3rd Brigade fire supporters learn from the 109th RAA

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of 3-7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, and Australian soldiers of 109th Btry., 4th Regt., Royal Australian Artillery, use one another for survival during a session of helicopter underwater evacuation training at Lavarack Barracks, Australia, Aug. 6. (Photo by SGT. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers of 3-7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, and Australian soldiers of 109th Btry., 4th Regt., Royal Australian Artillery, use one another for survival during a session of helicopter underwater evacuation
training at Lavarack Barracks, Australia, Aug. 6. (Photo by SGT. Brian C. Erickson,
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs,
25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Brian C. Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

TOWNSVILLE, Australia — Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, wrapped up training with Australian soldiers of the 109th Battery, 4th Regt., Royal Australian Artillery, at Lavarack Barracks, here, Aug. 7.

The two weeks of training was about integrating tactics and procedures between the U.S. and Australian soldiers, highlighting each other’s individual skills and collective learning via practical application.

“Learning how our procedures are different from one another also shows us the similarities we share,” said Australian army Sgt. Joseph Tampus, 109th Btry.

“Just seeing how these guys work … it forces our guys to think about the training they already have and our own doctrine,” said 1st Lt. Richard Johnston, fires support officer, 3-7th FA Regt.

Soldiers of 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, learn how the Australian army calls for artillery on a known enemy target, Aug. 7. (Photo by SGT. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers of 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, learn how the
Australian army calls for artillery on a known enemy target,
Aug. 7. (Photo by SGT. Brian C. Erickson,
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs,
25th Infantry Division)

He continued to say that once they get to see the difference, they can decide themselves if it is beneficial to implement that tactic or procedure and then take that back with them.

A key difference between the two forces is how much cross-training the Australian joint fires teams do on the gun line, which the U.S. Soldiers usually don’t.

“They do a lot of cross-training, which is something they weren’t able to do, so my guys were able to actually work on the gun line and get the gun in place and get it oriented toward a target,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Harvey, fires support noncommissioned officer, 3-7th FA Regt.

According to Harvey, just having the understanding of what goes on down on the line will give the Soldiers a new aspect of what the gun line does when they receive a target from the fires support team.

The Soldiers agreed that the amount of cross-training the 109th Btry. does is beneficial.

“I like the way they train. I like how everyone knows how to do each other’s position during a fire mission,” said Spc. Michael Ramos, fires support specialist, 3-7th FA Regt.

During their time together, they also got the opportunity to go through the installation’s Helicopter Underwater Evacuation Training (HUET). For most of the Tropic Lightning Soldiers, this was the first time doing anything like it.

“The HUET was something way different from what I thought I would ever be able to do,” said Ramos.

He also said that having to find an exit underwater while blindfolded was very interesting to learn, but it wasn’t his favorite part.

“My favorite part of the training is just talking to them, getting to know them,” said Ramos. “It helps me be able to trust them more and that helps me train better with them.”

At the end of the two weeks, each side had nothing but good things to say about the other, and both sides were in agreement that this was a good learning opportunity for their Soldiers.

“Being able to learn from one another will be able to help these younger Soldiers later on in their careers,” said Tampus.

The Soldiers from 3-7th FA Regt. will continue to provide fire support for the 2nd Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., for the duration of Pacific Pathways and upon return to home station.

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, News, Training

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