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CHAPTER 2
FIRE SUPPORT DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

You have a FSCOORD at each echelon of command from company through brigade. He is called the company, battalion, or brigade FSO. At brigade level, the DS battalion commander is the FSCOORD; his full-time assistant is the brigade FSO. The FSO's first obligation is to provide you with fire support that accomplishes your mission and keeps our soldiers alive in combat. His place of duty is where he best meets your needs or objectives. The FSO is in charge of the FSE. The size of your FSE depends on its tactical mission. It should be near, or collocated with, your TOC so that the FSO can easily coordinate with your staff elements. Each time you sit down with your S3 to discuss current or future plans, concepts, or courses of action (COA), your FSO should be there. At each echelon from company to corps level, your FSO or FSCOORD uses principles and guidelines to synchronize fire support with the TOC.

Other duties and responsibilities associated with your battle staff are discussed below.



COMBINED ARMS COMMANDER

The combined arms commander's duties include- -

  • Ensuring your guidance for fire support is clear. What do you want fires to accomplish, where do you want the fires, and when do you want the fires.

  • Synchronizing fire support with the scheme of maneuver.

  • Ensuring your staff comes together to integrate obstacles, reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S), fires, and maneuver.

  • Approving the fires paragraph, high-payoff target list (HPTL), and the attack guidance matrix (AGM).

  • Training your company or team (tm) commanders to know, understand, and execute targets in their zones.

  • Clearing indirect fires (usually charged to the FSO). (For additional information on the clearance of fires in the close battle, see Appendix F.)

MANEUVER BRIGADE EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The maneuver brigade executive officer (XO) conducts the brigade targeting meeting.

MANEUVER BRIGADE S2

The maneuver brigade S2's duties are to- -

  • Identify HVTs.

  • Participate in the brigade targeting meeting.

  • Develop an R&S plan that synchronizes targeting requirements with available collection assets.

  • Target known and suspected enemy positions.

  • Coordinate with electronic warfare for the nonlethal attack of targets.

  • Assist in identifying HPTs.

MANEUVER BRIGADE S3

The maneuver brigade S3's duties are to- -

  • Select combined arms engagement areas to kill the enemy.

  • Develop the synchronization matrix that includes FS.

  • Develop a decision support template (DST) with input from FSO.

  • Conduct combined arms rehearsals that fully synchronize fire plan with the scheme of maneuver.

  • Approve positioning of artillery assets in the brigade zone.

  • Conduct the brigade targeting meeting in the absence of brigade XO.

  • Help identify HPTs.

DIRECT SUPPORT ARTILLERY COMMANDER

The DS FA battalion commander is the FSCOORD for the supported brigade. His duties and responsibilities are to- -

  • Ensure accurate, timely, and effective delivery of FA fires.

  • Participate with the brigade orders group.

  • Approve the DS battalion field artillery support plan (FASP).

  • Collocate with the brigade commander during execution of a plan.

  • Participate in the brigade targeting meeting.

BRIGADE FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

The brigade FSO's duties and responsibilities are as follows:

  • With the brigade S3's help, integrates fire support into the commander's scheme of maneuver.

  • Advises the brigade commander and the brigade staff on the status of FS assets, their capabilities and limitations, and mission.

  • Participates in the tactical decision-making process as a member of the battle staff.

  • Recommends FSCMs to support the scheme of maneuver.

  • Plans fires to support, augment, and enhance critical obstacles and breaching operations.

  • During war gaming, puts the targets to acetate. Develops HPTL, with the S2 and S3, for the commander's approval.

  • Determines FS assets available. From this assessment, the FSO recommends and helps coordinate priorities and allocations of fire support.

  • Studies the enemy situation. With the help of the S2, he recommends what targets to attack (HPTs), when to attack them, and with what munitions.

  • Integrates all FS agencies supporting the overall FS plan.

  • Anticipates changes dictated by the developing battle. Recommends and coordinates revisions to the FS plan.

  • Directs the attack of targets in the priority established by you.

  • Coordinates the FS assets in your brigade zone.

  • Keeps his higher and lower FSEs or FSOs informed of the situation.

  • Establishes, operates, and displaces the FSE.

  • Supervises the TA effort of the FSE. Reports information to you and your staff, especially on enemy and friendly FS matters.

  • Helps you determine your priorities for TA employment.

  • Prepares, synchronizes, and executes your FS plan.

  • Prepares the fire support execution matrix (FSEM).

  • Coordinates with the brigade engineer for the employment of FA delivered family of scatterable mines (FASCAM).

  • Plans for and monitors the employment of COLT teams in support of brigade operations.

  • Monitors and processes requests for fire support and analyzes targets for attack by fire support.

  • Coordinates and clears fires across boundaries.

  • With the ADA officer's help, plans for the SEAD coincident with the employment of CAS and Army aviation.

  • Assists the maneuver commander in the clearance of fires.

  • Participates in the brigade targeting meeting.

  • Participates in the brigade's combined arms rehearsal and the FS rehearsal.

  • Consolidates refined TF target lists from FSOs, resolves target duplications, and produces the final target list.

PLANS/TARGETING OFFICER

The plans/targeting officer is responsible for- -

  • Assisting the brigade FSO in his duties.

  • Providing staff coordination of TA assets attached, assigned, or placed under OPCON to brigade. He also develops the AGM for the brigade commander's approval.

  • With the brigade S2's help, producing the TSS matrix for TA assets supporting the brigade.

  • Participating in the brigade targeting meeting.

BATTALION OR TASK FORCE FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

The FSO performs the same duties as the brigade FSO with the following additions and exceptions:

  • Coordinates with the TF S2 and S3 for the development of HVTs and HPTs.

  • Recommends FSCMs to support the battalion's mission.

  • Participates in the TF tactical decision-making process.

  • Modifies the HPTL and the commander's attack guidance to meet the commander's overall intent.

  • Plans targets that facilitate rapid engagement by both trained and untrained observers.

  • Participates in the brigade and TF combined arms rehearsals.

  • Participates in the FS rehearsal.

  • Ensures company or team FSOs and all other applicable FSOs, assigned or attached, participate in combined arms rehearsals.

  • Plans mortar fires and recommends mortar positions to support the scheme of maneuver.

  • Coordinates fires across boundaries.

  • Keeps the commander informed on mortar and artillery ammunition and tube status during the battle.

  • Coordinates requests for additional fire support.

FIRE SUPPORT ELEMENT

Your FSO may have several technical advisors collocated in the FSE to plan and coordinate your fire support. Representatives may include the following:

  • The S3 air receives, coordinates, and processes all close air requests. He advises the Air Force TACP of the ground tactical situation and other important Army information. At brigade level, the S3 air prioritizes close air requests.

  • The ALO provides expertise on and monitors requests for CAS and air interdiction. He keeps the FSO informed of the current status of available air support. He coordinates the employment of Army aviation resources when placed under OPCON of other maneuver HQ.

  • The ADA representative provides information on the status of air defense artillery and coordinates airspace control with the FSO.

  • The naval gunfire liaison officer (NGLO) is the liaison officer with the naval task force. He advises, monitors, and approves requests for NGF. At maneuver battalion level, the liaison officer is called the supporting arms liaison team (SALT) officer. Two firepower control teams (FCTs) are available to maneuver companies to request, observe, and adjust NGF.

  • The engineer officer is responsible for planning FA delivered FASCAM and coordinating with the FSO for emplacement. Additionally, he is responsible for coordinating FS coverage of key mine fields and obstacles. When the FASCAM is emplaced, the engineer officer determines the FASCAM safety box and disseminates the scatterable mine report. As planned locations become emplaced obstacles, he must ensure target locations are adjusted.

  • The mortar platoon leader provides technical and tactical information to the FSO.

  • The foreign liaison officer bridges the communication gap between your force and his.

  • The EW officer (brigade level only) coordinates EW activities to obtain maximum benefits.

  • A chemical officer synchronizes smoke and other chemical with the FS plan.

Your FSO should be the chief coordinator and spokesman for the FSE. Coordinating duties for FSE members include the following:

  • Provide safeguards to friendly troops, vessels, aircraft, and installations.

  • Use all appropriate fire support available.

  • Furnish the necessary type of fire support requested.

  • Avoid unnecessary duplication of targets.

  • Coordinate required airspace for the FS systems.

  • Rapidly coordinate targets at all echelons and adjacent units.

COMPANY OR TEAM COMMANDER

The company or team commander is the actual executor of the plan. He is normally tasked, either in the fires paragraph, FSEM, or paragraph 3b of the OPORD, responsibility for specific targets. The company or team commander's responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensures assigned targets are refined, observed, rehearsed, and fired according to the commander's scheme of fires.

  • Is responsible for positioning FS personnel, to include associated equipment, where they can best initiate and execute the fire plan.

  • Ensures his FSO attends all combined arms rehearsals and participates in FS rehearsals.
NOTE. Remember, normally the company or team FSO is a 2LT. It is to your advantage to include him in all company- or team-level training. This includes platoon FOs as well, He may be assigned to the DS battalion in garrison; but in war, he will be responsible for fire support for your entire company or team.

COMPANY FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

The company FSO has the same duties and responsibilities as the TF FSO with the following exceptions:

  • Refines brigade and TF targets assigned to the company or team by adjusting the grid on the basis of ground truth and the commander's guidance.

NOTE. If you begin a battle and no refinements have been made to the original target list, then you are in for a long day. Remember the brigade and TF FSOs normally originate their targets from a map, not the actual terrain.

  • Plans fires in support of the company or team mission.

  • Briefs the fires portion of the company or team OPORD.

  • Recommends to the company or team commander the positioning of the fire support team vehicle (FISTV).

  • Recommends the positioning of observers to ensure the execution of assigned targets.

  • Participates in the brigade, TF, or company combined arms rehearsals.

REMEMBER
Your FSCOORD and FSO's effectiveness increases when they know your intent and guidance for fire support. Be specific, and tell them everything as soon as you learn it. Tell them to keep the artillery jargon to a minimum-get your information in language all your officers understand.

Do not let him plan in a vacuum. Make him part of your planning process. Make him coordinate with your staff for the following:

  • Moving artillery units within the brigade.

  • Positioning artillery units within the brigade.

  • Sharing administrative, logistical, and medical support between his units and yours.

    NOTE. Be cautious of complex fire plans. If you cannot remember the details, the fire plan is probably too complicated. Every leader should know the fire plan. It should be simple enough for all of your platoon leaders and scouts to memorize. It should have simple control measures and targets on easily identifiable terrain. A target planned on each grid square is worthless. To check targeting, ensure it is on the FSEM, has a purpose, and has an observer assigned. Remember, have the FSO constantly update and delete targets.




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