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

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 (PCC/PCI), and execute their mission according to the task force (TF) commander's intent.

(TA.2.1.1 Select Target to Attack)

TREND 2: Assignment of reconnaissance objectives for aviation assets.

PROBLEM: Aviation assets are often assigned high-risk, low-payoff reconnaissance objectives such as dug-in divisional reconnaissance team (DRT) positions and Combat Security Outposts (CSOPs), which are also often collocated with SA-14/SA-2-18 systems.

RESULT: Aviation assets are quickly attrited and are not available for high-payoff objectives that are crucial for overall mission success.


1. Aviation elements must be directly involved in the planning process early so proper and high-payoff reconnaissance objectives can be assigned for aviation assets.

2. Aviation elements should be assigned recon objectives which are susceptible to aviation's maneuverability, flexibility, and target acquisition capabilities (e.g., lasing for PGM strikes).

3. Aviation objectives should be high-payoff targets that are crucial for overall mission success.

(TA.2.1.1 Select Target to Attack)

TREND 3: Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicles (BSFVs) in ground support role.


1. There is a misconception that BSFVs do not fire in a ground support role.

2. Some units opted not to give 25mm and 7.62mm ammunition to BSFV crews during live fire missions and assigned them low priority during force-on-force operations.


1. BSFV platoons can execute ground support missions using their 25mm and TOW as offensive weapons. BSFV crews that were given ammunition became significant combat multipliers.

2. When BSFVs are in direct support (DS) of a particular unit, that unit commander assigns the BSFV mission and position. Consistent with mission authority, the commander should issue guidance for use of BSFVs in the direct fire role.

3. Before the commander employs BSFVs in such a role he should consider:

  1. Unit training.

  2. Ammunition and equipment availability.

  3. Availability for future air defense missions.

4. Reference: FM 44-43, BSFV Platoon and Squad Operations.

(TA.2.2.1 Conduct Lethal Engagement)

TREND 4: (LTP) Fire Support integration.

PROBLEM: The brigade fire support element (FSE) and the brigade staff have a difficult time integrating fires with maneuver.

  1. Fires are normally planned after and not concurrently with the other BOS during the planning process.

  2. This problem begins with mission analysis and continues through COA development, wargaming, and rehearsals.

Technique: Develop FSE battle drills that ensure the following results occur in each phase.


Mission Analysis
  • HVTs by critical events
  • Fire support capabilities
  • Impact of IPB, TVA, and battlefield geometry on fire support
  • Recommend tasks for fire support
Commander's guidance
  • Task: formation, function, effect
  • Purpose: How task contributes to our success
  • Nominated HPTs
COA Development
  • Concept of fires
  • Tentative PSNs, triggers, and FSCMs
  • Tentative R&S/observer plan and attack system
  • Nominated HPTs
  • Detailed scheme of fires
  • Clear sequence of FS events
  • Final triggers, PSNs, FSCMs, observer plan, attack system, and volume
  • HPTs defined clearly
  • Synchronized execution
  • Deconflict FA PSNs and movement
  • Ensure understanding of scheme
  • Practice branches and sequels

(TA.2.3 Integrate Fire Support)

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