By Ileen Kennedy
Utah National Guard
Approximately 10 Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 65th Field Artillery Brigade, “America’s Thunder,” will deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom under U.S. Africa Command. The Target Acquisition Platoon Soldiers were recognized during a departure ceremony Sept. 1, 2022, in the Scott Lundell Readiness Center auditorium at Camp Williams, Utah.
Field artillery firefinder radar operators with the Target Acquisition Platoon are trained on the Q50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar and will be tasked to provide base defense and target acquisition support to U.S. forces in the Horn of Africa during a 12-month deployment.
“The Soldiers have been preparing and training for the last year on basic Soldier tasks as well as completing their fire-finder radar certification during Operation Western Strike,” said Lt. Col. Adam Ashworth, 65th Field Artillery Brigade administrative officer. “They are excited to provide specialized support to U.S. forces in Africa.”
The Soldiers recently completed all pre-mobilization training, culminating in the certification of their teams during the unit’s annual training in Boise, Idaho. The certification included target acquisition during Operation Western Strike where more than 1,800 Soldiers participated in the training event. The section was able to train with multiple artillery battalions, including a rocket battalion from North Carolina, preparing them for their deployment.
“The team is excited to get out there and show our expertise and [the] knowledge we have learned…this time it’s real life,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Prather, a team leader for the section.
The Soldiers will first report to Fort Bliss, Texas, for final training and preparation before departing for theater of operations.
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