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September 26, 2014 at 10:31am

2nd Inf. Div. Artillery (DIVARTY) re-activated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell of the 7th ID hands Col. Philip Raymond and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Cohen the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery's (DIVARTY) unit colors at the unit's re-activation ceremony Sept. 25. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

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"We're going back to the future here, it's like I'm looking for the DeLorean," said Col. Philip Raymond, new commander of the newly re-activated 2nd headquarters, better known as a DIVARTY, overseas training for all artillery units supporting the second infantry division.

The unit's long history spans almost a century. Established in 1917, it saw action in both world wars, provided support for American and Korean troops during the Korean War. After the end of the Korean War, it relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington, where it made its home for decades.

But in November 2006 the Army deactivated its DIVARTYs so that artillery assets could be more easily dispersed in support of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "(Artillery units) have gotten used to deploying as modular units," explained Raymond.

But as American forces began drawing down in Iraq, the Army began re-evaluating its organizational needs. In December 2012 Maj. Gen. James McDonald, commander of the Fires Center of Excellence, submitted a proposal to bring back Field Artillery command headquarters.

In his remarks during the DIVARTY's dedication ceremony, Gen. Maj. Terry Ferrell, Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, said that this is part of the process of working to "restructure and re-right our forces" in response to the draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's about planning for the future.

"So far, the 2nd Infantry Division's DIVARTY is one of three to be reactivated, with more on the way.

Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll, the 7th Infantry Division's public affairs officer, explained that "this helps with standardizing training and procedures for units across the region."

>>> Col. Philip Raymond, incoming commander of the newly re-activated 2nd Infantry Division Artillery (DIVARTY) chats with Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza after the unit's reactivation ceremony Sept. 25.

Raymond and his staff will oversee training for all artillery units in Washington and Alaska. This DIVARTY is regionally oriented toward threats in the Pacific Region. "I am laser focused on Korea," said Raymond.

But, he specified that subordinate artillery battalions that answer to the DIVARTY can be deployed elsewhere should the need arise. Raymond said that in an ever changing security environment, they are training for any contingency that may arise.

But as he comes into his new position here, he's not solely focused on threats overseas, but also wants to spend time getting to know his new home at JBLM. He's a newcomer to the Pacific Northwest. He recently completed studying at the U.S. Naval War College, and said he and his family are excited for the change in scenery. "We're eager to meet the community," he said.

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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