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Fires Training XXI: a training strategy for the 21st century.

The strategic environment has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. In broad categories, Figure 1 outlines these changes. Each category imposes corresponding adjustments to the way the Army must organize, equip, train and execute its missions.

The changes in the threat we face are, perhaps, the biggest driver of changes to the way the Army trains. Potential adversaries are developing capabilities more suited to their cultures, circumstances and their perceived enemy. These include capabilities to counter those of the most advanced army in the world: the US Army.

The threat in the contemporary operating environment spans the spectrum from disrupting our way of life to violent terrorist acts, such as those on September 11th, to major theater war. For example, based on the terrorist threat, the content of our training now will put more emphasis on homeland defense, force protection, psychological operations, facilities security and other areas.

The threat levels that tend to be the most difficult to deal with and train to are those at the higher end of the spectrum. Aware of their vulnerabilities to our precision strike and control of the air, adversaries will attempt to avoid massing their forces in linear echelons.

Instead, they will employ selective precision strike and rapid tactical and operational maneuver from areas of sanctuary and other asymmetrical actions aimed at continuous engagement. They can be expected to disperse and operate from areas of physical and moral sanctuary, often located in complex and urban terrain and often using noncombatants and manmade and protected structures as shields. From such locations, the enemy will attempt to initiate force-on-force battles at the time and place of his choosing, integrating decentralized nonlinear maneuver and precision fires in simultaneous operations and using unconventional and special purpose forces.

The opponent's goal is to offset our technological advantages by fighting during periods of reduced visibility in an environment in which they can gain sanctuary from our effects. They will attempt to preserve their military forces as a means of ensuring continuation in power.

This changing threat means our future Army requires inherent versatility and adaptive soldiers and leaders. The Chief of Staff of the Army directed implementation of the Army Transformation Plan. Fires Training XXI is the Field Artillery's training strategy for maintaining readiness as we transform the branch.

This article provides an overview of Fires Training XXI and an explanation on how units use it. The strategy covers all aspects of FA and fire support (FS) training and is designed to ensure a high state of readiness. It ensures well-trained soldiers and adaptive and multi-functional leaders and battle staffs that can synchronize fires in combined arms operations against the enemy in the contemporary operating environment. In this regard, battle staffs are treated similarly to weapons crews in the strategy and are trained at the same frequencies.

The strategy has three training priorities. First, we train tactically and technically proficient small units (sections, platoons and batteries) capable of executing METL tasks to standard while operating relatively independently in diverse environments. Next, we develop adaptive leaders and soldiers capable across the operational spectrum anywhere in the world. And third, we train battle staffs that can synchronize fires in combined arms operations. This latter training is no longer implied--the strategy specifies training events for staffs at all levels.

Planning Training. The first step in developing a training plan is to determine the unit METL following the procedures outlined in FM 7-10 [25-101] Battle Focused Training. As part of this procedure, the commander identifies specific missions for his unit using the unit's MTP, the collective tasks that support the missions and the individual tasks that support the collective tasks.

The commander then gets his unit's CATS off the Fort Sill Home Page. CATS outlines how many training events (both individual and collective) the unit can accomplish in a training year.

CATS uses the Crawl-Walk-Run gated methodology and takes into account personnel turnover and preparations for a capstone training event, such as an external evaluation (EXEVAL) or a Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation. The commander then tailors CATS for his unit's METL.

Unit trainers use standard Army training system(SATS) software to design the training. SATS has evolved from a system that primarily produced training schedules into one that provides substantially expanded automation support for unit training management functions based on current training doctrine. It is a Windows-based point-and-click system. SATS supports planning, resourcing, evaluating and assessing training, as well as tracks operational readiness.

Next the commander goes to the home page to get the TSP for the CATS events. The TSPs tell him how to train each collective event. He also gets the Army school system (TASS) courseware or computer-based instruction (CBI) or other multimedia products that tell him how to train the individual events. Finally, he again uses SATS to develop a database that tracks all the information: the status of training, requirements for and expenditure of resources, and an evaluation of training effectiveness.

Using the Strategy. Fires Training XXI defines the optimum frequencies for executing Crawl-Walk-Run CATS training events by training readiness category (TRC). Active units are designated as TRC A, Army National Guard enhanced brigades are designated TRC B and all other Field Artillery units are designated TRC C. The training event frequencies for the TRCs depicted in Figure 3 are the minimum to sustain readiness.

The strategy next defines the CATS events and the frequencies to conduct them for all units from section or crew through the corps artillery. See Figure 4 for TRC A units and Figure 5 for TRC B and C units. These events have been chosen to ensure TRC A units sustain readiness in the band of excellence and TRC B and C units can attain this level during annual training and post-mobilization training.

For example in Figure 4, a TRC A battalion staff conducts weekly digital sustainment training, a monthly staff exercise (STAFFEX) and a quarterly command post exercise (CPX). These are specific CATS events developed by the FA School. The trainer goes to his unit's annex in 'Appendix C Unit and Battle Staff Training" of Fires Training XXI to get the details of his unit's training events. Appendix C contains the required gates, multi-echelon opportunities, and the TADSS, TSPs and ATs available. The CATS events, TSPs and ATs are hyperlinked to the Fort Sill Home Page.

The trainer then views the CATS to determine the tasks to be trained, the duration of the event and the resources required to conduct that event. He then downloads the TSP for use in planning and conducting the event and views the applicable AT to determine the gunnery tasks to be trained. Using SATS the trainer also imports CATS from the Reimer Digital Library Data Repository (RDL DR) at modifies CATS. as necessary, based on his METL.

A key to the success of the Fires Training XXI training strategy is the TSPs the FA School is developing for digital sustainment training and Run-level CATS events for all units. The TSPs minimize unit training development requirements, leaving more time for unit training.

These procedures are applicable for trainers at every echelon; CATS events have been developed for every echelon.

A TSP consists of a digital scenario, maps, operations orders, etc; a master events list, training evaluation outlines; and a list of the resources required to conduct the event. They are easily modified for local training areas.

Several TSPs are available on the Fort Sill Hoe Page ( Other TSPs are being developed. (Note: TSPs cannot be downloaded from the RDL DR with the current version of SATS.)

Upon conclusion of the training event, the unit trainer again uses the SATS terminal to update resources used, capture observations and prepare after-action reviews (AARs), assess the training and unit readiness--perhaps to prepare an automated quarterly training briefing.

Fires Training XXI is a strategy that builds on proven training doctrine by incorporating new and emerging methodologies with the goal of developing competent. confident and adaptive soldiers and leaders in FA active and National Guard units. The strategy synchronizes tools to conduct individual, institutional, unit, battle staff and systems training. It will help ensure the FA maintains a high state of readiness as we move into the future.

Colonel (Retired) John K. Anderson wrote the Fires Training XXI strategy under contract with the Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Prior to his retirement from the Army in 2000, he was the Director/Commander of the Operational Test Command's Fire Support Test Directorate and, previously, the Director of the Gunnery Department in the Field Artillery School, both at Fort Sill. He also served as Deputy Commander of the Operations Group and Senior Fire Support Trainer at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. Colonel Anderson commanded the 1st Battalion, 82d Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, deploying his battalion to Southwest Asia for Operations Desert Shield and Storm. He also commanded a battery in the 2d Armored Division Artillery in Germany and the Milwaukee Area of the Milwaukee District Recruiting Command. Among other assignments, he was a Brigade Fire Support Officer Brigade Assistant S3 and Battalion S3. He is a graduate of the National War College, Washi ngton, DC.

Figure 1: Changing Strategic Environment


* Limited Digital Equipment

* Controlled Operational Tempo

* Clearly Defined Threat

* Fewer Environmental Issues

* Sufficient Funding

* Clear Mission-Essential Task List Focus

* Sufficient Training Resources

* Sufficient Manning


* Digitization and Information Increase

* 300% Operational Tempo Increase

* Complex Threat

* Increased Environmental Concerns

* Constrained Funding

* Blurring of Mission-Essential Task List Focus

* Limited Training Resources

* Manning Issues

* Extended Battlespace

* Increased Weapons Lethality

* Force Modernization
Figure 2

Summary of Fires Trading XXI Contents (

Chapter/Appendix Highlights

1. Introduction Explains purpose and scope and the
 Army Training Strategy.
 Prescribes delivery methods for
 automated systems approach to
 training (ASAT).
 Reimer Digital Library Data
 Repository (RDL DR) and standard
 Army training system (SATS).

2. Individual Training Describes individual development
 Lists types of training available.
 Defines tasks for Master Gunners.
 Lists distance learning (DL)
 methods available for individual
 Lists TADSS available for
 individual training.

3. Institutional Training Describes elements of
 institutional training.
 Defines initial entry
 training (IET) content.
 Directs transition from
 "process" to "experiential"
 leader training.
 Directs new DL course for
 chief warrant officers two.
 Defines categories of
 digital training.
 Defines FA School DL program.

4. Unit and Battle Staff Describes when and how to
 Training train what to whom and where.
 Explains how to plan training.
 Illustrates combined arms
 training strategies (CATS).
 Defines the five levels
 of battle staff training.
 Defines training frequencies
 by the training readiness
 category TRC) of the unit.
 Lists CATS events and
 frequencies for all echelons.
 Describes the benefits
 of using SATS.

5. Self-Development Prescribes self-development
 Training as the third component
 of training.
 Defines a goal of 40
 hours per year.
 Explains the components of
 directed and self-motivated
 Details the CSA Army
 Professional Reading Program.

6. System Training Describes the purpose of
 synchronizing training, doctrine,
 combat and material developments.
 Defines responsibilities during
 phases of the acquisition cycle.
 Ensures training products for
 operational training (OT),
 new equipment training (NET)
 and institutional training.
 Prescribes the use of ASAT for
 all training development.
 Describes NET methods and

7. Training Aids, Lists current and programmed
 Devices, Simulators TADSS (individual and section
 and Simulations levels).
 (TADSS) Specifies the types of
 events for TADSS use.
 Describes available sim-stim
 devices for levels I-III battle
 staff training.
 Defines objective levels I-III
 training devices.
 Describes devices for levels IV-V
 battle staff training.
 Defines objective levels IV-V
 training devices.

A Individual Training Lists tasks by skill levels.
 Strategies Outlines the training location.
 Lists the types of training
 products available for each task.

B Institutional Outlines the strategy to conduct
 Digital Training institutional digital training.
 Outlines the four categories of
 digital training.
 Defines the category of training
 required by duty position.
 Defines in which institutional
 course the training will be

C Unit and Battle Contains an annex for every type
 Staff Training of Field Artillery unit.
 Lists crawl, walk, run CATS
 events for every echelon.
 Lists required gates, frequencies
 and multi-echelon opportunities.
 Lists TADSS, training support
 packages (TSPs) and artillery
 tables (ATs).
 Lists CATS, TSPs and ATs
 hyperlinked to the FA School's
 home page.
 Defines ammunition requirements.
 Contains Bradley fire support
 vehicle (BFIST) gunnery
 training strategy.

D Chief of Staff of the Lists reading by junior,
 Army (CSA) Professional mid-grade and senior officers
 Reading Program and NCOs.

E System Strategies Lists tasks by each military
 occupational specialty (MOS)
 and skill level for each system.
 Depicts where each task
 initially is taught.
 Provides system-specific
 tasks only.

F TADSS Lists current and programmed
 TADSS by system.
 Explains the levels of training
 for which the TADSS are

G Implementation Outlines specific unit and
 Strategy institutional responsibilities.
 Specifies the responsible
 department/directorate within
 the FA School.
Figure 3

Training Frequencies for Training Readiness Categories (TRCs)
of A Units (Active), B Units (Army National Guard and Enhanced Brigades)
and C Units (All Other FA Units)

 Crawl Walk Run

Crew/Section W M/Q M S Q
Platoon W M/Q M S Q
Battery W M/Q M S Q
Battalion W M/Q M A S
Brigade/Div Arty W Q M N/A S
Corps Artillery W Q M N/A S


Crew/Section A
Platoon A
Battery A
Battalion A
Brigade/Div Arty N/A
Corps Artillery N/A

(*)Digital sustainment training is monthly; all other "Crawl" training
is quarterly.

Legend: W = Weekly M = Monthly Q = Quarterly S = Semiannually A =

[Figure 4 omitted]

[Figure 5 omitted]
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Author:Anderson, John K.
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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