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New Guns for 1 RCHA...

Gunner

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http://www.brandonsun.com/story.php?story_id=12253

New howitzers given thunderous welcome
By: Matt Goerzen  Email Story Printer Friendly Version


CFB SHILO - Canadian military institutions have long been criticized for the use of aging and outdated equipment, mainly due to a lack of investment by the federal government.

But the purchase of a half-dozen new high-tech guns - four of which sounded off yesterday at CFB Shilo in front of local media and several hundred soldiers - may well signal a reversal of fortune.

"It's definitely part of the army's transformation process," said Lt. Col. Peter Williams, the commanding officer for the First Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA), during a ceremonial first fire mission for the M777 towed howitzer. The M777 is one of the most powerful guns currently available on the market and is also used by American and NATO forces around the world, which will allow for closer interaction with Canadian allies.

But Canada's army will be the first in the world to use these guns in real military operations when approximately 1,200 Canadian troops from CFB Shilo and bases in Alberta fly to Kandahar, Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty, under Operation Archer. "Today is a great day for the army ... and 1 RCHA in particular. We are ensuring we remain relevant to future threats ..."

The M777 155 calibre howitzer, which was constructed by British Aerospace, is lighter and smaller and yet more powerful than any other gun of its kind. The M777 will enhance the army's operational capability to provide indirect firepower at any time of the day or night, and under severe weather conditions, according to the Department of National Defence.

It replaces the M109, which was recently retired by CFB Shilo soldiers when they directed the final firing of the older weapon last February.

"This is a new capability," said Brig. Gen. David Fraser who will be leading the troops in Afghanistan. "It signals that the Canadian forces are a credible force."

The Canadian troops will be part of a larger military force patrolling 225,000 square kilometres of the Middle Eastern country, though Canada will patrol and run operations from Kandahar.

Gunner Jason Johnston, who will man one of the new M777 in Afghanistan for his first tour of duty overseas, was quite excited about the new equipment.

"It's awesome," Johnston told the Sun. "You can really tell we're moving up in the world."

Johnston says training on the M777 was hard work, but well worth the effort. He says he now knows everything there is to know about the new gun's operation.

"There's nothing easy about it. But it's fun work."

The Canadian troops will leave for Afghanistan in February of 2006. Soldiers from A Battery, 1RCHA will be deploying with four M777 towed howitzers. The remaining two guns will follow in successive troop rotations.
 

pbi

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Great to see our Gunner friends with these new guns. Looking forward to first rounds on target in A'stan! Good luck to the deploying battery.

Now-if only we could get our mortars, pioneers and anti-armour platoons back....


Cheers
 

Mountie

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How are the new 4-gun batteries being organized?  One troop of 4 guns or two troops of 2 guns?
 

vonGarvin

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Mountie said:
How are the new 4-gun batteries being organized?   One troop of 4 guns or two troops of 2 guns?
Ah yes, "battery" of four.  Remember when there were two troops of four in a battery?
 

Infanteer

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Mountie said:
How are the new 4-gun batteries being organized?   One troop of 4 guns or two troops of 2 guns?

You have to love transformation....buzzwords like "network-centric", "effects-based" and "info dominance" are really code for "Do More with Less".   That's going to turn around and bite us in the butt....
 

Gunner

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Corps 86 had 10 guns/battery but it was strictly a teaching tool in Kingston.

Some of the older gunners may remember a time when we had more than 6 guns per battery but over the last 21 years, it has been the standard number per gun battery.  They have been organized by troop (3 per) and by section (2 per). 
 

muskrat89

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When I first joined in 83, 8-gun Batteries were common


Now if we wanna talk goofy trends, does anyone remember when the fad was dispersed gun positions? Ick...
 

Gunner

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8 Gun batteries as doctrine or surplus pers within Reserve units?  Our unit was quite large at the time as well (nothing like a recession to increase unit strength!).

Cheers!
 

SHELLDRAKE!!

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muskrat89 said:
does anyone remember when the fad was dispersed gun positions? Ick...

Dispersed gun positions were intended to provide a challenge to running in tgt records to the CP.
 

Gunner

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Hmm, it seems to me that it coincided with the BMI program in the CF....
 

muskrat89

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I think the CIG bought stock in the company that manufactured our tannoy wire  ;D
 

Old Sweat

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It was an attempt to increase the upper body strength of young officers by making them run cross country carrying an armful of gun markers.
 

Gunner98

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Dispersed gun positions - 1987 1 Guns Germany - 3 pairs.  Z Bty Recce Offr.  A Bty BC Dan Ross - the brainchild for CO Smiling Doug Moreside.  Remember it well.  So do my knees, whenever it rains.
 

Mountie

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Good discussion but nobody answered my original question.  How is the new 4-gun battery organized? 
 

Goober

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A bty has 4 guns, 2 troops, 2 guns per troop, 10+ man dets.

1RCHA has two more guns, 6 total, but dunno where the other two are going. The rumour was pet, but maybe Afghanistan, so maybe that configuration will change.
 

STA Gunner

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If we are discussing the M777, the four will go to Afghanistan, and the other two will become the training guns for subsequent rotations and maintenance training.

As for the four gun battery, the latest as we received it in Gagetown was that only four guns will be manned.  And for the short future, two of them will be manned by reservists.  I know this goes against what was being spoken about in the past year, but things on the manning side are looking tight.

This is the result of our current army transformation where we will lead with sensors, follow up with effects and exploit with soldiers, yet the last 3000 PYs are solely for exploitation.  The sense and effects aspects have had to tighten their belts.
 

Armymatters

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I would rather prefer to see the South African Denel G5-2000 gun in CF service... using normal ammunition it has a range of 39km, while with assisted ammuntion, 53km. True, it's a bit heavier, but the range of the gun means no other tube artillery system can touch it... but the M777 is a good addition to the forces. It was about time we fielded a towed 155mm gun. We were the only guys not to field one until we got the M777. We had self-propelled 155mm guns, but not towed guns, while with other nations, it was the other way around. They have towed guns, but not self-propelled guns.

Edit: Should have used 'had' instead of 'have'... And where did those M109 go? To the scrap yard or to another country?
 
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