Recent Unit Highlights
The battalion’s focus in 2014 included individual readiness, and unit reorganization of the current force structure. Newly configured gun sections, fire direction crews and support personnel honed their military occupational specialties in preparation for consolidated training exercises in a tactical environment.
Annual training was conducted at Fort Riley, May 31 - June 14. The howitzer crew members of Batteries A and C completed 150 fire missions, safely firing 500, 155mm high-explosive projectiles. Throughout annual training in June, Battery E (Target Acquisition), 161st Field Artillery, Great Bend, provided counter-battery target acquisition, meteorological data and survey support for the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery and the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery.
The 1161st Forward Support Company provided maintenance support during annual training preparation and contributed to the success of 11 Paladins to be fully mission capable.
On June 1, members of the 1-161st FA coordinated and executed the move and consolidation of Company B and Detachment 1, Company B, 1-161st Field Artillery from Paola and Lenexa to the Abilene armory. The consolidation was an effort to better align Kansas Army National Guard force structure in a manner that enhances readiness, mission command and domestic support. This operation was a major move of equipment and personnel that was executed simultaneously with annual training. The battalion successfully moved thousands of dollars worth of equipment over several days without incident, loss or damage. Detachment 1, Battery A in Liberal, also relocated, consolidating the unit’s equipment and personnel with Battery A in Dodge City.
As of July 15, the battalion had also received a new higher headquarters designated the 130th Field Artillery Brigade, Manhattan.
From July 1-Sept. 30, the battalion conducted a recruiting surge, utilizing community support and localized recruiting events to gain enlistments into the battalion. The surge included several armory open house events this past summer, providing community awareness of the local armories in support of the state’s operation, “Summer Recruiting Surge.” Each unit’s armory provided static displays, such as M109A6-Paladin, M1068A3-Standard Integrated Command Post System and section crews. The battalion provided equipment and soldier support to several other community events such as the Kansas State Fair, the Wichita River Festival and Miss Kansas Pageant. The units and local recruiters obtained 106 possible soldier leads and gained three new recruits this fiscal year.