Flexibility, Reach, and the Vietnam Fire Base
Monograph rept. Jun 2013-May 2014
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The U.S. military historically uses basing as a means to extend operational reach during sustained operations. These same bases offer maneuver commanders options regarding risk and flexibility during missions. In the Vietnam War, the Fire Support Base served as a location for indirect fire systems to support the ground commander. These Fire Support Bases evolved to the modern day Forward Operating Base currently employed in Afghanistan. The purpose of this monograph is to identify some factors that affect the selection of base locations in order to improve efficiency in providing support for the maneuver commander. This monograph focused on how Fire Support Bases were employed during the Vietnam War in different operational strategies. The study found that Fire Support Bases significantly increased operational reach and depth, and furthermore, provided significant options that both reduced risk and increased flexibility to ground commanders.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics