By Spc. Collin MacKown | 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery Regiment, 75th Field Artillery Brigade, participated in Ivy Mass, a joint force live-fire exercise on June 8, 2022.
The 75th Field Artillery Brigade traveled to Fort Carson from Fort Sill, Oklahoma to contribute to the success of Ivy Mass and prove that mass fires can be managed at the divisional level.
Ivy Mass demonstrates and validates the 4th Infantry Division’s ability to converge multi-echelon operations alongside joint service partners to engage a simulated enemy at all levels of the battlespace: on the ground, in the in the air, in space and in cyberspace.
This marks the first time in divisional history that joint assets are controlled at the divisional level to enable ground-to-space effects as part of a unified mission.
Capt. Jasmine Winters, commander of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery Regiment, 75th Field Artillery Brigade, said her unit is particularly special just because it is armed with rocket systems High Mobility Artillery (HIMARS). HIMARS was crucial for
Ivy Mass is one of many pieces of a very large and cohesive mission that engages all levels of the battlespace.
“Ivy Mass is an incredible opportunity to prove a concept of warfare combat that we can integrate surface and air fires at the divisional level. Specifically, when we talk about surface and air fires, we’re not just talking about ‘cannon artillery, we’re talking about rocket artillery,” Winters said. “There are a lot more considerations when it comes to security and planning.”
Winters’ brigade is tasked with supporting III Corps, but most of their training is conducted at the brigade level and below.
Supporting a division is a first for Winters and many of his soldiers.
“It’s great to have that experience and be able to compete at all levels like they normally would,” Winters said.
The HIMARS is known for its “shoot-and-scoot” combat rhythm, where the system stops to fire and then moves to a new location to fire again, a method that proves its mobility and reliability for the force. This vehicle can propel ammunition approximately 50 miles, three to four times farther than the division’s own M777 howitzer cannons.
1st sergeant. David Yates, First Sergeant of Alpha Battery, 1st Bn, 14th FA Reg., 75th FA Bde., was grateful to visit and support 4th Inf. Div. because he was able to show how effective HIMARS are for large-scale military operations.
“Typically, HIMARS will be used at the very start of a battle to shape the battlefield and make sure we gain air superiority,” Yates said. “We can show what a HIMARS brings to combat, and when you talk about long-range precision fire, the 75th Field Artillery Brigade is where it’s at.”
The 4th Inf. Div. works closely with the 75th Field Artillery Brigade for Ivy Mass, as the 75th is the only battalion in III Corps with HIMARS capabilities. The 4th Inf. Div. welcomed them with open arms and understood the critical force-multiplying element they exhibited within Ivy Mass.
“Words cannot express how much I appreciate the support we have received from the 4th Inf. Div. said Winters. “Having all levels of leadership ready to come out and talk to my soldiers shows them how much they really appreciate being here.”
Ivy Mass provides readiness through large-scale simulated combat and hopes to shape the future of combat for not just the 4th Inf. Div., but for the whole army.
As the army transitions to division being the unit of action, Ivy Mass demonstrates that the 4th Inf. Div. can coordinate multi-domain effects at all levels, including HIMARS. The division is better prepared for the possibility of large-scale combat operations – and better prepared to fight and win the nation’s wars.