3-319 AFAR TF Gun Devils: providing FA fires for Afghanistan and maneuvering on the enemy.
The unique task force began combat operations in the valley when suddenly its B Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (B/1-508 PIR), Legion Company, was ambushed by a 10-man force. The task force with its Coalition partners suffered casualties in the ambush. It was time for the TF commander to change the plan.
After quickly consulting with his S2, S3, deputy S3, executive officer (XO) and command sergeant major, the task force commander announced the following.
Attention in the TOC [tactical operations center]! We now are massing our combat power in the valley. This is where we are going to fight the enemy. Legion Company, with its Afghan element, is consolidating its combat forces to defeat the enemy strongpoint in the valley.
We now are going to move Team Delta [D/2-504 PIR] west along the mobility corridor to establish blocking positions north of the valley to interdict possible enemy movement north from 3rd Platoon's [Legion Company] enemy contact location.
We are changing Team Alpha's [A/1-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment (AIR)] air insertion landing zone [LZ]. Team Alpha now will land on the LZ approximately five kilometers east of Legion's enemy contact location. But Team Alpha first will conduct a false insertion into the Sammy Hagar Bowl to the west. B/3-319 AFAR [Airborne Field Artillery Regiment] now is stopping its movement north and will occupy positions to execute pre-assault fires for Team Alpha's false insertion and provide fires throughout the valley.
I still will fly in the [C.sup.2] [command and control] aircraft for Team Alpha's false and actual air insertions. Once Team Alpha takes control of its objective, the aircraft will land as the ACP [assault command post] on CP Hilltop to linkup with Legion Company. I have the French commander with me [French Special Forces lieutenant colonel].
The trigger for Gun Devils 5 [XO] to move the battalion TAC [tactical command post] with elements of 4-13 MP [Military Police] from our trains [Headquarters and Service Battery (HSB) 3-319 AFAR] and elements of the 151st [151st Infantry Battalion (Romania)] north toward the valley is when our ACP collocates with Legion Company and establishes communications from CP Hilltop.
Finally, as we isolate the enemy within the valley, I will decide whether Team Alpha is to occupy east of Legion Company or conduct another air insertion to the north NLT [not later than] H+5. H-hour is when Team Alpha's aircraft first touches down on the LZ. By H+5, Alpha 6 will give me his assessment as to whether or not he can exploit success in his initial LZ.
It is critical we deconflict Team Delta's movement south into blocking positions north of the valley while 1st Platoon [Legion Company] moves north to clear the northern most village.
Are we all tracking? What are your questions?
This scenario is of an actual operation in which we cleared the valley of the Taliban. It is representative of the nine task force-level operations we conducted with varied US and allied units, which at times, were drawn from three different US Army brigades during our rotation in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) VI. It demonstrates the flexibility, innovativeness and willingness to take risks required of TF Gun Devils to defeat a smart enemy on his native terrain with maneuver and fires. Our successes in Afghanistan are a tribute to the US Army's band of excellence required in training and its emphasis on allied interoperability.
TF Gun Devils, 3-319 AFAR, is part of the 82d Airborne Division, deployed to Afghanistan for OEF VI from 2005 to 2006. 3-319 AFAR was responsible for not only all FA fires and radars in Afghanistan under the auspices of its 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) 504th PIR, 82d Division, known as TF Devil, but also for task force maneuver operations in the Kandahar Province under the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Combined TF (CTF) Bayonet, part of the US Army's Southern European TF (SETAF). SETAF, out of Vicenza, Italy, was the Combined/Joint Task Force-76 (CJTF-76) headquarters in Afghanistan.
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3-319 AFAR Fires and Radar Mission. Near the end of 2004, the 1st BCT was notified of its pending deployment for the Regional Command-East (RC-East) mission in Afghanistan. As a result, the 82nd Airborne Division changed 3-319 AFAR from a division artillery direct support (DS) asset and task organized it under the 1st BCT. Additionally, as the 82nd Airborne Division started its restructuring to become modular, A Battery, 3-319 AFAR, was task organized under another BCT and did not deploy for OEF VI. B and C Batteries remained in 3-319 AFAR as six-gun batteries for the deployment.
Under TF Devil, 3-319 AFAR was responsible for establishing two-gun platoons throughout Afghanistan for autonomous operations. These platoons provided DS FA fires under the tactical control (TACON) of various joint and combined assets. See the battalion's arming, manning and equipping for this CJTF-76 fire support mission in Figure 1.
TF Gun Devils had to provide DS fires to Special Operating Forces (SOF) throughout Afghanistan. To achieve the desired effects in certain areas, C/3-319 AFAR was given the remarkable mission of converting from an M119A2 105-mm howitzer battery into an M198 155-mm howitzer battery--combat ready. C/3-319 AFAR was DS to TF Devil and collocated with the TF's 2-504 PIR.
In addition, the battalion was responsible for manning and equipping all radars in country, including oversight of and training units on the new lightweight countermortar radars (LCMRs).
The battalion moved the brigade fire support element (FSE) and weapons locating radar section to TF Devil in RC-East as well as C/3-319 and the 234th FA Detachment.
TF Maneuver Mission and Threat. About six months before the deployment, 3-319 AFAR received an additional mission: Serve as a maneuver TF (TF Gun Devils) assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Combined TF (CTF) Bayonet, in RC-South. (See the task organization in Figure 2 on Page 22.) Ironically, 3-319 AFAR had deployed to South Vietnam for combat with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) in 1965. The battalion's leadership was notified of this combat deployment task organization, literally, while receiving a leader professional development session from Colonel (Retired) Paul J. Raisig, Jr., the Honorary 319th AFAR Regimental Commander. During this session, Colonel Raisig was discussing his recently published book Letters from a Distant War: Vietnam from a Soldier's Perspective that covers his two combat tours in Vietnam, including his time as the 3-319 AFAR commander while fighting with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
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TF Gun Devils' mission in Afghanistan under CTF Bayonet was to defeat the anti-coalition militia (ACM) and conduct full-spectrum operations to set the conditions for reconstruction in the Kandahar Province. Through mission analysis, 3-319 AFAR identified specified and implied tasks along two lines of operations (LOOs). One LOO was population-focused: Extend the reach of the central government by building government capacity and empowering the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) through training and mentoring. The second LOO was enemy-focused: Find and destroy the enemy and their safe havens.
Kandahar is the most politically and culturally significant province in Southern Afghanistan or, as some would argue, the entire country. It is the spiritual home of the Taliban. One estimate has at least 14 former senior Taliban government leaders originating from Kandahar.
TF Organization. 3-319 AFAR's task organization included US Army rifle and anti-tank infantry company teams, a long-range surveillance detachment (LRSD), an MP platoon, a civil affairs team-A (CAT-A), and a tactical psycho-logical team (TPT). The TF was partnered with Coalition Forces consisting of a Romanian infantry company and ANSF, a Canadian provincial reconstruction team (PRT) and embedded tactical training teams (ETTs) for the ANA from the both US Army National Guard/Reserve as well as French Special Forces units. TF Gun Devils retained B/3-319 (-) and HSB/3-319 (-) and a few individuals as liaison officers (LNOs) to CJTF-76.
The ability of this complex and disparate battalion TF to operate and fight against an enemy is a testament to the US Army's training standards and interoperability requirements with our allies.
TF Operations. Our goal was to interact positively with the local population's leadership in TF Gun Devils' 11 districts in the Kandahar Province. Our challenge was the weak local government organizations that allowed areas to become enemy safe havens and predisposition of the populace as the province was the spiritual home of the Taliban. Another challenge was TF Gun Devils' large and rugged AO. The AO consisted of more than 18,000 square kilometers and contained extreme terrain, ranging from mountains at altitudes exceeding 9,000 feet to desert wastelands.
The size and ruggedness of the AO led to decentralized operations with sergeants, staff sergeants and lieutenants having enormous responsibilities with potentially strategic consequences while operating with ANSF, conversing with local leaders or fighting against the ACM. These talented junior leaders had to interact with Afghans at all levels--governmental officials, provincial council members and tribal, religious and village leaders--with the goal of establishing sincere relationships.
After TF Gun Devils took control of its districts in the Kandahar Province, it immediately established and enforced standards for how military operations would occur to mitigate risks associated with such decentralized operations. These standards ranged from individual Soldier discipline to conducting standardized battle drills during enemy contact.
Much of the input to establish these standards in military operations came from leaders of the various units task organized to the TF. This bottom-up refinement was invaluable.
Additionally, the battalion headquarters monitored reports and the proximity of forces to the specific AO, issued five-paragraph operations orders (OPORDs) or gave at least clear tactical tasks and purposes. The battalion headquarters could serve as a TOC, tactical assault command post (TACP) or ACP, depending on which TF element was in control.
Before a unit moved, the senior tactical leader was trained to review accidental and tactical risk threats and identify the appropriate mitigation measures. One leadership challenge was negating this potentially mundane and tedious process through the use of physical or mental checklists.
Another technique to standardize decentralized operations over a large AO was the use of repetitive messages and acronyms. This technique was developed for Soldiers to use both internally and in their interactions with the local Afghan population. These techniques were not "gimmicks" but highly effective tools for enhancing force protection and improving relationships with the Afghans in the AO.
For instance, one of the TF leadership's repetitive messages to Soldiers was, "The Afghan people are not the enemy." This sincere phrase, adopted from the TF Devil commander during home-station training, captured a value for Soldiers as they encountered Afghans everyday.
The chain of command took care to eliminate the potential for poor judgment that could possibly lead to the Afghan's perceiving Soldiers' acts as malicious. The Soldiers' values were clear as they quickly transitioned from fighting a lethal enemy that may have resulted in casualties and collateral damage to the surrounding areas to showing compassion toward the local population as the Afghans dealt with the horrors associated with the enemy.
To ensure maximum positive engagement with the populace, elements, such as the MP platoon, 3/B/3-319 or even an HSB/3-319 combat trains resupply convoy, had the specified task to interact with the local Afghans, either during a tactical halt or a three-day occupation.
On occasion, Soldiers made mistakes. When asked by Afghan leaders, the TF leadership was forthcoming, highlighting that no one was perfect, but that the leadership would take corrective measures to prevent the mistake from occurring again.
To properly synchronize and integrate operations, TF Gun Devils conducted a weekly focus meeting using a basic synchronization matrix. The categories in the matrix served to focus the battalion's planning for current and future operations. (See Figure 3.)
TF Gun Devils established subordinate unit AOs. To help communicate with the subordinate commanders, the TF came up with a classification system of different levels of operations or stages. (See Figure 4.)
TF Gun Devils' units used aggressive actions during enemy contact. However, collateral damage considerations were paramount. Once enemy contact occurred, the commander on the scene provided the initial report. The superior leaders and battalion headquarters allowed the on-scene commander to develop the situation. Based on the initial report, the TF headquarters and on-scene commander could anticipate implementing standardized battle drills, such as those listed in Figure 5 on Page 24.
Technological tracking tools, to include the Blue Force Tracker (BFT), allowed key TF leaders to visualize the situation and gain situational understanding and establish a common operational picture (COP) with the on-site leader. This led to informed decisions to support the on-site leader.
Based on conditions, including the use of multiple Coalition Forces or ANSF and an austere environment, TF Gun Devils developed a technique for pursuing an enemy force. This tactic was to delay air-to-ground fires until the element's maneuver and surface indirect fires could more rapidly fix the enemy for destruction by airpower.
The level of intensity during enemy contact at times caused the TF to introduce aerial platforms (rotary- or fixed-wing) quickly into the fight. These aerial platforms rightfully require verification of positioning and the frontline trace of all Coalition Forces. At times, the air assets had to reposition to create standoff before the aerial platforms could fire their munitions.
This verification and repositioning were challenging and cumbersome, especially when operating with ANSF that require interpreters to transmit radio commands. Also, the battle drill to confirm the target location as it related to Coalition Forces stalled the pursuit of the enemy, causing Coalition Forces to lose momentum.
Therefore, TF commanders first considered employing observed indirect fires with mortars or artillery to interdict or block the enemy's movement as the commanders repositioned their maneuver forces to pursue the enemy. During this phase, through the battalion headquarters, the commanders asked the joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs), fire support officers (FSOs) or forward observers (FOs) to keep the aerial platforms clear of a specific terrain or map feature--for example, "Stay east of the 60 easting and the north-south easternmost ridge line in the valley." Using integrated communications security scanners to track enemy movements further enhanced the observed interdiction fires.
Once the enemy force was fixed or no longer could be pursued, then the commander cancelled the informal airspace coordination command and cleared the aircraft for attack on the visible and still hostile threat.
TF Gun Devils also established a provincial coordination center (PCC) as a fully functioning synchronization node, which enhanced the battalion's ability to incorporate ANSF into all operations. More impressively, ANSF leadership developed, planned and executed three Afghan-led missions with minimal US tactical incorporation. The PCC also facilitated counterreconnaissance and counterstrike operations for the ANSF. The latter occurred after applying the principles outlined in the article "Counterstrike at the NTC: Reversing Negative Trends" by Lieutenant Colonel James L. Miller and Chief Warrant Officer Three Michael A. Harp in the September-October 2005 edition.
After the 74th LRSD conducted the first counterstrike operation with its partnered ANSF, the Kandahar Airfield did not receive another indirect fire attack. The counterstrike mission was executed successfully by other units, to include the provisional mounted platoon. (This platoon was organized and trained as an infantry anti-armor unit from 3-319 AFAR's HSB personnel.)
Regardless of which nation's flag TF Gun Devils'1 Soldiers wore on their uniforms, all TF forces fought and supported each other continuously. Furthermore, during OEF VI, the Romanian Black Wolf battalion received its own TF AO and conducted the first Romanian tactical battalion operation since World War II. In addition, the Romanian TF's operations included Romania's first air assault mission partnered with US and ANSF elements--a truly historical accomplishment.
All elements of TF Gun Devils, regardless of original unit designation, epitomized the goals set forth for the Army's transformation. TF operations were a team effort by Soldiers and leaders at all levels who required nothing more than clear and concise orders.
Finally, the indigenous ANSF forces were an integral part of TF Gun Devils, proving themselves extremely capable of becoming a viable security element for their country. As the Global War on Terror (GWOT) continues, the intuitive insight provided by these ANSF will allow Afghanistan to build a great future.
By Lieutenant Colonel Bertrand A. Ges
RELATED ARTICLE: 3-319 AFAR Preparing to Deploy as a Maneuver and Fires Task Force
3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery's (3-319 AFAR's) mission had several specified and implied tasks to accomplish to prepare the battalion to operate as the maneuver Task Force (TF) Gun Devils that was also responsible for all FA fires and radars in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) VI. TF Gun Devils was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Combined TF (CTF) Bayonet, which was part of the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) from Vicenza, Italy. SETAF served as the Headquarters for Combined Joint TF (CJTF) 76 in Afghanistan for OEF VI.
Transition into a Maneuver TF. In addition to individual- and unit-level training requirements, TF Gun Devils six-month transition into a maneuver TF started with two SETAF command post exercises (CPXs). The second CPX had the battalion operating with CTF Bayonet. Afterward, the battalion deployed as part of its 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 82nd Airborne Division, TF Devil, to the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, for a leader training program.
For both the CPX and NTC leader training program, TF Gun Devils was task-organized with appropriate units, had an AO and was issued maneuver-specific missions from the brigade commander. These training events led to the development of tactical operations standing operating procedures (TACSOP), to include incorporating a fellow battalion commander's internal review checklist (3-504 PIR), for all unit operations: infiltration; exfiltration; command and control; resupply; "reserve," which was defined as fire support, immediate and quick-reaction forces (QRFs); close air support (CAS); and casualty evacuation (CASEVAC). During moments of hasty decision making, this checklist proved to be extremely beneficial.
Additional Personnel. TF Gun Devils mission analysis to quickly transition into a maneuver battalion was greatly enhanced by its plans officer, an FA captain who had attended the Infantry Officer's Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. During the preparation for and throughout the OEF VI deployment, TF Gun Devils was resourced with additional personnel from both TF Devil and CTF Bayonet.
The battalion S3 section received an infantry captain and sergeant first class as the deputy operations officer and operations NCO, respectively.
To increase its operational intelligence effectiveness, TF Gun Devils received a military intelligence (MI) captain and two lieutenants. The MI captain became the S2 intelligence officer. One MI lieutenant acted as the assistant intelligence officer, responsible for coalescing all information sources and conducting several types of analyses. The other MI lieutenant acted as the tactical intelligence officer, overseeing the tasking and management of collection assets. The S2 and at least one of his lieutenants participated during the critical home-station and pre-deployment training events. These MI personnel additions alleviated S2 section staffing inadequacies suffered by all FA battalions.
TF Gun Devils also was resourced with a US Air Force (USAF) battalion air liaison NCO and several joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs).
Ironically, the Gun Devils received an additional FA captain to serve as the battalion fire support officer (FSO) and internally reassigned several 13F forward observers (FOs) to stand-up the TF's maneuver fire support element (FSE). TF Gun Devils could not draw personnel from the brigade FSE because it remained with TF Devil in Regional Command-East.
Transform C Battery, 3-319 AFAR, into an M198 Battery. C/3-319 accomplished its conversion from an M119 A2105-mm battery into a M198 155-mm howitzer battery through an intense 15-day training period at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This included dry-fire certifications and live-fire qualifications at the crew, platoon and battery levels before the battery deployed for OEF VI.
The battery's parent 82nd Airborne Division Artillery (Div Arty) and 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) coordinated for training and support from the 18th FA Brigade's 1-321 FAR (Airborne) 155-mm battalion and assigned former M198 13B Cannoneer howitzer section chiefs and sergeants to the 3-319th AFAR.
Headquartersand Service Battery (HSB), 3-319 AFAR, as a Mounted Platoon. HSB organized and trained a provisional mounted platoon comprised mainly of cooks from the dining facility (DFAC) section and other low-density military occupational specialty (MOS) positions.
The platoon's training plan and certification was a five-month process overseen by 1st BCT's headquarters and two of its infantry battalions. It was equipped with all infantry authorized individual gear and associated crew-served Weapons.
To deploy, the provisional mounted platoon had to become fully mission capable to conduct operations as part of an infantry anti-armor company.
Training with Interpreters. For the CPX and leader training program, training included the use of interpreters. In retrospect, interpreter training should extend down to at least the platoon level and possibly to the squad leader. This covers a platoon's exposure to the local population and its actions with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), consisting of Afghan National Army (ANA); provincial and special purpose Afghan National Police (ANP) elements; National Directorate for Security (NDS), an intelligence agency; the Afghan Highway Patrol (AHP); and the Afghan Border Patrol (ABP), which did not operate within the TF Gun Devils AO.
Validating the TF at Home Station. The 82nd Airborne Division validated TF Gun Devils for OEF VT through a tactical certification exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. All unit capabilities were physically present, e.g., civil affairs team-A (CAT-A)/B Company, 492 CA Brigade; or replicated, e.g., 3-73 Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Squadron (-) as a Romanian infantry battalion (-); and A/3-4th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Regiment as an ANA company.
Provide FA Fires and Oversee Radar Operations for Afghanistan. To achieve the theater-wide fires requirement, 3-319 AFAR increased its fire direction capability by establishing six autonomous fire control centers for 105-mm and 155-mm artillery systems throughout Afghanistan.
3-319 AFAR shut down its battalion fire direction center (FDC) and reassigned the fire control and advanced FA tactical data system (AFATDS) Soldiers to the battery-level FDCs. This closure of the battalion FDC allowed the TF to establish an S5--civil-military operations (CMO) capability--by redefining the fire direction officer's (FDO's) and chief fire control sergeant's duties to include reconstruction and capacity building responsibilities. The battalion master gunner also helped in CMO. However, regardless of their new responsibilities, the battalion FDO, chief fire control sergeant and master gunner still had critical FA responsibilities throughout OEF VI.
Once the firing batteries received the additional fire control sergeants and AFATDS specialists from the battalion FDC, each battery began the four-month training and battalion certification process to establish and operate in three two-gun platoon configurations.
Platoon-Based Operations. The number of two-gun platoon configurations allowed the many forward operating bases (FOBs) each to have a lethal firing capability.
A battery commander, executive officer (XO) or FDO, all operating independently from each other, oversaw and led the FDC and howitzer sections within these newly established two-gun platoons. This required the battery XO and FDO to cross train and certify for each assigned position.
The senior NCOs in the firing platoons were the first sergeant, chief of firing battery ("Smoke") and gunnery sergeant. For instance, l/B/3-319 had the FDO and chief of firing battery; 2/B/3-319 had the XO and gunnery sergeant while 3/B/3-319 had the battery commander and first sergeant.
Another determining factor for battery key leader positioning was the first sergeant's military occupational skill (MOS) background. The first sergeant's subject matter expertise in either operations on the gun line, fire direction, forward observation, etc., impacted the final positioning of the battery fire control sergeant (E-6 position).
The leaders of these two-gun platoons were adaptive and agile. For example during an enemy attack against 2/B/3-319 AFAR's FOB, the battery XO called in fire missions from a tower, oversaw and approved fire direction commands and then observed the fire missions for further refinement.
These firing platoons were versatile. For example, they conducted several planned and hasty suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) missions for planned air insertions and aerial medical evacuations (MEDEVACs).
Responsibility for the Lightweight Countermortar Radars (LCMRs). Another specified fire support task was facilitating the manning, preparedness and functionality of all weapons-locating radars and LCMRs. The brigade fire support targeting officer, in conjunction with the task-organized 234th FA Detachment (234 FAD) from the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, also at Fort Bragg, ensured the operational effectiveness of all the radar personnel. Army National Guardsmen from five states and one territory provided the majority of personnel for the AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder radars.
Lieutenant Colonel Bertrand A. Ges, until recently, commanded the 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery (3-319 AFAR), part of the 82d Airborne Division, and deployed the battalion to Kandahar Province as Task Force Gun Devils for Operation Enduring Freedom VI. Currently, he is the Plans Chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in Virginia. Before faking command of his battalion, he was an Observer/Controller (O/C) for Fire Support S3 and then Deputy Fire Support O/C at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California; and did special duty as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, Iraq, for three months. He was also the S3 and Executive Officer for 2-320 FA, Balls of Fire, and Division Artillery Assistant S3, all in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, also in the 82d Division, he commanded A Battery, 2-319 AFAR, Falcon's Fury among other assignments.
1. Kinetic -- Enemy-focused and provided the direction for the S2 section to develop target packets and conduct analysis on potential operations. 2. Civil-Military Operations (CMO) -- Population-focused and tied to the commander's emergency response program (CERP). If a certain district or area had high instances of enemy activity or no enemy threat, CERP world be leveraged as an incentive for local leaders to counter the ACM's influence and support Kandahar's central government. 3. Non-Kinetic -- Nonlethal targeting intended for interaction with influential powerbrokers or individuals with suspected ties to the ACM. Small reward program (SRP) payments also were tracked in this category. 4. Focus -- Identify the TF commander's priorities. Figure 3: Categories for the Synchronization Matrix used to Focus the TF's Weekly Meetings Class A is a unit operating within its area of operations (AO) with internal or limited task-organized assets, e.g., a civil affairs team-A (CAT-A) or tactical psychological operations team (TPT). Class B is a unit that is task-organized with up to a platoon from another unit to accomplish its mission. Class C is two units operating within the same AO that require the TF tactical command post (TAC) or assault command post (ACP). Class D is a battalion-led operation that is task-organized with various coalition and joint elements, to include national and foreign special operations forces, incorporating vast capabilities into mutually supportive missions with a reconstruction effort end state. Figure 4: Classifications for Various Operations. These classifications facilitated communications for a unit conducting decentralized operations. TF Gun Devils conducted nine Class D operations during its deployment to Afghanistan (classification titles are fictitious for purposes of this article). * Request close air support (CAS) or attack helicopter support. * Request medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). * Facilitate call-for-fire (CFF) missions for indirect firs assets. * Reposition forces, using a code to call for a reaction force controlled by the task force or a code used to call for a reaction force approved by Combined Task Force Bayonet and Combined Joint Task Force 76 (CJTF-76). * Request joint improvised explosive device (IED) defeat organization (JIEDDO) field team support (formerly known as TFIED). Figure 5: TF Gun Devils Standardized Battle Drills
Shawn Leek (Member): The Gun Devils are the best in he world! 5/8/2009 8:03 PM
I was a 13E in C/3-319 AFAR. I was a GUNDEVIL from 94-97. I was very proud to be in one of the best FA units in the world!!! I just have to say that it would suck to be on the recieving end of that batteries firepower!! If any of the paratroopers that I served with in C/3-319 are still in that unit, Afganistan troops need to pray to whatever god they pray to, because the GUNDEVILS are on the loose!!!! God please be with C/3-319 AFAR and all of the high speed paratroopers that make it outstanding!!!
adam boyle (Member): TPT 1/18/2010 1:08 PM
As a former member of the 173rd, I apreciate this article. As a PSYOP Sergeant I would have apreciated if you had researched what a TPT is. You said: "tactical psycho-logical team (TPT)". It's actually "Tactical PSYOP Team", PSYOP is short for Psychological Operations, and we assist the infantry units to pursaude change or influence the minds of the enemy on the ground in way that may be needed.
SGT Adam B.
173rd Airborne Brigade "RECON!"
9th PSYOP Bn "Win The Mind, Win The Day"