Wisconsin Guard Demonstrates Rapid Deployment Capability | Item


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A U.S. Air Force loadmaster with the 352d Special Operations Wing guides a U.S. Army Soldier with the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment, while unloading an M142 high mobility artillery rocket system at the during a bilateral exercise at a highway landing zone in Gotland, Sweden, Oct. 23. This bilateral demonstration underscores, for the first time, the ability of Swedish and American forces to rapidly deploy long-range precision fire through theater at a time and place of our choosing, while developing the ability to ” employ capabilities with our partners and allies in the Baltic Sea region.
(Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Westin Warburton)

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Wisconsin Guard demonstrates rapid deployment capability








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A U.S. Air Force loadmaster with the 352d Special Operations Wing guides a U.S. Army Soldier with the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment, while unloading an M142 high mobility artillery rocket system at the during a bilateral exercise at a motorway landing zone, Sweden, October 23, 2021. This bilateral demonstration highlights, for the first time, the ability of Swedish and American forces to rapidly use long-range precision fire at through theater at a time and place of our choosing, while developing the ability to employ flexible capabilities with our partners and allies in the Baltic Sea region.
(Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Westin Warburton)

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Wisconsin Guard demonstrates rapid deployment capability








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A US Air Force loadmaster with the 352d Special Operations Wing guides a US Army Soldier with the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment as it loads an M142 high mobility artillery rocket system on an MC-130J Commando II, during a bilateral exercise at F 7 Såtenäs, Sweden, 23 October 2021. This bilateral demonstration highlights, for the first time, the ability of Swedish and American forces to use rapid precision fire at long range through theater at a time and location of our choosing, while developing the ability to employ flexible capabilities with our partners and allies in the Baltic Sea region.
(Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Westin Warburton)

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GOTLAND, Sweden – A Wisconsin National Guard field artillery unit has become the first High Mobility Rocket Artillery System (HIMARS) to be launched in Sweden, as part of an operations training event special events to demonstrate the ability to rapidly deploy HIMARS in the Baltic Sea region.

The 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery was invited by Special Operations Command Europe and the Swedish Air Force to participate in Exercises Voldemort 22 and Adamant Serpent 22. Battery B in Plymouth, Wisconsin, sent 14 soldiers – a full launcher crew, a full fire command center team, two mechanics, a communications specialist, a platoon leader and a two-person liaison team, as well as a HIMARS launcher and a group of Reduced range training rockets to support the mission.

Maj.Matthew Mangerson, the battalion’s executive officer, noted that Command Sgt. Major Michael Seefeld, the enlisted battalion leader, recently deployed with Special Operations Command, and these contacts may have been factored into the 1st Battalion, with the 121st Field Artillery being chosen for this training. But that wouldn’t have been the only factor, he said.

“There are only five HIMARS battalions in the active component of the army and two in the Marines,” Mangerson said. “This leaves the bulk of the HIMARS battalions coming from the National Guard. HIMARS has recently become a much sought-after asset in the overall strength, so there is often a desire to include this asset in exercises.

Mangerson said the battalion was approached to participate in the exercise after already completing its annual training at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

Sweden, a neutral country, is not a member of NATO but has participated in NATO and United States training exercises.

A Swedish C-130 Hercules and a US Air Force MC-130J Commando II flew to the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea on October 23, landing on a paved highway. The HIMARS launcher disembarked from the MC-130J for a few minutes, then was loaded onto the aircraft again and flew to northern Sweden for a live fire exercise.

“Everything went very well,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Claesson, head of joint operations for the Swedish armed forces. “The joint exercises carried out last weekend show how far we have come in our cooperation with the United States”

Captain Trenton Manderle, an officer in charge of Bravo soldiers deployed to Sweden, agreed.

“The training event was extremely successful,” he said. “Battery B of the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery was the partner force to lead [HIMARS rapid infiltration] with our Swedish Air Force partners and conduct the first HIMARS live-fire exercise in Sweden.

Manderle said the B Battery gunners who supported the mission developed and refined standard operating procedures that can be applied to training in the United States, as well as developing relationships with other services and partner nations that could lead to future training opportunities.

“We now have a group of subject matter experts who will be able to train the rest of the battalion on HIMARS rapid insertion capabilities and tactics, policies and procedures,” Manderle said.

Some information for this article has been provided by the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters.

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