US Army M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire in Morocco
US Army M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire in Morocco

US Army M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire in Morocco

U.S. Army Soldiers with the Georgia Army National Guard completed multinational live-fire training under the concealment of night during exercise African Lion 21 June 13-14, 2021, in Tan Tan, Morocco. Artillery fire filled the sky with illumination and infrared light to enable maneuver of infantry underneath. The live-fire training began with U.S. and Moroccan forward observers calling in their targets to firing batteries kilometers away on the firing line.

Georgia Army National Guard M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire
U.S. Army M109A6 Paladin howitzers with the Elberton-based, 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, establish a gun-line during African Lion 2021, at the Tan Tan Training Area, Morocco, June 13, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.)

African Lion 2021 is U.S. Africa Command’s largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal, 7-18 June. More than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. African Lion 21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, which employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants. Moroccan artillery opened fire with high explosive rounds, simulating the need to force enemy combatants to fix in place and take cover.

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Georgia Army National Guard M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyler Jolissaint, First Sergeant of the Ellenwood-based, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, demonstrates U.S. artillery powder charges to Royal Moroccan Armed Forces artillery personnel during African Lion 2021, at the Tan Tan Training Area, Morocco, June 13, 2021.(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.)

Next, M109A6 Paladin howitzers assigned to the Georgia Army National Guard’s Elberton-based 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, lit up the sky with M485 illumination rounds. U.S. and Moroccan infantry moved under the concealment of degraded light, identifying and laying small-arms fire on their targets. The Georgia Army National Guard’s Forsyth-based 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, formed the infantry force maneuvering on the ground.

Georgia Army National Guard M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire
A U.S. Army M109A6 Paladin howitzer with the Thomson-based Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, moves into firing position during African Lion 2021, at the Tan Tan Training Area, Morocco, June 13, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.)

Following completion of training under visible illumination, the Granite Battalion Paladins shot over M1066 infrared illuminating projectiles. The IR projectiles brighten the sky with light that is invisible to the naked eye, but viewable through night vision goggles. The U.S. infantry used the night vision goggles to build confidence in their equipment and their own ability to move, communicate and shoot in austere environments. African Lion 21 offers training opportunities like this to enhance lethality and interoperability of U.S. and partner forces.

Georgia Army National Guard M109A6 Paladin Howitzers Completes Multinational Night Live-fire
A U.S. Army M109A6 Paladin howitzer with the Ellenwood-based Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, observes fired artillery observation rounds during African Lion 2021, at the Tan Tan Training Area, Morocco, June 13, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.)
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