Written by U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly K. Menzies
Task Force Currahee Public Affairs
Paktika Province, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers fired D-30 122 mm Howitzers to demonstrate their proficiency and training during a live-fire exercise April 26th in Paktika Province, Afghanistan.
Task Force Glory Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Currahee, worked alongside and trained the class of ANA artillery soldiers for two months.The live-fire exercise allowed the ANA artillery soldiers to physically put into practice the specific elements of firing the D-30 Howitzers they have been studying with the Tas Force Glory Soldiers.
“During the live-fire exercise the ANA Soldiers utilized the skills they learned in their training,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Calvin T. Hampton, a D-30 trainer from HHB, 4th Bn., 320th FA Regt., 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Div., and native of Richmond, VA. “They learned how to properly use the guns by completing emplacement drills (putting the guns into position), setting up aiming and safety circles, learning how to properly prepare ammunition and processing fire missions.”
Arriving at the exercise location, the ANA soldiers diligently placed the Howitzers in their proper firing positions and performed the necessary checks to begin the event.
“The Soldiers were motivated and eager to fire,” said Hampton.
After a couple practice fires to ensure the guns were correctly positioned, the ANA artillery soldiers demonstrated the techniques taught by the TF Glory Soldiers.
“The soldiers performed well and above expectations,” said Hampton. “They all showed a great amount of discipline while executing all their fire missions. All the rounds were observed as safe and we all had fun when firing out there.”
“It was loud and exciting,” said Mofti Muhammad, an ANA gun chief. “It was a great feeling to be out here.”
Participants demonstrated high energy during the live-fire exercise and said they realized the importance of the demonstration.
“This exercise is important because it gives the soldiers the opportunity to really practice what they learned and show the people of Afghanistan that they really can feel safe because their government can protect them,” said ANA Maj. Noor Nasan, an ANA field artillery officer who observed the firing exercise.
“This practice is important because it shows clearly that we have worked hard to learn how to shoot these guns,” said Mofti Muhammad. “Now the people can see proof that we are serious about doing our part to protect our country.”
These soldiers have proven they are definitely knowledgeable enough to eliminate a threat, said Hampton.