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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 Spc. Danielle Rayon
Oklahoma National Guard Museum hosts Veterans Day Ceremony
Oklahoma National Guard
Nov. 11, 2023 | 2:02
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma National Guard Museum hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony, Nov. 11, 2023.
The ceremony drew a diverse crowd including military members, their families, supporters and retired service members. The event, a time-honored tradition, paid tribute to those who have served with reverence and respect.
The museum's grounds echoed with the presence of those who have served, creating a reverent atmosphere befitting the occasion. Attendees gathered to honor the sacrifices made by veterans and to express gratitude for their service.
Col. Brad Carter, assistant adjutant general – Army, Oklahoma National Guard, addressed the gathering, delivering a powerful message that resonated with the audience.
“To those veterans who accepted carrying the torch of responsibility, we are forever indebted,” Carter said. “For those veterans who were willing to pick up that torch from those before them, we are eternally grateful, and for those who are waiting to grasp it, go forward with the sacrifices made by those who also wore the uniform foremost in our mind.”