The 1st Infantry Division Artillery commander hosted a fires orientation course for maneuver battalion commanders Nov. 27-29, Fort Riley, Kansas.
Col. Rory Crooks led the course -- the first of its kind at Fort Riley -- which provided battalion commanders and fire support officers from the division's 1st Armored Combat Team, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and 1st Combat Aviation Brigade an opportunity to learn how to better integrate fires and intelligence capabilities into their missions.
Field artillery and intelligence leaders facilitated discussions among participants using tactical vignettes to illustrate fire support considerations within combined arms maneuver. The course included simulations within the classroom and a hands-on demonstration of fire support equipment found within the brigade.
Maneuver commanders got a better idea of what tactical and technical conditions need to be met so they could provide their fire support officers with effective guidance, Crooks said.
The course began with a collection methodology class led by Lt. Col. Brendon Dever, 1st Inf. Div. intelligence officer, Maj. Calvin Roe, DIVARTY intelligence officer. The class included brigade combat team/battalion battle handover, named area of interest/target area of interest development, the brigade combat team targeting process and a fires/intelligence collection rehearsal.
Lt. Col. Iven Sugai and Reggie White, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, commanders, led a discussion on fire support considerations in the offense and defense, including centralized observer plans and engagement area development.
Course participants visited the 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt., motor pool for target acquisition, fire support and firing battery equipment familiarization. Soldiers also demonstrated a sensor-to-shooter, digital indirect fire technical rehearsal.
The final block of discussion centered on executing a simulation-augmented tactical scenario at Fort Riley's Mission Training Center. All battalion commanders and their fire support officers refined a fires plan in support of a battalion-level operations order and provided feedback on example offensive and defensive combined arms maneuver fires employment within scenarios employed by the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
Leaders from 1st ABCT used their experience from a recent NTC rotation, and provided a platform to share successes and shortfalls with 2nd ABCT commanders, who are preparing for their own rotation there in the spring.