ORO GRANDE RANGE COMPLEX, N.M. - Band of brothers is a term most often used to describe a close knit group of Soldiers. The Soldiers of Battery B, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division Artillery, are no different.
M777 Howitzer cannon crew members demonstrate their closeness and their abilities to synchronize fires by taking part in live fire exercises during Exercise Iron Strike here Dec. 1-12.
Exercise Iron Strike is a fire coordination exercise in a mixed live and constructive environment on Fort Bliss, Texas, to train the 1st Armored Division Artillery and the 1st Armored Division Command Post to synchronize, integrate and execute fires in support of the division.
You can feel the bond between the DIVARTY Soldiers by the way they crack jokes, talk about sports scores, argue about which football team is better and when even quote war movies together. But as soon as they hear an order on the radio, they jump up and scream in unison "Fire mission! Fire mission!"
Everybody moves as quickly as possible to fire the Howitzer.
Each fire support element will complete a fire support coordination exercise during Exercise Iron Strike. These events challenge fires leaders to navigate desert terrain in simulated combat and calls for fire from artillery, helicopters, and close air support provided by Air Force A-10s.
Each member of the cannon crew plays a role in the success of a mission. From the section chief to the gunner, every task is critical.
"Every man is important," said Spc. Jordan W. McCord, cannon crew member with Battery B, 4-27 FA. "A fire mission can't happen without everyone in the crew knowing his role and doing it to the best of his ability."
As the crew continues to work together, it continues to build a bond.
"We're together the entire time, from there we just form a brotherhood, a bond, because we spend every moment together," said McCord.
"It builds cohesion in a way that everybody gets together and everybody is on the same page and everybody just moves as one team," said Sgt. Joseph Geddes Jr., section chief, Battery B, 4-27 FA.
From loading the round, up to the final pull of the lanyard, every move of every member of the crew displays its closeness and unity.
As the last round is fired for the day and the sound of the cannon fades away, you hear them all say together, "Best job I ever had!"