The enemy will direct actions against the field artillery to suppress, neutralize, and/or destroy our capability to fight. All field artillerymen must know and apply passive and active defense measures against artillery, air, and ground attacks if they are to survive and provide continuous and responsive fire support.
a. Detection. The enemy will try to detect FA elements. Detection is done through the study of our doctrine and the processing of signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT), and human intelligence (HUMINT).
(1) Signals Intelligence.
(a) Using signal intercept and radio direction finding (RDF) equipment, the enemy collects various tlequency modulated (FM) and amplitude modulated (AM) transmissions. Through triangulation, the enemy frees the signal. FM monitors are closer to the forward line of own troops (FLOT) because of the limited range of FM radios; AM radio direction finding monitors follow the fmt echelon. About 25 seconds after communications begin, the enemy targeting sequence can continue even if our communications stop. Within 2 to 3 minutes the information can produce a jamming mission, fwe mission, or a combat mission. Tactical FM radios operating on low power can be picked up by enemy RDF units at distances in excess of 10 kilometers. High power signals can be detected at distances up to 40 kilometers. However, directional antennas will improve survivability.
(b) Other targeting means are radars, sound, and visual target detection teams. Radars can detect firing weapons within 100 meters or less. Higher trajectories produce more accurate results. Seismic and sound ranging can produce targets with a target location accuracy of 1 percent of range up to 10 km (error of 100 meters). However, their accuracy is diminished by other battle noise and they are affected by weather and the soil. Unaided visual observations depend on line of sight and their accuracy varies. Visual, sound, and radar collectors are commonly organic to the front line units; and immediate targeting can be expected. About 10 percent of enemy detection of friendly artillery is by RDF; sound and flash provide about 20 percent and radar and/or visual assets provide the remaining 70 percent.
(2) Imagery Intelligence. This effort is normally coordinated, cued by other sensors. It consists of photographic electro-optical imagery, thermal detection, radar location, and laser imagery. The product from these sensors may require laboratory processing. Data may have to be transcribed to a map sheet during the analysis. The processing of IMINT requires no more than 2 hours. Target location errors from IMINT will be no more than 100 meters.
(3) Human Intelligence. Long range patrols, spies, partisans, and enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) are the HUMINT collectors. Although HUMINT relies primarily on visual observation, the peculiar equipment, predicted activities, bumper markings, spoils of the war, and rubbish that is left behind, add to the accuracy of the targeting effort.
b. Attack. A battery can be suppressed and destroyed by the following:
- Counterfire. Enemy attacks with up to 600 rounds fired into a 200- x 100-meter area (see FM 100-2-1).
- Air attack (high-performance aircraft and helicopters).
- Ground forces (mounted forces of tanks and motorized infantry; dismounted forces of infantry, airborne and/or air assault, and partisans and/or guerrillas).
- Radio electronic combat (REC). REC combines SIGINT, direction tinding, intensive jamming, deception, and destructive fires to attack enemy organizations and systems.
a. The BC is responsible for general planning, coordination, and execution of his battery defense. The BC analyzes the S2's IPB and develops an overall defensive plan. On the basis of the tactical situation, the BC must develop his own engagement area based upon avenues of approach, lines of intervisiblity, and the expected threat. The BC must be able to conduct a modified terrain analysis of the position area and surrounding terrain to determine from where the enemy will attack. The BC must graphically portray to his leaders how he intends to defend his position. With this as a beginning, the platoon leader can develop a plan to defend his platoon. He will coordinate with his platoon sergeant for positioning of listening posts (LPs) and/or OPs, fighting positions, direct fire targets, target reference points, or range markers to direct the firepower of the platoon into the engagement area.
b. The first sergeant is responsible overall for the execution of battery defense. The first sergeant integrates the platoon defense plans into an overall battery defense plan. This may not be possible due to the distances platoons may be dispersed from each other. If this is the case, the 1SG will review both platoon defensive plans and forward them to battalion. He also will coordinate for resupply all Class IV material and support as necessary.
Note: In a USMC battery, the local security chief is overall responsible for the execution of battery defense.
c. Once the BC's time line and defensive priorities are established, the platoon leader will coordinate with the platoon sergeant to accomplish the following:
- Establish a rally point immediately upon occupation.
- Develop the platoon defensive plan.
- Supervise the defense forces.
- Direct and sight in the positioning and preparation of the following:
- Crew-served weapons.
- Antitank weapons.
- Observation posts and/or listening posts.
- Ensure that communications are installed, checked, and functioning.
- Designate air TRPs.
- Select positions for TRPs and range markers.
- Organize and rehearse the reaction force.
- Ensure that unit members know equipment and/or material destruction procedures.
- Ensure that howitzer direct fire targets are established and integrated into overall defensive plan.
- Ensure that killer junior targets are computed by the FDC and distributed to each howitzer section and that each section chief knows how to compute 10/R.
- Ensure there is a plan for medical evacuation.
d. The section chief does the following:
- Ensures that the howitzer range card is prepared according to the sectors assigned by the platoon sergeant/1SG.
- Studies the route to and locations of alternate and supplementary positions.
- Ensures that the crew-served weapons range cards are prepared in accordance with assigned sectors.
- Ensures that individual and crew-served fighting positions are properly prepared and have overhead cover.
e. All battery leaders must become familiar with the defense plan, rehearse the plan, and brief their subordinates on its execution.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEFENSE
|Note: Paragraph F-10 and Appendix H provide further guidance and checklists for battery defense.|
a. Camouflage. If it can be seen, it will be hit. If it can be hit, it will be killed. A battery that is concealed or cannot be recognized has greatly increased its odds for survival. There are six factors of recognition: position, color, shape, shadow, texture, and movement. Following the principles of concealment (camouflage construction, light and noise discipline) helps the battery avoid detection.
(2) Properly site electronic equipment to reduce signatures, and position all battery equipment to eliminate exposure and detection.
(3) Make use of all camouflage. Trees and shrubs can hide a battery or platoon. Built-up areas are great for hiding equipment, because man-made items look like other man-made items and do not contrast with natural surroundings.
(4) Use whatever terrain and natural concealment are available to blend into the surroundings.
(5) Maintain light and noise discipline.
(6) Use the track plan. The most common signs of military activity in an otherwise well camouflaged area are tracks, spoil, debris, and movement. The BC must enforce his track plan. Existing roads and trails must be used. If none are available, some should be created with heavy vehicles to give the appearance that a unit has moved through the area. The roads and trails must have logical starting and ending points.
(1) Occupy positions that have natural advantages for defense, such as interior tree lines and ravines.
(2) Harden battery positions and dig in whenever possible. FM 5-103 shows good examples of hardened positions.
(3) Whenever possible, construct obstacles to delay, stop, divert, or canalize an attack force. All obstacles should be covered by fire. Types of man-made obstacles and techniques for their employment are found in FM 5-103.
(4) In fast-moving situations, or when emergency displacement is anticipated, hardening might be limited to digging fighting positions on the perimeter, placing sandbags around sensitive equipment such as collimators and tires, and constructing individual shelters for prone personnel. Placing sandbags on or around the engine compartment and the ballistic shield improves survivability of the howitzer. If natural cover is limited or unavailable, individual fighting positions should be constructed. FM 7-7 gives instructions on how to construct fighting positions, machine gun positions, range cards, and how to establish sectors of fire with crew-served weapons.
(5) Camouflage the spoil from position hardening.
Defensive operations should be planned so that the BC and platoon leaders are warned of an impending attack soon enough to displace the unit or defend the position. Maneuver forces operating in the same area can provide early warning of enemy attacks. The BC should talk to these elements. OPs and LPs are also key elements for early warning. When determining the location of the OPs and/or LPs, consider observation and field of fire, cover and concealment, obstacles, key terrain, avenues of approach, and METT-T. How far from the battery area OPs and LPs are located depends on terrain, visibility, likely threats, and how much time the battery requires to displace or occupy preselected fighting positions. Locate OPs to observe likely avenues of approach so the enemy can be engaged at long range with artillery, mortars, or close air support. Man OPs with at least a two-man team and provide them with antitank weapons, a map, binoculars, night vission goggles, food, water, and two means of communications. OPs must be able to quickly identify target reference points (TRPs) in avenues of approach and communicate to higher. OPs must be briefed on their responsibilities and the enemy situation.
The cannon battery/platoon is highly vulnerable to attack as it occupies or displaces from a position. The first order of business is establishing security. Due to personnel constraints, a unit may not be able to both fully man an effective defensive perimeter and provide continuous fire support. In accordance with the factors of METT-T, the commander may consider alternatives such as requesting an element from the supported maneuver unit, or "calling out" one of his sections to man the perimeter.
a. Upon occupying a position, each section must have a predetermined sector of responsibility. It must make maximum use of primary weapons and ensure there is a coordinated, all-around defense with interlocking fires. The defense plan includes defensive resources (see Table 3-1) and is visually depicted by a defense diagram (see Section III). The defense diagram is based on the data for each howitzer and each machine gun range card. It includes the fields of fire for grenade launchers, antitank weapons, and individual weapons. The diagram is prepared by the platoon sergeant and approved by the platoon leader. If howitzer sections are dispersed over great distances, the section becomes responsible for its defense. It must be able to defend itself until help arrives.
b. The PSG or platoon leader will assign supplementary positions and ensure that they are depicted on the defense diagram. These positions will reinforce the primary position and allow the unit to perform specific missions such as direct fire. The signal to occupy supplementary positions must be disseminated throughout the unit and the movement to those positions should be rehearsed by the platoon leader and platoon sergeant with all howitzer sections.
c. If the platoon is attacked or penetrated by enemy forces, the reaction force will respond by assembling at the predetermined location to:
- Assess the situation and deploy to augment the existing perimeter.
- Deploy using fire and maneuver to expel and/or destroy the enemy.
- Notify the FDC/BOC of the situation as it develops.
- Re-establish the perimeter.
d. A suggested composition of the reaction force is as follows:
- Reaction force NCO in charge; for example, the platoon sergeant.
- One man per howitzer section.
- One man from the fire direction center or POC.
- One man from the communications section (if available).
- One man from the maintenance section (if available and in position).
Note: This is only a guide; actual SOP may be different. The battery may also consider making one howitzer section the reaction force. This ensures that there is an NCO in charge and that the force does not have to assemble to be effective; that is, they are already assembled.
Dispersion minimizes the effects of an air attack or a counterfire attack. When using this technique, units should disperse, as a minimum, over a 200 by 400 meter area with howitzers no closer than 100 meters apart. The FDC should be positioned approximately 100 meters from either flank howitzer. Figure 3-1 shows a platoon position with elements not dispersed. Figure 3-2 shows a platoon position with elements dispersed. Dotted lines in both figures indicate the area normally covered by enemy counterfire.
Note: With the use of the BCS, and LCU, howitzers can be accurately located over a widely dispersed area of operation. Refer to Chapter 2 for further discussion of weapons dispersion.
a. The BC or platoon leader may be instructed to continue his mission in the position despite hostile counterfire. In that case, he might establish the following tasks in the priority indicated:
- Harden critical items of equipment.
- Prepare individual fighting positions.
- Prepare defensive positions.
- Select alternate positions, displacement routes, and a signal in case movement is unavoidable. Brief key personnel on this information.
b. The BC or platoon leader may be instructed to displace upon receiving fire. In that case, he would have a different list in mind. For example, he might establish the following tasks to be done before receiving incoming fire:
- Prepare limited protection for personnel and equipment.
- Reconnoiter and/or select alternate positions, displacement routes, and march-order signal.
- Prepare alternate positions.
- Prepare defensive positions.
- Improve individual protection.
- Improve equipment protection.
c. The duties of the section members may be different if they are ordered to continue the mission or displace on receiving fire. Tables 3-2 and 3-3 are samples of duty breakdowns. Actual work priorities should be included in unit SOPs.
The enemy can attack from any direction; so the platoons must be able to defend in all directions. Based upon METT-T, the unit may consider dispatching patrols to maintain security. Refer to FM 7-8 for specific instructions on the conduct of patrols.
Mutual support is one unit helping another unit or one soldier helping another soldier. Battery and/or platoon defensive fire plan targets should be submitted to the battalion FDC and updated as needed. Reports of any type of enemy attack should be forwarded to the battalion as soon as possible after contact is made to use mutual support. Within the platoon, one section must be ready to support another section. Apply the same concept to the individual soldier and you can build a formidable defense. Range cards for crew-served weapons are essential to a good defense. The BC or platoon leader should plan indirect fire targets for the defense of his position. These might include illumination targets if self-illumination is not possible.
All leaders must control their personnel and firepower before, during, and after an attack so the correct actions can be taken at the right time. Battery leadership should review FM 71-1 for techniques of focusing and controlling fires. Something as simple as what sections will suppress with heavy machine guns, as others direct fire their howitzers, will be difficult to control without rehearsing. The use of range markers out to 1,500 meters or TRPs greatly enhances the effectiveness of massing the fire power in a platoon or battery. Battery and platoon SOPs must be developed and followed to maintain control.
No fight will ever go exactly as planned, so the BC and platoon leaders must respond quickly to the unexpected. They must constantly evaluate METT-T and be prepared to deal with situations that are not in the plan.
The defense diagram graphically portrays the position area with respect to the azimuth of fire. The diagram shows the position area, all section positions, all defensive positions (including sectors of fire, TRPs, and adjacent units), and key terrain. It is a key tool to ensure there is a defense plan which can provide 6,400-mil coverage (if necessary) for the battery. Also, this diagram is sent to battalion and is used to develop a battalion defensive fire support plan.
There are different methods for determining the location of different points for the defensive diagram and constructing the corresponding grid sheet. The LCU or BCS can simplify the process of determining grid coordinates and altitude of positions in and around the platoon or battery area. Computations can be made by using the piece location format. (See ST 6-40-31 or the applicable job aids for the steps.)
a. Constructing the Matrix. There are different methods of constructing a matrix on which to draw your diagram. The key is to pick a scale for your casting and northing grid lines which will enable you to plot all or most of the desired locations. The FDC section has preprinted grid sheets which are scaled to 1:25,000. Each grid square represents 1,000 meters on these sheets. Examples of the scale interval you could choose are as follows:
- 1:12,500-Each grid square represents 500 meters.
- 1:5,000-Each grid square represents 200 meters (Figure 3-3).
b. Constructing the Diagram. The steps to construct a platoon diagram could be as follows:
- Construct the matrix (Figure 3-4).
- Add terrain features including dead space.
- Draw the azimuth of fire to orient the diagram.
- Plot the required positions (such as howitzers, TRPs, FDC or POC, LPs or OPs, crew-served weapons, tank killer team positions, and Killer Junior targets). Use the grid coordinates obtained from the BCS, LCU,PLGR, or from a map spot.
- Draw sectors of fire for howitzers and crew-served weapons (Figure 3-5).
- Record the related information and grids on the back of the defensive diagram (Figure 3-6).
- Verify that the defense diagram depicts the BC's defensive plan and that it graphically portrays the range card data to include TRPs, avenues of approach, and so on. (See Figure 3-6)
Based upon guidance from the BC or 1SG, the GSG begins to construct the defensive diagram during the advance party operations. Once the main body occupies the new position, the GSG gives the platoon sergeant (platoon-based) or 1SG (battery-based) the diagram to be completed or to be checked and verified. If the battery is a platoon-based unit, the 1SG will collect both platoon diagrams and integrate them into the battery defensive diagram. The battery diagram is then sent to the battalion TOC for further consolidation.
a. The platoon sergeant establishes the sectors of fire for the crew-served weapons. When these sectors have been determined and assigned, a range card will be constructed in duplicate, for each primary position. A range card will be partially completed for each alternate and supplementary position. Range cards are continually updated and revised throughout the occupation of the position. Platoon or battery TRPs must be on range cards. This allows the battery leaders the ability to control and mass direct fire assets. The battery leaders must verify the proper construction of all range cards.
(1) Howitzer range card. The DA Form 5699-R (Howitzer Range Card) consist of two parts. A sketch of the sector of fire depicts targets and reference points. A data section lists data necessary to engage targets during periods of limited visibility. Procedures for completing DA Form 5699-R are as follows:
(a) Having been assigned a sector of fire, begin a sketch of the area. Depict left and right limits and potential targets and/or reference points in the SECTORS OF FIRE section. Identify the targets and/or reference points in your sketch by numbering them in order from the most probable to the least probable.
(b) While sighting along the bottom of the bore, direct scales). Record this deflection on the range card in the space the gunner to traverse and the assistant gunner to elevate or depress marked LEFT DF. If the left limit is also a target, record the until the weapon is sighted on the left limit. Direct the gunner to deflection in the DF column on the appropriate line for the target turn the head of the pantel, without moving the tube, onto the number. Direct the assistant gunner to measure the quadrant and collimator (or primary aiming point) and to read the deflection record the quadrant. Complete the DESCRIPTION column by (df) from the reset counter (or azimuth and azimuth micrometer annotating a brief description of the target.
(c) Repeat these procedures for the right limit and for all target reference points. Determine the shell, charge, and fuze to be fired for each target and record that information in the appropriate columns. Use the REMARKS column to indicate additional information needed to engage the target; for example, sweep 200.
(d) The measured quadrant and range should be given to the FDC to be converted into a true quadrant. Then record the true quadrant on the range quadrant in the QE column.
(e) When the range card is completed (example in Figure 3-7), make a duplicate card for the platoon sergeant. Continue to update and review the range card throughout occupation of the position.
(2) Machine gun range card. The machine gun range card consists of two parts: a sketch of the sectors of fire and a data section that list data necessary to engage targets during periods of limited visibility. The sketch depicts the primary and secondary sectors of fire, the location of the weapon, azimuths of the left and right limits and/or the final protective line, target reference points, and any dead space. A sample is shown in Figure 3-8.
b. Once the range cards are collected by the platoon sergeant, they are used in constructing the sectors of fire on the defense diagram. The result is a completed defense diagram with all pertinent data for the platoon defense (Figure 3-9).
CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE
a. If an enemy armor or mechanized force detects the battery or its platoons, the enemy can be expected to take the following actions:
(1) Tanks may assault in an attempt to breach or overrun the firing battery positions.
(2) Threat assault vehicles will maneuver to good standoff fighting positions to fire antitank guided missiles (ATGMs), direct fire cannons, and crew-served machine guns.
(3) These actions will be followed by a hasty mounted or dismounted attack through the battery area.
b. The preferred defense against a armor or mechanized ground attack is for the battery or platoon to move to a position from which it can continue the fire support mission (alternate position) without a direct confrontation with the enemy. However, in some circumstances fighting an enemy mechanized force may be unavoidable. Some combat-proven rules for fighting mechanized forces are as follows:
(1) Separate the infantry from the tanks.
(2) Slow down the tanks. Use smoke mixed with HE to obscure the enemy's vision and keep tanks buttoned up.
(3) Canalize tanks into predetermined engagement areas by using obstacles and fire support means.
(4) Use antitank weapons. (Rehearse tank-killer teams.)
Direct fire engagements must be controlled. The unit SOP must address who controls the fires, how to control the fires, and how to mass the direct fire assets. Units may consider self-illumination during periods of limited visibility.
a. The primary way for an FA battery to survive when the enemy has air parity or superiority is to be so well concealed that an enemy cannot detect the battery as a target. If the battery is detected and attacked, the key to survival is dispersion and engaging attacking aircraft with a large volume of fire. Immediate actions against air attack are as follows:
(1) The warning signal for an imminent air attack is given. (See paragraph 3-23).
(2) Every soldier takes cover and prepares to return fire.
(3) All weapons in the battery are used to return fire Accuracy is not as important as mass (see Figure 3-10).
(4) A lead equal to two football fields should be used for fast-moving aircraft. A lead of one-half of a football field is used for slow moving aircraft (helicopters).
(5) Ring-mounted machine guns (.50 caliber) are the only organic air defense weapons in the battery. Primary or supplementary positions selected by the battery should be occupied by vehicles with ring-mounted weapons (M992) to return fire.
(6) Stinger and/or Avenger teams from the division or corps air defense battalion engage enemy aircraft. If available these teams should be positioned to cover primary low-flight avenues of approach into the battery area. Reference points for engaging enemy aircraft should be planned and their location disseminated throughout the unit. These can be terrain features or TRPs established for ground defense. The battalion S2 can aid in determining the likely enemy air avenues of approach for defense planning purposes. The reaction drill to counter an enemy air attack should be rehearsed thoroughly.
(7) Antitank weapons are very effective against low flying rotary-winged aircraft at short ranges.
b. Defense of convoys against air attack is as follows:
(2) Consider infiltration if there is a significant air threat.
(3) Post air guards for each vehicle, and assign sectors of responsibility that permit massing small-arms fires.
(4) Immediate action against air attack is to disperse vehicles. Everyone must return fire.
(5) Designated drivers must have strip maps to the battalion station and alternate medical facilities in the area; rehearse the plan.
c. For the employment of the Stinger and/or Avenger teams, see FM 44-18 and FM 44-23-1.
a. Dismounted enemy elements will attack by use of the following:
- Guerrilla-type attacks (normally not exceeding platoon size and often conducted at night or in adverse weather).
- A diversionary attack and then a main attack.
- Dismounted infantry.
b. A properly equipped 10-man enemy combat patrol can effectively neutralize a cannon battery that is weak in its defense planning or execution. To keep this from happening, the battery must do the following:
- Fight the enemy outside the position.
- Insure fighting positions provide interlocking sectors of fire around the position.
- Use an overwatch technique. One element will cover the movement of another if defense personnel must withdraw to alternate positions.
- Chase the enemy with artillery fires when he is beaten back. Do not dispatch forces to chase him.
- Use mines, barbed wires, and other obstacles.
- Plan Killer Junior on dismounted avenues of approach.
c. An additional defense against a ground attack (mounted or dismounted) is for the battery or platoon to displace to an alternate position.
The battery could be involved in any number of possible contingency missions, to include OOTW. This is particularly true of artillery units that support light forces. The specifics of battery defense in OOTW depend largely on the situation. Also, they are largely determined by the equipment and offensive capability of the threat. In most situations, the threat consists of paramilitary or guerilla forces with minimum heavy weapons, armor, or air support. The primary ground threat to the battery is dismounted attacks by light infantry or infiltration by sappers or saboteurs. In this situation, the best defensive solution is consolidation of battery elements into a strong defensive perimeter, often called a fire base. For additional information on fire base operations and OOTW, see paragraph F-9 and F-10.
Counterfire continues to be the greatest threat facing the artillery. Dispersion, hardening, and movement are techniques used to survive the counterfire threat; but those techniques should not be used in isolation.
a. Dispersion is the least expensive method in terms of effort and time. Platoon installations, howitzers, fighting positions, and so forth should be no closer than 50 meters from each other, should not be on line, and should present a deceptively larger element.
b. If the ground threat or the terrain makes wide dispersion of the battery or platoon elements impractical, hardening the position will greatly increase survivability. Fighting positions with adequate overhead cover for crew-served weapons and individual soldiers must be prepared and continuously improved. Gun pits for towed howitzers, and hull-defilade positions for self-propelled weapons substantially increase the ability of the unit to survive and continue the mission.
c. Unplanned movement to an alternate position denies the maneuver force the amount of FA support it requires; it may increase the number of casualties. The point is, do not move unless your position is untenable.
The BC must ensure that the unit SOPs give procedures for dealing with NBC attacks. SOPs should cover chemical and radiological survey teams, protective measures, immediate action, decontamination, and reporting. Guidance for the commander is provided in FM 3-100.
The BC must ensure that the unit SOPs include the procedures for the destruction of unit equipment and material. He designates personnel to perform the destruction and ensure that adequate emergency destruction (ED) material is available. See DA Pamphlet 25-30, appropriate equipment technical manuals, and STANAG 2113 for guidance in preparing unit SOPs. The applicable details from STANAG 2113 are shown below.
The BC must ensure that his unit SOPs provide guidance concerning bombing, shelling, rocketing, mortaring, and location reports including the format to be used when preparing these reports must also be included. Guidance for the commander is provided in FM 6-121, in Appendix J of this manual, and in STANAG 2934, Chapter 13.
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