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Forward observer

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
A nice little Italian gun that I'm sad we don't throw out of the back of a herc anymore....

I always wondered why we had the thing considering we operated it on the Prairies out of portee equipped deuce and a halfs but shortly after being posted to 2RCHA was sent off to see it in its natural environment in the Alps on a two week visit to 1º Reggimento artiglieria da montagna out of Turin which at the time was a true regiment of three groups (Aosta, Susa and Mondovi) of three batteries each (one of which, their ACE Mobile Force battery, was motorized while the rest had mules. (Fun fact - it takes longer to train mule handlers than it takes to train junior artillery officers)

Biggest lesson learned was that you do NOT FOLLOW a battery of eighty mules up narrow mountain trails unless your hotel room has a really good bidet in which you can hose down your boots before trying to take them off. ;D (Fun fact two - when shooting in the mountains, quite often the angle of sight [angle barrel is set at to adjust in the difference of height between the gun and the target] is greater than the elevation [angle barrel is set at to adjust for the range from the gun to the target] - something you never saw on the Prairies (or even Petawawa).

:cheers:

 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
I always wondered why we had the thing considering we operated it on the Prairies out of portee equipped deuce and a halfs but shortly after being posted to 2RCHA was sent off to see it in its natural environment in the Alps on a two week visit to 1º Reggimento artiglieria da montagna out of Turin which at the time was a true regiment of three groups (Aosta, Susa and Mondovi) of three batteries each (one of which, their ACE Mobile Force battery, was motorized while the rest had mules. (Fun fact - it takes longer to train mule handlers than it takes to train junior artillery officers)

Biggest lesson learned was that you do NOT FOLLOW a battery of eighty mules up narrow mountain trails unless your hotel room has a really good bidet in which you can hose down your boots before trying to take them off. ;D (Fun fact two - when shooting in the mountains, quite often the angle of sight [angle barrel is set at to adjust in the difference of height between the gun and the target] is greater than the elevation [angle barrel is set at to adjust for the range from the gun to the target] - something you never saw on the Prairies (or even Petawawa).

:cheers:

Yeah, I was with the ACE Mobile Force in Norway for a few winters. The Italian Alpini's guns were the only ones they could bring into action fast off roads because they were so light. It was like having a heavy, more accurate and longer range, mortar battery in direct support.

Aaaaaaand it's official... you and I have dragged this thread well off the beaten path! ;)
 

Old Sweat

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FJAG is correct on both counts (we were on the attachment together) but as I was raised o a farm, I knew better than follow a large number of biggish herbivores up a trail. Or at least to watch where I am putting my feet.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
Yeah, I was with the ACE Mobile Force in Norway for a few winters. The Italian Alpini's guns were the only ones they could bring into action fast off roads because they were so light. It was like having a heavy, more accurate and longer range, mortar battery in direct support.

Aaaaaaand it's official... you and I have dragged this thread well off the beaten path! ;)

I'll take it a bit further. At the time our D Bty 2 RCHA also used L5's back in the 70's. You really could put them in some tight spots (with 2 legs cranked) and they gave you a range of 10,500m with 33 lbs of steel and TNT. Useful tool. To give them a bit more mobility, the gun tractors there were M548 portees. (although I sometimes think that most of my time there was spent with Hueys and Voyageurs as our gun tractors - especially on winter exercises.)

(Small correction. Just looked at OldSweat's article in the 1973 Gunner again and noted that each of the 1st Mountain Artillery Regts' groups only had two batteries each.)

:cheers:
 

Old Sweat

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The M548 as a porter vehicle was a good idea that wasn't. The fuel line ran under the floor and tended to freeze. We used to keep the engine running 24/7, but eventually there would be enough condensation to freeze the fuel system. The only recourse was to recover the vehicle to a heated building and wait at least 72 hours before draining the fuel and refilling. We were using C1s at the time as cracks had been detected in the barrels of our L5s, so we were towing our guns. St Barbara must have shaken her head in disbelief when she was the Battery CP and several echelon vehicles pressed into service as gun tractors.
 

FJAG

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I did a quick search of a couple of issues of the Gunner because I thought that there was a time we also used the BV202 (I think we had them at the time. It was before the 206 came into service) but had no luck. Did come across the article on our trip to Italy that you wrote as well as one by me on how we were using individual gun MV settings with FACE. That's got to be my first ever published article.  ;D

:cheers:
 

LWH

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With D Bty in Norway on an AMF (L) FTX followed by a practice camp in Feb/Mar 1984 we used BV-202s as gun tractors for our L5s, recce vehs and the CP.  Came with Norwegian drivers, complete with their bag of straw to sleep on, along with grey wool blankets.  Nothing but the best for conscript troops! 

I recall we made up an air mattress and sleeping bag set for our driver so he could ditch the straw.  Figured if anyone should get a good sleep each night it was him!
 

Just_A_Guy

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what is the life expectancy these days? how dangerous is it being a fire support officer in the Canadian military?
 

mariomike

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Just_A_Guy said:
how dangerous is it being a fire support officer in the Canadian military?

Michael O'Leary said:
If by FSO you mean Fire Support Officer, the Canadian term is Forward Observation Officer (FOO). Artillery officers in the FOO position or role do their job with forward units. Search the forums, their role and responsibilities have been discussed.

Google - site:army.ca FOO

Including this thread from yesterday: https://army.ca/forums/threads/116310.0.html
 
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