Op HERRICK 13, 7 Para RHA
7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA) deployed on Op HERRICK 13 with clear tasks; the provision of joint fires to the Battle Groups, precision targeting, and to partner the Afghan National Army (ANA) Artillery.
7 Para RHA formed the backbone of the Joint Fires and Targeting Group (JFTG) deployed on Op HERRICK 13, and was augmented from a number of regiments from across the Royal Artillery, in particular 3 RHA, and other individuals from across the Army and RAF; plus a detachment of 15 Australian Gunners.
Fully supported and mentored by other experienced military targeteers the 7 Para RHA team successfully developed targeting at the Task Force level. This hindered the insurgent’s ability to conduct operations within central Helmand, thereby increasing the security space for other lines of operation to progress. H Para Bty and those batteries with ground holding units also provided the battlespace management necessary to enable the integration and deconfliction of joint fires and ISTAR assets with manoeuvre, plus additional air and aviation traffic.
Fire Support Teams (FSTs) provided support across a number of Areas of Operation. The FSTs also operated alongside additional teams from the USMC Army Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies (ANGLICOs), and many operational benefits were afforded as a result of this strong relationship.
The JFTG’s 105mm Light Guns demonstrated the continuing need for responsive, agile, 24/7 guaranteed and all-weather capability. The Light Gun proved its worth, whether providing HE for support in the most demanding of contacts, or smoke to screen and illumination to find or mark. The gun lines of G and I Para Bty RHA, J (Sidi Rezegh) Bty RHA and 1st Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery performed to the highest standards.
F Para Bty RHA’s gun line mentored and partnered the ANA Artillery of 3/215 Brigade, enabling Afghan Warriors to fire the D30 in support of ANA and coalition forces on the ground. Real progress was made in terms of supporting the ANA to move towards achieving their own sustainable and organic artillery system, as part of an Afghan all arms combat grouping.
This was a demanding tour that witnessed a step-change in the development and application of front-footed precision targeting at both Battle Group and Task Force level. This ensured that, when in concert with intelligent Battle Group ground manoeuvre and the development of the Afghan Police, the insurgency was increasingly placed on the back foot.