6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery
"On the Minute"
The mission of the 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, as one of the most forward deployed Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battalions in the world, is to conduct counter-fire and deep operations in the defense of the Republic of Korea.
The capabilities of MLRS make it one of the most versatile field artillery weapon systems available for both joint and combined arms operations. Its range, mobility, and lethality allow it to execute the full spectrum of fire support, providing close support to maneuver units, protecting the force with counterfire, and attacking operational targets for the division, corps, Marine airground task force (MAGTF), or joint task force commander and in support of theater missile defense.
Regardless of the tactical mission, MLRS units are positioned and fight well forward and use their shoot-and-scoot capability to improve survivability. Forward positioning is critical to accomplishing these deep missions. When providing close support in the offense, MLRS units move with the maneuver forces they support, stop to fire as required and then move rapidly to rejoin the formation. In the defense, these systems support maneuver units by moving laterally along the forward fine of own troops (FLOT). This allows MLRS units to take maximum advantage of their range to protect maneuver units from the destructive effects of the enemy's indirect fire systems. The mobility and massive firepower of the MLRS make it well-suited to augment other artillery fires supporting cavalry units engaged in operations such as screening, covering force, and movement to contact.
The 32 kilometer range of the MLRS rocket and the 165 kilometer range of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) provide the division, corps, MAGTF, and joint commanders with a deep strike option. To support deep operations, MLRS units are positioned close to the FLOT and in some cases beyond the FLOT to engage the enemy at maximum ranges and to continue to attack him throughout the depth of the battlefield.
The 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment can trace its history back to 5 July 1918 when the 37th Field Artillery Regiment was organized at Camp Lewis, Washington. The Regiment was demobilized on 11 February 1919.
On 1 October 1940 it was reactivated and designated as a truck-drawn 105mm howitzer battalion at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The 37th Field Artillery Battalion was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division during World War II and participated in the following campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Alsace, and Central Europe. Three hundred and thirty days and 198,000 rounds after D-Day, World War II ended for the 37th Field Artillery near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. In the years following World War II, the Battalion remained with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, as a general reserve unit.
During the Korean Conflict, the Battalion landed at Pusan on 4 August 1950 with the 26th Infantry Division and fought in the battles of Heart Break Ridge, Old Baldy, T-Bone Hill and Pork Chop Hill. The Battalion earned 3 Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in combat for actions at Taegu, Chipyoncni and Hongchon. During the 4 years of action, the Battalion participated in the following actions: UN Offensive, UN Summer Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korean Summer Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter and Korean Summer Fall 1953.
The Battalion's Organization Day is 18 August, commemorating its participation in the Battle of Brest in 1944 and the day the battalion fired its first round in the Korean Conflict. After the Korean Conflict, the Battalion was again stationed with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis and later at Fort Richardson, Alaska. While in Alaska, the 37th Field Artillery Battalion was relieved 20 June 1957 from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division and concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 37th Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. Its individual companies were either inactivated or redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Batteries of newly activated battalions in the Regiment. 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery was activated on 2 May 1960 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and in August 1965 returned with the 2nd Infantry Division to Korea. At that time, the Battalion's 105mm howitzers were traded for a combination of 155mm and 8-inch howitzers. 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery assumed the division's composite general support mission.
During January and February 1971, the battalion moved from Camp Pelham to Camp Essayons to provide more responsive support to the Division. The Battalion received the M110A1 extended range 8-inch howitzers in late 1977.
In May 1984, 6-37th Field Artillery became a composite battalion again consisting of one battery of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) (C Battery) and 2 batteries of 8-inch howitzers.
On 17 May 1991, the 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery became a pure MLRS battalion with A and B Batteries being ATACMS capable. C Battery completed conversion to Version 6, becoming ATACMS capable, in August 1992. On 11 June 1993, the 2nd Infantry Division's newly activated separate battery, A Battery, 38th Field Artillery, was attached to the 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery. This move made 6-37th Field Artillery (+) the largest MLRS battalion in the United States Army. In June 1994, the Battalion (+) was moved to Camp Stanley.
The 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment fielded the updated version of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System at Rocket Valley range in the Western Corridor on 2 May 2003. The new incarnation of the MLRS, the M270A1, featured a greatly decreased "ready-to-fire" time, and could move on and off firing points much faster than its predecessor. Each MLRS vehicle was equipped with a Loader Launcher Module, which sat on a system of hydraulics that swung the launcher into firing position. Each LLM held 2 5,400-pound pods that could carry 6 rockets each. During the exercise, the Battalion soldiers fired M28A1 Reduced-Range Practice Rockets at target sites in Rocket Valley. The battalion fired a total of 18 practice rockets during the exercise.
Through 2001 and 2002, the Battalion helped expand A Battery, 38th Field Artillery into a full battalion, the 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery. On 18 June 2002, 6-37th Field Artillery became a standard 18 launcher MLRS battalion. In September 2005, the 2nd Division Artillery was redesignated as the 2nd Fires Brigade as part of the transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. 6-37th Field Artillery remained assigned to the 2nd Fires Brigade. In November 2006, the 2nd Fires Brigade was reflagged as the 210th Fires Brigade and 6-37th Field Artillery was reassigned to that unit.