By Capt. Michael Wilson, 2nd Battalion, 395th Field Artillery Regiment, 120th Infantry Brigade, Division West Public AffairsSeptember 9, 2014
CAMP GUERNSEY, Wyoming (Sept. 9, 2014) -- Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 395th Field Artillery, 120th Infantry Brigade, traveled to assess a Wyoming National Guard unit's re-mission of their primary weapon systems recently.
The 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery Regiment, based out of Casper and Lander, Wyoming, conducted its crew certifications during its annual training. The unit's significant re-mission meant switching from towed M198 Howitzers to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS. Thirteen Soldiers of the 2/395 Field Artillery assisted in the unit's success by providing observer-coach/trainer, known as O-C/T, support.
The 2/300 Field Artillery's two-week annual training consisted of a three-day road march from several locations across the state, finally assembling at Camp Guernsey, for artillery skill proficiency tests and certification of all rocket battery crews, followed by a road march back to their home station.
This was the first training exercise this National Guard battalion conducted that involved all subordinated batteries. The Soldiers and their leadership were enthusiastic about the training and eager to learn.
"There is a lot of amazing work going on here, despite the unit converting from cannons to HIMARS. The unit had a grasp on what training and tasks they needed to accomplish in order to certify their crews." said Lt. Col. Randy Jimenez, 2/395 Field Artillery battalion commander.
Sixty-six rockets were fired during the certification, and all 12 crews qualified.
"The unit was on target, despite some delays due to receiving new equipment for fielding," explained Sgt 1st Class Ray Maiava, Charlie Team O-C/T with 2/395 Field Artillery. "The unit utilized the terrain to their advantage and spread out well."
Division West Soldiers with the 120th Infantry Brigade frequently travel across the country to O-C/T Army Reserve and National Guard units for various evaluations to prepare them for their upcoming missions.
HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher mounted on a standard Army Medium Tactical Vehicle truck chassis. It carries six rockets that can be fired as a volley or individually.