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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Sept. 28, 2023

'King of Battle' shows power of artillery

By Spc. Danielle Rayon, Oklahoma National Guard

Fort Sill, Okla. - Oklahoma Army National Guard Soldiers exercised the "King of Battle" during a series of live-fire training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Sept. 15-17, 2023.

Members of 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade conducted live-fire and night operations to hone their proficiency in swiftly executing fire missions with the 105mm howitzer and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

Replicating the intensity of real-world operations, Soldiers loaded and fired shells and rockets under strict time constraints in low-light and night conditions.

This exercise was not just about firing rounds; it was about improving precision and speed.

"This gives the crews the ability to practice and sharpen their skills as far as being able to load the projectile and get their times a lot quicker,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Hewett, a master gunner with the 1-160th FA. “We have a time standard with how fast we're supposed to give an issue… We have 30 seconds to get that round downrange."

While the 1-160th FA refined their proficiency with 105mm howitzers and conducted critical night operations training, Soldiers of the 1-158th FA demonstrated their firepower by firing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System rockets.

“Whereas you would have cannons to support infantry companies, you have rockets and missiles to support the corps [higher echelon] and prepare the battlefield for oncoming operations,” said Capt. Ryan Stockton, incoming commander for Alpha Battery, 1-158th FA.

These training events not only serve to certify Soldiers in their training and provide hands-on experience with the artillery but helps them bond as team members.

“You have a small group of six or seven Soldiers beneath you and you basically turn into a small, very close knit family because you're always together,” Hewett said. “You live under the same tent, you work on the same gun and you just get to know everybody really well.”

The seamless integration of artillery systems and the emphasis on rapid response underscored the Oklahoma Army National Guard's commitment to being at the forefront of military readiness. As these units return to their communities, they are well-prepared to respond to any call of duty, whether it be at home or overseas, ensuring the safety and security of the nation they serve.
Video by Cpl. Danielle Rayon
Oklahoma National Guard breaks ground on new museum
Oklahoma National Guard
May 16, 2024 | 1:42
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma National Guard broke ground on the new Oklahoma National Guard Museum in Oklahoma City in a ceremony attended by veterans and current National Guard members on May 16.

“Today is a milestone for us as we kick off [construction of the new museum],” said Denise Neil, executive director of the Oklahoma National Guard Museum. “It’s an exciting time, shoveling the dirt forward as a symbolic way to show our kick-off.”

Neil said the new 39,375-square-foot building, located at 3301 NE Grand Blvd in Oklahoma City, will provide the Museum with the space and tools needed to tell the Oklahoma National Guard’s story from its founding through modern times.

Denise Neil; Executive Director of the Oklahoma National Guard Museum