“Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.”- Frederick II, King of Prussia
In a world of constant turmoil and violence, wars must be fought and the weak protected. The US Army stands as a guardian to many countries in these fights. The force uses many different weapon systems and unit configurations, but the greatest of them all is the M777 towed cannon battery!
The M777 is a rifled bore howitzer crewed by 7 Soldiers. They are able to provide high explosive, smoke, and illumination munitions to bear against ground targets, in support of infantry forces. Being highly mobile, they are employed anywhere the infantry needs them.
The M777, often called the “triple seven”, was first employed in 2005 as a replacement to the M198. It is a part of the 155mm caliber, family of howitzers. The M777 hurdles rounds weighing around 95lbs over miles to its intended target. The M777 crew is told what to fire by a team of fire direction specialists, who compute firing data using internal and external ballistics, and other physics to accurately tell the round where to land.
The real power of the M777 comes from teamwork and the configuration of a firing battery. Each firing battery contains 6 howitzers divided among two firing platoons, as well as a headquarters platoon. Every individual in the battery has a unique position that must be mastered in order for timely fires to be achieved, this goes for the cannoneers on the gun, the fire direction specialists on the fire direction computers, the supply clerks, and each leader.
Cobra Battery, 2-17 Field Artillery, is one of these M777 batteries. With a new command team and hundreds of years of combined experience in the art and science of cannon fire, this team of teams will serve to complete the Field Artillery mission “to destroy, defeat, or disrupt the enemy with integrated fires to enable maneuver commanders to dominate in unified land operations.”
Throughout this blog, stories of the Artillerymen of Cobra will be told as they complete their various training objectives including section, platoon, and battery certifications; support of infantry missions; promotion and advancement of individual Soldiers; and the creation of a fully functional team.