Marine doctrine further declared that: "Generally, Air will not be used where available
Artillery or Naval Gunfire can be effectively employed and is adequate. Neither Air nor
Naval Gunfire will be used where available Artillery can be effectively employed and is
adequate." This quote is from USF 66, a document that, along with others in the USF
series such as USF 6 and 63, delineated the official doctrine of the Navy and Marine
Corps for amphibious operations.2
USF 66 goes on that the aim of fire support coordination was threefold: "(a) To
obtain the maximum efficiency of firepower utilization from the supporting arms. (b) To
prevent the waste of firepower. (c) To promote the safety of aircraft and ground forces."
Marines would add (to the Navy's wording) that another aim was to achieve the
maximum shock effect on an enemy target to further the progress of a ground attack or
defense, thus saving infantry lives.3
To accomplish Fire Support Coordination, the Marine Corps had Fire Support
Coordination Centers (FSCC) from division level up. Below the division level, i.e.
regimental and battalion level, a more informal agency, the Supporting Arms Center
(SAC) handled the requirements for coordination and integration on the part of the
Governing principles of Marine Fire Support Coordination were largely developed
in amphibious warfare, "however, the principles are equally applicable to purely land
mass operations." Fire Support Coordination was necessary due to factors, "such as
the necessity for maintaining the momentum of attack once it is launched and
2 United States Navy and Marine Corps, NAVMC-4159, 31; United States Navy, USF 66, Tactical and
Operational Instructions, Amphibious Forces, (Washington, D. C.: Navy Department, Office of the Chief of
Naval Operations, 1947): 11-18. Emphasis supplied.
3 United States Navy, USF 66, 11-18; MCBS, IV-C-2.
4 MCBS, IV-C-I.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed August 29, 2014.