Accession Number : ADA288931

Title :   They have Eyes, but They do Not See. Platoon Forward Observers in the Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Barry, Robert F., II

PDF Url : ADA288931

Report Date : 17 DEC 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 62

Abstract : This monograph discusses the current need for platoon forward observers in M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle equipped mechanized infantry battalions. Changes in maneuver and artillery doctrine, emerging. technology, and a shrinking force structure have dramatically altered the role of the platoon forward observer, yet the FIST organization in a mechanized infantry battalion has remained unchanged since 1977. This monograph examines the impact of these changes on the employment and effectiveness of the platoon FO. The monograph first examines the evolution of the platoon FO, focusing on the recommendations made by the Close Support Studies Group, and subsequent formation of the FIST in 1977. Next, the doctrinal employment of the platoon FO is examined in light of changes in maneuver and artillery doctrine. The effectiveness of platoon FOs is evaluated using data from NTC, CXTC, and Operation Desert Storm. The impact of emerging technology is examined with respect to its effect or both the M2 equipped platoon leader and his forward observer. Finally, a proposed restructuring of the fire support organization within DS artillery battalions which support heavy brigades is put forth as an alternative to the current organization. The proposal considers the impact of mobility and target location accuracy as the primary motivations for these changes.

Descriptors :   *INFANTRY PERSONNEL, *ARTILLERY, MILITARY OPERATIONS, OBSERVERS, POSITION(LOCATION), MOBILITY, FORWARD AREAS, IRAQ, ORGANIZATIONS, IMPACT, EMPLOYMENT, BATTALION LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS, MILITARY DOCTRINE, CLOSE SUPPORT, BRIGADE LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS, LIGHT, ACCURACY, TARGETS, EVOLUTION(GENERAL), MANEUVERS, FIRE SUPPORT, PLATOON LEVEL ORGANIZATIONS, FIELD ARMY.

Subject Categories : Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE