Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Compliment to the Field Artillery

Summary: The field artillery in many areas of Iraq is not very busy. I happen to be in an area that, as of late, uses its artillery on a regular basis. Field artillery is effective—and still the King of Battle.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on this blog that it had been a really good day in Iraq…

I have been assigned to a field artillery unit for the past several months in Iraq. We provide fire support to various units, near and far, who come into contact with insurgents. We also provide timely counterfire against rockets and mortars that are fired against any of several operating bases or other coalition assets in the area. Lately we have been very effective.

I don’t enjoy the fact that my job includes killing other people, even if it is the enemy. (It’s not traumatic in the same way that face-to-face combat is traumatic—something which I’ve never experienced nor ever hope to.) But I do find a great satisfaction in knowing when there is one less insurgent trying to short-circuit the process of liberty currently going on here.

We recently received an e-mail from a Fire Support Officer who coordinates with the infantry on the ground, complimenting our ability to provide timely and accurate fires:

“[Your artillery] has been exactly what I’ve needed. Your soldiers are doing one helluva job. I know I speak for [everyone] when I say thank you for the support you…have given us. We all know the only all-day, all-night, all-weather preferred fire support platform in [our area of operations] does not have wings.”

We haven’t been shooting quite as much lately, but that’s because there hasn’t been as much to shoot at. But it’s good to know that the soldiers on the ground have less to contend with, at least for a while. And we’re ready and waiting for the next sucker who launches a mortar at us or any of our buddies. Because chances are, we’ll take him out too.


Sgt.Savage said...

Mr. Staheli,
First off who made you the expert on Artillery? Knowing who you are and where you came from...I have an issue with your knowledge. Frank, Ranse Savage here! How the heck are things? I ran into your sister that teaches with Burke, and she gave me this site which is very cool. Let me know how I can email you, since I don't know if I dare publish my email address on this site.


Matt said...

That's a good thing you haven't had to shoot at that scum as of late, Frank. The reason being that if you don't have anything to shoot at, maybe they're stopping their fire because they know they'll be on the receiving end of your fine piece of equipment. My hope is, that they'd stop targeting all together you guys, innoncent Iraqis, and the Iraqi Armed Forces. I say everytime they target one of those three main groups, if possible, that (provided you have authorization and won't kill any innocent civillians) that you guys should lob a few artillery shells back to get a message across.

Frank Staheli said...


You had my dander up for a minute there! Good to hear from you. Wish you were here!

I'm glad you like the site. Not many people know about it yet, so spread the word.

I've e-mailed my family and asked them to get you my e-mail contact info.

Sgt.Savage said...

I do have mixed emotions about you guys over there and me here. Part of me says I should be there and the other part of me says "what the hell you thinkin'". You all are in our prayers and hope to see you real soon. Tell everybody "hi" for me, and make sure they all know that we haven't forgotten you.
Love ya man!

sgj3 said...

Dear Mr. Rumsfeld, please reprieve the Crusader.

Frank, ask the Iraqi locals to give y'all a demonstration of their South-African-made G6 artillery, specifically MRSI (Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact) capability. For Mr. Rumsfeld's benefit, that's the capability for a single gun to fire six rounds at a target and have them arrive at the exact same instant. The Iraqi's have had that capability for 25 years now, and it is one of the features in the Crusader.

If you need any further information, please post a comment to this blog, and somebody will get back to you with facts that your circle of yes-men are clearly not giving you.

There you are Frank, I think I've got you iuto enough trouble for now.


p.s. - took a trip through Southern Utah, many of the towns have memorials to the Triple Deuce. They really love and honor you guys.