Two M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher crews from 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery successfully completed the joint force HIMARS rapid infiltration (HIRAIN) mission as a coordinated effort with the 123rd Airlift Wing in Louisville, Kentucky, Aug. 6, 2020. HIRAIN missions also significantly increase the survivability of the launcher, crew and aircraft due to the reduced exposure to hostile fires. Aerial artillery raids provide battlefield commanders flexibility by inserting a long-range fire capability beyond a captured beachhead or behind enemy lines to quickly destroy a target.
The C-17 touched down on the dirt airstrip, one of very few assault strips of its type rated for C-17 use, and came to a stop. With engines still running, Airmen and Soldiers hurried to unchain the HIMARS. As the aircrew lowered the rear ramp, the HIMARS crews off-loaded the launchers and headed towards a designated firing point. The launchers were stationary for just a few minutes, and soon disappeared, engulfed in dust and smoke as the HIMARS fired round after round at targets.Upon completing the live fire, the artillery crews drove back to the aircraft where loadmasters prepared for their return. Within 45 minutes of landing, airmen, soldiers and artillery were securely back aboard the C-17 and airborne again.
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army, mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame. The HIMARS carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile on the U.S. Army’s new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) five-ton truck, and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). HIMARS ammunition is interchangeable with the MLRS M270A1, however it is only able to carry one pod rather than the standard two for the M270 and A1 variants. It was designed as a small, mobile, MLRS, with the ability to ‘shoot-and-scoot’. The launcher is C-130 transportable.