VILSECK, Germany –
He assists the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, 56th Artillery Command, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and all the units assigned to U.S. Army Europe and Africa. He’s an expert on missiles, artillery rounds, small caliber ammunition and everything in between. And he’s assigned to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade.
Lawrence Hill is a Joint Munitions Command Logistics Assistance Representative (Quality Assurance Specialist Ammunition Surveillance) assigned to 405th AFSB’s Army Field Support Battalion Germany. As the only JMC LAR on the continent, he trains, coaches and mentors Soldiers on the proper handling, storage, movement and turn-in of ammunition – everything from Patriot and Hellfire missiles to 30 mm, 7.62 mm and 5.56 mm ammunition rounds.
Hill served 10 years as an active duty ammunitions specialist and noncommissioned officer, five years as an Army Depot Quality Assurance Specialist Ammunition Surveillance – or QASAS – and five years as an ammunition LAR. With 20 years of ammo experience, he’s the Army’s expert in Europe when it comes to sending rounds downrange.
“I train, mentor and advise Soldiers, civilians and contractors on the regulatory requirements when dealing with the issue, surveillance, shipping and handling, distribution, maintenance, storage, accountability, and disposal of various types of conventional ammunition, missile systems and ordnance,” said Hill. “I provide supported units with advice and guidance to assist them in attaining and sustaining ammunition readiness, to include analyzing, advising, assisting and training in all areas of ammunition logistics.”
Hill provides advice and guidance to U.S. Army Europe and Africa units on the Patriot, Javelin, Hellfire and TOW missiles as well as 105 and 155 mm artillery canon rounds. He’s also an expert ammunitions LAR for 40 mm grenade launchers, 30 mm autocannon Apache machine guns, crew served machine guns, small caliber rifles, sniper weapons and more.
“My primary focus is always ammunition and explosives safety to help reduce the probability and limit the damage caused by unintended incidents,” Hill said. “During ammunition and explosives operations – such as the placement of ammunition supply at a designated holding area – it’s all about safety awareness to keep the threat levels down but also win the fight.”
Hill, who once served at Miesau Army Depot as a QASAS, is now a liaison between the combat units in Europe and Joint Munitions Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.
“I am JMC’s face to the field here in the U.S. Army Europe and Africa area of operations – for example, during a malfunction investigation,” Hill said.
“I report any and all incidents of a malfunction back to JMC,” said Hill. “They may do a low level restriction or let us know what needs to be done next.”
If a restriction is issued by JMC, Hill will know about it right away. And as a direct link to the commanders in the field, Hill can cut the time it takes for the restriction information to reach those commanders in half, he said.
Another important expertise Hill brings to U.S. Army Europe and Africa is ammunition transportation. Being in Europe, the movement of ammunition through multiple countries across multiple borders is quite common, and Hill is well versed in these types of operations. He knows the requirements and restrictions for each country as well as all Department of Defense and Army requirements.
Most importantly, Hill knows ammunition must be respected.
“Ammunition will either win the fight or lose the fight,” he said. “Ammunition doesn’t understand the difference between friendly and foe. If it’s not handled correctly, not stored correctly, not transported correctly – somebody will get hurt.”
“I look at our Soldiers on the battlefield as if they were my own children. I have a son-in-law serving at Fort Hood, and I want to ensure that when he or any Soldier strikes the primer, the ammunition will go off safely and effectively,” Hill said.
“I’m not 18, 19 or 20 years old anymore, and physically I’m not as capable as I once was, but I have a lot of knowledge that I can share with Soldiers that is critical in the environment they operate,” he said.