Fire Support Team
A Fire Support Team (or FST) is responsible for directing artillery fire and close air support (ground attack by aircraft) onto enemy positions. Because artillery is an indirect-fire weapon system, the guns are rarely in line-of-sight of their target, often located tens of miles away. The observer serves as the eyes of the artillery battery, calling in target locations and adjustments to the Fire Direction Centre (FDC) via radio or TACSAT. The FDC then translates the observer's orders into firing solutions for the battery's cannons. Artillery observers are often deployed with combat arms maneuver units, typically infantry companies or armoured squadrons.
Artillery observers are considered high-priority targets by enemy forces, as they control a great amount of firepower, are within visual range of the enemy, and are often located deep within enemy territory. The artillery observer must therefore be skilled not only in fire direction, but also in stealth and, if necessary, direct combat.
The FST comprises: