Army

May 24, 2012

Maintenance key to 1-144 annual field training

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Story and photos by Sgt. Zachary A. Gardner
11th ACR Public Affairs Office

A trooper from 1st Battalion, 144th Field Artillery Regiment, California National Guard ground guides a M109 Paladin during 1-144 FA’s annual field training exercise at the National Training Center May 17.

If you’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 perform maintenance on a M109 Paladin at the National Training Center May 17. The battalion conducted maintenance on all of its wheeled and track vehicles to increase operational readiness during their annual field training exercise.

Troopers from 1st Battalion, 144th Field Artillery Regiment, California National Guard conducted maintenance on all of the battalion’s wheeled and track vehicles to increase operational readiness during their annual field training exercise at the National Training Center May 11-25.

“We’re out here to re-familiarize ourselves with firing and our jobs,” said Spc. Rudy Ramirez Jr., B Battery, 1-144 FA. “It just gives us an opportunity to continue training and keep us from rusting.”

The focus of 1-144’s annual training was to improve the battalion’s core competency with artillery fires, field sustainment operations, civil support operations, vehicle maintenance, and Soldiers’ 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.

“Maintenance is the key for everything, but firing is the best part,” said Ramirez.

The battalion also conducted individual weapons qualifications in preparation for their mission as California’s Ready Reaction Force.

“We also go to the range and operate our M4s and take classes on crew-served weapons too,” 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.

“It’s great, I love it,” said Ramirez. “We get to shoot some live rounds and have a good time.”




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