HOOD A-Z

1-21 FA Conducts GATE II Equipment Draw

11 January 2010

By SFC Farrin W. Kerr, HHB, 1-21 Field Artillery Battalion



Gate II Draw

Photo by SFC Farrin W. Kerr

Soldiers of the 1-21 Field Artillery Battalion conducting maintenance on the launchers they received during Gate II draw





Gate II Draw

Photo by SFC Farrin W. Kerr

Soldiers of the 1-21 Field Artillery Battalion conducting maintenance on the launchers they received during Gate II draw


FORT HOOD, Texas - The weather was cold and the motor pool lights shined bright in the darkness of the early morning, but the outdoor conditions did not deter the Soldiers from the start of their mission. January 11would become a very busy day for the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery as the GATE II equipment draw began for the unit.

GATE II equipment draw was the continuation of equipment reassigned to the unit from MANTECH Corporation. MANTECH assumed control of the equipment while 1-21 FA conducted detainee and civil affairs missions in Iraq from April 2008 to July 2009. While maintaining control of the machinery and components that construct a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Battalion, MANTECH refurbished and repaired the equipment to ensure proper operations. This action allowed the Soldiers of 1-21 FA to focus on the mission in Iraq and to receive high quality equipment upon return to Fort Hood, Texas.

Soldiers of the unit were excited to get their equipment back, as many of them had not worked on or in the M270A1 MLRS or M1068 Fire Direction vehicles since 2007. The mechanics were anxious to see the condition of the vehicles as it is their primary mission to maintain and upkeep them on a daily basis. Sgt. 1st Class Shane Mote, 1-21 FA Battalion Motor Sergeant said, “The Soldiers of the battalion were so enthusiastic about receiving the equipment that morning. We had so many Soldiers on hand that we were ahead of schedule during the equipment draw. MANTECH slowly caught up and by the afternoon we [MANTECH and 1-21 FA] were working well together to get the equipment inspection and signed for.”

The 1st Battalion 21st Field Artillery will begin training in February with their new equipment. Section, platoon, battery and battalion certifications will follow in the months ahead allowing the battalion to become certified to perform any MLRS mission assigned by the United States Army. The Soldiers of 1-21 FA are proud of their equipment and are ready for any challenge to be faced in the upcoming months. As Mote stated, “We are getting the job done and setting the standards for the rest of the brigade to follow.”