A Dutch artillery unit assigned to NATO’s eFP Battle Group in Lithuania recently fired their guns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
A Royal Netherlands Army mobile artillery unit assigned to NATO’s eFP (enhanced Forward Presence) Battle Group in Lithuania recently had a chance to fire their guns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The Panzer Howitzer 2000-NL self-propelled guns were used to conduct a live-fire exercise at Pabradė Training Grounds alongside their Lithuanian counterparts. With their ability to ‘shoot and scoot’ – to conduct fire missions and then quickly move to cover – mobile artillery plays a crucial role in many Allied militaries. For this exercise, forward observers from Germany and Norway helped coordinate the strikes.
This NATO Multimedia footage includes shots of Panzer Howitzers from the Netherlands and Lithuania firing and moving, as well as interviews with Dutch and Lithuanian artillery commanders.
- (00:00) – Royal Netherlands Army Panzer Howitzer 2000-NL self-propelled artillery guns moving into firing positions
- (00:14) – Panzer Howitzer interior: loader removing charge and feeding into the breach before gun fires
- (00:48) – Panzer Howitzers firing
- (00:56) – Shells landing in impact zone
- (01:06) – Panzer Howitzers moving behind trees
- (01:19) – Forward Observers watching the impact zone
- (01:33) – Royal Netherlands Army soldiers coordinate with Forward Observers from inside Command Vehicle
- (01:42) – Royal Netherlands Army Panzer Howitzer moving into position
- (01:51) –Panzer Howitzers firing
- (02:07) – Slow-motion Panzer Howitzers firing
- (02:21) – Royal Netherlands Army soldiers cleaning barrel of Panzer Howitzer
- (02:26) – Soundbite – Captain Bob, 41 Artillery Battalion, Royal Netherlands Army “We’ve been deployed already for five months, and today was the big day. We’re shooting for the first time with four Panzer Howitzers, live-firing, combined in a multinational setting, meaning with forward observers from different nations.”
- (02:39) – Soundbite – Captain Bob, 41 Artillery Battalion: “The real power of the Panzer Howitzer is that it’s able to do shoot-and-scoot operations. In general, that means that it can be in a hiding position, like for instance where we’re standing right now, deep inside the woods, it gets a fire mission, it drives out to a firing position, preferably in an open field, it fires a few rounds, and then heads back to another hiding position. So it does not need to be static at one place at one time. That is the real benefit of the Panzer Howitzer.”
- (03:05) Soundbite – Captain Bob, 41 Artillery Battalion: “Even if there is COVID or no COVID, we need to make sure that we stand together, and we stand together strong. And I think that’s the most important thing. So even with the whole COVID pandemic, just look at the boundaries of what’s possible, concerning training and what’s not possible. And it was a hard time, but I think we worked it out pretty good.”
- (03:26) Soundbite – Captain Jonas Žukas, Iron Wolf Brigade, Lithuanian Army: “Our main task is to support our nation to defend our nation. And we train together, but physically we work separate, as separate units, divided. But we gather together to conduct our fire missions.”
- (03:45) Soundbite – Captain Jonas Žukas, Iron Wolf Brigade: “For our military, we always train with our NATO partners. The main task for us is to conduct interoperability with our NATO Allies, and to train together in order to fulfil our tasks together within and in our country.”