ST 6-50-60 Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for
M109A6 HOWITZER (PALADIN) OPERATIONS


APPENDIX I

MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES

The Paladin Howitzer gains its increase in survivability by making frequent moves. To make the best use of this ability, soldiers in a Paladin Platoon must be well trained in various movement techniques in different types of terrain.

I-1. GENERAL

The Paladin battery is very flexible and can readily employ all the techniques written in FM 6-50. The battery commander has many movement options and can move in virtually any terrain. Depending on his assessment of METT-T, he can move his battery in its entirety, as platoons, pairs, or with single guns. As discussed in Chapters 3 & 4, the commander has various methods of employing the Paladin.

a. PLATOON MOVEMENT:

The POC controls three howitzer sections in a platoon position that is approximately 1000 X 2000 meters in area. Operating as a platoon of three sections requires a great deal of coordination between the section chiefs and the POC. Command and control are maximized if a senior section chief is designated among howitzer sections. The senior chief or team leader directs the movement of the subordinate chiefs based on guidance from the platoon leader, platoon sergeant or the platoon operations center. When the POC sends movement orders to the platoon, the team leader is responsible to execute the movement. All three howitzers in the platoon receive the same movement order and the team leader leads the way to the new position.

(1) The "Wingmen" Concept. The wingmen maneuver by orienting off the team leader's location. The wingmen orient and disperse from the team leader as set forth by unit SOP or as directed by the team leader. The team leader maneuvers and changes the platoon formation based on the factors of METT-T. Orientation data may be designated by a direction; front, rear, left or right from the team leader or by using the face of a clock. For instance, in desert terrain a one wingman might be positioned 200 meters to the left and 300 meters to the rear, and the second wingman positioned 200 meters to the right and 300 meters to the rear of the team leader relative to the azimuth of fire. (See fig. I-1). In closer terrain, the distance might be 100 meters with one wingman at the 4 o'clock position and the second at the 9 o'clock position. (See fig. I-2). The total distance between howitzers should never be less than 100 meters to minimize the effects of incoming artillery fires and to ensure the effectiveness of tube to tube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure I-1. Wingmen positioned left and right rear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wingmen positioned at 9 and 4 o'clock.

b. PAIRED MOVEMENT:

The battery commander may decide to move his battery as pairs. Because the Paladin unit can be widely dispersed, this technique is the lowest level of movement that provides the sections mutual support. With this technique, one POC can assume control of two pairs and the second POC controls one pair. The paired concept is similar to the platoon except only two sections are moving together. As with platoon movement, it is advantageous to assign a team leader to control the pairs. This concept simplifies the C2 and ensures that proper separation is maintained within a pair. As with platoon operations, both howitzers in the pair receive the same movement order and the team leader leads the way to the new position. The single wingman maneuvers and orients off the team leader's location as in platoon operations.

c. The factors of METT-T call for different types of movement techniques, tied to different levels of centralized vs. decentralized control of the howitzers by the POC. What follows are some techniques to be used by Paladin units to optimize the capabilities of the howitzer. It should be understood that none of these techniques are absolute and can be altered as the tactical situation and level of training within the unit dictate.

d. Units must have these battle drills spelled out explicitly in the SOPs, and they must be

rigorously rehearsed, so that when the unit moves to a new environment, they will be able to

execute a movement technique that is appropriate to that environment.

 

I-2. MOVEMENT METHODS

a. Desert/Tundra

The unobstructed open spaces of a desert environment offer the easiest methods of

conducting survivability movement. Any method can be used in conjunction with decentralized control, to maximize dispersion and use of the terrain. The team leader, followed by his wingmen, can disperse in the firing area, they can move from area to area as in the quadrant method, or they can displace to a new firing area within the platoon area. The movement should be varied so actions do not become predictable. (See Figure I-3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Dispersion in the 500 meter radius position area.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Three sections move to new quadrant within 500 meter radius.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

( Team leader moves howitzers to new 500 meter position within the platoon area.)

Figure I-3. Survivability movement.

b. TEMPERATE/FORESTED

The Temperate/Lightly Forested environment, such as is found in most of Western Europe and much of the United States, calls for an intermediate level of centralization. Platoon areas can most likely be subdivided by terrain features, and the senior CS can find locations for his wingmen within his area, based on loose guidance by the GSG or PLT SGT. The wingmen concept can be used here, also, but since the CS will want to use all available cover and concealment, the orientation may have to be more flexible. For example, guidance from the team leader to his wingmen might be: "Follow me to the next tree line, and take a positions 200 meters left and right of me in the tree line."

c. URBAN

The urban environment calls for the most centralized control of any environment. Since maneuverability is limited, and the chief will be too busy on his gun to do an in-depth reconnaissance of future positions, the gunnery sergeant should reconnaissance individual howitzer positions, and brief his chiefs on where they are. As time permits, the GSG can take the chiefs to each of their firing positions in the position area in the GSG's HMMWV. The GSG should report to the POC and point out on the position area diagram where all of the individual howitzer positions are positioned.

I-3. MOVEMENT TO CONTACT

In a fast moving situation such as a movement to contact, movement may not fit neatly into the categories of "tactical" or "survivability" moves. Units should establish SOPs for how to deploy in these situations. Those SOPs should allow for swift emplacement from the column march. The wingman concept can be useful here, also.

I-4. MOVEMENT TTP

a. This section provides a short description of movement options and associated TTPs. The list of options are not all inclusive. FM 71-123, Tactics and techniques for Combined Arms Heavy Forces: Armored Brigade, Battalion/Task Force, and Company/Team, Appendix A; FM 17-98-1, Scout Leader's Handbook; and FM 17-15, Tank Platoon provide additional assistance and reference for movement and survivability in combat. They also discuss TTPs for navigation, troop leading procedures, command and control during movement.

 

 

 

 

b. When selecting movement options leaders must consider METT-T:

Mission. What are the battalion, battery, and platoon missions? What is the task force commander's intent? What are the critical tasks for this mission?

Enemy. Where is the enemy and what size force does he have? What are his

intentions? Will he attack, defend, or delay? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Terrain (OCOKA) and Weather. How do terrain and weather affect our maneuvers?

O. Where can we observe and fire at the enemy?

C. Where are covered and concealed routes and positions?

O. Where are the obstacles and what kind are they? How are they bypassed?

K. Where is the key terrain, and how can it be used to support our mission?

A. Where are the avenues of approach? How fast can we move, and how much

space do terrain and other unit formations give us?

Troops (and other assets). What are the conditions of personnel and vehicles? What is the status of ammo, fuel, and supplies? How much sleep can we get? Who is best

able to do a specific task? What other assets are available to support our mission?

What are other batteries and platoons doing?

Time Available. What was the start point time? What was the line of departure time? How much time is available for planning, preparation, and movement?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the factors of METT-T, the movement options selected must take the following into account:

-The displacement options discussed in FM 6-20-1 for:

1) Displacement by unit

2) Displacement by echelon

3) Displacement by battery

-In some cases, battalion may influence movement to maintain control of

fires especially for employment of special munitions or mass missions.

-Maintaining the communications flow (electronic line of sight) from

battalion TOC/FDC to the platoons to the guns. Extended ranges

between battalion and platoons may require the use of battalion retrans

capability.

-Need to maintain survey/navigation accuracy on board the howitzer.

-Survivability / Defensibility

c. TRAVEL FORMATIONS. Designating the formation to be used by the unit:

-Establishes the relationship of one platoon or element to another on the ground.

-Expresses where you envision the enemy to be and how you intent to react on contact.

-Establishes where the fire power is needed.

-Establishes the degree of security desired.

The unit can use, but is not restricted to four basic formations: column, wedge, box, and line. Leaders should select the formations most appropriate for the current situation unless directed otherwise. Formations are not rigid. Terrain and common sense will frequently dictate needed changes. There is no set location for leaders. Key personnel must be tactically positioned in locations to best provide command and control. Typically, the Gunnery Sergeant is

positioned forward to reconnoiter and warn the unit. The position of vehicles and support elements are dictated by METT-T.

Use the following formations as a general guide. (See Figure I-4 through I-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure I-4. Column

-Provides good security and maximum fires to the flanks

-Facilitates control

-Facilitates deployment into other formations

-Facilitates rapid movement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure I-5. Wedge

-Permits excellent fire to the front and good fire to the flank

-Facilitates control

-Provides good protection to the POC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure I-6. Line

-Permits maximum fire power to the front

-Is the most difficult to control

-Is less secure due to lack of depth