“This is our first time working with another coalition force,” says U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Torry Newkirk, a cannon crew member. “We are doing our best to make one another that much better.”
Acting as forward observers, the Croatians provided support and feedback required for the success of the fire mission. Their role was to ensure that the artillery could accurately and quickly send rounds downrange. “It shows immediately that also our Allies are proficient. From the very first day working together, we have had no hiccups, no problems,” underpins 1st Lieutenant Barnet Cohen, a platoon leader with the Alpha “Ares” Battery.
Paladin M109A6 is a cannon artillery system with self-propelled howitzer and is operated by a crew of four: a commander, a driver, a gunner and a loader. The crew are able to receive mission data via a secure voice and digital communications system, compute the firing data, automatically unlock the cannon from the travel lock, point the cannon and fire, and move to a new location without external technical assistance.