CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming National Guard’s 115th Fires Brigade 2-300th Field Artillery Battalion recently “conducted a live-fire exercise with their high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS),” Specialist Kristina Kranz with the 197th Public Affairs Detachment said on July 1.
The Wyoming National Guard says the training occurred at Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center.
“The exercise is the culmination of their annual training in which they are required to qualify with the system every year,” Kranz said.
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The Wyoming National Guard shared a video of the live fire exercise taken by a soldier on July 9:
Prior to firing the artillery during the exercise, Kranz said that the battalion undertakes various preparations. She said that the exercises were created by Fire Direction Officer 2nd Lt. Matthew Buchanan who “creates and performs the missions for the launchers and also preforms safety analysis.”
“I coordinate with range control and build a safety diagram for this range, from and to our desired target,” Buchanan told Kranz. “Before the launchers can shoot, they need to verify where they are pointed to make sure they are pointed in a safe direction.”
Kranz said these efforts are coordinated from a central area known as the “Tactical Operations Center.”
“You know when the rockets are about to fire if you are standing near the area as you will start to hear excited chatter over the radios and finally, ‘Fire when ready!'” she explained.
Kranz said that soldiers are required to hit a target that is 9,500 meters away in order to successfully complete their training qualifications. Each soldier is responsible for firing four rockets.
“Normally there are 16 HIMARS that fire four rockets each for qualification,” she added. “This time, there are only four.”
“This was a different type of annual training for the 2-300th as most of the Soldiers are either deployed or just coming back from deployment, so the number of Soldiers at training is much lower. Because of this, they were able to fire the rest of the rockets, 66 in total, for extra practice between the four HIMARS that were used.”
The training is necessary to ensure the battalion is field-ready.
“This is to ensure we are lethal and capable of doing our missions on the battlefield,” Battalion Operations Officer Maj. Casey Henry told Kranz. “They’re going through all of their certification processes to ensure that we can deploy and go to war.”