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Jed Boal reportingThe 222nd Field Artillery Battalion from Southern Utah is in the midst of critical military exercises at Camp Williams.
The 222nd, or triple-deuce, has not been called to combat since the Korean War. But these members of the National Guard know that can change very quickly.
The 222nd Field Artillery Battalion is firing live rounds this week, and waiting for orders that could put them on the battlefield in Iraq.
The 500 members of the triple-deuce must work as a find-tuned team, from receiving target locations to firing the shells from the Howitzers.
Lt. Col. Larsen/222nd Field Artillery Battalion: "WE TRY TO RACHET UP THAT INTENSITY LEVEL EVERY DAY, AND MAKE THE TRAINING MORE RIGOROUS AS WE GO ALONG TO MAKE IT MOR REALISTIC."
They shoot 155 mm rounds at targets they cannot see, enemy weapons or bases, and provide fire support for ground troops. They know soon that may be their mission in the Persian Gulf.
Sgt. Roden/222nd Field Artillery Battalion: "IT CREATES A GREATER SENSE OF URGENCY. I THINK EVERYONE REALIZES THIS IS FOR REAL."
Jed Boal/Eyewitness News: "LIKE ALL AMERICAN WEAPONRY, THESE HOWITZERS HAVE COME A LONG WAY IN THE LAST 12 YEARS, SINCE THE FIRST GULF WAR. THEY'RE MUCH MORE AUTOMATED AND MUCH MORE MOBILE. THEY CAN SHOOT AND MOVE, AND THAT APPEARS TO BE A REAL ASSET IF THEY GO TO BATTLE IN IRAQ."
Lt. Col. Larsen/222nd Field Artillery: "WE KEEP AN EYE ON DEVELOPMENTS THERE AND THAT HELPS US TAKE OUR JOBS SERIOUSLY HERE. THE MORE RIGOROUS WE ARE HERE, THE MORE THESE GUYS WILL SURVIVE AND COME HOME."
Sgt. Pendleton/222nd field Artillery Battalion: "WITH THE USE OF THE DIGITAL COMPUTER, WE CAN DELIVER MORE ACCURATE FIRE IN A TIMELY FASHION."
The soldiers say they accept that they could be in the line of fire within a matter of weeks.
Sgt. Roden/222nd Field Artillery Battalion: "I WOULDN'T HAVE SIGNED ON IF I HADN'T REALIZED THAT WAS A POSSIBILITY."
The Battalion will fire approximately 700 rounds today and tomorrow. Other units will train with live rounds Wednesday and Thursday, so it will be a noisy week at the south end of the valley.