Crewmen, your M777A2 towed howitzer needs extra attention in harsh cold climates. Here are some tips to keep your howitzer firing downrange even when the temps turn frigid:
- Don’t let snow build up on the breech or breech bridge. Snow can fall between the beating face and cradle when firing, preventing the cannon assembly from returning to battery and the breech from opening.
- Extremely cold temperatures cause nitrogen pressure in the equilibrators to decrease, making it difficult to elevate the cannon tube. Manually adjust the equilibrators to develop equal handwheel loads while elevating or depressing the cannon tube. If you’re unable to properly adjust the equilibrators, notify maintenance.
Optical Fire Control Equipment
- When optical fire control equipment (OFCE) isn’t in use, properly store it in the supplied carrying cases.
- Don’t let snow or ice accumulate on OFCE.
- Only use clean rags and lens paper when cleaning OFCE.
- Moving parts might operate sluggishly in the cold. Don’t force movement beyond the equipment’s built-in stops.
- Don’t expose the panoramic telescope, M138A1 elbow telescope or M154 alignment device to sudden changes in temperature. This can cause lenses, windows and prisms to break.
Digital Fire Control System
- Keep digital fire control system equipment (DFCE) protected by using the issued covers.
- Don’t let snow or ice accumulate on DFCE.
- Only use clean rags when cleaning DFCE components. Use a camel-hair lens brush or clean cheesecloth for cleaning the chief of section display (CSD), chief of section display-replacement (CSD-R), gunner’s display (GND) and assistant gunner’s display (AGD).
- Keypads for the CSD, GND and AGD can operate sluggishly in the cold. Don’t force the buttons if they stick!
- Don’t expose the CSD, GND and AGD to sudden temperature changes. This can cause their displays to crack.
For more information, check out WP 0041-1 of TM 9-1025-215-10 (Jan 21) and WP 1334 of IETM 9-1025-215-23&P (Sep 16).