ST. BARBARA TRAINING AREA, Korea - In order to get the training that they need, sometimes a unit has to travel halfway across the world. Soldiers from Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 214th Fires Brigade came from Fort Sill, Okla., March 31 to April 5 to train on Korean terrain, on the equipment they would use here and with the units that they would be fighting alongside if they were ever called for a relief operation.

Together, with guidance and supervision from 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery from Camp Hovey, the Soldiers fired off Paladin Howitzers at St. Barbara Training Area.

One of the challenges that 2nd Bn., 5th FA Soldiers faced was the rules concerning live fires in Korea. Firing in Korea is a different experience compared to firing Paladins in the States, as there are different regulations that must be followed since the live fire occurs near civilian land, said Spc. Victor Vasquez of 1st Bn., 15th FA.

"They had to learn the rules in a week and by the time that we got here, they knew what they were doing. They've needed minimal help," Vasquez said.

One difference that 2nd Bn., 5th FA Soldiers had to learn was when and how to convoy their vehicles in Korea. Tracked vehicles can only convoy at night in Korea, which was new to many of the Soldiers in 2nd Bn., 5th FA, said Staff Sgt. James Abarta, a 2nd Bn., 5th FA Paladin team member.

For the most part, 1st Bn., 15th FA took a back seat and just watched 2nd Bn., 5th FA fire the Paladins into the Korean horizon at the distant targets, but they always stayed close in case a question on regulation came up.

The 2nd Bn., 5th FA Soldiers were able to pick up and perform well in a relatively short amount of time after arriving in Korea, Vasquez said.

"First of the fifteenth has been absolutely outstanding. They've given us everything that we need. They have been more than generous with support. Couldn't ask for a better group of guys to help us out," said 1st Lt. Jim Nemec, a 2nd Bn., 5th FA Paladin commander.

"My Soldiers are having a really good experience because some of them have never been out here to Korea, and they're getting the chance to go to a different country and do what we do," Abarta said.

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