29 September 2011

UK In Action: Danish Mortar Crew

Danish troops fire 120mm mortar whilst engaging the enemy outside their patrol base in Helmand, Afghanistan. Afghan National Army (ANA) gunners have marked the end of five months of training alongside British troops, with the first multinational partnered live firing exercise to take place in Helmand. Members of Colchester-based 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA), who form part of the ISAF Brigade Advisory Group in Helmand, have mentored Afghan gunners since arriving in the Gereshk area last year. As they reached the culmination of five months’ training this week, the Afghans’ new skills were put into practice with a ‘live firing confirmatory exercise’, of the type commonly carried out by trainee gunners in the UK. The 7 Para RHA mentors, who have been living, working and training alongside their Afghan colleagues, were able to watch as their hard work paid off and the Afghan gunners fired High Explosive ammunition for the first time. The exercise was made possible by co-operation between Afghan, UK, Danish and American forces. Manning their Russian made D30 guns, the Afghans fired alongside British gunners equipped with the 105mm Light gun and the Danish 120mm mortars. Thirty rounds of each nature were fired onto a single target area, while observers from America, Afghanistan and the UK looked on out of sight, miles away. The first multinational live firing exercise of its kind in Helmand, it saw troops from Afghanistan, Britain and Denmark fire their respective weapons individually before coming together at the end to fire in unison - a sight and sound which was astounding to witness. For the Afghan gunners of the 4th Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 215th Corps ANA, who have been stationed on an austere hill overlooking the town of Gereshk in southern Helmand, this was a chance to prove that their British training has brought them up to the challenge of serving as professional specialists in the Afghan National Army.

img from UK MoD

By: Widow 6-7

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THAT is a cool-ass photo!