why is it important to coordinate targeting functions properly to be able to exchange information in a operational area

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Datums and Coordinate SystemsForum

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In the Lesson this week we looked at Map Projections, Datums, and Coordinate Systems. In targeting, being able to share coordinates accurately is of utmost importance in military operations. The Army Publication FM3-60 – Targeting states that:

For joint agencies to coordinate targeting functions properly, they must be able to exchange information by using a common frame of reference regarding operational area. A small detail that has tremendous implications supporting this common reference, especially if overlooked, is ensuring planners and operators use the correct datum.

Military operations need to utilize one common datum to avoid problems. In air operations where multiple datums are unwittingly used, bombs can fall hundreds of meters from their intended target, leading to wasted ordnance and worse, to collateral damage.

Read Appendix G, Common Datum, of FM3-60 (two pages) and discuss some of the errors in air ground operations if multiple datums are used.


“Targeting,” Army Techniques Publication 3-60 (FM 3-60). 2015. Washington, D.C. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Pages G1 and G2. Accessed October 14, 2016. https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/atp3-60.pdf

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