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Posted: August 3, 2018 12:03 p.m.
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Destruction from above

Sgt. Leo Jenkins/

Assistant gunner Pfc. Terry Tompakou and gunner Pfc. Austin Hutchenson of Co. B, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team demonstrate how to “hang” full range training rounds as Hutcherson aims the weapon system at the target during Gunnery Tables IV, V, and VI at Fort Stewart, July 23.

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Spartans Soldiers of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, honed their craft firing live rounds down range at mortar gunnery Tables IV, V, and VI at Fort Stewart, July 23.

Spartan Soldiers conducted a mortar live-fire exercise with high explosive rounds. The rounds have a kill radius or more than 50 meters from the point of impact.  A  dominant force multiplier for the commander. 

The mortar’s mission is to provide close and immediate indirect fire support  with the .120mm mortars fired on top of a stationary M1064 mortar carier. 

Mortarmen can target and fire in under two minutes effectively reaching distances greater than 7000 meters; which is often referred to, by morter personnel, as 'high angle hell, death and destruction from above.' 

They can unleash a firestorm on their enemy without a direct line of sight using M934 high explosive, M929 white phosphorus smoke, XM930 illumination and the M931 full range training round.

“I've been here for three years, and I've primarily received FRTR rounds,” said Staff Sgt. Craig Dockery, Co. B mortar section leader at 6-8 Cav. “Fortunately, we got all four types for this exercise. It's good for junior enlisted to see [what] the actual rounds we use downrange looks like in real life.“

Fire support teams use a Joint Battle Command-Platform to radio missions while the track commander, doubling as the fire direction center, translates gun data and relays information to the gun. The Gunner interprets the data and commands the assistant gunner to drop, or “hang” a round, causing the round to launch.

“Mortars are one of the most effective indirect assets in the commander's disposal," said Staff Sgt. Joel Perkins, Co. C mortar section leader.  "We are organic to that commander, and we are faster at processing missions while getting on target than field artillery.”

A combined arms live fire training exercise will follow 6-8 Cav.'s current mortars certification in October.

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