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CHAPTER 5

FIRE SUPPORT


Fire Support Considerations for
Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT)
by LTC Anthony J. Puckett, Chief of Doctrine,
U.S. Army Field Artillery School

1. GENERAL.

The mission flow for a brigade combat team (BCT) conducting military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) generally includes moving some distance from a line of departure to an urban area. This mission includes breaching obstacles to enter the urban area, gaining a foothold, defeating enemy forces and seizing a designated area, and conducting a follow-on mission. For Field Artillery (FA) units supporting the BCT, this may mean integrating fires into a scheme of maneuver involving a battalion task force or larger BCT. This maneuver may include movement to contact or air assault (or combination of the two), breaching operations, a deliberate attack to seize objectives in a city or town, and providing fires for a follow-on mission. For the fire support system, the fight begins with fires setting the conditions for interdiction fires 24 hours prior to disrupting enemy forces in preparing their defense. This fight continues when units cross the line of departure (LD) rather than at the breach site or in the city or town. Fire support planning for missions involving a deliberate attack on urban terrain objectives must include synchronization of fires during the fight from the LD to the breach site. Battle calculus must determine ammunition requirements for sustained fires while units suppress, obscure, secure, and reduce obstacles. During combat in the city, fire support planning must address unique challenges created by urban terrain, buildings and structures of varying heights, rules of engagement restricting use of indirect fires, and observer inability to locate and observe enemy targets. Planning and integration of supporting fires for MOUT is not routine for fire support planners. The military decision-making process (MDMP) and the fire support planning process (task, purpose, method, and endstate) are essential tools. Effects rather than endstate must be used to ensure fire support planning adequately supports each phase or mission and defeats the challenges presented by urban terrain.

2. DOCTRINAL BASE.

The Field Artillery does not have a MOUT manual. The current FM 6-series manuals address a few considerations for fire support in urban combat. But these manuals do not provide many TTPs for fire support planning and FA employment in urban operations. The current draft of FM 6-20-40, Fire Support of Brigade Operations, does include a discussion of fire support considerations for MOUT.

3. PLANNING.

OBSERVATION 1: Fire support should be planned through the depth and breadth of the zone of attack for each branch and sequel. For fire support planners (primarily the fire support coordinator [FSCOORD]), brigade and battalion fire support officers (FSOs) and the FA battalion S-3 and/or XO can provide good assistance during the planning process. MOUT requires additional considerations beyond those normally addressed.

DISCUSSION 1: Planning and coordinating fire support for a complex scheme of maneuver must be completed before units cross the line of departure (LD) to conduct air assaults or a movement to contact or approach march enroute to the final objective. Planned and synchronized fire support during the movement to contact/approach march toward a town are as important as the fires provided during the attack into the town because they enable the commander to arrive at the objective with maximum maneuver combat power. During the fight in the city, positioning of FA units, counterfire radar, and observers becomes critical. Ammunition resupply for special munitions (Copperhead) and sustained fires could possibly exceed the FA unit transportation capacity. And planning should also include actions necessary to rapidly transition to the follow-on phase or mission.

TTP: A good technique for planners to use to address considerations of urban combat missions is to organize their planning efforts and coordination as follows:

  • Preparation - mission analysis and battle calculus.
  • The fight from the line of departure (LD) to the breach site.
  • The breaching operation.
  • The fight in the city.
  • The follow-on mission.

Review the following checklists in Figures 1-4. These four figures provide urban planning considerations.

BRIGADE FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

MISSION ANALYSIS/BATTLE CALCULUS
_____What is the mission flow for maneuver units' movement to contact, air assault, breaching operations, deliberate attack into city for each COA?
_____FA organization for combat?
_____Other assets available (mortars, attack aviation, CAS, NGF, AC-130)?
_____Prepare asset matrix listing all artillery and other assets, ranges of each, ammunition available, time available, controlling HQ.
_____Essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) by mission for each COA? Refine "method"of EFSTs--highlight special ammunition requirements: FASCAM, dimensions/duration of smoke, preps, destruction/reduction fires.
_____HPTs? According to S-2 collection plan, what will find each HPT?
_____Calculus--are more assets needed to accomplish all EFSTs and attack each HPTs? (By mission for each COA)
_____By mission for each COA, draft Fire Support plan = Fires paragraph___, FSEM___, Tgt List scheme of fires and priority of fires worksheet___.
_____Does the S-2 R&S plan cover each HPT by mission for each COA?
_____Plan critical friendly zones (CFZs).
_____Brief draft Fire Support plan for each COA during wargaming and COA selection.
_____Upon COA selection, send fire spt WARNO (fires paragraph, FSEM, tgt list, TSM) to subordinate FSOs and DS battalion S-3.
_____Finalize plan/clean up products/add to order.
_____Rehearse

FIGHT FROM LD TO BREACH SITE
_____Disseminate the friendly scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify all fire support assets available for this phase.
_____What are probable locations and azimuths of fire of enemy indirect fire systems?
_____Identify counterfire radar positions that give the best aspect to detect enemy indirect fire.
_____What FA unit has the counterfire mission?
_____Are maneuver forces tasked to locate and destroy enemy mortars?
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA ammunition is needed to fire scheduled/pre-planned fires? How much is available for emergency missions?
_____What is the communications link to each asset tasked to assess effects on each HPT attacked by FA or another fire support asset?
_____Will FA units displace during this phase? What is the trigger?
_____Positioning of DFSCOORD/Bde FSE/ALO/COLTS during this phase.
_____Other information needed by the battalion FSOs and DS FA, S-3 from the brigade FSE?

BREACHING OPERATIONS
_____What are the indirect fire Rules of Engagement?
_____Disseminate the friendly scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to FS and FA leaders.
_____What fire support assets are available?
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA ammunition is available for SOSR fires? How much is needed to fire all scheduled/pre-planned fires?
_____Specify who is controlling SOSR fires. Specifically at the main breach point, have a primary and alternate observer.
_____Where are COLTs positioned? TACPs?
_____ Is there a deception breach?

THE CITY FIGHT
_____What are the indirect fire Rules of Engagement? What is on the restricted target list?
_____Disseminate the friendly scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to FS and FA leaders.
_____Determine FS assets available for this phase. Who controls each?
_____Specify who positions COLTs.
_____Where will FA units and counterfire radar be positioned?
_____Determine radar zones and cueing agents needed in the objective city.
_____Identify the locations of underground fuel and industrial storage tanks, gas distribution lines, storage tanks, and gas lines above ground (locations needed for friendly unit warning since below-MSD fires may produce secondary explosions).
_____Determine how the enemy is reinforcing buildings-sandbagging rooftops and upper floors, adding internal bracing/structural support, sandbagging walls.
_____Determine which maps will be distributed to FS and FA personnel. Map references must be the same as numbers assigned to specific buildings.
_____ Determine how fire support personnel determine 8-digit grid coordinates with altitudes to targets in built-up areas.
_____Identify the general construction or composition of buildings, road surfaces, and barrier obstacles that require breaching. Identify buildings that have basements.
_____Identify buildings or structures requiring large-caliber weapon/howitzer direct fire before assaulting.
_____Locate the dead space areas where tall building masking prevents indirect fire from engaging targets. Locate "urban canyon" areas where aircraft cannot engage targets between tall buildings.
_____Identify buildings that provide the best OPs for enemy and friendly observers. Identify buildings providing vantage points for employment of laser designators.
_____Locate possible firing points for 81/82/107/120mm mortars, for towed howitzers, for SP howitzers. Which positions permit 6400-mil firing?
_____Identify enemy mortar capability. Does enemy have a large number of 60mm of smaller "knee" mortars?
_____Identify areas of the city that are likely to be affected by the incendiary effects of detonating artillery and mortar rounds.
_____Determine the best positions outside the objective city for employing G/VLLDs and other ground designators.
_____Identify targets and trigger points for blocking fires outside the city.
_____Have the effects of certain weapon systems and munitions available. Hellfire, Copperhead, maverick, 155 dpicm, vt, CP, etc.
_____ Integerate TF mortars into the scheme of fires.
_____ Plan and refine CFZs.

THE FOLLOW-ON MISSION
_____Disseminate the friendly scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for the follow-on mission (or sustained combat and occupation in the objective city) to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify fire support assets available for follow-on missions.
_____Identify ammunition requirements for follow-on missions.
_____Determine optimal FA and radar position areas to support follow-on missions.

Figure 1

BATTALION FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

MISSION ANALYSIS/BATTLE CALCULUS
_____Review the brigade fire support WARNO.
_____What is the mission flow for the battalion - movement to contact, air assault, breaching operations, deliberate attack into city?
_____What fire support assets are available to support the battalion (FA, mortars, attack aviation, CAS , NGF, AC-130)?
_____Prepare a fire support asset matrix (non doctrinal) listing all artillery and other systems, ranges of each, ammunition available, time available, and controlling HQ.
_____Identify essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) for battalion fire support personnel for each phase of the mission.
_____What are the HPTs? What asset is tasked to find each of the HPTs? What asset is tasked to assess effects when an HPT is attacked?
_____Determine how much ammunition by shell/fuze type is needed to accomplish all scheduled or pre-planned fires. How much is available for emergency missions?
_____Determine if enough fire support assets are available to attack all HPTs and provide on-call fire support during each phase of the mission. What additional assets are needed?
_____Identify special ammunition requirements (FASCAM, Copperhead, dimensions/duration of obscuration fires, DPICM, concrete piercing fuzes, preparations, reduction/destruction fires).
_____Develop a communication plan to defeat range and compatibility problems between fire support personnel and FA units or other assets during each phase.
_____Identify special equipment needs, especially for breaching operations and the fight in the city--COLT or other laser designator, climbing rope, wire gloves, axes or sledge hammers, kneepads, goggles.
_____Determine what types of maps fire support personnel will use. (During the fight in the city, fire support personnel must be able to locate targets by 8-digit grid coordinates.)
_____Develop observer plan for each phase--observer positioning and observer/target link-up that should include primary, backup observer and trigger.
_____Develop and disseminate products (fires paragraph, FSEM, target list, TSM) to subordinate FSOs, battalion mortars, DS FA battalion S-3, and other supporting fire support elements.
_____Conduct fire support rehearsal, and participate in FA technical rehearsal.

FIGHT FROM LD TO BREACH SITE
_____Disseminate battalion scheme of maneuver and EFSTs to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify all fire support assets available, and method of control of each.
_____Does the battalion have priority of fires? Allocate priority targets and FPFs to companies.
_____Plan targets on known and suspected enemy positions and obstacles along the route (SEAD if conducting an air assault).
_____Ensure all reconnaissance elements are included in the fire support plan.
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA ammunition is needed to fire scheduled/pre-planned fires? How much is available for emergency missions?
_____What is the communication link to each fire support asset supporting the battalion?
_____What is the communication link to each asset tasked to assess effects on each HPT attacked by FA or another fire support asset?
_____Will FA units displace during this phase? What is the trigger?
_____What is the battalion mortar employment plan?
_____Positioning of the battalion FSE/ALO.
_____Other information needed by the Co FSOs, DS FA battalion S-3, FSE, and brigade FSE.

THE BREACHING OPERATION
_____What are the indirect fire Rules of Engagement?
_____Disseminate the battalion scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to FS and FA leaders. Is the battalion mission inside (breach, clear, and secure in city) or outside (isolate) the objective city?
_____What fire support assets are available?
_____What type of breaching operation is being conducted? Time required?
_____Specify who is initiating and controlling SOSR fires.
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA ammunition is available for SOSR fires? How much is needed to fire all scheduled/pre-planned fires? What are the dimensions/duration of obscuration fires?
_____Develop the air/ground observer plan to adjust obscurants.
_____Positioning of the battalion FSE/ALO or TACP/COLT if under battalion control.
_____What is the communication link between all FA units or fire support assets and the observers controlling the assets?
_____Is the control of any fire support asset being handed over from one observer to another? What is the trigger point to initiate the handover?

THE CITY FIGHT
_____What are the indirect fire Rules of engagement?
_____Disseminate the battalion scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to the FS and FA leaders.
_____Determine who controls each fire support asset.
_____Exchange fire plan and observer plan with adjacent battalions.
_____Determine exact locations for battalion mortars; submit to brigade FSE.
_____Develop observer plan; identify special requirements (laser designator positions, observer positions to overwatch trigger points, observer positions in tall buildings).
_____Disseminate maneuver graphics to FS and FA leaders to preclude fratricide.
_____Identify uses of obscurants in city.
_____Identify targets and trigger points for interdiction fires against counter-attack force.
_____Identify the locations of underground fuel and industrial storage tanks, gas distribution lines, storage tanks, and gas lines above ground (locations needed for friendly unit warning because below-MSD fires may produce secondary explosions).
_____Determine how the enemy is reinforcing buildings, sandbagging rooftops and upper floors, adding internal bracing/structural support, sandbagging walls.
_____What maps are battalion fire support personnel using? How is the maneuver building numbering system going to be translated into 8-digit grid coordinates for building locations?
_____Identify the general construction or composition of buildings, road surfaces, and barrier obstacles that require breaching. Identify buildings that have basements.
_____Identify buildings or structures requiring large-caliber weapon/howitzer direct fire before assaulting. Will an escalating response matrix be used?
_____Locate dead space areas where tall building masking prevents indirect fire from engaging targets. Locate "urban canyon" areas where aircraft cannot engage targets between tall buildings.
_____Identify buildings providing the best OPs for friendly and enemy observers. Identify buildings providing vantage points for employment of laser designators.
_____Locate firing points for battalion mortars and supporting howitzers. Which positions provide 6400-mil firing capability?
_____Identify areas of the city most likely to be affected by the incendiary effects of detonating artillery and mortar rounds.
_____Identify routes/roads in the objective city that permit/do not permit artillery convoy (prime mover, howitzer, ammunition carrier) travel.
_____Identify buildings/structures capable of hiding artillery prime movers, howitzers, and ammunition carriers.
_____Do enemy forces in the city use or have access to laser designators, pointers, spotlights, or other light sources that may be used to incapacitate observation devices and NVGs?
_____Where are radio communications deadspaces? Is a communications visibility plot available?
_____Determine where use of obscurants will favor friendly forces. And, where it will favor the enemy.
_____Determine where building masking, overhead power lines, structures or towers will degrade GPS accuracy.
_____Will electrical lines in the objective city be "hot?"
_____Will dense/congested structures containing metal and electrical lines affect compasses and gyro-based directional equipment?
_____Determine weather effects in and around the objective city--low industrial fog and smoke; updrafting winds caused by tall, congested buildings; temperature increase caused by buildings/pavement/industrial activity.
_____Will there be a need for artillery illumination?
_____Determine likely enemy azimuths of fire for indirect systems.
_____Will friendly local or U.S./allied personnel with in-depth knowledge of the objective city layout be available to accompany/assist fire support personnel?
_____If required, could observers conduct howitzer/mortar registration?
_____What is the sniper threat against fire support personnel, especially those occupying OPs in tall buildings? What is the mine/booby trap threat?
_____Will buildings or structures require fire support personnel to carry/use equipment not normally carried-field expedient antennas, climbing rope, wire gloves, axes or sledge hammers, kneepads, goggles, or B/LPS?
_____Will enemy forces attempt to limit friendly use of indirect fires by using civilians as "human shields?"

THE FOLLOW-ON MISSION
_____Disseminate the battalion scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for the follow-on mission (or sustained combat and occupation in the objective city) to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify fire support assets available and ammunition requirements for follow-on missions.

Figure 2

COMPANY FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER

MISSION ANALYSIS/BATTLE CALCULUS
_____What is the mission flow for the company-movement to contact, air assault, breaching operations, deliberate attack into city?
_____What fire support assets are available to support the company (FA, battalion and company mortars, attack aviation)?
_____Prepare a fire support asset matrix listing all artillery and other systems available, ranges of each, ammunition available, time available, and controlling HQ.
_____Refine essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) for company fire support personnel for each phase of the mission.
_____Where are the HPTs in the company sector? What asset will find each HPT? What asset will assess effects when an HPT is attacked?
_____Determine if enough fire support assets are available to attack all HPTs and provide on-call fire support during each phase of the mission. What additional assets are needed?
_____Determine how much ammunition by shell/fuze type is needed to accomplish all scheduled or preplanned fires. How much is available for emergency missions?
_____Identify special ammunition requirements (FASCAM, Copperhead, dimensions/duration of obscuration fires, DPICM, concrete piercing fuzes, preps, reduction/destruction fires).
_____Develop radio plan to talk to platoon FO parties, the battalion FSE, supporting FA units, mortars, and other assets. This plan must defeat range and compatibility problems. Is planning digital and execution voice?
_____Identify special equipment needs for fire support personnel, especially for breaching operations and the fight in the city-COLT or other laser designator, climbing rope, wire gloves, axes or sledge hammers, goggles or B/LPS.
_____Determine how observers will locate targets by 8-digit grid coordinates during the fight in the city.
_____Develop observer plan for each phase--observer positioning and observer/target link-up.
_____Participate in fire support and FA technical rehearsals.

FIGHT FROM LD TO BREACH SITE
_____Disseminate company scheme of maneuver and EFSTs to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify fire support assets available and method of control.
_____How many priority targets and FPFs does the company have?
_____Plan targets on known and suspected enemy positions and obstacles along the route.
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA and mortar ammunition is needed to fire scheduled/pre-planned fires? How much FA and mortar ammunition is available for emergency missions?
_____What is the communication link to each fire support asset supporting the company?
_____What is the communication link to each asset assessing effects on each HPT in the company sector?
_____What are the battalion and company mortar employment plans?
_____Positioning of the company FIST.
_____Other information needed by platoon FOs, company and battalion mortars, DS FA battalion S-3, and FSE.

THE BREACHING OPERATION
_____What are the indirect fire Rules of Engagement?
_____Disseminate company scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for this phase to the FS and FA leaders.
_____What fire support assets are available?
_____What type of breaching operation is being conducted? Time required?
_____How are SOSR fires initiated and controlled?
_____By shell/fuze type, how much FA and mortar ammunition is needed for SOSR fires? For all scheduled/pre-planned fires? What are the dimensions/duration of obscuration fires?
_____What is the communication link between FA units and mortars and the observers controlling the assets?
_____Is the control of any fire support asset being handed over from one observer to another? What is the trigger point to initiate the handover?

THE CITY FIGHT
_____What are the indirect fire rules of engagement?
_____Disseminate the company scheme of maneuver and offsets for this phase to the FS and FA leaders.
_____Determine who controls each fire support asset.
_____Exchange fire plan and observer plan with adjacent companies.
_____Determine how company mortars will be employed (direct lay or deliberate emplacement), firing points, and azimuths of fire. Pass to battalion FSE for consideration during development of the radar deployment order.
_____Develop observer plan-OPs in specific buildings, location of laser designators, overwatch of trigger points, etc.
_____Identify locations of hazardous sites--below and above-ground fuel and industrial storage tanks, gas distribution lines, etc., that may produce secondary explosions caused by detonating mortar or artillery rounds.
_____Identify which buildings or structures the enemy is fortifying--sandbagging the rooftop or upper floors, adding internal bracing/structural support, sandbagging walls.
_____Identify method fire support will use to identify targets using 8-digit grid coordinates (city map of maneuver building diagram versus military tactical map with UTM grid coordinates). 8-digit grid coordinate accuracy is needed for engaging targets in a city.
_____Identify the general construction or composition of buildings, road surfaces, and barrier obstacles that require breaching. Identify buildings with basements.
_____Identify buildings or structures requiring large-caliber weapon/howitzer direct fire before assaulting. Will an escalating response matrix be used?
_____Locate dead space and "urban canyon" areas where tall-building masking prevents indirect fire and aircraft from engaging targets.
_____Identify buildings providing the best OPs for friendly and enemy observers and employment of laser designators.
_____Locate firing point for company mortars and howitzers. Do they allow 6400-mil firing capability?
_____Identify areas of the city where incendiary effects of detonating artillery and mortar rounds will start fires.
_____Identify routes artillery convoy (prime mover, howitzer, and ammunition carrier) travel, and buildings capable of hiding this equipment.
_____Does the enemy posses laser designators, pointers, spotlights, or other light sources capable of incapacitating observation devices and NVGs?
_____Where are radio communication deadspaces?
_____Where does building masking, overhead power lines, structures, or towers degrade GPS, gyro-based directional devices, and compass functioning?
_____Will use of obscurants and artillery or mortar illumination favor friendly units or the enemy?
_____Will friendly local or U.S./allied personnel with in-depth knowledge of the objective city layout accompany or assist fire support personnel?
_____If required, could observers observe howitzer/mortar registrations?
_____What is the sniper threat against fire support personnel occupying OPs in tall buildings? What is the mine/booby trap threat?
_____Will buildings or structures require fire support personnel to carry/use equipment not normally carried-field expedient antennas, climbing rope, wire gloves, axes or sledge hammers, kneepads, goggles?
_____Will enemy forces attempt to limit friendly use of indirect fires by using civilians as "human shields?"

THE FOLLOW-ON MISSION
_____Disseminate company scheme of maneuver and EFSTs for the follow-on mission (or sustained combat and occupation in the objective city) to FS and FA leaders.
_____Identify fire support assets and ammunition available for follow-on missions.

Figure 3

DIRECT SUPPORT FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION S-3

MISSION ANALYSIS/BATTLE CALCULUS
_____Review the brigade fire support WARNO.
_____What is the mission flow for maneuver units--movement to contact, air assault, breaching operations, deliberate attack into city - for each COA?
_____What is FA organization for combat?
_____Essential field artillery tasks (EFATs) by phase for each COA.
_____Calculus -how much ammunition by shell/fuze type is needed for each EFST?
_____Determine special ammunition requirements--FASCAM, Copperhead, DPICM, concrete piercing fuzes, smoke and WP, RAP, Charge 8, or Red Bag. Coordinate ammunition resupply as early as possible. Ammunition resupply is an EFAT!
_____What are the radar zone and cueing requirements by phase?
_____Determine artillery position areas required by phase. Will they be secure? Coordinate for position areas, movement times, and security support (if needed).
_____Determine radar position areas required by phase. Will they be secure? Coordinate for position areas, movement times, and security support (if needed).
_____Artillery and radar positioning should facilitate rapid transition from one phase to the next or to a follow-on mission. Targets for the next phase or mission should be within range of firing units according to ammunition available.
_____Develop communication, MET and survey plan. How will extended ranges and communications dead spaces in the objective city be defeated?
_____Develop and disseminate FASP.
_____Participate in fire support rehearsal (maneuver rehearsal if conducted), and conduct FA technical rehearsal.
_____Are missions planned and executed digitally, planned digitally, and executed by voice communications, or a mix?

FIGHT FROM LD TO BREACH SITE
_____EFATs for this phase.
_____Ensure firing units in position ready to fire in support of scheme of maneuver.
_____Rehearse all scheduled/preplanned fires. Ammunition for SOSR fires (suppression, reduction or obscuration fires during obstacle breaching) must be available and readied for sustained fires.
_____Ensure inactive firing units follow active missions, or are laid on priority targets that support the scheme of maneuver.
_____Determine triggers for ammunition resupply and repositioning of firing units during this phase.
_____Positioning of battalion TOC/TAC during this phase of the operation.
_____Identify communications links to all supported unit observers during this phase.
_____What unit is the counterfire HQ?
_____Determine radar zones and cueing schedule for this phase? Who are cueing agents? What are their triggers?
_____Determine other information required from DFSCOORD, brigade and battalion FSEs.

THE BREACHING OPERATION
_____EFATs for this phase.
_____Ensure firing units in position ready to fire in support of breach.
_____Ensure required ammunition for SOSR fires is ready to sustain scheduled suppression or smoke fires.
_____Are registrations required to assure accuracy of SOSR fires?
_____Determine if amount of ammunition is available for emergency fires.
_____Identify triggers for ammunition resupply or repositioning of firing units during this phase.
_____Is counterfire radar positioned at the optimum aspect angle to detect enemy indirect fire trajectories?
_____Determine and identify triggers for activation/deactivation of radar zones. Are radar zones activated to protect the breaching forces and prevent fratricide of friendly mortars?
_____Are observer/designators at proper observer target angle (Angle T) to designate for Copperhead?
_____Location of TOC/TAC during this phase.
_____Other information needed from the DFSCOORD, brigade and battalion FSEs.

THE CITY FIGHT
_____EFATs for this phase.
_____Is the brigade system to clear fires in place and functioning?
_____What are the communications links to supported unit observers?
_____Position areas must adequately cover the objective city and blocking targets outside the city to interdict reinforcement/escape.
_____Identify routes for artillery convoy travel in and around objective city.
_____Determine triggers for ammunition resupply and repositioning of firing units.
_____What unit has the counterfire mission?
_____Determine and identify triggers for activation/deactivation of radar zones.
_____Determine the sniper/mine/booby trap threats to firing units, if position in or very near the objective city. Are firing unit howitzer sections identified to fire "Killer Junior" or direct fire, self-defense missions?
_____Are all inactive firing units laid on priority targets to support the scheme of maneuver?
_____Are registrations required to ensure accurate fires into the objective city?
_____Does MET data collection account for atmospheric conditions in and around the city--updrafting winds around tall buildings, temperature increases caused by smog, buildings and pavement, industrial activity?
_____Is survey available to give accurate firing unit positions, and, when possible, accurate building/landmark locations in the objective city?
_____Location of battalion TOC/TAC during this phase.
_____Other information needed from the DFSCOORD, brigade and battalion FSEs.

THE FOLLOW-ON MISSION
_____EFATs for the follow-on mission (or sustained combat and occupation in the objective).
_____Determine triggers for ammunition resupply and repositioning of firing units.
_____Determine trigger for repositioning of radar and for activation/deactivation of radar zones.
_____Location of battalion TOC.

Figure 4

OBSERVATION 2: Ammunition.

DISCUSSION 2: Use of illumination and obscuring fires on MOUT objectives favor the defender. He may not have many night-vision goggles (NVGs), so illumination helps him. Also, his defensive fires are planned and laid in for limited visibility. There is a valid argument concerning whether obscuration favors the defender or attacker. An opposing view is the attacker would expect the enemy to have a defensive fire plan for selected breach sites, but they must be tied to a trigger. Obscuration can help delay or confuse the initiation of those triggers. Multiple breach points obscured as well as a deception breach may facilitate a successful primary breach point. Use of illumination and obscuration must be considered situational dependent if you consider the alternative view.

TTP: Illuminating or obscuring an enemy position degrades the ability to see him more than his ability to employ his weapons. Other ammunition considerations are:

  • Mortar smoke is White Phosphorous (WP) - incendiary.
  • Variable Time (VT) fuzes help clean off building tops. But varying heights of surrounding buildings may cause premature detonation. Observer-adjusted time fuzes may be better against targets among buildings of varying heights.
  • Currently, concrete piercing (CP) fuzes only exist in emergency stocks in Korea. The MK399 CP fuze is now being produced for availability to all units. Point detonating (PD) fuzes on delay only allow penetration of the first wall or roof.
  • Calculated Minimum Safe Distances (MSDs) are no longer accurate. Buildings provide cover that reduces MSDs to a few meters. Inaccurate or stray fires can be attributed to projectiles careening or skipping off tall buildings, towers, cables, etc.
  • During suppression, obscuration, securing, and reduction (SOSR) or preparation fires, accurately adjusted, concentrated artillery fire (high explosive [HE] fuzed with quick and delay) at breach sites is effective in obstacle reduction. These fires significantly weaken wire obstacles with mines and booby traps. They will not significantly affect metal tetrahedrons or concrete dragon's teeth.

OBSERVATION 3: Forward Observer Plans.

DISCUSSION 3: If Copperhead and other laser-guided munitions are used, OH-58Ds, AH-64s, and Combat Observation Lasing Teams (COLTs) need a series of well-defined, numbered aerial attack-by-fire (ABF) positions or observation posts that meet angle-T requirements (800 mils for Copperhead, 1065 mils for Hellfire, etc.) for key buildings and terrain features (bridges, parks, military installations) throughout the city. (See Figure 5)

  • Observers with maneuver elements will encounter ground obstacles - broken glass, rubble piles, burning buildings, smoke, downed electrical lines, mines, snipers, to name a few - that will impede movement. They cannot rapidly reposition and will have limited visibility. Observers maneuvering outside the city can help fill gaps.

  • Observers will locate targets by the maneuver unit building numbering system for a particular city. Building numbers must be translated into grid coordinates for FA units and mortar fire direction centers (FDCs). City tourist maps, inaccurate 1:12.5K, and smaller scale maps may be used. This increases the difficulty of determining accurate target grid coordinates.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) functioning is greatly degraded in cities with tall buildings (since these buildings mask satellite coverage).

  • Observation Posts (OPs) should be positioned to observe these fires, and trigger points must be identified.

  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) and Enlisted Tactical Air Controller (ETAC) positions require visibility, not just on the target but also of the surrounding terrain and sky to allow for terminal control of close air support (CAS)/ground attack aircraft.

  • Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies (ANGLICOs) have been inactivated. Elements designated to observe and adjust naval gunfire and control Navy and Marine CAS/ground attack aircraft have the same positioning requirements as TACPs and ETACs.

Observer Positioning For Laser-Guided Munitions

Figure 5

4. PREPARATION.

OBSERVATION 4: Artillery and radar positioning.

DISCUSSION 4: To ensure full coverage of a city by artillery fire, artillery units should be positioned outside of the city. This precludes "sanctuaries" around a battery firing position where that battery cannot fire. It also precludes battery vulnerability caused by traveling, displacing, or emplacing in firing points in cities.

  • The current tactic is to position artillery units in airports outside cities. If airports do not exist, industrial parks often have land suitable for battery positions. Athletic fields may be suitable. Cultivated fields are least desirable due to soil instability, mud, and crop damage.

  • Position FA units so the city or town is well within the median range of the artillery systems. SOSR fires, destruction missions, and blocking or fixing fires are often sustained for long periods. Firing these missions at or near maximum ranges creates exceptional ammunition requirements for Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP), 105-mm propellant Charge 8, or 155-mm propellant Red Bag. High-angle fires may be required to effectively attack targets in built-up areas. Units positioned at or near their maximum range cannot reach the city with high-angle fires. If artillery units are positioned at or near their maximum range from a city or town, enemy mortars outside the city may be able to fire into the city while out of range of counterfire from the artillery units.

  • Individual howitzer sections may be required for direct fires against the upper floors of tall buildings. Positioning these sections in buildings provides protection from small arms fire and fragmentation. However, overpressure caused by firing inside buildings will create a noise hazard and may further weaken an already damaged building structure.

  • To maximize counterfire radar coverage, position radar systems outside cities. Placing them on high ground overwatching the city reduces the masking caused by tall buildings.

  • During movement to contact and breaching operations, radar systems must be positioned so their aspect angle is not the same as the azimuth of fire of enemy mortars.

OBSERVATION 5: Meteorological (MET) and survey requirements.

DISCUSSION 5: MET conditions in cities are different than surrounding terrain (ambient heat radiated from buildings, industrial smog conditions common to cities in developing countries, and deviation in winds to extremely high altitudes caused by large built-up areas). The precision for indirect fires during urban combat may increase the need or frequency of MET measurements.

Survey datum from geodetic markers around cities, especially in developing countries, is considered unreliable (different datum, different calculation techniques, geodetic markers that have been moved or tampered with).

TTP: If Survey Control Points (SCPs) cannot be extended from known, reliable surveys, use hasty techniques before using datum found around the cities.

5. EXECUTION.

OBSERVATION 6: Artillery used in direct fire in urban combat.

DISCUSSION 6: Maneuver commanders may direct the employment of individual howitzer sections into built-up areas. A howitzer may be used against enemy forces in tall buildings. Tanks and other direct fire systems may not be able to elevate their firing systems or range the target in these circumstances. In this condition a howitzer may be used to fire in accordance with an graduated response matrix (GRM) or to destroy fortified positions when other systems are not available.

TTP: The commander's intent must be clearly understood to develop the ammunition requirement "Killer Junior" for maximum fragmentation, PD fuzes set on delay or CP fuzes to penetrate structures, WP for incendiary effects, etc. The most proficient direct fire sections must be pre-designated for such a mission. Force protection (shielding crews on towed howitzers from direct fire) must be accomplished.

OBSERVATION 7: FA units should develop TTPs for urban operations that are tailored to their maneuver support requirements.

DISCUSSION 7: Until FA doctrine includes more comprehensive TTPs for urban combat, FA units should strive to develop SOPs that address the unique requirements of the urban battlefield. Many installations either do not have MOUT sites or have sites that are limited in size.

TTP: FA units can conduct tactical exercises without troops (TEWTs) in installation cantonment areas or in cities to identify terrain aspects that alter their normal tactics, techniques, and procedures. TTPs can then be developed to "defeat" the challenges of urban combat.


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