21-05 - NTC Fire Support Handbook

By Center for Army Lessons LearnedDecember 17, 2020

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Nobody can perfectly predict the future, but as we look toward future battlefields, one thing remains constant: the ability to combine arms at the lowest levels is of the utmost importance. No one branch or capability will serve as panacea for all battlefield challenges, but efforts are inextricably linked to one another, just as they always have been. We depend on each other to accomplish the mission.

Fires and movement, by definition, combine to create true maneuver at the lowest echelons. When we employ forces through movement in combination with fires to achieve a position of advantage in respect to the enemy, we are creating forward momentum on the battlefield.

Often, the ability to integrate fires effectively becomes the lynchpin for a successful operation at the National Training Center (NTC). Maintaining a lethal, ready force demands that we continue to effectively train and integrate fires into all operations. In World War I, artillery killed more than small arms. In World War II, General Eisenhower stated, “The speed, accuracy, and devastating power of American artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported, and inspired fear and respect in their enemy.” Although the characteristics of the modern battlefield may have morphed, the true nature of war today is no different. Our ability to affect change in the enemy’s behavior from a distance, and to enable movement to a position of advantage, will shape future engagements.

There is no question that fires will be one key to success when it comes to facing a near-peer threat on the battlefield. That is what we have been training for at the NTC. The fires observer coach/trainers (OC/Ts) here at the NTC have been committed to ensuring brigade combat teams optimize fires within their formation. This publication is a compilation of products used over the last couple of years to sustain/increase fire superiority over potential enemies. Although not all units are able to train at the NTC, we offer this publication to embrace the fires warfighting function to prepare for the reality of combat.

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