Supported Arm / Gunner Terminology

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by toadinthehole, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. As a simple infantryman, and a TA infantryman to boot, a few gunner-related questions have crossed my mind from time to time which just won't go seem to go away by ignoring them. I've already tried that. I've also already tried asking my colleagues and it is obvious they have the same lack of understanding as I have. I'd be appreciative if someone wouldn't mind having a go at clearing the fog with regards to the following.

    I was brought up on the notion that there would be a battery commander working with the CO in BGHQ and a FOO with company group HQ directing arty fire. As I understood it, the FOO had a direct line to the guns of his regiment and could order its fire at will. Given this, I've never been entirely sure what the BC did as he seemed to be outside the FOO/gunline loop (no offence meant here, it's just never been clear to me). My first question is: is this an accurate depiction of the situation today and, if so, how then does an FST fit into all this? Does the FST sit at company or BGHQ level and does it replace the FOO/BC duo in any way?

    Secondly, please can someone enlighten me as to where the FDC, FSCC and FPC sit within the BG/higher/lower structure, and in short, what do they do? I used to believe an FSCC was based at BGHQ but am no longer sure. Needless to say, I have never knowingly met a FOO, BC, or FST in person or walked into an FDC, FPC etc.

    Thanks in advance and apologies for the use of any mildly disreputable technical language.
  2. Toady,

    Your first error is that the CO is in BGHQ - this is the BC. The CO is at Bde HQ and the CRA at Div. The Fire Support Team is the modern vernacular for a FOO party on steroids. aside from the FOO party, it has embedded FACs and is clearly more capable in terms of comms and equipment than a FOO party used to be. That said, FOO parties have been FAC and FAM trained in the past. A traditional FOO party would also usually be augmented by the MFC as well so the differences are not as significant as the change in name might suggest.

    Nowadays the FST has the ability to tap into more ISTAR feeds and air delivered and IM than a FOO would have dreamed of in days gone by. We have seen the devolution of fires that were controlled at Bde and Div level down to the FST level. This is a product of the ubiquity of these weapons and delivery sytems on current ops and the requirement to minimise colleteral damage by controlling their delivery by the end user.

    I will let some younger Gunners answer Q2 as things have moved on a bit since I was a FOO and nomenclature is evolving fast and some is theatre specific.



  3. Pick up a copy of ODOPS from the electronic battle box,it will answer all your questions about Gunners and Gunnery and make your eyes bleed,I suggest setting aside the next 100 years to read it.
  4. Many thanks for the contribution, Pension Point. Just to make myself clear, by 'CO' what I really meant was the infantry battle group CO in BGHQ where the BC works (not the RA Regiment CO). With all the comms kit in the FST is the BC actually required in BGHQ ?
  5. msr

    msr LE

    This is the bit which isn't quite true. The FOO (or FST Comd) may have a direct line to the guns (via the Command Post), but that does not necessarily mean s/he has a guarantee that they will be available when they call for fire.

    The guns are a Divisional Asset.

    See here for more info: MK1

    This will also answer your questions about FDC/FPC/FSCC etc

  6. A BC does a numbet of things.He is the BG commanders fires advisor and SME on top of commanding his Bty.

    A BC makes a fires plan for the BG commanders operation (what ever that may be) and comes up with a fire plan that then gets passed down to each FST.

    All BG level fire units belong to the BC and he (or his Ack or the FPC commander) allocates these assets to the FSTs as per the BG commander and his plan or allocates assets requested by an FST to them.The BC (or his ack or the FPC commander) will request Brigade level fire units from the FSCC to support BG operations.

    Working with the BC is his Ack who is usually the FST troop Sgt.Also at BG HQ is the FPC (normally including a mortar SNCO and a ISTAR Tp commander)and TACP who manage all the FSTs and fire units and airframes allocated and/or working in the BG area and make sure everybody from the BG commander to an FST signaller is aware of what's going on,who is engaging what with what fire units and deconflicting airframes and UAS,most importantly the deconflict the FSTs if they have no commas with each other.

    The above people and organisations are critical in ensuring that fires is conducted as per the BG commanders plan and is conducted safely and effectively at every level.

    ODOPS is your friend if you want to know who does what and why and how all of them interact with each other doctrinally.
  7. What's AT Vol 3 Pam 11 these days?
  8. The reality of Herrick is that although the Guns are indeed a TFH asset and still part of CO fires train set its usually case that a BC has a fire unit of a number of guns allocated throughout thus allowing the guns to be allocated to an FST from the FPC and those guns should then cover that tasking the FST is going on ie a patrol,However they can indeed be pulled from that FST by the FPC or TFH to support another call sigh or tasking especially if a TIC is going on.Launchers and UAS system work in a similar fashion but without the informal throughout allocation.Of course none of the above means an FST can't request any type of assets when ever they want,they may get it they may not depends on the situation.

    Gunnery is Funnery.
  9. Thanks to all for the guidance. I've done some further reading as suggested by msr and have a few follow ups, if I may.

    1. Is it more normal for RA CS regiments to be allotted in DS of brigades (to maintain high level control) than for individual batteries put in DS of individual battle groups ?

    2. As I understand it: a) the current BG Joint Fires Cell is what used to be called the BG Fire Planning Cell, b) there is an RA regimental JFC collocated with brigade HQ, and c) at divisional level is the FDC. Does this sound about right?

    3. I could see no mention of FSCC or FPC so am I right in assuming these have gone the way of the dinosaur ?

    4. Please can someone tell me what happened to the statement that I saw in an RA pocket book some time ago (dated circa 2002) to the effect that DS as a term was no longer in general use? I am sure I didn't imagine this.


  10. It gets even more exciting with Air Defence.
  11. Hi S-S

    It's clarity of understanding I'm really looking for, rather than excitement :)