A U.S. soldier from Bravo 6-9 Cav. Troop patrol together with soldiers from the Iraqi army during operation Saber Hammer 3 on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah, Iraq, 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, Monday, Sept. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)
Soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division live fired the M109A6 Paladin Wednesday. The Paladin is the most technologically advanced cannon on tracks in the United States Army inventory. It can be set up to fire within 25 seconds and it fires 155 mm rounds with a killing radius of 50 meters in all directions.
"High explosive rounds, normally that's what we use as a killing round; it can also fire smoke, fire illuminations and a few other munitions...its a pretty good weapon system. It's one variant of the M109 series of howitzers we've been using for a long time, the paladin is the latest M109A6. It has quite a few capabilities we didn't have before," said Major Richard Hodgson, Battalion Executive Officer.
The training is called fires integration support team certification, it is used to evaluate the readiness of the fire support team. Before today soldiers spent two months training with dry fire and classroom simulators. They are now taking all those skills and applying it to real world war time situations.