8. ELEVATION. (Elevation is given in roils
preceded by ELEVATION. Elevation is the authority to
Fire commands originate with the computer at the
fire except when the method of fire includes the
FDC or when the mortars are used without an FDC, with
statement AT MY COMMAND.)
the leader at the observation post. These commands
contain the technical instructions that enable the gunners
Subsequent Fire Command
to lay the mortars for deflection and elevation.
It is often desirable to transmit fire commands in
The subsequent fire command contains changes to
fragmentary form as the elements of the command are
the initial fire command data. Subsequent commands
determined. When transmitted in this manner, the
include only those elements that have changed except
command can be executed while it is being issued.
that elevation is ALWAYS announced, changed or not.
Whenever practical, fire commands are given orally.
Changes in direction are given in total deflection; for
When it is not practical to give oral commands in person,
example, to change deflection from 2,700 to the left 50
telephone or radio maybe used. The gunners repeat the
roils, the leader would give a subsequent command of
elements of every fire command as they receive them.
DEFLECTION TWO-SIX-FIVE-ZERO. When a
There are two types of fire commands: the initial fire
change is made in mortars to fire or in the method of
command and the subsequent fire command.
fire, the leader gives a subsequent command that
includes both elements to avoid a misunderstanding.
NOTE: All fire commands, initial and subsequent,
are repeated by the gunner.
The elements of both follow a definite sequence;
however, subsequent commands include only such
elements as are changed, except that elevation is always
As soon as the gunner receives and repeats the
command, he begins setting the designated deflection
and elevation on the sight unit. The number 1 ammo
bearer, as soon as the gunner repeats the command,
prepares the round for firing and hands it to the assistant
Initial Fire Command
gunner who does the actual loading. By the time the
mortar is laid to the direction, the ammunition should be
ready for loading.
The initial fire command consists of the data
necessary to fire the first round. There are eight elements
of the initial fire command which are as follows:
PREPARING THE AMMUNITION
1. MORTARS TO FOLLOW. (Alerts the firing
When the fire command is issued, the first
ammunition bearer prepares the ammunition for firing.
Continuing with our example fire command, the
and fuze to be used.)
gunner selects an M888 HE round. As this round is
3. MORTAR TO FIRE. (Designates the specific
normally fuzed with the M734 fuze, the ammo bearer
weapon or weapons to fire. Each weapon has a different
must first remove this fuze and replace it with the
proximity fuze as designated in the fire command. To do
this, he removes the fuze with the M18 fuze wrench. He
4. METHOD OF FIRE. (Indicates the number of
then takes the proximity fuze from its container and
rounds to be fired and any special instructions.)
inspects the threads to ensure they are in good condition.
5. DEFLECTION. (The word deflection always
The fuze is then inserted into the fuze cavity of the
precedes the sight setting. This element gives the exact
projectile and manually screwed in by grasping the base
deflection required to engage the target.)
of the fuze. Using the fuze wrench, he tightens the fuze
until no clearance exists between it and the body of the
6. CHARGE. (This element is announced by
CHARGE and followed by the desired number.)
With the new fuze installed, the ammo bearer next
7. TIME. (This element provides the fuze setting
adjusts the propellant charge. The fire command called
for the illuminating rounds. Omit this element for HE
for a CHARGE TWO. As the M888 HE round is issued