By U.S. ArmyOctober 1, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII -- Boom sounded the artillery! Smoke from the guns wafted across Weyand Field. This was no battlefield, however. This was a reawakening. After nearly a decade, the 25th Infantry Division Artillery was reborn in a ceremony on Oct. 1.
DIVARTY cased its colors on June 15, 2005 as the Army transitioned to a then-new warfighting configuration.
"It's kind of like being cut from a team," said the last DIVARTY commander, Col. (now Maj. Gen.) Gary H. Cheek.
As the saying goes, however, what's old is new again. The Army is again refining warfighting configurations, and the 25th ID saw a need to bring the DIVARTY back to life.
"There's two different reasons," Col. Christopher Cardoni, the new DIVARTY commander. "One, to bring back that operational level planning and execution capacity and capability for the division. And then also, create division-wide standards and certification programs to ensure we get back to our core skills."
Cardoni also said those core artillery skills -- planning, integration, synchronization, and execution of fires -- were in decline. Some brigades were fine, but when they went above the brigade level, the capacity and capability to do it just wasn't there. Fixing this is DIVARTY'S primary mission.
"We have the experts at DIVARTY," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Cabrera, Sr., the DIVARTY senior enlisted advisor. "We certify the battalions, making sure they're on the same sheet of music, then they go to the brigades for deployment."
Cardoni and Cabrera both stated that artillery battalions today are a little different than they were when DIVARTY was deactivated.
"The artillery battalions as a whole have evolved," Cardoni said. "They have a lot more capability than they used to when I was a captain or major in a battalion. Whether it's target acquisition capability, better weapon systems, or precision fires, they have a lot more they are responsible for within the artillery battalion."
One thing DIVARTY is not here to do is to tell the brigades what to do with their Field Artillery battalions.
"We're one big team," Cardoni said. "I don't intend to put a fence around this DIVARTY and
say, 'This is ours and that's yours, and we'll go play with our stuff and you go play with your stuff.' We have to be the leaders in cooperation. We have to be the first ones to reach out in any situation to the maneuver brigades and provide anything they need."
With DIVARTY reactivated and taking on the operational-level planning for the division, the FA battalions, already lethal and effective, should only see their capabilities increase.