Optimizing US Army Field Artillery: A Future for the King of Battle
Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,27 May 2018
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
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Field artillery is the US Armys primary fire support platform due to its all-weather responsiveness and multifunctional capabilities. The purpose of this monograph is to provide context for the examination of field artillery doctrine as it evolves from advances in technology. This analysis focuses on the role of field artillery and its evolution in providing support for maneuver forces. Historically, field artillery shaped the battlefield with its superior ability to mass fires and produce devastating effects on enemy forces. The introduction of precision guided munitions provided an additional field artillery capability with the objective of increasing lethality on the battlefield. Through an examination of chronological historical case studies, field artillery employment of massed fires evolved into a hybrid mix of mass and precision. Understanding how the new doctrine incorporated the employment of precision guided munitions encourages discourse on the optimal use of precision and massed fires. This monograph examines the increase in lethality and implications of precision fires. The recommendations from this study enhance the ground commanders ability to employ precision or massed field artillery capabilities in large scale combat operations. This understanding preserves institutional knowledge and informs plans for future unified land operations.