The 3rd Battalion, 27th Artillery Regiment (3-27th) deployed as the artillery support for the 24th Infantry Division during Desert Storm, assisting with the invasion of Iraq. During the assault, the 3-27th was able to take out 41 Iraqi battalions, two air defense sites, and a tank company within the first 72 hours of the engagement.
A new weapon accompanied the 3-27th in support of Desert Storm: the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). This deadly weapon platform uses rockets capable of breaking the sound barrier.
The first time the MLRS rockets were launched it created quite a scene. Soldiers unfamiliar with the weapon system dove for cover while others tried to dig foxholes to hide in.
Sgt. Maj. Jon H. Cone, a first sergeant from the 3-27th, said, "It scared the pure hell out of everybody. After that first time, it was showtime." As troops became familiar with it, the MLRS quickly became everyone's favorite artillery platform in theater.
Check out this video of MLRS in action during Desert Storm:
As the 24th infantry pushed deeper into Iraq and seized more territory, their support had to deal with deep sand conditions and unknown enemy positions.
The 3-27th was up to the task and actually ran ahead of the maneuver units, taking the initiative and executing bold attacks. Alpha battery was especially aggressive, cutting through enemy lines and attacking from inside hostile territory while other U.S. forces advanced.
One of their largest attacks was the Objective Orange assault, two Iraqi airfields situated side-by-side. The 3-27th, along with additional artillery units, were tasked with taking out 2,000 Iraqi soldiers, ten tanks, and two artillery battalions to make the infantry assault easier.
The rockets launched and struck their targets within seconds of one another, an incredible feat of accuracy and timing.
The rockets targeting enemy personnel dropped many small bomblets on the Iraqi soldiers to great effect. One of the prisoners of war captured that day, a survivor of the assault, told U.S. soldiers that the Iraqis were running to man their guns when the rockets came flying in. They thought the attack was a failure when the bombs began to explode high above them but soon realized their mistake.
The bomblets create a rain of steel and death, killing most of the soldiers in range and demolishing everything they touched.
The survivors were ready to surrender the second the infantry arrived at the airfields as they never wanted to face such a devastating attack again.
The 3-27th was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation after Desert Storm for their bravery and savagery in action.
Check out this recent video of the 2-27th training on a newer version of the MLRS called HiMARS:
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