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Fires Warfighting Function

Ref: FM 3-0, Operations (2008), chap. 4 and FM 6-20, Fire Support in the Airland Battle, chap. 2 and chap. 3. The fires warfighting function is the related tasks and systems that provide collective and coordinated use of Army indirect fires, joint fires, and command and control warfare, including nonlethal fires, through the targeting process. It includes tasks associated with integrating and synchronizing the effects of these types of fires and command and control warfare--including nonlethal fires--with the effects of other warfighting functions. These are integrated into the concept of operations during planning and adjusted based on the targeting guidance. Fires normally contribute to the overall effect of maneuver but commanders may use them separately for the decisive operation and shaping operations. The fires warfighting function includes the following tasks: · Decide surface targets (see pp. 4-9 to 4-15) · Detect and locate surface targets (see pp. 4-16 to 4-19) · Assess effectiveness (see pp. 4-19 to 4-20) · Integrate command and control warfare, including nonlethal fires (Note: FM 3-0 para. 7-23 through 7-30 discuss command and control warfare; see pp. 1-93 to 1-96. When revised, FM 3-13 will address command and control warfare.) · Provide fire support (see pp. 4-21 to 4-28)

Chap 4

I. Basic Fire Support Tasks

Fire Support Tasks


Support Forces in Contact Support the Battle Plan Synchronize the Fire Support System Sustain the Fire Support System

Ref: FM 6-20, chap. 3.

A. Support Forces in Contact

The commander must provide responsive fire support (from available air, ground, and sea resources) that protects and ensures freedom of maneuver to forces in contact with the enemy in deep, close, and rear operations. The process by which this support is provided includes the actions discussed below. Fires 4-1


In All Phases of War

· Provide deep fires to disrupt, delay, and destroy enemy follow-on forces before they can engage friendly forces · Plan counterfire to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy's indirect-fire weapons · Provide fires to suppress known enemy air defense weapons immediately before and during flight by friendly aircraft within the area of operations (SEAD) · Provide offensive counterair fires to destroy, neutralize, or suppress aircraft and missiles on the ground

In Defensive Operations

· Provide adequate fire support to the security area forces, forces engaged in the main battle area (MBA), and forces conducting deep and rear operations · Plan counterpreparation fire to disrupt enemy preparations for an attack. These fires strike the enemy in his assembly areas, break up his attack formations, disorganize his target acquisition efforts, and reduce his morale. · Plan permissive fire support coordinating measures close enough to open up as much of the battlefield as possible, yet far enough away to avoid interference with friendly operations · Plan for target acquisition and control of fires on all avenues of approach · Plan targets on avenues of approach to disrupt enemy attacks by striking the enemy during his assault. Subsequently, the fire is shifted to continue attacking him until he is forced to break off the attack · Select planned targets on the most critical avenues of approach, and allocate fire units for final protective fires


In Offensive Operations

· Allocate responsive fire support for leading elements · Allocate fire support for the neutralization of enemy bypassed combat forces · Provide preparation fire, when required, to weaken the enemy's resistance. These fires disrupt, disorganize, or neutralize his defense. Target acquisition must be timely and accurate, and adequate attack resources must be made available; or surprise may be jeopardized. · Plan targets to protect assaulting troops by neutralizing or suppressing enemy direct-fire weapons · Plan fires beyond objectives to prevent enemy reinforcement during the attack and to support friendly consolidations once the objective has been seized · Use permissive fire support coordinating measures (fire support coordination line and coordinated fire line) to preclude endangering friendly forces

B. Support the Battle Plan

The force commander must retain direct control over enough firepower to influence the battle by attacking high-payoff targets, the loss of which prevents the enemy from interfering with our operations or effectively developing his own. Of particular concern to the force commander are the large-scale attack of counterfire targets, deep interdiction, and support of rear operations. The battle plan is supported as discussed below.

In Defensive Operations

· Disorganize, delay, and disrupt critical enemy elements before the attack · Plan counterfire against enemy indirect-fire systems attacking critical friendly elements

4-2 Fires


The FSCOORD must ensure the following: · The various components of the FS system are protected from enemy action · When possible, subsequent firing positions are prepared before the operation · All elements of the fire support system take action to counter the enemy's firepower and maneuver by ensuring that personnel, equipment, and systems are difficult to locate, strike, and destroy

Logistic Support

The FSCOORD must ensure the following: · Stocks and supplies within the command are protected and properly positioned to sustain fire support systems · Weapon systems and all other equipment are maintained in a high state of readiness within the command, and external support systems are properly understood and used by the fire support element · The logistics requirements of firing units are clearly and expeditiously made known to supporting elements · When necessary, strict controls and priorities on supplies are employed to ensure strength at the decisive time and place. While fire support plans may be based on a required supply rate, they must be adjusted to conform to the controlled supply rate.


Technical Support

The FSCOORD must ensure the following: · Command and control facilities are redundant where possible · Fire support personnel are well-trained and, most important, training is continuous · Firing systems and support equipment are mobile and correctly emplaced · The technical aspects of fire support (meteorology, survey, and communications) are accurate and rapid

II. Fire Support Tactical Missions

If the commander's intent cannot be conveyed accurately with one of the standard field artillery tactical missions, a nonstandard tactical mission may be assigned. These missions amplify limit, or change one or more of the inherent responsibilities or spell out contingencies not covered by those responsibilities.

Fire Support Tactical Missions

1. Direct Support (DS) 2. Reinforcing (R) 3. General Support Reinforcing (GSR) 4. General Support

Ref: FM 6-20, chap. 2.

4-4 Fires

1. Direct Support (DS)

A battalion operating in direct support of a maneuver brigade is concerned primarily with the field artillery support needs of only that brigade. The DS battalion commander is the FSCOORD for the supported maneuver force. Fires are planned and coordinated with the maneuver unit, and the DS battalion commander positions his unit where it can best support the scheme of maneuver. If the battalion cannot provide the support required for a planned scheme of maneuver, the FSCOORD must inform the supported maneuver commander. The same battalion should support the same maneuver force habitually to enhance coordination and the training effort. Direct support is the most decentralized standard tactical mission.

2. Reinforcing (R)

Reinforcing is a tactical mission that causes one FA battalion to augment the fires of another FA battalion. When a direct support FA battalion needs additional fires to meet the FA support needs of a maneuver force, the reinforcing mission may be assigned to another FA battalion.

3. General Support Reinforcing (GSR)

4. General Support (GS)

A battalion assigned the mission of general support supports the force as a whole and stays under the immediate control of the force artillery headquarters. This mission makes artillery immediately responsive to the needs of the force commander. It is the most centralized of the standard tactical missions.

III. Fundamentals of Organization

There are five fundamentals in organizing the field artillery for battle. The FSCOORD or FSO recommends and the commander approves the organization of the artillery on the basis of the factors of METT-TC. These fundamentals influence the assignment of specific tactical missions that are given to the artillery. The memory aid AWIFM is defined below.

Fundamentals of Organization

1. Adequate field artillery support 2. Weight to the main effort 3. Facilitate future operations 4. Immediately available 5. Maximum feasible centralized control

Ref: FM 6-20, chap. 2.

Fires 4-5


The GSR mission requires the FA battalion to furnish artillery fires for the force as a whole and to reinforce the fires of another FA battalion as a second priority. A GSR battalion remains under the control of the force artillery headquarters, which has priority of fires. The GSR mission offers the force commander flexibility to meet the requirements of a variety of tactical situations.

1. Adequate Fire Support for Committed Combat Units 2. Weight to Main Effort

Provide adequate fire support for committed units, Each committed maneuver unit should have enough fire support to meet its mission. Provide assets to your main attack in the offense. Give more strength to the most vulnerable areas in the defense. Through the use of different tactical missions, field artillery can concentrate more firepower on selected areas instantly.

3. Facilitate Future Operations

Assign future operations. To ensure success in the future and to ensure smooth transition for each phase of the operation, the artillery will issue on-order missions with standard tactical missions. Again, flexibility and responsiveness also are increased by positioning FA units where they can assume another mission without extreme positioning changes.

4. Immediately Available Fire Support to Influence the Action

Always have fire support available. Always keep some fire support available for yourself.

5. Maximum Feasible Centralized Control


Allow maximum feasible centralized control of fire support. It is most effective when control is at the highest command level consistent with the overall mission. Flexibility, responsiveness, and the ability to mass fires are enhanced.

IV. Effects

Ref: FM 6-20-40 TTP for Fire Support for Brigade Operations, app. H. See also p. 4-15. Different targets require different level of casualties and equipment damage before the target can no longer achieve its mission. Of course, other less tangible factors such as target esprit, morale, and leadership affect the level of firepower needed to achieve this effect. There are three levels of destructive effect:

Levels of Effect

1. Destructive Fire - 30% 2. Neutralization Fire - 20% 3. Suppressive Fire - 10%

1. Destructive Fire

Concentrated on a target to physically damage it to such an extent that it is made useless. However, it must be realized that 30 percent of casualties and equipment destroyed requires a lot of ammunition.

2. Neutralization Fire

Delivered to hamper, restrict, or interrupt enemy operations and to reduce the enemy's combat effectiveness. Achieving 20 percent casualties normally is enough to neutralize.

3. Suppressive Fire

4-6 Fires

Facilitate maneuver by stunning the enemy only while firing is occurring. Achieving 10 percent casualties normally is enough to suppress.

I. Targeting (D3A)

Ref: FM 6-20-10, The Targeting Process, chap. 2 and FM 34-8-2, app. F. Targeting is a combination of intelligence functions, planning battle command, weaponeering, operational execution, and combat assessment. The decide, detect, deliver, and assess methodology facilitates the attack of the right target with the right asset at the right time. The targeting process provides an effective method for matching the friendly force capabilities against enemy targets. Targeting is a dynamic process; it must keep up with the changing face of the battlefield. The tools and products described in this chapter must be continually updated on the basis of combat assessment and situation development.

Chap 4

Targeting Methodology










Target Development TVA HPT and HVT TSS Attack Options Attack Guidance

Target Deception Means Detection Procedures Target Tracking

Attack Planned Targets Targets of Opportunity Desired Effects Attack Systems

Tactical Level Operational Level Restrike Feedback

Ref: FM 6-20-10, chap. 2 and FM 34-8-2, app. F.

I. Decide

The decide function, as the first step in the targeting process, provides the overall focus and sets priorities for intelligence collection and attack planning. Targeting priorities must be addressed for each phase or critical event of an operation. The decisions made are reflected in visual products.

Decide Products

1. High-Payoff Target List (HPTL) 2. Intelligence Collection Plan 3. Target Selection Standards (TSSs) 4. Attack Guidance Matrix (AGM)

(Fires) I. Targeting (D3A) 4-9

Ref: FM 34-8-2, fig. F-3, pp. F-3 to F-5.

D3A Targeting Checklist

Are TA and BDA requirements distributed properly among systems that can accomplish both?

I. Decide

Do the commander's planning guidance and intent contain enough detail to enable the targeting team to determine: - HVTs to nominate as HPTs? - Desired effects on each HPT? - When to attack each HPT? - Any restrictions or constraints? - Which HPTs require BDA? What targeting assets (organic, attached, supporting) are available to detect and attach HPTs? What detect, deliver, and assess support is needed from higher HQ? When must requests to higher HQ be submitted to obtain support when reqd? Have target tracking responsibilities been established? Are systems in place to handoff the detected targets to assets that are capable of tracking them? What detect, deliver, and assess support is required from subordinate units; when is it required? What detect, deliver, and assess support requests have been received from subordinate units? Has the AGM been synchronized with the DST and the maneuver and FS plans? Are all commands using a common datum for locations? If not, are procedures in place to correct differences in data?

III. Deliver

Have communications links been established between detection systems, the decisionmaker, and delivery systems? Have responsibilities been assigned for attacking each HPT? Has a backup attack system been identified for each critical HPT? (The primary system may not be available at the time the HPT is verified.) Have FSCMs or AGMs and clearance procedures been established to facilitate target engagement? Have O/O FSCMs or AGMs been established to facilitate future and transition operations? Have fratricide situations been identified; have procedures been established to positively control each situation? Have responsibilities been assigned to the appropriate unit or agency for tracking specific HPTs and providing BDA on specified HPTs? What are the procedures to update the HPTL and synchronize the AGM and DST if it becomes necessary to change the scheme of maneuver and FS as the situation changes?

IV. Assess

II. Detect

Does collection plan focus on PIR HPTs? What accuracy, timeliness, and validity standards (TSS) are in effect for detection and delivery systems? Are all TA systems fully employed? Have backup TA systems been identified for HPTs? Have responsibilities been assigned to the appropriate unit and/or agency for detecting each HPT? Are HPTs being tracked? Have verification procedures using backup systems been established?

Are the collection assets linked to specific HPTs still available? Have the collection asset managers been notified of the attack of a target requiring assessment? Have assessment asset managers been updated as to the actual target location? Has all the coordination for the assessment mission, particularly airborne assets, been accomplished? What is the status of BDA collection? Has the info from the msn been delivered to the appropriate agency for evaluation? Has the tgt team reviewed the results of the attack to determine restrike rqmts? Has the target intelligence gathered from the assessment been incorporated into the overall enemy situation development? (Fires) I. Targeting (D3A) 4-13


Example TSS Matrix

HPT COPs RISTA 2S3 M-46 ADA CPs Ammunition Maneuver

Target Selections Standards

Timeliness 3 hr 30 min 30 min 30 min 15 min 3 hr 6 hr 1 hr

Accuracy 150 m 150 m 500 m 500 m 500 m 500 m 1 km 150 m

Ref: FM 34-8-2, fig. F-6, p. F-10.

Considering these factors, different TSS may exist for a given enemy activity on the basis of different attack systems. For example, an enemy artillery battery may have a 150-meter TLE requirement for attack by cannon artillery and a 1 km requirement for attack helicopters. TSS are developed by the FSE in conjunction with MI personnel. Intelligence analysts use TSS to quickly determine targets from battlefield information and pass the targets to the FSE. Attack system managers, such as FSEs, FCEs, or FDCs, use TSS to quickly identify targets for attack. Commands can develop standard TSS based on anticipated enemy OB and doctrine matched with the normally available attack systems.


D. Attack Guidance Matrix (AGM)

The attack guidance matrix (AGM), approved by the commander, addresses which targets will be attacked, how, when, and the desired effects. The products of the decide function are briefed to the commander. Upon his approval, his decisions are translated into the OPORD with annexes. Knowing target vulnerabilities and the effect an attack will have on enemy operations allows a staff to propose the most efficient available attack option. Key guidance is whether the commander wishes to disrupt, delay, limit damage, or destroy the enemy. During wargaming, DPs linked to events, areas (NAIs and TAIs), or points on the battlefield are developed. These DPs cue the command decisions and staff actions where tactical decisions are needed. On the basis of commander's guidance, the targeting team recommends how each target should be engaged in terms of the effects of fire and attack options to use. Effects of fire (see Joint Pub 1-02) can be to harass, suppress, neutralize, or destroy the target. The subjective nature of what is meant by these terms means the commander must ensure the targeting team understands his use of them. Applying FS automation system default values further complicates this understanding.

4-14 (Fires) I. Targeting (D3A)

III. Deliver

The deliver function of the targeting process executes the target attack guidance and supports the commander's battle plan once the HPTs have been located and identified.

Attack of Targets

The attack of targets must satisfy the attack guidance developed in the decide function. Target attack requires several decisions and actions. These decisions fall into two categories--tactical and technical.

Attack of Targets - Decision Categories

A. Tactical Decisions - The time of attack - The desired effect, or degree of damage - The attack system to be used B. Technical Decisions - Number and type of munitions - Unit to conduct the attack - Response time of the attacking unit

Ref: FM 6-20-10, p. 2-12.

A. Tactical Decisions

1. Time of Attack

The time of attack is determined according to the type of target-planned target or target of opportunity.

2. Planned Targets

Some targets will not appear as anticipated. Target attack takes place only when the forecasted enemy activity occurs in the projected time or place. The detection and tracking of activities associated with the target becomes the trigger for target attack. Once the designated activity is detected the targeting team does the following: · The G2 verifies the enemy activity as the planned target to be attacked. This is done by monitoring decision points and TAIs/NAIs associated with HPTs. · The G2 validates the target by conducting a final check of the reliability of the source and the accuracy (time and location) of the target. Then he passes the target to the FSE. · The current operations officer checks the legality of the target in terms of the rules of engagement (ROE) · The FSE determines if the attack system(s) planned is available and still the best system for the attack · The FSE coordinates as required with higher, lower, and adjacent units, other services, allies, and host nation. This is particularly important where potential fratricide situations are identified. (Fires) I. Targeting (D3A) 4-17


· The FSE issues the fire mission request to the appropriate executing unit(s) · The FSE informs the G2 of target attack · The G2 alerts the appropriate system responsible for BDA (when applicable)

3. Targets of Opportunity

High-payoff targets of opportunity are processed the same as planned HPTs. Targets of opportunity not on the HPTL are first evaluated to determine when or if they should be attacked. The decision to attack targets of opportunity follows the attack guidance and is based on a number of factors such as the following: · Activity of the target · Dwell time · Target payoff compared to other targets currently being processed for engagement If the decision is made to attack immediately, the target is processed further. The availability and capabilities of attack systems to engage the target are assessed. If the target exceeds the capabilities or availability of the unit attack systems, the target should be sent to a higher headquarters for immediate attack. If the decision is to defer the attack, continue tracking, determine decision point(s) for attack, and modify collection taskings as appropriate.

4. Desired Effects


Effects of fires can only be properly assessed by an observer or with an analysts. At brigade and TF, it is important that each target has a primary and alternate observer. The observers must understand the desired effects, when and for how long they are required. When in doubt about the commander's intent, ask--never assume. Emphasis on this issue during training will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of fire support.

5. Attack System

The last tactical decision to be made is the selection of the appropriate attack system. For planned targets, this decision should have been made during the decide function of the targeting process. A check must be made to ensure that the selected attack system is available and can conduct the attack. If not, the targeting team must determine the best system available to attack the target. All available attack assets should be considered. In some cases, the target attach must be coordinated among two or more attack systems.

B. Technical Decisions

Once the tactical decisions have been made, the FS cell directs the attack system to attack the target. The FS cell provides the attack system manager with the following: · Selected time of attack · Effects desired in accordance with previous discussion · Any special restraints or requests for particular munitions types The attack system manager (FSCOORD, ALO, avn bde LO, NGLO, and so on) determines if his system can meet the requirements. If his system is unable to meet the requirements, he notifies the FS cell. There are various reasons an attack system may not be able to meet the requirements. Some are: · System not available at the specified time · Required munitions not available · Target out of range The FS cell must decide if the selected system should attack under different criteria or if a different system should be used. 4-18 (Fires) I. Targeting (D3A)

IV. Assess

Combat assessment is the determination of the effectiveness of force employment during military operations. (Note: See also p. 3-13). Combat assessment is composed of three elements: · BDA, which is the timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the application of lethal or nonlethal military force against a target · MEA, which is an assessment of the military force in terms of weapon systems and munitions effectiveness · Reattack recommendation

A. Battle Damage Assessment (BDA)

In combination, BDA and MEA inform the commander of effects against targets and target sets. Based on this, the threat's ability to make and sustain war and centers of gravity are continuously estimated. During the review of the effects of the campaign, restrike recommendations are proposed or executed. BDA pertains to the results of attacks on targets designated by the commander. Producing BDA is primarily an intelligence responsibility, but requires coordination with operational elements. BDA requirements must be translated into PIR. It accomplishes the following: At the tactical level, commanders use BDA to get a series of timely and accurate snapshots of their effect on the enemy. It provides commanders an estimate of the enemy's combat effectiveness, capabilities, and intentions. This helps commanders determine when or if their targeting effort is accomplishing their objectives. BDA helps to determine if restrike is necessary. Commanders use BDA to allocate or redirect attack systems to make the best use of available combat power.

B. Munitions Effectiveness Assessment (MEA)

The G3 through the targeting team conducts MEA concurrently and interactively with BDA as a function of combat assessment. MEA is used as the basis for recommending changes to increase effectiveness in-- · Methodology · Tactics · Weapon systems · Munitions · Weapon delivery parameters The G3 develops MEA by determining the effectiveness of tactics, weapons systems, and munitions. Munitions effect on targets can be calculated by obtaining rounds fired on specific targets by artillery assets. The targeting team may generate modified commander's guidance concerning-- · UBL · RSR · CSR The need for BDA for specific HPTs is determined during the decide function. Record BDA on the AGM and intelligence collection plan. The resources used for BDA are the same resources used for target development and TA. An asset used for BDA may not be available for target development and TA. The ACE receives, processes, and disseminates to the targeting team the results of attack, which are analyzed in terms of desired effects. (Fires) I. Targeting (D3A) 4-19


II. Fire Support Systems

Ref: FM 6-20, Fire Support in the Airland Battle, chap. 2. The mission of field artillery is to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy by cannon, rocket, and missile fire and to help integrate all fire support assets into combined arms operations.

I. Field Artillery

Chap 4


The field artillery system provides close support to maneuver forces, counterfire, and interdiction as required. These fires neutralize, canalize, or destroy enemy attack formations or defenses; obscure the enemy's vision or otherwise inhibit his ability to acquire and attack friendly targets; and destroy targets deep in the enemy rear with long-range rocket or missile fires. Field artillery support can range from conventional fires in a company zone to massive nuclear and chemical fires across a corps front. These fires are used to engage enemy troops, weapons, or positions that are threatening or can threaten the force in either the attack or the defense. They allow the commander to rapidly multiply combat power effects and shift fires quickly about the battlefield. Close support expands battlefield depth, erodes enemy forces, and inflicts damage well beyond direct-fire ranges.

2. Counterfires

Counterfires are used to attack enemy indirect-fire systems, to include mortar, artillery, air defense, missile, and rocket systems. Observation posts and field artillery command and control facilities are also counterfire targets. Counterfire allows freedom of action to supported maneuver forces and is provided by mortars, cannons, guns, and aircraft. Within the field artillery, counterfire is normally the primary responsibility of general support (GS) and general support reinforcing (GSR) units. However, it may be fired by any unit.

3. Interdiction Fires

These fires are used to disrupt, delay, and destroy enemy forces that, because of range limitations or intervening terrain, cannot fire their primary weapon systems on friendly forces. Targets include first-echelon forces not participating in the direct battle and follow-on echelons. Interdiction fires create `windows" for friendly unit offensive maneuver.

Delivery System Characteristics

Field artillery delivery systems include cannons, rockets, and missiles. These systems can provide fires under all conditions of weather and in all types of terrain. They can shift and mass fires rapidly without having to displace. The extended ranges of rockets and missiles enable the commander to strike deep. A variety of cannon munitions provides increased flexibility in attacking targets. Field artillery units are as mobile as the units they support. Field artillery units also have several limitations:

(Fires) II. Fire Support Systems 4-21


1. Close Support Fires

· A firing signature that makes the unit vulnerable to detection by enemy target acquisition assets · Limited self-defense capability against ground and air attacks · Limited ability to destroy armored, moving targets


· Adds depth to the battlefield. The field artillery can strike and destroy the enemy deep before he can influence the battle. · Provides a variety of ammunition and fuze combinations · Provides continuous fires under all conditions of weather, day or night, and from all types of terrain · Shifts and masses fires rapidly · Is as mobile as maneuver forces


· Is an area fire weapon. However, in selective instances, point targets can be destroyed by using guided or homing FA projectiles. These projectiles are expensive and in limited quantities. They must be used only against high-payoff targets. · Has a limited ability to survive enemy ground, air, and artillery attacks. Weapons can be detected because of their large signature from communications and firing. Therefore, artillery must displace periodically. · It is not intended to be used in the direct-fire mode


II. Mortars

The mission of mortars is to provide immediate and close supporting fires to the maneuver forces in contact.


Maneuver unit mortars provide close, immediately responsive fire support for committed battalions, companies, and troops. These fires neutralize, canalize, suppress, or destroy enemy attack formations and defenses; obscure the enemy's vision; or otherwise inhibit his ability to acquire friendly targets. They also can be used for final protective fires, smoke, and illumination.

Delivery System Characteristics

Mortars are high-angle, relatively-short-range, high-rate-of-fire, area-fire weapons. Their mobility makes them well-suited for close support of maneuver. Their positions are seldom surveyed; hence, they require adjustment, which results in loss of surprise and greater ammunition expenditure. Also, because of their high-angle fire, they are more susceptible to enemy target acquisition and to winds that can make their dispersion greater than that of low-angle-fire weapons. They are ideal weapons for attacking targets on reverse slopes, m narrow gullies, m ditches, in military operations on urban terrain (MOUT), and in other areas that are difficult to reach with low-angle fire. However, ammunition-carrying capacity limits periods of firing. Mortars are especially effective for smoke and illumination missions.

4-22 (Fires) II. Fire Support Systems

· The pilot is an excellent source of intelligence for poststrike reporting and acquisition of other targets and general information · Aircraft can carry only a limited combination of weapons and fuel. Their response and station time capability may be restricted · Although certain aircraft and weapons have all-weather and night operation capability, weather and darkness still may affect the ability to deliver the optimum weapon on a particular target


· Has high speed and long range. Thus, it can attack targets close to the forward line of own troops (FLOT) and out to and beyond the fire support coordination line (FSCL). · Provides a variety of munitions with a high first-hit probability · Destroys large point targets and moving targets · Delivers, guides, and helps guide smart laser munitions


· Is the most difficult of all fire support means to coordinate close to friendly troops. This is because aerial- and surface-delivered fires must be delivered at the same time into a confined area. · Is vulnerable to effective air defense and counterair · Has certain munitions which may be unsuitable to deliver in conditions of limited visibility and ceiling height

· May be limited by the aircraft available · May require long lead times for preplanned missions · Has limited loiter times · Requires airspace coordination · May require suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) Note: For more discussion on specific types of aircraft and their capabilities see FM 6-20-30, FM 6- 20-40, or FM 6-20-50.

V. Army Aviation

Army aviation performs the full spectrum of combat, combat support, and combat service support missions. Aviation units destroy enemy forces by fire and maneuver; perform target acquisition and reconnaissance; enhance command and control; and move combat personnel, supplies, and equipment in compliance with the overall scheme of maneuver.


In support of the fire support mission area, Army aviation functions in the following roles:

1. Dedicated Aerial Forward Observation

Target acquisition reconnaissance platoons and companies provide aerial observation or transport field artillery forward observers to vantage points that otherwise are impractical to reach. With their lasing capability, these units can provide terminal guidance information for a variety of precision-guided munitions.

(Fires) II. Fire Support Systems 4-25


· Losses effectiveness at night and in poor weather conditions

2. Air Movement of Weapon Systems and/or Ammunition

Utility and cargo aircraft carry artillery to firing positions deep into enemy territory to achieve surprise. These aircraft also move weapons and ammunition to support widely dispersed field artillery units in support of close operations. This offers both speed of movement and flexibility of employment to the ground commander. Also, Army helicopters can move special munitions in support of field artillery operations.

3. Air Reconnaissance

Air reconnaissance units obtain and report near-real-time intelligence information that is used for fire support targeting.

4. Intelligence Electronic Warfare

Fixed- and rotary-wing special electronic mission aircraft (SEMA) serve as IEW platforms for acquiring targets for fire support assets SEMA helicopters provide airborne communications intercept, direction finding (DF), and jamming in support of division and armored cavalry regiment (ACR) IEW operations. Also, corps fixed-wing SEMA provide aerial reconnaissance, surveillance communications intercept, and EW target acquisition in support of corps IEW operations.

5. Attack Helicopter Operations

The primary mission of attack helicopter units is to destroy armor and mechanized forces. Attack helicopters are employed as maneuver forces in combined arms operations to maximize their weapons and aircraft capabilities in accomplishing the commander's antiarmor missions. They are ideally suited for situations in which rapid reaction time is important or where terrain restricts ground forces. On the basis of the commander's risk-versus-payoff assessment, attack helicopter units may be infrequently tasked to provide fire support when no other fire support elements or assets are available (for example, m deep operations or while operating with ground maneuver forces in a low-intensity conflict environment out of range of friendly artillery). When tailored for this mission, attack helicopters lose their antiarmor systems to provide aerial rocket fire. (They trade precision antiarmor weapons for area suppression weapons.) Although these aircraft have the capability to fire aerial rockets indirectly at extended ranges the fires delivered are not accurate enough to warrant the large expenditure of ammunition required to perform this type of mission. To accurately employ aerial rockets, the aircraft, using running fire techniques, have to close with the enemy forces within ranges that make them vulnerable to a multitude of Threat air defense weapon systems. This loss of the antiarmor capability and increased vulnerability dictate that attack helicopters be used in a dedicated fire support role only on rare occasions.


6. Aerial Mine Delivery

The Army is fielding the Volcano aerial mine delivery system. This system gives assault helicopter units the capability to lay hasty antitank and antipersonnel minefields. When integrated with the obstacle/barrier plan, the fire support plan, and the ground commander's scheme of maneuver, this capability increases the effect of canalizing and defeating the opposing force.

7. Aeromedical Evacuation 8. JAAT Operations

Aeromedical units provide evacuation for wounded and injured personnel on a mission-by-mission basis. Upon receipt of a JAAT mission, the aviation commander assumes responsibility for the coordination and execution of the JAAT operations. He should be keenly aware of the ground and air tactical plan.

4-26 (Fires) II. Fire Support Systems

III. Fire Support Terms & Graphics

Ref: FM 1-02, Operational Terms and Graphics.

I. Fire Planning Terms

1. Priority Targets

Priority targets are targets on which delivery of fires takes precedence over all fires for the designated element or unit.

Chap 4

2. Final Protective Fires

Final protective fires are a special set of priority targets immediately available to maneuver units. They are designed mainly for defensive operations to create a final barrier of steel which keeps the enemy from moving across the defensive lines. Final protective fires are desperation fires. They should not be called for unless all else has failed.

3. Obscuration Fires

Obscuration fires mainly employ smoke and WP munitions. They suppress the enemy by obscuring his view of the battlefield. Obscuring the enemy's view slows his movement, obscures his direct-fire and night-vision sights, and causes extreme confusion between his soldiers and command and control elements.

4. Screening Fires

Screening fires mask friendly maneuver elements and conceal the nature of their operation. Like obscuration fires, screening fires must not handicap adjacent friendly units.

5. Preparation

A preparation is an intense volume of fire delivered according to a time schedule to support an attack. It may include several integrated weapon systems or just one. The decision of whether or not a preparation is fired is based on : · Will the preparation forewarn the enemy of an imminent attack? · Are there enough known targets, ammunition, and firing units to plan for and fire an effective preparation? · Will the enemy recover before the results of the preparation are exploited? Is he dug in or exposed? · Will the firing units have to move for survivability immediately after the preparation, thereby reducing the firepower available to the attacking force?

6. Counterpreparation

A counterpreparation is very similar to the preparation except it is delivered just before the start of an enemy attack. It is usually on call, since initiation depends on enemy actions.

(Fires) III. Fire Support Terms & Graphics 4-29


III. Restrictive Measures

1. Airspace Coordination Area (ACA )

In fire support operations, a restrictive fire support coordination measure that establishes a three-dimensional block of airspace in the battle area in which friendly aircraft are reasonable safe from friendly surface fires. Aircraft and indirect fire are separated by time, space, or altitude. The purpose of the ACA is to allow the simultaneous attack of targets near each other by multiple fire support means, one of which normally is air.

2. No-Fire Area (NFA)

An area in which no fires or effects of fires are allowed. Two exceptions are (1) when establishing headquarters approves fires temporarily within the NFA on a mission basis, and (2) when the enemy force within the NFA engages a friendly force, the commander may engage the enemy to defend his force.

3. No-Fire Line (NFL)

A line short of which artillery or ships do not fire except on request or approval of the supported commander, but beyond which they may fire at any time without danger to friendly troops.

4. Restrictive Fire Area (RFA)

An area in which specific restrictions are imposed and into which fires that exceed those restrictions may not be delivered without prior coordination with the establishing headquarters.

5. Restrictive Fire Line (RFL)

A line established between converging friendly forces (one or both may be moving) that prohibits fires or effects from fires across the line without coordination with the affected force. It is established by the next higher common commander of the converging forces.

Airspace Coordination Area (ACA)

Coordinated Fire Line (CFL)

Fire Support Coordination Line (FSCL)

Free Fire Area (FFA)

No Fire Area (NFA)

No Fire Line (NFL)

Restrictive Fire Area (RFA)

Restrictive Fire Line (RFL)

(Fires) III. Fire Support Terms & Graphics 4-31


IV. Zones

Zones are a means of prioritizing radar sectors of search into areas of greater and lesser importance. Zones allow us to orient on the maneuver commander's battlefield priorities. A zone is a geometric figure placed around an area that designates the area as more, or less, important than other areas.

1. Critical Friendly Zones (CFZ)

A CFZ is an area, usually a friendly unit or location, that the maneuver commander designates as critical. It is used to protect an asset whose loss would seriously jeopardize the mission. When the computer predicts that an enemy round will impact in a CFZ, the location of the weapon that fired the round will be reported by the computer in precedence ahead of all other detections. Any location of a weapon firing into a CFZ will result in an immediate call for fire, unless it is manually overridden by the radar operator. A CFZ provides for the most responsive submission of targets to the fire support system.

2. Call-For-Fire Zones (CFFZ)

A CFFZ designates a search area forward of the FLOT that the maneuver commander wants suppressed, neutralized, or destroyed. An area designated as a CFFZ would likely be on a suspected regimental artillery group (RAG) or division artillery group (DAG) position and is closely tied to information developed during the IPB process. A CFFZ provides the second most responsive priority of requests for fire generated by the radar.


3. Artillery Target Intelligence Zones (ATIZ)

An ATIZ is an area in enemy territory that the maneuver commander wishes to monitor closely. Any weapons acquired in this zone will be reported to the TACFIRE computer ahead of all target detections except CFZ and CFFZ, but the detections will only result in a target report.

4. Censor Zones (CZ)

A CZ is an area from which the commander wishes to ignore all target detections. CZs must be used very judiciously, since the computer does not report to the operator a round originating from a CZ. A CZ may be used to ignore a friendly artillery position that because of its aspect angle to the radar be detected as enemy artillery. This situation could occur when an uneven FLOT exists or when friendly units are in enemy territory.

General Fire Support Graphics

Area Target Group of Targets (Fired at the same time)

Linear Target

Nuclear Target

Position Area for Artillery (PAA) -Paladin 2km x 2km Target (Point/Single)

Position Area for Artillery (PAA) -MLRS 3km x 3km Target (Circular)

4-32 (Fires) III. Fire Support Terms & Graphics


The Army Operations & Doctrine SMARTbook

18 pages

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