Fort Sill re-activates artillery regiment
FORT SILL, Okla. (KSWO) - An Air Defense Battalion with a lineage tracing back to WWII and Vietnam is being re-activated and will be the forerunner of laser defense weaponry for the United States Army.
The Fighting Aces 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery regiment became a member of the Lawton Fort Sill community during a color uncasing ceremony Friday morning.
The unit was deactivated after Vietnam, but welcomed as Fort Sill’s first fighting aces in over 50 years.
It’s the first of it’s kind in the United States to incorporate the new Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, M-SHORAD, laser weaponry that has also been in use by U.S. Military overseas.
Battalion commander Alex Corby said how the new technology in use at Ft. Sill will be the first of its kind.
“We’ll be the first and only, for the time being, directed energy, or laser weapon battalion that’s out there,” Corby said. “In addition to the M-SHORAD systems that Germany has. We’ll be getting the proof of concept and demonstration by this upcoming fall.”
Other units from across the nation are planned to make the same advances as the Fighting Aces.
U.S. soldiers and their families, came to Fort Sill to be apart of the battalion.
They’re starting off with around 400 soldiers with more expected to join their ranks.
Colonel Corby said this is an important opportunity for both Fort Sill and Lawton.
“I’m glad that it’s back,” Corby said. “I’m glad that we’re making an investment back into short ranged air defense for the Army. And we’re making a strong investment into the Lawton Community and Oklahoma in general. And I think it’s a very unique and positive opportunity.”
Veterans who served in the Fighting Aces were in attendance for the re-activation ceremony.
The unit dates back to battles in the Pacific Theatre in WWII and in Vietnam. It was deactivated after the Vietnam War ended.
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