FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, are living up to their storied heritage.

The "Bulls" conducted 155mm self-propelled howitzer training at Fort Hood's Deployment Readiness Reaction Field (DRRF) July 7, which consisted of basic maneuvering fundamentals and establishing firing capability for upcoming qualification lanes.

"Artillerymen today are the most versatile and lethal element on today's battlefield. Maintaining our FA skill set reinforces our title as the 'King of Battle'," said Sgt. 1st Class Roger West, respectfully called the "Smoke", a platoon sergeant with the battery.

Staff Sgt. Sederick Hill, from Longview, Texas, said the Soldiers were conducting basic crew drills and receiving core level training with the guns.

"This portion of the training covers all the basics of the vehicle. Soldiers have to be knowledgeable about the parts and their purpose," said Hill.

"Right now, Soldiers are at ground zero, but by the end of the training each Soldier will be fully capable to fulfill the FA's mission, which is timely and accurate fires."

Crewmembers said the training was practical and necessary.

"Going through the training helps the crew to build muscle memory. Once we deploy, if we are under stress, we are able to rely on the training and do our jobs," said Spc. Carl Degraaf.

During the maneuvering portion of the training, Spc. Robert Jones maneuvered the vehicle into occupying position through a series of commands given by the chief of the section.

"Training as a driver, you have to be in-line with the chief. Not only are you driving, you are watching out for improvised explosive devices or other possible threats," said Jones, from Halls, Tenn.

"Once we arrive at our point, the driver has to follow the chief's [exactly]. The driver maneuvers us into position to put steel on targets," he said.

With gunnery training scheduled for August, Capt. Eric Gust, the battery commander, said the current training is paramount for Soldiers.

"Many of our Soldiers have not done [howitzer] core tasks in a while. The current training gives them a chance to knock off the rust, reinforces our core tasks and prepares them for our upcoming certification Table V gunnery next month," said Gust.

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