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Artillerymen Clear Path for the Infantry
The Washington Post ^ | November 11, 2004 | Jackie Spinner

Posted on 11/11/2004 6:10:18 PM PST by neverdem

NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq, Nov. 10 -- U.S. Army observers watched as the white pickup truck sped from house to house in Fallujah on Wednesday morning, stopping more than 20 times to drop off armfuls of rocket-propelled grenades. Every few stops, the driver threw dirt on the roof of the cab, apparently in an attempt to disguise his vehicle.

A few miles away, soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery trained their M109A6 Paladin, a self-propelled 155mm howitzer, on the truck. Minutes later, a shell shot out of the cannon, whizzed across the sky and landed next to the truck with a massive boom, shooting off shrapnel.

In the resulting cloud of dust and fire, the observers could not tell whether the truck had been hit directly. But even if the driver got away, said Staff Sgt. Shawn Zawistowski, a member of the 1st Infantry's Task Force 2-2, "I guarantee we made him think twice."

Powerful artillery pieces such as the Paladin deserve much of the credit for the ease and speed with which the U.S. military has been able to take control of most of Fallujah, according to American soldiers who have been sweeping through the city over the past two days.

Before ground troops entered Fallujah on Monday night, warplanes pounded insurgent targets with bombs; mobile artillery batteries followed with cannon and mortar fire. The effect was significant, according to military commanders and soldiers inside the city.

"It's made everybody get out of town," said Zawistowski, 30, of Cleveland.

Alpha Battery's two artillery pieces have fired more than 300 rounds in the first three days of the battle. The Marines' Mike Battery 414, which has six big guns at the same military outpost, has launched more than 500 rounds.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: artillery; banglist; fallujah; fampl; fapl; infantry; iraq; marines; soldiers
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1 posted on 11/11/2004 6:10:19 PM PST by neverdem
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; Darksheare

BOOM


2 posted on 11/11/2004 6:11:56 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem; Ragtime Cowgirl; 1stFreedom; Cannoneer No. 4; Redleg Duke; SAMWolf; archy; ...

FAMPL ping.
USHA, Artillery!


3 posted on 11/11/2004 6:13:50 PM PST by Darksheare (Personality shattered and horribly twisted, the humor flows out through the cracks.)
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To: neverdem
BOOM!
4 posted on 11/11/2004 6:14:16 PM PST by Maigrey (Your job is to arrest the killers but if you kill them, then so be it. - Minister Allawi)
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To: neverdem
Pretty cool. Precision Guided Munitions - fire and forget. They correct in mid-flight. They do not miss. They are something on the order of like 100 times less expensive than a missile, easier to store and transport, there's no pilot at risk, and with UAV's to guide the gunners, we can rain hell down on them all day and night long, even in bad weather.

The bad guys best hope is for blind Marine and Army Recon guys.

5 posted on 11/11/2004 6:21:19 PM PST by Steel and Fire and Stone
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To: neverdem

Great article. Artillery has made incredible advances in the last few years. There is no longer a requirement for spotting rounds, and their rate of fire is outstanding. I've flown close air support missions for almost 15 years, and now have to admit that artillery may be a better option in a lot of close air support scenarios. Between unmanned combat air vehicles and GPS guided artillery shells, I'm starting to feel a little redundant. But dammit, as long as we've got red blooded all American boys on the line, there is no such thing as too many ways to kill the enemy.


6 posted on 11/11/2004 6:24:08 PM PST by Rokke
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To: Darksheare

Hearing about all this brings up some sweet memories...if I close my eyes I can still smell those whitebags cooking off. OOOOOOOOSHAAAAA

My ears are still ringing.


7 posted on 11/11/2004 6:24:33 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: neverdem

A 155 is pretty strong medicine for a little old pickup truck. I wouldn't want to be standing within a couple of hundred meters from one of those babies when they explode.


8 posted on 11/11/2004 6:24:38 PM PST by AF68
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To: I got the rope

Fire mission!

Yeah, that brings back that smell and the memories.


9 posted on 11/11/2004 6:30:14 PM PST by Darksheare (Personality shattered and horribly twisted, the humor flows out through the cracks.)
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To: Steel and Fire and Stone
"They correct in mid-flight"
I've been trying to figure out what they mean by precision artillery. Do you have a link to this type of munition. The best I can find is the copperhead, which is a laser guided shell. There is something in the works, due out in 2 years which has a GPS system, but that is meant only for the rocket assisted long range round.
My impression (and I am not an artillery guy) is that the precision came from very precise targetting data (LRAS) and very precise location of the guns.
10 posted on 11/11/2004 6:35:56 PM PST by ProudVet77 (02NOV04 - America to Kerry "Your fired!")
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To: neverdem
Blakey said an Army recruiter persuaded him to be an artilleryman by describing the Paladin. "He told me it was the biggest gun in the military, and I said, 'I'll take it,' " he recalled.

This made me laugh for some reason.

11 posted on 11/11/2004 6:47:44 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: neverdem
A few miles away, soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery trained their M109A6 Paladin, a self-propelled 155mm howitzer, on the truck.

I can remember when they were M109-A-nuthin' howitzers. Where did the time go? [sniff]

12 posted on 11/11/2004 6:49:03 PM PST by 300winmag (FR's Hobbit Hole supports America's troops)
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To: neverdem
"Every few stops, the driver threw dirt on the roof of the cab..."

Soon out boys will be throwing dirt on the driver.

13 posted on 11/11/2004 6:50:00 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: ProudVet77

"...My impression (and I am not an artillery guy) is that the precision came from very precise targetting data (LRAS) and very precise location of the guns."

You are correct. I not up on all the latest classifed developments but palladins get great accuracy from simple trajectory shells. It is no longer necessary to lay them in with "candy canes" (but it still is with 105s and mortars).
T
he fire and forget munitions are not for the 155. Copperheads require a COLT (Combat Observation Lasing Team) to be guided to the target. Copperheads failure rate has proven too high and it was developed for tanks and not common targets.


14 posted on 11/11/2004 6:56:17 PM PST by Monterrosa-24 (Technology advances but human nature is dependably stagnant)
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To: neverdem

.

Battle of IA DRANG's Artillery Landing Zone Falcon =

The Blueprint for Supportive Fires


(Battle of IA DRANG-1965 Photos)
http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_collection.htm

.


15 posted on 11/11/2004 6:57:30 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: I got the rope

My ears have been ringing for 35 years. A1/92FA '67-'69

16 posted on 11/11/2004 7:11:02 PM PST by Chuckster (Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset)
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To: Monterrosa-24; ProudVet77
I don't have anything handy to document this, and I thought I picked it up on one of the BLOGs (Chester, maybe Belmontclub). From what I read, I was under the impression that they do have GPS guilded artillery deployed in Falluja, and that this accuracy was a major factor in shaping the battlefield.

I read that laser guided munitions were not due out until 2006, but as with the 30,000 bunker busting MOAB, I take all those dated with a grain of salt. We're at war, and if the Pentagon tosses $cash$ at the contractor, and tells him "ASAP", then they WILL beat their schedule estimate.

That's why I didn't question it but said something like "..way cool!" when I read about the accuracy of the GPS guided munitions it.

SFS

17 posted on 11/11/2004 7:33:38 PM PST by Steel and Fire and Stone
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To: neverdem; All

Shot Out!

Hooahh!


18 posted on 11/11/2004 7:39:58 PM PST by x1stcav
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To: I got the rope
"T34, This is Y56. Fire Mission, Over"

"Y56, T34...." (smug artillery guys using minimal radio protocol...)

"T34, Y56. Grid: XX xxxx -break- xxxx. White Pickup in th' open"

"Roger.... Shot!" (Smug artillery guys. I love those guys....)

"Splash.... That got it." I loved being an FO....

19 posted on 11/11/2004 7:48:31 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (--Scots Gaelic: 'War or Peace'--)
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To: neverdem

Cannoncockers have steel balls!


20 posted on 11/11/2004 7:57:45 PM PST by Ben Chad
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To: 300winmag
M109-A-nuthin'

Was that the towed, split-trail, silver tube howitzer?

I dragged three of those around RVN for six months.

21 posted on 11/11/2004 8:01:02 PM PST by HIDEK6
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To: Steel and Fire and Stone

Simple trajectory shells targeted by GPS.


22 posted on 11/11/2004 8:02:00 PM PST by IStillBelieve (G.W. Bush '04: Biggest popular-vote victory in history, and first popular-vote majority in 16 years!)
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To: Chuckster

Man, does that bring back memories. Everybody wanted to get the picture in full recoil.


23 posted on 11/11/2004 8:02:53 PM PST by HIDEK6
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To: neverdem
Infantry= The QUEEN of Battle

Artillery= The KING of Battle

You know the old story: The King puts it where the Queen wants it!

Armor: Combat Arm of Decision.

Speaking as a former Infantry captain and a former Armor captain aka "D.A.T." or Dumb A$$ Tanker, all I can say is that my Abrams could do more battlefield damage in 10 min than a grunt platoon could do all day!

24 posted on 11/11/2004 8:03:13 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: ProudVet77
Copperhead is ages old. No, there are all kinds of PGM for tube arty these days. There are terminal IR homing rounds (for anti tank missions - they have those for mortars too), GPS coordinate rounds, laser designated rounds. This is the first mass use of PGM artillery. We've been developing it for years, it is now out of the labs and firing ranges and on the battlefield.

Compared to air support, the great things about PGM arty are minute response times, and hour after hour loiter time. If you need a really big bang, air is still the way to go. Little fleeting packets of infantry won't stay around long enough to make a reasonable target for a 500 lb bomb. But you can put rounds on target in one minute, after a mortar fires etc.

25 posted on 11/11/2004 8:09:33 PM PST by JasonC
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To: neverdem

Over hill, over dale

As we hit the dusty trail,

And the Caissons go rolling along.

In and out, hear them shout,

Counter march and right about,

And the Caissons go rolling along.



Then it's hi! hi! hee!

In the field artillery,

Shout out your numbers loud and strong,

For where e'er you go,

You will always know

That the Caissons go rolling along.



In the storm, in the night,

Action left or action right

See those Caissons go rolling along



Limber front, limber rear,

Prepare to mount your cannoneer

And those Caissons go rolling along.



Then it's hi! hi! hee!

In the field artillery,

Shout out your numbers loud and strong,

For where e'er you go,

You will always know

That the Caissons go rolling along.



Was it high, was it low,

Where the hell did that one go?

As those Caissons go rolling along

Was it left, was it right,

Now we won't get home tonight

And those Caissons go rolling along.



Then it's hi! hi! hee!

In the field artillery,

Shout out your numbers loud and strong,

For where e'er you go,

You will always know

That the Caissons go rolling along.


26 posted on 11/11/2004 8:15:52 PM PST by injin
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To: Darksheare

Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be a savage brawl.

27 posted on 11/11/2004 8:19:59 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE

Thanks for the link. I lost it in my hotmail account when it overflowed and then expired. Oops


28 posted on 11/11/2004 8:20:22 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: injin

Thanks for the lyrics. Bookmarked!


29 posted on 11/11/2004 8:25:54 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

30 posted on 11/11/2004 8:34:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: neverdem

Oh Yeah, I still remember running Commo Wire up to an F.O.
Laying on my belly Listening to,and feeling the One Five-Five rounds going overhead with an awful sound (like a 55 Gal. Fuel Drum tumbleing end over end in the sky) The Impact,and the heat smacking you in the face 1000 yards away.

I wasn't real sure where it was that I wanted to be at that moment. But I was damn sure where I didn't want to be.

Life goes on at a frightful clip. But some things you never forget.


31 posted on 11/11/2004 8:36:30 PM PST by Pompah (The price of greatness is responsibility)
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To: NormsRevenge

Thanks for the motion flick!


32 posted on 11/11/2004 8:44:01 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: HIDEK6
Was that the towed, split-trail, silver tube howitzer?

No, it was the original baseline, short-tube Paladin, before six generations of mods were applied. It was like the Model-T of the current M109A6.

33 posted on 11/11/2004 8:46:42 PM PST by 300winmag (FR's Hobbit Hole supports America's troops)
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To: neverdem

"Thanks for the lyrics."

You are welcome!

too good eh? the Caissons have now become Palladins!
now's there's some progress....


34 posted on 11/11/2004 8:51:18 PM PST by injin
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To: injin
Trivia time:

John Philip Sousa made his debut with Field Artillery March at the grand opening of Great Lakes Naval Station, July 2,1911.
35 posted on 11/11/2004 9:00:49 PM PST by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: oyez

but he wrote it in 1907 ....no?


36 posted on 11/11/2004 9:02:09 PM PST by injin
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To: neverdem
You're welcome.

Here's a couple links to more info on the M109s

M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer

and some pics HERE.

37 posted on 11/11/2004 9:16:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: 300winmag

What ever happened to the M110A2 SP, 8" ?


38 posted on 11/11/2004 10:04:02 PM PST by skepsel
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To: skepsel
What ever happened to the M110A2 SP, 8" ?

I think they've all been replaced by MLRS. Our other battalion was M110s. I used to love watching them hump them 200-pound projos.

I did have a bit of howitzer envy, though. When our rounds hit, you could hear a faint boom. When an 8-inch went off, you heard a loud WOOMP.

39 posted on 11/11/2004 11:07:58 PM PST by 300winmag (FR's Hobbit Hole supports America's troops)
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To: neverdem
U.S. Army observers watched as the white pickup truck sped from house to house in Fallujah on Wednesday morning, stopping more than 20 times to drop off armfuls of rocket-propelled grenades

I presume we also took out the twenty houses that this worker bee so obligingly pollinated for us.

40 posted on 11/11/2004 11:08:23 PM PST by nathanbedford (Attack, repeat, attack...Bull Halsey)
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To: NormsRevenge

Thanks for the links!


41 posted on 11/12/2004 12:24:06 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
My grandson's dad is a Marine, and this is his 2nd Iraq deployment. He's an artillery corporal, and we're damn proud of him. Here's a picture of his unit with their "toy":

Here's a night shot:

And a closer view of their weapon:


42 posted on 11/12/2004 5:29:15 AM PST by COBOL2Java (If this isn't the End Times it certainly is a reasonable facsimile...)
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To: COBOL2Java
My grandson's dad

O_o

Son-in-law?

43 posted on 11/12/2004 5:30:26 AM PST by IStillBelieve (G.W. Bush '04: Biggest popular-vote victory in history, and first popular-vote majority in 16 years!)
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To: ProudVet77

Back when the Crusader was cancelled there were a number of interesting articles about artillery accuracy. Not sure if you know the DC area, but they were billing Crusader using GPS to fire a shell from Laurel and hit the pitcher's mound in Camden Yards on the first shot.


44 posted on 11/12/2004 5:36:26 AM PST by ko_kyi
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To: IStillBelieve

Bio-dad. You know how it goes...


45 posted on 11/12/2004 5:37:32 AM PST by COBOL2Java (If this isn't the End Times it certainly is a reasonable facsimile...)
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To: COBOL2Java

Oh, I see. Sorry for any misunderstanding.


46 posted on 11/12/2004 5:40:42 AM PST by IStillBelieve (G.W. Bush '04: Biggest popular-vote victory in history, and first popular-vote majority in 16 years!)
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To: IStillBelieve
No problem. :-)

Things are amicable, and we get regular emails (grandson sends him ones too). So far, so good! We're all praying for his safe return. In the meantime, we're glad to hear he's kicking butt! ;-)

47 posted on 11/12/2004 5:47:10 AM PST by COBOL2Java (If this isn't the End Times it certainly is a reasonable facsimile...)
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To: neverdem

Ah, what sweet memories. Retired in '88 after 39 years Field Artillery I am long past what is happening in the current world, but I like what I see. After adjusting fire and going into fire-for-effect after several rounds, glad to see that we have first round hit capability


48 posted on 11/12/2004 5:55:24 AM PST by Cannon6
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To: neverdem
"God favors the side with the heavier artillery." - Napolean

Wow. A Washington Post reporter is glomming on to the idea that a mob of morons with RPGs is no match for a well equipped modern army.
49 posted on 11/12/2004 5:59:45 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: COBOL2Java

Thanks for the pics.


50 posted on 11/12/2004 8:36:49 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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