3-7th FA Raiders take fire missions to Barking Sands

| December 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from 3-7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, remove a M119A2 105mm-towed howitzer from a vehicle as they begin to occupy a Kauai beach point, Nov. 18, for a realistic beach deployment exercise.

Soldiers from 3-7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, remove a M119A2 105mm-towed howitzer from a vehicle as they begin to occupy a Kauai beach point, Nov. 18, for a realistic beach deployment exercise.

Story and photo by
Sgt. Brian Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY BARKING SANDS, Kauai — Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, “Never Broken,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted an exercise, here, Nov. 18-21.

“The objective of this exercise was to load a firing platoon and actually fly away to a remote location with coastal environment to conduct beach placement of our artillery platoon,” said Lt. Col. George Hammar, commander, 3-7th FA Regt.

In order to get the 3-7th to Kauai, the unit had to call upon Coast Guard, Air Force and Army pilots to transport vehicles and Soldiers across the ocean using helicopters and a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane.

“It was good training for these guys to load up on to the birds, since they have never done it before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Grigsby, 2nd platoon sergeant, Battery A, 3-7th FA Regt.

When the plane landed at Barking Sands, the Soldiers wasted no time getting the vehicles ready to unload and move toward their objective. The challenge began once they arrived — the Soldiers had 18 minutes to occupy the area with their M119A2 105mm-towed howitzers.

“The goal is to be the fastest section on the gun line,” said Sgt. Tarweh Witherspoon, Btry. A, 3-7th FA Regt.

As soon as the Soldiers finished occupying the beach, the missions started coming across the radio from the operations center.

According to Grigsby, the sections completed routine crew drills and placement as if the regiment would be firing live rounds off the beach during each firing mission that came across the radio.

Between the firing missions the sections took the opportunity to train Soldiers by working with maps and radios, common skill tasks and cross-training on the weapons system, said Grigsby.

“This exercise has given me the opportunity to learn how to operate all the different positions on the weapon system,” said Pfc. Justin Cook, Btry. A, 3-7th FA Regt.

At the end of the exercise, Hammar had nothing but good things to say about what his Soldiers had accomplished.

“We were able to land in an austere environment, roll out the back of the C-17, occupy and be ready to go in the time standard,” said Hammar. “The exercise went very well. The Soldiers did a phenomenal job.”

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Category: News, Training

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