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Troops at Fort Stewart among first to train with new Paladin howizters

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 4:17 PM EST
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FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - Some of the artillery troops at Fort Stewart will be among the first to train with one of the Army’s newest artilleries.

As units test out the new Paladins, commanders say it’s as important for them to be reliable as it is for them to be lethal.

Crews first got the new Paladin howitzers back in September. 1-9 Field Artillery is the first in the Third Infantry and among the first in the Army to use them. They say this new version includes plenty of upgrades.

“The smart display screen allows the driver to see everything and help communication issues a lot with less traffic on the radios,” Staff Sgt. Richard Stockton said.

They can shoot roughly 12 miles downrange. Inside, they can reload and fire again in just seconds, much faster than before.

Another change is commonality. The Paladins share many similar parts with the Bradley fighting vehicle.

“That’s from the power pack to the chassis to the road wheels and track. The more readily available those parts are in the supply system, it’s less downtime and quicker turnaround time,” W2 Mark Mansbridge said.

The new Paladins fit into the Army’s goal to modernize its equipment and make it easier to fix on the run and make it more adaptable.

“We have the ability to change the armor on the Paladins behind me. That will help the logistics when we move them somewhere but also help take care of the soldier inside the vehicle,” Commander Lt. Col. Joe Handke said.

It also has more electric components and less hydraulics, making it a little easier for crews to hear each other and send the noise downrange to the enemy.

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