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The 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment (1-113th FA) of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) has conducted an ‘artillery live-fire exercise’.

The exercise was undertaken with the newest M109A7 self-propelled howitzer system variant at Fort Bragg, a military installation of the United States Army in North Carolina.

It was carried out on 20-21 May.

The 30th ABCT is the first National Guard unit to receive newest iteration of the Paladin artillery system.

This unit was trained for almost two weeks before the live-fire event.

During the two-day training, the 1-113th FA soldiers learnt the ‘differences’ between the old hydraulic system and the new electric system.

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1-113th FA C Battery section chief Staff Sergeant Cody Fields said: “The new weapons system allows us to do it a little bit faster. Everything went from hydraulic to electric.

“It allows us to mitigate some of the maintenance issues we had in the past.”

Manufactured by BAE Systems, the Paladin M109A7 next-generation artillery system is a significant upgrade to the combat-proven M109A6 Paladin cannon artillery system.

The 30th ABCT Commander colonel Wes Morrison said: “The 1-113th, with their history and the leadership they show in the field artillery community, they’re certainly deserving.

“To get such a brand new piece of equipment and be able to come out post-deployment and modernise as we talk about in the Army; post-deployment you modernise on equipment, and then you start a new training cycle, so it’s perfect for them.”

Soldiers firing the new howitzer system were received hands-on-training on the operation of the new equipment.

With the new A7 variant, the 1-113th replaced its entire fleet of Paladin systems.