‘Hamilton’s Own’ awards Top Gun, Top FDC to troops
Lt. Col. Scott Nolan, commander, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt., far left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Espinosa, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt., far right, pose with the Top Fire Direction Center winners of the Top Gun section in the battalion’s motor pool Aug. 16 at Fort Riley. Photo by: Spc. Takita Lowery, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Spc. Takita Lowery
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Eleven Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division were recognized in a joint award ceremony for Top Gun and Top Fire Direction Center at the battalion's motor pool Aug. 16 at Fort Riley.
Six Soldiers in the 4th Section, 1st Platoon, Battery D, 1st Bn., 5th. FA Regt. won the title of Top Paladin Gun, and five Soldiers in 1st Pltn., Btry. D, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt. won the Top Fire Direction Center award.
Winning the title of Top Gun is a time-honored tradition in the life of a field artilleryman.
"The battalion is rigorously focused on excellence, and today we're here to recognize the excellence of our top Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Scott Nolan, commander, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt.
Soldiers competing for the title of Top Gun had to complete a list of tasks, which included a written test, Artillery Skills Proficiency Test, and they had to pass the Table 1 to 6 gunnery range.
To make the competition even more challenging, the battalion also incorporated an Army Physical Fitness Test and a M4 weapons qualification range.
Out of the 16 crews that competed for the Top Gun award, the winning crew with the highest average edged out 15 other crews and won by four points.
"I give all the recognition and props to the Soldiers for all the hard work and training that went into their preparation for the competition," said Sgt. Richard Phillips, chief gunner, 4th section, 1st Pltn., Btry. D, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt.
The Soldiers who won the Top Fire Direction Center award went through the same training process, which included a written exam, with all the manuals calculating firing solutions by hand using slide rulers; the big firing tables, which have all the algorithms for calculations; and they had to do math by hand to ensure they could still provide fire support in case the computer went down.
"My guys were pretty excited because they worked so hard," said Sgt Gilberto Sanchez, crew chief, 1st Pltn., Btry. D, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt. "I just want to thank the section for putting forth 100-percent effort in earning this award."
"We have to be on our game every day to make sure those rounds land where they're supposed to," added Maj. David Ward, executive officer, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt. "We take pride in being the best, and we recognize the best section by awarding them."