DVIDS – News – Field Artillery units work on communication during AT


FORT KNOX, Ky. – Soldiers with the 138th Field Artillery Brigade conducted a live event during their annual training at Fort Knox and Greenville, Ky., June 20-July 1.

The 623rd Field Artillery Regiment, and the 2-138th FA battalion spent two weeks working on communicating between several different locations in order to receive fire missions for their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M109A6 Paladin howitzer weapon systems.

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The purpose of this exercise is to ensure all Soldiers are successful tables and to focus on long distance communication.

“This AT will help prepare the brigade for future War Fighter events in October as well as future mobilizations,” said Army Maj. Shannon Maloney, operations officer for the 138th. “The Brigades headquarters will effectively serve as the Force Field Artillery Headquarters for the Division we are assigned to support by field front operations via tactical internet and high frequency (HF) radio communications”.

The 138th had a jammed packed AT this year, with multiple events occurring such as sling load training, HF radio and live fire events with OPFOR. The 1-623rd FA conducts this Live Fire Exercise once or twice per year, and for the first time in a long time, the 138th FAB supported the training by utilizing HF radio communications.

“This annual training is a culmination of several years of hard work to improve the tactical and technical proficiencies of the 138th FAB as a Force Field Artillery Headquarters,” said Lt. Col. Chris Fitzwater, Battalion commander. “We have developed new procedures and training methods utilizing equipment that will improve fire mission processing across long distances in the event that tactical internet is challenged in a cyber-warfare environment. The Soldiers and NCOs have trained hard on the new systems all year and have proven their ability to remain flexible when given difficult tasks.”

Part of the training scenario consisted of Soldiers guarding vulnerable parts of the command post entry points during the “24-hour war time” training event.
Spc. Adriana Vivanco of the 2-138 was providing security for the training forward operating base to simulate a real life scenario. Even in the high stress training environment, she said that “morale was at an all-time high because the NCOs and officers of the company made sure the soldiers well-being was placed first”.

This is said to be true all throughout the brigade.

“This has been a great experience overall, with an even better culture,” said Army 1st Lt. Graciela Arias 138th FAB S-2. “As a battalion, we work very well together, we are great at our jobs—shooting and communicating. Regardless of any setbacks that we faced at this AT, we were able to rise to the challenges and overcome each of them. We acknowledged and met the expectations set for us and continued forward.”

Fitzwater said that the biggest takeaway from this training was that creating and having a shared understanding of the battlefield is absolutely necessary in order to have an efficient training event.

“This training will make the 138th FAB a better Artillery Brigade and a combat multiplier for our division commander in a Large Scale Combat environment.”

He also added that almost none of this is possible without the support and understanding from our families. This training and support will set the 2-138th up to apply their experience at an accelerated rate, and prepare them for future rotations at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

Brig. General Brian Wertzler, Deputy Adjutant General-Army, paid the brigade Soldiers a visit and complimented them on their hard work.

“The men and women in the room, you all are in good shape, you are doing a good job and are making everyone very proud”.

Date Taken: 06.24.2022
Date Posted: 06.24.2022 14:49
Story ID: 423736
Location: FRANKFORT, KY, US

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