Artillery: November 3, 1999

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While US Army doctrine has tried to force the new six-gun Paladin artillery batteries into the same organization as the previous eight-gun battery (i.e., two firing platoons), experience in the field has shown it is better to operate as three pairs. Each pair (under a sergeant first class) moves around within a specified 1km circle to avoid counter-battery fire as necessary, responding to fire missions with the Paladin's remarkably quick ability to stop, set up, and fire. It has been found easier for a sergeant to handle two guns than for a lieutenant to handle three, and with three roaming elements it is easier to get a fire mission started than with two three-gun elements. While the current TO&E gives each battery a captain and two lieutenants, and expects each lieutenant to handle three guns, it has been found better to have one lieutenant supervise all three "Paladin pairs" and use the other lieutenant as a dedicated Executive Officer to handle logistics.--Stephen V Cole

 


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