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(Trends are numbered sequentially for cross-reference and are not in any priority order.)

Positive Performance

TREND 1: Use of maneuver observers within the task force to request fires. Units have improved at using their new equipment (MELIOS, PLGR) to provide "first-round fire-for-effect" target locations. When fire support teams (FISTs) become casualties, most units have backup maneuver observers identified and in position. The backup observers can aggressively request fires with accurate target locations.

Technique: Units need to maintain an active Home Station maneuver observer training program. FSOs should help train platoon leaders, platoon sergeants (PSGs), and scouts in the TSFO and reinforce it by having them request fires during mortar shoots.

(TA.2.2 Engage Ground Targets)

Needs Emphasis

TREND 1: Fire Support Observation Plan. Observation plans very often lack sufficient detail to provide the company fire support team (FIST) a focus for planning, preparing, or executing their mission.

Technique: 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.

(TA.2.1.1 Select Target to Attack)

TREND 2: Fire support observation plan and target location.


1. 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.

2. Observers frequently commit errors in observed fire procedures resulting in inaccurate target locations.

3. The FSO frequently does not synchronize the observer plan with the scheme of maneuver during the wargaming process.

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

5. Rehearsals are frequently inadequate.

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


1. Maneuver commanders must maintain the tactical patience necessary to allow observers to get into position and execute their assigned task and purpose, in order to set conditions for maneuver. FM 6-71 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.

2. Construct an observer plan in concert with the S2 and S3, and use Terrabase computer programs to assist in position selection. This provides the detect functions of the targeting process IAW FM 6-20-10.

3. 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 they 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 utilize. Consider employing the reserve company/team FIST as a task force COLT (a doctrinal option in FM 6-20-20).

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.

4. Synchronize the observation plan with the scheme of maneuver during the wargame. To do so, you 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.

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

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

7. Observers must employ their precision target acquisition equipment IAW the appropriate TMs and follow the observed fire procedures in FM 6-30 for manual target location.

(TA.2.1.1 Select Target to Attack)

TREND 3: Field artillery development of engagement areas (EAs).

PROBLEM: Task force fire support officers (FSOs) and fire support teams (FISTs) do not adequately complete engagement area (EA) development during defense in sector missions. Specifically:

- Not all triggers are emplaced.

- Time distance factors for some triggers are miscalculated.

- Targets are not tied into obstacles.

- Not all primary and alternate observers can see triggers.

- Target area survey is usually inadequate.


1. The task force FSO should develop a scheme of fires to support the task force commander's decisive point. This includes:

a. Observer planning.

b. Target emplacement based on sighted obstacles.

c. Target refinement based on the actual obstacle emplacement.

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

e. An EA mounted rehearsal.

2. Tasks must be prioritized with an established timeline and the status of preparation reported. This must be a coordinated effort between the task force FSO/FSE and company/teams. Execution can be centralized or decentralized.

3. The task force fire support sergeant is the SME and should supervise and coordinate the overall effort.

4. Trigger kits must be standardized and resourced.

a. Time distance factors are different for an enemy moving during day and night, and response and shift times for mortars and artillery are different.

b. Establish both tactical and execution triggers. Use procedures established in FM 6-30 to achieve effective moving target engagement. 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.

(TA.2.1.1 Select Target to Attack)

TREND 4: Developing essential fire support tasks (EFSTs). FSOs are usually able to take the commander's guidance and develop the essential fire support tasks (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.

Techniques: EFSTs are refined from the commander's intent and guidance for fires. They form the foundation for the concept of fire support, for developing the COA for fire support, and for COA analysis, validation, and synchronization with maneuver (wargaming). EFSTs are identified as task, purpose, method, and end state:

1. 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.

FM 6-20-10 (p.1-2) outlines several terms to describe targeting effects or objectives that can be used; however, disrupt, delay, or limit are most commonly used.

a. 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...")

b. 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...)

c. 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....)

2. 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: To allow our advanced guard company to destroy the FSE with direct fires before the AGMB arrives.)

3. 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.

a. For the observer, it can assign 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 (i.e., 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 NAIs, TAIs, targets, CAS target boxes, or engagement areas to describe where the attacks will occur.

b. 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.

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

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.

4. END STATE. Attempts to quantify the successful accomplishment of the task. If multiple shooters are involved, it helps delineate what each must accomplish. End state 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.

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.

(TA.2.2.1 Conduct Lethal Engagement)

TREND 5: Mortar platoon use of directional orienting lines. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants are not proficient in using an orienting station and the end of the orienting line provided by survey teams from the artillery battalion. Directional control is the most important element of survey.


1. When available, mortar platoons should use directional control provided by artillery survey teams to lay the platoon.

2. Seek the assistance of the task force FSO for the procedures listed in FM 6-50.

(TA. Conduct Surface Attack)

TREND 6: Mortar fire direction center (FDC) use of meteorological (MET) messages. Mortar FDCs are unfamiliar with the proper format, type, and procedures to validate a meteorological (MET) message.

Technique: Accuracy of mortar fires increases significantly with the use of a current and valid MET message during the computation of firing data. Seek the assistance of the task force FSO for the correct MET message format and MET validation procedures.

(TA. Conduct Surface Attack)

TREND 7: Mortar platoon conduct of unprepared occupations. Mortar platoons experience difficulty in conducting unprepared occupations as a platoon. As a result of METT-T, mortar platoons often operate as a platoon versus split section at some point during the campaign.

RESULT: Excessive ready-to-fire times.

Technique: Mortar platoons should aggressively rehearse unprepared occupations during day and night as both a platoon and section to achieve responsive ready-to-fire times.

(TA. Conduct Surface Attack)

TREND 8: FA Battery-level Paladin movement.


1. Commanders often do not conduct proper preparation and planning for their tactical moves.

2. Commanders typically give little thought to control measures for ensuring timely, controlled tactical moves.

3. Most moves consist only of sending a move order to the guns with no thought of land deconfliction, boundaries, terrain, movement aids for limited visibility, reconnaissance, survey points, or movement control measures.

Techniques: Paladin movement requires great detail in planning and flexibility in execution. Commanders should look early for potential problems, define specific control measures for the movement, and then position key leaders where they can see and influence the movement.

1. Movement planning must begin during the commander's mission analysis. Even if battalion does not provide sufficient guidance for movement, this does not absolve the battery commander from planning movement in-depth to support his battery mission.

2. An initial examination of the scheme of maneuver, coupled with the Paladin zones provided from battalion, will give the commander a starting point for his maneuver plan.

3. The commander should look for obvious conflicts in the movement plan. By determining possible conflicts early, a commander can find solutions or work with battalion to modify the plan.

a. Are several batteries taking the same route at the same time?

b. Does the route given by battalion violate unit boundaries?

c. Is there a specific route or is that left to the commander's discretion?

d. Does the movement guidance conflict with the maneuver forces plan?

4. The commander must then make specific decisions concerning his planned movement.

a. What type of formation will he use?

b. Move by platoons or by battery?

c. Move in a wedge or in column formation?

d. Give a specific route or specify an axis of advance?

5. It is here that the gunnery sergeants can best assist the commander. The gunnery sergeants can easily place survey control points along the route if they know to do so in advance.

By conducting a route reconnaissance within limits of the tactical situation, the gunnery sergeants can advise the commander on the terrain, routes, and possible conflicts. If ground recon is not possible, then the commander must conduct a detailed map recon.

a. How far will each movement take the battery?

b. When navigation updates be needed?

c. Who will provide survey support?

d. What are the specific triggers to initiate movement?

6. The commander then determines how best to pass his movement plan to his platoons. One successful method is to develop battery graphics and disseminate them while issuing the WARNO or OPORD.

a. Battery graphics need not be complicated. Some basic graphical control measures will help ease movement problems and add flexibility to the entire plan.

b. Graphics should include battery boundaries, routes, or axis of advance depending on how much movement control the commander needs, Paladin zones, survey control points and any start points, check points, or release points.

c. By getting these graphics down to the section chief level, the commander can ensure all leaders have an understanding of the scheme of maneuver and can allow him to issue FRAGOs based on the graphics should the situation change.

7. Control during the execution of the movement is no less critical than the planning phase. Commanders generally are good about using the gunnery sergeants to link in with the rear elements of the maneuver forces. This gives the commanders eyes forward while positioning themselves forward to make their own assessment of the movement.

8. Commanders should plan for contingencies in their scheme of maneuver. By planning alternate Paladin zones and alternate routes of march, the commander can easily shift his unit when the situation changes.

a. The ability of the Paladin to conduct "hipshoots" means the commander can support maneuver from almost all points of his march.

b. Specific essential field artillery tasks (EFATs), such as Copperhead or FASCAM, may require specific range or angle-T positioning factors. Alternate Paladin zones, developed during his mission analysis, allow the commander to quickly shift his forces into areas where he knows he can meet range requirements necessary to accomplish his EFATs.

(TA. Conduct Surface Attack)

TREND 9: Scouts integration into the task force fire support plan.


1. Scouts too often do not receive adequate fire support while conducting their zone reconnaissance and counter-recon missions. Scouts cross the LD or screen without any responsive fires.

2. The task force mortar platoon is often out of range to support the scouts or "reserved" for supporting the task force attack or defense.

RESULT: Scouts end up taking unnecessary casualties and may not achieve their reconnaissance objectives.

Technique: Link the scouts to the task force FSO to receive responsive fires from either the DS artillery battalion or the task force mortar platoon. The scouts can establish a direct net to the task force FSO to request fire support. Mortars should be positioned along the LD or with the counter-recon force to support the scouts.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 10: Task force fire support integration with scheme of maneuver. Task force Fire Support Officers (FSOs) often do not conduct fire support planning outside the allocations of the established brigade fire support plan.


1. Most brigade FSOs develop and disseminate detailed and directive fire support plans based on essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) received from the brigade commander. Brigades do a good job of planning and fighting the brigade's deep fight; however, fires from the task force close fight is often inadequately planned or do not support the task force scheme of maneuver.

2. Many task force fire support plans lack flexibility because the FSO has not planned in depth or developed a plan for use of all fire support assets (i.e., CAS or MLRS fires) just because brigade did not allocate any of those assets.

RESULT: Fires are not synchronized with the task force's scheme of maneuver and do not accomplish the EFST.


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

-If the brigade has done an adequate job of synchronizing fires with maneuver at the brigade level, then the only refinement that should be needed is target location based on SITEMP refinement at task force level and triggers based on the task force scheme of maneuver.

- However, if the brigade has done an inadequate job or the scheme of fires does not support the task force scheme of maneuver, the FSO must plan fires to support his commander.

2. If any changes to the scheme are made:

- They should be within the framework of the brigade EFSTs.

- The task force FSO must give the brigade FSO and FSCOORD a heads-up that the task force commander will be seeking approval for his new plan from the brigade commander.

3. Brigades often experience spans of time when a particular fire support asset is not used (or in the case of CAS, diverted) due to deviation from the original plan. If the task force FSO has a plan for these assets that supports the task force scheme of maneuver, often the brigade will re-allocate assets to the task force.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 11: Task force management and refinement of fire support critical friendly zones (CFZs).

PROBLEM: Task forces are experiencing difficulty planning, refining, and activating CFZs.


1. During the wargame, the FSO must plan CFZs to cover movement, attack-by-fires, support by fires, breach sites, TAAs, battle positions, and hide positions through the depth of the zone or sector, then establish triggers for their activation.

2. During execution, the fires support sergeant or targeting officer must refine and activate the zones using reports from FISTs and company/teams via cross talk with the TOC battle captain to ensure zone coverage of where the force is actually located on the battlefield. EPLRs and APPLIQUE situational awareness can be utilized to complement the refinement and activation battle drill.

3. The number of zones allocated to a task force are limited. Therefore, it is essential that the task force commander state his force protection priorities for CFZs to ensure a critical unit or main effort, such as a breach force, is covered.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 12: Fire support integration into engagement area development.

PROBLEM: Task forces are experiencing difficulty in integrating fire support into engagement area (EA) development during defensive missions.


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

- Observer planning.

- Target emplacement based on planned obstacles.

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

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

- An EA mounted rehearsal.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

- 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.

- 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.

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

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 13: FA battalion radar zone management. Planning and executing radar zones (critical friendly zones (CFZs)) to facilitate the maneuver commander's force protection priorities is a problem area for the direct support (DS) field artillery (FA) battalion.


1. The DS FA battalion seldom provides responsive counterfires that support the maneuver commander's priorities for force protection. Planning, rehearsing, and triggering the radar employment plan is rarely synchronized with the reinforcing artillery or DIVARTY assets available and the rest of the brigade's plan. The crucial missing piece is the linkage of the DS FA battalion TOC to the radar during the execution of the zone plan.

2. Synchronizing and coordinating with DIVARTY for redundant AN/TPQ-37 coverage and the deconfliction of zone coverage within the brigade's sector/zone is a problem area. This consistently leads to ineffective radar cueing and zone activation.

3. Digital transmission of radar zones and orientation data are seldom used. This greatly slows down the zone activation and creates unnecessary work.

Techniques: Properly planned, rehearsed, refined, verified, and digitally executed radar zones can initiate responsive, prioritized counterfire during key times or events in the battle.

1. Effective radar employment begins with the interpretation of the maneuver commander's planning guidance for his priorities for force protection.

2. Identify the probable locations of the events or units, obstacles, breach points, or routes critical to success. The brigade FSE/FSCOORD should do this during the brigade's wargame of the selected COA.

3. The integration of zone management for planning, allocation, approval, dissemination, and rehearsals into the overall FS planning cycle must be a FSCOORD/FSO's priority to ensure success. A top-down radar zone plan must be developed so bottom-up refinement can occur.

4. Counterfire priorities must be established and understood to ensure responsive fires to support the force protection priority reflected by the planned zone.

5. Once the zones are consolidated and approved at the brigade FSE, the plan must be incorporated into maneuver and Fire Support Execution Matrices (FSEMs) or any other locally used products, such as scheme of fires worksheet if used.

6. The DS FA battalion S2/S3 and FA targeting technician must use the higher headquarters order/matrices as the planning guidance required to perform the bottom-up refinement necessary to develop the radar deployment order (RDO), position areas, and cueing plan for the radar.

7. The DS battalion S3, S2, brigade FSE, TF FSEs, and the FA targeting technician must understand their roles in the triggering, refinement, and verification of the zones to match the scheme of maneuver. Verification of the unit or event location covered by the planned zone is critical to the success of the plan. Accordingly, the zones planned for maneuver elements must be planned, verified, and triggered by the supported FSEs. To ensure success, the zone, cueing, and radar movement plans must be integrated into the fire support rehearsal, FA technical rehearsal, FA rehearsal (rock drill), and CAR (See CALL Newsletter 98-5, Rehearsals).

8. Once the radar acquisitions are received, the DS battalion TOC's counterfire battle drill must process, clear, and initiate responsive counterfires. There are many moving parts and coordination requirements to make an effective counterfire plan work. Effective coordination with DIVARTY for zone deconfliction and radar orientation is curtailed to ensure the targeting system is not overloaded with acquisitions. FA battalions must develop a TTP that incorporates the digital link and works for your unit similar to the process described above. Once they develop a TTP, incorporate it into the local SOP.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 14: Artillery movement in support of maneuver forces. Most DS battalion staffs understand Paladin movement techniques; however, they do not maximize the employment techniques of the Paladin system in supporting the combined arms team.


1. Artillery movement is rarely adequately planned for and, therefore, not synchronized with maneuver or based on execution of essential fire support tasks (EFSTs).

2. Clear movement triggers are not developed, most moves being on order.


1. The FA battalion must be able to provide the fire support maneuver forces require. This means the battalion's repositioning must be planned for. Coordination of real estate requirements with the supported maneuver unit is a continuous process.

2. Artillery movement must be planned for in detail as part of the brigade planning process so that it is synchronized with the brigade scheme of maneuver. The brigade rehearsal is a good place for final coordination to take place. As part of the FA battalion planning process, this movement plan is refined. Some of the factors that must be considered as part of this planning process are:

a. How do we fit into the brigade scheme of maneuver?

b. What are our range requirements?

c. Do we have any ammunition limitations?

d. What are the critical targets in the scheme of fires?

e. What is the planned/acceptable out-of-action time understood by the brigade commander?

f. What adjacent unit coordination is required?

g. What is the trigger to execute?

- Friendly events?

- Enemy events?

- Time related or accumulation of rounds fired?

h. Who triggers the movement?

- Brigade commander/S3?


- FA battalion S3?

- Battalion commander?

i. Time/distance correlation?

3. Paladin battalions must know, understand, and use maneuver graphical control measures to plan and fight the battalion. Using operational terms and symbols that are common to maneuver units will aid in their understanding of how Paladin maneuvers.

4. The staff provides firing batteries with clear guidance and triggers to conduct survivability moves and tactical moves. Tactical moves should be established using clear, event triggers and Paladin axis (offensive operations) or zones (defensive operations) for the batteries to move into.

5. Paladin's ability to occupy places unsuitable for conventional artillery and no requirement for sole use of terrain simplifies the maneuver commander's land management problems. Terrain management and coordination will be simplified once maneuver commanders understand Paladin movement techniques.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 15: Critical friendly zone (CFZ) refinement and activation.

PROBLEM: The fire support element (FSE) does not fully develop an effective battle drill for planning, refining, and activating critical friendly zones (CFZs) during the campaign.


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

2. During execution, the fire support sergeant or targeting officer should refine and activate the zones to ensure zone coverage of where the force actually is on the battlefield. He should use reports from FISTs and company/teams via their cross-talk with the TOC battle captain.

3. Enhanced position location reporting system (EPLRS) situational awareness can be utilized to complement the refinement and activation battle drill.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 16: (LTP) Fire Support Integration in the Reconnaissance/Counter- reconnaissance operation.

PROBLEM: Units do not adequately plan for the use of indirect fires to support recon/counter-recon operations. Scouts are sent on missions without a fire plan, support fires, and engagement criteria. This affects the scouts' ability to protect/secure their movement forward or to disengage from enemy reconnaissance assets when they come under observation and/or direct fire.


1. Involve the brigade and task force fire support officers (FSOs) in planning the R&S effort. They should provide deployed reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) assets a target list to support their mission, a list of frequencies for fires, and a copy of the brigade/task force scheme of fires.

2. The brigade must consider the positioning of fire support assets (FA or mortars) forward to provide responsive fires in support of the R&S plan.

3. To avoid fratricide and to facilitate clearance of fires, the FSOs must plan no fire areas (NFAs) around observation posts (OPs) and continually update the NFAs as R&S assets move forward.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 17: (LTP) Integration of CAS and artillery fires with the scheme of maneuver. Brigade's employment of CAS and artillery fires usually does not set the conditions for success on the objective during the attack.


1. Units do not understand the volume of artillery required for mission accomplishment.

2. Units do not understand the importance of synchronizing these tasks to the scheme of maneuver.

RESULT: Artillery fires are lifted and shifted before the task is complete.


1. To reverse this trend, brigades must better integrate the use of CAS and artillery fires to set the conditions for success on maneuver objectives. This is accomplished with an effective observation plan and scheme of fires specifically focused on destroying the motorized rifle platoon (MRP) at the point of penetration.

2. Suppression and obscuration fires facilitate the positioning of the support-by-fire (SBF) force and fires to support the breach, followed by fires to support the assault of the objective. These fires must be event-driven versus time-driven (i.e., the support force commander lifts smoke/suppressive fires when he is ready to begin his mission in the support-by-fire position).

Suppression and obscuration fires must be defined in terms of specific areas and duration.

3. CAS employment must be wargamed during the planning process to ensure proper focus. This must include use of ACAs and SEAD. ALOs must be included in this process.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

TREND 18: (LTP) Light task force fire support integration with scheme of maneuver.


1. Light task force fire support plans often lack specificity to support the scheme of maneuver.

2. Plans and orders do not clearly designate when units have priority of fires.

3. Staffs do not effectively plan triggers to shift priority of fires.

4. During direct fire fights, task forces do not use fire support to assist them in setting the conditions to defeat the enemy. Specifically, smoke or suppressive fires are overlooked to assist maneuver.


1. Task force staffs must improve clarity and specificity for whom has priority of fires and triggers to shift priority of fires. This must be articulated in a clear, detailed concept of fires.

2. During COA development and wargaming, staffs must consider smoke and suppressive fires to help set favorable conditions in the close operation.

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

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