The U.S. Army Field Artillery has a vision as "the nation's premier Fires force: organized, equipped and trained to employ and deliver joint and combined arms Fires." That community is pursuing its vision through a focus on organizing, training and developing, employing, and sustaining the force.

The synergy of these efforts can be seen in the return of new division artillery headquarters to Army formations. Participants in the latest modernization effort emphasize that this is not a return to the division artilleries (DIVARTY) of the 1990s, but rather a critical step in providing maneuver commanders with relevant and effective 21st century Fires Forces.

Force Design Update

The process began in December 2012, when the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., submitted a Fires Headquarters Force Design Update (FDU) "to re-establish Fires command headquarters at echelons above brigade."

The change was designed to enhance Field Artillery planning, synchronization and coordination capabilities and to provide effective Mission Command for the training and readiness of attached Fires units. The FDU was considered in the Total Army Analysis process for FY16-20 and was subsequently approved by the Army Vice Chief of Staff on Oct. 3, 2013.

The Approved FDU Component Division

It will also align an active component Field Artillery brigade to each corps and one to the Eighth U.S. Army. In addition, it changes terminology, replacing the term Fires brigade with Field Artillery brigade. The update will also align the Army National Guard Field Artillery brigades with Army National Guard divisions for training affiliation. These brigades will be capable of serving as DIVARTYs to support those divisions during deployment.

Stand-up Begins.

The first new DIVARTY stood up this past July, about seven years after the stand-down of the Army's last old DIVARTY in 2007. Coincidentally, both milestones occurred in the 1st Armored Division (AD) at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The 2007 stand-down of the 1st AD Artillery had paved the way for the 212th Fires Brigade to assume the mission of providing long-range, deep-fight capabilities for the division. That ended in July with the establishment of the first new DIVARTY, which is commanded by COL Heyward Hutson.

COL Andy Preston is currently standing up the new DIVARTY for the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo. Preston said the original guidance called for the establishment of DIVARTY organizations at all 10 divisions between now and 2016. The commander of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), however, received approval this spring to accelerate the timeline.

"Right now at Fort Sill, we have two FORSCOM brigades: the 214th Fires Brigade, which I command, and the 75th Fires Brigade that COL Mike Eastman commands," Preston said. "The 75th Fires Brigade will remain at Fort Sill and become the III Corps' Field Artillery Brigade. The two rocket battalions that I have assigned to me will be reassigned to the 75th as part of that corps Field Artillery brigade. Then my 214th Fires Brigade Headquarters will inactivate while simultaneously activate the 4th DIVARTY at Fort Carson."

"The 4th Division hasn't had a DIVARTY for about 10 years," he added, "but we will begin standing it up this fall, with an actual activation date for full capability in October 2015."

Structure and Relationships

Preston outlined how the Field Artillery battalions "that used to be in the DIVARTYs that we remember in the '90s" became organic to the brigade combat teams (BCTs).

"We lost the DIVARTY headquarters, and the division commander lost that commander who synchronized operational Fires for the division," he said, "but we didn't lose the fire capability. The Field Artillery battalions just became organic to the BCTs."

The problem came when the division commander looked for a place to mass Fires or synchronize joint Fires with maneuver forces.

"We didn't have that headquarters," Preston said. "We lost that headquarters when the DIVARTY went away, and I think that's really the strength of bringing back the DIVARTY. We will now have that headquarters that will synchronize operational Fires with maneuver."

The structure of the new headquarters would be "similar to the DIVARTY of the '90s but not identical. The DIVARTY headquarters will be about 200 Soldiers. It looks a whole lot like a Field Artillery brigade headquarters," Preston said.

In terms of command relationships, Preston emphasized that the Field Artillery battalions in the 4th Infantry Division would remain in the BCTs.

"They are not organic to the DlVARTY," he said. "The artillery battalions will have an 'attached' relationship to the DIVARTY when they are not deployed. The DIVARTY commander will rate the battalion commander and be responsible for the training, readiness, certifications and qualifications-all the things that the DIVARTY used to do-but that battalion will physically still be part of the BCT structure."

CSM Daniel Moriarty, command sergeant major of the Field Artillery, acknowledged there could be some organizational differences between the new DIVARTY organizations based on a specific division commander's guidance.

"Each division has their own take on the FORSCOM order that came out," Moriarty said. "For example, 1st Armored Division is going to assign all the battalions to the DIVARTY as well, so there are some divisions that will be different based on that division commander's idea on DIVARTYs."

Division commanders' organizational guidance aside, Moriarty emphasized that the return of the DIVARTY is "not an effort to take units away from the BCTs."

"We're value-added," he said. "We can manage the talent for you. We can help you out. We can assist. Let us train them and give them back to you, and we can go from there, but the BCTs are still supposed to own the guys."

Asked whether some might see the return of DIVARTY as an attack on the Army modularity concept, Moriarty was quick to assert, "We're not ever trying to bust modularity. We want to stay with the themes of being agile and adaptive that the big Army is putting out. People can be naysayers no matter what, but we're just trying to provide a better Field Artillery product, and we do that by having the DIVARTY train those guys and give them back to the unit commanders. It has absolutely nothing to do with the modularity piece or BCTs. We're just trying to give them the best-trained product out there, on the officer side or on the enlisted side."

"That's kind of the point of the Field Artillery battalions remaining organic to the BCTs," Preston said. "I just get responsibility for training the Fires warfighting function, and I'd like to think that, as the senior Field Artilleryman in the division, I'm best postured to do that. That's the beauty of the DIVARTY: It puts the senior artilleryman responsible for training artillerymen.”

DIVARTY Doctrine

One remaining challenge involves the development of doctrine to support the new DIVARTYs, with both Moriarty and Preston noting that the development process is well underway and that initial products are already being staffed. "I think the doctrine needs to be informed by what we learn as we stand these DIVARTYs up and exercise them," Preston said. "This is not 1990. We've got a different force. We've got a different structure. This is 2014. The DIVARTY needs to be relevant for the 21st century, not the 20th century, so just dusting off DIVARTY doctrine from 1995, in my view, is not the way to go. We need to look at what the joint forces commander needs, what the division commander needs , and then determine how DIVARTY contributes."

He also noted the stand-up of the initial new DIVARTY at the lAD has allowed the early exploration of DIVARTY doctrine within the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) process, and Hutson worked aspects of this into the network architecture during NIE 14.2 in May through June.

"We've got BCTs with seven battalions and BCT commanders with an incredible amount of responsibility," Preston said. "I look at the DIVARTY as 'taking a rock out of the rucksack' of the maneuver commander. I'm going to train your Fires forces. I'm going to have them ready. Then, at the time that you meet your collective training cycle and you need Fires forces, I'm going to provide certified/qualified/trained Fires forces ready for you to employ on the battlefield."

"To me it's immensely positive," he said. "It's taking a senior artilleryman, somebody who has been doing this for a very long time, and assigning them the responsibilities for training those Fires Soldiers. That's instead of telling the infantryman that they have been an infantryman all their lives, but now you want them to figure out how to train the Fires force. So the DIVARTY helps ensure that when the maneuver commander needs to converge Fires and maneuver, that he can do that, because his Fires forces are trained.”