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SECTION III: FIRE SUPPORT


Command and Control of Airspace Coordination Area (ACA)

(FM 6-20, App D; FM 71-3, Chap 6; FC 100-1-103, Chap 5)

The purpose of the ACA is to allow the simultaneous attack of targets near each other by multiple fire support means, one of which is air. Planning an ACA is similar to planning any other operation; it has to be wargamed, coordinated, approved, and disseminated. Experience has shown that brigades are in the best position to plan and coordinate ACAs. The brigade has the knowledge of its total fire support needs. Furthermore, it has the communication links and command and control interfaces of all assets (artillery, close air support [CAS], army aviation, and naval gun fire). The following procedures aid establishing an ACA:

  • A task force can recommend additional ACAs to the brigade. Brigade understanding of the intent of the task force commander is essential prior to planning these ACAs.

  • The brigade and DS artillery battalion determine if these ACAs are adequate, and, if not, they modify them.

  • Once approved, the FSE disseminates to all elements concerned as soon as possible.

The key players in this wargaming process are the task force S3, FSO, ALO, S3 Air, ADA, and army aviation representative and, if possible, the artillery battalion S3 or fire direction officer. Experience has shown that an informal ACA is easier to plan, coordinate, and execute versus the three-dimensional formal ACA. An informal ACA should be very simple; e.g. specific terrain features that can be identified from the air should be used for air assets and corresponding grid coordinates for the indirect fire system. This information flow is depicted in Table 1. A detailed ACA checklist outlining what must be done, with whom coordination must be affected, and in what specific order will streamline the above procedures. The best ACA results in the least disruption of friendly direct and indirect fires while maximizing aircraft firepower on targets. This is obtained through close/coordination between the ALO and FSO. The aircraft are sent in as the last rounds (ideally, WP marking rounds) are impacting. The ALO then gives the FSO a warning order; e.g., "will be leaving station in one minute," so that indirect fires can be resumed almost immediately after the aircraft depart.

RESPONSIBLE AGENCYDISSEMINATED TO
*Bde FSODiv Arty
TF FSO
DS Bn TOC
*TF FSOCo FSO, mortar platoon
*Co FSOFO
Bde ALOTF ALO
ADA LNO or S3 AirADA Bn
ADA LNO at TF level
Army Aviation LNO or S3 AirAVN Bn

*The responsible agency will inform his maneuver counterpart.

Table 1. ACA Dissemination


Table of Contents
Section II: Maneuver
Section IV: Air Defense



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