41st Field Artillery Brigade
“This is the first live fire of a European-based unit since 2004*,” said Lt. Col. Angel Llompart, the battalion commander for the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment. “It is a key milestone in our readiness that indicates that we can now transition to a more collective training with our partners and allies.”
The unit’s Soldiers have worked since September of last year – receiving their equipment and training and testing on it – to prepare for the day’s live fire.
“The Soldiers have worked really hard and put in countless hours to ensure that their equipment is combat ready and that they are physically and mentally fit to execute the mission they are given said Army Command Sgt. Maj. David Cecil, the Command Sergeant Major for the Battalion. “They are excited to showcase their abilities and enhance the unit’s combat power.”
The event enhanced the unit’s capabilities and ensured readiness in defending and protecting partners and allies throughout Europe.
“This live fire isn’t just a crew certification,” said Cecil. “It allows Soldiers to demonstrate their ability to provide long-range precision fires within the European theater.”
Heavy fog blanketed the training range throughout most of the day adding an extra element to the day’s training. While the fog was unexpected, it did not compromise the safety or value of the exercise.
"Every time we execute a live fire we want to be sure that everything goes well," said Llompart. "Part of our training strategy is ensuring we have done everything we can to mitigate risk. No matter what obstacle we face, even if it is foggy with limited visibility like it is for this exercise, we will always complete the mission."
The live fire added another milestone to the battalion’s long lineage and distinguished history said Llompart.
“This battalion has been around since 1798,” said Llompart. “This is another piece of our history that allows us to contribute to our nation. We are proud to be here and look forward to continue working with our allies and partners.”
*EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a mistake in the year of the last live-fire of a European-based U.S. Army unit. The last firing was not in 2004 but, according to known records, was in 2006.