Soldiers from Fort Campbell in Kentucky have been in the Lawton area for the past ten days preparing to deploy but before they head to Afghanistan, they're getting some crucial training at Fort Sill.
Lieutenant Colonel Tim Shaffer, Battalion Commander for the 2nd 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, says it is all about saving lives as soldiers learn about the Counter Rockets, Artillery, and Mortar system or C-RAM.
He says this weapons system will help save many lives.
"These soldiers deploying means that some soldier, some airmen, a civilian contractor gets home alive and is not injured by indirect fire," Lt. Col. Shaffer says.
The C-RAM system is used to detect incoming rounds in the air before they hit their targets on the ground.
Lt. Col. Shaffer says, "It's a dangerous operation. That's a lot of ammo going in. A lot of moving parts. They're off the ground. Very easy to slip, fall, somebody get a hand caught in the wrong place. It's about force protection. It's about everybody knowing what's going on and taking care of our soldiers."
He says this joint training at Fort Sill is essential to ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians overseas.
"So them being out here validating what we're doing, sharing their experiences with us has been absolutely critical to this training being successful," Lt. Col. Shaffer says. "It's all about communication. You can hear the communication, inner team, going on behind me. Everything we do is cross talk. Make sure that everybody around us knows what's going on."
Important training in Texoma that will help get these soldiers through this next deployment and back to American soil safely.
"...Absolutely confident in this Battalion's ability to deploy, execute our mission, protect our soldiers and bring them home," Lt. Col. Shaffer says.
During Monday's two live fire training exercises, the C-RAM fired more than 700 rounds in the matter of seconds, effectively destroying its targets both times.
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