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Fires Center of Excellence in 2011.

Congress established the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission to create cost-effective and efficient improvements to military installations. In September 2005, the BRAC Commission's final report recommended realigning the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School at Fort Bliss, Texas, with the Field Artillery (FA) School in the Fires Center of Excellence (CoE) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Army is implementing that recommendation with the ADA projected to close on Fort Sill not later than 2011.

With this move, the FA and ADA Schools will collocate and consolidate some functions, gaining efficiencies while maintaining the quality personnel development, training, standardization and systems development both schools are known for. Simultaneously, the Army will be able to reduce the number of military occupational specialty (MOS) training locations and support Army transformation by collocating institutional training. There are no plans to merge the two branches.

Along with moving the ADA School, the BRAC Commission recommended relocating ADA units to Fort Sill and relocating the 1st Armored Division and various echelons-above-division units from Germany and Korea to Fort Bliss. The 212th FA Brigade at Fort Sill inactivated and will reactivate as the 212th Fires Brigade at Fort Bliss. Also, Fort Sill's 17th Fires Brigade relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington. The 6th ADA Brigade, which is in the ADA School, and the 31st ADA Brigade, a Forces Command (FORSCOM) unit, are moving to Fort Sill.

Fires CoE Plan. Leaders from Forts Sill and Bliss developed a concept plan in 2005 to collocate the two schools, which, for the most part, is reflected in the 2007 command-centric design in Figure 1. The design merges some functions and organizations within the schools to meet the manpower savings required by BRAC or other Army agencies; however, branch-specific functions will remain separate.


The design creates a center-level staff of G1, G2, G3, G4, G6/Command Information Officer (CIO)/Knowledge Management (KM), G8, Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) and Quality Assurance Office (QAO). It also consolidates the branches' combat development functions under one organization, called the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (CDID), including the respective Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) capabilities managers (TCMs). This organization integrates the development of capabilities horizontally, vertically, across and within the FA and ADA.

The design brings the training and doctrine development functions of both FA and ADA into one organization: the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD). The new Directorate of Training Support (DOTS) will oversee FA and ADA common training support and other functions.

A key principle of the plan is to maintain both the FA and ADA Schools as separate entities and retain an Army training center on Fort Sill to provide Soldiers their initial military training in basic combat skills.


One of the first official steps in creating the Fires CoE was the creation of the Virtual Fires CoE on 1 June 2006 with combined functions developed and coordinated online. This included creating the Fires CoE on the Fires Knowledge Network (FKN) website that is maintained on Army Knowledge Online (AKO).

Another manifestation of the merging of the ADA and FA Schools was combining the two branch professional bulletins into one: this Fires Bulletin. Fires is developed electronically in a collaborative effort between the FA and ADA magazine staffs at Forts Sill and Bliss. The first Fires was published as the May-June edition. The magazine is assigned to Fort Sill's Office of the Chief of Staff.

The FA and ADA Schools each will have a brigade: the 428th FA Brigade and the 6th ADA Brigade, respectively. The 428th FA Brigade will be responsible for all FA advanced individual training (AIT) courses, FA warrant officer (WO) courses, the FA Basic Officer Leader's Course (BOLC) III and the FA Captain's Career Course (FACCC). The 6th ADA Brigade will be responsible for the ADAAIT courses and the ADA WO basic courses. The ADA Leadership and Education Directorate (LED) under the ADA Commandant will be responsible for the ADA WO Intermediate Course, a combined WO and officer career course, ADA BOLC III and several functional courses. Each school will have a brigadier general who serves as the school commandant and proponent for his branch-specific functions.

The 434th Field Artillery Brigade, the Army Training Center on Fort Sill, will continue to conduct all basic combat training.

The Army BOLC II instruction, recently established at Fort Sill and currently under the 428th FA Brigade, will transfer to the 6th ADA Brigade when the brigade closes on Fort Sill.


The headquarters and proponent offices for the two schools will be housed in Snow Hall, which also will become the home of both the FA and ADA CCCs and the majority of the two branches' BOLC III instruction. The new Fires CoE center-level directorates (CDID, DOTD and DOTS) will he located in Knox Hall after renovations are complete. This will add valuable synergy to large organizations currently housed in multiple locations on Fort Sill.

The FA and ADA NCO Academies (NCOAs) will consolidate into one center-level academy. The two branches in the combined NCOA will share common support and administrative functions and teach a consolidated Warrior Leaders Course (WLC) while each continues to teach branch-specific NCO courses.

A Closer Look at Selected New Organizations. Because of their uniqueness or their consolidation of ADA and FA functions, four organizations call for a closer look.

Joint and Combined Integration Directorate (JA CI). A one-of-a-kind, JACI will remain in Snow Hall. It will teach joint courses, as shown in Figure 2, and work joint fires issues on behalf of the Fires CoE, which is the Army's CoE for Joint Fires. JACI currently works closely with the personnel of the Air Force Detachment on Fort Sill to provide joint fires instruction and oversees all foreign liaison officers (LNOs). By 2011, these will include LNOs from Japan and the Netherlands who now are assigned to Fort Bliss.

DOTS. This new directorate, as shown in Figure 3, will provide direct support for training in both schools and be responsible for scheduling and managing training, executing leadership training, overseeing the blended ADA and FA technical library and the FA and ADA museums, training instructors and supporting international students.


The FA museum broke ground recently for new construction on Fort Sill south of the Historic Landmark Museum (Old Post). TRADOC is projecting the ADA museum will break ground adjacent to the FA museum in about 2010.

DOTD. With its organization shown in Figure 4, DOTD is responsible for all training requirements, doctrine, lessons learned, course curricula and doctrine development, and tactics training during the fielding of new equipment. FA and ADA personnel in DOTD execute their respective branch-specific training and doctrine responsibilities.

CDID. This directorate will replace the current Futures Development and Integration Center (FDIC) at Fort Sill and the ADA Combat Developments Directorate (DCD) at Fort Bliss, a portion of which already has moved to Fort Sill. CDID's organizational chart is shown in Figure 5 on Page 20. The Director of CDID is a Senior Executive Service (SES) civilian who also serves as the Deputy to the Commanding General.


CDID's primary mission will be to develop CoE-related concepts and requirements and conduct experiments to validate doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF)-integrated combined arms capabilities that complement joint, interagency and multinational capabilities. FA and ADA staff officers and TCMs will continue to provide expertise when required for branch-specific projects.

Housing the ADA. The new Fires CoE "campus" on Fort Sill will consist of $218 million in new military construction and renovations. New construction and facilities renovations are projected to be completed and ADA School instruction initiated by the end of 2009. The Fires CoE should be fully operational not later than 2011 with all BRAC-affected ADA units and organizations operating on Fort Sill.

Under BRAC, FORSCOM is stationing the 31st ADA Brigade at Fort Sill. The brigade is comprised of three battalions: two Patriot pure battalions and one composite battalion (one Avenger battery and four Patriot batteries).

The 6th Battalion, 52nd ADA (6-52 ADA), the first battalion from this brigade, arrived at Fort Sill from Germany in June 2006. The other two battalions have not been determined. Two of the battalions will reside at Fort Sill, and one will be in a rotational status. The 31st ADA Brigade will be located just west of the current National Guard facility on South Boundary Road.

The collocation of the branch schools at Fort Sill will establish an environment that continues the FA's and ADA's long history of excellence. The new Fires CoE will be an institution that fosters consistency, standardization and training proficiencies; supports Army modularity, transformation and the any war in which the nation is engaged; and allows the Army to gain efficiencies by consolidating training locations.

While consolidating some functions yet remaining separate branches, the FA and ADA Schools will continue to serve the Army by producing the highest quality Soldiers, Marines and leaders for the operational force, developing critical future concepts and material, and maturing joint fires and effects for the entire spectrum of conflict.


James H. Wollman is the Field Artillery (FA) Planner in the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD) Fires Integration Cell at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The cell coordinates the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School's move from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Fort Sill. His previous job was as the Assistant S3 of the 1st Armored Division Artillery (Div Arty) in Germany. He also served as the 1st Armored Div Arty Liaison Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I and was extended in theater into OIF II. He holds a MA in Database Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) David S. Henderson, Field Artillery, is the Deputy Director of DOTD in the FA School at Fort Sill. He also served as the Deputy Director of the Gunnery Department in the FA School. While on active duty, he commanded 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery (1-17 FA), 75th FA Brigade, III Corps Artillery, and later served as the Chief of Staff of III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill. He was the Executive Officer for 4-82 FA, part of the 3rd Armored Division, deploying to the Gulf for Operations Desert Shield and Storm. He commanded B/3-34 FA, part of the 9th Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Washington.

By James H. Wollman and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) David S. Henderson, FA

RELATED ARTICLE: New Construction for the Fires CoE Campus

On 27 August, dignitaries from the Field Artillery (FA), Air Defense Artillery (ADA) and other agencies participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for the new ADA Advanced Individual Training (AIT) facilities on the Fires Center of Excellence (CoE) campus at Fort Sill. The AIT facilities will be just off of Fort Sill Boulevard across from the airfield.

This is Phase I of $218 million in new construction and renovations for the campus, $138 million of which was funded in FY07. The rest of the funding will follow in FY08.

The photograph to the left shows the dignitaries in the ground-breaking ceremony. From left to right: COL(P) Rich Longo, the new FA Assistant Commandant (AC); COL Heidi Brown, ADA AC; COL Anthony Funkhouser, Commander of the Tulsa District of the Corps of Engineers; Randy Butler, Director of the Fires CoE Public Works; Kirby Brown, the new Senior Executive Service (SES) Deputy to the Commanding General; CSM William High, FA CSM; MG David Ralston, Chief of FA and Commanding General; John Purcell, Mayor of Lawton, Oklahoma; and COL Robert Bridgford, Fires CoE Garrison Commander. (Photo by Jerry Bryza, Jr., Fires Art Director)

RELATED ARTICLE: 35th ADA Brigade Sharpens Skills During RSOI 2007

During the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) 2007 Command Post Exercise (CPX) at Osan Air Base, Korea, Soldiers of the 35th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade and 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) honed their warfighting skills and increased their units' readiness and interoperability. They practiced the joint and combined integration of theater air and missile defense (TAMD) with both US and Korean Air Forces. The purpose of the CPX was to exercise, evaluate and improve crisis action measures and procedures for the combined fight.

Additionally, the exercise gave the 35th ADA Brigade, headquartered at Osan, an opportunity to exercise its planning and execution processes with the 94th AAMDC.

The 94th AAMDC is headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. It provides command and control for Army ADA units in the Pacific Command (PACOM) theatre of operations. It also helps to plan TAMD.

In addition to the CPX, the 35th ADA Brigade used the first week of RSOI for a brigade-level field training exercise (FTX). The FTX allowed all of the brigade's 14 units to train in convoy movement procedures as well as concentrate on weapons training and basic warrior skills.


CPT David C. Marlow, ADA

35th ADA Brigade PAO, Osan Air Base, Korea
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Author:Wollman, James H.; Henderson, David S.
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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