Fire Support Officer (FSO)

 

Fires & Effects Coordination Cell (FECC) Duties

The duties of the FECC include executing calls for fire in support of troops in contact (TIC) situations and executing counter fire missions within the Charger AO. The members of the FECC are responsible for battle tracking, maintaining situation maps and validating target locations through Falcon View, PSS-SOF and AFATDS. The fire support NCOs must prepare preplanned fires packets and Air Coordination Mission Requests for all preplanned fire missions in support of Charger operations. They must also prepare JTASR (Joint Tactical Air Strike Request) for fixed wing requests. The FECC prepares and briefs the fire support update, to include the status of all fire support assets (Paladins, Mortars, Radars, LCMRs, UTAMs, fixed and rotary wing, and ammo status). They also keep a daily staff journal of significant events, and prepare reports for IDF-related events (i.e. enemy IDF, Battalion and Brigade counter fire missions, Radar and LCMR acquisitions).

Lessons Learned

Ensure that all platoon/patrol leaders are familiar with the basic fundamentals of calling for fire, and are familiar with all available fire support assets, to include new munitions.

The LCMR radar system is collocated with one Mortar team at the Buhriz IP station. Soldiers from B/1-12 CAV, from D/1-12 CAV, and from the Mortar team at the BIPS received training on the LCMR and are currently operating the radar at the outpost in Buhriz.

The Buhriz IP station had initially been a constant target for enemy IDF. By the LCMR being operated at the BIPS, with a Mortar team readily available, the time guidelines on counter fire missions are more easily achieved. Dealer X-ray receives and reports acquisitions received directly from their radar system. Confirmed acquisitions are immediately reported to the Battalion FECC in order to clear air through Brigade for the counter fire. The Mortar team on site immediately lays guns on the point of origin and is prepared to fire in minimal time, waiting only on word from the Battalion FECC that ground and airspace is clear.

By the Mortar team being collocated with the LCMR, the time it takes to put rounds on target is significantly reduced. The Mortar team can react in minimal time to confirmed (audible and/or visual) acquisitions even as Dealer X-ray reports them to the Battalion, completely eliminating the time factor of getting the guns laid on the target. The battle drill of the Battalion FECC is also simplified, reducing the process to a call to Brigade for air clearance, and omitting the process of getting the 155mm weapon systems laid onto the point of origin reported from Dealer X-ray. The ground units at the BIPS are afforded more control over their counter fire support, and process is executed in a timelier manner.

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