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SECTION IV - NEEDS EMPHASIS TRENDS


FIRE SUPPORT BOS (TA.2)

TREND 1

SUBJECT: Fire Support Planning

Observation frequency:1-2QFY963-4QFY961-2QFY973-4QFY971-2QFY98
00022

3-4QFY97

OBSERVATION 1: Task forces (TFs) do not develop the fire support plan to standard. (TA.4.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Key members of the task force (TF) staffs often do not provide mission analysis briefings to the commander.

2. Poor information dissemination inadequately prepares the TF fire support officers (FSOs) and fire support elements (FSEs) to participate in the planning process.

3. FSOs/FSEs cannot provide timely and essential information to the subordinate fire support teams (FISTs). The FISTs, in turn, have no time for concurrent planning.

4. In spite of battle staff focus on synchronizing fires with the TF scheme of maneuver, the commander's guidance for fires does not cover the entire operation.

5. Resulting fire support plans lack sufficient detail and coordination to carry through the entire TF mission.

OBSERVATION 2: The brigade fire support element (FSE) does not develop a complete scheme of fires during the planning phase. (TA.4.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Brigade FSE personnel do not normally have available all of the tools needed for wargaming and do not have a complete understanding of the product they are expected to produce.

2. The scheme of fires is normally completed after the wargame is finished. As a result, the brigade FSO must go back and capture target grids, observer locations, FA position areas, and graphical control measures.

3. Combined arms and fire support rehearsals do not meet the needs of the brigade in ensuring the fire support plan is integrated with maneuver and synchronized.

4. The effects that fire support was to achieve (i.e., suppress, destroy, and obscure) are rarely addressed in detail. Methods are incompletely determined for fire support events.

5. The brigade deep fight quickly becomes ineffective after the first deep engagement and the transition from deep to close to rear normally does not take place.

6. Close air support (CAS) is not effectively integrated into the brigade fire support plan.

7. Artillery movement plans are only loosely tied to fire support events.

8. Staff supervision of the brigade fire support plan is not conducted with a keen eye toward ensuring subordinate organizations are planning and preparing along a course that would result in success for the brigade.

1-2QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Fire support officers (FSOs) seldom adequately develop and provide resources for the essential fire support tasks (EFSTs). (TA.2.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

Although FSOs are usually able to identify the essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) and develop subsequent scheme of fires necessary to execute and successfully complete those tasks, they 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: Brigade fire support element (FSE) personnel often struggle with providing timely and essential information to the battalion/task force (TF) fire support officers (FSOs) to permit concurrent planning. (TA.4.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Although brigade FSEs normally adequately prepare the FSOs/FSEs for participating in the planning process, the battalion/TF FSOs are often unable to conduct concurrent planning because of missing information.

2. The brigade FSEs often do not:

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.

3. 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 and appear to the enemy as fighting one continuous fight.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Fire Support Planning

TASK FORCE FIRE SUPPORT PLAN:

1. Mission Analysis. Upon receipt of the new mission, the FSE begins a battle drill to confirm the current status of the fire support (FS) system and to gather the other needed inputs for the first step in FS planning. These are:

* Higher headquarters' warning order (WARNO)
* Facts from FA battalion, ALO, and others
* Facts from higher/subordinate FSE & FIST
* IPB products
* Enemy COAs as developed by S2
* High-value targets (HVTs) by enemy phase or critical event

a. The TF FSO must:
- Understand the higher maneuver and FS plan.
- Organize and analyze facts.
- Identify specified and implied tasks.
- Translate status of assets into capabilities and limitations.
- Analyze effects of IPB on FS.

b. The TF FSO must brief the results of his mission analysis to the commander and conclude his brief with recommended essential fire support tasks.

c. Prior to COA development, the TF FSO should receive the commander's approved essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) and issue a WARNO to his subordinate FISTs, the brigade FSE, and the FA battalion.

2. Course of Action Development. As COA development begins, the TF FSO must 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.

a. The results of the mission analysis become the foundation for FS COA development. The FSO uses these results to plan the method for accomplishing the EFSTs. As a minimum, the FS 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.

b. The desired output of COA development is a draft fire support plan. The draft FS plan provides the sequence of EFSTs and outlines the task, purpose, method, and end state for each EFST of the operation. The plan must include:
- Concept of fires/draft fires paragraph.
- Draft fire support execution matrix.
- Draft target list worksheet and overlay.
- Draft target synchronization matrix.
- Collection/reconnaissance and surveillance plan.

3. Wargaming. The more complete the FS plan is before COA analysis and comparison, the more efficient and effective the wargame.

a. 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 FS plan and products to improve the plan.

b. The wargame also provides a means to test the strength of the plan and build in flexibility by identifying decisions and branches for the FS plan.

c. At the conclusion of the wargame, the FSO should have:
- Final fires paragraph.
- Final fire support execution matrix.
- Final target list and overlay.
- Final scheme of fires.
- Final target synchronization matrix.

4. The Fire Support Annex. Using a cartoon sketch, map overlay, or terrain model can help convey the details of the FS plan more clearly. Once approved, the consolidated products become the fire support annex and are added to the maneuver order.

5. References:

a. CALL Newsletter 95-12, Update, May 97, Military Decision-Making: "Abbreviated Planning."

b. White Paper: "Fire Support Planning for the Brigade and Below," Fire Support Division, USFSCAOD, USAFAS, Fort Sill, OK, 6 June 1997.

BRIGADE SCHEME OF FIRES DEVELOPMENT:

1. Discuss and synchronize events and decision points during COA development and wargaming, so that the scheme of fires allows subordinates to clearly follow the sequence of events. Provide detailed information. The brigade staff should thoroughly wargame the basic task force fight with specific timelines and triggers. The fire support plan, when issued to subordinate organizations, should give the staff a planning framework that will not undergo massive changes as execution time draws near.

2. Plan the scheme of fire support throughout the brigade's battle space, deep, close, and rear. Too often, the brigade does not plan the close fight, and rear operations are seldom considered.

a. The brigade fire support plan often ends after the last deep engagement, which doctrinally, as well as practically, is not correct. If the brigade only plans deep and puts the burden for all close planning on the task forces, the transition from deep to close will never take place as envisioned by the brigade fire support officer.

b. If, instead, the brigade plans the fire support fight throughout the zone or sector by planning one continuous fight, the fire support officer can force the transition from deep to close to rear. There will be no gaps in the transition because it is a single integrated plan developed by a single headquarters.

3. The very essence of top-down fire planning is that the brigade fire support element develops the fire support plan and subordinate fire support elements refine it. In transitioning from deep to close to rear, the brigade is not handing off fires to subordinate headquarters. Rather, it is handing them the entire responsibility for execution of the brigade fire support plan. The scheme of fires worksheet has proven effective for facilitating this planning and refinement. An example of a completed worksheet for a portion of the scheme of fire support is shown below as a way to capture results of the wargame.

PHASE
I - DEEP FIGHT
This line corresponds to maneuver phases.

TRIGGER/DP

CRPs at NAI 4

CAS Tot - 2 min

N. MB MRC at AN 9000

This line is used to provide the trigger to execute the FS event or to indicate a DP that would move us to another event - top-down.

Panel marker NK 123456

This block is for the specific on-the-ground trigger - bottom-up refined.

FS EVENT

1. AN 9001

2. AN 0001

3. CTB 2

Event sequence # and target or CTB #.

FASCAM

SEAD for CTB 2

CAS on N. MRC

Description of event - asset and HPT

PRI OBS/EXE

COLT 1

COLT 1

ETAC 1

Primary executor - may need bottom-up refinement.

OP LOCATION

Primary executor location to execute from - bottom-up refinement.

ALT OBS/EXE

COLT 2

COLT 2

COLT 1

Alternate executor - may need bottom-up refinement.

OP LOCATION

Alternate executor to execute from - bottom-up refinement.

TASK

Emplace FASCAM minefield to delay N. MRB in passes

Suppress AA in MRC/mark TGT area

Destroy 1 tank and 3 BMPs in N. MRC

Task of this event: Tells observer what he is trying to do with this event = attack guidance. Enemy formation and effect.

PURPOSE

To allow attack by CAS

To prevent losses to CAS aircraft while attacking N. MRC at FASCAM

To attrit 1/3 from N. MRC and delay N. MRB

Purpose of this event: Tell observer why he is attacking the event so he can do the right thing without additional guidance. In terms of friendly maneuver.

EFFECTS

N. MRB delayed 10 min

AAA suppressed at H-1 UP mark

N. MRB delayed 5 min

Effects or end state of event - gives us criteria to assess our event and reattack if required.

WPN/UNIT

R BN 155

DS BN 155

2 A-10s

The top-down asset to accomplish task.

MUNITIONS/
VOLUME

96 RAAMs
24 ADAMS
med density

BN 3
DPICM
1 GUN WP

8 Maverick

The bottom-up refinement from FA or ALO on the specifics of the attack asset.

FSCM

CFL PL BLOOD
NFA 1, NFA 2

CFL PL BLOOD
NFA 1, NFA 2

CFL PL BLOOD
NFA 1, NFA 2

The FSCM that supports the event or changes with the event.

ACA

ACA BLUE

ACA in effect

NOTES

CTB 2: 1234-1236-1638-1644

CTB 2: 1234-1236-1638-1644

Other notes or remarks

4. Conduct complete and thorough staff supervision of the plan. The scheme of fire support worksheet provides an excellent staff supervision document.

a. To alert the brigade FSE and subordinates, highlight with dark lines any areas that require bottom-up refinement. Subordinate elements should be required to submit the execution details of that event, to include:
- Exact trigger description and grid
- The time the trigger was emplaced
- Refined target number and grid for the same task and purpose
- Refined primary target number and grid for the same task and purpose
- Refined primary and alternate observers and OP grid
- Refined weapon/unit/munition/volume

b. As the information is received from subordinates, the brigade FSE can determine whether the subordinate's plan will accomplish the event properly (i.e., triggers in the proper location, volume of fire sufficient to achieve the required effects, etc.). If further refinement is necessary, direct that the refinement take place.

ESSENTIAL FIRE SUPPORT TASKS (EFST):

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 by task, purpose, method, and end state:

1. TASK. Describes the targeting effect (targeting objective) fires must achieve against a specific enemy formation's function or capability. These formations are high-payoff targets (HPTs). (Memory Aid: Task = Effect, Formation, Function.) Pages 1 and 2 of FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process, outline several terms to describe targeting effects or objectives that can be used. The terms 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 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 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 (i.e., CAS) is to focus exclusively on a task, that information can be communicated here. (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.

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.

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.

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.

BRIGADE FS PLANNING:

1. Mission Analysis. 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 inputs for the first step in fire support planning. These are:

* Higher headquarters' WARNO or order
* Facts from FA battalion, ALO, others
* Facts from higher/subordinate FSE and FIST
* IPB products
* Enemy COAs as developed by S2
* HVTs by enemy phase or critical event

a. The FSO must:
- Understand the higher headquarters' maneuver and fire support plan.
- Organize and analyze facts.
- Identify specified and implied tasks.
- Translate status of assets into capabilities and limitations.
- Analyze effects of IPB on fire support.

b. The FSO should brief the results of his mission analysis to the commander and conclude his brief with recommended essential fire support tasks (EFSTs).

c. 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.

2. Course of Action Development. 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.

a. 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. As 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.

b. 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 end state for each EFST of the operation. The plan should include:
- Concept of fires/draft fires paragraph.
- Draft fire support execution matrix.
- Draft target list worksheet and overlay.
- Draft target synchronization matrix.
- Collection/R&S plan.

3. Wargaming. The more complete the fire support plan is before COA analysis and comparison, the more efficient and effective the wargame.

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. At the conclusion of the wargame, the FSO should have:
- Final fires paragraph.
- Final fire support execution matrix.
- Final target list and overlay.
- Final scheme of fires.
- Final target synchronization matrix.

4. The Fire Support Annex. Using a cartoon sketch, map overlay, or terrain model can 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.


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