Automation offers many advantages regardless of what you're doing, but on the battlefield, it can quite literally be a lifesaver. One of the many interesting exhibits at last week's AUSA Winter Symposium
was the M326 120-mm Mortar Stowage Kit. The highly-automated, trailer-mounted system makes it easier for soldiers to quickly set-up and take down a M120 Mortar system on the battlefield, and apart from reducing a physically gruelling team job to the press of a button, the end result is astonishingly quick. The M326 uses an electrical/hydraulic system to hoist the fully assembled 300-pound M120mm Mortar into and out of its trailer and the process is now so quick that soldiers can emplace, fire and stow the system and be on the move again in less than three minutes.