Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Field Artillery Fires New Modular Artillery Charge System On Taji

Soldiers from the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment's Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, fired howitzers on their M109A6 Paladins during the first-ever firing of the Modular Artillery Charge System in the combat zone by an entire Paladin battery March 13 on Camp Taji, Iraq. The newly refined propellant pushes projectiles out of the barrel of the howitzers. The MACS will be used in conjunction with the soon-to-be-fielded Excalibur precision munition.
by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp
Camp Taji, Iraq (AFNS) Mar 21, 2007
While many artillerymen get the opportunity to fire artillery pieces only in training, Soldiers from the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment's Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, have already fired more than 1,100 rounds in real-world missions to engage enemy targets in support of combat operations in theater.

Since the first calibration of the M109A6 Paladin howitzers in early December, Alpha Battery has supported combat operations every day by firing their Paladins. The unit has supported operations with everything from counterfire to suppressive fire, as well as striking pre-planned targets. They have also cleared routes for combat missions along and provided base camp security.

Yet one of the Soldiers' most memorable moments came March 13 as they fired the new Modular Artillery Charge System.

"We're on the brink of history," said Capt. Derek Baird, Alpha Battery commander. Baird said the event marked the first time the MACS have been fired in the combat zone by an entire battery of Paladins.

The MACS system, used in conjunction with a projectile, is a refined propellant that facilitates higher rates of fire and extends range capabilities for the howitzers, Baird explained. The pre-measured charges, which are packaged in cylindrical, toilet-paper roll-shaped canisters, push or propel projectiles from the barrels of the howitzer.

The charges also help to lessen the work of the old way of measuring charges, whereby bag charges were cut and then unused portions had to be disposed of - waisting powder, added Baird.

Alpha Battery will use the MACS in conjunction with a new munition they will receive training on and implement within the next few months - the Excalibur.

"This is all very exciting. Our firing of the MACS is in preparation to get Excalibur," said Baird. "This is the final step before it's fielded to us, and all of our crews have qualified on it."

Baird said his Soldiers have been fortunate to work with the howitzers, as changes in the field artillery branch have led to fewer opportunities to employ howitzers.

"Now they're working more in roles that concentrate on doing foot patrols, pulling tower guard and doing cordon and searches," said Baird.

"One of the most important things for my Soldiers is the fact that they're actually getting to do artillery tasks, and for them this is great and I could not be more proud of their performance today," Baird added. "We're the only true 'hot gun' battery in theater - others may have only one gun firing at any given time in support of real world missions. We're using our entire battery all the time."

First Lt. Sidney Wilson, an Alpha Battery platoon leader, said he was impressed with the MACS and hopes his Soldiers will remember the experience.

"They should take pride in being the first battery to fire these in theater," said Wilson. "When they go home, this is something they can tell their families about."

Spc. Eduardo Briseno, a cannoneer who loads and fires howitzers, had his own take on what the day's firing meant to him.

"I love it, I can't really explain it. There's nothing else that compares with this and nothing else I'd rather be doing," said Briseno. "Knowing that we've made history today in firing the MACS ... this really feels awesome."

(Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp writes for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Public Affairs.)

Email This Article

Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Support Soldiers Bring Hot Chow To Outpost
Hope, Iraq (AFNS) Mar 21, 2007
As the Mustang Battalion's Legionnaires found their way out of Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah and moved up to Forward Operating Base Hope near Sadr City, they knew that relocating meant no more hot meals.

  • Chinese Military Buildup Poses No Threat
  • Germany Fears US Anti-Missile Shield Could Fuel 'New Arms Race'
  • India Developing News Alliances
  • Growing US Military Concerns For China

  • North Korea Ready To Close Reactor, But Wants Money First
  • Who Is To Blame For The Russian-Iranian Nuclear Dispute
  • Is Iran A Nuclear Paper Awaiting Publication Or A Nuclear Weapon Awaiting Ignition
  • US Upbeat On Korea As North Says Nuke Plant Shutdown Soon

  • Boeing JDAM Scores Direct Hit In Extended Range Tests
  • Raytheon To Enhance Patriot Global Capabilities Under Pure Fleet Contract
  • Excalibur Completes Final Testing Clearing Path For Early Fielding
  • New Hellfire-Compatible Guided Rocket Can Defeat Targets In Urban Operations

  • United States, Poland Hold Missile Shield Talks
  • US Missile Plans Accelerate Defence Shield Debate At NATO
  • Czech Villagers Vote Against US Anti-Missile Defence Shield
  • Lockheed Martin Receives $376 Million Contract For Pac-3 Missile Program

  • Germans Urged To Give Foreign Travel A Rest To Curb Global Warming
  • Raytheon Team Proposes Single International Standard In ADS-B Pursuit
  • NASA Signs Defense Department Agreement
  • Lockheed Martin And FAA Reach Significant Milestone In Transformation Of Flight Services

  • Northrop Grumman Gets 287 Million Dollar Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Systems Contract
  • Boeing Prepares First US Military ScanEagle Crews
  • Israeli Air Force Unveils Long-Range Drone
  • New Technology Expands Air Force Combat Capability

  • Field Artillery Fires New Modular Artillery Charge System On Taji
  • Support Soldiers Bring Hot Chow To Outpost
  • Soldiers Add And Replace Armor On Vehicles
  • Birds And Buffalo Back But Iraqi Marshes Still Under Threat

  • New Doubts About Navy LCS
  • ATK Precision Guided Mortar Munition Scores Direct Hit In Guided Flight Test
  • Key Phase Of New B-2 Bomber Communication System To Begin
  • Future Combat System Faces Tough Times

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement