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CHAPTER 5

TARGET ACQUISITION
IN LIGHT DIVISIONS

Figure 5-1.


Field artillery TA systems in a light division consist of three AN/TPQ-36
weapons-locating radars. Each direct support FA battalion has one WLR
and a survey section consisting of two PADS teams. Although the TA assets
organic to the light division are fewer than those of a heavy division, 
their mission still is to detect, identify, and locate targets accurately 
enough for attack by friendly assets.

Because of the austere structure of light divisions and the probable use of parts of them as a contingency force, increased emphasis is placed on the interaction of the key players in the targeting process and the effective employment of the division TA assets.


BATTALION TASK
FORCE

A light battalion task force may initially deploy with supporting fire support and no organic field artillery TA assets. Early deployment of fire support assets, an AN/TPQ-36 WLR, met support, and a PADS team must be considered in the staff planning process, especially for allocation of appropriate transportation space.

When field artillery TA assets are not available, target data are generated from crater analysis, shelling reports, and combat reports from organic and attached combat, combat support, and IEW assets. These assets include COLTs, scouts, ground surveillance radars (GSRs), and so forth. Target data are passed from the task force S2 to the FSO or from the FIST directly through the FSO to a supporting FA firing unit using FIST channels.

If field artillery TA assets are deployed with the battalion task force, the task force FSO is responsible for their employment. The task force FSO, assisted by the task force S2, prepares the target acquisition tab and radar deployment orders to the FA support plan of the TF operation order. The task force FSO and S2 jointly develop sectors of search, Firefinder zones, zone management, and cueing guidance, and designate cueing agents. Target data from TA assets are passed directly from an AN/TPQ-36 WLR to the task force FSO or to the firing battery. Information from IEW assets and combat reports is passed from the task force S2 to the task force FSO.

Figure 5-2. FA Target Acquisition Not Available (Battalion Task Force)

Figure 5-3. FA Target Acquisition Available (Battalion Task Force)

Figure 5-4. FA Target Acquisition Not Available (Brigade Task Force)

BRIGADE TASK FORCE

A light brigade task force normally deploys with a direct support FA battalion. Target acquisition assets organic to the direct support FA battalion consist of one AN/TPQ-36 WLR and a survey section of two PADS teams. However, since deployment of the direct support FA battalion is based on the factors of METT-T, the battalion may deploy with additional TA assets or with none at all.

If the FA battalion deploys without field artillery TA assets, target data are generated from crater analysis, shelling reports, and combat reports from the brigade organic and attached combat, combat support, and IEW assets. Target data are passed through fire support channels to the FA battalion TOC or through S2 channels to the FA battalion S2, task force S2, and G2. At the brigade and division levels, information is passed from intelligence channels to the brigade FSO or division FSE.

Figure 5-5. FA Target Acquisition Available (Brigade Task Force)

When the FA battalion deploys with field artillery TA assets, the FA battalion S2 is responsible for the employment of field artillery TA assets. He prepares radar deployment orders. The FA battalion S3 plans officer prepares the FA support plan of the task force OPORD, to include the TA tab prepared by the S2. The FA battalion S2 and S3 and the task force FSO jointly develop the sectors of search, Firefinder zones, zone management, and cueing guidance and designate cueing agents. The FA battalion S2 is responsible for ensuring that TA assets are incorporated into the reconnaissance and surveillance plan of the supported task force. Target data from field artillery TA assets are passed to the FA battalion TOC. If a specific firing element is designated as the primary responding element for counterfire, a quick fire net from TA assets may be established directly to the firing element. Target data from IEW assets and combat reports are passed through FIST or intelligence channels to the task force FSO.

DIVISION DEPLOYMENT

The div arty TOC will normally deploy if more than one brigade deploys. Without augmentation, the light division field artillery TA assets are limited to three AN/TPQ-36 radars. Field artillery TA augmentation must be considered during the staff planning process.

The div arty S2 has staff responsibility for employment of the division TA assets. The S2 develops, maintains, and coordinates the div arty TA plan. The TA plan is incorporated into the target acquisition tab to the FA support plan of the division OPORD. The counterfire officer prepares and issues RDOs, as required. The div arty S2 and the division FSE jointly develop the sector of search, Firefinder zones, zone management, and cueing guidance and designate cueing agents. It is critical that TA planning is coordinated with the FSE to ensure that it supports the division mission and the commander's intent. TA planning also must be coordinated with the G2 for incorporation into the division collection plan. The div arty S2 prepares the target acquisition tab to the FA support plan of the division OPORD.

Figure 5-6. Centralized or Decentralized Control

The div arty S2 recommends an organization for combat of TA assets to best meet requirements of the division and corps commanders. Centralized control enhances responsiveness, increases survivability, and guarantees optimal coverage to support the division commander's intent. It is recommended when the IPB indicates a high counterfire threat. In vague situations or lower counterfire threat environments, TA assets may be more decentralized.

When control is decentralized, target data from TA assets are passed to the controlling direct support FA battalion TOCs, unless directed otherwise. For example, a firing element designated to respond to counterfire missions or an FA battalion having an additional WLR attached for a specific mission may have a quick fire net linking it directly to a TA asset. Combat reports and target data from IEW assets are passed through fire support or intelligence channels to the FSO. The FSO passes information digitally to the DS FA battalion S2.

CORPS AUGMENTATION

Corps Target Acquisition Detachment

The corps target acquisition detachment provides the light division commander critical TA and processing capabilities not organic to the light division.

The CTAD is assigned to the corps artillery headquarters on the basis of one per light division assigned to the corps. The CTAD is designed to be attached to each light infantry, airborne, and air assault division on deployment. The CTAD consists of a headquarters section, a PADS team, two AN/TPQ-37 sections, and an AN/TPS-25A moving-target-locating radar. (See Chapter 2.)

  • The detachment headquarters consists of a processing section and maintenance, supply, administrative, and communications personnel. The detachment commander, a 13D lLT, advises the div arty commander on TA matters and serves as a div arty counterfire officer.

  • The PADS team provides survey support to detachment TA assets. Along with div arty survey, the PADS team help survey other TA and IEW assets, as directed.

  • Each WLR section consists of one AN/TPQ-37, which provides a first-round fire-for-effect capability for the counterfire mission.

  • The MTLR section consists of one AN/TPS-25A, which provides combat information on moving ground targets.

When the CTAD is attached to the division, detachment support personnel augment the div arty HHB. Once augmented, the div arty HHB is responsible for providing logistical and administrative support to the detachment.

The div arty targeting element is formed when the CTAD processing section becomes the target production section and combines with the div arty order-of-battle section. The personnel composing the div arty targeting element are listed on the next page. Selected personnel from the targeting element as determined by METT-T may deploy as a counterfire team when the div arty as a whole does not deploy. Primary responsibilities for the targeting element or a counterfire team are as follows:

  • Recommending TA coverage to the div arty commander. This includes command and control relationships of organic and attached TA assets.

  • Providing input to the div arty S2 for him to consolidate into the target acquisition tab, which is then given to the S3 for attachment to the FA support plan.

Figure 5-7. Div Arty Targeting Element

  • Positioning general support TA assets to ensure that they are incorporated into the TA plan, coordinating sectors of search, and providing radar zone information.

  • Preparing RDOs as required.

  • Monitoring TA asset operations, status, and current and proposed locations.

  • Processing combat information and intelligence received, producing targets, preparing target cards, and passing them to the div arty fire control element.

  • Maintaining the artillery OB data base and target files.

  • Requesting target damage assessment.

  • Serving as the NCS for the div arty TA/intel net.

  • Providing cueing guidance to all division TA assets and ensuring its inclusion in the TA tab or the OPORD, depending on the cueing agents designated and RDOs.

  • Supporting the division FSE targeting effort.

When detachment TA assets are attached to the division, they are controlled by the div arty commander through the targeting element. On decision by the corps to augment the division with the CTAD, the early deployment of CTAD assets and personnel will be incorporated into the div arty staff planning process.

The CTAD processing section includes a senior radar sergeant (SFC, 13R40), who performs the same functions as the radar platoon sergeant in the heavy division. When the CTAD is deployed, the senior radar sergeant provides guidance and help in the decision-making process for radar employment, survivability, priorities, zones, capabilities, and cueing. Allocation of CTAD assets and personnel will be based on the factors of METT-T. For example, target processing personnel and/or an AN/TPQ-37 WLR may be attached to a brigade task force.

Field Artillery Brigade

An FA brigade may be attached to, or assigned the mission of reinforcing, a light division. When this occurs, the FA brigade could be tasked to perform the counterfire role. The FA brigade will require field artillery TA asset augmentation to perform this role.

If the CTAD in its entirety is attached to an FA brigade, the brigade counterfire officer and the CTAD commander will control positioning and cueing guidance and will resolve overlapping coverage. However, the div arty S2 still retains staff responsibility for the employment of all field artillery TA assets within the division. Target information will be used to support the maneuver commander's mission. The FA brigade is responsible for providing security, logistics, and administrative support to the detachment. For additional information on command and control relationships, see Chapter 4.





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