Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Forward Operating Base Kalagush’s Marine Corps Embedded Training Team 5-5 along with Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, Task Force Steel, teamed up to train Afghan National Army Soldiers on the D-30 122mm Russian howitzer, Nov. 11.
“The ANA do artillery training five times a week, along with infantry tactics and they conduct patrols to show locals that they have a government presence within their area,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Bradley Brill, the team’s leader, and Sitka, Alaska native.
The artillerymen were firing at a site used by anti-Afghanistan forces to launch attacks on FOB Kalagush. It was the first time the ANA were firing a counter-fire operational mission.
“I have taken it on as my personal mission to ensure these men of the ANA are capable of doing independent firing operations,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Forsyth, 2nd Bn., 77th FA Regt. commander and Mayfield, Ky. native.
The ANA went through a seven-week certification program, similar to the training that U.S. Army artillerymen receive to be certified on their weapons.
“If we can’t get them operating independently and have them do their job without us, then we’re failing our mission,” Forsyth said. “Part of our combined action plan for them is to become sound, confident artillerymen and have the ability to secure their nation.”
Once the ANA finished the certification process, the Marines and the Soldiers hopes heightened that they will be able to do their own firing missions and man their weapons 24 hours-a-day, like the Coalition Forces on FOB Kalagush do.
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Marine Sgt. Joshua Winans, from Utica, Ohio, observes as a member of the Afghan National Army verifies the coordinates of the sector of fire before loading and firing off 122mm artillery shells from a Delta 30 howitzer on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Nov. 11. The ANA were conducting a mission to shoot out a point of origin the anti-Afghan forces were using to set up rocket attacks on the FOB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley Hawkins) (RELEASED)
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Marines with the Embedded Training Team show members of the Afghan National Army how to properly load and fire 122mm Russian artillery shells from a Delta 30 howitzer on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Nov. 11. The ANA were conducting a mission to shoot out a point of origin the anti-Afghan forces were using to set up rocket attacks on the FOB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley Hawkins) (RELEASED)