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Vol. 25, No. 1

56th Field Artillery Command
Orientation Issue 1986-1 987

Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87

Pershing on the map

The 56th Field Artillery Command is a unit with a unique mission. It is the only command-sized Pershing missile
unit in the world. As such, it is a vital link in the North At.* *lantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chain of defense.
The command is composed of three Pershing Missile battalions, one infantry battalion, one support battalion, one
signal battalion, one aviation company and a Headquarters
and Headquarters battery, which includes a chemical decontamination platoon. The command also controls its own
Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.
More than 5,000 soldiers make up the command and are
stationed on six kasernes (posts) and two remote sites scattered throughout Southern Germany.

Where are we?

The six battalions in the command are stationed at three
primary locations:
Command Headquarters; HHC, Alpha and Delta companies of 38th Signal Battalion; and 2nd Battalion, 9th Field
Artillery Regiment are located in Schwabisch Gmund.
4th Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment; Charlie
Company, 38th Signal Bn.; Alpha Company 55th Support
Battalion; and Charlie Company 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry are located in Heilbronn/Neckarsulm.
1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment; HHC, Alpha
and Bravo companies 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment
and Headquarters 55th Support Battalion are located in
The companies of 2/4 Infantry provide security for each
of the Pershing battalions and are stationed throughout the
Command area - Schwabisch Gmund, Heilbronn and NeuUlm.

What to expect



A tour with the 56th Field Artillery Command is as challenging and demanding as it is personally rewarding. Because of its vital mission, a high level of performance is required from each soldier. The hours can be long as the
work tough. However, it is this selfless dedication to mission accomplishment that keeps the command in an everready status.
Field duty is often a companion to the Pershing soldier.
The entire command participates in annual fall aid spring
field problems. In addition, each battalion must go through
a Tactical Evaluation (Tac-Eval). Batteries frequent the field
throughout the year to participate in Army Readiness Training and Evaluation Programs (ARTEPs).

PERSHING CABLE is an unofficial publication authorized under the
provisions of AR-360-81, published for the personnel of the 56th
Field Artillery Command. Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the commander or the Department of the Army.
Editorial office is iocated in building 504, Bismarck Kaserne, APO
09281. Telephone: (2732) 8041895.
THE PERSHING CABLE is a monthly letterpress publication printed
by the Rems Druck, ParadiesstraOa 12, 7070 Schwabisch Gmiind,
Germany. Circulation per month is 3.000 copies. A special orientation
issue is published annually. All photographs used in this publication
are U.S. Army photos unless indicated otherwise.


Brig. Gen. Raymond E. Haddock
Public Affairs Officer
Maj. Michael G. Griffon

.....................................................................c John K. D'Amato

................................................................................ I . Carl Puwis
.............................................................S Barbara Blackburn


Battalion Reporters

PFC. Devin Davis

PFC. Stephen Schroeder
219th FA Sp4 Ron McKinney
119th FA Sp4 Jerry Merideth
419th FA Sp4 Susan Bradsberry
Chris Taylor



Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87

Pershing keeps Soviet Bear at bay

For years the Russian Bear stalked the borders of Western Europe. It was huge, bold and aggressive, for behind it
were the assembled armies of the USSR and its satellites. In
numbers and firepower it seemed almost invincible, as it
appreared poised aggressively - challenging the western
In 1986, however, the Soviets were again seated at the
bargaining table. Some of the bluster was gone. Many senior officials in the US and Europe credited the change to
the fact that the 56th Field Artillery Command (Pershing)
completed fielding 108 new Pershing 11 missiles by the end
of 1985. The Russian Bear had decided that since the West
had shown it could play rough, too - they would rather
talk at Geneva.
The USSR watched angrily as the first of 24 Pershing I
missiles were deployed to Europe in 1963, and witnessed an
increase in Pershing's maneuverability and survivability in
1969, when Pershing 1A traded in its track vehicles for
wheeled erector launchers. Ten years later, the NATO
Twin-Track Agreement made possible second upgrading of
the Pershing system, and in 1985, following 16 months of
training, testing and evaluation, 108 Pershing I1 missiles
were in place.
Although the Soviets have their own new missile systems, they know the accuracy, reliability and rapidity of
action of the Pershing I1 and therefore they have reason for
concern. The Pershing I1 is a tactical ballistic missile with a
nuclear capability, and a greater range (approximately 1,800
kilometers), increased accuracy, easier warhead yield selection, and reduced emplacement and displacement times
over the PIA system.
The Soviets also know that a weapon system is only
good as the men and women who man and maintain that
system. The Pershing I1 is manned and maintained by soldiers of the only Field Artillery Command in the United
States Army - the 56th. It was designated as a command in
January 1986, and the designation reflects the size and complexity of the organization, and the importance of the
Command's mission.
The 6,000 soldiers of the 56th Field Artillery Command
(Pershing) are based in the Schwabisch Gmiind, Heilbrond
Neckarsulm and Ulm/Neu-Ulm areas of West Germany.
They are assigned either to the Headquarters Battery, one
of the three Pershing firing batteries, an infantry, signal or
maintenance support battalion, or the command's aviation
The complex, self-sufficient command is a NATO unit
with a dual mission and chain of command. In peacetime,
the Command reports directly to the United States Army,
Europe and the United States European Command. The
mission of the 56th FA Cmd demands that it remain combat ready, with some units always alert to respond to immediate missions in a matter of minutes. The degree of the
command's combat readiness is directly proportionate to
the its effectiveness as a deterrent to war, and therefore its
mission is active, and vital to the NATO defense of Europe.
During periods of tension, or in actual war, upon the
declaration of the appropriate alert measure, the operational
command and control shifts to the NATO chain of command, with the next higher headquarters being Allied Air
Forces, Central Europe. At that point, the command's mission is to provide general nuclear support fires to the theater commander.
None of this is possible without highly trained, disciplined, physically fit and motivated soldiers. After intensive
training at schools and sites in the United States, Pershing
soldiers continue to hone their skills upon arrival in Germany, because maintaining and improving these skills keeps
the unit combat ready, and that is essential for mission a*complishment. Adding a heightened degree of realism to j
the training, squad, battery and battalion ARTEP's are conducted in the German countryside rather than in the usual
designated major training areas. A typical maneuver by units of the widely spaced Command will find Pershing soldiers passing through three or four German states before
reaching their objectives. Even anti-Pershing demonstrators
play a pan, giving infantry units belonging to the Command the surrogate "aggressor activity" they need to make
optimum use of their field training time.
The soldiers of the 56th Field Artillery Command proved their readiness in 1986, when they successfully launched eight Pershing missiles from firing ranges in White
Sands, New Mexico and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The fact
that soldiers of the 56th Field Artillery Command performed flawlessly under pressure is not surprising.
From the time of the decision to field the Pershing 11,
Pershine soldiers have found it necessarv to demonstrate

their discipline, as the command faced intense political

pressures, associated publicity, and more than 35,000 antiPershing and anti-nuclear demonstrators during 1985,
Although demonstrator activity decreased dramatically in
1986, the continuing threat of international terrorism requires the command to maintain constant vigi
high state of readiness. For instance, increased protection
for the missile has led to the addition of ballistic protection
for the system while in transit, through the use of a ballistic
shield. Autobahn screening walls have been constructed to
shield missiles and support personnel from ground based
Other construction projects, totalling more than $100
million are part of a long-range building and renovation
program to provide the best facilities for the US Army's
most modern missile system. There are construction and
modernization projetc underway at all 56th Command locations, including new motor maintenance facilities, and renovated motor pools. At missile storage areas, missile storage garages, communications and electronics facilities and
new buildings to house repair parts are under construction.
Additionally, the new facilities will provide Pershing soldiers with a safe and efficient work environment and will
aid the Command in maintaining the vast amounts of new
equipment already received and on the way.

In addition to maintaining equipment, the Command is

interested in maintaining its people, as well. Quality time
with the family, as part of an overall morale maintenance
program, receives heavy command emphasis. Located in
one of the most beautiful areas of Germany, the Command
and its soldiers enjoy the four seasons and their accompanying recreational opportunities.
Another aspect of the Command's maintenance of its
people, is the history of success experienced by non commissioned and commissioned officers with service in the
command. Pershing soldiers enjoy a high rate of selection
for promotions, commands, and advanced military school-


It is this high quality of leadership, backed by highly disciplined and trained young Pershing soldiers that makes the
Command a force to be reckoned with.
History may someday note that potential aggressors had
superior numbers of troops and equipment poised on or
near the borders of our European allies, but was held in
check because he dared not risk the consequences of an attack. The unfriendly force knew that Pershing soldiers were
combat ready and could put one or more long-range missiles into flight within minutes. They knew also that these
same units could perform their jobs with such ~ r o f i c i e n c ~
that the accuracy and effect to the strike would be devastating - Pershing I1 and the 56th Field Artillery Command
are indeed Peacemakers.

Being on a Pershing firing crew takes dedication and skill. This crew maintains its skills by operating in a field

prove that they're combat ready as they dontheir protective masks.

With one eye on the target and the other on safety, a

Dragon gunner launches his anti-tank missile downrange. -

Training is key to combat readiness and receives high priority from the chain of command. A Pershing Platoon can expect to train 75 days a year in the field.

Keeping drivers safety concious and able to drive their veh

conditions plays an important role in quick reactlon

Pershing Cable
Orientation ,slssus 86-87

The 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment has special training in rear area combat
and provides external security for the Command. Here, they dismount during from a
transport vehicle during "Operation Web Foot".

If we desire to avoid insult, we must be

able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace,
it must be known that we are at all times ready for war. George Washington
Combat readiness, in it's complete form,
is a central theme comprised of four seperate
pieces. Training, discipline, maintenance and
having fun are the four pieces, which when
properly fitted combine to form a perfect
picture of combat-ready soldiers.
Training, which is the first piece of the
combat readiness puzzle, is sub-divided into
individual and unit training. These subdivisions are further broken down into smaller,
more detailed units, which give soldiers and
their leaders more specific guidance in the
quest for combat readiness.
In individual training, there is MOS training, weapons qualification, a German Language survival course called "Headstart" and
several professional development courses for

NCO's and officers.

Unit training focuses on training to accomplish the mission. Tactical evaluations,
Army Readiness Training Programs and
convoys are elements used in training units
to be at the peak of readiness at all times.
An intensive training program is conducted through which missile skills are
maintained. All elements of the Command
participate in numerous Field Training Exercises and a variety of Command Post Exercises. A Pershing Platoon can expect 75 days
in the field.
Every member of the 56th Field Artillery
Command is a piece of the combat readiness
puzzle. Every piece has its' place. When
training is equally mixed wiih the other
three ideals in the creation of combat readiness, the end result is a combat ready soldier, battery, command and Army that is capable of defending the world against the evil
forces that threaten our way of life.

The soldier spraying this Pershing vehicle is part of the Command's Decontamination Platoon in Schwabisch Gmund. The platoon provides NBC support for all the
Command's units.

Medics rush to unload a simulated casualty during their annual Skillex. During the
weeklong exercise, medics receive a refresher course in basic combat medical

A soldier zeroes in with his weapon. Range qualifications with the M16A1, M60 and M203 and other skill qualification testing round out
the Command's complete training program.

Pershing Cable
Orientation \ssue 86-87

56th practices practical philosophy

Ever ready to move, shoot, communicate

The soldier's breath billowed visibly through the crisp
autumn air as he checked the oil level of his vehicle.
He was performing Preventive Maintenance Checks and
Services, a "PMCS", familiar to most soldiers of 56th Field
Artillery Command.
Keeping equipment operational is important.
Keeping combat ready is what maintenance is all about.
But readiness also involves people.
And, so maintaining people is as important as keeping
our vehicles running and our weapons ready to fire.
The Army needs to keep good soldiers. That's why reenlistment is so important.
Soldiers need to have high morale in order to work together efficiently.
In order to have high morale, the soldiers need to
that their hard work and devotion to duty are appreci
That's why it's important to ensure that deserving sol
receive awards.
In 1986, from January to September, the soldiers o
command received over four thousend awards, inclu
Army Achievement and Army Commendation Medals,
well as the High Performance and other incentive aw
The leadership of the 56th FA Command recognizes
soldiers need to grow professionally. As they gain
ience, they are promoted to give them the chance
Also, promotions help provide the necessary 1
that a command of 56th FA Command's importan
In order to have high morale, the soldier needs to
that the Army cares about what's important to him or
such as his or her family and spiritual health. The sol
needs to feel that the Army and the command wa
whole, healthy soldier to help accomplish it's mission
command has a variety of programs designed to ai
family and spiritual growth of the soldier.
Also, Pershing soldiers feel that they have equal opp
nities to advance and improve. Each unit in the com
has an equal opportunity representative.
All of these things are part of what keeps the com
combat ready.
Maintenance of the soldier, as well as the vehicle, w
or tent is what makes the Army an effective deterr
As General George Washington said, "To be
for war is one of the most effectual means of p

This Pershing soldier knows his unit's armorer is a stickier for attention to detail. He also knows that maintenance of his individual weapon means having a weapon he can depend on.
A protective mask is a very
important piece of equipment
in a chemical environment.
But it won't matter if the soldier can mask in 9 seconds if
it has a defect left undetected.

- - - -

struggle with tools while working on a


ton truck.

Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87

taining consistently nutritious and well-balanced meals for troops

rrison and in the field has earned these cooks awards from Brig.
d E. Haddock. It's their reward for long hours and devos the rank of Sergeant (upper right) is pinned on the coldier, he may be thinking of the extra money, but more proondering the increased responsibility that will be his as a
ted non-commissioned officer. Two soldiers of the comright), "raise their right hands" and repeat the words that
m in an Army that needs their experience and skills.

iting task. Here, two mechanics

Pershing Cable
orientation Issue 86-87

A Pershing soldier proudly carries his unit's Fit-ToFight guidon during their semi-annual Fit-To-Fight qualification test.

Discipline. The ability to stay in control

of yourself and hang in when the going gets
tough. This is the third component of combat readiness and is necessary for prompt,
trust-worthy actions in stressful situations.
Gen. John Vessey, Jr., the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D. C., once said, ". . . Trust can be
built only with discipline - organizational
discipline that comes from such things as
drill and ceremony as well as . . . the selfdiscioline that comes from the abilitv to
stand out there at attention or at ease, with
the sweat running down your nose and the
fly in your ear, and be able to stand at attention. Because in battle you'll have to do
things that are a lot harder than that.''
Soldiers of the 56th Command have found
it necessary to demonstrate their discipline

on many occasions as
intense political pressures and the publicity
which developed as a result of the NATO
decision to field the Pershing I1 missile system in Europe. Despite overwhelming support by the German government and a majority of the German people, Pershing units
at times have been the center of attention.
During 1985, they faced major demonstrations which drew more than 35 000
people to Command installations to protest
the stationing of the missile. In order to provide adequate security, soldiers were required to urovide an extra measure of dedication, stamina and discipline. Pershing soldiers have always acted professionally, and
their control has earned the admiration of
the German people and their leaders.
For the soldiers of the Command, discipline is enhanced throuht an agressive physi-

cal training program which ensures that they

maintain a high degree of physical and mental readiness. The goal of the Army PT program is to motivate soldiers to incorporate
fitness into their lifestyles. Within the 56th
Command, this goal has been met with
many soldiers making the time to train for
individual competition in VII Corps, USAREUR and All Army-level events, a testimony to their mental-and -physical
Unit cohesion and esprit de corps are enhanced through programs such as Fit-ToFight and other unit-level competitions.
The Fit-To-Fight program is a battery-level competition which provides recognition
to those units who meet the criteria - a higher than Army standard for push-ups and
sit-ups, and four-mile run in 36 minutes or

Units meeting the Fit-To-Fight criteria

are awarded the Fit-To-Fight guidon and
must re-earn it every six months.
Command soldiers also demonstrate their
tenacity and preserve unit cohesiveness in
the extra-curricular activities in which they
choose to participate.
Batteries in the command regularly take
part in events that push their soldiers to the
limits of endurance and challenge them to
keep going when they feel ready to give in.
One such event is the Hohenstaufen Military Run - a yearly military triathlon which
requires the soldier to fire an M16, fire a
German pistol and run 25 kilometers wearing combat boots and 16-pound-rucksack.
Another event is the Annual Schweizerischer Two-Day March in which the participants are required to march across 60 kilometers of mountinous Swiss countryside.
All that is done in the command is directed towards achieving combat readiness.
Chief among the principles of readiness is
discipline, because "in battle you'll have to
do things a lot harder. . ."

Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87

Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87

You got
to have
The 56th Field Artillery ~ o m k a n dbelieves that part of being a soldier - a combat
ready soldier - is allowing yourself some
time to sit back and relax. Taking the time
to let off some steam after a hard day, week,
or month, helps you to cope with the everyday pressures of your job, and makes you a
more efficient and productive soldier.
Here in the Command, emphasis is placed
on providing opportunities for the soldiers
stationed with Pershing units to have fun.
"I-laving Fun," therefore, is one of the four
principles of Combat Readines.


A ski weekend at a resort may be just the thing to lighten the pressures of the
heavy Army work load. Soldiers from the command often travel to Garmisch and
other European resorts to catch the best of the ski season.

During Fasching (above) it's not uncommon to see Germans and

Americans alike "clowning around". Fasching is after all a time to celebrate and have a good time. Organization Days (right) are more than
a fun day off, they're a chance to meet with other soldiers within the
Battalion, and their families. Soldiers find that friendly rivalries bring
them closer together.

What better time and place to take advantage of excellent skiing conditions? Many
slopes are within an hour's drive and the
Alps are only a train-ride away. Don't miss
out on sleigh-rides, tobogganing and iceskating during this festive season.
Christmas doesn't have to be spent alone
at the barracks, or outside in the cold, however. There is a popular Command program
that allows a soldier to spend the holidays
with a German family, which is happy to
share their hearth and take in a hungry and
homesick soldier.
Fasching, a German holiday celebrated
every year early in February and until Lent
is marked by numerous parties and parades
winding through cities, and spreading
cheer and confetti on the crowds of people
lining the roads.

The commands' atheletes soar to new

heights when given the chance to excell
in sports programs and special events,
like the Annual Command Olympics.


During the Summer months a good way

of cooling down is by visiting the public
Spring brings renewed interest in nature swimming areas called Schwimmbads, where
and a one of the favorite ways for Germans there are lifeguards on duty. Visting one of
to commune with nature is through volks- Germany's many beautiful lakes to picnic or
marching, or "people's walk". A volksmarch do some smooth sailing is a great way to get
can cover short or long distances, and away for a weekend, after checking to make
usually a medal is awarded to the partici- sure the lake is designated safe and is a nonrestricted area.
pants who finish the march.
Of course, a soldier can always find ways
Bowling alleys, and the enlisted and offito unwind and have fun on post. At the cers clubs are places where family and
Recreation Center he can make us of tools, friends can geht together at the end of the
materials and work space for arts and crafts. day. After hours, some excercise at the gym
He can sign out musical instruments and re- will work out the kinks in tense muscles.
serve photo labs, visit game rooms or play
A11 year long the command offers superb
billards. Rec Centers are also a soldiers con- sports programs for those who are interested
tact for upcoming special events and activi- in basketball, softball, football, or volleyball.
ties happening throught Germany. Rec CenAt the end of each sports sepon, battalion
ters can help you get tickets to concerts by
your favorite bands and special rates which teams within the command compete to see
which of them is the best.
include a bus ride the night ot the show.


Pershing Cable
Orientation issue 86-87

Soldiers of the command share good times and adventures,

proving that cohesion and old fashioned teamwork really can
help them get through those turbulent times.
From time to time soldiers can take part
in the adventures of rappeling or river rafting. Partnership events, where soldiers from
the American Army can get together with
their German counterparts for training and
competition, is another opportunity for fun,
which is both enjoyable and rewarding
Meeting the German people and getting to
know a little about their country through
groups like Kontakt, a GermadAmerican
fellowship program, is one way of making
your stay here a more rewarding experience.

Perhaps the most famous of all of Germany's celebrations is the October Fest in Munich. The October Fest is one of the grandest festivals of the year, entertaining hundreds of thousands of vistors to Germany.
Smaller fest are enjoyed by residents of almost every small and large town at about
the same time throughout the harvest season.
During the harvest months, German farmers are more than willing to take on a hired hand for a week, thanks to the command
sponsored Farm Help Program. Both farmer
and soldier gain from the learning experience and exchange of culture, while working side by side.
There's plenty to do in Germany, and
even more to do in all of Europe. This command encourages its' soldiers to explore all
the possibilities for having fun here. Whether the choice is travel, a challenger or adventure, or just rest and relaxation, it's a
possibility when stationed with the 56th
Field Artillery Command.

GermanIAmerican fests (right), promote

good relations, and allow soldiers to
spend quality time with their families.
Amusement rides, carnival games and
live musical entertainment make for enjoyable, fun-filled days in Germany.

Locally there are

that speak for the
grandeur and rich
German history. The
56th Field Artillery
Command encourages its' soldiers to
get out and explore
all that Germany has
to offer-



Pershing Cable
Orientation Issue 86-87