Fort Drum soldiers train on one of Army’s most powerful weapons

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - In the Army, artillery is known as “the king of battle” because of its destructive power. Some Fort Drum soldiers spent the last week training on one of the Army’s most powerful weapons, and we got a behind the scenes look.

Get your earplugs. Artillery training on Fort Drum is deafening, but it’s crucial. The Charlie Battery spent the last week training by firing hundreds of rounds.

It’s called a howitzer. It’s capable of hitting targets 18 miles away. On Monday, they were practicing on targets about 5 miles away.

An M777 howitzer weighs about 10,000 pounds and each round it fires is about 100 pounds.

“This is the baddest gun in the Army,” said Staff Sergeant Matthew Holt, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, Charlie Battery.

The training is to practice for real-life scenarios, like providing aid to infantry units.

“They can use us for offense if we’re invading an area or they can use us for defense, you know, if we’re fortified in an area,” said Sergeant Devin Brower, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, Charlie Battery.

Firing the M777 is more than just aiming and shooting. It takes a team, beginning with the fire direction center, where soldiers calculate the power and the angles of the shots.

“Our mission is to calculate that data rapidly, accurately and send it down to the guns so that they can annihilate the enemy,” said Staff Sergeant Victor Ramirez, 15th Field Artillery, Charlie Battery.

Then soldiers load up the howitzer, set the round, and pull the trigger.

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