The 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment (1-113th FA), 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) conducted an artillery live-fire exercise with the newly fielded M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer System at Fort Bragg May 20-21. The 30th ABCT was the first National Guard brigade to receive the newest iteration of the Paladin and trained for almost two weeks before the live-fire event. During the training, 1-113th Soldiers had the opportunities to learn the differences between the old hydraulic system and the new electric system before heading to the range.
Soldiers with the 1-113th, who returned home from the Middle East less than a year ago, will have spent 23 days training on the new equipment, which falls in line with the U.S. Army’s post-deployment training goals. Soldiers firing the new artillery were excited to get the hands-on training and took pride in learning how the new equipment operates. To shoot artillery and send that 100 pounds downrange in support of downrange, it’s a great feeling. The 1-113th replaced their entire fleet of Paladins with the new A7 model.
“The 1-113th, with their history and the leadership they show in the field artillery community, they’re certainly deserving. To get such a brand new piece of equipment and be able to come out post-deployment and modernize as we talk about in the Army; post-deployment you modernize on equipment, and then you start a new training cycle, so it’s perfect for them.” Col. Wes Morrison, the 30th ABCT Commander.
The Paladin M109A7 next-generation artillery system being manufactured by BAE Systems is a significant upgrade to the combat-proven M109A6 Paladin cannon artillery system. The enhanced artillery system offers key fire-support for a variety of potential combat missions conducted by the US Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) in conventional, hybrid, irregular and counterinsurgency combat environments. The US Army and BAE Systems signed a memorandum of understanding for the Paladin integrated management (PIM) programme to upgrade the M109A6 Paladin.