Fire support base

A fire support base (FSB, firebase or FB) is a military encampment designed to provide indirect fire artillery support to infantry operating in areas beyond the normal range of fire support from their own base camps. FSBs were used extensively by the U.S. during the Vietnam War.

Components during Vietnam War

An FSB was built mainly as a permanent encampment, though many were dismantled when the units that they supported moved. Their main components varied by size: small bases usually had six 105 millimeter howitzers, a platoon of engineers permanently on station, a Landing Zone (LZ), a Tactical Operations Center (TOC), an aid station staffed with medics, a communications bunker, and a battalion of infantry. Large FSBs would also have a medium artillery position (155 mm), a piece of self-propelled artillery, and an infantry division.

Use in Afghanistan

Firebases have been set up in Afghanistan since the action by U.S.-led Coalition forces began in 2001. These bases provide fire support to Coalition forces in the search for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters along the Pakistan border.


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