AL ASAD AIRBASE, IRAQ-- Task Force Spartan Deputy Commander, Brigadier General John M. Epperly, 29th Infantry Division, visited U.S. Army Soldiers of 3-157 Field Artillery Regiment, 169th Artillery Brigade at Al Asad Airbase near Ramadi, Iraq, on May 1, 2017 as part of a commanders observation with Operation Spartan Shield units participating in the fight against ISIS.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Al Asad Airbase was one of the biggest and busiest U.S. military bases with 15,000 to 20,000 troops supporting the surge according to Brig. Gen. Epperly. Today, the U.S. presence at Al Asad is a mere shadow of what it was then.
"Just the fact that the senior officers on the ground are lieutenants gives you an idea of just how remote this place is," said Epperly.
On this day, First Lieutenant Anthony Baros, Firing Platoon Leader, 3-157 Field Artillery, 169th Field Artillery Brigade, showed remote video camera footage of a precision Coalition strike on ISIS snipers. Baros discussed how Iraqi observers call in surprise strikes on the enemy in coordination with Coalition forces at Al Asad.
"It's a psychological factor," said Baros describing the impact of fear as a deterrent on the enemy.
Sergeant Lowell Marteney, a Multiple Launch Rocket System Crewmember with the 3-157 Field Artillery, 169th Field Artillery Brigade, demonstrated the system's capability to respond quickly through hands-on, call-for-fire demonstrations on a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to Epperly to conclude the observation.