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101st Airborne Air Defense Artillery Soldiers bolster Avenger proficiency with Field Training

 

Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., conducted a field training exercise, April 24th-27th here.

During the FTX, Soldiers conducted crew drills with the Avenger Air Defense System, which encompassed march order and emplacement of the system, missile upload and download of the systems missile launch pods, covert to man-portable air defense, and aircraft tracking.

Staff Sgt. Josh Robinson, an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., reports the status of his crew, April 25, 2017, during a missile upload and download crew drill on Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Josh Robinson, an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., reports the status of his crew, April 25, 2017, during a missile upload and download crew drill on Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Capt. Rufino Farias Jr., commander for Btry C., 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt., said the focus of the FTX was to familiarize the Soldiers with the Avenger system before the battalion FTX at the end of May.

“A lot of our Soldiers are coming out of a deployment, which was more focused on the [Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar] mission, so we want them to get back to the basics of the Avenger system,” said Farias.

The Avenger Air Defense System is a fully automated, short-range defense system that acquires, identifies, tracks and engages enemy targets from both a stationary or moving position.

Spc. Bradley Muszalski, an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., closes the door to a missile launcher pod, April 25, 2017, during missile upload and download crew drill on Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Muszalski conducted the drills as part of his battery’s field training exercise. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs) The drills focused on the battery’s ability to break down into crews, emplace and engage aerial targets, conduct reconnaissance, occupy a position, and select primary and alternate firing positions.

While the overall state of readiness of the organization is the main focus for the battery leadership, Soldiers at the crew member level also saw this as an opportunity to refresh and perfect their basic skills.

Staff Sgt. Josh Robinson, an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., inspects a training missile, April 25, 2017, during missile upload and download crew drill on Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs) “Proficiency is what we strive for,” said Robinson. “Having the Soldiers repeat the different drills will make them proficient in their task, but more importantly it will build confidence for when they have to do it downrange.”

Farias agreed and added the training was also able to give him and the rest of the battery leadership, a good overview on the current state of his unit’s abilities.

Staff Sgt. Josh Robinson (bottom), an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., hands a training missile to Spc. Bradley Muszalski, an air and missile defense crewmember assigned to Btry. C, 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt., 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., 101st Abn. Div., during missile upload and download crew drills, April 25, 2017, during their battery field training exercise on Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs) “This [FTX] got us to open our eyes a little bit and see what we have to work on,” explained Farias. “This way we can head into the battalion FTX stronger and more proficient.”

Farias added that the success of the crews and battery as a whole depends on teamwork.

“If we don’t work together, we won’t be able to accomplish the mission,” said Farias. “We have to have confidence in our equipment and each other, and I think every Soldier understands that.”


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