“We used data from previous fire missions as practice to make sure they got the lessons,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Kuhnert, a native of Pinckneyville, Ill., the primary instructor and a field artillery automated tactical data system specialist with 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Comabt Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The day’s lesson included entering all of the data into the AGC to double check the fire direction center team’s manual data calculations, ensuring they would still be on target if the AGC was unavailable.
“They definitely know their stuff,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Ostrander, a native of Newport News, Va., and a field artillery automated tactical data system specialist with 1st Bn., 76th FA Regt. “Everything was either right on or very close.”
Two ANA privates, Abdul Raqib and Mohammed Zia, who were classmates almost two years ago at the ANA’s artillery school and are now assigned to the 6th Kandak Artillery Coy, at COP Dash Towp, said they were happy to have the advisors who taught them many things.
“This computer is a good thing,” said Raqib, a native of Kunar province, who only spoke Dari. “It is simple and accurate.”
“I’m feeling very good about this,” said Zia, a native of Wardak province, who only spoke Pashtu. “The computer is so quick, so fast. I want to learn more.”
Jamil, the interpreter, used his experience with the AGC to overcome the language barriers during the training. He worked as an interpreter for the ANA’s artillery school previously, where he translated manuals for the D30 AGC, and helped put together lesson plans for the system.
The newly-trained ANA soldiers will teach the rest of 6th Kandak’s fire direction teams how to operate the AGC, increasing their capacity to provide security to the Afghan people.