FORT POLK, La. (June 30, 2020) – Carnage Battery, 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division made Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk history by firing a M982A1 Excalibur precision munition at low-angle using a M777 howitzer in the Slagle training area June 27.
Observer-controller-trainers from Operations Group, JRTC, supervised and validated tactics, techniques and procedures as well as mission essential task list functions at firing point 700.
“The commander’s intent is to execute a multi-echelon fire support operation in order to conduct an Excalibur live fire safely and accurately,” said 1st Lt. Holly Rickett, a platoon leader assigned to C BTRY, 5th Bn, 25th FA. “We’re doing this in support of the Joint Operations Training Center.”
The day prior to the round being fired, munition pickup and delivery from the ammunition holding area was conducted by a contact team from “Fox,” Forward Support Company, 5th Bn, 25th FA.
A fire support team of forward observers from the battalion set up an observation point near the Fullerton training area.
The battalion also set up retransmission communication sites and provided medics for the firing and observation points.
Carnage BTRY set up their area of operations at both training sites and rehearsed crew drills for the event.
The jam resistant, global positioning system-guided warhead contains 11.9 lbs. of explosives, allowing the munition to penetrate urban structures and destroy enemy personnel and light materiel targets, according to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support website.
The round has an accuracy of two to six meters within range of the target.
Excalibur rounds can be fired at either low or high angles, said Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Conway, a gunnery sergeant with C BTRY, 5th Bn, 25th FA.
On Saturday morning, wearing full tactical gear and a face mask, the artillerymen waited in anticipation to receive the long-awaited fire mission.
Once Staff Sgt. Johnnie Morton, a howitzer crew chief assigned to 2nd Platoon, C BTRY, received the mission, the ammo team, gunners and other cannon crewmembers moved swiftly to land the 155mm projectile at a target 11.4km away.
“It is exciting to be the first unit on Fort Polk to shoot an Excalibur round,” said Morton. “This is an important day for our Soldiers and our unit.”
Now that the proof of concept has been concluded, C BTRY, 5th Bn, 25th FA knows that is able to provide a precision fires capability to rotational training units at JRTC.