By Pvt. Howard Ketter 20th PADSeptember 5, 2007
Soldiers are training and testing a new Stryker mounted cannon at Fort Wainwright this month.
The 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, is the third Stryker brigade to receive the M-1128 Mobile Gun System.
The MGS has a 105-mm, direct-fire cannon mounted on top of the vehicle, similar to the main gun on an M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.
The MGS has the capability to shoot six rounds per minute. The gun is self-loading, requiring three Soldiers to operate the vehicle: a driver, gunner and vehicle commander.
In comparison, four Soldiers are required to operate a M1.
"The MGS can fire four types of 105-mm tactical ammunition: high explosive/high explosive plastic (HE/HEP), high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and kinetic energy (KE) ammunition," said Staff Sgt. Darian Howerton, brigade master gunner.
Along with technicians from General Dynamics, the corporation that engineered the weapon, 12 crews per battalion are testing the weapons on a digital, multipurpose training range.
"The (technicians) are basically teaching us about the vehicles from top to bottom," Howerton said.
The first round of Soldiers to train on and test the system fired the weapons at ranges and then went back to an after-action review building to check their progress and accuracy.
"This is a good range," said 2nd Lt. Thomas "TJ" Rodebaugh, B Company, 1st Battalion 24th Infantry Regiment, "It's a great place to train up on the new system with the vehicle crew."
Rodebaugh said the range has cameras all over, making it beneficial to the Soldiers because it allows more details to be included in AARs. After AARs, the Soldiers go back to firing the weapons.
The Soldiers who finished the training and testing had positive things to say after adjusting to the new gun system.
"The MGS is better than I thought it would be," said Spc. Robert Smith, A Co. 1-5th. "First it had a lot of kick, but now I'm used to the recoil."
Soldiers said the MGS is beneficial to the Army because of the extra firepower the armor crewmen can provide the infantry.
"You have a new weapons platform with crews that are new on the system," said Howerton, "They are excited and enthusiastic about taking the weapons platform and using it to its maximum potential."