Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

From SOSO to high-intensity conflict: training challenges for FA battalions.

As Field Artillery battalions redeploy re·de·ploy  
tr.v. re·de·ployed, re·de·ploy·ing, re·de·ploys
1. To move (military forces) from one combat zone to another.

 from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIF Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (French: International Organization of Francophonie)
OIF Office for Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association) 
) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF OEF Operation Enduring Freedom (US government response to September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks)
OEF Oxford Economic Forecasting
OEF Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum
OEF Optimal Extension Fields
), they rapidly must move to a level of proficiency in the core tasks of delivering fires more typical of mid- to high-intensity conflict. Nowhere is this transition more challenging than in direct support (DS) and general support (GS) FA battalions. Whereas there is a significant overlap between the collective tasks required for mid- to high-intensity conflict and stability operations and support operations (SOSO) in infantry battalions, in FA battalions, the skill sets are radically different. Moreover, FA battalions normally deploy to OIF/OEF with a battery's worth of combat power or less, so there's little opportunity to train individually, collectively and consistently on the conventional delivery of fires tasks.

At Fort Irwin, California, the National Training Center's (NTC's) fire support observer/controller (O/C) team has trained a number of FA battalions for both mid- to high-intensity conflict and SOSO as well as a number of redeployed units in transition. Based on the units' challenges observed at the NTC NTC Notice
NTC National Training Center
NTC National Telecommunications Commission
NTC National Transport Commission (Australia)
NTC Negative Temperature Coefficient
NTC Naval Training Center
, the O/Cs developed a set of "high-pay-off targets" (HPTs)--tasks that, if trained, will bring a battalion most rapidly from proficiency in SOSO tasks to entry-level proficiency in delivery of fires tasks characteristic of mid- to high-intensity conflict.

There are literally hundreds of subtasks for a cannon artillery battalion, and units cannot train them all at once. This article lists those tasks most recommended for redeployed units to train first during their transition, organized in the categories of delivery of fires, fire support, firing battery operations, FA command and control ([C.sup.2]) and FA combat service support (CSS (1) See Cascading Style Sheets.

(2) (Content Scrambling System) The copy protection system applied to DVDs, which uses a 40-bit key to encrypt the movie.

Biggest Overall Challenge--Battalion-Wide Section Certifications. The most common and significant trend O/Cs have observed in transitioning units is that all sections need more practice in executing their fundamental individual and section-level/collective tasks--from the fire support team (FIST)/combat observation lasing team (COLT) to battery/platoon fire direction centers (FDCs) to commo and maintenance to howitzer howitzer: see artillery.  sections. There is a direct correlation Noun 1. direct correlation - a correlation in which large values of one variable are associated with large values of the other and small with small; the correlation coefficient is between 0 and +1
positive correlation
 between Soldiers' unfamiliarity with processes and equipment and the poor quality of home-station certification programs.

For example, FDCs that don't have an established crew drill can't troubleshoot a routine database error or process a digital fire mission to mission training plan (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.
) standards. More than likely, those FDCs did not have a thorough section certification evaluation at home station.

Another example: Some Bradley FIST (BFIST BFIST Bradley Fire Support Team (M7 Bradley Fire Support Vehicle crew) ) sections arrive at the NTC without -10 manuals and are unfamiliar with the correct procedures for powering up and initializing their targeting station control panels (TSCPs). Those sections probably weren't subjected to a rigorous FIST/COLT certification lane administered by experienced senior 13F Fire Support Specialists.


Tough, battalion-driven certification programs that require individuals and sections to demonstrate proficiency in the core tasks of operating their equipment to standard must be the initial block of a battalion's "gate strategy" toward a capstone event, such as an NTC rotation or operational deployment. The evaluations should be objective and quantitative and the results should be documented.

Delivery of Fires. Of all the interdependent tasks that must come together correctly to put steel on target, fire mission processing is the most crucial. That is the process from the receipt of the call-for-fire at the battalion FDC FDC - Floppy Disk Controller  to its transmission to the battery/platoon FDC and then to the Paladin Paladin

archetypal gunman who leaves a calling card. [TV: Have Gun, Will Travel in Terrace, I, 341]

See : Wild West
 automatic fire control system (AFCS AFCS Automatic Flight Control System
AFCS Alliance for Cellular Signaling
AFCS Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (UK MoD)
AFCS Air Force Communications Service
AFCS Automatic Fire Control System
) to the howitzer's first round fired.

The Field Artillery can have the best optics, best-trained forward observers and most precise fire control systems available, but unless the right things are happening in the battery/platoon FDCs, fire missions grind to a halt.

Units returning from SOSO deployments face the challenge of finding the time to train the core fire mission processing tasks, which require "hands-on keyboard" time. The competing demands of garrison routine, personnel turnovers and mandated training are distracters to executing fire mission processing training to standard. In addition, FDCs also must train on digital meteorological me·te·or·ol·o·gy  
The science that deals with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions.

[French météorologie, from Greek
 (Met) updates, dry-fire verification, database and files maintenance, troubleshooting procedures, battery operations center The facility or location on an installation, base, or facility used by the commander to command, control, and coordinate all crisis activities. See also base defense operations center; command center.  (BOC (Bell Operating Company) One of 22 companies that was formerly part of AT&T and later organized into seven regional companies. See RBOC. )-to-platoon operations center (POC (Proof Of Concept) See PoC exploit.

POC - Point Of Contact
) or POC-to-POC transfers, and more.


Battalions unpracticed in fire mission processing commonly have total processing times of 20 to 25 minutes. The good news is that achieving to-standard fire mission processing times is simply a function of good standing operating procedures (SOPs) and a digital fire support sustainment training program buttressed by an uncompromising command emphasis and scheduled repetition.

* Fire Mission Processing. There is not a lot of value to be gained by the static execution of every mission in the MTP when trying to rebuild skills during the transition. Units should focus on the fire missions that their maneuver commander most likely will expect them to execute. For a reinforcing battalion, this might be counterfire. For a light DS battalion, this might be priority targets or echelonment of fires. For a heavy DS battalion, this might be suppression, obscuration, security and reduction (SOSR SOSR Some Other Substantial Reason (employment; human resources)
SOSR suppress, obscure, secure, and reduce (US DoD)
SOSR Shadow of the Serpent Riders (gaming)
SOSR single-operator single-robot
) fires. The unit must figure out what missions it most likely will fire and exercise them every chance it gets.

An established digital fire support sustainment training program is the first, best strategy for the unit to train the team in the fire mission processing and maintain skills in the "band of excellence." When the battalion is not executing battery field training exercises (FTXs) or battalion/brigade combat team (BCT BCT Brigade Combat Team
BCT Basic Combat Training
BCT Best Conventional Pollutant Control Technology (EPA)
BCT Business Cards Tomorrow
BCT Banque Centrale de Tunisie (Central Bank of Tunisia) 
) gunnery, its FDCs should train eight to 12 hours a week in digital fire mission processing.

Battalions must incorporate digital fire support sustainment training into the battalion's training guidance and develop a sequential, task-building block plan and enforce it as part of the battalion's training meeting. The unit must start by training the FDCs' basic procedures and then escalate to event-driven battle scenarios involving every part of the battalion gunnery team.

Inventive brigade fire support officers (FSOs), S3s and battalion fire direction officers (FDOs) can turn digital fire support sustainment training into an extraordinarily lucrative multi-echelon event. Commanders must resource it and be visible during the training.

* Meteorological (Met) Dissemination Across the Brigade and Application at the Firing Batteries. Nothing brings a cannon battalion "to its knees" faster than its inability to rapidly disseminate, apply and verify Met--particularly in Paladin battalions, but light battalions are not immune. Whether or not the unit is using handheld terminal units (HTUs), backup computer systems (BUCS) or manual backup, all means of computing firing data must "bump," and that takes time and a lot of practice.

Met dissemination definitely is not the "sexiest" portion of any digital dry-fire or live-fire exercise. But not executing these routine tasks routinely will cripple a battalion, especially during the hours of transition from old to new Met data.

* BOC/POC Handover n. 1. The act of relinquishing property or authority etc. to another; as, the handover of occupied territory to the original posssessors; the handover of power from the military back to the civilian authorities s>. . The Paladin battalion's FDCs are particularly vulnerable in combat, but any artillery battalion is only three to six vehicles away from being unable to fire. Next to the Firefinder radars, the FDC is the high-value target A target the enemy commander requires for the successful completion of the mission. The loss of high-value targets would be expected to seriously degrade important enemy functions throughout the friendly commander's area of interest. Also called HVT. See also high-payoff target; target.  (HVT HVT,
n high-velocity/low-amplitude thrusts; a set of techniques used in manipulative therapy for the thorax, spine, and pelvis; distinguishable by quick thrusting impulses by the practitioner.
) and the enemy's prime target in high- or low-intensity conflicts.

Battalions must be proficient at handing off firing control to an FDC in another platoon or another battery, tasks that many rotational units have not practiced. Most have the procedures in their SOPs but can't tell the O/C when they last executed them.

Battalion FDCs frequently should hand guns from platoon to platoon and battery to battery--should rehearse those procedures ruthlessly.

* Calibration Procedures. Calibration is a seemingly lost but essential art for achieving accurate, predicted fire. The problem is that units don't practice calibration at home station. The issues are that the M93 chronograph chronograph /chron·o·graph/ (kron´ah-graf) an instrument for recording small intervals of time.


an instrument for recording small intervals of time.
 is unreliable and calibration requires expending ammunition normally fenced for qualification tables. Commanders are reluctant to spend time and energy on this basic, accuracy task. Nevertheless, it is an essential task in the accuracy equation.

It is highly unlikely that units will know the lots of ammunition they will draw before entering a theater for high-intensity operations. It is even less likely that they will have these same lots available at home station for training. If a battalion doesn't have a calibration baseline, it needs one now.

The battalion's maneuver brigade may find it hard to accept expending about 180 rounds per propellant pro·pel·lant also pro·pel·lent  
1. Something, such as an explosive charge or a rocket fuel, that propels or provides thrust.

 type-shell family combination to calibrate To adjust or bring into balance. Scanners, CRTs and similar peripherals may require periodic adjustment. Unlike digital devices, the electronic components within these analog devices may change from their original specification. See color calibration and tweak.  the lot. But it is far better to expend rounds calibrating during training at home station than expend rounds calibrating during combat operations in theater.

Once in theater, units will have a brief "window" in time and space to calibrate. That means the battalion must have a baseline and be proficient in procedures for second-lot inference before it deploys.

* Registration Procedures. At times in OIF and OEF, units did not have Met data available. Under those circumstances, the choices are to expend rounds to boldly adjust them onto the target in every fire mission or, better, expend a few registration rounds once during every Met validity period. If units have rehearsed the procedures, are knowledgeable about the transfer limits and practiced at transferring corrections, the loss of Met won't mean a significant loss of time or accuracy.

* FA Technical Rehearsals. Units should revisit their tactical SOP (TACSOP TACSOP Tactical Standing Operating Procedure ) annex that addresses procedures for conducting FA technical rehearsals. FA technical rehearsals verify the unit has the right target information, has a common understanding of the scheme of maneuver Description of how arrayed forces will accomplish the commander's intent. It is the central expression of the commander's concept for operations and governs the design of supporting plans or annexes.  and event-based triggers, can attack the targets (achieve technical solutions) from current and proposed positions, and has the right projectile/propellant mixes on the guns/Field Artillery ammunition support vehicles (FAASVs)/palletized load systems (PLS See playlist. ). Units that don't practice conducting FA technical rehearsals to standard, without fail, at the minimum, encounter delays during an NTC battle.

Admittedly, conducting the slow-paced, checklist-driven FA technical rehearsal typical during the pre-line-of-departure (LD) hours of an NTC battle isn't practical in a running gun battle when enemy contact is constant. However, in its OIF after-action reviews (AARs), the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized mech·a·nize  
tr.v. mech·a·nized, mech·a·niz·ing, mech·a·niz·es
1. To equip with machinery: mechanize a factory.

) Artillery (Div Arty DIV ARTY Division Artillery ) attested to the value of conducting technical rehearsals, at a minimum, on those critical tasks and targets that time and the enemy situation allowed.

Fire Support. Fire support is another area that ensures a unit can deliver accurate, predicted fires--starting with the FISTers' ability to locate targets accurately.

* FIST Certification. One of the first things First Things is a monthly ecumenical journal concerned with the creation of a "religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society" (First Things website).  the brigade FSO (Free Space Optics) Transmitting optical signals through the air using infrared lasers. Also known as "wireless optics," FSO provides point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transmission at very high speeds without requiring a government license for use of the spectrum.  and fire support coordinator (FSCOORD FSCOORD Fire Support Coordinator ) of the transitioning FA battalion should do is plan and resource a FIST certification program. A thorough certification program gives the FSCOORD and FSO confidence in their FISTs.

Figures 1 and 2 show examples of a BFIST and observation post (OP) certification programs, respectively. The programs must go beyond just completing BFIST Table VIII and encompass all tasks associated with a FIST.

Units can use the tasks in Figures 1 and 2 to develop FIST lanes with task force FSOs and fire support sergeants evaluating the teams. To make the training realistic, the company commander can attend the certification training to issue the order and fire support guidance.

The fire mission tasks training can culminate with either a live-fire incorporated into the FIST lane or an exercise using the guard unit armory device full crew interactive simulation trainer (GUARDFIST GUARDFIST Guard Unit Armory Device Full Crew Interactive Simulation Trainer (Army) ).

The advantage of the live-fire scenario is it tests the crew's BFIST knowledge. But it is resource-intensive, and synchronization with the rest of the DS battalion's training plan is difficult.

The GUARDFIST facility calls for fewer resources. It also accounts for four of the five requirements for accurate, predicted fire, allowing the evaluator to focus on target location.

* BFIST Calibration. The BFIST is an excellent tool for the company FIST, but realizing its full value requires proper training and tools. Units at the NTC were challenged to boresight and initialize To start anew, which typically involves clearing all or some part of memory or disk.  the targeting station control panel (TSCP TSCP Tom Kerrigan's Simple Chess Program
TSCP Transatlantic Secure Collaboration Program
TSCP Theater Security Cooperation Plan
TSCP Targeting Station Control Panel
TSCP Tandem Service Control Point
TSCP Time Slot Communication Procedure
). To complicate the challenge, they often were missing the BFIST operator's manual (TM 9-2350-297-10-2 Operator's Manual for Bradley Fire Support Vehicle M7, Turret). First things first, units must ensure all crews have their--10s.

For gunnery, some BFIST crews are boresighting their laser rangefinder (LRF LRF

luteinizing hormone releasing factor.
) to the 25-mm cannon to improve their accuracy and times during Table VIII. After the gunnery density, the crews are not re-boresighting to the FIST mode, causing errors from 300 meters to 1.5 kilometers.

Additionally, crews are not verifying the boresighting during tactical assembly area An area that is generally out of the reach of light artillery and the location where units make final preparations (pre-combat checks and inspections) and rest, prior to moving to the line of departure. See also assembly area; line of departure.  (TAA TAA - Track Average Amplitude ) operations or after occupying their OPs. Incorrect TSCP initialization in·i·tial·ize  
tr.v. in·i·tial·ized, in·i·tial·iz·ing, in·i·tial·iz·es Computer Science
1. To set (a starting value of a variable).

2. To prepare (a computer or a printer) for use; boot.

 procedures have caused target location errors (TLEs) of one to two kilometers

A small number of crews at the NTC initialized their precision lightweight global positioning system Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)

Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use.
 receiver (PLGR PLGR Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (US DoD)
PLGR Plunger
) with the North American North American

named after North America.

North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.

North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus.
 1927 Datum The singular form of data; for example, one datum. It is rarely used, and data, its plural form, is commonly used for both singular and plural.  (NAD-27) and the TSCP with the World Geodetic System The World Geodetic System defines a reference frame for the earth, for use in geodesy and navigation. The latest revision is WGS 84 dating from 1984 (last revised in 2004), which will be valid up to about 2010.  1984 (WGS-84) datum. This caused the TSCP to believe it was in a different location than it actually was.

One crew that did not have a PLGR initialized its TSCP with the incorrect grid coordinates.

These problems are correctable through a BFIST leaders course or a FIST certification program. Also, units should add TM 9-2350-297-10-1 Operator's Manual for Bradley Fire Support Vehicle M7, Hull and TM 9-2350-297-10-2 to their inspection checklist to ensure they are present.

* Close Air Support (CAS). CAS is a major force multiplier if a BCT plans and executes it correctly. The FSO and FSCOORD should incorporate CAS and the supporting tactical air control party A subordinate operational component of a tactical air control system designed to provide air liaison to land forces and for the control of aircraft. Also called TACP.  (TACP TACP Tactical Command Post
TACP Technical Analysis of Cost Proposal
TACP Tactical Air Control Party/Post
TACP Theater Ammunition Control Point
TACP Theater Air Control Party
TACP Technology Assessment and Control Plan
TACP Tetramine Copper Perchlorate
) into every training event, from company to brigade.

At the company level, the FIST must know how to conduct Type 2 CAS control. At the task force and brigade levels, the entire battle staff must understand how to plan and employ CAS and conduct airspace deconfliction. The DS battalion must be able to work standard fire orders for suppression of enemy air defenses That activity which neutralizes, destroys, or temporarily degrades surface-based enemy air defenses by destructive and/or disruptive means. Also called SEAD. See also electromagnetic spectrum; electronic warfare.  (SEAD SEAD Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (Salzburg, Austria)
SEAD Secure Efficient Ad-Hoc Distance Vector (routing protocol)
SEAD Seneca Army Depot
) and marking rounds. The brigade battle drill must modify the times to take into account the average firing times for SEAD and marking rounds.

Units should train on the CAS battle drill and airspace deconfliction whenever possible.

Firing Battery Operations. The groundwork for any battery operation is to plan and prepare for future missions.

* Troop-Leading Procedures. During transition training, units need to focus troop-leading on time management and the battery order's content. It is also useful to train new leaders on these tasks after a high personnel turnover rate.

Batteries must manage their time, maintaining a continuous timeline to ensure critical events are deconflicted and completed to standard. Battery executive officers (XOs) or first sergeants are ideal managers and enforcers of the timeline. Planning and prepping time is very perishable; without a solid timeline, batteries invite mission failure.

The battery commander must develop and brief a solid plan to provide the purpose, method and end-state for the battery. His orders need to address the standard five paragraphs (situation, mission, execution, service and support, and communications).

* Pre-Combat Checks (PCCs)/Pre-Combat Inspections (PCIs). PCCs should occur daily before assuming missions. PCCs can be at the direction of either the battalion or battery. If directed by battalion, the tactical operations center A physical groupment of those elements of a general and special staff concerned with the current tactical operations and the tactical support thereof. Also called TOC. See also command post.  (TOC) must have a means of tracking the progress and completion of PCCs/PCIs. In the absence of battalion-directed PCCs, the battery leadership must develop PCCs relative to the type/construct of the upcoming mission.

PCCs must be outlined in the battalion or battery TACSOP to ensure they are completed to standard and tied to an essential FA task (EFAT). Normally the PCC PCC prothrombin complex concentrate.  is the first-line supervisor's task.

PCIs conducted at the sergeant first class (SFC SFC
sergeant first class
) level and above ensure all PCCs are conducted to standard and identify shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.

Shortcomings may also be:
  • Shortcomings (SATC episode), an episode of the television series Sex and the City
 before the unit crosses the LD.

Rehearsals. Like PCC/PCIs, rehearsals must occur before any mission. Rehearsals assure the battery key leaders that the battery understands the mission and required key events for success. The battery commander must prioritize the events to be rehearsed because time is limited and the battery needs to focus on rehearsing its assigned EFATs.


* Ammunition Management. This is everybody's job in a firing battery. Leaders throughout the battery must be aware of what ammunition is on hand and what has been expended. This allows the battery to respond quickly to fire mission triggers and decreases confusion during ammunition resupply re·sup·ply  
tr.v. re·sup·plied, re·sup·ply·ing, re·sup·plies
To provide with fresh supplies, as of weapons and ammunition.


Section chiefs and ammunition team chiefs track the ammo on hand through DA Form 4513 Record of Missions Fired to ensure the AFCS ammunition inventory is updated. This allows the FDC to pull the information from the AFCS, as needed as needed prn. See prn order. , to report the ammunition status digitally to the battalion FDC and BOC. The BOC then can track ammunition expenditures and keep the battery leadership, battalion TOC and administration and logistics operations center (ALOC ALOC Allocate
ALOC Altered Level Of Consciousness
ALOC air lines of communications (US DoD)
ALOC Average Length Of Call (New Global)
ALOC Acceptable Level of Competence
) informed about the status of the ammunition.

Platoon sergeants can monitor the guns and FAASVs to ensure the guns can respond immediately to ammunition triggers. The battery commander can track the overall status to determine when he needs additional ammunition from battalion.

Managing ammunition carefully will result in a battery that won't fail to execute its EFATs due to a lack of the proper ammunition.

* FDC and BOC Tasks. The unit should identify and prioritize the information the FDC/BOC must track and then develop status boards and charts to track and manage this information. (See Figure 3 for the minimum information the FDC or BOC must display and monitor.

The battalion also can identify the specific messages the FDC/BOC must process and use pre-printed message forms that automatically provide multiple copies of the information.

Charts are useful tools in handling some types of information. But before developing charts, units should consider the factors in Figure 4. Units should use the charts in garrison to discover their value and train personnel on their use.

Units also should conduct AARs on their tracking system, identifying what is useful and what they need to improve.

Field Artillery [C.sup.2]. For command and control, FA battalions must have an effective training strategy and focus on developing leaders, teaching staffs to plan and execute operations, and establishing and maintaining TOC security.

* Training Methodology. Units should espouse the crawl-walk-run methodology in developing a training strategy. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, training should progress from individual to section to platoon and, if time and resources permit, to battery-level operations. Before moving from one level of training to the next, qualified experts must certify the personnel are trained to standard.

Personnel in low-density military occupational specialties (MOS (1) (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) See MOSFET.

(2) (Mean Opinion Score) The quality of a digitized voice line. It is a subjective measurement that is derived entirely by people listening to the calls and scoring the results from
) should be included in the training. The FA battalion can solicit other members of their BCT to provide technical expertise to train the low-density MOS, especially for certifications (i.e., S6 support for the communications sections). Training plans usually focus more on Soldiers than on leaders and staffs, leaving a training gap.

* Leader Development. The transitioning battalion must emphasize training leaders as it progresses through the crawl-walk-run training. A good place to start training leaders is by reviewing the unit TACSOP. Also, units should validate or refine their TACSOPs before they deploy.

At a minimum, the leaders and staff must understand the reporting requirements and duties and responsibilities outlined in the TACSOP. As a result, the command posts will be able to battle track better.

Professional development sessions are an excellent method to train leaders as well as staffs.

Staff Planning and Execution. Training the staff is particularly challenging. The staff experienced in SOSO certainly has executed the military decision-making process (MDMP MDMP Military Decision-Making Process
MDMP Million Dollar Mouthpiece
MDMP Mediterranean Dialogue Military Program
) and synchronization meetings/drills in a time-constrained and, indeed, often shooting-war environment countless times. But the staff must modify the processes for the mid- to high-intensity scenarios and train new personnel after turnovers.

The battalion commander must train the staff because no one else will. Using the crawl-walk-run methodology, he can start with professional development sessions and progress through practical exercises.

Commanders can write the MDMP into the training schedule, lock the S3 shop in the conference room and support the training with frequent visits to participate in the mission analysis and issue guidance and intent.

The NTC Wolf Team Wargame and Rockdrill demonstrations are excellent aids to support the staff's professional development. Units may get copies by emailing However, practical application is the most effective training--for example, having the staff present briefings to the battalion and battery commanders with the commanders giving the staff feedback. If possible, the unit can work with the BCT to use an old operations orders (OPORD OPORD Operation/Operational Order ) to produce an FA support plan (FASP FASP Federal Agency Security Practices (NIST)
FASP Florida Association of School Psychologists
FASP Florida Aviation System Plan
FASP Florida Association of Aging Services Providers
FASP Field Ammunition Supply Point

Last, the "run" phase can be a simulation exercise with the BCT or an actual field exercise in support of the BCT.

Once the staff is proficient at planning, the training can focus on staff execution. More often than not, staffs take a break after planning and preparation is complete (with the exception of receiving reports during the battle)--in combat they need to keep developing and analyzing the information.


The training can concentrate on the six TOC functions: receive information, distribute information, analyze information, submit recommendations, integrate resources and synchronize resources. These TOC functions can be summed up as information management and staff integration.

A good start to managing information is to develop a battle update briefing (BUB bub  
n. Slang
Used as a term of familiar address, especially for a man or boy: See you around, bub.

[Probably alteration and shortening of brother.]
). Focus the BUB on answering the commander's critical information requirements Commander's critical information requirements comprise information requirements identified by the commander as being critical in facilitating timely information management and the decision-making process that affect successful mission accomplishment.  (CCIRs), anticipating the next event and providing assistance to fellow staffers. The staff can apply the results of the BUB to the TOC functions and put the necessary information out on the command net.

But the training should not focus on information gathering and the analysis process to develop products for the twice-a-day or during-the-battle BUB. The staff should focus on developing a plan for the running estimate--continually gathering and processing information to be ready to update the S3/commander at any time to facilitate their decisions based on what's happening--not what happened six hours ago.

* TOC Security. Force protection will be totally different in a high-intensity conflict environment than in SOSO. The SOSO environment tends to offer mutual support in a static site. However, high-intensity conflict is just the opposite.

Units must be prepared to provide their own force protection. They must be proficient in perimeter defense, casualty evacuation and responding as a quick-reaction force. As part of the training, units can incorporate realistic threats to TOC security and have proactive and reactive measures in place.

Field Artillery CSS. Rehearsals, again, are critical; maintenance in SOSO is very different; ammunition resupply in volume is required for mid- to high-intensity conflict; and anticipating CSS needs is different as well as medical skills.

CSS Rehearsals. The transitioning battalion must go back to the standards it once held of conducting a CSS rehearsal and BUB to synchronize the logistics plan with operations. A good CSS rehearsal must include all key players: executive officer (XO). S4, headquarters and service battery (HSB (Hue Saturation Brightness) A color space that is similar to the way an artist mixes colors by adding black and white to pure pigments. The pigments are the hues (H), measured in a circle from 0 to 359 degrees (0=red, 60=yellow, 120=green, 180=cyan, 240=blue, ) commander, first sergeants (1 SGs), command sergeant major (CSM CSM - ["CSM - A Distributed Programming Language", S. Zhongxiu et al, IEEE Trans Soft Eng SE-13(4):497-500 (Apr 1987)]. ), physicians assistant (PA), battalion ammunition officer (BAO bao (pä·ö),
n preciousness, one of the five virtues in Chinese medicine, for which po is responsible. See also po.

BAO Basal Acid Output, see there
), battalion maintenance officer (BMO BMO Bank of Montreal (Canada)
BMO Before Market Open
BMO Biometrics Management Office
BMO Ballistic Missile Office
BMO British Mathematical Olympiad
BMO Balkan Mathematical Olympiad
BMO Business Management Office
), etc.

The S4 should run the rehearsal with the XO and CSM ensuring it is executed to standard and the plan is synchronized. Ideally, the rehearsal will be on a terrain model that trainees can walk on but minimally on a map or over the radio. Regardless, everyone needs to engage in the rehearsal.

The S4 should use the operations execution matrix as the guide for the sequence of events and the logistics annex/service support paragraph to fill in the details. Attendees should address their specific actions for each event.

For example, if A Battery is to fire the smoke EFAT and can anticipate receiving indirect fire, the A Battery 1SG should discuss his battery's logistics actions. Firing the smoke EFAT may be an ammunition trigger that sets off a sequence of events. A Battery should report to the ALOC it met the trigger as the ALOC is battle tracking and anticipating the call. This trigger causes the ammo trucks to execute double-loop resupply and for the battalion supply operations center (BSOC BSOC Bell Systems Operating Company
BSOC Battery State-of-Charge
BSOC British Schools Orienteering Championships
BSOC Brominated Solvents Committee
BSOC Base Security Operations Center
) to submit a DA Form 581 Request for Issue and Turn In of Ammunition. The 1SG also should discuss his actions as a result of the indirect fire, such as his casualty evacuation (CASEVAC CASEVAC Casualty Evacuation ) plan, equipment recovery plan, personnel replacement process, equipment replacement process, etc. In addition to A Battery's actions, there will be other significant actions at the battalion level--requesting personnel and equipment, tracking casualties, managing ammo and implementing the medical mutual support plan.


Regardless of whether or not the rehearsal is on a terrain model or over the radio, the CSS rehearsal must be interactive and integrated, add friction and force contingency plans. The battalion XO and CSM must enforce this.

* Maintenance. During SOSO, units continue to reach a 100 percent turn-in rate regarding the accountability and completeness on DA Form 5988E E-quipment Maintenance and Inspection Worksheet. Units can refine their turn-in systems because they are in a static position operating from a forward operating base An airfield used to support tactical operations without establishing full support facilities. The base may be used for an extended time period. Support by a main operating base will be required to provide backup support for a forward operating base. Also called FOB.  (FOB FOB 1) adj. short for Free on Board, meaning shipped to a specific place without cost. 2) Friend of Bill (Clinton). (See: Free on Board) ). Units are concentrated in a single location with battlefield distractions minimal, which allows ample time for day-to-day system improvements. The flow of Class IX and services become fluid and operators are easier to obtain and more readily available for turning wenches.

In contrast, high-intensity operations do not facilitate predictability or a clear battle rhythm. The 5988E turn-in procedures become difficult, and units don't achieve 100 percent accountability. Turn-in is dependent on logistics packages and can be more difficult due to distance, terrain and battlefield distractions.

As a result, the unit's preventive maintenance checks and services “PMCS” redirects here. For the urination disorder, see Post-micturition convulsion syndrome.

In the United States military, Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services, or PMCS
 (PMCS PMCS PMC Sierra (stock symbol)
PMCS Project Management Control System
PMCS partial mission-capable, supply (US DoD)
PMCS Preventive Maintenance Checks & Services
PMCS Professional Military Comptroller School
) rhythm fluctuates. Often, the battalion and maintenance shop work with each other for the first time, causing the flow of parts to become irregular. Because of the unit dispersion and extended distances, there's less time for direct coordination.

During combat, Class IX parts are annotated by the battery mechanics and the annotations have more error because of inexperienced personnel and the effects of battlefield distractions. The 5988Es often reflect wrong national stock numbers (NSNs) for ordering parts, and the equipment deadline report, known as the "026 printout," is confusing.

Regardless, units should not transfer 026 data to a spreadsheet for supposed ease of readability; the 026 is the Army standard, contains all the information needed regarding the equipment and parts' status and, with practice, is easy to read.

To compensate for these problems, unit prescribed load list (PLL PLL - phase-locked loop ) teams will draw directly from their PLL stock that quickly depletes. Services become next to impossible and the focus usually shifts from conventional services to battle prep and replacing catastrophic losses. Patterns of "fixing" versus "preventing" become prominent.

Ammunition Management Resupply. Many units still embrace the "push" method whereby all flat racks are delivered to the batteries at the beginning of a battle period, irrespective of the battle or FA task. This requires the battery leadership to inventory each flat rack's contents and then do the staff's work of matching projectile/propellants/fuze mixes to each EFAT and computing turret and FAASV FAASV Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle
FAASV Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle
FAASV Filipino-American Association of Stafford Virginia, Inc.

Batteries must be executors at this point, not numbers crunchers. Relegating the battery leadership to the battle calculus that the staff should have done is time-consuming, invites error in view of competing requirements and reduces the time available for the battery's PCC/PCIs and rehearsals.

Units should use the double-loop resupply method. As much as possible, drivers should run the same route: FA trains (FAT) to combat artillery trains (CAT) or CAT to batteries. Triggers for resupply of small arms ammo must be planned for and set. Although units use the double loop as much as possible, they also must employ rearm re·arm  
v. re·armed, re·arm·ing, re·arms
1. To arm again.

2. To equip with better weapons.

To arm oneself again.
, refuel re·fu·el  
v. re·fu·eled also re·fu·elled, re·fu·el·ing also re·fu·el·ling, re·fu·els also re·fu·els
To supply again with fuel.

 and supply points ([R.sup.3]SPs), based on the mission, enemy, terrain, troops-time available and civilians on the battlefield (METT-TC METT-TC mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, civil considerations (US DoD) ). The [R.sup.3]SPs in the SOP is a great way to resupply the battalion when conducting long movements.

The unit needs to know from whom they request certain types of Class V. The unit requests artillery ammo from the Div Arty and small arms ammo from the brigade support battalion (BSB BSB Backstreet Boys
BSB Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
BSB British Superbikes (motorcycle racing series)
BSB Bachelor of Science in Business
BSB Bandar Seri Begawan (capital of Brunei) 
)/brigade support area (BSA 1. BSA - Business Software Alliance.
2. BSA - Bidouilleurs Sans Argent.
). The FA battalion can create a folder in the BSOC for requesting ammo from Div Arty and then process the request using normal resupply channels.

Units often don't establish triggers for small arms ammo resupply, but in high-intensity conflict, batteries easily can run out of small arms ammo. The unit should identify and plan for small arms resupply triggers as part of the normal MDMP.

Anticipating CSS Needs. Units must track the battle to anticipate what they'll need next and have good visibility of triggers calling for resupply. One way to do that is to create a visual tracking board using icons of some sort to track where CSS elements are on the battlefield. This does not replace the standard tracking charts, but it does provide a quick visual reference.


The chart provides the ability to record combat-configured loads (CCLs) for flat racks, fueler capacity and battery combat power. It also allows the unit to track the movement of combat vehicles from the battery to the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP UMCP University of Maryland at College Park
UMCP Unit Maintenance Collection Point
UMCP Ununited Medial Coronoid Process
) and to the BSA when they are evacuated.

Radio/telephone operators (RTOs) should listen to the battalion command net, so they can help anticipate the battalion's resupply needs. It is better to have the FAT or CAT ready to execute and have to hold them for a while than have them scrambling to push a resupply package out.

Units should consider using a forward logistic element (FLE FLE Français Langue Étrangère
FLE Family Life Educator
FLE Functional Literacy Exam
FLE Foreign Legal Entity
FLE Future Logistics Enterprise
FLE Forward Logistics Element
FLE Fatigue Life Expended
FLE Firefly Lantern Extract
). Although not a true doctrinal formation, the FLE is a time-proven, effective organization. It must have a task and purpose. The type of resupply may change with every battle.

If maneuver is using an FLE, units can piggyback piggyback

1. A broker trading in his or her personal account after trading in the same security for a customer. The broker may believe the customer has access to privileged information that will cause the transaction to be profitable.

 on them and create a slightly larger FLE as the maneuver FLE will be near the rear of the movement formation. This may create a bigger signature, but it also provides more force protection than having a single fueler and two PLSs on the battlefield.

Medical. Battalion aid station (BAS BAS
1. Bachelor of Agricultural Science

2. Bachelor of Applied Science
) operations in SOSO are marked by support for QRFs, checkpoints, medical civilian action plans (MEDCAPs), tactical operations, such as raids, and other seemingly compartmentalized com·part·men·tal·ize  
tr.v. com·part·men·tal·ized, com·part·men·tal·iz·ing, com·part·men·tal·iz·es
To separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments: "You learn . . .

In SOSO, CASEVAC is likely to bypass the BAS and go directly to Level II care. The PA and senior medic medic: see alfalfa.  must maintain situational awareness to track personnel from the point of injury to treatment.

High-intensity conflict is marked more by evacuations to the BAS or ambulance exchange point A location where a patient is transferred from one ambulance to another en route to a medical treatment facility. This may be an established point in an ambulance shuttle or it may be designated independently. Also called AXP. See also medical treatment facility.  (AXP The brand name Digital gave to its first family of Alpha-based computers. In 1998, Digital was acquired by Compaq. See Alpha. ) and mutual medical support of batteries within the battalion. The location of the BAS and PA is critical in providing treatment forward but not so far forward that Level II care is out of reach.

Returning to the band of excellence in our conventional delivery of fires tasks will present significant challenges to every FA battalion transitioning after a SOSO mission. But the battalion must ensure that every Soldier and leader has a strong foundation in essential tasks for providing safe, accurate, well integrated and timely fires for maneuver.
Manual               Task Number   Task                    Points  Score

Assorted Manuals                   13F Skill Levels 1, 2   100
                                   and 3 Written Test:
                                   Team Average
TM 9-2350-297-10-1   WP 0052 00    Perform PMCS IAW TMs     30
                                   on M7 BFIST.
TM 9-2350-297-10-2   WP 0085 00
TM 9-2350-297-10-2   WP 0014 00    Initialize TSCP on the   30
                                   M7 BFIST.
                     WP 0015 00
ARTEP 6-115-MTP      17-5-5307.    Boresight the M7 BFIST.  30
Insert               06-B001
TM 9-1260-477-12     Page 3-8      Perform PMCS on the AN/  30
                                   TVQ-2 G/VLLD
                     Page 2-8.3    Set up the G/VLLD in a   15
                                   dismounted role.
TM 11-5820-890-10-1  Page 5-1      Perform PMCS on          30
STP 6-13F14-SM-TG    061-283-1960  Operate the AN/PVS-6     30
STP 21-1-SMCT        113-571-1022  Perform voice            30
                     061-355-5101  Prepare the FOS LCU      30
                                   for operations.
STP 6-13F14-SM-TG    061-355-5100  Prepare the FOS HTU      30
                                   for operations.
                     061-355-5104  Transmit information     15
SOP                                Conduct PCC/PCI in a     30
TM 9-2350-297-10-1   WP 0076 00    Combat load an M7        15
TM 9-2350-297-10-2   WP 0125 00
STP 21-1-SMCT        071-329-1030  Navigate from one        25
                                   point on the ground
                                   to another while
ARTEP 6-115-MTP      06-5-A047     Establish fire support   20
STP 6-13F14-SM-TG    061-284-1011  Post information on a    20
                                   situation map and
                     061-284-3004  Advise supported unit    20
                                   of friendly fire
                                   support capabilities.
ARTEP 6-115-MTP      06-1-A048     Plan fires in support    50
                                   of maneuver operations.

ARTEP = Army Training and Evaluation Program
FOS = Forward Observer Software
G/VLLD = Ground/Vehicular Laser Locater Designator
HTU = Handheld Terminal Unit
LCU = Lightweight Computer Unit
MELIOS = Mini Eye-Safe Laser Infrared Observation Set
MTP = Mission Training Plan
PCC = Pre-Combat Check
PCI = Pre-Combat Inspection
PMCS = Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services
SINCGARS = Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System
SM = Soldier's Manual
SMCT = Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks
SOP = Standing Operating Procedures
STP = Soldier Training Publication
TAA = Tactical Assembly Area
TG = Training Guide
TM = Technical Manual
TSCP = Targeting Station Control Panel

Figure 1: Fire Support Team (FIST) Certification Task Sheet for M7
Bradley FIST (BFIST) Operations

Manual             Task Number   Task                      Points  Score

STP 21-24-SMCT     031-503-2001  Identify chemical agent    10
                                 using M256 series
                                 chemical agent detector
                   031-503-3005  Submit an NBC 1 report.    15
STP 21-1-SMCT      081-831-1000  Evaluate a casualty.       10
                   081-831-1025  Perform first aid for an   10
                                 open abdominal wound.
ARTEP 6-115-MTP    06-5-C040     Coordinate and control     75
                                 fire plan execution.
                   06-5-A006     Establish an OP (FIST).   100
                   061-283-1052  Construct a terrain        40
                   061-283-1001  Determine direction        40
                                 within the target area.
STP 6-13F14-SM-TG  061-283-1002  Locate a target by grid    50
                   061-283-1004  Locate a target by shift   50
                                 from a known point.
                   061-283-1003  Locate a target by polar   50
ARTEP 6-115-MTP    06-5-A008     Conduct fire missions
                   061-283-1011  Request and adjust area    50
                   061-283-1015  Conduct FFE mission.       50
                   061-283-1014  Conduct immediate          50
                                 suppression mission.
STP 6-13F14-SM-TG  061-283-2021  Conduct immediate smoke    50
                   061-283-2023  Conduct quick smoke        50
                   061-283-2002  Request and adjust FPF.    50
                   061-354-2014  Engage a moving target.    50
                   061-283-1021  Request and adjust         50
                                 coordinated illumination.

Legend: FFE = Fire-for-Effect FPF = Final-Protective-Fires
NBC = Nuclear, Biological and Chemical

Figure 2: FIST Certification Task Sheet for Observation Post (OP)
Operations. A FIST member is certified when he scores at least 1001 of
the 1430 points possible in Figures 1 and 2.

Commander's Intent
Commander's Critical Information
Requirements (CCIRs)
PCC/PCI Point of Contact and Completion Time
Essentail Effects Tasks (EFETs)/Essential FA Tasks (EFATs)
Class III/V Status
Combat Power
Tracking Friendly Elements--Battery and Maneuver
Tracking Enemy Elements

Enemy Battle Damage Assessment (BDA)/Force Multipliers: Persistent
Chemicals, Non-Persistent Chemicals, Family of Scatterable Mines
(FASCAM), etc.

Execution Matrix

Figure 3: Minimum Information the FDC Should Consider Displaying and

* Avoid information and chart overload.
* Use of charts in the planning process significantly reduces the
  briefing time.
* Must build a box to store and transport the charts to reduce wear and
  tear on the charts and maximize space.
* Maintain a miniature version of all charts in a notebook for use while

Figure 4: After the battalion has determined the information to be
tracked and displayed, it considers these factors in determining if the
information should be displayed in a chart.

By Lieutenant Colonel Mark L. Waters

Lieutenant Colonel Mark L. Waters is the Senior Fire Support Trainer (Wolf07) at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California. In his previous assignment, he commanded 2d Battalion, 82d Field Artillery (2-82 FA), Steel Dragons, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, the same battalion in which he had served as the Executive Officer in an earlier assignment. Also in the 1st Cav, he was S3 for the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery and Fire Support Officer for the 3d Brigade. In a previous tour at the NTC, he was the Battalion Fire Direction Trainer (Wolf32) and Light Infantry Task Force Fire Support Trainer (Trantula27). He commanded B Battery, 4-3 FA, in the 2d Armored Division (Forward) during Operations Desert Storm and Shield and then commanded Service Battery, 4-3 FA.
COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Field Artillery Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:field artillery; stability operations and support operations
Author:Waters, Mark L.
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Previous Article:Battlefield decisions of a battalion commander.
Next Article:FA branch: manning a force in transition.

Related Articles
Change and opportunity--steady in the harness!
Why organic fires?
75th FA Brigade: SOSO in OIF and BCT at the NTC.
Deconflicting army aircraft and indirect fires: brigade-level [A.sup.2][C.sup.2].
3-82 FA transformation into a hybrid motorized rifle and paladin battalion: training for Baghdad.
Flexibility and bold innovation for multiple missions in Iraq: 2-15 FAR beyond combat.
Synchronizing lethal and nonlethal effects in 1/25 SBCT: lessons learned from NTC 01-03.
Army & FA in transition: leadership and soldier tours, FA modularity and other issues.
2-5 FA: a ground maneuver force for the 3d ACR in OIF.
FA NCOs--lead, follow or get the-hell out of the way!

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters