By Staff Sgt. Timothy Hughes, 75th Fires Brigade PAOSeptember 12, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Soldiers assigned to A and B Batteries, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery participated in a four-day Multiple Launch Rocket System live fire qualification Aug. 26-29 at Fort Sill.
The MLRS crews completed written and hands-on testing then demonstrated their ability to perform dry- and live-fire missions.
"We received 24 live rounds, three per launcher," said 2nd Lt. Collin deCamp, A/3-13th FA platoon leader. "We have to certify every six months."
Throughout the qualification, safety was a priority for the artillerymen. They continually conducted dual independent-checks of their firing procedures to ensure the requirements of providing accurate, predicted fire were adhered to.
Sgt. Edward Driscoll, 3-13th FA MLRS gunner, said it's very important to train to standard because the job is dangerous and people can get hurt if any member of the collective team gets complacent.
Another MLRS gunner, Spc. Juan Medellin, 3-13th FA, said he was a recent addition to his crew.
It is the third crew over the length of his three-year tenure with the "Red Dragon" battalion.
He added the most important thing artillerymen must do when a crew is formed is to come together as a team and to learn the expectations of their crew chief. He said it helps crew members better antici-pate what needs to be done when conducting missions.
The unit continually sharpened its Soldiers warfighting skills in the months leading up to the qualification period by implementing a fires gated strategy.
"We started out with a classroom setting and from there we went to the motor pool and our practice-crew drills," said deCamp.
He added after those training events are complete, they head to the field to train on core competencies.