soldier training tasks Sept. 4 at Camp Hovey.

The Guns Challenge familiarizes officers and senior non-commissioned officers in the artillery field on artillery tasks.

"Today's training was to get officers and senior NCOs of 1-15 to go through essential field artillery tasks such as call for fire, fire direction and how to conduct preventive maintenance, checks and services on M109A6 paladins," said 1st Lt. James Hollis, battalion fire direction officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-15 and officer in charge of the Guns Challenge.

During the challenge, officers and senior NCOs experience different jobs that comprise the artillery field.

"They see how the other side lives," Hollis said. "This way they get to see every aspect of field artillery and what everybody goes through in a real life situation."

While some Soldiers tend to dislike training, others embrace the opportunity to learn new things and challenge the unknown.

"I knew there was going to be various tasks and drills that had to be done, but I was really curious about what I was getting into with the Guns Challenge," said 2nd Lt. Kim Griggs, battalion maintenance officer for Company G, 302nd Brigade Support Battalion.

The training isn't just focused on work. Another main part of the event is to build the bonds between artillery Soldiers as they work and play.

It's a good chance for the field artillery family to get together, work, build espirit de corps and get to know one another a little better, Hollis said.

To some of the participants, the Guns Challenge is their first experience in how the 1-15 does business.

"This is my first duty station and the Guns Challenge was a really good experience in understanding how the 1-15 operate," said Griggs.

At the end of the training, a ceremony was held welcoming the newest members to the 1-15 Family with a reading of the history of the regiment and a ceremonial artillery gun salute.
"We have food, drinks and skits after the training," said Hollis. "It's a lot of fun."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16