U.S. Army in Germany Conducts Artillery Rockets Live Fire Test Amidst Ukrainian Crisis

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:45 PM, March 17, 2022
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U.S. Army in Germany Conducts Artillery Rockets Live Fire Test Amidst Ukrainian Crisis
US army artillery rocket crew in Germany: DVIDS image

US Army soldiers conducted their first live fire from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HiMARS) at the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) in Germany on March 11, 2022 in support of NATO Immediate Response Force.

The first live-fire test was conducted alongside 16 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with the US Army's 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment who were executing their Table XVIII battalion live fire, making it the largest live fire conducted on GTA in recent history with 18 launchers firing at once, a Pentagon release said.

The tests come amidst increasing pressure on NATO to do more than just provide assistance to Ukraine in view of the devastation caused due to the Russian Invasion.

The issue figured in the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels yesterday where NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. "We must reset our collective defense and deterrence for the longer term. Today, we tasked our military commanders to develop options across all domains — land, air, sea, cyber and space."

U.S. Army in Germany Conducts Artillery Rockets Live Fire Test Amidst Ukrainian Crisis
HiMARS artillery rocket system in firing mode: Lockheed Martin image

The rocket artillery unit adds a flexible deterrence option for U.S. and NATO forces as it is smaller than an MLRS, fits in a C-130 and can be flown to any airstrip in Europe, fire and return in only a few hours as demonstrated by the 41st FAB in Romania during Exercise Rapid Falcon in November 2020 with the 352nd Special Operations Wing.

When asked what’s next for these 13M HiMARS, a crew member said, “Whatever they tell us, we are prepared to execute.”
The next live fire test at GTA will be held on March 24, to support any operations for NATO Allies, the release said.

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