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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 e·quip  
tr.v. e·quipped, e·quip·ping, e·quips
a. To supply with necessities such as tools or provisions.

, 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 In computing, an operating environment is the environment in which users run programs, whether in a command line interface, such as in MS-DOS or the Unix shell, or in a graphical user interface, such as in the Macintosh operating system.  spans the spectrum from disrupting our way of life to violent terrorist acts, such as those on September 11th, to major theater war The Theater War (Swedish: Teaterkriget), alias Lingonberry War (Norwegian: Tyttebærkrigen), was a brief war between Denmark-Norway and Sweden lasting between 1788 and 1789.[1], starting on 24 September 1788, formally lasting until 9 July 1789. . For example, based on the terrorist threat, the content of our training now will put more emphasis on homeland defense, force protection, psychological operations Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. , 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 Coordinates:
For other places with the same name, see Billinge.
Higher End or Billinge Higher End is a district of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, England.
 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 a·sym·met·ri·cal or a·sym·met·ric
adj. Abbr. a
Lacking symmetry between two or more like parts; not symmetrical.
 actions aimed at continuous engagement. They can be expected to disperse disperse /dis·perse/ (dis-pers´) to scatter the component parts, as of a tumor or the fine particles in a colloid system; also, the particles so dispersed.

 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 de·cen·tral·ize  
v. de·cen·tral·ized, de·cen·tral·iz·ing, de·cen·tral·iz·es
1. To distribute the administrative functions or powers of (a central authority) among several local authorities.
 nonlinear A system in which the output is not a uniform relationship to the input.

nonlinear - (Scientific computation) A property of a system whose output is not proportional to its input.
 maneuver and precision fires in simultaneous operations Noun 1. simultaneous operation - the simultaneous execution of two or more operations
parallel operation

operation - (computer science) data processing in which the result is completely specified by a rule (especially the processing that results from a
 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 See: defense readiness condition; weapons readiness state. . It ensures well-trained soldiers and adaptive and multi-functional leaders and battle staffs that can synchronize See synchronization.  fires in combined arms Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects.

Though the lower-echelon units of a combined arms team may be of homogeneous types, a balanced mixture of such units are combined into an
 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 pro·fi·cient  
Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.

An expert; an adept.
 small units (sections, platoons and batteries) capable of executing METL METL Metal
METL Mission Essential Task List
METL Molecular Epidemiology and Toxicology Laboratory
METL Metals Data Base
 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 (1) (Message Transfer Part) See SS7.

(2) (Media Transfer Protocol) A Microsoft enhancement to the picture transfer protocol (PTP), starting with Windows Media Player 10 in Windows XP.
, 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 Fort Sill, U.S. military reservation, Comanche co., SW Okla., 4 mi (6.4 km) N of Lawton; est. 1869 by Gen. Philip Sheridan. A 95,000-acre (38,445-hectare) field artillery and missile base, it is the home of the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile Center.  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 EXEVAL External Evaluation
EXEVAL Exercise Evaluation
) or a Combat Training Center (CTC CTC - Cornell Theory Center ) 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 The capability of a unit/formation, ship, weapon system, or equipment to perform the missions or functions for which it is organized or designed. May be used in a general sense or to express a level or degree of readiness. Also called OR. See also combat readiness. .

Next the commander goes to the home page to get the TSP TSP - travelling salesman problem  for the CATS events. The TSPs tell him how to train each collective event. He also gets the Army school system (TASS TASS - Template ASSembly language. Intermediate language produced by the Manchester SISAL compiler. ) courseware Educational software. See CBT and OpenCourseWare.

(application) courseware - Programs and data used in Computer-Based Training.
 or computer-based instruction (CBI CBI
cumulative book index

CBI Confederation of British Industry

CBI n abbr (= Confederation of British Industry) → C.E.O.E.
) 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 TRC

(in South Africa) Truth and Reconciliation Commission: a commission which encourages people who committed human rights abuses or acts of terror during the apartheid era to reveal the truth about their crimes in return for immunity from prosecution
). 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 de·pict  
tr.v. de·pict·ed, de·pict·ing, de·picts
1. To represent in a picture or sculpture.

2. To represent in words; describe. See Synonyms at represent.
 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 STAFFEX Staff Exercise ) and a quarterly command post exercise An exercise in which the forces are simulated, involving the commander, the staff, and communications within and between headquarters. Also called CPX. See also exercise; maneuver.  (CPX CPX Command Post Exercise
CPX Culebra Puerto Rico (airport code)
CPX Cleft Palate, X-Linked
CPX Corel Painter X
CPX Compare with X (6502 processor instruction)
CPX Command Post/Paper Exercise
). These are specific CATS events developed by the FA School. The trainer goes to his unit's annex an·nex  
tr.v. an·nexed, an·nex·ing, an·nex·es
1. To append or attach, especially to a larger or more significant thing.

 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 TADSS Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations
TADSS Tactical Automatic Digital Switching System
, 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 See repository.  (RDL RDL - Requirements and Development Language.

["RDL: A Language for Software Development", H.C. Heacox, SIGPLAN Notices 14(9):71-79 (Sep 1979)].
 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 An OPORD or Operations Order is a standardized multiparagraph military order used in the United States military.

Opord 07-10 Operation Ruck up

1. Situation
a. Enemy.

, 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 cavalry, a military force consisting of mounted troops trained to fight from horseback. Horseback riding probably evolved independently in the Eurasian steppes and the mountains above the Mesopotamian plain. By 1400 B.C.  Division, Fort Hood Fort Hood, U.S. army post, 209,000 acres (84,580 hectares), central Tex., near Killeen; est. 1942 on the site of old Fort Gates and named for Confederate Gen. John Hood. It is one of the army's largest installations and a major employer of the area. , Texas, deploying his battalion to Southwest Asia Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. The term Western Asia is sometimes used in writings about the archeology and the late prehistory of the region, and in the United States subregion  for Operations Desert Shield and Storm. He also commanded a battery in the 2d Armored Division Ar´mored division

1. (Mil.) a division of a land army which is equipped with armored vehicles such as tanks or armored personnel carriers.
 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 dig·i·tize  
tr.v. dig·i·tized, dig·i·tiz·ing, dig·i·tiz·es
To put (data, for example) into digital form.

 and Information Increase

* 300% Operational Tempo Increase

* Complex Threat

* Increased Environmental Concerns

* Constrained con·strain  
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.


* Blurring of Mission-Essential Task List Focus

* Limited Training Resources

* Manning Issues

* Extended Battlespace

* Increased Weapons Lethality

* Force Modernization modernization

Transformation of a society from a rural and agrarian condition to a secular, urban, and industrial one. It is closely linked with industrialization. As societies modernize, the individual becomes increasingly important, gradually replacing the family,
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
                  TRC A     TRC B/C (*)  TRC A     TRC B/C   TRC A

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

                  TRC B/C

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]
COPYRIGHT 2002 U.S. Field Artillery Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Anderson, John K.
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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