‘Never Broken’ trains, loads artillery with Air Force counterparts

| December 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Kyle Gero elevates an M777 155 mm howitzer into position inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. Kyle is a section chief assigned 1st Platoon, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Gero elevates an M777 155 mm howitzer into position inside a C-17 Globemaster III, Nov. 24. Gero is a section chief assigned 1st Plt., Co. C, 3-7th FA.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Soldiers assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, cold-loaded howitzers aboard a C-17 Globemaster III, here, Nov. 24.

The M777 155 mm howitzers were loaded, along with their prime movers and ammunition trucks, as part of a Contingency Response Force (CRF) exercise under 3rd Bn., 4th Cavalry Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID.

1st Lt. Michael Polan, platoon leader, 1st Platoon, Co. C, 3-7th FA, led the artillery Soldiers during the cold load.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID Pfc. Mark Holm, cannoneer, 1st Platoon, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, learns how to tie down a vehicle inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. Holm participated in cold load training of howitzers, vehicles and trailers.

Pfc. Mark Holm, cannoneer, 1st Plt, Co. C, learns how to tie down a vehicle inside a C-17.

“We’re out here to validate our Contingency Response Force package to provide direct support for the 3-4th Cav. maneuver force,” Polan said. “We’re here to put our 155 mm howitzers on the aircraft to validate that we can load them, take off and fly away in a 48-hour period.”

It was no easy task as the drivers had to squeeze the large howitzers and vehicles inside the C-17 as they were ground-guided by loadmasters from the 535th Airlift Squadron based here.

“Typically, the Contingency Response Force through the 25th Infantry Division is a lighter package with the M119 105 mm howitzer,” he said. “We had to really put a lot more thought into this to be able to actually coordinate and execute to put these howitzers in the aircraft.”

The training was uncommon for both the Army and Air Force as the M777 isn’t a piece of equipment normally brought down and loaded aboard a C-17.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lockhart, loadmaster, 535th Airlift Squadron, instructs Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th ID, on how to properly tie down vehicles and equipment inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. The cold load training was beneficial for both the Army and Air Force as it allowed both services to prepare for rapid deployment of a Contingency Response Force.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lockhart, loadmaster, 535th Airlift Squadron, instructs Soldiers from 3-7th FA on how to properly tie down vehicles and equipment inside a C-17. The cold load training was beneficial for both the Army and Air Force as it allowed both services to prepare for rapid deployment of a Contingency Response Force.

 

 

 

“With howitzers, it’s not very often, and mostly because we usually concentrate on humvees or trucks or command post equipment when it comes down here,” said Capt. Steven Hojnicki, ground liaison officer, 15th Wing.

Hojnicki emphasized the benefits that both services receive in loading equipment in a joint environment.

“The Air Force loadmasters get some hands-on training on equipment that they don’t see every day, and it prepares them in case there was an emergency that we had to send this equipment out anywhere in the world,” he said.

Lt. Col. Daniel Mark, commander, 3-4th Cav. Regt., found the experience working with his Air Force counterparts in preparation for the CRF mission enlightening.

“We don’t work a lot with the Air Force,” Mark said. “It is a great

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, observe the loading of an LMTV and trailer inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. The 3-7 FA was conducting cold load training as part of a Contingency Response Force validation exercise.


Soldiers observe the loading of an LMTV and trailer inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. The 3-7 FA was conducting cold load training as part of a CRF validation exercise.

opportunity and unique for us to be able to exercise with our Airmen, here, 12 miles away from Schofield.”

He further stressed that the 3-7th FA was part of a wider CRF package as a ready and trained force, ready to deploy anywhere in the Pacific region to respond to a variety of contingencies.

The cold load training went off without a hitch for the cannoneers with the loading, tying down and offloaded within a three-hour time period.

“It’s good to know that with the minimal amount of guidance everyone from Pvt. Mark to Lt. Col. Mark is fully engaged and all professional,” he said. “They all have common mission focus that at the end of the day the mission got done.”

Photo and story by SSG Armando R. Limon, 3rd BCT, 25th ID Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lockhart (left) and Senior Airman Sean Brannan, both loadmasters assigned to 535th Airlift Squadron, ground guide a towed M777 155 mm howitzer from 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th ID, inside a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 24. The cold load training was part of a Contingency Response Force validation exercise between the Army and Air Force.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Lockhart (left) and Senior Airman Sean Brannan, both loadmasters assigned to 535th Airlift Squadron, ground guide a towed M777 155 mm howitzer into the aircraft.

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Category: News, Training

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