Written by 1st Lt. Dana Robertson, fire direction officer, Bulldog Battery, Field Artillery Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment

Two days after returning from holiday block leave, the Soldiers of Bulldog Battery, Field Artillery Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment stepped into the Grafenwoehr Training Area Grafenwoehr, Germany, in order to conduct their Table XIII certifications Jan. 9, 2019.

Prior to block leave, each firing battery executed table I-VI tasks in order to test their proficiency in basic artillery skill sets. These tasks included a written exam, various timed howitzer emplacement procedures, a breach block assembly and disassembly and a live fire. Each event held a point value that, in the end, determined the best gun section, best fire direction center and best overall firing battery in the FA Squadron.

Bulldog Battery qualified seven gun line sections and two FDCs leading up to table XII, the culminating platoon event for the unit. Table XII is a live fire exercise that tests each platoon's ability to shoot, move and communicate effectively under the threat of enemy opposing forces. Chiefs control their elements showcasing the many hours of practice put in.

"My favorite mission is the hip shoot," said Sgt. Malcom Watson, section chief, Bulldog Battery, FA Squadron, 2CR. "We never know when a fire mission might come; sometimes, it happens while we are hooked up driving to a new location. It is nice to know that even then we are ready to emplace and shoot in order to provide the fires needed. It's fast and aggressive."

On the first day of table XII, first platoon led the battery in completing its live fire missions, followed by second platoon on day two of execution. Despite the adverse weather conditions, each platoon fired seven successful fire missions, to include a hip shoot and a coordinated illumination mission.

Both platoons are now qualified and will use the lessons learned to prepare for the battery's table XV qualification scheduled to take place Jan. 29-31, 2019.