‘Gunstone’: Brigade hosts Iron Fires seminar
Staff Sgt. George F. Gutierrez,
212th Fires Bde. Public Affairs:
Much has been asked of the field artillery in the past 10 years since the Army’s invasion into Afghanistan and Iraq. From transforming themselves to infantry battalions to taking on the role of the host nation security force trainers in military transition teams, the field artillery community is looking forward to getting back those core elements that make them so lethal on the contiguous battlefield.
On March 27, Col. Gene Meredith, Field Artillery Future Concepts Branch chief from the Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, Okla., spoke to senior leaders from the 1st Armored Division during the Iron Fires seminar at East Fort Bliss.
Meredith addressed the importance of the fire support element and spreading the word to assist the Army in refocusing its training in order to be successful in the near future.
“We were focused on the current fight,” said Meredith. “For the last 10 years we were involved with a low-intensity, counter-insurgent conflict.”
In Meredith’s article published in the March-April 2012 issue of the Fires Bulletin, he mentioned seven areas that are critical in properly employing precision munitions.
The areas include combined joint task force/regional command fire support element capability, combined arms Excalibur live-fire training, fire support team collective training, employment, institutional and field artillery schools training, close air support employment and airspace management.
“All seven areas are important but the Fires Support Element Capability is the most important,” said Meredith. “We are responsible for setting the standard across the formation for indirect fires. There is a lack of capability there and that’s why we spent the most amount of time talking about it.”
The participants of the seminar agreed that there needs to be a greater shift in fires training priorities to meet the demands and possibilities of future linear combat.
“In many cases we have gotten into the habit of providing fixed-wing aircraft in close support, when perhaps we have not spent enough time focusing on the indirect fire assets that could be just as effective,” said Col. David M. Hamilton, 212th Fires Brigade commanding officer.
“It really comes down to the fire support officer or the noncommissioned officer to institute training to all the teams in the brigade,” said Meredith. “The 212th Fires Brigade is in a good position to assist the 1st Armored Division and to make an impact on the future of fires capability.”
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