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This publication describes the doctrine, organization, tactics, techniques, and procedures for the management of field artillery target acquisition (TA) equipment, personnel, and systems. It combines information formerly in FM 6-121, Field Artillery Target Acquisition, and in FM 6-161, Field Artillery Radars. The material applies to field artillery (FA) target acquisition and how it interfaces with the fire support system. The concepts apply to both general and limited warfare.

The material presented herein is intended to help all personnel involved in the TA process. These personnel include:

  • Maneuver commanders.

  • Field artillery commanders and their staffs.

  • Fire support element (FSE) personnel.

  • Field artillery target acquisition personnel.

  • Members of the division artillery and FA brigade tactical operations centers.

  • Personnel of the target acquisition battery (TAB) and corps TA detachment.

  • All others involved in the targeting process, such as the corps and division G2s and all personnel in intelligence channels.

The book describes current FA target acquisition organizations. These include the target acquisition batteries in the armored and mechanized infantry divisions and the target acquisition platoon in each separate maneuver brigade. Also included are target acquisition detachments assigned at corps level. The book also describes TA assets that are organic to the direct support (DS) battalion (bn) in the light, airborne, and air assault divisions. However, despite the variety of TA organizations presented, the principles of their management and employment are the same.

The book discusses tactical and technical considerations of each field artillery TA system. It is expected that users at various echelons will concentrate on different parts of the book and will require varying degrees of detail in the discussions presented. For example, although Chapters 1 and 2 are general in nature and of interest to all readers, Chapter 3 is meant primarily for technicians and Chapter 4 is written for operations personnel. In this respect, some redundancy of information has been intentionally included throughout the book.

Field artillery TA radars are powerful force multipliers. The Threat is expected to use a number of electronic warfare (EW) assets and resources to locate our TA radars for destruction. Consequently, vulnerability and survivability are key subjects addressed herein.

In its development, FM 6-121 has undergone several draft revisions. Numerous individual Redlegs helped make it the authoritative FA target acquisition reference that it is. Members of every division artillery (div arty) have provided input at some stage in the development cycle. The units listed below provided representatives from the field to a unique exercise encompassing major input and comprehensive rewrite of the developed draft. The effort of these senior TA officers and warrant officers resulted in this final product. It reflects the consensus of the field on FA target acquisition tactics, techniques, and procedures for the employment of TA assets. The field representatives were from--

  • 3d Corps Artillery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

  • 1st Armored Division Artillery, Zirndorf, Federal Republic of Germany.

  • 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, Fort Hood, Texas.

  • 5th Infantry Division Artillery (Mechanized), Fort Polk Louisiana.

  • 7th Infantry (Light) Division Artillery, Fort Ord, California.

  • 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division Artillery, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

  • 42d Field Artillery Brigade, 5th Corps Artillery, Giessen, Federal Republic of Germany.

The US Army Field Artillery School (USAFAS) owes them, and many others, a great debt of gratitude for the professionalism they displayed in true Redleg fashion.

The provisions of this publication are the subject of the following North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Standardization Agreements (STANAGs) and Quadripartite Standardization Agreements (QSTAGs):

  • 2008/503, Bombing, Shelling, Rocketing, Mortaring, and Location Reports.

  • 2029/514, Methods of Describing Ground Locations, Areas, and Boundaries.

The proponent of this publication is HQ TRADOC. Submit changes for improving this publication on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms), and forward it to:

US Army Field Artillery School
Fort Sill, Oklahoma 73503-5600

Unless otherwise stated, whenever the masculine
gender is used, both men and women are included.

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: "Approved for public release, distribution is unlimited." Other requests for this document will be referred to Commandant, US Army Field Artillery School, ATTN: ATSF-DD, Fort Sill, OK 73503-5600.

*This publication supersedes FM 6-121, 13 December 1984, and FM 6-161, 7 September 1984. It rescinds DA Form 2888, 1 May 1975; DA Form 5364-R, December 1984; DA Form 4706, 1 July 1978; and DA Form 4705-R, June 1978.

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