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Afghan National Army Artillery Soldiers Train on Howitzers
Artillerymen from the Afghan National Army Artillery Battery, 4th Kandak, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 203rd ANA Corps, fire the D-30 howitzer for the first time during a training exercise at Forward Operating Base Sharana Feb. 9. (U.S. Army photo/Spc. Zack Burke)
ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan 2011-02-D-107 For Immediate Release
KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 15) – Afghan National Army soldiers from Artillery Battery, 4th Kandak, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 203rd ANA Corps, took part in an artillery training exercise, firing the D-30 howitzer at Forward Operating Base Sharana, Paktika province Feb. 10.
After months of preparation, the Afghan artillery soldiers, along with Currahee troops from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conducted their first live fire on the D-30 122 mm howitzer.
Although the training is normally held at the ANA Artillery School in Kabul, the artillerymen of 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, hosted and conducted the training. The training cycle lasts 90 days, and began with the Afghan forward observers identifying the target and sending the necessary targeting information to the fire direction center.
The soldiers at the fire direction center then learned how to process the information and convert it for the cannon crewmembers.
The crewmembers then learned how to take the information from the fire direction center and make the aiming adjustments necessary to accurately hit the target. Leaders from all levels of the Afghan Army and Task Force Currahee came out to observe the successful live-fire training exercise.
“Before, we didn’t know how to operate these weapons, but since the Currahee soldiers arrived we have been able to learn how to fire the gun without fear of civilian casualties,” said Afghan Army Col. Abdul Fataa, operations officer, 4th Kandak, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps.
“I’m really proud that my soldiers went through this training and now have more skills to use in protecting our country,” said Afghan army 1st Sgt. Wali Rahman, first sergeant, Artillery Battery, 4th Kandak, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps.
Training will continue into the early spring with the Afghan artillerymen as they shift their focus to maintaining readiness.
The Afghan National Army’s D-30s will be positioned alongside Task Force Currahee’s M119 and M777 howitzers by late spring and into early summer throughout Paktika province.