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a. Fire Support Tasks. More ammunition may be required to support the maneuver force in mountainous terrain because of reduced munitions effects. Cross-country restrictions force the enemy to use roads and trails, which will enhance interdiction fires.

b. Command and Control. The command and control of the battery are degraded because of decreased effectiveness of radio communications. Movement control is more difficult on winding mountain roads. Emplacement of wire lines is more difficult and time-consuming.

c. Positioning and Displacement. Because of the closeness of terrain masks, fewer suitable battery positions are available. High-angle fire may be required to accomplish the mission. Displacement is limited to the use of available roads, which generally are narrow and twisting. Terrain march may be impractical or impossible. Air assault operations are likely.

d. Other Considerations. Logistics resupply is more difficult because of the limited number of roads and the slower convoy speeds. Survey may not be as accurate and target acquisition may be limited by terrain masks. Emplacing on hills increases the range of howitzer weapons systems. Ambushes are likely in this type of terrain.


a. Fire Support Tasks. Jungle operations present problems because of the high humidity and dense vegetation. Humidity may degrade the ability of propellant to achieve desired ranges. Also, it may reduce equipment operability. Measures must be taken to ensure that powder is kept dry. Dense vegetation degrades munitions effects. In thick canopy, VT and ICM are ineffective. Fuze PD may be set on delay to penetrate to the ground and achieve the desired results. White phosphorus can be used to assist observers in adjusting fire in dense jungle.

b. Command and Control. Communications equipment is degraded because of high humidity, vegetation density, and electronic line-of-sight. Antennas may have to be elevated to overcome line-of-sight restrictions. Emplacement of wire lines is more time-consuming.

c. Positioning and Displacement. High angle fire may be required to overcome potential site-to-crest problems. Selection of firing positions is hampered by soft terrain and thick vegetation. The battery must be prepared to clear fields of fire. Fire base operations are viable means of providing for defense of the battery, as well as for 6,400 mil fire support. Mobility is slowed because the ground on available roads is soft and use of terrain march is restricted. Air assault operations are likely.

d. Other Considerations. Logistics resupply is hampered by reduced mobility. Survey control is more difficult to establish, and survey parties need more time to complete their tasks. Target acquisition accuracy is degraded because of heavy foliage. Whether fire-base operations are used or not, weapon systems should be positioned closer together to provide for better security of the battery position.


a. Fire Support Tasks. Northern operations are characterized by frozen earth, snow-covered terrain, intense sunlight, and prolonged darkness. Smoke lasts longer and travels farther in cold weather; however, snow usually smothers the smoke canisters. White phosphorus gives the desired results, but the particles will remain active in the area longer and restrict use of that terrain. Artillery fires may be used to start snow slides or avalanches as munitions effects multiplier.

b. Command and Control. Radio communications can be unreliable in extreme cold, and equipment may become inoperative. Emplacement of wire lines is more difficult and time-consuming over frozen or snow-covered terrain.

c. Positioning and Displacement. Frozen, snow-covered terrain may limit the number of available positions for battery emplacement. Mobility is slowed, as wheeled vehicles and trailers are generally not suited for operations in northern areas. In extreme cold, metal tends to become brittle and parts breakage increases. Convoys must travel in closed column during whiteout conditions and prolonged darkness. Air assault operations are likely.

d. Other Considerations. Logistics resupply is hampered by reduced mobility and difficulty in determining grid locations. Target acquisition equipment can be adversely affected by snowstorms and intense cold. Without the use of PADS, survey may be more time-consuming.


a. Fire Support Tasks. The massive growth of urbanized areas and man-made changes to the landscape significantly affect the conduct of future battles. Avoidance of these areas during periods of conflict is no longer possible. Therefore, FA commanders at all levels must be aware of the unique advantages and disadvantages associated with operations conducted in and around cities, towns, villages, and similar built-up areas. The special artillery technique of direct fire may be used more frequently on urbanized terrain than elsewhere. Within the built-up area, high angle fires are most effective in attacking the defiladed areas between buildings.

b. Command and Control. Command and control of a firing platoon operating in an urban area are demanding. Decentralization to the maximum feasible extent may be required. The reduced ability to communicate and extended platoon frontages necessitate more detailed orders and SOPs. Tactical communications in the firing platoon area are severely affected. The height and density of structures will reduce the planning ranges for all organic radio equipment. Wire takes on added importance. It is less vulnerable to disruption if run on existing telephone poles or through buildings and sewers. More use must be made of messengers and prearranged audio and visual signals. Imaginative positioning of antennas, such as intermingling them with existing civilian antennas or in treetops, may increase transmission range and enhance the survivability of the unit. Existing civilian communication networks should be actively sought out and used to supplement the organic capabilities of the unit.

c. Positioning and Displacement.

(1) When field artillery is used in an urban environment, selected position areas should--

  • Be free of civilians.
  • Be away from the center of the built-up area.
  • Minimize masking.
  • Have several routes of escape.
  • Be off the main high-speed avenues.
  • Afford as much cover and concealment as possible.

(2) The use of existing structures (such as barns, auto repair shops, and warehouses) as firing or hiding positions provides maximum protection and minimizes the camouflage effort.

(3) More time must be allotted for the reconnaissance of potential position areas. Depending on the density of buildings in the area, the reconnaissance party may have to use infantry techniques for house-to-house fighting to clear and check the buildings.

(4) Special techniques for the emplacement of howitzers may be required if the ground is not suitable for normal emplacement. Consideration should be given to placing howitzer spades against curbs, rubble, or building walls. Also concrete or asphalt surfaces may also be softened for howitzer emplacement by use of shaped charges.

(5) Because of the expanded occupation required in the urban area, displacement by platoon may be impossible. In this case, displacement may be by howitzer section.

d. Other Considerations.

(1) Battery personnel must be prepared to use hasty survey techniques to establish directional and positional control. Magnetic instruments are impaired when operating in a built-up area, and their accuracy is degraded.

(2) Plotting of current friendly positions, perhaps down to platoon or squad level, may be critical in reducing incidents of fratricide.


a. Fire Support Tasks. Deserts are arid, barren regions that cannot support any quantity of life because of lack of fresh water. They are characterized by temperature extremes (+136 F in Libya or Mexico to bitter cold in the Gobi Desert) with fluctuations exceeding 70. Fire support considerations vary according to the type of desert; however, considerations common to all include munitions effects due to the temperature extremes and a lack of identifiable terrain features. The three types of deserts are discussed below.

(1) The mountain desert is characterized by barren, rocky ranges separated by flat basins that may be studded by deep gullies created during flash floods. Terrain will support all types of artillery, but is best suited for SP artillery.

(2) The rocky plateau desert has slight relief with extended flat areas, and good visibility. It is characterized by steep-walled eroded valleys (wadis). These are extremely attractive for artillery positions but are subject to flash flooding.

(3) The sandy or dune desert has extensive flat areas covered with dunes subject to wind erosion. The dune size, the texture of sand, and the leeward gradient may prohibit terrain movement entirely.

b. Command and Control. Map reading is difficult and resections are impossible unless a number of prominent points are available. Survey performed by PADS is most useful: otherwise, a hasty astro or simultaneous observation is a must for an accurate direction.

c. Positioning and Displacement. Lack of vegetation makes camouflage difficult. In all cases, the artillery battery will be visible to the ground observer, as the netting silhouettes against the sky. From about 1,200 feet in the air the camouflaged installations appear bigger than the surrounding dunes or mounds of sand and vegetation. If engineer assets are available, digging in all the battery's vehicles below the surface of the desert and stretching the desert camouflage nets flat or nearly flat over the vehicles provides not only good concealment from ground observation but also excellent cover against direct fire weapons.

d. Other Considerations. High temperature and ever-present sand cause failures in mechanical and electronic equipment. Fuel and air filters must be cleaned after each operation, sometimes twice per day. Optics must be protected before the glass becomes opaque. Static electricity caused by the hot winds interferes with refueling operations and with radio traffic. Turning radius of tracked vehicles is limited because of the buildup of sand between the idler wheel and track.

Excess sand built up in this area will throw the track and/or shear off the idler wheel.


a. Fire Support Tasks. Inherent in the concept of an amphibious assault is the projection of a fighting force into an area on shore that is assumed to be heavily defended. The force must be built up in combat power from zero strength to a point where it is effective and credible. To support the maneuver element, a battery must be prepared to lay and fire immediately upon landing. For further information concerning amphibious operations, refer to NWP 22-2/FMFM 1-7.

b. Command and Control. Initially, command and control are highly centralized. Battery position areas, displacements, and fire control are centralized at the battalion level. Communication between the two platoon main bodies and battalion operations is critical in effecting movement with the least disruption of fires.

c. Positioning and Displacement. Because of the small size of the beachhead, positioning coordination with the supported maneuver forces is of extreme importance. Units must remain flexible to change the predetermined positions on the basis of events within the beachhead. Get off the beach as soon as possible.

d. Other Considerations. Units must plan to embark and debark with all available MTOE equipment. Vehicles must be prepared for fording. Vehicle tires may be partially deflated for improved performance on beach sand. Survey generally is not present during the first stages of the landing. Survey must be established forward as early as possible. Salt water and sand increase the need for preventive and corrective maintenance. Unit basic loads must be transported forward with the unit. An adequate ship-to-shore resupply of ammunition must be coordinated by the maneuver unit S4.


a. Movement. Entire firing batteries are moved to quickly project FA fire support into a battle area, to attack special targets, to bypass enemy concentrations or untrafficable terrain, and to facilitate future operations. Sustained operations may be conducted from the new battery position. Detailed planning and coordination, aggressive execution, and speed of emplacement are essential to mission success.

b. Capability. Because of the diversity of the aviation mission and demand for aviation assets in a tactical environment, it is imperative that proper aircraft be used to perform various air assault missions. Aircraft available for external load operations are the UH-1H Huey, UH-60 Blackhawk, and CH-47 Chinook (A-D models).

c. Mission Planning.

(1) Many factors influence the commander's planning for an air assault mission. The commander must plan more extensively than for a conventional operation. In planning he considers the following:

  • M: Mission.

  • E: Enemy.
  • T: Terrain and Weather.
  • T: Troops available.
  • A: Aircraft available.
  • L: Load requirements (equipment which will be taken). Ensure cross-loading of critical equipment and identification of the aircraft and personnel bump plans. These actions are critical to ensure minimum mission-essential equipment arrives on the LZ.

(2) Firing elements are moved by air in four phases:

    • Planning and preparation.
    • Rigging and loading.
    • Movement.
    • Occupation of position.

    (3) Thorough and timely planning for an air assault operation is critical to the success of the mission.

    (4) The commander plans the operation by using the reverse planning sequence. The sequence of planning for an air assault operation are as follows:

      • Ground tactical plan.
      • Landing.
      • Air movement.
      • Loading.
      • Staging.

      (5) Coordination is made through the S3 AIR, with final coordination being made at the air mission brief (AMB).

      d. Air Mission Brief. The AMB is a coordinating meeting attended by the ground commander and a representative of the aviation element(s) that will provide the aviation support for the mission.

      (1) The AMB sequence established below applies to ideal situations, when adequate time is available. At times, the situation or the mission may preclude a formal meeting. Then the AMB will consist of an exchange of information between the ground commander and the lift commanders on the pickup zone (PZ).

      (2) The recommended sequence for the brief is as follows:

        • Brief the mission.
        • Brief the threat and the weather/light data.
        • Brief the execution as follows:

        - Primary and alternate PZ and landing zone (LZ) locations, times, configurations, markings, and pathfinder support.

        - Planned fires (preparation, suppression of enemy air defenses [SEAD], and/or extraction) and available supporting fires.

        - Troop and equipment loads.

        - Air cavalry, attack helicopter, tactical air employment.

        - Abort criteria.

        - Code words.

        • Coordinate for the following.

        - Aircraft linkup points.

        - Air control points.

        - Hand-off points.

        - Downed aviator pickup points.

        - Gun target line.

        - Primary and alternate routes and penetration points, to include deception measures.

        - Aircraft formations, altitude, and speed.

        - Aircraft crank time.

        - Aircraft ordnance.

        - Exchange of call signs, frequencies, SOI edition in effect, IFF information, key list information, and challenge and password.

        - Synchronization of watches.

        e. Mission Execution.

        (1) Pickup zone selection. The PZ should be at least 500 meters from the battery position, because the battery position may have been targeted by enemy target acquisition assets. At a minimum, the PZ should meet the following requirements:

        • Free of obstructions that would hinder flight operation.
        • Trafficable terrain.
        • Adequate concealment is available for equipment and personnel while awaiting aircraft arrival.

        Note: A terrain sketch should be made of the PZ, if possible, and used to brief the XO/platoon leader and the PZ team before they occupy the PZ.

        (2) Landing zone reconnaissance and selection. A daylight visual reconnaissance of the intended LZ area is made whenever possible, with the flight being oblique to the area rather than directly over the area. If this is not possible, the commander will make a map recon and use all available electronic and photo surveillance assets. If it is necessary to use pathfinders, coordination must be made through the S3. As a minimum the following must be done:

          • Determine if the LZ is large enough.
          • Determine if firing positions that will support the mission are available nearby.
          • Note the enemy routes of advance into the LZ area and any enemy activity.
          • Note location of friendly forces.
          • Select alternate LZs.

          (3) Pickup zone occupation.

          (a) The commander takes an advance party to the PZ. Its mission is to conduct a security sweep and to familiarize the ground guides with the proposed layout of the equipment on the ground.

          (b) The battery displaces from the position and occupies the PZ. The minimum time necessary is allowed to rig equipment before the aircraft arrive.

          (4) Pickup zone organization.

          (a) Equipment should be placed so that after the first loads are lifted following loads are lifted sequentially (either left to right or front to rear along the line of flight).

          (b) Sections must provide security of the PZ while their equipment is being rigged. The PZ security must be coordinated and areas of responsibility designated.

          (5) Personnel responsibilities in the pickup zone.

          (a) The battery XO or platoon leader is the officer in charge of the pickup zone.

          (b) Normally, the advance party for the LZ is the same party that sets up the PZ.

          (c) The PZ party consists of the hookup team. The composition of the party depends on the number of aircraft available for the lift. To more easily move the party to the LZ, the last lift should bean internal load.

          (d) All remaining section members makeup the rigging party and main element. They rig their equipment and provide security as required.

          (6) Landing zone organization. The LZ must be secured upon arrival of the advance party. The battery commander selects landing positions on the basis of his reconnaissance and lift sequence. If simultaneous loads are to be delivered to the LZ, the LZ is to be occupied as a firing position, and the LZ size will not accommodate all aircraft, the commander may have to stagger the lift sequence on the PZ so adjacent howitzers are not delivered to the LZ at the same time.

          (7) Landing zone execution. Signalmen identify themselves and their landing point by holding a road-guard vest or an orange panel. When the aircraft identifies the signalmen, the guide directs the load to the landing point and direct unhooking of the load and landing of the aircraft. After the aircraft departs, the crew de-rigs the load and moves the equipment to the point specified in the ground tactical plan. When all equipment has been delivered, the unit reestablishes contact with and support of the maneuver force.

          F-8. ARTILLERY RAIDS

          The artillery raid is the rapid movement of artillery assets by air or ground into a position to attack a high-priority target with artillery fires. It could involve operations across the forward edge of the battle area (FEBA). Normally, the raid is extremely short and should not involve sustained operations. Detailed planning, surprise, and speed in execution are the key factors in the successful conduct of a raid.

          a. Planning and preparation. Most standard air assault procedures apply in the conduct of an artillery raid, with some additional considerations. Because the target is likely to be perishable, the planning phase must be very short. Effective SOPs are essential. Pilots must understand load composition and configuration. Some planning considerations are as follows:

          (1) Only bare necessities should be taken.

          (2) Ammunition for an M102/M119 raid may be hand carried on the aircraft (combat only). Ammunition for an M198 raid may be strapped to the firing platform (combat only) or suspended from the howitzer in an A-22 bag.

          (3) A mixture of HE, W/P, and ICM provides excellent munitions effects for a raid.

          (4) An M198 raid may include FASCAM and DPICM.

          (5) Firing data can be precomputed and given to the XO before he leaves the PZ. He may want to distribute the data to the section chiefs on the PZ. If PADS is available for the mission and digital communications can be established between the LZ and the battery FDC, firing data can be computed after accurate weapon location information is sent to the FDC.

          (6) When determining LZ location, the highest charge possible should be planned to increase standoff range. However, if charge 7 is used (M102), mission time is increased because all eight stakes must be driven in the firing platform.

          (7) Security elements to accompany the raid should be requested from the infantry.

          (8) Attack helicopters should fly cover and provide SEAD, especially if the raid is out of range for friendly artillery fires.

          (9) The number of howitzers taken forward on the raid is determined by target analysis, munitions effects tables, aircraft availability, and desired damage criteria.

          (10) In preparation for an M102/M119 raid in which the howitzers are carried internally during insertion and extracted externally by sling load, the loads should be partially rigged in the PZ before the mission begins.

          (11) Emplace false insertions along the flight path. False insertions are only effective if howitzers are being carried internally.

          b. Air Mission Brief. The AMB for the artillery raid contains the same elements as for a battery air assault mission, with the following additions:

          (1) Because artillery raids involve the extraction of all personnel and equipment, a laager site must be designated for the aircraft during the firing of the mission. The aviation representative designates the site. The artillery commander ensures that it provides for the rapid extraction at the end of the mission.

          (2) Code words and/or signals must be arranged for the recall of aircraft at the end of the mission.

          c. Pickup Zone Operations. The PZ operations are generally the same as with the air assault mission.

          d. Landing Zone Operations.

          (1) The executive officer controls the LZ. The advance party guides orient aircraft on the landing points as with the air assault mission.

          (2) When the aircraft have delivered their loads to the LZ, they move to the laager area.

          (3) When the fire mission is complete, the howitzer crews prepare the weapons for sling load extraction. Designated members of the advance party assume the duties as hookup team(s). Security for the area is most difficult at this time, and howitzer section members must be designated to provide security.

          (4) The XO recalls the lift helicopters by a code word on the FM net. Upon arrival of the aircraft, normal PZ procedures are followed.

          (5) Following departure of the sling loads, the executive officer recalls the advance party aircraft.

          Note: If there is to be live firing during training for an artillery raid, safety requirements must be established and strictly adhered to preclude any incident.


          a. Artillery batteries may be deployed to support operations other than war (OOTW). OOTW include missions that are not considered conventional such as; noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO), security assistance, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, peacekeeping, and peace enforcement. Because of the unconventional nature of these missions, units must consider additional factors when executing these difficult missions. Table F-1 gives a comparison of the battlefield factors involved in both conventional (wartime) operations and OOTW.

          b. In OOTW, the battlefield is normally nonlinear, with maneuver elements conducting patrols, local air assaults, and protecting convoys. Therefore, the artillery cannot always follow the maneuver units. The placement of the artillery must be considered in planning for fire support. OOTW may require the firing units to remain in position for longer periods of time. Due to the length of their stay, units will have to harden the position to increase their survivability. The defense of a static firing unit requires different planning considerations than when the unit constantly moves. Since the unit is stationary, it is almost certainly going to be detected. This is the most fundamental difference between the two survivability techniques of moving and hardening. The threat on nonlinear battlefields is not one of armor or aircraft attacks or even heavy artillery fire. Rather, the threat in most OOTW situations is dismounted attacks and mortars. It is not necessarily less than in the conventional conflict, it is simply different.

          c. In OOTW, it is critical that all personnel filly understand the mission (military and political), people, and rules of engagement (ROE). Artillery units may occupy positions with their supported maneuver element in a fire base (see paragraph F-10), or in an operating base (possibly shorter term and more mobile than a fire base). The unit must maintain a strong defensive perimeter with clear kill zones, interlocking fields of fire, and maximum grazing fires.

          d. Standing operating procedures (SOPs) must be developed, rehearsed, and coordinated to effectively deal with typical OOTW situations, such as:

          • Sniper fire.
          • Mortars.
          • The media.
          • Displaced civilians.
          • Handling of refugees.
          • Use of weapons (lock and load instructions).
          • Interaction with local military forces, check points, local police.

          In addition, guidelines must be established on how to carry weapons (sling arms, port arms, muzzle up or down).

          e. Field sanitation requirements must be well planned, because a unit may be in the same position for extended periods. Failure to plan for proper field sanitation, such as waste disposal, may result in nonbattle casualties.

          f. Depending on the commander's assessment of the factors of METT-T, the following attachments may increase the success of the unit in OOTW:

          • Air defense artillery (SHORAD).
          • Radar (countermortar).
          • Survey.
          • Meteorological section.
          • Civil affairs teams.
          • Psychological operations (PSYOPS) teams.
          • Infantry, armor, or MPs (to aid in security).
          • Ground surveillance radar.

          g. If the firing unit is not deployed as part of a battalion, it must consider how classes of supply will be handled and if a logistics representative should be attached. Hardening a position will require large quantities of fortification and barrier material. This will almost certainly cause the shipment of class IV items to become a priority. If the supported maneuver unit is not capable of correcting maintenance problems and vehicle recovery, a maintenance representative or contact team should be attached.


          a. When the primary threat is light infantry, guerrilla, or commando units without heavy weapons, FA units may expect to support the maneuver forces from fire bases. Units may occupy fire bases during conventional war, but this defense technique is most often used in operations other than war (OOTW). Hardened or fortified positions are similar to fire bases, but they lack the combined arms support from maneuver units found in fire bases. The planning considerations for fire bases and hardened or fortified positions, are the same. A fire base is a deliberate defensive position, similar in many ways to a maneuver strong point. In situations such as OOTW, it is not difficult for the enemy to determine the location of firing units; therefore, concealment is not a primary concern with respect to survivability. Hardening and a carefully planned and coordinated defense against ground attack are the essential elements for the battery to survive and continue to provide support during operations from a fire base.

          b. Positioning of the firebase will be dictated by the mission and terrain. The primary consideration is that the fire base must be positioned so that it can support the maneuver unit. Individual battery fire bases are positioned so that they are mutually supporting. The position should allow 6,400 mil firing capability. The range fans (actually range circles) of the individual fire bases should overlap, both to allow massing of fires and to facilitate mutual defense.

          c. Individual fire bases should be positioned on open, defensible terrain, with clear fields of direct fire in all directions. The area beyond the perimeter must be clear of foliage or structures that block vision for at least 580 meters (maximum effective range of the M16A2). Larger cleared areas are better yet. A hilltop makes an ideal fire-base location, as it provides clear kill zones and maximum grazing fires. The area outside the perimeter must be carefully surveyed by the defensive planner (normally the 1SG or USMC Local Security Chief); and covered avenues of approach must be identified for coverage by means other than direct fire (grenade launchers, claymore mines, artillery, and so forth).

          d. The battery perimeter must be tightened and improved as much as possible. Concertina and barbed wire, mines, trip flares, remote sensors, and OPs or LPs are used to prevent entry into the battery position. As time and resources permit, the defenses are expanded and improved. Multiple bands of wire are established around the perimeter. Fighting positions are prepared at each howitzer position, the FDC, and the CP. This is to provide 6,400-mil defense of each individual element as well as to defend the battery position as a whole. If possible, fire bases should be collocated with maneuver elements; and their defenses should be integrated into the overall maneuver defense plan.

          e. Gun positions, the POC and/or FDC, and the battery CP must be hardened as much as possible. Gun pits and fighting positions are prepared and constantly improved. All personnel and ammunition are provided with at least 18 inches of overhead cover to protect them from incoming indirect fire. Preparing gun pits, clearing fields of fire, and establishing wire and other obstacles may well be beyond the capabilities of the battery. If so, engineer support must be requested; and the FSCOORD must coordinate with the maneuver brigade commander for priority of engineer support. A priority of work must be established for the engineer assets. (For example, first dig in FDC, then howitzers, then fighting positions, then field expedient devices to assist in filling sandbags.) Field Artillery units will, in any case begin hardening the position with whatever means available immediately after establishing firing capability and continue until ordered to move. As a minimum, the battery must carry basic Class IV materials (sandbags, concertina, pickets, 4 x 4s, plywood) and use these and other readily available materials (powder canisters, ammunition boxes, and so forth) to secure and harden itself. Internal wire lines should be buried to a depth of at least 12 inches, and redundant lines should be layed. Units may also consider the use of chain link fences around gun positions to protect from rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and bomblet type submunitions.

          f. The defense of the battery must be carefully planned and coordinated. Howitzers and crew-served weapons are positioned to provide interlocking fires. The star formation (Figure 2-4) is ideal for the defense of a battery-based unit, while the diamond formation (Figure 2-3) optimizes platoon defense. Figure F-1 shows a completed hardened position using a variation of the star formation. This formation could also be organized into a triangular formation. Detailed defense diagrams are prepared by each section chief, and the defense plan is integrated by the BC, battery first sergeant and/or the platoon sergeant. The perimeter must be continuously manned to the extent possible consistent with the basic mission to provide fire support. A plan for the all-out defense of the position must be developed and exercised, so that every individual soldier in the position knows his function and sector of responsibility. A reaction force must be designated and exercised under the control of the first sergeant. The composition of the reaction force, to include equipment (weapons and ammunition), should be specified in the unit SOPs. The scarcity of personnel in the firing battery and/or the nature of the threat may make it impossible for the battery to adequately man it's own perimeter. Then the FSCOORD must request augmentation from the maneuver commander. Such augmentation should include a battalion mortar platoon inside the battery perimeter; this increases survivability and makes resupply of mortars easier. Also, the addition of ground surveillance radar enhances detection outside the perimeter. While the maneuver commander will naturally be reluctant to divert any of his assets from their primary mission, the temporary loss of these assets is generally preferable to the permanent loss of a substantial portion of the brigade fire support.

          g. Unit SOPs and plans for the defense must be detailed enough to ensure that all battery personnel know their individual responsibilities once an enemy attack commences. If maneuver, CSS, or allied personnel are habitually present in the fire base, they must be incorporated into the battery defense plan. Personnel temporarily in the compound must be briefed on what their actions should be in case of an attack. A standard set of visual symbols to tell fire base personnel when to execute various parts of the defense plan must be developed and disseminated to all personnel in the perimeter. The plan must be rehearsed, critiqued, and improved on a continuing basis.

          h. If the field artillery unit is proficient in the conduct of patrols or if infantry is available, patrols should be conducted outside the perimeter. Their purpose is to prevent the enemy from staging in areas just beyond the line of sight of the fire base. As a rule of thumb, patrols should push out to the maximum range of the enemy's heaviest weapon, generally a light mortar. Should the patrol encounter enemy forces, it will very likely require fire support to disengage and to break up the enemy element. Fires must be planned in advance and the fire plan rehearsed, with dry fire if possible, before the patrol goes out. Once patrols are outside the wire, they must remain in constant communications with the CP; and their progress must be carefully tracked. In jungle or heavy forest, contact between the patrol and the enemy may well be made at ranges of less than 100 meters. The FDC must know the location of the patrol very precisely if it is to provide effective fires without endangering the patrol. Refer to FM 7-8 for specific instructions on the conduct of patrols.

          i. The defenses must be constantly checked for evidence of tampering. The patrols will examine the perimeter from the outside, looking for cut wire, disabled sensors, or mines that have been deactivated or turned around (in the case of Claymores). Any evidence of tampering should be regarded as a warning of likely enemy attack, and alert states should be increased.

          j. Unit SOPs must contain provisions for battery self-defense. These include gunnery techniques such as Killer Junior, firing flechette (APERS-T) rounds, or firing APICM into the wire.

          (1) Killer Junior is a procedure that uses HE projectiles with mechanical time fuzes set to burst about 10 meters above the ground at ranges of 200 to 1,000 meters. Killer Junior techniques can be used with any of the current cannon systems. Specific techniques are described in detail in Appendix I of this manual. Battery personnel should note that when Killer Junior is used over friendly troops, soldiers and equipment must be below ground with substantial overhead cover. Fighting positions over which Killer Junior is likely to be fired must be specially reinforced on the back side to protect the soldiers and to prevent collapse.

          (2) APERS-T rounds are intended primarily for antipersonnel use at close range. The round comes fuzed and set for muzzle action; however, it can be set for up to 100 seconds. The round is loaded with 8,000 8-grain steel flechettes. The APERS-T round is devastatingly effective against exposed infantry. There are two important cautions when using the M546 (APERS-T). First, the round may not be used over the heads of exposed friendly troops, even in combat emergencies. Second, the aluminum casing of the round is thin and easily damaged. Damaged rounds are unpredictable and should not be fired. The APERS-T round is available in only 105-mm caliber.

          (3) ICM in the wire is a 105-mm and 155-mm technique. For 105-mm systems, it requires firing shell M444 (ICM) fuzed with the M565 MT fuze at charge 1. With a minimum time setting of 2 seconds and a QE of 1,250 mils, the round can be brought in as close as 300 meters from the howitzer. By decreasing QE and/or increasing the time setting, the range can be extended to 2,000 meters. Detailed instructions for this technique are in the approved firing tables. The 155-mm technique involves firing shell M449 (ICM) fazed with the M565 MT fuze at charge 2 green bag (M3A1). With a minimum fuze setting of 2 seconds and a QE of 1,193 mils, rounds can be brought in as close as 400 meters. Detailed instructions for 155-mm systems are also in the appropriate firing tables. It is emphasized that this 155-mm procedure is for charge 2 green bag only. Firing charge 1 green bag at high angle from a M109A3/A6 or M198 is extremely hazardous, as the round may not clear the tube (sticker).

          k. Resupply of the fire base will most likely be by air. If so, a suitable LZ or drop zone (DZ) within or near the perimeter is a major positioning consideration. If the battery is to be resupplied by ground transport, the fire base must be positioned near a suitable road.

          l. If the unit is to be resupplied by ground transport, the entrance to the position can become a critical weak point in the fire base defense. A series of barriers must be established to slow the approach of vehicles to the entrance. This keeps the vehicles from crashing the gate at high speed and entering the compound. Gate guards must have the means immediately at hand to destroy any vehicle that tries to force entry into the perimeter.

          m. For the final defense of the position, an internal perimeter is established around each gun position, each support section, and around the FDC and BOC. If the outer perimeter is penetrated, sections should stay in place and defend the battery/platoon from these positions. Once the situation stabilizes, the battery leadership executes a counterattack to reestablish the perimeter followed by a security sweep of each defensive position inside the perimeter.

          n. Priorities of work must be established to efficiently occupy and defend a firebase or hardened position. The following is a typical priority of work:

          (1) Advance party:

          (a) Selection of a site that will support maneuver forces and is defensible, with open fields of fire, preferably out to 300+ meters.

          (b) Scratch out positions for: howitzer and equipment berms, bunkers, vehicle positions, critical equipment positions, machine-gun sectors of fire, howitzer direct fire sectors, and so on.

          (c) Construct individual hasty fighting positions 18-36" deep to lie in for protection from ground-burst indirect fire and small-arms fire, if attacked).

          (d) Lay out initial defensive perimeter.

          (2) During occupation:

          (a) Site/emplace crew-served weapon systems.

          (b) All personnel dig individual hasty fighting positions.

          (c) Determine final locations for defensive fighting positions and howitzer sectors of fire.

          (d) Finalize perimeter.

          (3) After occupation:

          (a) Emplacement of perimeter wire obstacle, mines, and early warning devices.

          (b) Improving individual positions from hasty positions to one-or two-man fighting positions.

          (c) Hardening/digging-in critical material and equipment (in priority).

            • First, 1.18 inches of overhead cover for all personnel.
            • Second, FDC/BOC.
            • Third, howitzers.
            • Fourth, ammunition.
            • Fifth, remaining support vehicles and equipment.

            (d) Identify and plan defensive targets.

            (e) Improve perimeter wire.

            (f) Tie-in internal defenses (assign direct fire sectors).

            (g) Verify siting of defensive weapons/preparation and inspection of range cards.

            (h) Coordinate with adjacent units for areas of responsibility, mutual support communications, patrol schedules, defensive targets, sectors of fire, call signs and frequencies, and any other matters required to integrate the two units' defensive plans. This will reduce fratricide.

            (i) Rehearse battle drills for enemy inside the perimeter, snipers, air attack, mounted/mechanized attack, and so on.

            (j) Maximize the use of night vision equipment.

          Leaders must ensure everyone understands the priorities of work, and that resources are allocated to complete high-priority tasks first.


          a. The BC reconnoiters the route to the new position, selects emergency occupation positions, determines map-spot locations, and transmits these locations to the platoon leaders.

          b. The BCS operator enters these locations in BCS; PIECES format in order of possible occupation when platoon displaces. (As the platoon passes a predetermined position, that position can be deleted.)

          c. When the platoon march-orders, the BCS operator erases the X in READY and places an entry in the OUTTIL field. He then transmits the AFU;UPDATE format to battalion tactical fire direction computer (IFSAS). This should allow the battery to complete its displacement without receiving a call for fire. Regardless, the BCS operator should be prepared to receive a fire mission. He does this by entering 3200 in the AZ field of the AFU;UPDATE. The BCS operator executes the AFU;UPDATE.

          d. Upon notification of an emergency occupation, the BCS operator does the following:

          (1) He displays the emergency occupation mission (FM;CFF). Then, after ensuring that the gun number corresponding to the emergency occupation position is specified in the adjustment field, he executes the format.

          (2) From the resulting set of firing data, he determines the new azimuth of fire by using the BACKWARD AZIMUTH RULE (paragraph 4-25).

          (3) He enters the new azimuth of fire in the AZ field of the AFU;UPDATE format and re-executes the format.


          Step 1. Place possible emergency occupation positions in BCS; PIECES format and 3200 in AZ field of AFU;UPDATE format.

          Step 2. Upon receipt of fire mission request (FM;CFF), select pieces to fire (PTF) corresponding to appropriate position in BCS; PIECES and execute.

          Step 3. Review firing data.

          Step 4. Use BACKWARD AZIMUTH RULE to compute the new azimuth of fire as follows:

          Common deflection                 3200 AZ                             3200
          Computed deflection               4550 Decrease of                1350
          Increase of                             1350 new AZ                       1850

          Common deflection                 3200 AZ                              3200
          Computed deflection               2500 increase of                     700
          Decrease of                              700 new AZ                       3900

          Step 5. Replace AZ in AFU;UPDATE with new AZ.

          Step 6. Re-execute related fire mission request message (FM;CFF). Data now correspond with common deflection 3200 and appropriate mission data.

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