U.S. Army advisors assigned to 4th Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (1st SFAB), traveled to La Guajira region of Colombia alongside the Colombian Army’s Fire Support Command, in mid-December 2022, to assess their procedures and technical prowess in planning and executing field artillery missions using 155mm Howitzer cannons.
It was the first time in 1st SFAB’s history in South America that advisors have partnered with Field Artillery Battalion 1 (BAACA 1). The team was brought in specifically for a live fire event where Colombia’s BAACA 1 drilled their cannon crews using live ammunition.
U.S. military advisors stood side by side with their partners throughout the planning process to the coordination center to rounds being loaded and lanyards pulled to firing rounds for training, and later the advisors provided feedback to help the organization improve.
“This was the most rewarding mission that our team has accomplished as a direct result of working with such an eager and motivated partner,” said U.S. Army Captain Joseph Dang, a field artillery advisor assigned to 4th Battalion who helped with guidance during BAACA 1.
According to Capt. Dang, BAACA 1 is in a unique position because they are spearheading efforts to modernize Colombia’s field artillery capabilities and are playing an important role in the Colombian Army as they pursue NATO certification.
Advisors assigned to 1st SFAB enjoy a ongoing presence in Colombia and work every day to connect the nations and their militaries through engagements such as these.
“Field Artillery advising is the center of what it takes to ensure our multinational partners are able to fight in a combined arms environment,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Secrest, commander of 4th Battalion, 1st SFAB and senior field artillery advisor.
“We don’t go to war as a nation without a coalition and it’s important that we are able to work with each and every nation we partner with,” added Lt. Col. Secrest. “Our work in doctrine and developing interoperability does much to increase the capability of the future coalitions.”
Since the U.S. Army activated the 1st SFAB in 2018, its primary focus has been to build interoperability with partner nations and their security forces. Doing so plays an important role in achieving national strategic objectives worldwide.