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Joint Pub 3-60 states; “Fires are defined as the use of weapon systems to create a specific lethal or non-lethal effect on a target. All fires are normally synchronized and integrated to achieve synergistic results.” The Maritime Fires Working Group (MFWG) and Maritime Targeting Working Group (MTWG) should be the two Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs) within the Maritime Operations Center (MOC) battle rhythm charged with ensuring that maritime targets are both planned for and engaged in such a manner as to accomplish the commander’s desired effects. Although the membership of these working groups may be similar, the purpose, inputs, process used, and outputs are distinctly different. Whereas the MFWG should rely on the knowledge, experience, and creativity of its members to focus on the art of maritime fires by synchronizing lethal and non-lethal weapon systems to accomplish desired effects, the MTWG should focus on the science of maritime fires by utilizing well-defined, repetitive processes to develop standard inputs to the targeting process. This article advocates for the effective employment of a MFWG within the MOC, describes the difference between the MFWG and MTWG, and shows how they should fit within a battle rhythm to develop targets that are synchronized and integrated in order to accomplish the maritime commander’s operational objectives.

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