SECTION IV - NEEDS EMPHASIS TRENDS
SUPPORT BOS (TA.2)
SUBJECT: Targeting and Triggers
OBSERVATION 1: The S2, S3, and fire support officer (FSO) do not integrate and coordinate the targeting process. (TA.2.1)
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.
OBSERVATION 1: Brigade staffs often do not conduct a consolidated targeting effort. (TA.2.1)
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.
OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 1)
OBSERVATION 2: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)
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:
8. The functions of the targeting team include:
9. The timing and structure of the targeting team meeting may vary but it should include the following agenda items:
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:
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.
SUBJECT: Fire Support Transition from Deep to Close
OBSERVATION 1: Brigades often do not fully define the transition of fire support from the deep to the close fight. (TA.2.2.1)
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).
OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)
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.
SUBJECT: Fire Support Planning
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)
1. The FSEs are hesitant to:
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.
OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 3)
OBSERVATION 1: Fire support planning is not to standard.(TA.2.3)
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.
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:
(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....")
(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.
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:
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:
7. The FSO must:
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:
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:
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.
SUBJECT: Integration of Fire Support with Maneuver
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)
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)
OBSERVATION 4: The fire support team (FIST) officer is seldom involved with the maneuver company commander in the planning process. (TA.2.3)
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)
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)
OBSERVATION 7: Task forces (TFs) are experiencing difficulty planning, refining, and activating critical friendly zones (CFZs). (TA.2.3)
OBSERVATION 8: Task forces are experiencing difficulty integrating fire support into engagement area (EA) development during defensive missions. (TA.2.3)
OBSERVATION 9: Fire support is rarely integrated into the task force (TF) wargaming process. (TA.4.4.5)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
(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.
selection, and occupation of position (RSOP):
Planning/Integration of Indirect Fires:
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.
of the task force FSO/ALO/enlisted terminal attack controller (ETAC):
fire support coordinating measures (FSCM):
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.
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.
17. FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process, describes the relationship between EFSTs and the targeting process.
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.
19. The task force fire support officer (FSO) should develop a scheme of fires to support the commander's decisive point. This includes:
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.
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.
(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.).
|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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
SUBJECT: Fighting and Observation Positions/Observation Planning
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)
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)
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.
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:
- EFST to execute (specific and detailed task and purpose).
- OP location with visibility/equipment requirements.
- Time to occupy (friendly/enemy event).
- Security requirements/arrangements.
- Disengagement criteria.
- EFST to execute (specific and detailed task and purpose).
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:
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.
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.
SUBJECT: EFAT/EFST Development
OBSERVATION 1: Many field artillery battalions do not understand how to properly develop EFATs after receiving the brigade operations order. (TA.2.2.1)
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.
OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 1)
OBSERVATION 1: EFSTs are not developed to standard. (TA.2.2.1)
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)
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:
for EFAT/EFST Development
1. At FA battalion level, during the battalion-level wargaming process, translate brigade- level EFST into EFATs for battery commanders.
|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.
SUBJECT: Fire Support Team (FST) Operations
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)
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.
OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)
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.
Option 1: FIST-V turret or TSCD inoperable:
Option 2: FIST-V inoperable:
Option 3: FIST-V and team M113s inoperable:
Section IV - Needs Emphasis Trends: Maneuver BOS (TA.1)
Section IV - Needs Emphasis Trends: Air Defense BOS (TA.3)
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