CAMP HOVEY, Republic of Korea - Fire mission... Fire mission! A roar that could be heard at any U.S. Army Field Artillery range before large munitions are projected into the sky and onto a target selected with the utmost precision.
Artillerymen from 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment "Defender," 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (Rotational) made history by conducting their first ever Table VI gunnery qualification at St. Barbara Range Dec. 3-6.
Gunnery qualification increased Defender Battalion's operational readiness. Especially since the training was under extreme weather and dense terrain, a stark contrast to the high-visibility, open-desert terrain at the unit's home station gunnery ranges on Fort Bliss, Texas.
"Training here in Korea with these mountains gives a different component for the whole battery to learn how to shoot over mountains and shoot in between ravines, so it's a great place to train," said Capt. Coby Roberts, a Panama City, Florida native, commander, Battery C, 4-1 FA.
Building a Soldier's proficiency in their skillset and validating those skills on foreign terrain inspired confidence and resilience to face any challenge that may lay ahead. Readiness is the most important training objective for all operational Army units.
It's up to leaders at all levels to ensure their Soldiers are following the proper crew drills and safety precautions to achieve training objectives efficiently and without injury. Lt. Col Jason Carter, a Mars Hill, North Carolina native, battalion commander, 4-1 FA, explained the importance of readiness and safety in detail.
"Most importantly, I wanted them (Soldiers) to walk away from here with confidence and increased competence in their weapon systems and the performance of their jobs," said Carter. "It's training in a different environment, a host nation, the importance of abiding by all of the rules and regulations and staying safe until we all go home."