By Capt. Jonathan Camire, 1st ABCT Public AffairsApril 14, 2017
YEONCHEON-GUN, South Korea -- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, conducted gunnery qualification training throughout multiple locations in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea March 24-31.
The training allowed the battalion's leadership the opportunity to evaluate and certify each platoon.
"This is where we bring the pieces together of what we have done in Korea," said Maj. Jerod Parker, the battalion's operations officer. "The platoons have done extremely well. By executing the lanes, we are not only forcing them to move and conduct fire missions, but we have an (opposition force) element that is there to replicate the real threat."
According to Parker, the training event was part of the unit's Korea training plan and ensured the unit's continued readiness by bringing together elements of the other field artillery gunnery tables and the security concerns associated with the Korean theater.
"The battalion's staff conducted a thorough analysis of the commander's intent and training objectives, as well as the options and resources available for field artillery battalions on the peninsula," he said.
Parker went on to say the result of the staff's diligence was a well-planned, resourced and executed event called Operation Louisiana, named after the units 12th of 78 campaign streamer.
All six firing platoons conducted a 36-hour certification and external evaluation that included multiple scenarios including civilians on the battlefield, opposition force situations, casualty evacuation, ammunition and sustainment operations, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear situations to name a few. Over the course of the week, the battalion fired over 600 live artillery rounds.
According to 1st Lt. Cody Dobiyanski, a platoon leader in Battery D, the event gave leaders a top down picture of where Paladin crews stand within the platoon, ensuring the teams meet the requirements asked of them.
The training "allows us the mobility to move in a small team and be able to act like ourselves, learn off one another and interact from team to team in order to ensure mission success," Dobiyanski said.
"Though an evaluation of the platoon, the battalion's (observer-controller-trainers) took every opportunity to coach the platoon's leadership throughout each exercise," said Capt. Jesse Arbogast, the commander of Battery D. "The platoon is truly learning and instantly instituting those lessons learned."
The training even caught the eye of some of the unit's South Korean counterparts.
"I have not seen a U.S. field artillery battalion train to this level of intensity in my seven years in this position," said Yo Chan Yun, the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex South Korean Army coordinator, the person responsible for coordinating training with the unit's South Korean Army counterparts.
The battalion is currently on a nine-month rotation to South Korea and is currently attached to the 210th Field Artillery Brigade as part of the peninsula's counter-fire task force.