View Full Version : OIF Pre-Deployment Training

09-29-2007, 11:35 AM
Fires Bulletin, Jul-Aug 07: A Battalion Commander's Reflections on OIF Pre-Deployment Training (http://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/2007/Jul_Aug_2007/Jul_Aug_2007_pages_23_25.pdf)

The Tomahawk Battalion, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery (4-320 FA), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, recently completed a one-year deployment with the 506th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) (http://www.campbell.army.mil/newinternet/unitpages/LzHeli/Default.asp?uid=15) or Currahee team, both in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The Tomahawks and Currahee team were part of MultiNational Division–Baghdad (MND-B) supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 05-07.

During this tour, the Tomahawks operated as a maneuver battalion owning non-contiguous battlespace surrounding our forward operating base (FOB) and in the lower Karrada district of Baghdad. Additionally, the Tomahawks were responsible for our FOB, providing force protection (including for the quick-reaction force or QRF), fielding and logistically supporting a military transition team (MiTT) that was under the operational control (OPCON) of the RCT and providing “hot-gun” support for the RCT.

The Tomahawks and our Currahee team are life-cycle managed units that were activated in September 2004. When activated, we knew we were deploying in support of OIF in November 2005. We began training the same as any other FA battalion would have, with section certifications, and made the decision to progress no further than FA Table XII live fires.....
Preparing an FA Platoon for Operations in Iraq (http://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/2007/Jul_Aug_2007/Jul_Aug_2007_pages_26_30.pdf)

The Soldiers of the 1st Platoon, B Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Fires (1/B/4-320 Fires) conducted more than 225 maneuver combat patrols in Iraq—a reality for many Artillery units deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). 4-320 Fires Tomahawks, part of the 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), were stationed in east Baghdad and responsible for providing security and training Iraqi security forces (ISF) in our area of operations (AO). As Artillerymen, we always had to be prepared to deliver indirect fi res, but we found ourselves fi ghting as infantrymen in high-stakes situations where inexperience and a lack of training were no excuse for failure.

This article addresses lessons learned for organizing, equipping and training Artillery Soldiers at the tactical level to accomplish a maneuver mission while maintaining proficiency at Artillery skills. It does not provide a “cookie cutter” approach but discusses what did and did not work in 1/B/4-320 Fires’ preparation for deployment and provides recommendations to prepare Soldiers at the battery and platoon levels for a maneuver mission.....