1-17. FIELD ARTILLERY SUPPORT
a. Field artillery, organized basically into battalions, provides the principal
surface-to-surface fire support means of the US Army.
b. Field artillery units are equipped with cannon, free rockets, or guided missiles.
They support the combat elements by neutralizing or destroying with fire those targets
most likely to hinder accomplishment of the mission.
c. Within the division, organization of the field artillery is relatively fixed, although
it can be varied by attachment of additional units. Placing units in support of the combat
elements normally provides artillery support. Artillery units are not normally attached to
maneuver (combat) elements unless distances from the artillery control headquarters
become so excessive that centralized control is not feasible (see f, below).
d. At corps level there is no organic field artillery. Attaching or assigning the
numbers and types of field artillery units required by the situation and the mission
provides fire support. Corps artillery may be retained in support of the entire force, or it
may be employed to reinforce subordinate elements of the force. When division artillery
is insufficient in numbers or types to provide the necessary fire support, elements of the
corps artillery may be attached to or reinforce the division artillery.
e. Field artillery is more effective when control is centralized at the highest level
consistent with its capabilities and the requirements of the mission. When control is
thus centralized, maximum flexibility is achieved, and maximum support to each
subordinate element of the command is provided.
f. In mobile operations, stability operations, and particularly when the enemy
employs nuclear weapons, the increased dispersion of forces, the quickened tempo of
action, and the decentralization of control of maneuver elements may weigh against
centralized control of field artillery. This is especially true with respect to weapons of
shorter range. As the level of usage of nuclear weapons increases, or as the battle
becomes more fluid, a corresponding requirement is normally created for decreasing
centralized control, resulting in attachment of field artillery to the combat elements.
1-18. AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY SUPPORT
a. Air defense artillery consists of weapons and equipment for combating air
targets from the ground. Air defense artillery provides the principal means for active air
defense by the US Army. The composition, in terms of units, of air defense artillery
echelons above battalion is flexible and is determined by the requirements of a specific
b. Air defense artillery materiel includes surface-to-air missile systems, fire
distribution systems, and automatic weapon systems.