Grafenwoehr, Germany (Jan. 19, 2018) -- Amidst continuous snowfall in the gray overcast sky, were two M777 Howitzers on platforms and 37 paratroopers fully loaded with combat equipment, all ready to deliver heavy artillery rounds in 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA), Jan. 17, 2018.
At approximately 4 a.m., paratroopers assigned to the Chaos Battery from the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, received the order to respond to 173rd Airborne Brigade's Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE), which tested their ability to project long-range precision fires in under 36 hours.
Chaos Battery has the most lethal capability in the brigade; it has the ability to range with 155 mm ammunition up to 30 km, and drop equipment and paratroopers rapidly into hot zones.
Due to the many moving pieces involved in an EDRE operation, the battery had to do in depth planning to execute its objectives.
"We're not only doing the airborne assault, culminating with a heavy-drop live-fire, but we're also executing artillery raids - not only within a training confine but across German airspace into another training area - to support a maneuver element with fires," said Capt. Kevin Brensinger, the commander of the Chaos Battery explained. "It's essentially everything that the Army says my battery needs to do as far as a readiness stand point in a 36-hour period, and this battery has never done anything like that."
The Chaos Battery had 30 minutes from the last paratrooper being in the sky until the first round was out of the tube in order to meet its objective, said Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Montez, one of the air noncommissioned officers. Once all 16 rounds were fired, Chaos's next objective was to move its Howitzers by CH-47s to Hohenfels Training Area, where it supported the maneuver force.
"The Army, at the tactical level, can execute complex missions through different environments that will really show our ability to project power east, and show that we have that - ability through multiple modes of transportation - to effectively execute our mission and support not only our organic brigade, but any NATO partner and allies throughout the region," said Brensinger.