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Fire Discipline Challenge

Cleared Hot

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So the CLS has asked the Army to improve its formation level war-fighting skills which means yes the Artillery (both Reg and Res) has to get back into regimental level shooting.  Anyone who has ever read a 371 series pub knows they are fine for battery level stuff, but can be quite vague on regimental fire discipline or examples of regimental missions.  So, as the collective cobwebs are blown off, I thought I would try to start a thread for a bit of professional discussion on the subject and see if it flies.  The idea would be to pose FD questions (not clearcut ones) and see where the discussion leads.  I'll start with an easy one to get the ball rolling...

An unauthorized observer requests 10Rds FFE.  In the message to observer sent by 0 he is given 5rds.  Does this message constitute a new ammo order or does the observer then have to come back with an order of 5rds?
 

Old Sweat

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I am way out of date, but to my mind 0 has authorized 5 rds FFE, instead of the 10 rds requested. The oberserver can come back after the 5 rds are expended and request more.

Even an authorized observer may have a restriction placed on the amount of ammuntion he or she may expend.
 

Cleared Hot

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Absolutely, but what I was getting at is if in his initial orders the observer gave ``... Delay, 10rds, A/F`` (and that was approved) when he ordered ``FFE`` he would get 10 rounds.  If 0 cuts the ammo in half in the message to observer and the observer orders ``FFE``. does he get 5 rds or does he have to now order ``5 rds FFE`` because his initial order was 10.  I have a follow up to this which is slightly different, based on the concensus to this question.
 

Craig B

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Its been a heck of a long time since I shot a Regt. mission but I'll take a kick at the can.

The message from 0 is not a ammo order so the observer would have to order "5 rds FFE" and not just "FFE".

I don't like 0 getting involved in this, he's not the guy with eyes on the target, but someone has to keep control of the ammo  :(
 

rampage800

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Alright, I'll try

I don't think the Observer has to order 5rds FFE, he already knows he's getting that as do the batteries because being good FD guys it was ordered and then read back on Comd which the Observer is on(because it Reg't msns)it would only be redundant to do it again. In a trade that used to pride itself on its brevity, communications skills (ie the phrase, send don't offer)etc it seems that it would go against the grain of all arty comms procedures.

and then order repeat ;D
 

Old Sweat

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The old Canadian Army Manual of Training 4-3-2, Fire Discipline, stated words to the effect that the aim of fire discipline is to ensure that in response to a fire order, the appropriate action is taken at the guns strictly in accordance with the intentions of the originator and with a minimum of delay.

In this case either FFE or 5 rds FFE would be correct, but I would prefer the latter as it removes a chance of misinterpretation.,
 

Cleared Hot

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I think you are right that either would work, I know if I were a CPO and the order "FFE" came down he would get 5rds.  That being said, to illustrate the "does a message to observer constitute a fire order" question let's look at it in the reverse, (and I don't know if this would happen but why not) What if the observer asks for 5 rounds but between 0 and 95 they know the plans for this target, know the avail ammo etc and decide to give him more rounds than he was asking for what happens in FFE then?  i.e.

FM Regt
...
Delay, 5Rds
A/F

Message to Obs
11 Auth Regt
CA1234
10 Rds

If the observer issues no further ammo order but orders FFE, what does he get 5 or 10 rds?
 

George Wallace

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Could the observer not just STOP the Msn and call EOM once he witnesses the desired effect on the tgt?
 

Old Sweat

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I would say 10 rds. In any case 0 probably would clarify matters on the ring net, if such a thing or an equivalent is still in use.

Maybe I am just getting blimpish in my old age, but I always would tend to err on the side of clarity, not brevity especially when dealing with an unfamiliar fire unit. The gentleman who was the BSM E Bty on TF 03-06 told me about an occasion when the BG was reinforced with an Allied (non-ABCA) fire unit. These new guns were given a smoke mission which included, of course, "Smoke in Effect, 10 rds."

When the time came to lay the smoke, the FOO ordered "2 rds followed by 8 rds FFE, 30 seconds." It is very clear to all of us, or it should be, that all 10 rds to be fired are smoke. However the foreign fire unit fired two rounds HE followed by eight rounds smoke, the latter with an interval of 30 seconds. Fortunately the point of origin for the smoke mission was well away from our own troops.

Clearly this is a case where the insertion of the order "smoke" before ordering the orders for FFE in the sequence would not have been out of order in this case. The other course of action would have been to have put a LO (officer or CP tech) with them.

 

SeaKingTacco

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When the time came to lay the smoke, the FOO ordered "2 rds followed by 8 rds FFE, 30 seconds." It is very clear to all of us, or it should be, that all 10 rds to be fired are smoke. However the foreign fire unit fired two rounds HE followed by eight rounds smoke, the latter with an interval of 30 seconds. Fortunately the point of origin for the smoke mission was well away from our own troops.

If I dimly remember my FOO course course correctly (16 years ago), could the rounds of HE fired in above example be a valid interpretation of the fire order, in that, unless otherwise specified the type of ammo is always assumed to be HE quick?

In the first example from Cleared Hot, I recall an exercise in Norway in 1992 where I was CS 22.  I caught a company of EN Tanks in the open and called for a Regt ( IIRC D Bty was inserted into Norgie M109 Bn for that phase of the battle) and something like 5 rds.  Instead, I was given All Available and something like 10 Rds (Can't recall if I was given DPICM, but it wouldn't surprise me).  Clearly, 95 thought this was a bigger deal than I did.

But since we are talking Authorized vs Unauthorized Observers, I'm not sure if this helps the discussion or just a case of me sharing dusty old war stories.  I'll have to dig out my copy of 304(3) and review... 
 

Old Sweat

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It could be a valid interprepretation if one was not familiar with the nuances of our fire discipline. There is a fair bit of common sense required. The GPO (or whatever the term is in the army in question) might have asked why would the FOO want two rounds HE on the point of origin before he starts to drop smoke canisters on it? (See the explanation below.) That is why, when dealing with non-ABCA guns, one should err on the side of clarity. Having been the BC D Bty in the AMF(L) days, I learned that the non-ABCA batteries used to require special handling because of language issues.

I would, on the other hand, expect the correct response from our own guys.

For the non-fire support folks, a smoke mission is designed to produce a thick cloud of smoke between the area to be screened (us) and the area to be blinded (them) for a given period of time. A smoke round is a carrier shell which expels smoke canisters in the air. These canisters follow on the trajectory and burn on the ground. As the smoke drifts down wind it thickens until it produces a cloud dense enough to screen our own troops. To build up the cloud three rounds are fired as quickly as the guns can be loaded and fired (two rounds followed by the first round of the interval rounds) followed by the rest of the rounds at the ordered interval to maintain the screen.
 

Ralph

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Glaring at the sometimes-obtuse 371-4, I would agree that in either scenario, ordering FFE will give you the rounds given in the message to observer.
 

Cardstonkid

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The FOO will get the rounds the RCPO allows. Since it is an unauthorized observer the permission must be given to allow him access to the guns in question furthermore, the amount of ammo, the type of projectile and fuze combo(s) available are up to the RCPO.

You see this all the time when an OP orders a particular rate of fire or requests x number of rds FFE and the OP is unable to comply and instead gives them the rate and or amount of rounds permitted.
 

RCA

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(if I recall correctly, and it was a while back) As an unauthorized observer, he is not auth any rds, therefore 0 would be the authority for # rds FFE. The GPO would have to remember that when it comes to FFE. If he thinks the OP is unsure he can clarify with the OP when the rds are on the way. If repeat is ordered, then 0 must be on the ball to auth.
 

GnyHwy

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Yes it does.  The message to observer states 5 rds and all C/S's involved have heard this order.  If this is not sufficient then a the observer should send another method and and if 0 deems it worth he will get more.  Tgt desc will have a lot to do with it.
 

GnyHwy

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I think your original itent was for others to submit questions so if your looking for a new grey area question and Regt shooting is what you want to talk about.  Here is one.

As an observer.  If you are fire planning and your are at +7 in your timings and you wish to return one your btys to a target that was scheduled from +1 to +4.  How do you do it?

I think there are few options here so let's see what everyone has to say.

Also, FYI for all. The Duties of the Gun Posn and the Duties of the Observer are in the first throws of being re-written.  Any suggestions to have your 2 cents put in, send it up the chain. 
 

Old Sweat

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The old cold warrior here is way out of date, but here goes. First, as an observer, you do not have the authority to take a battery out of its place in the fire plan unless this has been delegated to you, or more correctly your supported arm commander, which means the battery is superimposed. That brings us to the "Request modify" call along with a short, sharp explanation.

The supported arm commander and his gunner then have to decide what will be the effect on the whole fire plan and the manoeuvre plan and either agree to or reject the request. I am not sure of the precise call but it might go something like this if the request was accepted: "Modify fire plan ___, (call sign) resume at plus one." If the modifer and you were not sure how long fire on that target would be required, the order "dwell at __" perhaps with a rate of fire could be used.

After that blast from the past, bring me up to date.

Edited to add that the order should include direction for that battery to add so many minutes to all timings. The RCPO would probably control things quite tightly on the ring net to ensure (a) the battery so ordered gets it right and (b) the other batteries continue with the original plan.
 

Petard

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GnyHwy said:
Also, FYI for all. The Duties of the Gun Posn and the Duties of the Observer are in the first throws of being re-written.  Any suggestions to have your 2 cents put in, send it up the chain.

While you're at it, you might want to let your DLR reps know that you're doing that, and when you expect to implement it, since a lot of the format that has already been developed for the next form of IFCCS, and IFCSS is based on a lot of what is (was?) in those pubs

For some reason I'm thinking of the movie Dr Strangelove right now: "Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?"

 

Disenchantedsailor

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ok here we go.

fire msn comes down like this

FM Bty
CA1234
5 Rds FFE

The tgt was recorded within 2 hours and as such the data from the GPOT was fired.

The OP comes back with a correction A50 5 rds FFE

No direction is given, when calculating the correction do you
A. Apply Dir 6400 by convention, the OP is mounted in the LAV
B. Apply the Dir the TGT was recorded at
C. Send "Verify Direction" to the OP
 
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