Figure 2-1.

This chapter focuses on each component of the system in terms of its capabilities and functions. It provides a general reference for the force commander and his staff on what these fire support assets do and how they contribute to the delivery of effective fire support. It addresses field artillery (FA) responsibilities and the three components of the fire support system.

Section I



In recent years, the mission of the field artillery has consisted of dual responsibilities. FM 100-5 states these two responsibilities as follows: "The principal fire support element in fire and maneuver is the field artillery. It not only provides conventional, nuclear, or chemical fires with cannon, rocket, and missile systems; but it also integrates all means of fire support available to the commander." The dual nature of this mission dictates a definite division of responsibility for the field artillery commander.


Field artillery commanders at corps, division, and brigade levels supervise the operation of the force commander's fire support coordination agencies in addition to commanding their respective field artillery organizations. This dual responsibility requires the field artillery commander to know the functions and objectives of the force, the operation of the force fire support system, and the technical aspects of field artillery fire.


Field artillery is organized at corps, division, and brigade with a specific command and control structure that enables the field artillery commander to accomplish both aspects of his mission. There is a field artillery headquarters and headquarters battery (HHB) in each corps and division artillery (div arty) organization, field artillery brigade, and close support field artillery battalion.

The HHB provides a command post (CP) for the command and control of field artillery and also provides the nucleus of a fire support element (FSE) to the force commander. Both the field artillery CP and the FSE are supervised on a full-time basis by the field artillery commander's designated representative.

The S3 operations officer usually is in charge of the field artillery CP. The fire support officer (FSO) or assistant fire support coordinator (AFSCOORD) is in charge of the FSE. How the field artillery commander divides his time and emphasis between the FSE and the field artillery CP will depend on the force commander's guidance, the combat situation, and the general fire support state of readiness.

As the FSCOORD, the field artillery commander will spend most of his time either with the force commander or in the FSE. It is important that the commander and key staff officers within the maneuver command recognize and understand that the field artillery commander is equally responsible for both aspects of the field artillery-fire support mission. Also, the field artillery commander must recognize and understand that he bears the full responsibility for ensuring the efficient, effective operation of the FSE, just as he bears the command responsibility for ensuring timely and effective field artillery fire.

Section II



Responsibility for command, control, and coordination of the fire support system begins with the force commander. He alone is responsible for what his command does in determining the outcome of battle. The effective control of fire support is as critical as the control of maneuver forces. For this reason, the force commander seeks and may accept counsel on fire support from his FSCOORD, but he must decide how his command will accomplish its mission. Fire support agencies are established in unit command posts from echelons above corps (EAC) to company level to assist in this decision and execution process. These organizations enable the force commander, advised by the FSCOORD, to direct the use of fire support.


Battlefield Coordination Element

The primary fire support consideration at EAC is the allocation of resources, especially air support assets, and the corresponding requirements to provide J-SEAD for air assets. The major Army The organization that exists at EAC and is involved in the coordination of fire support is the battlefield coordination element (BCE). The BCE provides a complete interface between the land component commander (LCC) and the air component commander (ACC) for conducting the battle. BCE is established by the LCC and is collocated with the Air Force tactical air control center (TACC). As the combat operations center of the ACC, the TACC supervises the activities of assigned and attached air forces, air defense operations, and airspace control matters. It monitors the actions of both friendly and enemy forces. The BCE processes land force requests for tactical air support, monitors and interprets the land battle situation for the TACC, and provides the necessary interface for the exchange of current operational and intelligence data.

Army Groups and Armies

If a theater of war is organized into army groups and armies, it will be necessary to provide (from Army troops) fire support officers and fire support sections at the headquarters of these units. The primary responsibility of the fire support officer at these levels will be to advise the respective commanders of the operational aspects of fire support capabilities. This includes the apportionment and allocation of fire support assets, logistical considerations, and nuclear and chemical fire planning.


The FSEs at corps and division are essentially similar in structure. Both corps and division have FSEs located in the main and tactical command posts. They are supervised by the FSCOORD. The FSCOORD and his staff are the nucleus of the FSE, which also includes the fire support resources discussed in the following paragraphs.

Air Support Operations Center

The focal point for coordinating air support at corps is the air support operations center (ASOC). The ASOC should be collocated with the FSE and the corps Army airspace command and control (A2C2) element at the main CP. The ASOC should have the air liaison officer or his designated representative in the FSE. At division, the tactical air control party (TACP) should be positioned near the FSE and the A C element at the main CP. The ALO or his designated representative should be in the FSE.

Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company

The division coordinates naval fire support through the division air/naval gunfire section of the ANGLICO. This US Marine Corps organization alsocollocates with the division A2C2 element and the FSE. The ANGLICO commander serves as the divisional naval gunfire officer. Because of the design of the ANGLICO, the division is normally the highest echelon that establishes liaison with naval fire support assets.

Army Aviation

When Army aviation is employed as fire support, representatives of the corps and division aviation officers coordinate directly with the FSE.

Electronic Warfare Section

The G3 controls the use of electronic warfare; however, the electronic warfare section (EWS) usually collocates with the FSE to facilitate target acquisition and fire support planning and execution. This group is responsible for advising the brigade on the capabilities of supporting intelligence assets and for coordinating the employment of supporting EW assets.

Air Defense Artillery

When Army air defense artillery is employed as fire support, ADA representatives of the corps and division A C element and ADA officers coordinate directly with the FSE.


The direct support battalion commander is the FSCOORD for the maneuver brigade he supports. In separate maneuver brigades, the FSCOORD is the commander of the brigade organic field artillery battalion. The brigade FSCOORD is assisted by a fire support officer. The field artillery battalion commander, in his capacity as the brigade FSCOORD, establishes fire support organizations in each maneuver battalion and in each company. The brigade and battalion FSEs are located in the maneuver unit tactical operations center (TOC). Air support is coordinated through the brigade and battalion ALOs/G3/S3 air and their corresponding TACPs. When naval support is available, a brigade air/naval gunfire platoon from the ANGLICO will be deployed at brigade level. The ANGLICO provides the battalion FSE with a battalion supporting arms liaison team (SALT) from the brigade air/naval gunfire platoon. The battalion mortar platoon leader provides effective coordination with the FSE on all mortar matters. Although not doctrinally a part of the FSE, the brigade and task force engineers must coordinate closely with the fire support officer. This is to ensure obstacles are covered by fire, fire support is coordinated for breaching operations, and scatterable mines are delivered as planned.

Armored cavalry regiments organized with separate howitzer batteries contain organic FSEs, at squadron and regimental levels, which are supervised by FSOs.


The fire support organization at the maneuver company is the fire support team (FIST). The FIST is supervised by the company FSO. The primary means of fire support available at the company level are field artillery and battalion mortars and, in light units, company mortars. The company FSO usually coordinates close air support through the Air Force forward air controller (FAC). He coordinates employment of naval resources through the firepower control team (FCT), which is provided by the SALT at battalion.

Figure 2-2.

FMs 6-20-30, 6-20-40, and 6-20-50 will provide an in-depth discussion of the duties and responsibilities of the FSCOORD and the key fire support personnel in the FSE at the various echelons of command.

Section III



The FSCOORD relies on input from many individuals, units, and resources on the battlefield which acquire targets by reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition activities.

The FSO can request collection missions through the command G2 and/or S2. The G2s and/or S2s, through the TOC support elements or battlefield information coordination center (BICC), task organic military intelligence (MI) organizations and other elements of command with collection missions. The G2s and/or S2s, through the TOC/BICC, request collection support and receive intelligence from higher echelons, other services, allies, and national sources.


The AFSCOORD, G2 representative, field artillery intelligence officer (FAIO), G3 representative, EW officer, targeting officer, A2C2 representative, ALO, chemical officer, and engineer representative integrate the targeting effort and coordinate the targeting process. They jointly analyze target indicators from various sources. The sources include the all-source production section (ASPS), the FSE, the G3 (combat information), and the ALO (Air Force information). This information is compared to the high-payoff target selection standards. Then the selected attack means is tasked or requested to attack the target. The coordinated effort between staff members and the targeting process result in the rapid analysis and attack of high-payoff targets.

At brigade, the intelligence electronic warfare (IEW) personnel provide near-real-time target intelligence to the FSE when tasked by the G2.

At division and corps, the FAIO and IEW elements identify and analyze targets on the basis of priorities established by the FSCOORD/G3 and G2. The FAIO (considering the high-payoff target matrix) passes the targeting information on to the targeting cell(s).


Target acquisition sources may be considered under two basic headings, ground and air.

Ground Sources

Target information may be obtained by patrols, combat reports, remote sensors, locating and surveillance devices, and observation. The effectiveness of any subsequent attack will depend on the accuracy and timeliness of this information.

Surveillance. Much of the information produced from combat surveillance is of a time-sensitive nature. It is essential that the command and control systems provide for the rapid passage of information to commanders at all levels. After processing by the intelligence staff, information from battlefield surveillance may result in intelligence. Battlefield surveillance may be enhanced, under suitable conditions, by the use of--

Locating Devices. Locating devices may often determine the accurate locations of elements such as C2 facilities, radars, enemy artillery, rocket launchers, and mortar positions. The locating devices used could be electronic direction-finding equipment and weapons-locating and moving-target-locating radars. (Reference FM 6-161.)

Combat Reports. Reports of enemy activity by reconnaissance patrol s and maneuver units are a valuable source of information for target acquisition. It is a combined arms responsibility to ensure that such information is passed as quickly as possible.

Air Sources

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide a relatively survivable means of maintaining surveillance over the battlefield. They can locate and identify targets by day and by night and provide real-time surveillance by use of television. They also can provide laser designation of targets for attack by fire support means. Normally, corps or division controls UAV missions. Tasking of the UAV is the responsibility of the G3, and it can be allocated to subordinate units.

Aircraft. Aerial reconnaissance and target acquisition are carried out by Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps aircraft. The information may provide suitable detail for target attack purposes However, in some circumstances, this information may require confirmation from other sources. Tactical air reconnaissance will depend on the air situation and on the availability of aircraft. Information may be acquired by visual, photographic, radar, or infrared reconnaissance. Pilot reports are a valuable source of information.

Satellites. Overhead platforms can provide imagery information from radar, infrared, and photographic sensor packages. The examination of imagery and film (imagery interpretation) can be used to identify and locate enemy installations, equipment, concentrations, and activities to deduce their significance. It is likely that this information could also be used to provide targeting and limited weather information.


The location of enemy mortars, artillery, and rocket launchers provides detailed target information for attack as well as information on enemy future intentions. Weapons may be located as a result of the information collection effort or the use of specific locating devices and procedures. Enemy mortars guns, cannons, and rocket launchers may be located by the following:


Tasking the right sensor for a collection task at the right time is a critical function in the targeting process as determined by the methodology of decide-detect-deliver. Clear and concise taskings must be given to each agency controlling sensors within the force or unit. Staffs should use the following principles when planning, allocating tasks, and initiating sensor requests to higher echelons:


In addition to acquisition assets designed specifically to locate enemy units, the maneuver commander has laser range finders, artillery survey, and laser-equipped observers to determine accurate preplanned target locations in engagement areas and on obstacles. These can greatly enhance the accuracy of fire support.


When tasking a force or unit that controls sensors, the collection manager should consider mission, enemy, troops available, terrain and weather, and time available (METT-T). Emphasis should be placed on the following:

The commander must have timely and accurate combat information and target acquisition to be successful in battle. To achieve synchronization of information, target acquisition, and combat power with the maneuver commander's battle plan, he must ensure complete coordination among his operations, intelligence, and fire support staffs during the planning and conduct of the operation.

Section IV


This section considers the main sources of fire support and other attack means available to forces in AirLand operations. These sources are discussed under the following headings:

Nuclear and chemical weapons are types of ammunition that can be delivered by several of the resources listed above. However because their use In fire support imposes some special considerations and significantly changes the battlefield, they are discussed separately.


Attack systems can be divided into two categories: lethal and nonlethal.

Lethal Attack Characteristics

Indirect Fire. The projectile, rocket, missile, and bomb are the weapons of indirect-fire systems. Indirect fire can cause casualties to troops, inhibit mobility, suppress or neutralize weapon systems, damage equipment and installations, and demoralize the enemy. Most casualties to troops in an indirect-fire attack are caused by the initial rounds. Best results are achieved by a short engagement at a high rate from as many weapons as possible.

Effects of Fire. A commander will decide what effect fire support must have on a particular target. There are three types of fire: destruction, neutralization, and suppression.

Destruction. Destruction puts a target out of action permanently. Direct hits with high-explosive (HE) or concrete-piercing (CP) shells are required to destroy hard materiel targets. Usually, destruction requires large expenditures of ammunition and is not considered economical, except for nuclear weapons.

Neutralization. Neutralization knocks a target out of action temporarily. It can be achieved by use of any type of shell-fuze combination suitable for attacking a particular type of target. Neutralization does not require an extensive expenditure of ammunition and is the most practical type of mission. Most missions are neutralization fire.

Suppression. Suppression of a target limits the ability of the enemy Personnel in the target area to perform their jobs. Firing HE/VT or smoke creates apprehension and confuses the enemy. The effect of suppressive fires usually lasts only as long as the fires are continued. Suppression requires a low expenditure of ammunition; however, since its effects are not lasting, it is unsuitable for most targets.

Categories of Indirect Fire. Indirect fires are divided into two basic categories: observed and unobserved.

Observed fire. Observed fire is fire for which the points of impact or burst can be controlled by an observer. Seldom will there be enough indirect-fire units or ammunition available to meet all the demands for indirect-fire support. By ensuring fire is observed when accuracy cannot be guaranteed, the most effective and economical use of indirect-fire weapons is attained. Observed fire will result in target damage assessment (TDA) reports.

Unobserved fire. Unobserved fire is fire for which the points of impact or burst are not observed. It involves predicting where targets are, or will be, and placing fire on them. Use of unobserved fire requires follow-up activity to assess effectiveness.

Nonlethal Attack Systems and Munitions

Smoke, illumination, and offensive electronic warfare can exploit, disrupt, and deceive the enemy. Jammers can affect the command and control system, radars, and navigational aids by causing the enemy to receive false information. This degrades the overall effectiveness of the enemy system.



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.


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.

Close Support Fires. 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.

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.

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.

Command and Control

Clearly defined, systematic, and positive command and control ensures that the field artillery contributes to the fire support system in a responsive manner and that it is adequate to support the mission. Command and control relationships are established through a process referred to as organization for combat.

Establishment of Command Relationships. One of the following relationships with a tactical unit is established for each field artillery unit:

Assignment of Tactical Missions. Each field artillery unit is assigned a tactical mission of direct support (DS), reinforcing (R), general support reinforcing, or general support.

Direct support. 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.

Reinforcing. 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.

General support reinforcing. 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.

General support. 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.

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

Figure 2-3.

Fundamentals of Organization for Combat

Field artillery is organized for combat to provide responsive and effective FA fires and to coordinate all fire support. The objective of the FA organization for combat is to ensure that each FA unit is in a tactical organization and is assigned a tactical mission. The FSCOORD recommends and the supported force commander approves an FA organization for combat after analyzing the factors of METT-T:

  • Mission/commander's concept.

  • Enemy targets and fire support capabilities.

  • Troops/fire support units available, targeting sources, and ammunition status.

  • Terrain and weather conditions.

  • Time available.

    Fundamentals. The five fundamentals of organization for combat are:

    Adequate field artillery support for committed combat units. Field artillery support is most responsive to committed maneuver elements when it is given the DS tactical mission. The minimum adequate support for committed units is considered to be one FA battalion in direct support of each committed brigade. In no instance can there be more than one FA unit in direct support of a maneuver unit.

    Weight to the main attack in offense or most vulnerable area in defense. This fundamental can be implemented in any of the following ways:

    Facilitate future operations. This fundamental is essential to ensure success in the face of unforeseen events and to ensure smooth transition from one phase of an operation to another. The fundamental can be implemented through the assignment of tactical missions, positioning of artillery, and allocation of ammunition. The assignment of an on-order mission allows a unit to anticipate an FA support need in a future situation. Another way to facilitate future operations is to modify the current tactical mission in accordance with anticipated requirements.

    Immediately available field artillery support for the commander to influence the action. The force FA commander should retain some artillery with which the force commander can influence the action. This is done by assigning GS or GSR missions to artillery units, making them responsive to the force commander.

    Maximum feasible centralized control. Field artillery is most effective when control is centralized at the highest force level consistent with the fire support capabilities and requirements of the overall mission. Centralized control of field artillery permits flexibility in its employment and facilitates effective support to each subordinate element of the command and to the force as a whole. Standard tactical missions represent varying degrees of centralized control and responsiveness to committed units. The optimum degree of centralized control varies with each tactical situation. Fighting the AirLand Battle will require more careful planning because of the limited resources available to attack targets and the need for carefully coordinated employment of acquisition, attack, and assessment means. A high degree of centralized control is desired in a defensive situation. Since the enemy has the initiative, it is difficult to accurately predict where and when he will strike. A lesser degree of centralized control is required in an offensive situation, because the supported force has the initiative.

    Field Artillery Organizations. The following are examples of typical FA organizations for combat:

    Division artillery. The division commander normally places at least one FA battalion in direct support of each committed maneuver brigade. Additional FA units may reinforce DS battalions and/or provide fires in general support of the division. Target acquisition weapons-locating radars may be attached one to each committed DS field artillery battalion while other weapons-locating and moving-target-locating radars remain in general support of the division.

    Field artillery brigade. An FA brigade is organized with corps field artillery battalions. The brigade headquarters can control up to six battalions of field artillery. Organization of the brigade and missions assigned may provide for centralized control of fires immediately responsive to the corps commander (GS and GSR) or decentralized control with brigade fires immediately responsive to a particular corps maneuver force (DS or R).

    Corps artillery. The corps commander normally retains some field artillery under corps control. He provides additional field artillery support to divisions and other corps maneuver elements; for example, armored cavalry regiments. He does this by attaching FA assets to the division and/or by assigning FA units tactical missions that make them more responsive to the fire support needs of the division or other maneuver element. 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:



    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.

    Command and Control

    Mortars are organic to certain maneuver battalions and to the companies of light units. The maneuver commander decides how and when mortars, as a key fire support asset, will be integrated into his battle plan. However, since they are fire support assets, the FSO should give advice and make recommendations to the commander. The amount of control the fire support officer has over the employment of available mortars is a matter for the supported unit commander to decide. The commander may specify mortar support for subordinate units by changing the command relationship, assigning priority of fires, or assigning priority targets.

    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.



    The mission of naval gunfire support is to help the AirLand force by destroying, neutralizing, or suppressing the enemy during amphibious operations and subsequent operations ashore.


    Naval gunfire can provide large volumes of immediately available, responsive fire support to land combat forces operating near coastal waters. Naval gunfire has a great variety of weapons extending from light conventional armament to heavy missiles and nuclear weapons. It can play a vital role in reducing the enemy capability of action by destroying enemy installations before the assault, protecting and covering the amphibious assault, and supporting offensive actions of the land force after the assault.

    Command and Control

    Naval gunfire and the ships it comes from remain under the naval command of the amphibious task force (ATF) commander. Relationships between assigned ships and supported ground force units after the assault are on a basis of limited, delegated responsibility. Ships placed in support of land forces provide the requested fire within their capability. Ship positioning and method of delivery are left to the ship captain, within parameters established by the commander, ATF. The supported ground force unit selects the targets, the timing of fires on the targets, and the method of adjustment of fires. Naval gunfire ships are assigned one of two missions, direct support or general support. A ship in direct support of a maneuver battalion delivers both planned and on-call fires (targets of opportunity). The naval commander is assisted in the control of naval gunfire by navy liaison representatives located with supported ground forces. General support missions are assigned to ships supporting forces of brigade size and larger. Fire missions can be processed by the air observer of the shore fire control party. If threats are made to naval operations, the target attack priorities of the ship may cause it to hold or cancel land force fire missions until the other threats can be subdued.

    Delivery System Characteristics

    Naval gunfire ships are very mobile, which allows them to be positioned to take advantage of their limited deflection pattern. Very close supporting fire can be delivered when the gun-target line is parallel to friendly front lines. The relatively flat trajectory of naval gunfire results in a large range probable error. Hydrographic conditions may cause the ship to take up firing positions that cause the gun-target line to be perpendicular to friendly front lines. When this change in the gun-target line happens, it makes naval gunfire unsuitable to attack targets close to the forward line of own troops (FLOT). Naval gunfire ships have a large variety of ammunition and high rates of fire, which make them suitable for attacking any type of target. The position of the ship must be fixed before each firing m order to achieve firing accuracy. Bad weather and poor visibility make It difficult to fix the ship position, and they reduce the ability of spotters on the ship to engage targets on the shore. Radio communications can be interrupted by equipment limitations, enemy electronic warfare, and unfavorable atmospheric conditions.



    The mission of the tactical air forces is to maintain and operate assigned combat forces capable of conducting tactical air operations anywhere in the world.


    The tactical air mission can be subdivided into five roles:

    Offensive Counterair. Counterair operations are conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of air superiority by the destruction or neutralization of enemy air forces and air defense forces. Counterair operations can be further subdivided into offensive counterair (OCA) operations, defensive counterair (DCA) missions and suppression of enemy air defenses.

    Interdiction. Interdiction is a mission undertaken to destroy, neutralize, disrupt, or delay an enemy's mlitary potential before it can be effectively brought to bear against friendly forces. There are two types of interdiction missions performed by tactical air forces: air interdiction and battlefield air interdiction.

    Air Interdiction. Air interdiction (AI) is an operation directed against targets that are not near friendly forces and will not have a near-term effect on the ground commander's scheme of maneuver. Joint planning between land and air forces is not required for AI missions.

    Battlefield Air Interdiction. Air interdiction in attacks against targets that are in a position to have a near-term effect on friendly forces is referred to as battlefield air interdiction. Joint coordination is required at the component level during planning. Once planned, BAI is controlled and executed by the air component commander as an integral part of the total air interdiction campaign.

    Close Air Support. Close air support is an operation directed against a target that is near friendly forces and requires detailed planning and integration with the fire and movement of those forces.

    Tactical Air Reconnaissance. Tactical air reconnaissance is the collection of information by aerial vehicles on the following:

    Tactical Airlift. Tactical airlift is the air movement of personnel and cargo by the Air Force available to the joint force commander.

    For a detailed discussion of each role and Its employment, see FM 6-20-30.

    Apportionment, Allocation, and Distribution

    Air support may be provided by Navy, Marine, Air Force, or allied aircraft. Modern aircraft have an inherent flexibility that allows them to be used in different roles as the situation dictates. This means that even if an aircraft was designed for a specific mission, it can be made to perform other missions as well. This flexibility usually prevents the dedication of aircraft to specific ground units or missions. To obtain the most use from the air assets, the joint force commander apportions all assigned tactical combat aircraft to one of three air support roles: counterair, interdiction, and close air support. The air component commander ensures that the best-suited aircraft are used to fill each role. The aircraft sorties assigned to the role of close air support are distributed to the ground force commanders by the land component commander to weight an attack or to reinforce a particularly critical sector of the battlefield. Ground units that are not located in the most critical sectors of the battlefield will getlittle tactical air support. For maximum effectiveness, all allocated air support missions must be coordinated and synchronized with other fire support assets. Tactical air reconnaissance missions are corps-level or higher assets. They are flown on request of the ground units according to the priorities set by the Joint force commander.

    For a detailed discussion of this apportionment and allocation process and of the command, control, and coordination of air assets by the air-ground operations system, see FA 6-20-30.

    Delivery System Characteristics

    The types of aircraft used in tactical air support operations can be categorized as ground attack, interdiction/fighter, and reconnaissance. The flexibility of most aircraft, the similarity of the above categories, and the ability to interchange acquisition and attack platforms allow a particular model of aircraft to fulfill multiple roles. When planning the employment of aircraft, the following factors should be considered:

    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.



    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:

    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.

    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.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Aeromedical Evacuation. Aeromedical units provide evacuation for wounded and injured personnel on a mission-by-mission basis.

    C for JAAT Operations. 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.

    Command and Control

    The command and control of Army aviation elements rests with the unit commander to whom they are organic, OPCON, or attached. The force commander decides how aviation will be integrated into his overall battle plan and if and when aviation will be used in a fire support role. When integrating the fires of aviation assets into the commander's scheme of maneuver, both supporting and supported elements must understand the commander's intent and purpose for the integration of these fires. Coordination between the ground force and the aviation unit ensures that the commander's conditions are established and known by all concerned. These conditions describe what support the aviation will provide and assign responsibilities concerning priority of fires, available munitions, liaison, communications requirements, positioning, and fire planning.

    Delivery System Characteristics

    Army aviation has the capability to quickly reach and move throughout the depth and breadth of the battlefield. This mobility and flexibility aid the combined arms commander in seizing or retaining the initiative. The types of aircraft used in the fire support mission area are categorized into the following areas:

    Cargo and Utility. These aircraft have the primary mission of transporting soldiers, weapon systems, ammunition, and supplies throughout the battlefield. These units can conduct air assault or air movement operations. These aircraft allow the commander to influence the action by introducing combat power at critical times and crucial locations to defeat the enemy forces.

    Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance. These aircraft serve as the "eyes" for the commander. They provide near-real-time intelligence and terminal guidance for a variety of weapon systems; for example, Hellfire and Copperhead.

    Attack Helicopters. These aircraft are equipped with a considerable array of accurate and lethal weapons. They can deliver pinpoint destruction by firing antiarmor missiles or suppressive area fires with rockets and cannons.



    The mission of electronic warfare is to exploit, disrupt, and deceive the enemy command and control system while protecting friendly use of communications and noncommunications systems.


    Electronic warfare is an essential element of fire support. In addition to its intelligence-producing capability, it is considered a nonlethal attack means. As such, it is a key resource to be integrated and synchronized with fire support assets in support of the battle plan. It can, when integrated into the overall concept of operation, confuse, deceive, delay, disorganize, and locate the enemy. It can delay the enemy long enough for the force commander to exploit a situation that otherwise would have been missed. Jamming, in particular, provides a nonlethal alternative or supplement to attack by fire and maneuver. It is especially well suited for targets that cannot be located with targeting accuracy or that require only temporary disruption. Electronic warfare has two facets, offensive and defensive.

    Offensive Electronic Warfare. Offensive EW is the employment of assets to disrupt or deny the enemy's effective use of his electronic systems. It consists of electronic support measures (ESM) and electronic countermeasures (ECM). Generally, ESM produce combat information that can be used for attack by ECM, fire. or maneuver with little systematic analysis or processing. ECM consist of jamming and deception. One function of jamming is to degrade the enemy s combat power by denying effective operations in the electromagnetic spectrum. Another function of jamming is to reduce the signal security of enemy operators and thereby gain information through ESM. Jamming may be subtle and difficult to detect, or it may be overt and obvious. It can be accomplished from both aerial and ground platforms. Electronic deception is used to deceive enemy forces through their own electronic systems. Through electronic devices, it gives false information to the enemy to induce him to act in accordance with the supported battlefield commander's desires. It is integrated with, extends, and reinforces tactical deception operations .

    Defensive Electronic Warfare. Defensive EW consists of those actions taken to ensure friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    Although all these components of EW are of significant interest to the fire support system, the intent of this discussion is to focus on electronic countermeasures as an attack means. See FM 34-1 and FM 34-40 for more detailed information.

    Command and Control

    Electronic warfare assets are in military intelligence units at all levels and in other services. The electronic warfare section (EWS) is the staff element at corps and division that coordinates the employment of ECM. The EWS falls under the staff supervision of the G3. The G3, in coordination with the G2 and MI brigade battalion, is responsible for the integration of ECM into the fire and maneuver scheme. The EWS coordinates jamming directed at high-payoff targets and targets of opportunity. In coordination with the signal officer, the section minimizes the effects of ECM on friendly systems and operations. The EWS, the FSE and the G3 section operate together to plan the attack of high-payoff targets to support the commander's battle plan. The use of ECM should always be considered when deciding to attack a particular target. More importantly, the synchronized, simultaneous use of ECM and lethal attack means requires the EWS to maintain a close, continuing working relationship with the FSE. The best means of ensuring a close working relationship between the EWS and the FSE is to collocate them.

    Jamming Characteristics

    Types of Jamming. The ECM system consists primarily of jamming. This jamming can be divided into two types: communications and noncommunications Jamming.

    Communications jamming. Communications jamming interferes with enemy communications systems. It may be applied to secure communications systems to force the enemy to transmit in the clear so that the communications can be exploited for combat information. Jamming can also aid in direction finding by forcing the enemy to transmit longer, allowing time for tip-off and multiple locator cueing from different locations for position determination. Radiation jamming against communications equipment is accomplished by using spot, sweep or barrage jamming.

    Noncommunications jamming. Noncommunications jamming consists primarily of reradiation jamming. It is directed against such electronic devices as radars. navigational aids, guidance systems, and proximity fuzes to disrupt them. It causes those systems to receive false information and targets, thereby degrading system effectiveness. Reradiation jamming is accomplished by the use of special equipment to receive enemy transmissions, change them m some way, and retransmit the signal back to the enemy.

    Effectiveness. Jamming effectiveness is governed primarily by the distance of the target receiver from the jammer and the distance between the transmitter and the receiver of the targeted enemy communications. Jammers are high-priority targets for destruction. Because of their high-power output and unique electronic signature, they are relatively easy to detect and locate. Jammers have to move for survivability and to maintain favorable transmission paths against enemy radios, which are moving as the battle progresses.

    Frequency Management

    To ensure minimized jamming effects on friendly systems and operations, the EWS and the FSE must coordinate directly with the corps or division signal element responsible for frequency management. Before a jamming mission, this frequency coordination determines if any friendly units will be affected. Enough time will be allowed for previously unidentified critical frequencies to be added to the guarded list. Warnings are given to commanders, who can then plan for potential degradation in communications. With the fielding of the new generation of frequency-hopping radios and careful use of redundant communications assets, the field commander will experience minimum disruption to his communications due to friendly ECM operations.

    Joint Army-Air Force ECM Operations

    The corps G3 is responsible for the coordination of joint EW support to the AirLand Battle within the corps. At division level, coordination between the G3/EWS and the TACP is consolidated and sent to the G3/EWS and air support operations center (ASOC) at the corps and the BCE in the Air Force TACC. The BCE monitors and analyzes the land battle for the TACC and provides the link for the exchange of operational data and intelligence between the corps tactical operations center (CTOC) AND TACC. The BCE establishes priorities for corps requests for Air Force EW support. The ASOC in the CTOC conducts a similar mission for the Air Force when it coordinates air operations for the corps. It is the ASOC-BCE link that provides the line over which frequency lists for inclusion in the Air Force data base. This will preclude inadvertent disruption of critical friendly communications by friendly assets.



    US policy concerning nuclear warfare is to deter it by maintaining a strong nuclear capability and, if deterrence fails, to terminate the conflict at the lowest possible level of violence consistent with national and allied interests. The US position is that deterrence is achieved if the Threat assesses the outcome of war to be so uncertain and so debilitating under any circumstances that the incentive for initiating a nuclear attack is removed. This policy does not preclude the first use of nuclear munitions by US forces. Restraint is viewed by the US as a means to control the escalation of warfare by providing leverage for a negotiated termination of military operations. US nuclear weapons may, of course, be used only following specific directives by the President through the National Command Authority (NCA) and, when applicable, after appropriate consultation with allies. Even were such authority granted, the employment of nuclear weapons likely would be guided more by political and strategic objectives than by the tactical effect a particular authorized employment might produce. When this is the case, escalation control becomes crucial. Commanders and FSCOORDs at corps and division levels must plan to employ nuclear weapons. These weapons must be integrated with all other forms of fire support to achieve the greatest operational and tactical advantage. To achieve this integrated planning, there must be no transition between conventional and nuclear planning. Nuclear fire support planning must be continuous and congruent with all other fire planning.


    Use of nuclear weapons on the AirLand battlefield will increase the tempo and destructiveness of operations. The use of nuclear weapons will alter the balance between firepower and maneuver and will tend to enlarge the geographic area of conflict. Employment of nuclear weapons must be closely synchronized with the force commander's battle plan to preclude creating obstacles to friendly maneuver. Decisive battles could last hours instead of days or weeks. Nuclear weapons could be employed in the AirLand Battle to--

    Command and Control

    Once approval to employ nuclear weapons is granted by NCA, command and control consists of positive control over use of nuclear weapons by use of specific release procedures and permissive action links (PALs).

    Release Procedures. Release is the approval to use nuclear weapons and is conveyed with specific employment constraints. The President approves the use of nuclear weapons and conveys this decision to the NCA and through the military chain of command. Each theater of operation is required to implement positive release procedures. Release may be accomplished by two methods.

    Control. In addition to the control provided by the release procedures, each commander has specific control over individual weapons through locking devices known as PALs. Once release is approved, each weapon must be unlocked before it is employed. In most cases within the corps, final control for the employment of nuclear weapons rests with the corps commander. It is his responsibility to ensure that nuclear weapons are used to the greatest tactical advantage, integrated into the battle plan, and employed in accordance with guidance from higher commanders.

    Delivery Systems

    Nuclear weapons can be delivered by a variety of tactical delivery systems.

    Cannons. Cannons permit a higher degree of flexibility because of the low yields available and their short response times. They are most useful in support of forces in contact and where it is important to minimize collateral damage and ensure troop safety. Cannons are more survivable because of large umbers and wide dispersion.

    Missiles. Missile systems are characterized by longer ranges, larger payloads, slower response time, and increased vulnerability due to limited numbers of launchers.

    Air-Delivered Weapons. Air-delivered weapons are characterized by very long ranges, maneuverability, large payloads, and reduced effectiveness in bad weather.

    For a more detailed discussion of the uses, planning employment, and integration of nuclear weapons see FC 50-25 (S). FM 6-20-30. and FM 101-31-1 For nuclear delivery system effects data. see FM 101-31-2 (S).



    The primary purpose of chemical weapons is to deter their use by others. If, however, deterrence should fail, they would be used to cause the enemy to terminate use and to deny him a significant military advantage. The United States national policy precludes first use of chemical agents. They will be used only if authorized by the President. If the enemy uses chemical agents, the primary concern is the termination of chemical warfare on favorable terms, at the lowest possible level. Chemical weapons can quickly and decisively alter combat force ratios to change the course of battle. Knowing what these weapons will do and how they are planned, coordinated, and integrated with maneuver, EW, and nuclear and nonnuclear fire support is essential to conducting effective retaliatory operations.


    Use of chemical weapons on the battlefield of today adds a new dimension to the planning of operations and affects all aspects of those operations in a manner much like the use of nuclear weapons. While the use of chemical weapons does not bear the enormous strategic risks associated with nuclear weapons, it could significantly change the course of operations in a theater. Properly used, chemical warfare becomes a combat multiplier and contributes to the shaping and controlling of the tempo on the battlefield. When properly employed in mass and without warning, chemical fires can be used in the AirLand Battle to--

    Command and Control

    Release. Release is the authority to use chemical weapons and/or chemical agents. Requests for release can be--

    As with nuclear weapons, release of chemical weapons may be initiated by the "bottom-up" or "top-down" method. In either case, enemy use must be verified and be reported before authorization. After the President reaches a decision to use chemical weapons, the release orders and restraints are sent through command channels to the tasked units and the supporting elements. Upon receipt of release, force commanders may use chemical weapons in support of their operations within specified constraints.

    Control. The responsibility for planning, coordinating, and controlling chemical weapons remains at corps until after release has been approved and, most likely, through the first retaliation fires. The technical details of planning and coordination are done at division. Authority to execute chemical fires after the initial retaliatory strikes may be delegated to lower echelons (that. is, division or separate brigade).

    Delivery Systems Chemical weapons can be delivered by a variety of tactical delivery systems.

    Cannons. Cannons permit a high degree of flexibility because of short response times. They are most useful in support of forces in contact and where it is important to ensure troop safety and minimize civilian casualties. Cannons are more survivable than aircraft systems because of their large numbers and wide dispersion.

    Air-Delivered Munitions. Air-delivered chemical munitions are characterized by longer ranges, greater effects, longer coverage, and reduced effectiveness in bad weather.

    For a more detailed discussion of the uses, planning, employment, and Integration of chemical weapons, see FM 3-10-1 (S) and FM 6-20-30. For chemical delivery system effects data, see FM 3-10-2(S).