By Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 41st Fires Brigade, PAOJanuary 19, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - Hours before sun rise and with an apparent temperature of 12-degrees including the wind-chill factor, Soldiers from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade accepted the cold weather conditions, lined their vehicles up in motorpool and headed out.
The First Strike Soldiers convoyed to a training area located at North Fort Hood to conduct their Table VI section certifications and training, Jan. 11.
"Table VI certification is an artillery table certification used to train and accredit MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) crews according to standard," said Capt. Jeffrey Harris, a Sandy, Utah native, commander for Btry. B. "Our goal is to send rockets down range efficiently, effectively and without harm or injury. We had five MLRS crews (that) fired a total of 25 rockets."
Each platoon in the battery conducts at least three missions: When-Ready, Time-on-Target, and At My Command.
"It is important that my guys are able to get each fire mission down," said Harris. "Different scenarios will call for different techniques. It's important that my battery is locked and synched as a single entity."
Timing becomes a key element in the completion of a successful missions and even the safety of each crew and their equipment.
"Our timing and communication has to be precise," said Staff Sgt. Monty Morrow, from Lawton, Okla., a launcher chief. "We don't have eyes on our targets, so we rely on others to send us accurate information. This is why we're out here. We train on a regular basis to prepare and help us to remain at a constant state of readiness."
The Table VI certification not only helps to successfully fire rockets but it the certification also Soldiers the chance to trouble shoot problems that may occur.
"Being off by the slightest increment could cause injury or damage the launcher," said Spc. Christopher Burke, a Cabot, Ark. Native and a MLRS gunner. "It's important that we understand our individual missions, the fire missions, and the equipment we operator."
One of the crews even had a chance to test out their newest crew chief.
It makes me feel good to know that I've been chosen as a crew chief," Sgt. Alex Pathoummachith, from Euless, Texas, a launcher chief. "This is a position that everyone will not be able to hold. You have to be the 'cream of the crop' to hold this position. I just want to be able to do my job and not let my team down."