135th Field Artillery Brigade
Missouri Army National Guard's 135th Field Artillery Brigade and its two subordinate units, the 1/128 and 1/129 Field Artillery Battalions, performed their annual training at Fort McCoy during 2000. There were other units training with the brigade while at Fort McCoy. The Missouri field artillery battalions have a training association with the 18th Airborne Corps. Having the opportunity to train with these soldiers gives our troops the chance to work and train with soldiers they someday may be deployed with. The 57th Field Artillery Brigade Meteorological Section of the Wisconsin Army National Guard provided assistance so that the 135th Field Artillery Brigade Meteorological section could conduct new equipment training in Missouri. The biggest bulk of assistance came from seventy soldiers of the 18th Airborne Corps of Fort Bragg, N.C.
The 18th provided a forward observer team, a Q-37 Fire Finder radar section and enough cannon crewmen to place a howitzer crew in each of the six firing batteries within the brigade. Upgraded communications capabilities during annual training this summer at Fort McCoy, Wis. led to better training coordination for members of the 135th Field Artillery Brigade. The units made extensive use of the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS). The unit last trained at Fort McCoy in 1998. The unit likes to move its annual training around to get the soldiers acquainted with different firing conditions they may encounter. Since the unit's 155mm howitzers are indirect fire weapons, they require comprehensive coordination among all the elements involved, including the forward observers and the fire direction center, to ensure a successful mission.
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