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Division Artillery Gives Army ‘Clear Advantage’

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U.S. Army
Monday, May 11, 2020

Control of field artillery battalions needs to change in the Army in order to dominate during large-scale combat operations, argues a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army.

The paper, titled “Massed Fires, Not Organic Formations: The Case for Returning Field Artillery Battalions to the DIVARTY,” describes the advantages of having field artillery battalions controlled by a division artillery headquarters—or DIVARTY—instead of brigade combat teams.

“If the joint force is to mass fires against a peer adversary, centralized control will be important,” write authors retired Col. David Johnson, an adjunct scholar at the Modern War Institute at West Point, and retired Lt. Gen. David Halverson, a former commander of the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence.

Keeping field artillery battalions in BCTs “violates one of the fundamentals of fire support,” the authors argue, referring to the idea of never keeping artillery in reserve.

A “clear advantage” of DIVARTY is that it will ensure all the fires that “can range the fight are available” to support maneuver commanders across an “extended battlefield,” the paper says.

To make this point, the paper shares insight into the history of artillery, the impact of modularity and the advantage division artillery can have on field artillery capabilities.

Read the full paper here