Transformation of the FA Center and School.
Reorganization Overview. One purpose of the transformation was to streamline training and support functions by merging four organizations in the FA School into three. Simply put, the three organizations are the 30th Field Artillery Regiment that executes training, the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD) that develops training and the Quality Assurance Office (QAO) that evaluates the quality and effectiveness of the training.
The 30th FA Regiment (school brigade) that performed "housekeeping" functions for permanent party and students was merged with the Gunnery and Fire Support and Combined Arms Operations Departments (FSCAOD) that both managed and executed training and coordinated doctrine. Some functions formerly performed by all three were consolidated into the one organization. The regiment has a headquarters, two teaching battalions, a support battalion and the International Student Division (ISD). (See Figure 2 on Page 40.)
The former Warfighting Integration and Development Directorate (WIDD) that focused on training and doctrine development and quality assurance was divided to reestablish the DOTD and QAO. DOTD was stood up to do training and doctrine development, training management and school operations missions. This structure has one organization headed by a colonel in charge of executing training (30th Regiment) and one organization headed by a colonel focused on developing and resourcing training and doctrine requirements and conducting school operations (DOTD).
In addition, the reorganization eliminated a level of overhead, the Training Command (Provisional) G-staff, by redistributing that staff into the 30th Regiment and the CG's staff. Prior to the reorganization, the 30th Regiment Commander was dual-hatted as the Training Command Chief of Staff.
Creating a G-staff for the CG/Commandant keeps pace with the Army's changing environment, especially with base operations transitioning to a new organization: the Installation Management Agency (IMA). It is more efficient to have only one G-staff on the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) side of Fort Sill with one Fort Sill Chief of Staff coordinating all mission activities. A logical choice for Fort Sill operations was DOTD, which now also serves as the CG's G3.
This change facilitated more efficient operations both on and off Fort Sill. It is now much clearer to TRADOC staff members who their counterparts are on Fort Sill.
30th Regiment--Enlisted and Officer Training. The 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery (1-30 FA), formerly the staff and faculty battalion, became the enlisted and warrant officer training battalion. Among other courses, it executes all 13 Series enlisted advanced individual training (AIT), except 13B Cannoneer, which is taught by the FA Training Center.
In terms of efficiencies, several enlisted FA military occupational specialties (MOS) had resided in both the Gunnery Department and FSCAOD. For example, both departments had 13D FA Tactical Data System Specialist training. Consolidating all 13Ds and their instruction into one battalion relieved the strain on manning and other resources for training for that MOS.
1-30 FA also executes the FA Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses. In addition, the battalion executes specialty courses, such Advanced FA Tactical Data System (AFATDS) Command and Staff, Tactical Communications, the Bradley Fire Support Team (BFIST) Vehicle and other courses. It is preparing a Stryker Transition Course for Soldiers going to the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs).
3-30 FA now not only has student officers assigned to them, but also became the executer of officer instruction. The battalion teaches both the captain's career course (CCC) and officer basic course (OBC). Previously, CCC and OBC instructors had been divided between the Gunnery Department and FSCAOD. In addition, 3-30 FA teaches the Paladin Commander's Course and the FA Weapons Maintenance Course. It is ramping up to execute the Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC), which will change the way we train second lieutenants significantly.
Consolidating enlisted and officer training facilitates cross talk among the instructors and makes coordination more efficient.
An added benefit of the reorganization is being able to take advantage of the years of FA and fire support experience of the 1-30 FA and 3-30 FA commanders as they manage their teaching organizations and are directly involved in the training.
The school took the overhead savings from this consolidation and put them against other missions that had long been undermanned or neglected altogether due to personnel shortages.
G3/DOTD. This is the staff agency that performs many of the CG's training and doctrine proponency roles and does the planning for the branch's TRADOC missions. Some of the more significant functions range from doctrine development to training development, both individual and collective. DOTD writes and maintains all the programs of instruction (POI) for the FA branch courses taught at Fort Sill and in the National Guard Regional Training Institutions and manages mobilization POIs and plans for the school.
In addition, G3/DOTD is responsible for providing new equipment training (NET); planning out-year training strategies and student loads; maintaining the school's academic records; creating the new Fires Knowledge Network (FKN), which stood up on Army Knowledge Online (AKO) this fall; developing Master Gunner training; conducting distance learning; and supporting operational forces with FA subject matter experts (SMEs). Although this list is by no means all-inclusive, G3/DOTD also collects, maintains and incorporates into POIs all FA and fire support lessons learned from operations such as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
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Quality Assurance Office. The QAO was reestablished to advise the Commandant on the effectiveness and efficiency of his training programs and products. This office oversees the quality of Field Artillery training programs, both at Fort Sill and in the National Guard regions. QAO ensures we implement The Army School System (TASS) with the same critical tasks being taught to both the Reserve and Active Components.
The QAO's efforts already paid off this year in preparation for TRADOC's accreditation of the FA School. The school not only attained accreditation without difficulty, but also was recognized for having a TRADOC "QAO of Excellence."
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Historical Perspective. Since the early 1980s, the TRADOC school models and all other proponents have had an organization called the DOT (Directorate of Training) or DOTD (Directorate of Training and Doctrine), but the FA School had disbanded its DOTD in 1992. After only two years, in 1994 the school stood up a "DOTD light," called WIDD. This directorate was not a "DOTD," although it performed some of the DOTD functions. This caused some confusion both on and off Fort Sill.
During this latest reorganization, the school pulled back assets that had been given to the teaching departments and used some of the overhead savings and those from WIDD to reform the DOTD.
Later, the CG added some installation operations functions to DOTD and redesignated it as the G3/DOTD. This is an initiative several of the TRADOC proponents have taken in response to IMA's standing up and the transformation of higher-level staffs.
In 2001, the school diverged from the more traditional model of having a Directorate of Combat Developments (DCD) in the school and expanded that organization into the Futures Development Integration Center (FDIC). In October of that year, FDIC was stood up, combining Task Force XXI; the Depth and Simultaneous Battle Lab; Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Proponency Office for Sensors (TPO-Sensors); TRADOC Systems Managers for Cannons (TSM Cannon), Rocket and Missile Systems (TSM RAMS) and FA Tactical Data Systems (TSM FATDS); and other combat development functions. FDIC helps the program managers (PMs) develop FA systems and organizations from "cradle to grave."
Other Reorganization Initiatives. Three other key reorganization initiatives are the establishment of the Joint and Combined Integration Directorate (JACI) and the StratCom Directorate, both headed by colonels, and the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the G6.
JACI. As part of the TRADOC initiative to develop a standard model, Fort Sill proposed a JACI be established in the schools. Creating this directorate put "teeth" into Fort Sill's role as the Army's Joint Fires and Effects Integrator.
JACI provides additional colonel-level leadership to manage transformation and work joint issues. The authorization for the colonel director of JACI is redesignated from the former Deputy Assistant Commandant (DAC) position.
This directorate is still in the process of being stood up and will consist of personnel to handle all joint missions for Fort Sill. Its Joint Operations and Training Division will include personnel from all services. JACI also will include an Air Force Detachment to work the joint close air support (JCAS) and other joint training at Fort Sill. In the spring, the CG brought back CAS training to Fort Sill both in the school and with quarterly joint exercises run by III Corps Artillery.
The JACI director serves as one of TRADOC's key representatives on the JCAS Council of Colonels and, as a senior member of the FA, attends many other joint meetings that previously did not have senior FA representation.
One of JACI's initiatives is the three-week Joint Fires and Effects Course (JFEC). The first JFEC was conducted this fall with 25 students from various services attending.
JACI works the Joint Fires and Effects Training System (JFETS) in coordination with the G3 and Battle Lab. This prototype interactive virtual and simulated joint training system with a call-for-fire trainer embedded is already being used to train CCC students and for the culminating practical exercise (PE) in JFEC.
JACI also is resolving issues related to training Universal Observers who are proficient in the conduct of Types 2 and 3 CAS as well as surface-to-surface fires. Type 1 CAS is when the risk of fratricide requires the controller visually acquire the attacking aircraft and the target. Type 2 is when visually acquiring the attacking aircraft or target is not possible. Type 3 CAS is when the attacking aircraft poses a low risk of fratricide.
JACI has ensured a number of fire support personnel have received CAS training at the Air-Ground Operations School (AGOS) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
StratCom. Strategic Communications was stood up to better tell the branch's story to branch "stakeholders." StratCom advises the CG, DCG, Chief of Staff. JACI and others on strategies that communicate branch initiatives, issues and messages in a variety of venues to the appropriate audiences. StratCom develops strategic communications products to support the mission of the FA School and Fort Sill.
The Department of the Army has recognized the need for its major subordinate commands to have StratCom to help the Army proactively communicate its priorities to specific audiences, including those inside the Army. Department of Defense, civilian industries, various branches of the government and other agencies. Fort Sill's StratCom complements the Army Campaign Plan and the Army and TRADOC strategic communications efforts.
This focused marketing of specific themes and messages differs from operations typically carried out by the Public Affairs Office (PAO). PAO has the broader mission of keeping the American people and the Army informed and establishing conditions that lead to America's confidence in her Army.
PAO maintains positive relations with the civilian communities, communicates with the civilian news media and conducts command information programs. PAO and StratCom support each other, especially when strategic themes and messages need to be communicated to the public at large through the news media.
Another key difference is that PAO is not always proactive. It is often reactive, requiring the PAO to respond to inquiries from the media and advise the command of public concerns and issues. StratCom is almost always proactive and entails developing the right message, planning its delivery to the right person or audience, executing it at the right time and analyzing its effectiveness.
CIO/G6. Finally, the reorganization created a much-needed general staff office, the Chief Information Officer/G6.
The CIO/G6 manages the information systems of the Field Artillery Center and School. This officer and staff develop the strategic planning of FA information systems, determining the current and future information technology requirements for executing the center's and school's missions and the CG's priorities.
This office also coordinates with Fort Sill's Directorate of Information Management (DOIM) on information requirements and day-to-day information technology support for all mission activities.
This dramatic reorganization at Fort Sill has enabled us to resource top requirements, such as supporting the War on Terrorism and transformation of the Army. The Field Artillery School is transforming along with the Army and actively working to shape the transformation of our formations in the field.
The Field Artillery School produces world-class graduates competent in their joint fires and effects skills and imbued with Warrior ethos. Fort Sill is fulfilling its vital role as the Army's Joint Fires and Effects Integrator.
By Colonel Stephen D. Mitchell
Colonel Stephen D. Mitchell is the G3 and Director of the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD) for the Field Artillery Center and School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was the Senior Fire Support Observer/Controller (O/C) at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC), Hohenfels, Germany, and a Reinforcing Artillery Battalion Trainer and S3 Operations Trainer at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California. He commanded the 2d Battalion, 82d Field Artillery (2-82 FA), 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and C Battery, 2-9 FA (Pershing), 56th FA Command in Germany. Among other assignments, he was the Division Artillery Executive Officer (XO), Deputy Fire Support Coordinator and XO of 1-3 FA, all in the 2d Armored Division. He holds two master's degrees, including a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.