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Subject: Artillery Organizational Structure
Roman    3/4/2005 11:24:10 AM
What other components apart from guns and the crews serving them do artillery units and sub-units have? For example, an artillery battery has X guns with creaw + what? HQ? Mainenance? Logistics? How many and what types of people are in these other components? How about for artillery battalions and brigades?
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ret13f    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/4/2005 7:34:01 PM
Within a division the artillery is organized as the 'Division Artillery', basicly a brigade HQ. The exact org& equipment varies with the type of division. In heavy divisions (may be different with the new TO&E) there is the Divarty HHB, which has the divarty staff, division fire support and may or may not have the fire support section for the the aviation brigade, and the Met section along with the maintenance and other odds and ends for the battery. (as females can't be assigned below combat brigade level, all females assigned to divarty are assigned to HHB,, cooks, medics, commo, survey, etc). There are 3 cannon battalions each with HHB, 3 batterys (now back to 6 M109A#), and a svc battery(battalion ammo, trans, and maintenance). the HHB has the cmd and staff, battalion FDC, and the fire support sections for the brigade the battalion supports (unlike the brits, US battery commanders do not act as FSO's), survey, commo, medics, cooks, etc. A combined MLRS/target acquisition battalion has the MLRS (not sure how the batteries are organized now, 2 X 9, i think) and the counter battery/mortar radars (Q36 & 37)(3 & 2 respectively). Keep in mind that this is possibly changing and division commanders have a lot of leeway on exactly how things are actually organized for combat.
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neutralizer    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/5/2005 5:23:38 AM
It varies between armies and in some armies the in barracks organisation is not the same as the field one.
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Roman    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/5/2005 7:34:13 AM
Neutralizer, any Western and former Warsaw Pact country would serve well as an example. BTW: How does the barracks organization differ from the field one?
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Roman    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/5/2005 10:51:34 AM
ret13f, thanks! However, what are the following things you mentioned: 1) HHB 2) SVC 3) TO&E 4) FDC 5) FSO
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FA Light Fighter    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/5/2005 12:25:26 PM
Under modularity (where all US forces will be by 2007 or so), a cannon firing battery will have 2 firing platoons with 4 howitzer sections each. Each 105mm howitzer section has a 7 man crew- a SSG section chief, a SGT gunner and ammunition team chief, and 4 PVT-SPC as drivers and cannoneers. A 155 towed section will have a couple of more soldiers- probably a 10 man crew. I don't know the exact composition of a 155 SP section. Each firing platoon will also have a LT platoon leader, SFC platoon sergeant, SFC gunnery sergeant, and a driver or 2, and a fire direction center with a LT fire direction officer, SSG fire direction chief, SGT fire direction computer, and 5-7 PVT-SPC fire direction specialists. I think this will be pretty standard across all cannon units. A firing battery will have 2 firing platoons, and a battery HQs. The HQs will have a CPT battery commander, 1SG battery first sergeant, a supply sergeant, armorer/supply specialist, chemical sergeant, a couple of drivers, and maybe one mechanic. Again, I think this will be pretty standard. The battalion will have a Headquartars and Headquarters Battery (HHB)- with your typical battalion staff sections- S1 Personnel, S2 Intelligence, S3 Operations, S4 Logistics and S6 Communications. Part of S3 will be the battalion Fire Direction Center, which controls and coordinates the fires of both batterys. A Battalion fire direction center has a CPT FDO, SFC Chief of Fire Direction, a couple of SSG-SGTs, and 4-6 PVT-SPC fire direction specialists. HHB will also have a Q36 firefinder radar section with the crew for one radar, a meteorlogical section to determine the weather data that the FDCs need to compute accurate firing data, and a survey section that accurately locates firing units and observers. They will probably be consolidated into a platoon in the HHB. Finally the battalion will have a Forward Support Battery/Company. The command relationship of this unit is still in progress, and I understand different things from different sources. The FSB will have ammunition transport, fuel and medical elements. I think that it will end up assigned to the Brigade Support Battalion, and habitually attached to the Artillery Battery.
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ret13f    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/5/2005 2:44:17 PM
HHB-headquarters & headquarters battery SVC-service battery (the logistics element) in light units the above two are combined as the HSB. TO&E- Tables of Organization and Equipment (a standardized list of all equipment, positions and personel for any unit) every unit has a TO&E, however due to specific missions, location or other variables many will have Modified TO&E (MTOE). for instance, when the 6th Infantry Division (LT) was in Alaska it had variations from the standard light infantry division. 4 light infantry battalions (1 airborne qualified) organized under 2 brigade HQs. plus all the normal support units. being in Alaska, the division had extra equipment (Arctic supplemented)- SUSV's (Swedish BV-206, i think), everyone had ski's and snowshoes, and each squad/section had an akio (sled). FDC- fire direction center, where observer data is computed into gun data. at battalion and divarty level this usually more tactical than technical. FSO-Fire support officer-the artillery representitave at company/battalion/brigade hq's.
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ret13f    RE:lt fighter   3/5/2005 2:50:56 PM
will FA battalion have only 2 firing batteries? Seems like the do more and more with less and less plan. I know the A6 can do a lot more, and quicker, but, GEEZ!
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Roman    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/6/2005 11:21:07 AM
FA Light Fighter - that was great - I thank you for your willingness to consistently provide me with these kinds of detailed explanations - on Light & Rifle infantry, on Support Units and now on Artillery. I have not (yet) served in the military and am particularly interested in the organizational and structural aspects, as you have no doubt noticed. :) ret13f - thanks for clearing them up - now I understand the explanation much better. :)
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neutralizer    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/7/2005 2:33:39 AM
Where barracks and field organisation differences really show up is in those armies that put their senior people forward where their experience and judgement can be applied in making tactical decisions in the face of the enemy (as observers, etc). This leaves the more junior officers to take care of the gun position. Since gun positions don't need much tactical decision making this is considered the best use of the talent. Also applies at bttn level, putting the CO at an inf or armd bde HQ along with his ops offr leaving the 2ic in the gun area. The result is a CO is the arty advisor to a bde commander, a BC to a combined arms bttn group commander. The have the rank and experience to make themselves heard and ensure combined arms plans that use arty to best effect. This arrangement puts arty tactical decision-making with the combined arms command, not at some cosy arty HQ away from the combined arms commander. Remotely shared electronic pictures are only a partial substitute for face to face, not to mention the latter's significantly better scope for building relationships. It is also entirely consistent with applying 'mission command' (or whatever term a particular English or other non-German speaking army uses as its translation of auftragstaktik). The downside of this system means that the barracks organisation of a nice chain of command from BC to plt comds and down doesn't exist in the field.
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Roman    RE:Artillery Organizational Structure    3/7/2005 7:48:57 AM
That is very logical, neutralizer. It makes sense that the artillery battalion commander should be in the Brigade HQ integrating artillery into the combat plans. I did not know that was what happened, but the way you describe it makes it seem like the prudent thing to do. BTW: At what level are different caliber guns integrated together? For example, I pressume a battery would consist of a uniform type of guns. Would the same be true for a battalion?
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