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A US Army soldier has created a new device that could potentially increase the longevity of light-towed howitzers.

Using the new tool, soldiers will find it easier to remove seized muzzle brakes from the howitzers, which are used to fire shells on high trajectories at low velocities.

US Army chief warrant officer 2 Steve Murphy said: "Before, it was difficult to remove the muzzle brake that often can seize up in varying weather conditions.

"To remove it, soldiers would often take a sledgehammer to the muzzle brake."

Built by Illinois Army National Guard Sergeant Wesley Todd, the device is also expected to improve safety and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future.

"Before, it was difficult to remove the muzzle brake that often can seize up in varying weather conditions."

According to Todd, the tool is a round steel plug with a notched end that attaches to the muzzle brake.

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Besides the new invention, he has also made modifications to automotive tools that enable parts to be replaced and repaired safely.

Assigned to Bravo Company, 935th Aviation Support Battalion at Chicago's Midway International Airport, Todd works as a machinist at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop, where he repairs damaged parts and makes new parts for military vehicles and equipment.

To date, Todd has served as combat engineer, military policeman, wheeled vehicle mechanic and allied trades machinist / welder.

Image: Wesley Todd tightens his invention, used to remove the muzzle break from the light towed howitzer. Photo: courtesy of Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs.