34th CTS attains howitzers, expands training capabilities

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Jeremy McGuffin
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 34th Combat Training Squadron acquired two M119 howitzers from Amedee Army Airfield, California, on Friday, Dec. 11. The artillery equipment will be used to enhance aircrew training and provide more realistic scenarios during future Green Flag Little Rock exercises, Air Mobility Command’s only joint-accredited flag level exercise.

“The howitzers will add to the 34th CTS’s unique inventory of equipment, allowing Mobility Airmen the necessary hands-on experience within a training environment,” said U.S. Air Force Major Jeremy Hauge, 34th CTS director of operations. “Prior to receiving the howitzers, loadmasters had to simulate these type of loads using weighted pallets. While the pallets were designed to weigh the same as the equipment, it couldn’t give them the experience of loading cargo that is unusual in shape and size.”

Procuring the howitzers helps develop the force and advance warfighting capabilities to maximize readiness and accelerate the change needed for mission execution in a rapidly changing global strategic environment.

“It was brought to my attention a few months ago that the 34th was seeking equipment to advance their warfighting training abilities,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Hill, 34th CTS ground-liaison officer. “Through some research I was able to find these two howitzers not being used, which fit our needs here perfectly.”

Acquiring the howitzers removes the burden from Joint partners at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where a large amount of equipment is kept and used for GFLR.

 “The Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk provides many training aids for us to use in GFLR,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Dustin Rice, 34th CTS NCO in charge of safety. “By attaining the howitzers, this lessens the burden we put on them for equipment requests.”

The 34th CTS remains committed to creating a realistic exercise environment that allows for deliberate development of rapid and agile combat capabilities.

“We will continue to be innovative and expand mission sets that will meet tomorrow's national security challenges,” Rice said. “Allowing us, and all GLFR participants, to remain at the leading edge of operational excellence.”