Artillery units do not fire weapons independently

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Contrary to belief, artillery units, especially those equipped with heavy guns, do not operate or fire their weapons in a whim, and operate best under the skilled guidance or control of infantry units.

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“The inter-operability of the army artillery with other units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has long been in place through the fire support coordinating cell. Our units are not operating independently,” Army Artillery Regiment (ARR) commander Brig. Gen. Leandro A. Loyao III said.

He also added that it is the primary responsibility of the friendly (government) troops to inform artillery units that they are operating somewhere or when the need immediately arises.

“They should be able to provide their location and the direction where they wanted to drop the artillery fires,” Loyao stressed.

According to AAR doctrine, the forward observer is the eyes and ears of the artillery gunnery team who are also experts in ground navigation and map reading while the fire direction center is the brain which computes the data for the deflection and elevation of the howitzer tubes and the firing battery is the brawn or muscle which fires the different artillery ammunition – high explosives, white phosphorous and illumination.

Earlier, the Nueva Ecija-based AAR announced that is now conducting another another series of training for fire direction center (FDC) specialists at the Artillery Training School (ATS), Fort Magsaysay.

Undergoing FDC training, which started early this week, were members of the Philippine Marines.

The FDC training will run for four weeks and the students will have a live-fire exercise to test their speed and accuracy in computing the required data.

Major Rosa Ma. Christina Rosete-Manuel, AAR spokesperson, said the training aims to increase FDC specialists and ensure artillery fire can be brought in a timely and accurate manner

Ten personnel from field artillery battalions of AAR nationwide and six from the Philippine Marines assigned in Sultan Kudarat were sent by their respective unit commanders to further enhance their competencies as FDC specialists.

“The survival of our endangered troops lies in our hands. However, any inaccurate, lacking or error in the data, as members of fire direction center, it is your responsibility to recommend to your battery commander not to deliver the requested fire for security reasons unless sooner corrected,” she added. PNA

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