Story and photo by Sgt. Daniel Guerrero, 1ABCT Public Affairs

Soldiers from Battery C, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted their section level, live fire qualification at Fort Stewart, Aug 1.

This live fire exercise is designed to train and certify individual sections so they can maintain proficiency in their crews and equipment. Artillery sections consist of teams of five to eight Soldiers. These teams are required to conduct regular live fire exercises, called tables, in order to maintain their certification as a canon artillery section.

Spc. Andrew Johnson-Hernandez, from Battery C, 1-41st FA, is a number-one man on a M109A6 Howitzer, also called a Paladin. He is responsible for preparing the round for firing, loading the round, as well as operating the breech and firing the howitzer when given the command to fire by the section chief.

"We start our certification process at the individual level and then we work our way up to section level certifications which is called Artillery Table VI," said Johnson-Hernandez. "Being an artillery Soldier is great; we get to shoot, move and communicate, as well as learn a lot of different jobs within our own job."

Staff Sgt. Dustin "Jesse James" Barker, a section chief with Battery C, 1-41 FA said their training is always to standard but there has been more focus on how they would fight a similar adversary.

"Safety is always a priority and we always train on our crew drills, occupations and misfire procedures, but out here, we are also focusing on how we fight a near-peer enemy," said Barker. "We train hard out here and always keep in mind that there is a bigger picture, but we always want to make sure everyone comes back home."

The next training phase for the Soldiers of 1-41 FA is Artillery Table XII. This next step in training will test these Soldiers on shooting, maneuvering and communicating as a platoon size element around the battlefield.