Full-spectrum indirect fire support: mortars in the FA.An indirect fire support system by any other name is still an indirect fire support system. Those of us who are fire supporters and artillerymen ought to look to where we can further employ our expertise for the betterment bet·ter·ment
1. An improvement over what has been the case: financial betterment.
2. Law An improvement beyond normal upkeep and repair that adds to the value of real property. of our Army and fighting forces. One such area, which many within our circles often dismiss, is the employment of mortars: the 60-mm, 81-mm and 120-mm mortars.
Mortars have been inherent in Infantry MTOEs [modified tables of organization and equipment] for many years. Despite the evolutional shift to precision fires, we still need the responsive area fires mortars provide.
Regardless, Infantrymen tend to focus on employing their direct fire systems. They do not prioritize mortars as highly as their primary direct fire weapon systems.
Infantry MTOEs should be modified to fill mortar sections and platoons with 13-series 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 [military occupational specialty A Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is a job classification in use in the United States Army and Marine Corps. The occupational specialty system uses a system of letters and numbers to identify general and specific jobs of military personnel. ] Soldiers. 13B Cannoneers would fill the mortarmen positions, and 13E Cannon Fire Direction Specialists would staff the mortar FDCs [fire direction centers That element of a command post, consisting of gunnery and communications personnel and equipment, by means of which the commander exercises fire direction and/or fire control. The fire direction center receives target intelligence and requests for fire, and translates them into ]. Similarly, officers in mortar platoon leader A platoon leader or platoon commander is the officer in command of a platoon. This person is usually a junior officer — a second or first lieutenant, or an equivalent rank. He is usually assisted by a platoon sergeant. positions would be 13-series.
Other specialties (Intelligence, Medical and Signal) have embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. their branch-specific Soldiers in Infantry, Armor and Field Artillery units for many years. Why should we be any different?
The crux of the issue is putting those who are best qualified in the job. First, let me say there are many high-quality Soldiers who are mortarmen. My point is that those who specialize in indirect fire support should be charged with managing, training, equipping and resourcing all the ground force's indirect fires, not just a portion of it. For years the Infantry has relied upon its DS [direct support] FA battalions to help train their mortar crews and mortar FDCs. Let's just take it a step further and incorporate Field Artillery personnel into the mortar crews.
Just as the 13F Fire Support Specialist was created almost 25 years ago to include artillery and mortar forward observers, so, too, should the remainder of the mortar equation be transformed.
The time for this change is now. Accurate and timely indirect fire support is the service we provide. We should be the full-spectrum providers of indirect (non-line of sight, or NLOS NLOS Non-Line of Sight
NLOS No Line of Sight (satellite TV)
NLOS Near Line of Sight ) fires, not just the keeper of cannons and rockets.
Fire Supporters are committed to supporting the close fight. And with the Army's move toward modularity and the former DS battalions' becoming fires battalions organic to the BCTs [brigade combat teams The brigade combat team (BCT) is the basic deployable unit of maneuver in the US Army. A brigade combat team consists of one combat arms branched maneuver brigade, and its attached support and fire units. ], our Infantry brethren should welcome our desire to provide our indirect fire expertise and manning in mortar positions to make the 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) a more ready and capable fighting force.
Clearly this change would take some responsibility away from the Infantry, but the maneuver commander still would own his mortars. An advantage would be that the integration of mortar fires into the overall fire support plan would be greatly enhanced.
The advent of the 120-mm mortar prompts some questions. An option would be to have two eight-howitzer batteries of either 105-mm or 155-mm howitzers and one battery of 120-mm mortars in each of the BCTs' fires battalions.
It's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a for Field Artillery to expand and transition into more responsibility in the new BCTs. We are the Army's all-weather, fully capable providers of fire support. Our mission does not change: we must provide accurate and timely fires to support the maneuver commander. What must change is how we do it.
We need to step forward and enhance fires in the close fight by taking responsibility for mortars in the BCTs. Then we need to give this initiative the horsepower to do it right.
COL Keith J. Bucklew
Commander, 138th Regiment
Former Commander, 38th Infantry Divison Artillery
Indiana Army National Guard The Indiana National Guard comprises both Army and Air National Guard components. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions.