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Hamel retired from 53 Bty

Hamel retired from 53 Bty
Gunners from the School of Artillery’s support battery, 53 Bty, made history when they fired the last Hamel guns for the final time late last year

Troop Commander Lt Adrian Parry said the guns were withdrawn at the end of 2014, with 53 Bty being the Army’s last remaining unit to hold the 105mm L119 light gun.

“The guns were used at the School of Artillery in support of forward observer training and remained in service with 53 Bty until the 105mm ammunition stocks were cleared,” he said.
“The entire fleet has now been replaced by the 155mm M777A2, which incorporates a full digital thread from the observer to the guns.
“The final field exercise marked the last live firing of the guns while in service with the RAA.”
Lt Parry said the firing was in support of the Regimental Officers Gunnery Course fire planning phase.
“The men of 53 Bty have served with the light guns for most of their careers and were very excited to be a part of the final firing of the light guns,” he said.
Detachment 2IC LBdr Peter Graham said it was a privilege to be a part of history, not only for the battery, but also for the regiment.
“I am sad to see the light guns go, but the future of the RAA is looking very bright with the new digital equipment,” he said.
Gnr Ryan Grinter said he had the privilege of working with the guns and would miss them.
“It was an honour to be a part of the final live fire of the L119, however, I’m confident the M777A2 is a very worthy replacement and I look forward to working with them for some time,” he said.
The School of Artillery’s CO and chief instructor, Lt-Col David Edwards, said the 105mm guns were a robust and highly mobile gun, serving for more than 20 years in the RAA.
“The last rounds fired in November mark the end of an era for the 105mm gun as it makes way for the 155mm medium howitzers across the regiment,” he said. 
“We have now moved into the realm of a highly sophisticated and accurate digital gunnery system with M777A2, presenting the RAA with a unique opportunity to develop skills and procedures around the new equipment.”

Lt Parry said after the guns were fired for the last time they were returned to the equipment fleet manager at Bandiana.

“The Queen’s gun will be the last light gun held within the regiments and is safe in the custody of 1 Regt RAA in Brisbane,” he said.

Last updated
6 September 2016
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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