Allied rocket artillery systems practised synchronising their fires during DYNAMIC FRONT 22, a US-hosted live-fire exercise held in Germany.
Allied rocket artillery systems practised synchronising their fires during DYNAMIC FRONT 2022, a US-hosted artillery live-fire exercise held in Germany. During the exercise, Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) from Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States were used to perform fire missions under the command of a multinational higher headquarters, played this year by the UK-led Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). This is made possible by the Artillery Systems Cooperation Activities (ASCA), a software programme that links artillery batteries from different countries to a centralised, multinational command and control centre. Currently, nine NATO Allies participate in this programme, including Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Türkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Slovak and US armies strengthened their cooperation by joining forces in the field: soldiers from the US Army’s 1-41 Field Artillery Battalion acted as a fire control centre for a battery from the Slovak 54th MLRS battalion, receiving and passing on fire missions. The US soldiers were part of the forces deployed to Europe in early 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Additionally, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) from NATO invitee Finland worked alongside JTACS from the Czech Republic and Spain to direct the artillery fire while also calling in simulated air strikes from the US Air Force fighters.
DYNAMIC FRONT 22 featured MLRS systems that several NATO Allies have donated to Ukraine, including the M270 and the RM-70. This NATO Multimedia footage, captured 18th July and released 25th, includes shots of MLRS systems conducting a live-fire exercise; Czech and Finnish forward observers guiding Allied aircraft; US soldiers practising artillery procedures; and interviews with Slovak, UK, and US soldiers.
- 00:00 ~ British Army M270 Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) firing a rocket
- 00:03 ~ UK MLRS Firing
- 00:10 ~ UK MLRS Firing
- 00:14 ~ UK soldiers loading training rockets into MLRS
- 00:38 ~ UK soldiers loading training rockets into MLRS
- 00:50 ~ UK soldiers examining map
- 00:54 ~ UK soldier examining map
- 01:03 ~ UK MLRS on the move
- 01:09 ~ UK MLRS on the move
- 01:13 ~ US Army soldier discussing fire mission with Slovak Army officer
- 01:18 ~ US Army fire direction control tent
- 01:25 ~ Slovak Army RM-70 MLRS launching rockets
- 01:32 ~ Polish Army AHS KRAB self-propelled artillery on the move
- 01:46 ~ Czech Army JTACs directing US Air Force jet from observation point
- 01:53 ~ Finnish Army JTACs directing US Air Force jet from observation point
- 02:12 ~ Finnish JTAC and US Army soldier
- 02:18 ~ US Army soldiers practising dry-fire artillery missions
- 02:45 ~ ARRC higher headquarters during exercise
- 02:57 ~ Soundbite: British Army Brigadier Matt Birch, Chief of Joint Fires and Influence, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. “Exercise DYNAMIC FRONT is a fantastic opportunity for lots of NATO nations to come together with their artillery and demonstrate how we bring them together rapidly and deliver battle-winning effect.”
- 03:07 ~ Soundbite: Brigadier Matt Birch. “It’s all about delivering more massive firepower to try and defeat the enemy. And we do that by various methods. We’ve got specialist communications. The Artillery Systems Cooperation Agreement is a way that all the different nations can digitally speak to each other. We then have liaison officers as well that reinforce that, to make sure we achieve the effects that we want on the enemy, at the time when we want it.”
- 03:34 ~ Soundbite: Brigadier Matt Birch.“Yes, the current operational situation in Europe demonstrates the compelling nature to deliver artillery effectively. Artillery, like any technology, continues to evolve. We need to make sure that we are at the cutting edge of it, so that we can use it to the best effect, and make sure all our people remain trained to it, no matter which NATO nation they come from. And this is therefore a unique opportunity to come together, validate the previous training that’s happened, and continue to allow us to develop and be at that cutting edge of technology.”
- 04:04 ~ Soundbite (Slovak): Captain Peter Kalna, 54th MLRS Battalion. “For our soldiers, first of all, it’s an excellent opportunity to practise capabilities that we are not able to perform in our training areas for space reasons. But it’s also an excellent opportunity to work with and gain experience from our Alliance colleagues.”
- 04:24 ~ Soundbite (Slovak): Captain Peter Kalna.“Establishing this cooperation with US troops but also with Alliance troops a prerequisite to build up our capabilities and become interoperable when deployed with our colleagues in any operation, whether on the territory of the Slovak Republic or somewhere else.”
- 04:45 ~ Soundbite: US Army Staff Sergeant William Bainter, 1-41 Field Artillery Battalion. “We came out here to reinforce our NATO Allies in the region, and to prevent or deter Russian aggression any further.”
- 04:53 ~ Soundbite: Staff Sergeant William Bainter. “Being an artilleryman, you know, going out shooting, and then pulling that piece back into the hide so it’s not being hit by counter-fires – they do the exact same thing. It looks like us out there shooting, so it really does provide that extra level of security knowing that, hey, not only are we doing this the way you guys do it, but we’re doing it as accurately as possible.”
Editor’s Footnote: We were invited out to Grafenwöhr by USAREURAF for the DYNAMIC FRONT 2022 Distinguished Visitors Day and media facility but unfortunately prior commitments prevented either Carl or myself attending the event.