Building on the basics
July 6, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- In a modern warzone, every Soldier is an infantryman. This was never more true for the artillerymen of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, than during their last deployment to Iraq in 2009, when they traded in their cannons for school supplies and humanitarian aid equipment as they helped build up the city of Kirkuk.
Unfortunately, this didn't leave a lot of time to maintain fundamental artillerymen skills.
In order to re-familiarize themselves with these skills, the artillerymen of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, took part in training on their self-propelled, 155mm howitzer, also known as a Paladin, from the Collective Training and Evaluation Team, here, during the last week of June.
The CTET trainers traveled to Fort Hood from Fort Sill, Okla. The group travels to bases throughout the United States to ensure a standardized system of training and evaluation amongst Army artillerymen.
The training focused on basic skills such as disassembling and reassembling a breach, establishing aiming points, filling out a record of fire, checking the firing tube for obstructions and going through a fire mission.
"These are the ground-level tasks that we are doing," said Spc. Patrick O'Malley, from Agra, Okla. "These are what we will build on."
According to Patrick, the last time he had a chance to do this type of training was prior to his last deployment.
Due to the high deployment tempo these Soldiers didn't get a lot of opportunities to just focus on training on the artillery pieces, so this is their chance to re-learn what they might have forgotten, explained Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Stewart, a Mount Vernon, Ala. native and a platoon sergeant with 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt. "These are skills that all artillerymen are expected to know," he said.
The training took place over the course of four days. On the last day, Soldiers were tested on what they had learned over the course of the training.
Following this, these artillerymen will continue to train on their cannons until they are prepared to shoot them during gunnery later this year.