June 11, 2003, 20:39 EST

2-111 FA conducts best AT ever

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Deputy Public Affairs Officer

A gun crew from B Battery, 2-111 Field Artillery works together to load a round during a live fire exercise during their annual training. Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear. For more photos, click HERE.

BLACKSTONE, Va. - The soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 111th Field Artillery wrapped up their annual training with a live fire exercise this week and battalion commander Lt. Col. Damon Igou called the AT period “the best we have ever had.”

Igou said that the main task for the unit was to occupy a firing position and prepare to execute a fire mission. In past AT periods, it has taken the firing batteries the full two weeks of training to meet the time standard, but in this year’s AT, the units meet the standard on the very first occupation.
“We kind of looked around and said ‘What do we do now?’” said Igou jokingly.

All three firing batteries were able to meet the daytime standard of setting up under 13 minutes and 20 minutes at night. In fact, C Battery from Emporia conducted their night occupation in a blazing 8 minutes and 20 seconds, Igou said.

Since the units were able to meet the occupation standard so soon in the training period, Igou said they were able to work on some tasks they had not been able to concentrate on in the past. The crews were able to fire in MOPP-4 and gain confidence in their ability to operate in an NBC environment and work on their perimeter security and rapid reaction force.

Igou attributes the unit’s success to intensive training in the months before AT. They were able to repeatedly work on the occupation of a firing point during live fire exercises in March, April and May.

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