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Appendix D

Field Artillery Tactical Missions


D-1. FA units to include FA brigades may be assigned the following tactical missions. Unless specifically authorized by the corps arty commander, reinforced units do not have the authority to subassign tactical missions to or establish QF channels for the battalions of reinforcing FA brigades. Also, each of these relationships requires unit commanders to comply with seven specific responsibilities as indicated at Table D-1. If required, nonstandard tactical missions may more adequately address special maneuver force FS requirements.

Table D-1. Seven Inherent Responsibilities of Field Artillery Tactical Missions
Answers calls for fire in priority from-

1. Supported unit

2. Own observers1

3. Force FA HQ

1. Reinforced FA

2. Own observers1

3. Force FA HQ

1. Force FA HQ

2. Reinforced unit

3. Own observers1

1. Force FA HQ

2. Own observers1

Has as its zone of fire- Zone of action of supported unit. Zone of fire of reinforced FA. Zone of action of supported unit to include zone of fire of reinforced FA unit. Zone of action of supported unit.
Furnishes fire support personnel2 Provides temporary replacements for causality losses as required. No requirement. No requirement. No requirement.
Furnishes liaison to- No requirement. Reinforced FA unit HQ. Reinforced FA unit HQ. No requirement
Establishes communication with- Company fire support officers (FSOs) and supported maneuver unit HQ. Reinforced FA unit HQ. Reinforced FA unit HQ. No requirement.
Is positioned by- DS FA unit commander or as ordered by force HQ. Reinforced FA unit or as ordered by force FA HQ. Force FA HQ or reinforced FA unit if approved by force FA HQ. Force FA HQ.
Has its fires planned by- Develops own fire plan. Reinforced FA unit HQ. Force FA HQ. Force FA HQ.

1 Includes all TA means not deployed with supported unit (radar, aerial observers, survey parties, and so on).

2 An FSE for each maneuver brigade, battalion, or cavalry squadron and one FIST with each maneuver company or ground cavalry troop are trained and deployed by the FA unit authorized these assets. FO teams are provided by USMC artillery battalions to each company-sized maneuver unit upon deployment. After deployment, FISTs and FSEs remain with the supported maneuver unit throughout the conflict.

  • Direct Support.

    • DS is the most decentralized tactical mission. An FA unit in DS of a maneuver unit is concerned mainly with the FS needs of only that unit. The DS commander is the FSCOORD for the supported maneuver unit. He plans fires to support the maneuver commander's intent and positions his unit where it can best support the scheme of maneuver. To enhance coordination and training, FA units should habitually support the same maneuver force.

    • Example: FA brigades may be placed DS to a division and/or maneuver brigade, task force, or ACR. This could occur in the area of the enemy's main effort; to strengthen a defensive sector; in support of river crossing operations; when the division operates across an extended frontage; or when a maneuver brigade is leading a division exploitation, pursuit, or deep attack.

  • Reinforcing.

    • R tactical missions require FA units to augment the fires of another FA unit. When a DS FA battalion requires more fires to meet maneuver force requirements, another FA battalion or an FA brigade may be assigned this tactical mission.

    • Example: An FA brigade reinforcing another FA unit provides responsive fires to the reinforced unit while the HQ assigning the tactical mission retains C2.

  • General Support Reinforcing. The HQ assigning GSR tactical missions retains control over GSR units and has first call on supporting fires. Subordinate FA units receive augmentation fires in second priority. The GSR tactical mission gives the force commander additional flexibility to respond to varying tactical situations.

  • General Support.

    • GS tactical missions are the most centralized of the standard tactical missions. An FA unit with a GS tactical mission supports the force as a whole and remains under the control of its parent force artillery HQ. Its fires are immediately responsive to the needs of the force commander.

    • Example: An FA brigade with only missile battalions or rocket and missile battalions may be assigned this tactical mission in support of corps deep operations.


D-2. If a commander's intent cannot be adequately met by one of the standard tactical missions, standard tactical missions can be modified for additional flexibility to meet maneuver force support requirements. Changing, modifying, or amplifying one or more of the seven inherent responsibilities or spelling out contingencies not covered by those responsibilities creates nonstandard tactical missions. If the revision of tactical missions is so complex that the standard tactical mission is no longer recognizable, nonstandard tactical mission statements will address each of the seven inherent responsibilities. OPORDs must state nonstandard tactical missions, when applicable, as part of the organization for combat, to delineate inherent responsibilities clearly.

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