'Vanguard' Soldiers field precision guided mortar munitions
Spc. Robert Pierce and Spc. Christopher Hoffman set the fuse of an Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative cartridge during a training exercise, Aug. 8, 2012, at Fort Stewart, Ga. The APMI round is a GPS-guided 120mm mortar that allows precision-stri... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. (Aug. 20, 2012) -- On today's battlefield, the enemy often plans attacks in highly populated areas, hoping that U.S. service members won't retaliate and risk accidental injuries to innocent people. Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, now have a more accurate method of firing indirect mortar rounds into congested areas, if necessary, after fielding the Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative cartridge over the past three weeks at Fort Stewart, Ga.

The Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative, or APMI, is a GPS-guided round fired from the M120 mortar system, which is part of the M326 Mortar Stowage Kit.

"It allows commanders to fire 120 mm mortar rounds into congested areas with less collateral damage," said Sgt. 1st Class Jay Martin, mortar platoon sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4IBCT, 3rd ID. "It's pretty accurate, with the capability of landing one-to-six meters away from the grid the Soldiers established."

About 60 indirect fire infantrymen with the 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., 3rd Bn., 15th Inf. Regt., and 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4IBCT, tested the technologically advanced rounds, Aug. 8, after learning how to use the precision round in a three-week course.

"They hit the target with one round," Staff Sgt. Justin Meiers said about his Troops who tested the new mortar's capability.

Meiers added that these munitions not only help lower the amount of collateral damage, but keeps his fellow infantry Soldiers safer who don't have to enter the congested areas using direct fire.

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Army.mil Fact Files: Indirect Fire Systems