CAMP ADAZI, Latvia -- The fuses are locked into place and the 105 mm howitzer rounds sit idle, as Paratroopers manning a M119 Howitzer patiently await their call to action.
Paratroopers assigned to Bravo Battery, 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, conducted fire missions in support of Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne, during a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise at Camp Adazi, Latvia, Dec. 4, 2016.
"The CALFEX serves as the culminating event, prior to winter break, to validate each company's skill sets in being able to conduct a company-sized attack incorporating engineer, fire and mortar assets," said 1st Lt. Logan Gallagher, battalion public affairs representative, 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt.
Bravo Battery, 4th Bn., 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regt., is attached to 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt., in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and is responsible for providing timely and accurate fires to support unit maneuvers.
The CALFEX is a full-spectrum exercise allowing the infantry Paratroopers to conduct their attack while also allowing Bravo Battery to fire, adjust fire and thwart enemy response, said 1st Sgt. Luis Arroyo-Avila, senior enlisted advisor, Bravo Battery, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.
"When the observers call for fire, they make requests based on what the maneuver commander needs at that time utilizing both mortars and the 105 [mm howitzer rounds]," Arroyo-Avila said. "They also let us know how much time they think the infantry needs based on their objective. During that time, we are fighting the counter-fire."
The Paratroopers must be efficient in conducting their fire missions so as to inflict the most damage during the short period of time before enemy forces identify their location and return fire.
"We shoot and then we have to move in the event that the enemy knows our location and starts delivering fire toward us," Arroyo-Avila said.
By integrating field artillery assets, each company is able to prepare the assault area prior to conducting movement into that location, Gallagher explained.
"It gives them the ability to do more damage prior to having boots on ground," Gallagher said.
The Paratroopers of Bravo Battery, 4th Bn., 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regt. will continue to provide fire support to Able, Battle, and Chosen Company, 2nd Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt., during the course of the CALFEX over the next two weeks.
Operation Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. led effort in Eastern Europe that demonstrates U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is capable of projecting forces to conduct a full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours.
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.