By Pvt. Sharla Perrin, 3rd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsJune 10, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - "The recoil of the gun, the explosive sound of the gun firing, is quite impressive, you know, earth moving," said a network television series director. "It's intimidating; I wouldn't want to be on the other end of it."
The director spoke with enthusiasm about the time that he spent on the range with the M109A6 Paladins. "These are the biggest guns that we've shot firing to date. And I understand that these aren't the most impressive rounds that these guns are capable of firing," he said.
P.J. Naworynski, director of the series Tank Overhaul for the Military Channel, and his crew of three videographers spent two days on Fort Hood alongside the Soldiers of Batteries A and B, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, filming Paladins firing as well as the impact of the round. The film crew conducted interviews of some of the artillery crewmembers also.
Tank Overhaul, which is scheduled to be released early next year, is comparing vintage World War II Elephant assault tanks and M24 Chaffee light tanks with the M109A6 Paladins used in combat today.
Naworynski said, "I knew a little bit about the guns before I came out here. The modern military component works within the series as a counterpoint to the weaponry that was used by the men in World War II.
"The Paladin compared to the Elephant tank would be nowhere near a fair fight," he said. "You're talking about a range of 1,000 meters to a range of 30 kilometers. The accuracy of the tanks is incredibly impressive."
Staff Sgt. Shawn Moriarity, a gunnery NCO with Battery B from Killeen, Texas, was excited to have the film crew work so closely with his Soldiers.
"It's a good experience for some of the chiefs out here to work with people that they aren't used to working around," Moriarity said.
"The morale of the Soldiers will go up. They'll see that the training that we've been putting them through for the past three weeks has actually paid off and that they can put it to the test now," he said.
Moriarity appreciated the time that the film crew spent inside the Paladin. "The experience with them was good," he said.
"In fact, I think one of the guys actually pulled the lanyard. It's always fun having someone new come in and seeing the excitement of pulling the lanyard and experiencing the power that these guns actually have," said Moriarity.
1st Sgt. Zachary Miller, first sergeant, Battery B, from Chicago, Ill., agreed with Moriarity.
"This is a good opportunity for people to see what it is we really do out here," said Miller.
"A lot of civilians don't really understand what the military does. Our soldiers do a lot of good training and this is a chance for them to really shine," he said.
Naworynski enjoyed his time on Fort Hood and spoke with admiration about the Soldiers who work behind the scenes. "We've been greeted with great hospitality and the Army has been really welcoming," he said.
"It's a privilege for us to be able to come out here to observe and document some of the action that's going on as you guys are getting ready to deploy again," said Naworynski. "We appreciate that all of you are doing that for us."