DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland-Paladin artillery crews assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division conduct Table VI qualifications, Feb. 9, firing the first 155 mm rounds in Poland at the training site here.
The Soldiers from 3-29 FA arrived in Poland in January and are actively training to ensure their combat vehicles and weapon systems are certified and fit to fight before relocating to Romania, Germany and other parts of Poland to train alongside multinational counterparts.
"Right now we're doing a section qualification, which allows the battery and battalion commander to qualify the sections to make sure they are doing the correct procedures with crew drills and making sure safety standards are being met with regards to firing live rounds down range," said Capt. John Burke, commander of A battery.
According to Lt. Col. Douglas Chimenti, battalion commander of 3-29 FA there are three elements to successfully firing artillery rounds downrange.
"You have to have a forward observer that sends the grid location of the target they want to shoot, a fire direction center, which processes that grid for the target into firing data and then the gun, which the firing direction center sends that data down to the gun to shoot the specific target," he said.
The unit trained at their home station in Fort Carson, Colorado prior to a 30-day training rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California to prepare for this mission.
"We did a lot of training exercises before coming here to make sure our crews knew what was expected of them and what they were going to have to do," said Burke. "We're making sure we're certified, qualified and ready to meet whatever objectives that may come our way."
Burke said that his family traces their roots back to Poland and that he is excited to be a part of such an awe-inspiring mission to help allied forces enhance deterrence capabilities within Europe.
"This is an awesome opportunity being able to fire heavy artillery in this country," he said. "Being of Polish decent, the significance of being here for me is very high."
This rotation will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region, improve the U.S. ability to respond to potential crises and defend allies and partners in the European community. U.S. forces will focus on strengthening capabilities and sustaining readiness through bilateral and multinational training and exercises.