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34th CTS attains howitzers, expands training capabilities

a Humvee and a plane

A 34th Combat Training Squadron Humvee towing one of the newly acquired M119 Howitzer sits in front of a C-130J Super Hercules after landing here at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Dec. 11, 2020. The howitzers will be used as training aides for loadmasters both in Green Flag Little Rock and ROCKI exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

a car sits on a flightline

A 34th Combat Training Squadron Humvee off-loads one of the newly acquired M119 Howitzer off a C-130J Super Hercules after landing here at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Dec. 11, 2020. The howitzers will be used as training aides for loadmasters in Green Flag Little Rock exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

men sit on a flightline

U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Christopher Hill, 34th Combat Training Squadron ground liaison officer, instructs Airmen on proper loading procedures of the M119 Howitzer Dec. 11, 2020 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The howitzers will be used as training aides for loadmasters in Green Flag Little Rock exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

a plane sits on a flight line

A C-130J Super Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. loads a M119 Howitzer recently acquired at Amedee Army Airfield, California Dec. 11, 2020. The howitzers will be used as training aides at the 34th Combat Training Squadron for loadmasters in Green Flag Little Rock exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

a Humvee

A 34th Combat Training Squadron Humvee tows one of the newly acquired M119 Howitzer to the squadron after landing here at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Dec. 11, 2020. The howitzers will be used as training aides for loadmasters in Green Flag Little Rock exercises.

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

The 34th Combat Training Squadron acquired two M119 howitzers from Amedee Army Airfield, California, on Friday, Dec. 11. The artillery equipment will be used to enhance aircrew training and provide more realistic scenarios during future Green Flag Little Rock exercises, Air Mobility Command’s only joint-accredited flag level exercise.

“The howitzers will add to the 34th CTS’s unique inventory of equipment, allowing Mobility Airmen the necessary hands-on experience within a training environment,” said U.S. Air Force Major Jeremy Hauge, 34th CTS director of operations. “Prior to receiving the howitzers, loadmasters had to simulate these type of loads using weighted pallets. While the pallets were designed to weigh the same as the equipment, it couldn’t give them the experience of loading cargo that is unusual in shape and size.”

Procuring the howitzers helps develop the force and advance warfighting capabilities to maximize readiness and accelerate the change needed for mission execution in a rapidly changing global strategic environment.

“It was brought to my attention a few months ago that the 34th was seeking equipment to advance their warfighting training abilities,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Hill, 34th CTS ground-liaison officer. “Through some research I was able to find these two howitzers not being used, which fit our needs here perfectly.”

Acquiring the howitzers removes the burden from Joint partners at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where a large amount of equipment is kept and used for GFLR.

 “The Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk provides many training aids for us to use in GFLR,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Dustin Rice, 34th CTS NCO in charge of safety. “By attaining the howitzers, this lessens the burden we put on them for equipment requests.”

The 34th CTS remains committed to creating a realistic exercise environment that allows for deliberate development of rapid and agile combat capabilities.

“We will continue to be innovative and expand mission sets that will meet tomorrow's national security challenges,” Rice said. “Allowing us, and all GLFR participants, to remain at the leading edge of operational excellence.”

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