If youâ€™re a Soldier, maintenance is an essential part of your life. No matter what your occupational specialty or career field is in the Army, all Soldiers have to maintain their equipment, especially if they only get one weekend a month, two weeks a year to use it.
Troopers from 1st Battalion, 144th Field Artillery Regiment, California National Guard conducted maintenance on all of the battalionâ€™s wheeled and track vehicles to increase operational readiness during their annual field training exercise at the National Training Center May 11-25.
â€œWeâ€™re out here to re-familiarize ourselves with firing and our jobs,â€ said Spc. Rudy Ramirez Jr., B Battery, 1-144 FA. â€œIt just gives us an opportunity to continue training and keep us from rusting.â€
The focus of 1-144â€™s annual training was to improve the battalionâ€™s core competency with artillery fires, field sustainment operations, civil support operations, vehicle maintenance, and Soldiersâ€™ proficiency with individual and collective tasks.
A major part of the annual training is to ensure that all of the equipment is in working order, said Spc. Steven Eckenrod, B Battery, 1-144 FA.
â€œMaintenance is the key for everything, but firing is the best part,â€ said Ramirez.
The battalion also conducted individual weapons qualifications in preparation for their mission as Californiaâ€™s Ready Reaction Force.
â€œWe also go to the range and operate our M4s and take classes on crew-served weapons too,â€ said Ramirez.
1-144 FA and the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry, Nevada National Guard are both attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. This allows for the 11th ACR to deploy as a brigade combat team level unit.
â€œItâ€™s great, I love it,â€ said Ramirez. â€œWe get to shoot some live rounds and have a good time.â€