The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

SECTION IV - NEEDS EMPHASIS TRENDS


FIRE SUPPORT BOS (TA.2)

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Targeting and Triggers

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00112

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: The S2, S3, and fire support officer (FSO) do not integrate and coordinate the targeting process. (TA.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Fire planning is often conducted after the staff has completed COA analysis. Fires are consequently planned in a vacuum, and the FSO is not aware of developments and changes to the scheme of maneuver.

2. No complete synchronization and decision support (DS) matrix is developed during the course of action (COA) analysis.

3. The targeting process is fragmented and incomplete.

4. Units typically falter during execution; fires are not supportive or synchronized with the scheme of maneuver and do not meet the commander's guidance.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Brigade staffs often do not conduct a consolidated targeting effort. (TA.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Despite all the capabilities and situational awareness available to the Force XXI brigade staffs, they seldom fully integrate the unique intelligence gathering capabilities within the brigade and link them with lethal and nonlethal fire support assets to engage the enemy with a synergistic combined arms effort.

2. Location of key personnel across the battlefield and lack of a clear understanding of individual duties and responsibilities leads to breakdowns in targeting.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 1)

OBSERVATION 2: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Targeting and Triggers

1. The targeting team should continuously refine the targeting plan based on enemy information as it becomes available. This process continues after the initial plan and is completed during the staff planning process.

2. The S2, S3, and FSO should be familiar with FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process. This publication explains the targeting process during the staff planning process.

3. The use of the synchronization and DS matrices will assist in identifying when and where various targets should be attacked to influence and support the operation.

4. The S3, S2, and FSO should conduct an informal targeting meeting to review the targeting process and focus fires to support the operation by phase.

5. Staff planning exercises at Home Station will assist in reversing this trend.

6. The targeting team plans for brigade-level engagement of the enemy. The brigade staff, not just the targeting officer or fire support officer (FSO), must forecast and anticipate events so the enemy is attacked simultaneously throughout the entire depth of the battlefield. The targeting effort is the critical decide element in the decide-detect-deliver-assess methodology. The focus of the targeting process comes from the brigade's mission statement, the commander's intent, the division's high-payoff target (HPT) list, and the attack guidance matrix (AGM).

7. The targeting team includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Brigade commander and XO.

b. Brigade S2 and S3.

c. Direct support (DS) artillery battalion commander (FSCOORD).

d. Brigade FSO and targeting officer or non-commissioned officer (NCO).

e. Intelligence and electronic warfare support element (IEWSE) personnel.

f. Other staff members, as necessary, including the air liaison officer (ALO), chemical officer, S3-air, air defense officer, and engineer.

8. The functions of the targeting team include:

a. Nominating targets for execution.

b. Developing the brigade's high-priority target list (HPTL).

c. Developing the brigade's AGM.

d. Establishing target selection standards (TSS).

e. Nominating targets to higher headquarters.

f. Receiving and monitoring target damage assessment.

g. Synchronizing lethal and nonlethal fires.

9. The timing and structure of the targeting team meeting may vary but it should include the following agenda items:

a. Current enemy situation (S2).

b. Current friendly situation (S3).

c. High value targets (HVTs) (S2).

d. Attack guidance (commander).

e. Collection plan (S2).

f. Assets available (FSO).

g. HPTs (FSO).

h. Target priorities (FSO).

i. Synchronization of attack assets (FSO).

10. The agenda, formality, and sequencing of the targeting meeting in the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) will depend upon mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T). The process, however, should never be eliminated completely from the decision- making process.

11. The products produced by the targeting process include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. High-payoff target list (HPTL).

b. Attack guidance matrix (AGM).

c. Intelligence collection plan (vital to providing a clear task and purpose to the striker platoon).

d. Draft fire support execution matrix (FSEM).

12. The HPTL and AGM at the brigade and battalion levels are normally more detailed and focused than at higher levels. They provide information that observers require for identifying and attacking HPTs.

TREND 2
SUBJECT: Fire Support Transition from Deep to Close

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00011

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Brigades often do not fully define the transition of fire support from the deep to the close fight. (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. The transition of fire support from deep to close is arguably the single most critical fire support event that takes place during a battle. Brigades often do not fully define the point or times for transitioning from brigade to task force, resulting in a lack of focus and massed fires.

2. Transitioning of fires is often based on who has the greatest enemy threat to his front rather than on the identified high-payoff targets (HPTs).

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Fire Support Transition from Deep to Close

1. The transition of fires must be planned and then rehearsed with the assets to support the close fight.

2. The trigger to transition fires from either deep to close or from close to close (shifting priority of fires) has to be based on a decision that should be linked to an essential fire support task (EFST) to reach the desired end state.

3. Several conditions must be met to fully assume fires (i.e., communications are established and responsibilities are fully understood by all). The chart below further defines many of the conditions that must be met to make the decision to transition fires.

Chart that defines conditions met to transition fires

TREND 3
SUBJECT: Fire Support Planning

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
22312

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Fire support officers (FSOs) have difficulty transforming essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) into a synchronized concept of fire support. (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION: FSOs are usually able to take the commander's guidance and develop the EFSTs and subsequent scheme of fires necessary to execute and successfully complete those tasks. However, FSOs seldom adequately allocate available resources or identify the required volume or duration of fires necessary to shape the battlefield and mass fires at the decisive point.

OBSERVATION 2: Task force fire support officers (FSOs) have difficulty translating the commander's essential fire support tasks (EFST) into a scheme of fires. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: FSOs are able to develop an execution matrix for each battle that outlines a concept of fires; however, the matrix is often unsynchronized with other fire support documents (i.e., target list), which causes confusion among the company/team FSOs.

OBSERVATION 3: Although brigade fire support elements normally adequately prepare the fire support officers/elements (FSOs/FSEs) for participation in the planning process, they often struggle with providing timely and essential information to the battalion/task force (TF) FSOs to permit concurrent planning. (TA.4.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. The FSEs are hesitant to:

a. Plan fires in support of the close fight.

b. Anticipate and provide for the transition from the deep to the close fight.

c. Assign specific tasks to battalion FSEs for execution.

2. The resulting fire support plans lack sufficient detail, flexibility, and synchronization necessary to enable the brigade to attack the enemy throughout the depth of the battlefield. The brigade does not appear to the enemy as fighting one continuous fight.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 3)

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Fire support planning is not to standard.(TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. During most rotations, brigade fire support officers (FSOs) develop a fire support plan for the brigade deep fight.

2. Some FSOs are reluctant to plan fires. In these cases fire support planning is more top-down planning with bottom-up inclusion.

3. Some brigade FSOs will develop a plan for fires in the close fight but do not hold task force FSOs accountable for timely refinement. Refinements are seldom received prior to rehearsals. The end result is a lack of responsive fires.

OBSERVATION 2: Fire support plans lack sufficient detail, flexibility, and synchronization to enable the brigade combat team (BCT) to attack the enemy throughout the depth of the battlefield. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: Brigade fire support elements struggle with providing timely and essential information to the battalion/task force fire support officers (FSOs). Fire support elements (FSEs) are hesitant to plan fires in support of the close fight, anticipate and provide for the transition from the deep to the close fight, and assign specific tasks to battalion FSEs.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Fire Support Planning

1. EFSTs are refined from the commander's intent and guidance for fires. They form the foundation for the concept of fire support and the course of action (COA) for fire support, and for COA analysis, validation, and synchronization with maneuver (wargaming). EFSTs are identified in terms of task, purpose, method, and endstate:

a. TASK. Describes the targeting effect (a.k.a. targeting objective) fires must achieve against a specific enemy formation's function or capability. These formations are high-payoff targets (HPTs) or contain one or more HPT. Memory Aid: Task = Effect, Formation, Function. Page 1-2 of FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process, outlines several terms to describe targeting effects or objectives that can be used; however, disrupt, delay, or limit are most commonly used.

(1) Disrupt means to preclude efficient interaction of enemy combat or combat support systems. More simply, it means to not let an enemy formation perform a specific function: not to do what it is supposed to do. (Example: "Disrupt the AT battery long-range fires against the TF flank companies...")

(2) Delay means to alter the time of arrival of specific enemy formation or capability. It focuses on not letting the enemy do some function when it wants/needs to. (Example: "Delay the ability of the AGMB to support the FSE with direct fires until...")

(3) Limit means to reduce an enemy's options or COAs. It normally focuses on not letting the enemy function where he wants. (Example: "Limit the ability of the enemy air assault company to establish an LZ in the high ground west of the firebase....")

b. PURPOSE. Describes the maneuver or operational purpose for the task. Memory Aid: Purpose = maneuver purpose. This should identify as specifically as possible the maneuver formation that will benefit from the targeting effect and describe in space and time what the effect will accomplish. (Example: "Purpose is to allow our advanced guard company to destroy the FSE with direct fires before the AGMB arrives.")

c. METHOD. Describes how the task and purpose will be achieved. It ties the detect function or "observer" (COLT/scout/FIST/TA/IEW sensor) with the deliver function or "shooters" (lethal and nonlethal assets) in time and space and describes how to achieve the task.

(1) For the observer, the method can assign priority of fires (POF) to execute the task outlined. It assigns FA or maneuver observers or other acquisition means. (The assignment of the observer requires the consideration of target selection standards.) When a specific asset (e.g., close air support [CAS]) is to focus exclusively on a task, that information can be communicated here. (For example, "priority of CAS is to destroy the tanks in the enemy CAR.") This part of the method can also provide focus by using named area of interest (NAI), target area of interest (TAI), targets, CAS target boxes, or engagement areas to describe where the attacks will occur.

(2) For the shooter, it describes the allocation of fire support assets to accomplish the EFSTs. Assets may include artillery, mortar, or mechanical smoke, FA fires (suppress, neutralize, destroy, obscure, screen), FASCAM, CPHD, CAS, IEW jamming, and/or attack helicopters. In method, the artillery and other "deliver" assets can identify their part of accomplishing the EFST. It is from the method of an EFST that the FA and other FS/TA assets get their essential tasks.

(3) The method can also outline any limitations or restrictions on accomplishing the tasks such as ammunition (e.g., no ICM on the objective), FSCM (e.g., ACA Blue in effect) or other restrictions that may affect the accomplishment of the EFST.

EXAMPLE: COLT 1 (W/ETAC) (PRI) and COLT 2 (ALT) POF to attack AGMB. FA will emplace FASCAM in TAI 1 behind the FSE (AB 9000). FA will neutralize the lead MRC of the AGMB as it tries to breach or bypass the FASCAM (AB 2001). CAS will simultaneously attack the trail MRCs of the AGMB west of the FASCAM in CTB 1 or CTB 2. IEW will identify the ADA net and then jam it as the CAS departs the IP.

d. ENDSTATE. Attempts to quantify the successful accomplishment of the task. If multiple shooters are involved, it helps delineate what each must accomplish. Endstate provides a measure of the point of task completion. It also provides a basis for assessing the situation and making the decision to re-attack or not.

EXAMPLE: AGMB delayed in the pass for 20 minutes. FASCAM (400X400 SD) behind the FSE and in front of AGMB. One tank/four BMPs destroyed by FA behind FASCAM. CAS destroys four tanks/ two BMPs behind FASCAM. Enemy ADA command and control net jumps 5 + times during CAS attacks.

2. To help focus the planning, execution, and synchronization of the delivery assets, the next step in the planning process after developing the EFST is translating the EFST into a scheme of fires. The EFST defines a task, purpose, method (i.e., CAS, artillery, mortars, and IEW), and desired endstate required to accomplish the commander's guidance. A scheme of fires is the detailed, logical sequence of fire support events to acquire and attack the enemy in the time and space necessary to accomplish the commander's EFST.

3. The task force FSO should develop two key products during the planning process:

a. Target list/overlay.

b. Fire support execution matrix.

4. Conduct an effective wargame to refine the target locations, and synchronize the means of delivery, target triggers, observer locations, movement and positioning of the task force mortars, critical friendly zones (CFZ), and fire support coordinating measures (FSCM). The specific method (i.e., artillery battalion 6 dual-purpose improved conventional munition [DPICM]) necessary for achieving the desired effects, combined with identification of primary and alternate observers and triggers, becomes the scheme of fires.

5. To help ensure execution of a task force scheme of fires when working for a brigade, it becomes critical for the task force's plan to be "nested" into the brigade scheme of fires.

6. Upon receipt of the new mission, the FSE begins a battle drill to confirm the current status of the fire support system and to gather the other needed elements for the first step in fire support planning. These are:

a. A warning order (WARNO) or operations order (OPORD) from higher headquarters.

b. Facts from the field artillery (FA) battalion, air liaison officer (ALO), and others.

c. Facts from the higher/subordinate FSE and fire support team (FIST).

d. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) products.

e. Enemy courses of action (COAs) as developed by the S2.

f. High-value targets (HVTs) by enemy phase or critical event.

7. The FSO must:

a. Understand the higher headquarters' maneuver and fire support plan.

b. Organize and analyze facts.

c. Identify specified and implied tasks.

d. Translate status of assets into capabilities and limitations.

e. Analyze effects of IPB on fire support.

8. The FSO should brief the results of his mission analysis to the commander and conclude his brief with recommended essential fire support tasks (EFSTs). Prior to COA development, the FSO should receive the commander's approved EFSTs and issue a WARNO to his subordinate FSOs and to the FA battalion.

9. As COA development begins, the FSO should conceptualize how to integrate fires into the developing COA. The commander's guidance becomes the start point for where and how the FSO allocates assets to each COA.

10. The results of the mission analysis become the foundation for fire support COA development. The FSO uses these results to plan the method for accomplishing the EFSTs. At a minimum, the fire support portion of a COA allocates acquisition assets (collection plan), attack assets, planned attack locations (target/TAI/EA), and the sequence (concept of fires) of these attacks required to achieve the effects specified in the EFSTs.

11. The desired output of COA development is a draft fire support plan. The draft fire support plan provides the sequence of EFSTs and outlines the task, purpose, method, and endstate for each EFST of the operation. The plan should include:

a. Concept of fires/draft fires paragraph.

b. Draft fire support execution matrix.

c. Draft target list worksheet and overlay.

d. Draft target synchronization matrix.

e. Collection/R&S plan.

12. The more complete the fire support plan is before COA analysis and comparison, the more efficient and effective the wargame. The wargame provides final detail and refinement, validates capabilities, and synchronizes the fire support plan. Based on issues identified by the wargame, the FSO can modify the draft fire support plan and products to improve the plan. The wargame also provides a means to test the strength of the plan and build in flexibility by identifying decisions and branches for the fire support plan. At the conclusion of the wargame, the FSO should have:

a. Final fires paragraph.

b. Final fire support execution matrix.

c. Final target list and overlay.

d. Final scheme of fires.

e. Final target synchronization matrix.

13. Use a cartoon sketch, map overlay, or terrain model to help convey the details of the fire support plan more clearly. Once approved, the consolidated products become the fire support annex and are added to the maneuver order.

14. Formal fire planning should be conducted through a deliberate top-down process, with bottom-up refinement. The advantage with this method is that the fire support plan is developed early allowing the artillery staff to plan concurrently. Dissemination of the plan down and refinement of the plan up does not stop until the established cutoff time.

15. While essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) are developed at the brigade and task force level, the responsibility to refine and trigger these fires is often pushed down to the observer who has "eyes on" the target. This does not mean that company fire support team (FIST) only executes what it is given. The team leader and company commander take the execution guidance given and any resources allocated and develop a scheme of fires to accomplish the EFSTs and support the scheme of maneuver. On the TF XXI battlefield, triggering observers could be any digitally-equipped platform. Automated systems (position navigation, far-target locating) will enhance the capability of maneuver units to execute EFSTs.

16. Top-down fire planning is a continuous process of analyzing, allocating, and scheduling fire support. It must be flexible. Allocation of resources should emphasize the purpose, planning, and execution of fire tasks. Bottom-up refinement is a key element of top-down fire planning. Targets must be refined on the basis of the recon effort, actual occupation of the terrain, and updated intelligence. Digital systems and focusing fires through critical fire tasks enhance the refinement effort.

TREND 4
SUBJECT: Integration of Fire Support with Maneuver

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
251074

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: The fire support plan and scheme of fires developed by the brigade fire support element (FSE) often do not support the task force's scheme of maneuver or task force commander's guidance for fires. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: The result is that fires are not synchronized with task force maneuver during the battle.

OBSERVATION 2: Task forces often do not identify the critical fire support tasks needed to effectively integrate fires and maneuver for defensive operations. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Fire support elements (FSEs) usually conduct some limited engagement area proofing; however, ineffective time management, limited cooperation from fire support teams (FISTs), and lack of defensive planning checklists hamper fire support preparations.

2. Integration and coordination with key S2, S3, and engineer representatives are not tracked on task force timelines.

OBSERVATION 3: Task forces seldom receive indirect fire support from the mortar platoon during offensive operations. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: None.

OBSERVATION 4: The fire support team (FIST) officer is seldom involved with the maneuver company commander in the planning process. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. After completing the maneuver plan, the commander often hands a copy to the fire support officer (FSO) with instructions to do fire support.

2. The FIST cannot support the commander's plan, and it is too late to make revisions because the order is about to be, or has already been, published.

3. The FSO simply takes the targets from battalion and passes them along to platoons with no refinement based on the company mission.

OBSERVATION 5: Observation plans are seldom synchronized with the task force (TF) scheme of maneuver. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. TF and squadrons experience difficulty developing and executing an observation plan to support essential fire support tasks (EFSTs), the scheme of fires, and the scheme of maneuver.

2. Fire support officers (FSOs) seldom synchronize the observer plan with the scheme of maneuver during the wargaming process.

3. Plans are not refined at the company/team level.

4. Rehearsals are inadequate.

5. Fire support teams (FISTs) have difficulty getting into position at the right time and place to acquire the enemy before maneuver finds itself decisively engaged in the enemy commander's battle space.

OBSERVATION 6: Task forces (TFs) and squadrons typically experience difficulty developing a logical and executable concept of fires with clearly defined essential fire support tasks (EFSTs). (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: None.

OBSERVATION 7: Task forces (TFs) are experiencing difficulty planning, refining, and activating critical friendly zones (CFZs). (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: None.

OBSERVATION 8: Task forces are experiencing difficulty integrating fire support into engagement area (EA) development during defensive missions. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: None.

OBSERVATION 9: Fire support is rarely integrated into the task force (TF) wargaming process. (TA.4.4.5)

DISCUSSION:

1. During the wargame, the battle staff frequently does not effectively arrange activities in time and space.

2. TF staffs frequently do not develop a scheme of fires with adequate triggers or an observation plan that is synchronized with the scheme of maneuver.

OBSERVATION 10: Fire support is rarely integrated into the task force's (TF's) wargaming process. (TA 4.4.5)

DISCUSSION: During the wargame, the battle staff frequently does not effectively arrange activities in time and space. As a result, TFs frequently do not develop a scheme of fires with adequate triggers or with an observation plan that is synchronized with the scheme of maneuver.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: During most rotations, brigade fire support officers (FSOs) are able to develop a fire support plan for the deep fight in support of the brigade; however, developing fires in support of the close fight often presents a problem. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Some FSOs are reluctant to plan fires for a task force (TF) close fight for fear of "planning how the TF will fight." As a result, the direct support (DS) S3 of the supporting FA battalion is often not allowed to appropriately plan how he will support the brigade's scheme of fires.

2. FSOs who do develop a plan for fires in the close fight often do not hold TF FSOs accountable for timely refinement. Refinements are seldom received prior to rehearsals, resulting in the unit conducting additional wargaming and not rehearsing the plan.

3. The end result is always a lack of responsiveness of fires, and often a lack of focus and mass of fires during execution.

OBSERVATION 2: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 5)

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 6)

OBSERVATION 4: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 7)

OBSERVATION 5: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 8)

OBSERVATION 6: Direct support (DS) FA battalion tactical operations centers (TOCs) often do not plan and execute responsive counterfires to provide force protection from enemy indirect fires. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. The maneuver commander's force protection priorities often include DS counterfires against enemy indirect fires during critical times of the battle. The DS FA battalion TOC is responsible for planning and executing responsive counterfires. Although they are key to successful force protection for indirect fires, the DS FA battalion TOC seldom properly employs the AN/TPQ-36 firefinder radar, establishes critical friendly zones (CFZs), or conducts a counterfire battle drill (CFBD) rehearsal.

2. Without a well-thought-out and rehearsed CFBD, radar acquisitions will quickly overload the fire direction center and negate a responsive counterfire plan.

OBSERVATION 7: Task force commanders seldom give the mortar platoon a specific task and purpose for each phase of an operation. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION: A fire support matrix with mortar priority of fires (POF) and priority targets is normally issued to satisfy the concept of mortar integration. This matrix, however, does not identify the task or purpose for the use of the mortars; it simply states some priorities. As a result, the mortar platoon is often not in a position or prepared to support the task force mission.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Task forces do not develop or execute an observation plan to support essential fire support tasks (EFSTs), the scheme of fires, or the scheme of maneuver. (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Fire support officers (FSOs) do not synchronize the observer plan with the scheme of maneuver during wargaming.

2. Rehearsals are frequently inadequate.

3. Fire support teams (FISTs) are not getting into position to acquire the enemy before becoming decisively engaged.

OBSERVATION 2: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 6)

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Objective 8)

OBSERVATION 4: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Objective 7)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for the Integration of Fire Support with Maneuver

1. During mission analysis, it is important that the fire support officer (FSO) help the task force commander visualize the brigade's scheme of fires and what the fires will do for him.

2. Current doctrine outlines a top-down fire planning process with bottom-up refinement.

a. If the brigade does an adequate job of synchronizing fires with maneuver at the brigade level, then the only refinement at task force level should be target location based on an updated situation template (SITEMP) and triggers based on the task force scheme of maneuver.

b. If the brigade has done an inadequate job of synchronization, or if the scheme of fires does not support the task force scheme of maneuver, the task force FSO must plan fires to support his commander. If any changes to the scheme are made:

(1) They should be within the framework of the brigade's essential fire support tasks (EFST).

(2) The task force FSO should give the brigade FSO and fire support coordinator (FSCOORD) a heads-up that the task force commander will be seeking approval of his new plan from the brigade commander.

3. Task forces should develop a checklist or SOP that details the fire support tasks to be accomplished for defensive operations, and determine which tasks are essential for success. A sample checklist is provided below.

4. Once the critical tasks are defined, they should be placed on the task force timeline to ensure visibility by the entire staff.

5. The fire support officer (FSO) should determine which tasks he will supervise and then delegate the remaining tasks to the fire support NCO (FSNCO) with a priority of work and effort.

FIRE SUPPORT TASKS CHECKLIST

___Survivability Considerations:
1. If engineer blade time cannot be allocated to dig survivability positions for M981s, the task force may use small emplacement excavators (SEEs) to prepare dismounted observation positions (OPs). SEEs can also be used to dig pre-stocked mortar ammo points.
2. If the mortar platoon is supporting counter-reconnaissance security operations, use one of the FDC sections to accomplish the positioning of pre-stock and prepare the mortar firing position for later occupation.

___Reconnaissance, selection, and occupation of position (RSOP):
1. Company/team FSOs should tactically occupy their OPs and prepare the OP for operations.
2. Conduct communication checks with the task force FSE and/or brigade FSE to ensure the position is suitable for communications.
3. If engineer assets are not available, teams should individually prepare survivability positions.
4. Develop sector sketches and observed-fire diagrams.
5. Once the OP is prepared, the same format should be followed for alternate OPs, to include rehearsals for time and routes for day and night occupations.
6. Report times to the FSE and continue position area improvement.

___Obstacle Planning/Integration of Indirect Fires:
1. The task force FSO needs to be a key player during the planning and development of defensive operations, i.e., obstacles, direct fires, and indirect fires.
2. The FSO should:

a. Determine which obstacles the commander deems decisive for indirect targeting.
b. Continuously coordinate with the engineer to track actual versus planned obstacles, and track any necessary target refinement.
3. The primary observer responsible for firing a target should work with the company/team commander responsible for siting an obstacle.
4. The FSO should determine a Ground Positioning System (GPS) grid to both ends of the obstacle and the target, and provide that information to the FSE.

___Trigger Emplacement:
1. Triggers should be established for all targets using the enemy rate of march and terrain analysis.
2. If time or enemy situation does not permit the actual emplacement of a trigger marker, then informal triggers may be established by using the targeting station control display (TSCD) for azimuth and vertical angle, or similar technique.

___Mortar Positioning:
1. The task force FSO should determine one or two mortar targets or final protection fires (FPF) and focus the mortar platoon on these tasks.
2. The mortar platoon should determine how, when, and what routes the platoon will use to displace and occupy its firing position once it moves off the counter-reconnaissance.
3. The platoon should rehearse and time displacement to alternate positions during both day and night.
4. Determine pre-stock positions and report this information to the FSE.
5. Time and situation permitting, adjust/register FPFs and critical targets.
6. Determine, request and position Class V requirements.
7. The task force S3 should allocate engineer blade time for survivability of the mortar platoon, and the platoon leader must determine a priority for his blade effort.

___CAS:
1. If CAS is available, the task force FSO and air liaison officer (ALO) will need the commander's guidance on how he wants to use CAS to support his defense.
2. Plan for CAS, even if the brigade does not allocate any sorties to the task force.
3. The FSO and ALO should determine minimum safe distances for requested ordnances and include this information in the fire support annex to the OPORD.

___Positioning of the task force FSO/ALO/enlisted terminal attack controller (ETAC):
1. Position key personnel for the best observation of the entire battlefield, not just the major engagement area, to allow for adjustment to the enemy's movement.
2. ETACs can be positioned forward with the company/team FSO or with task force scouts.
3. The task force FSO must be positioned to act as redundant observer for as many targets as possible.

___Radar Zone Planning:
1. The task force commander should determine force protection priorities and identify where he is willing to accept risk from enemy artillery fires.
2. The FSO should coordinate with the S2 to determine the enemy's phases of fire and likely targets for each phase, and plan critical friendly zones (CFZs) accordingly. All battle positions should be considered for CFZs, but they must be precise and prioritized to support the brigade's radar zone management plan.
3. Censor zones may be required for the mortars to help deconflict their position.

___Restrictive fire support coordinating measures (FSCM):
1. The task force FSO/FSE should be aware of all friendly elements within the task force sector and plan restrictive FSCM accordingly. No-fire areas (NFAs) must be placed over all personnel forward of the battle position.
2. The FSO must ensure the restrictive FSCM and NFA information is received at the brigade and the direct support FA battalion.

___Special Munitions:
1. The task force FSO must coordinate with brigade to determine the plan for special munitions (FASCAM, smoke, illumination, CPH) and brief the task force accordingly.
2. The task force may be responsible for covering or targeting the FASCAM.

___Staff Supervision:
The FSO/FSNCO should determine and prioritize a schedule to check and supervise critical events, such as trigger emplacement, obstacle integration, target refinement, and rehearsals.

6. References: Use FM 7-90, Tactical Employment of Mortars, and ARTEP 7-90 mission training plans (MTP) to ensure proper procedures are being followed.

7. Conduct situational training exercise (STX) lane training with mortar platoon participation at Home Station. For the immediate suppression mission to have the desired effect on the battlefield, each soldier must thoroughly understand the specific job he must accomplish. Every soldier must know proper procedures and total team work to minimize friendly casualties.

8. Maneuver company commanders should have a close working relationship with the FIST, and they need to understand the importance of integrating indirect fires into the maneuver plan. Habitual relationships will help this process; practice at Home Station.

9. Per FM 6-71, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for the Combined Arms Commander, company/team commanders are the executors of the plan and FISTs are the maneuver commander's precision target acquisition assets. Success can be achieved with top-down planning, bottom-up refinement, and decentralized execution.

10. To set conditions for maneuver, maneuver commanders must possess the tactical patience necessary to allow observers to get into position and execute their assigned task and purpose. If an observer must be in position to see the commander's decisive point or EFST, the maneuver commander must be willing to commit the assets necessary to get the observer into position.

11. The observer plan must be constructed in concert with the S2 and S3 using Terrabase computer programs to assist in position selection. Position selection is critical for providing the detect function of the targeting process IAW FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process.

12. The observation plan must be synchronized during the wargame with the scheme of maneuver. There must be a thorough terrain analysis coupled with a complete understanding of the enemy's capabilities that define the enemy commander's battle space. The TF FSO provides the top-down plan; company FSOs refine the plan in conjunction with company team commanders.

13. The TF FSO must plan to have observers in position to support the maneuver commander's decisive point and each EFST.

a. The plan must address where the observers need to be, the route they will take to get there, security, and communications.

b. Other assets to consider as viable observers are forward observers (FOs), scouts, combat observation laser teams (COLTs), and maneuver shooters (calls for fire by non-artillery observers). (Refer to FM 6-30, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Observed Fire.)

c. Consider employing the reserve team's FIST as a TF COLT (an option discussed in FM 6-20-10).

14. Rehearse the plan during both TF and company/team rehearsals.

15. Initiative, cross-talk, and coordination between FISTs are imperative during execution.

16. The commander must state his desired task and purpose (what and why) for each fire support asset (FA, mortars, CAS), and the desired endstate.

a. The task is defined in terms of a desired effect on an enemy formation and its function (EXAMPLE: Suppress the southern MRC for 30 minutes with FA preventing it from employing effective direct fire).

b. The purpose is defined in terms of a specific friendly maneuver event (EXAMPLE: Allow A Mech to occupy SBF Position 1 without taking effective enemy direct fire).

c. The endstate is the achievement of the purpose defined in quantified terms (EXAMPLE: A Mech set in SBF Position 1 with no loss of combat power).

17. FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process, describes the relationship between EFSTs and the targeting process.

a. Decide = Task and Purpose

b. Detect and Deliver = Method

c. Assess = Did we achieve our endstate?

18. FM 6-71, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for the Combined Arms Commander, provides further discussion of commander's guidance for fire support.

a. Task = What

b. Purpose = Why

c. The logically sequenced EFSTs comprise the concept of fires and constitutes the fire paragraph.

19. The task force fire support officer (FSO) should develop a scheme of fires to support the commander's decisive point. This includes:

a. Observer planning

b. Target emplacement based on planned obstacles

c. Target refinement based on the actual obstacle siting/emplacement

d. Trigger emplacement - both tactical and execution (include limited visibility/thermal)

e. An EA mounted rehearsal

20. Tasks should be prioritized with an established timeline and the status of preparation reported and tracked in the TOC. This must be a coordinated effort between the task force FSO/FSE and company/teams.

21. Execution can be centralized or decentralized. The task force fire support sergeant is the subject matter expert and should supervise and coordinate the overall effort.

22. Trigger kits should be standardized and resourced. Time/distance factors are different for an enemy moving during day and night, and response and shift times for mortars and artillery are different.

a. Establish both tactical and execution triggers. Emphasis must be focused on emplacing tactical and execution triggers based on precision time/distance factors IAW the moving target engagement procedures published in FM 6-30.

b. Primary and alternate observers should observe the marking of targets and the emplacement of triggers from their OPs to ensure they can see them, and they must record lased (AZ, VA, range) data to both.

c. FISTs should conduct target area surveys and prepare terrain sketches and visibility diagrams.

23. During the wargame, the fire support officer (FSO) must plan CFZs to cover movement, attack-by-fires, support-by-fires, breach sites, tactical assembly areas (TAAs), battle positions, and hide positions through the depth of the zone or sector, then establish activation triggers.

24. During execution, the fire support sergeant or targeting officer must refine and activate the zones using reports from fire support teams (FISTs) and company/teams via cross-talk with the TOC battle captain to ensure zone coverage where the force is located on the battlefield. Use EPLRs and Applique situational awareness to complement the refinement and activation battle drill.

25. The number of zones allocated to a task force is limited. It is therefore essential that the task force commander states his force protection priorities for CFZs to ensure a critical unit or main effort, such as a breach force, is covered.

26. The S3 and fire support officer (FSO) should ensure the complete integration of fire support into the wargaming process of the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) IAW FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process.

27. During wargaming, the FSO must advise the TF commander and S3 if they ask fire support to execute unrealistic tasks.

28. The endstate of the process should be an executable scheme of fires, an observation plan, and refinement submitted to brigade. This endstate produces a plan that provides all targeting functions (decide, detect, deliver, and assess) per FM 6-20-10.

29. The activities supporting each EFST must be arranged in time and space during the action-reaction-counteraction drill addressing the enemy, terrain, and the scheme of maneuver.

30. Fire support tasks and events are arranged in time and space in relation to terrain, the enemy, and the TF scheme of maneuver in order to develop adequate triggers.

31. The endstate should be a complete scheme of fires, an observation plan, and refinement.

32. To enhance the focus of fires, formal fire planning should be conducted through a deliberate top-down process, with bottom-up refinement. The primary advantage is that the fire support plan is developed early, which allows the artillery staff to plan concurrently. This process also allows for a workable plan in a short period of time that focuses the fires effort exactly where the commander wants it on the battlefield. For the company fire support team (FIST), the commander referred to here is the brigade commander who "owns the DS artillery battalion." This is an ongoing process; the exchange of information between echelons is continuous. The downward dissemination and upward refinement of the plan do not stop until the established cut-off time.

a. To assist in formulating the commander's initial intent at each level, the FSO provides the commander an updated estimate on fire support capabilities. The commander, in turn, describes what he wants his fires to accomplish in order of priority. The FSO then identifies where the commander's desires exceed the resources available. This give-and-take communication results in a realistic expectation of what fires can achieve.

b. Fire plans are originated at higher levels (brigade) and refined at lower levels (company FISTs). In this case, it originates at brigade level beginning with the commander and the fire support coordinator (FSCOORD). The intent is to focus the fire plan at each level and give the supporting field artillery unit a manageable number of essential fire support tasks (EFSTs). It provides detailed execution, guidance, allocates resources, assigns target execution responsibility, and fully supports the combined arms commander's scheme of maneuver.

c. At the TF level, the commander receives the top-down fire plan from brigade. This plan focuses the fire support effort exactly where the brigade commander wants it on the battlefield. It provides detailed execution guidance, develops EFSTs, allocates resources, assigns target areas of interest (TAIs) for the planning of targets by subordinates, assigns target execution responsibility, and fully supports the combined arms commander's scheme of maneuver.

d. The TF FSO, after receiving the initial focus of the brigade plan, can begin working early to refine guidance and targeting information based on how the TF commander intends to integrate his plan into the brigade plan. He also begins planning for the fire support assets the TF commander owns (mortar sections and company FISTs). The result is a TF fire support plan that supports execution of the brigade EFSTs and focuses the fires of the TF.

e. As the EFSTs are developed at the brigade and TF level, often the responsibility to refine and trigger these fires is pushed down to the observer level who has "eyes on" the target. This does not mean the company FIST only executes what it is given. The FIST and the company commander take the execution guidance given and any resources allocated and develop a scheme of fires to accomplish the EFSTs and support the scheme of maneuver.

f. On the Force XXI battlefield, the observer that triggers EFSTs may be any digitally- equipped platform. The digital calls for fire initiated by these platforms will cut across the traditional BOS. It is the company FIST's responsibility to coordinate these platforms as sensors and assist the company in managing the information.

g. As automated systems such as position navigation and far target locating enhance the capability of maneuver units to execute EFSTs, the commander will have more flexibility regarding who can observe and trigger EFSTs. When designating execution responsibility in heavy units, the commander should consider these system capabilities when establishing the parameters for meeting the standard.

(1) The accuracy of the position navigation system of the M1A2 tank must be within only two percent of the distance traveled by that vehicle since the last update. Given METT-T, the commander must know what distance an M1A2 can travel before the position navigation system's inherent error does not meet the target selection standards.

(2) The commander must also establish standards for initializing position navigation systems for maneuver platforms to identify targets. In other words, he must establish procedures for the company/team to go through to initialize their position navigation system based on the accuracy of their initialization point (map spot, survey, etc.).

h. The maneuver commander is responsible for ensuring that fire support is thoroughly integrated into his scheme of maneuver and for executing an assigned EFST. When he develops his plan, the company FIST leader, his fire support coordinator, should be at his side, totally involved in the planning process. Each task must be planned in detail and specifically assigned to an individual. If a task is not specifically assigned, everyone will tend to assume it is someone else's responsibility and the task probably will not be accomplished. An observer must know that he has been assigned responsibility for executing a particular EFST, and he must fully understand all of the aspects of the target.

When planning fires, it is essential to address the following aspects of each EFST and/or target: purpose, location, trigger, shooter/backup shooter, positive clearance of fires, communications structure, rehearsal, and delivery assets. If each of these are not identified, planned, resourced, and rehearsed, the successful accomplishment of that EFST is at risk.

33. Top-down fire planning is a continuous process of analyzing, allocating, and scheduling fire support. It must be flexible to accommodate unexpected and rapid changes. The plan at each level contains only those EFSTs necessary to support the commander's guidance for fire support. Remaining targets or assets are allocated to the subordinate commanders according to the priorities for fire support. The planning process results in a determination of:

a. How fire support will be used; the EFSTs are identified.

b. How EFSTs will be prioritized in the IFSAS/AFATDS.

c. The types of targets that will be attacked. This results in the high-payoff target list to refine the brigade's target management matrix in IFSAS/AFATDS.

d. The types of targets that will not be attacked.

e. Collection assets that are available to acquire and track the targets (detect/track).

f. Sensors that are available and responsible to trigger EFSTs.

g. Assets that will be used to attack different targets; the munitions, expected effects, and when and where they will be engaged.

h. System preferences for various targets (mortars, FA, air, naval gun fire, [NGF]).

i. Assets that are available to verify (assess) effects on the target.

34. Allocation of resources. The allocation of resources in top-down fire planning should emphasize the purpose, planning, and execution of fire tasks. For example, allocating targets A, B, and C to the company FIST for planning does not give the purpose or intent of those targets or the relationship with other EFSTs. Instead, allocate a subordinate to plan the execution of an EFST in order to destroy a specified platoon during a specified portion of the operation. This guidance provides:

a. A purpose for the target.

b. The desired effects.

c. A possible fire delivery asset.

d. Deconfliction of fires in time and space with other EFSTs competing for the same limited fire support assets.

35. Bottom-up refinement. Bottom-up refinement is a key element of top-down fire planning and the company FIST is the linchpin of this effort.

a. As mentioned earlier, the company FIST usually provides the "eyes on" target. During the decision-making process, targets and any decentralized digital links are planned on the basis of map spots and situational templates (SITEMPS). Targets must be refined on the basis of the reconnaissance effort, actual occupation of the terrain, and updated intelligence. Digital systems and focusing fires through critical fire tasks will enhance the refinement effort. With the establishment of EFSTs early in the planning process, company FISTs can be proactive in their refinement and planning. Targets that facilitate the accomplishment of EFSTs can be nominated during the bottom-up refinement early in the planning process.

b. In most cases, if fire support targets need refinement, it is better to delete the obsolete target and plan a new target with a new target number. This prevents confusion by observers and firing units who may receive two grid locations for the same target number. A technique used by many units is to initially use every fifth target number in planning. For example, the initial targets for a plan may be AB 5000 and AB 5005. Then, as those targets are refined, the next higher target number is available for use. In other words, if the example targets are refined once, they would be changed to AB 5001 and AB 5006. This technique allows for the tracking of a target as it is refined to help eliminate any confusion as to the original purpose of that target.

36. Clear and concise procedures for digital/voice reporting and target processing of radar acquisitions must be defined and most importantly, rehearsed for each mission.

37. Each individual within the TOC must understand the flow of the acquisition from the initial receipt through the clearance of fires, engagement of the target, and BDA. Several steps must occur simultaneously in order to minimize acquire-to-fire times and maximize effects. Once an acquisition is received it must be used to:

a. Refine the situational template (SITEMP) (enemy artillery positions)

b. Verify radar zones

c. Ensure range capabilities of the radar are optimized

d. Most importantly, ensure acquisitions are targeted (cleared for engagement/attack guidance) by the most expeditious means.

38. Once the counterfire battle drill (CFBD) has been defined it must be refined and incorporated in the the unit's SOP and training plan. Incorporate the CFBD into the TOC's pre-command checks (PCCs) and rehearsals.

39. Rehearsal of the CFBD during the FA technical rehearsal will ensure the TOC, fire direction center (FDC) and designated counterfire shooter(s) understand the counterfire mission's priority and execution versus the competing demands of the developed scheme of fires. Technical difficulties can be identified and resolved during the rehearsal.

40. The DS FA battalion must fully integrate a GS/Reinforcing FA battalion (when task organized) into the planning, rehearsals, and execution of the counterfire battle.

41. Clearly defined procedures for requesting additional fires and handing off missions must be established and rehearsed.

42. Each TOC must maintain situational awareness of the counterfire battle through identified communication links.

43. Appendix A of FM 6-121, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Field Artillery Target Acquisition, lists techniques for processing targets within a FA TOC. Although the discussion is primarily focused at the DIVARTY/FA brigade level, the procedures can be tailored to fit a DS FA battalion TOC.

44. Task force commanders should give the mortar platoon a specific task and purpose during each phase of an operation. The platoon's mission must be realistic and clearly understood by both the platoon and the observers who will be calling for fire.

45. The task force fire support officer (FSO) should develop two key products during the planning process: the target list/overlay and the fire support execution matrix (FSEM).

46. Provide a copy of the target list/overlay and FSEM to the mortar platoon for technical data processing. This enables the mortar platoon to precompute firing data for each planned target, thereby reducing response time. If multiple firing positions are planned, the sections can compute firing data from each firing position for each target.

TREND 5
SUBJECT: Fighting and Observation Positions/Observation Planning

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
23300

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Task force observer and observation post plans are usually developed after wargaming. (TA.2.1.1)

DISCUSSION: The observer plans lack the detail and synchronization required to ensure observers are in position and prepared to execute the scheme of fires.

OBSERVATION 2: Observation plans often lack sufficient detail to provide the company fire support team (FIST) a focus for planning, preparing, or executing their mission. (TA.2.1.1)

DISCUSSION: None.

OBSERVATION 3: Task forces experience difficulty developing and executing an observation plan to support essential fire support tasks (EFSTs), the scheme of fires, and the scheme of maneuver. (TA.2.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Observers frequently commit errors in observed fire procedures that result in inaccurate target locations.

2. The fire support officer (FSO) frequently does not synchronize the observer plan with the scheme of maneuver during the wargaming process.

3. Company/team level refinement of the observer plan does not always happen.

4. Rehearsals are frequently inadequate.

5. Fire support teams (FISTs) have difficulty getting into position at the right time and place to acquire the enemy before the task force is decisively engaged in the enemy's battle space.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Fighting and Observation Positions/Observation Planning

1. Observation planning should begin during course of action (COA) development and then refined during the wargaming process. The fire support officer (FSO) should develop a checklist of observation post (OP) selection tasks for inclusion in the unit SOP. An example listing of tasks follows:

Step 1. During wargaming, identify the requirements for an OP. The OP may be required to assist in the R&S plan or to trigger fire support targets. The FSO should clearly identify the task force essential fire support tasks (EFST) in terms of task, purpose, method, and endstate. By doing this, the FSO can concentrate on how and where to position available observers to best accomplish the EFST.

Step 2. Conduct terrain analysis. The FSO should coordinate with the task force S2 to determine enemy information as portrayed in the situational and event templates. This helps the FSO visualize what the enemy formations will look like in relation to the terrain, and when and where enemy actions and events should occur in terms of time and space. Terrabase is an effective tool to accomplish terrain analysis. Run a shot from the named areas of interest/targeted areas of interest (NAI/TAI) or the target to determine possible OP locations. This method saves time by identifying all possible OP locations. Additionally, the S2 can provide a thorough terrain analysis to help the FSO determine possible OP locations in terms of line of sight (LOS), trafficability, and survivability.

Step 3. Allocate assets. Choose based on the mission of the OP. If Copperhead is used, the observer will need a ground/vehicle laser locator designator (G/VLLD). A reconnaissance observer may need SAPPERs; a surveillance OP may use scouts. Consider that brigade combat observation lasing teams (COLTs) and brigade reconnaissance teams (BRTs) may be operating in zone in addition to task force observers.

Step 4. Select the OP. Select from likely OPs developed during terrain analysis. Consider mission and capabilities of the asset (i.e., angle-T, limited visibility, enemy situation).

Step 5. Plan movement and occupation of OPs within the constraints of the scheme of maneuver.

Step 6. If the observer is a company/team fire support team (FIST), specify tasks to subordinate units responsible for executing.

Step 7. Confirm requirements of the observation plan and disseminate changes.

Step 8. Facilitate execution. The products included in the task force operations order (OPORD) should contain detailed guidance for each planned OP. Items to address should include:
  • EFST to execute (specific and detailed task and purpose).
  • OP location with visibility/equipment requirements.
  • Time to occupy (friendly/enemy event).
  • Route.
  • Security requirements/arrangements.
  • Disengagement criteria.

2. The observation plan, as an integral part of the fire support plan, should provide the task and purpose for each observer by phase of the operation. As part of the scheme of fires worksheet, the following format may be useful:

FIRE SUPPORT OBSERVATION PLAN

PHASE 1
PHASE 2
FS EVENT
Task
Purpose
Trigger
Observer
Method
Remarks

This focus enables the company FIST to plan, conduct appropriate pre-combat checks/pre-combat inspections (PCCs/PCIs), and execute their mission according to the task force (TF) commander's intent.

3. Maneuver commanders must maintain the tactical patience necessary to allow observers to get into position and execute their assigned task and purpose to set conditions for maneuver. FM 6-71, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for the Combined Arms Commander, states that company/team commanders are the executors of the plan. FISTs are the maneuver commander's precision target acquisition assets. Success can be achieved with top-down planning, bottom-up refinement, and decentralized execution.

4. Construct an observer plan in concert with the S2 and S3, and use Terrabase computer programs to assist in position selection. Proper position selection will enable the unit to complete the detect functions of the targeting process IAW FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process.

5. The task force FSO must plan to have observers in position to support the maneuver commander's decisive point and each essential fire support task (EFST). Address where the observers need to be, security, communications, and how they will get there.

a. Remember that forward observers (FOs), scouts, COLTs, and maneuver shooters are viable observers to use. Consider employing the reserve company/team FIST as a task force COLT (a doctrinal option in FM 6-20-20, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for Battalion, Task Force, and Below).

b. If an observer must be in position to see the commander's decisive point or EFST, then the maneuver commander must be willing to commit the assets necessary to get the observer into position.

6. Synchronize the observation plan with the scheme of maneuver during the wargame. To do so, the commander must have a thorough terrain analysis coupled with a complete understanding of the enemy's capabilities that define the enemy commander's battle space. The task force FSO provides the top-down plan that is refined by company FSOs in conjunction with company/team commanders.

7. The plan must be rehearsed during both task force and company/team rehearsals.

8. Initiative, cross-talk, and coordination between FISTs are imperative during execution.

9. Observers must employ their precision target acquisition equipment IAW the appropriate TMs and follow the observed fire procedures in FM 6-30, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Observed Fire, for manual target location.

TREND 6
SUBJECT: EFAT/EFST Development

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
01112

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Many field artillery battalions do not understand how to properly develop EFATs after receiving the brigade operations order. (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. EFATs generally lack the detail required to support the brigade essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) because units do not wargame each task in sufficient detail down to fire unit selection.

2. Staffs do not adequately develop detailed support requirements, decision points, and triggers for their synchronization matrix; do not tailor each EFAT to the specified mission; and do not publish this in full detail in the field artillery support plan (FASP).

3. Battery commanders often leave the orders briefing and rock drills knowing little more than the sequencing of movement and the primary/alternate shooters for special munitions.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 1)

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: EFSTs are not developed to standard. (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Fire support officers (FSOs) are not receiving commander's guidance.

2. FSOs are not developing EFSTs and subsequent scheme of fires.

3. FSOs are not adequately allocating available assets at the decisive point.

OBSERVATION 2: More definition is needed in the commander's EFSTs. (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Brigade staffs continue to struggle with developing the task, purpose, method, and endstate for EFSTs, based on the commander's guidance and friendly course of action (COA).

2. The commander's fire support "purpose" usually does not provide sufficient information to set the parameters of when, where, and how long. As a result, the fire support system will not quantify the required endstate realistically in terms of volume, duration, or amount of destruction, suppression, or obscuration needed to be successful.

3. The following are common mistakes staffs make when developing EFSTs:

a. The purpose does not describe why the task contributes to maneuver.

b. Fire support tasks do not support the combined arms operation and do not describe what effects fires are to have on the functionality of the enemy's maneuver formations, artillery fires, and surveillance assets.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for EFAT/EFST Development

1. At FA battalion level, during the battalion-level wargaming process, translate brigade- level EFST into EFATs for battery commanders.

EXAMPLE:

EFST:TASK:Destroy the combat security outpost (CSOP) or force its withdrawal.
PURPOSE:Prevent the CSOP from engaging the task force (TF) with direct or indirect fires from the line of departure (LD) to PL Ohio.
METHOD:One round Copperhead (CPHD) (most dangerous target = T-80 tank),followed by a battalion 3 rounds dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM).
ENDSTATE:CSOP destroyed (four vehicles), or at a minimum, two vehicles destroyed (CSOP withdrawal criteria = 50%).
EFAT:TASK:Destroy T-80 tank and at least two BMPs of the CSOP (assume CPHD miss).
PURPOSE:Prevent the CSOP from engaging the TF with direct and indirect fires from LD to PL Ohio.
METHOD:One round CPHD at WP0012, followed by battalion six rounds DPICM. Batteries in place ready to fire (RTF) NLT 181900 Aug 98; one round CPHD to A/B batteries NLT 181700 Aug 98. A/B conduct rehearsal using CPHD trainer NLT 181700 Aug 98. A/B link with COLT 4 on FD 4 at 181930 Aug 98 to confirm location (Angle-T less than 800 mils), pulse repetition frequency (PRF) code of 124. A/B ensure FDCs can execute mission; rehearse mission from observer to guns NLT 182030 Aug 98. MET broadcast at 0600, 0700, 0800 hours. C battery DNL WP0012 DPICM NLT 190615 Aug 98. A/B DNL WP0012 CPHD at 190615 Aug 98. B/C place entire BTRY AMC WP0012 (DPICM) when A Battery reports "READY" WP 0012 CPHD. A Battery execute AMC WP0012 CPHD tentative time 190630 Aug 98 (TF LD). A/B/C execute AMC WP0012 (DPICM) 1 minute following CPHD shot. A Battery CPHD crew joins second volley DPICM. Trigger to execute CPHD is TF LD. Trigger to execute BN six rounds (DPICM) is CPHD shot plus time of flight (TOF).
ENDSTATE:CSOP destroyed or withdrawn before LD.

2. After developing the EFATs to this level of detail as a product of the wargaming process, provide them to the battery commanders so they can focus on preparation and execution. Include this level of detail on the EFATs to subordinate units in the FASP. Most tasks of a repetitive nature may evolve in the unit SOP as FASCAM, CPHD, and smoke drills, but the EFAT will require tailoring to meet current mission requirements and MUST be published completely in the FASP.

3. EFTSs must be fully developed by the staff for the brigade to effectively employ artillery fires to support the maneuver plan. Fully developed EFSTs will state the task, purpose, method, and endstate of artillery delivered fires. The figure below depicts the fire support methodology that staffs should use to develop EFSTs.

Figure of Fire Support Methodology to develop EFSTs

TREND 7
SUBJECT: Fire Support Team (FST) Operations

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00011

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Task forces (TFs) do not employ FIST personnel and equipment to maximize target acquisition and location capabilities when their vehicle (FIST-V) is non-mission capable (NMC). (TA.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. When the FIST-V is down for maintenance, the company fire support officer (FSO) frequently moves to the commander's Bradley or HMMWV equipped with a manpack SINCGARS, binoculars, compass, and map. The entire remainder of the team's personnel and equipment go with the FIST-V to the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP) and wait.

2. The ground/vehicle laser locator designator (G/VLLD) is not employed in the dismounted mode.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Fire Support Team (FST) Operations

TFs should develop a plan that provides several options for FIST degraded operations based on peronnel and equipment availability and METT-T (see example option below). The plan should be approved by the TF commander, incorporated into the TF tactical SOP (TACSOP), and followed by all commanders and FSOs. These initiatives can ensure that FISTs are employed with the maximum capability possible.

Example options:

Option 1: FIST-V turret or TSCD inoperable:

For offensive missions, employ the G/VLLD mounted on the vehicle deck. For defensive missions, employ the G/VLLD dismounted and dug in (on or off vehicle).

Option 2: FIST-V inoperable:

FSO and fire support sergeant, or a radio telephone operator (RTO), operate from a 1SG or maintenance team M113 with the G/VLLD w/tripod, batteries, power cable, thermal sight, forward entry device (FED), binoculars, compass, AN/GVS-5s and three SINCGARS. For offensive missions, employ the G/VLLD mounted on the vehicle deck. For defensive missions, employ the G/VLLD dismounted and dug in (on or off vehicle.).

Option 3: FIST-V and team M113s inoperable:

FSO and fire support sergeant, or an RTO, operate from a non-firing Bradley or the company commander's HMMWV equipped with the G/VLLD w/tripod, batteries, power cable, thermal sight, FED, binoculars, compass, AN'GVS-5s and two SINCGARS.
btn_tabl.gif 1.21 K
btn_prev.gif 1.18 KSection IV - Needs Emphasis Trends: Maneuver BOS (TA.1)
btn_next.gif 1.17 KSection IV - Needs Emphasis Trends: Air Defense BOS (TA.3)



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list


One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias