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Feature Stories

NEWS | Feb. 10, 2020

U.S, Kuwait artillery light up the night sky

By Story by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry Task Force Spartan

UDAIRI RANGE, Kuwait –The rockets’ red glare, the rockets streaming in air lit up the night sky over a sea of sand in Kuwait.

The U.S. forces supporting Task Force Spartan and Kuwait Land Forces worked shoulder to shoulder to test their capabilities firing their respective truck-based, artillery rocket launchers.

“It’s important what we're doing here because we're working together,” said Sgt. Dexter Jones, a fire control direction chief and a liaison officer for the 115th Field Artillery Brigade during the combined exercise.

The Kuwaitis invited their American counterparts to participate in Dasman 1 as a precursor to Dasman Shield in late February.

Kuwait Land Force Maj. Mohammad B. Alafasi, a liaison fire control officer for the Kuwait and U.S. forces, agreed that the two forces working together will benefit the troops of both nations.

It's important because the two forces can learn from one another and, God forbid, in case something happens that there would be a combined operation against a common enemy, said Alfasi through an interpreter.

Over the course of five days, more than 200 troops with the two nations learned how each military works at Udairi Range along Kuwait’s northwestern border.

This interaction will be key to help deter regional aggression.

“We're increasing the interoperability, increasing the capabilities between us and Kuwait, and maximizing our readiness between our countries,” said Jones from Frederick, Colorado. “This exercise is a great showcase in our capabilities and what we can do together.”

The Task Force Spartan joint fires coordinator agreed.

“If we have to be in a fight tonight scenario, our biggest effort is to protect in an event of an invasion," said 1st Lt. Jonathon Stinnett, with the 38th Infantry Division and a fires coordinator during the exercise. "So we're basically joining artillery and learning how to combine fires, along with our Air Force fires as well.”

Not only did the countries combine to become a lethal force against a common enemy, but they also developed a bond with each other as brothers in arms and family.

“As we call them out here they're our brothers, they're our artillery brothers,” said Stinnett from Brownsburg, Indiana. “They treat us like family, and we do the same for them.”

The two countries stand ready but are ever sharpening their artillery skills in preparation for their next exercise, when they will once again light up the night sky with rockets.