September 14, 2015 By Army News Service -
More than two decades have passed since the first M119 howitzer rolled off the production line at Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, or RIA-JMTC, yet it remains one of the Army’s primary direct and indirect fire support assets. This lightweight, air-mobile, towed howitzer has been the workhorse for the Army’s infantry brigade combat teams’ direct support artillery battalions. Throughout the past 13 years, it has seen extensive use in both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, or OEF and OIF. The Army has employed this howitzer in some of the most austere conditions in the world, firing multiple-round, high-angle, high-charge missions on a daily basis in support of combat troops. High-angle fire is used for firing into or out of deep defilade such as that found in heavily wooded, mountainous and urban areas. It is also used to fire over high-terrain features near friendly troops. To counteract the effects of these high operational-tempo combat conditions and to increase the survivability of the howitzer, the Project Manager for Towed Artillery Systems, or PM TAS, which manages the M119A3 howitzer within the Program Executive Office for Ammunition, or PEO Ammo, has developed an ongoing system modernization program.