EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, AK. --
U.S. Army soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, conducted High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) infiltration raid training on Fort Greely, Alaska, during RED FLAG-Alaska, Oct. 15, 2020.
The HIMARS is a wheeled, all-terrain weather precision fire support system that provides strategic, long-range precision fires for a joint force.
“We conducted a HIMARS infiltration raid mission into Donnelly Training area in conjunction with RED FLAG-Alaska,” said U.S. Army Capt. David James, 18th FA Bde. liaison officer. “Our Soldiers and equipment loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and flew into Allen Army Airfield. From there, they convoyed to the range, shot 12 training pods and then loaded back onto the aircraft, all of this happening in less than an hour.”
The scenario brought various units together to accomplish the objective.
“Bullshark Battery, 3rd Btn., 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 18th FA Bde. provided the soldiers, equipment and conducted the live fire raid,” said James. “We also coordinated with the C-17 mission commander on the landing time and Bullshark Battery ensured the equipment was good to go.”
Artillery Soldiers constantly train to remain precise and accurate in their craft. This dedication also ensures their mission and the mission of those they work with can always be completed.
“Our role in the joint fight, especially with the U.S. Air Force, is to open up windows of opportunity in multi-domain environments to exploit by employing our long-range precision munitions against enemy threats allowing the Air Force to strike their targets,” said James.
As James noted, the training in Alaska’s harsh environment exposed the Soldiers to an experience they could not have replicated at their home station.
“This training allows our soldiers to experience training in winter weather conditions that they would never get at Fort Bragg,” said James. “They can take these experiences with them, and it exposes both the Army and Air Force to all of our different systems that mutually support each other on the battlefield.”
Providing a valuable training platform, RF-A gathers different service perspectives to train and learn from one another.
“This is such a unique training environment for all the Soldiers involved because of the terrain, the joint planning aspect and also the weather,” said James. “All of these things allow the Soldiers to see something they would never get at Fort Bragg. It allows every service to learn from one another, which is one key takeaway from RF-A.”
RF-A not only strengthens ties between service branches but reinforces the United States’ continued commitment to the region as a Pacific nation, leader and power.