XVIII Corps Artillery (Airborne)
"Fire of the Dragon"
In 2007, as part of the reorganization of XVIII Corps (Airborne) as part of the modular transformation of the US Army, XVIII Corps Artillery was inactivated and 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne) was reassigned directly to XVIII Corps.
The XVIII Corps Artillery (Airborne) provided fire support to XVIII Corps (Airborne) forces, anywhere in the world, on short notice, by land, sea, or air. XVIII Corps Artillery provided long-range, accurate, destructive, day or night fire support for all combat operations. XVIII Corps Artillery was the headquarters for all non-divisional artillery within the XVIII Corps.
XVIII Corps Artillery had to be ready to command and control additional fire support assets, up to 8 brigades, as they became available in theater during contingency operations. Units within the corps artillery could be given the mission of reinforcing, general support, or general support reinforcing. This battlefield organization allowed the Commander to mass all artillery fires and/or weight a specific effort to influence the battle.
18th Field Artillery Brigade (subsequently 18th Fires Brigade) traced its lineage and honors to the XVIII Corps Artillery, which had been constituted during the Second World War. On 16 November 1984, a provisional corps artillery was organized from elements of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Field Artillery Brigade and a Field Artillery Section from the XVIII Corps Staff. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, XVIII Corps Artillery was formally reconstituted and activated as a separate entity in March 1987 as part of the Army of Excellence initiative.
This headquarters provided the command and control for multiple field artillery brigade deployments critical to a contingency corps. However, XVIII Corps Artillery had only one active component brigade assigned to it, the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne). The 1st Field Artillery Detachment (Target Acquisition) was also assigned to the unit at its activation, the only corps-level target acquisition detachment in the Army at that time.
XVIII Corps Artillery also had relationships with a large number of reserve component field artillery brigades. Capstone/Directed Training Association Reserve Component field artillery brigades were full-time teammates. XVIII Corps Artillery contributed to their unique training requirements, while they were tempered by the challenge of fast-paced Active Component JTXs.
In August 1992, the 42nd Field Artillery Brigade with the 4th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, upon relocating from Hanau, Germany to Fort Polk, Louisiana, became part of XVIII Corps Artillery, before being inactivated. In 1994, the Wartrace Program replaced the Capstone program, but XVIII Corps Artillery relationships remained.
By 2000, XVIII Corps Artillery had evolved into a fully functional Headquarters whose mission was to maintain a crisis response field artillery force. The force was capable of rapid deployment by air, to include parachute assault by selected elements, and deployment by surface means anywhere in the world ready to provide conventional fires and coordinate all other fire support assets against surface targets. The massive firepower of the corps artillery was tailored to meet various contingencies and include up to 6 field artillery brigades.
The Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (ADOCS) was an information system that provided the Fire Support Element and the Deep Operations Coordination Cell (DOCC) an integrated set of tools for fire support coordination data management and analysis, along with mission planning, coordination, and execution. ADOCS was organized as a series of data managers including: map; fire mission coordination; suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) planner; artillery locations; aircraft interdiction (AI) nominations; close air support (CAS) mission coordination; airspace control request; aviation routes; and airspace control points, all of which enabled ADOCS to provide horizontal and vertical coordination amongst echelons.
Automated Tactical and Fire Direction systems, formerly used by the XVIII Corps Artillery, were the Light Tactical Fire Direction System (LT TACFIRE) and the Interim Fire Support Automated System (IFSAS). These systems were capable of transmitting, receiving, storing, and processing critical information needed on the battlefield by Field Artillery units. LT TACFIRE and IFSAS were used until replaced in the fourth quarter of FY97, with the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS). AFATDS increased the Corps Artillery's capability of processing battlefield information.
With the beginning of the modular transformation of the US Army, the formal relationships that existed as part of the Wartrace Program ceased to exist. However, integrated training exercises and cooperation between active component and reserve component forces remained.
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