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    Posted August 21, 2014 by
    fort carson, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Salute to troops

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    4th CAB slings big guns

    FORT CARSON, Colo. – Cannons lifted into the air over Fort Carson, Colo., as the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade’s CH-47 Chinook Company conducted elevation sling-load training Aug 14 for the first time since being activated.

    An aircrew from Company B, ‘Clydesdales’, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th CAB, 4th Infantry Division, conducted M777A2 howitzer sling-load training with Battery C, ‘Chosen’, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment.

    “This is the initial phase of starting sling-load and air assault training,” said Capt. Spencer Carriker, commander, Battery C, 2-12 FA Reg. “We want to establish baseline knowledge of flight procedures for our Soldiers. We want our Soldiers to be fully able to rig and hook our artillery equipment safely and properly.”

    CAB aircrews found it helpful for both the field artillery Soldiers and themselves on how to properly rig their equipment and prepare it for flight.

    “I’ve flown more than 500 hours in the air and never sling-loaded a M777A2,” said Capt. Walter Thomas, commander, Company B, 2nd GSAB, 4th Avn. Reg. “Sling-loading is a basic task for Chinook pilots because we learned how to do it in flight school. But there are many considerations to take when dealing with equipment like a Howitzer.”

    Battery C artillerymen received training that will improve their ability to move around the battlefield to provide better ground force domination during combat, said Carriker.

    “We hope to eventually conduct a live-fire artillery raid which consists of sling-load movements of Howitzers,” said Carriker. “This allows us to get closer to our targets, different entrance in to the battlefield, more stealth, and ability to deliver more accurate firing capabilities.”

    The ‘Clydesdale’ aircrews hope to provide more elaborate movement support to the 2-12 FA Reg. in the future.

    “We hope to conduct a practice run of the artillery raid with 2-12 FA Reg.,” said Thomas. “Afterwards, conduct a live-fire exercise to provide us with realistic training. It would be beneficial for both of us to learn how to communicate with each other and make us more effective in combat.”

    The ‘Chosen’ Battery wants to create a solid relationship with the CAB to improve the combat capabilities and have a better understanding of aviation procedures.

    “Most of the Chinook aircrews have sling-loaded howitzers,” said Carriker. “I believe for them, it’s more about creating professional relationships and getting to know the ground commanders. The training for us helped improve both our combat skills and communication skills with the aircrews. We would like to continue this great working relationship with the CAB.”
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