Leaders from Northwest Arkansas communities watched as a M109A6 “Paladin” fired a salvo of rounds during a community relations event on Thursday conducted by the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center during the unit’s annual training.
The event consisted of a live fire from the 142nd’s Paladins and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, Static Displays provided by units within the brigade and words from Col. Troy Galloway, commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade.
“We have these events for two big reasons,” Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski, operations officer for the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade. “First, is this gives a chance for us to bring in local leaders and have them see what they’re local soldiers are doing when they come to train. The second part is this acts as a great recruiting tool for us to build advocacy in the community and to help us grow the unit.”
Representatives from the Northwest Arkansas Council, Camp Alliance and the state House of Representatives were present for the event as well as Northwest Arkansas business leaders and school district administrators.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” said Mike Malone, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council, who attended Thursday’s event. “It’s a great opportunity to come and meet members of our community who do such a great job of protecting us and keeping our nation safe.”
The Arkansas National Guard has been called out for virtually every natural disaster in the past century, including floods, tornadoes and ice storms. Most recently, The Arkansas National Guard provided disaster relief to the people impacted by the destruction from the tornadoes in Central Arkansas.
“If called upon, we will respond,” Galloway said. “These guardsmen are a great part of the community. Events like this act as a reminder to the community of our capabilities and a chance for the soldiers to engage with the population that they are entrusted to serve.”