VICENZA, Italy -- Paratroopers from U.S. Army Europe's 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery (DIVARTY) joined forces to conduct Leader Professional Development training, March 15-16, at Pocek Training Area in Slovenia.
The 82nd DIVARTY and 173rd ABN BDEs are required to maintain similar readiness standards under responsibilities for the Global Response Force and the Army Contingency Response Force respectively, said Col. Christopher Moretti, commander, 82nd Airborne Division Artillery. These contingency response missions require inter-correlated training objectives with their multinational partners and the integration of fires and effects during forcible entry operations.
"Our main [goal] was to train the 173rd on Q-50 radar operations and counter fire operations," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Swan, a targeting technician assigned to 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. "This system is a new system to the unit so most of the training has focused on good tactics, techniques and procedures for operating the Q-50 system, survivability moves and any techniques that we've learned through operating."
Paratroopers from the 82nd DIVARTY and the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, conducted company level mission essential training and platoon live fire. During the Leader Professional Development exercise, they also covered tactics, techniques and procedures for the employment of the AN/TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, said Swan.
The HMMWV-mounted Q-50 mortar radar system, incorporates a series of technological upgrades to previous iterations of deployed radar capabilities developed through Army and industry science and technology efforts.
The radars work by pulsing electromagnetic signals or radio waves across a particular area in various wavelengths and in various directions; once these radio waves bounce off of or hit an object in their path, they send back a return signal or small amount of electromagnetic energy, allowing radar operators to determine the range, elevation, size and speed of incoming projectiles.
The AN/TPQ-50 mortar radar system is effective out to a range of greater than 10 kilometers and a minimum range of 500 meters against rockets, artillery and mortar fire, Swan explained. The radar system is designed to be mobile, lightweight and rapidly deployable in support of early entry operations.
The LPD training provided an opportunity for the 82nd DIVARTY to assist the 173rd ABN BDE in the development of battalion-level maneuver counter-fire battle drills based on lessons learned.
This will be the first of many opportunities for the two units. Regular training and cooperation between the 82nd DIVARTY and the brigade in a multinational environment will increase overall collective readiness and provide increased contingency access for both units, said Col. Gregory Anderson, commander 173rd ABN BDE.
The continued partnership allows both units to benefit from the achievements gained through regular interaction with NATO allies and partners and to expand the integration of joint fires capabilities.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting forces to conduct the full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Commands areas of responsibility.