Surveillance & Target Acquisition (STA)
5 Regiment Royal Artillery is the Army's Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) regiment, and is a singleton regiment - the only unit which provides the capabilities we have. We have a constant commitment to deploy one sub-unit every six months as the Theatre STA Battery, supporting operations in Afghanistan. On operations, the Theatre STA Battery acts as the eyes of the troops on the ground. We provide three main capabilities: Counter Indirect Fire, Base ISTAR and Theatre Surveillance Troop.
Counter Indirect Fire (C-IDF)
This is a process of identifying where a projectile such as an artillery shell, mortar or rocket is fired from. We do this using several weapon locating radar and acoustic systems. This information can then be passed on to other units to observe or strike.
Base ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)
Surveillance equipment that provides protection to our Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and Patrol Bases (PBs). This is done with several cameras and sensors that relay information to a command and control centre where information and images are gathered. This information is used to protect troops on the ground, spot insurgent activity, and build up a picture of the local normal activity in Afghanistan and then warn if something unusual occurs or pass the information on to other units who can take the process further either by collecting intelligence or striking the enemy.
Theatre Surveillance Troop
The Regiment also provides the Theatre Surveillance Troop, a group of specially qualified soldiers who are trained and equipped to get close to targets and points of interest to gather information. All the soldiers come from 4/73 Battery and they must have passed the Patrols Course, a 13 week long arduous course which trains the soldiers to use some very sophisticated image gathering and surveillance equipment. In addition, 4/73 Bty also provides Fire Support Teams to the Close Support Artillery Regiment for each tour of Afghanistan.