The commander is in the best position both tactically and technically to assess the combat effectiveness of his unit. His assessment is an on-going process throughout the conflict and is a normal command responsibility. He conducts it whether or not he anticipates reconstitution. His staff and higher headquarters assist him in the assessment.
The staff elements routinely provide advice in their functional areas. For instance, the S1 identifies personnel issues that affect the mission and individual soldiers. He estimates the number of casualties for the next battle. He also coordinates with the unit surgeon to determine expected returns to duty from medical treatment facilities. The S4 provides similar advice in logistics areas.
The higher headquarters may rely totally on submitted reports and the unit commander's assessment, or it may visit the unit's area and quantify the assessment. If the assessment indicates that the unit is not mission capable, the commander reorganizes if that process will enable the unit to perform its mission. If it cannot, the unit may be withdrawn from combat. The unit's higher headquarters must approve this decision and pass it up the chain of command to the commander with assets to control regeneration. In any case, the need for reconstitution should come as no surprise to commanders. They know before a mission begins the threat facing each unit and the required reconstitution probability for each.
The commander sets in the SOP and specific OPLAN a level of degradation to be the trigger point for implementing the reconstitution plan. However, he may have to adjust the level to meet the current situation, anticipated missions, and available resources. The situation may require a severely degraded unit to remain in battle and rely on reorganization. Another unit with greater capability may have the flexibility to pull back for regeneration. The commander may accept a lesser but continuous capability to seize or maintain the initiative. He always has the prerogative to reorganize the unit with a smaller capability and mission to match boundary adjustments. Conversely, he may allow a unit time to rebuild to a higher degree of readiness to prepare for a new mission. Ultimately, his decision should reflect needs for combat power within the context of the overall campaign.
The commander's assessment draws on both tangible and intangible factors. The bases of the objective portion of his assessment are the tangible factors. These include strength reports, casualty figures, length of time in combat, and planned missions. Subjective factors include such intangibles as morale, fatigue, and leadership effectiveness.
Four broad areas provide indicators key to determining the ability of a unit to continue assigned missions.
Commanders evaluate the--
- Unit strength.
- Number and type of casualties including battle fatigue.
- Condition of key personnel.
- Weapon system crew status.
- Level of training.
- Mission capable personnel.
- Effectiveness of the remaining chain of command.
- Impact of individual replacements on unit cohesion.
They should not rely solely on figures. Though casualty figures should provide the best guide for evaluating the status of forces, accurate casualty figures may not be available until several days after an operation, if ever. Still, these reports are probably the best single determinant of the need for reconstitution. Though the strength level required to present a credible force varies, 60 percent may be used as a start point to adjust as necessary.
Commanders evaluate the status of major weapon systems, vehicles, and other essential equipment. As with personnel, the percentage required for successful mission accomplishment depends on the situation, but 70 percent may serve as an initial planning guideline. Commanders should also assess ammunition and POL supplies, the capability of the medical assets to handle unit casualties, and the capability of other organic CSS elements to perform their missions.
The availability of combat support is critical to the ability of maneuver units to continue assigned missions. Commanders assess the availability of field artillery, electronic warfare, intelligence, signal, engineer, chemical (smoke/decontamination), ADA, Air Force TACAIR, and naval gunfire support. These assets may enable a severely degraded unit to continue operations or to reorganize while remaining in combat.
The commander considers a number of subjective factors that affect his unit's ability to continue its mission. Among the most important are--
- Effectiveness of unit leadership (all leaders, not just chain of command).
- Soldier morale and personnel readiness.
- Esprit de corps.
- Unit history.
Formal assessment of these factors is probably not possible. However, the commander should know his troops and be sensitive to their needs to detect the first subtle shifts in morale that may ultimately undermine his authority and destroy the unit.
Several factors affect the above indicators. These factors and the commander's knowledge of them may cause him to weight a particular indicator more heavily when determining reconstitution needs.
Among the factors which influence the soldiers' condition are the following:
- Total length of time the soldiers have been in combat.
- Number and locations of any intervening rest periods.
- Nature and intensity of the most recent combat experience.
- Physical condition of the soldiers. This includes their nutritional status, number and status of minor and environmental injuries, and accumulated radiation dose.
- Psychological condition of the soldiers.
- Number, experience level, fitness, and positions of replacements.
The environment includes weather, terrain, use of mass casualty weapons, and physical evidence of previous success or defeat. The commander should appraise the weather and terrain not only for their impact on tactical operations and lines of communication, but also for their effects on the mental state of his soldiers. A harsh environment can have a significant, negative psychological effect. Excessive rain and clouds or heat and sun can be particularly harmful. Such conditions hurt morale and cause most nonbattle casualties, especially those from illnesses and disease.
Combat rarely, if ever, fits preconceived notions. Even veteran troops meet unexpected circumstances. This variable relates to what may be termed the imperative of the mission. The degree of urgency of the unit's mission may influence its determination to carry it out. Obviously, a unit ordered to "stand to the death" has a different perspective than one ordered to fight a delaying action. In short, the significance of the mission should be clear to all.
Soldiers should also know what support they can expect. The commander should never promise his troops more support than may be available. Dashing troops' high expectations is one of the surest ways to destroy a unit's confidence and morale. If changes in expected support develop, the commander should ensure that the troops understand why someone may not deliver on their behalf. To ignore a lack of promised support and not communicate it with the fighting men only convinces them that no one knows, no one cares, and they have been left to redeem others' mistakes with their sacrifices.
Specific soldier expectations that the commander should consider include the following:
- Soldiers' commitment to the mission and knowledge of their role in the overall mission.
- Enemy situation.
- CS and CSS availability compared to that actually received.
- Anticipated future missions.
- Soldiers' confidence as a unit.
Commanders should be aware of how their soldiers perceive the particular combat engagement. If they perceive it as the most difficult fighting of a campaign, the unit may require reconstitution. A related factor is the dispersion of fighting men. Commanders may disperse troops to offset a high volume of fire. However, tactical dispersion presents not only a C2 problem but also an individual one. The soldier's lack of information and awareness of events swirling around him heightens the sense of isolation.
Division commanders should know their key battalion and regimental leaders. However, they are not likely to have intimate knowledge of leadership at the company, platoon, and squad levels. Signs of physical and nervous strain among battalion and regimental commanders may signal the need for reconstitution. Unfortunately, at the lower levels of command it is hard to determine who the key leaders are during combat, let alone assess their physical and psychological capability to lead after they may have been overworked during previous operations. Another potential problem involves replacement of leaders. Even if the unit receives replacements, their acceptance could be a problem. Veterans may resent their presence. They may feel that they are being cheated out of a promotion or that the newcomers cannot take the veterans' place.
Once the commander decides to remove a unit from combat and formally assess it for possible regeneration, he and his staff adjust the tentative regeneration plan and activate the RTF. An advance party from the RTF moves to the proposed regeneration site. This party has the assets to begin to prepare the site to receive the unit and to complete the Phase II assessment. It should arrive 12 to 24 hours before the attrited unit whenever possible. It establishes a reception area, an RTF command post, and points to provide initial soldier sustainment functions. The party plans positioning of units within the site. The provost marshal representative adjusts the BCC plan as required. The RTF begins to establish local security and camouflage according to the defense plan coordinated with the rear CP/RAOC. The size of the regenerated unit may dictate that more MPs may be necessary. The party also moves supplies that had been prepositioned to the supply points in the regeneration site. However, the RTF does not fully establish the site until the directing commander decides to regenerate the unit.
The attrited unit is responsible for moving itself to the regeneration site. If the unit lacks the transportation assets required for the move, it requests help. While the unit disengages, normal battlefield procedures continue. These include--
- Passage of lines.
- Relief in place.
- Battle damage assessment and repair.
- Recovery of damaged equipment.
- Treatment and evacuation of casualties.
- Evacuation of remains to the mortuary affairs collection point.
- Resupply of such items as fuel, water, rations, and ammunition, which the attrited unit needs to move to the site.
Often, the unit needs help with some of these functions which it would normally do itself. The RTF should be ready to send elements forward to a designated link-up site to provide support and the initial liaison between the attrited unit and the RTF. The liaison function entails sending back preliminary assessments and needs to the RTF to expedite the regeneration process. This liaison/assessment element may include a battle damage assessment team like one used in normal support operations. If so, the RTF commander task organizes the BDAT from assets under his control. Table 4-1 shows sample elements of a BDAT.
Support elements may also help recover and evacuate wounded personnel and damaged equipment. Mortuary affairs personnel may provide recovery, limited identification, and evacuation of remains. During the movement, the unit may download certain materiel and supplies. This both eases the backhaul mission and makes the supplies available to sustain the fight in the main battle area. The unit may also require decontamination as discussed in Chapter 3.
Elements of the RTF itself use organic transportation assets to move to the regeneration site. If they need additional assets, they request them through the movement control channels designated in the SOP or OPORD. Planners should understand that this may represent a considerable requirement for transportation. For example, if a DS maintenance facility must move to the site, it needs significant aid from a transportation unit. Planners can minimize such requirements by carefully selecting a site at or near an established support area or nonmobile RTF elements whenever possible.
Once the unit arrives at the site (after leaving the decontamination site as applicable), the RTF receives personnel and directs them to their areas. It directs damaged reparable equipment to the maintenance collection point. It directs operable equipment and usable supplies to a marshaling, storage, or staging area with the supply unit of the RTF. The RTF also begins essential support services to surviving personnel. Support includes provision of--
- Hot meals (with fresh bread and pastries if possible).
- Health services (to include casualty treatment, combat stress care, preventive medicine).
- Laundry and bath support.
- Individual equipment replacements.
- Chaplain support.
- Morale, welfare, and recreation activities.
During this initial period, the assessment element thoroughly assesses the attrited unit. This Phase II assessment is a special, formal assessment. Elements external to the attrited unit conduct it whenever the commander proposes regeneration as a result of the Phase I assessment. The Phase II assessment begins during the move to the regeneration site and provides extensive details on resources required to regenerate the unit. For example, not only does it confirm that 25 tanks are inoperable, but it provides information on the time and resources required to return them to serviceability. This assessment validates and modifies as required the regeneration plan developed before the onset of the operation.
This detailed assessment, and later control of the regeneration process, is normally beyond the capability of the unit's next higher headquarters if the organization is still in contact with the enemy. A team from division/corps normally assesses a battalion; a team from corps/theater army assesses a brigade. Chapter 1 discusses command and control of regeneration; Appendix D presents suggestions on team composition.
One of the assessment tasks is to determine how much the attrited unit should assist in its own regeneration. This determination should take into account the trade-off involved. On the one hand, war-weary and stressed soldiers need rest and recuperation. They may not be able to contribute much to a regeneration effort. However, if the survivors are not involved, they may feel a loss of pride in the unit and ownership of its equipment. In any situation, the assessment element should consider two factors concerning the unit's participation. First, whenever possible, there should be at least a brief recuperation period for survivors as described above. Also, the RTF should closely coordinate assessment and regeneration activities with the attrited unit's staff.
In fact, the members of the assessment element should work closely with the staff of the attrited unit throughout the process, beginning with their linkup on the move to the regeneration site. As with the Phase I assessment, they evaluate five major areas--C2, personnel, equipment, supply, and training. That is why the assessment team must include both operational and CSS personnel. The team identifies both the magnitude and criticality of shortfalls within the unit. Unlike the Phase I assessment, however, the formal assessment determines replacement equipment and personnel available (including those forecasted to be returned to duty from the medical system). It also adjusts repair times to match equipment availability.
The assessment element should work as quickly as possible. Delays in this process and subsequent decision making can be extremely costly as battlefield conditions can rapidly change the effectiveness status of the unit.
The result of the Phase II assessment is a detailed report coordinated with the attrited unit's commander. The report informs the team's headquarters on the status of the attrited unit and the resources required to return it to a mission-capable level. The commander with control of the required resources decides whether to commit the resources to that regeneration effort or employ them elsewhere to maximize the command's capability to achieve its mission. If the decision is to regenerate, the RTF finishes preparing the regeneration site and begins the actual execution of the regeneration order.
The key to any successful reconstitution is a viable command and control structure. Accordingly, C2 elements are the first the RTF assesses and reinforces or reestablishes. Effective command of units undergoing regeneration relies heavily on having clearly defined succession of command procedures and techniques in SOPs and OPORDs. Units also follow guidance in SOPs to reestablish staffs. Normally, these plans and procedures provide for use of subordinate echelon assets. Whenever possible, the remaining unit leaders should retain command of the unit to maintain unit cohesion. Only when the unit leadership proves to be nonexistent or unable to exercise command should the RTF take temporary charge of the unit. The RTF only retains control until it can reestablish the unit's C2 structure.
Replacements for lost leaders of the attrited unit may come from several sources. If resources and time permit, they may come from the normal replacement system and may include returns to duty. Leaders may also be pulled from organizations under control of the directing commander. This commander should make his wants in this area clear in the regeneration order. The PSS element should be able to provide information on the responsiveness of the replacement system and on what personnel with the requisite qualifications are available. In any case, planners should anticipate losses of key commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior NCOs and plan for replacements.
In cases where only small remnants of units are intact after an intense engagement or use of mass casualty weapons, there may not be enough assets to regenerate each degraded unit. In this case, the commander may elect to form a composite unit followed closely by regeneration. The commander directing formation of the composite unit is typically the commander two levels above the unit. He appoints a commander, ideally from the composite unit personnel, and uses available assets to establish a minimum command structure. He also designates the chain of command (parent unit) for the new unit. The commander should be aware that forming a composite unit has long-term radical effects on force structure. Therefore, he weighs this decision carefully.
In all cases, the reinforced or reestablished C2 structure reinstitutes normal military routines for the unit after its initial recovery period. The routines include reveille, roll call, inspections, drill, physical training, and reestablishment of areas down to platoon level.
At the same time that the operational element of the RTF is reestablishing the C2 structure of the unit, the CSS element is beginning to conduct support operations. In many cases, once the RTF and attrited unit are in the regeneration site, the actual activities of CSS operators in the RTF are similar to the operations they normally perform. What differ are often the--
- Quantities of support required.
- Priorities of support.
- Direct support relationship between the RTF and the attrited unit.
- Emphasis given to certain facets of support.
- Time available to perform the mission.
When the commander decides to regenerate a unit, he directs support to a customer at the expense of another for many support functions such as field services, maintenance, HSS, and several classes of supply. There are no assets dedicated to providing regeneration support. Designating support elements to regenerate an attrited unit means the elements' habitual customers do not receive their normal level of support. This is the support prioritization decision that commanders constantly make.
As soon as the commander decides to regenerate a unit, the RTF initiates requisitions for personnel replacements and equipment required by the unit and not already requisitioned. It also requisitions the additional supplies needed that have not already been prepositioned. Planners should predetermine requisition flows to provide the most expeditious support.
Materiel and personnel assets for regeneration come from a variety of sources using existing CSS systems. If the RTF is a division-level organization, it transmits requirements beyond its capabilities to the corps. The corps, when applicable, identifies replacement needs to theater army support elements through the TAMMC and personnel command. Planners should also take advantage of opportunities to contract for supplies and services. Such assets may either play a direct role in the RTF or, more likely, temporarily replace capabilities normally provided by elements forming the RTF.
Sustaining the soldier is key to regeneration efforts. It includes PSS, HSS, and laundry and bath support. It also involves provision of water, personal items, clothing, individual equipment and the best food available. Rehabilitation of the surviving members of the attrited unit is critical to successful regeneration. Not only does it restore the effectiveness of those soldiers, but it also greatly enhances the acceptance and orientation of new members. This is especially important in reducing the fears of combat.
The chief PSS officer on the RTF is from the organization at least two echelons higher than the attrited unit. For example, if the attrited unit is a brigade, the PSS officer may be the deputy corps G1 or a senior personnel group officer. This officer determines the right types and amounts of support required to regenerate the unit to the effectiveness goals within the allotted time. He also manages the PSS activities at the regeneration site. These may include the following:
- Replacement operations. The RTF requires a cell of personnel specialists to process the many replacements arriving at the regeneration site. The replacement element assigns the replacements to the attrited unit according to required grades and MOSs. They may be replacements entering the theater or soldiers returning to duty from the medical system. When exact grade and MOS needs are not available, the cell reviews available assets to find the nearest effective substitutes. The cell works with the attrited unit's personnel staff to allocate replacements to meet the commander's priorities. The cell also works closely with a medical representative of the RTF to coordinate returns to duty. Whenever possible, RTDs go to their old unit. The replacement cell coordinates with materiel managers to ensure crews are available when required.
- Casualty reporting. The personnel element of the RTF assists the attrited unit with casualty reporting as required. It coordinates with the medical element, the supporting personnel service company, and the mortuary affairs element to reconcile records.
- Postal support. The RTF coordinates with the DS postal element to ensure delivery and dispatch of personal and official mail. The system may also deliver critical spare parts, medical supplies, and other vital items.
- Morale, welfare, and recreation. MWR is critical to the human dimension of regeneration. It can be significant in relieving combat stress. The RTF should provide books, magazines, and newspapers; craft activities; and USO shows whenever they are available. If nothing else, it should erect a tent and designate it as a quiet place for soldiers to write letters and read. Group activities also enhance the cohesion, teamwork, and esprit of newly rebuilt units. The RTF should provide sports equipment. Priority should be to active group sports that soldiers played at home. Examples include basketball, softball, and soccer.
- Finance support. Designated finance support teams provide support in the regeneration site. The FST provides support in two areas--contract and support activities and direct pay services. Contract and support activities involve the finance support for contracting agents of the RTF to acquire locally available supplies, services, and transportation. Direct pay services to individual soldiers include combat payments and provision of allotments, check cashing, and financial advice and guidance as required.
- Legal support. There are seven areas of legal support, and regeneration may involve any of these. However, the two that apply to most regenerations are operational law and contract law. In the area of operational law, replacements should clearly understand the theater rules of engagement to prevent any possibility of illegal action or war crimes. The commander may also need legal guidance in developing OPLANs for future operations. Contract law requirements include coordination with contracting officers in the regeneration site. Legal specialists review their work to protect the interests of the US government. The legal support element may also have to work with civil affairs personnel, particularly in regard to handling dislocated civilians in the area. The other areas of legal support are international law, administrative law, criminal law, and legal assistance. In these areas, required support is likely to be similar to support in normal circumstances.
- Religious support. Chaplains are important to the management of battle fatigue/combat stress cases and assist in the speedy return to full capability of surviving soldiers. They provide pastoral counseling and battle fatigue pastoral care to the attrited unit. They provide rites, sacraments, ordinances, and worship services. They also perform services to honor the dead and advise the commander on unit cohesion and morale. The organic unit ministry team of the attrited unit normally provides primary support. Other UMTs may also provide support.
- Public affairs support. Current battle information, messages from the commander, and newspapers and radio broadcasts help soldiers of the attrited unit adjust more quickly. Any news contact with families at home also helps. Public affairs channels may pass family support group news to the unit. Public affairs personnel also help regulate news flowing out from the regeneration site. They advise the commander on the release of information concerning the regeneration by balancing the sometimes opposing aspects of the public's right to know and operational security.
The HSS system is oriented on returning soldiers to duty as the most efficient way of maximizing the number of trained, combat hardened soldiers to the attrited unit. Medical personnel identify RTD patients as early in the evacuation chain as possible. They start well before movement to the regeneration site. Ambulances evacuate patients to the medical treatment facility in the regeneration site if the triage process determines the facility has the capability to return the patient to duty within the preestablished time frame. If it cannot, ambulances evacuate patients to an MTF with that capability. Medical personnel evacuate non-RTD patients rapidly to hospitals by limiting surgery to saving life and limb, preventing infection, and stabilizing the patient before evacuation. This allows medical personnel in the RTF time to treat RTD patients in support of the regeneration process.
When the attrited unit arrives at the regeneration site, the unit surgeon meets with the medical representative on the RTF (if they have not already met at the link-up point). They exchange information and finalize coordination procedures for use during the regeneration. At the site, the RTF relieves unit medical personnel from their normal treatment and support roles. The HSS element of the RTF is responsible for sick call, patient decontamination, emergency treatment, and evacuation. Though this element varies with the situation, it is likely to include treatment elements, a combat stress control team or company, a preventive medicine team, and ground and air ambulances. After a suitable recovery period for the medical elements of the attrited unit, the medical element of the RTF integrates them into the HSS operations of the regeneration. They begin with light duty and training new personnel.
The goal of medical efforts in the regeneration site is to maximize RTDs. Medical personnel coordinate RTDs with the personnel element of the RTF to ensure accurate casualty reporting and appropriate reassignment. As much as possible, soldiers return to their old unit. The personnel element of the RTF coordinates with the Class II supply point and MTF to ensure RTDs are reequipped. They may require organizational clothing and individual equipment, individual weapons, and chemical protective equipment before being sent to units. This effort requires extensive planning and manpower.
A critical area in regeneration HSS is combat stress control. The extent of support required depends largely on the effectiveness of the unit's prevention program. Without a good program, planners can expect one battle fatigue casualty for every three to five wounded in action or even a one-to-one ratio in heavy fighting under adverse conditions at company level and below. Active prevention programs that promote unit cohesion, realistic training, and effective leadership can reduce the ratio below one to ten. The commander is responsible for the program. However, the NCO chain and the organic or supporting medical element do most of the implementation.
Even with the best prevention program, however, combat stress is likely to be a major factor in units attrited so severely that they require regeneration. In highly mobile warfare, soldiers often continue to function while on the move, perhaps with some impairment. However, many develop disabling battle fatigue symptoms after they have withdrawn to a safe area and before they return to battle. Battle fatigue casualties have symptoms so pronounced that they need treatment at a medical facility. Mild and moderate cases may render many more soldiers impaired and even combat ineffective but not require the soldier to move to the medical facility. Such cases recover best when they stay with their units or as close to them as possible.
The CSC element of the RTF helps veteran and new unit leaders conduct "combat debriefings" at the small unit level. These debriefings reestablish mutual confidence and cohesion. During these meetings, CSC personnel identify soldiers who show more serious signs of battle fatigue and provide more individual or group treatment as needed. By treating the entire unit, CSC personnel can restore most soldiers to effectiveness without having to label and separate them from their buddies or evacuate them to medical facilities. CSC elements can also help commanders assess unit morale and cohesion. They can provide educational programs to deal with special problems such as continuous operations, NBC conditions, and unconventional warfare. Finally, CSC personnel coordinate with support agencies to resolve soldier problems at home. Such problems may contribute to the stress problem.
The RTF provides other functions to sustain the soldier during regeneration early in the process. The discussion of receipt of the attrited unit in the regeneration site above covers most of these services. Whenever possible, mortuary affairs and CEB units should accompany the RTF advance party. They establish points in the regeneration site to begin services soon after arrival of the attrited unit. The mortuary affairs point should not be near the CEB point or any other morale-building activity. Planners should not underrate the morale value of clean clothes and a hot shower.
The advance party of the RTF should also include elements of the supply company and water unit of the RTF. They set up a Class I/VI point, a Class II point, and a water point in the regeneration site. The food service element should be able to prepare A Rations whenever possible. If the capability does not exist in the theater, the RTF should at least be able to prepare B or T Rations soon after the unit arrives. It continues to feed the unit until the unit is ready to feed itself. The Class I point also handles sundry packs and Class VI items, if available, and MREs to replenish the unit basic load. Meanwhile, the first Class II stocks brought to the regeneration site are chemical defense equipment, if required, and replacements for lost and damaged individual and organizational clothing and equipment. The supply system uses preplanned push packages whenever possible. The water point, located near the Class I point if possible, conducts normal water purification, storage, and issue operations.
Movement responsibilities in regeneration are the same as in normal operations. The transportation system should efficiently and effectively move units, individuals, supplies, and equipment in and out of the regeneration site in accordance with the commander's priorities. Transportation differences in a regeneration involve the priorities given to the attrited unit, the urgency of support requirements, and the support relationships between the transportation elements and the attrited unit.
For division elements, the movement control office and division transportation officer take part in the transportation planning, though EAD units provide transportation support. The MCO identifies requirements (including those for HETs), plans movement of the attrited unit to the regeneration site, and arranges necessary highway clearances.
Within the regeneration site there is an MCT as identified in the corps or theater army reconstitution SOP. The MCT is the critical link among the MCC, mode operator, shipper, and receiver. A truck unit may also be OPCON to the RTF to provide direct support. This direct support relationship is one of the unusual characteristics of CSS in a regeneration. It may involve restricting support to other units. It therefore requires commanders and transportation managers to make the kind of trade-off decision they continually make to allocate assets. They should consider the fact, as previously noted, that the attrited unit does not require support forward.
The MCT tasks the transportation system to provide support for movements within the regeneration site and for outbound movements. It also clears inbound personnel and cargo and plans and coordinates onward movements of the unit once regeneration is complete. If the transportation management system permits, the MCT also maintains liaison with host or allied nation transportation activities.
The RTF commander and operations element set priorities for the movement of cargo and personnel based primarily on guidance from the commander directing the regeneration. The MCT tasks the transportation system to provide support in accordance with these priorities. If the RTF transportation assets cannot meet a requirement, the MCT requests support through its normal channels.
If the unit does not require decontamination, it rearms on its way to the site. It draws just enough ammunition to safely get to the site. This probably involves a stop at its supporting ATP or another ATP or ASP. Soldiers should also remove suspect ammunition from the weapon systems. However, this may be difficult since no one capable of evaluating ammunition is normally stationed forward. The team sent forward to link up with the attrited unit may include an ammunition quality assurance inspector if the situation requires one and one is available.
If the attrited unit is a division unit, there should be a coordinated effort among the DAO, COSCOM MMC, and the MCC to redirect stocks headed to the ATP supporting the unit. The DAO typically requests the COSCOM MMC to redirect stocks to other ATPs or ASPs. If the commander is removing a brigade with its associated FSB (including its ATP) from combat, the DAO notifies the other customers of that ATP (for example, cavalry and aviation elements) where they should now go to get ammunition. If the ATP pulls back with the brigade, it does not move the stocks with it. The DAO coordinates for tractors to move the loaded trailers to most effectively redistribute the ammunition to other ATPs.
At the regeneration site, the RTF includes an element from a supporting ammunition company. Ideally, this element should come from the DS ammunition company in habitual support of the regenerating unit. However, METT-T factors may preclude this type of support. The headquarters directing the regeneration determines which unit provides support and the level of support it provides. In making this decision, planners should consider the amount of stocks to be received, stored, and issued for the regeneration site, the amount of MHE required to conduct this mission, and the fact that ammunition units are only 50 percent mobile with organic vehicles. Unit and MHE team capabilities and structures are in FM 9-6. It is not likely that planners would organize an entire new ASP to support a regeneration. However, stocks should be available for area defense, training, and UBL replenishment. If either a CSA or ASP is near the regeneration site, it could provide close area support to the operation. The Class V management representative of the RTF coordinates with the echelon MMC ammunition manager to have ammunition stocks shipped from a designated supply point or CSA. As necessary, he also coordinates turn-ins of stocks from units standing down.
A soldier highly skilled in ammunition inspection should also be available. His role is to evaluate the ammunition in the surviving weapon systems of the attrited unit.
The fixing aspect of the regeneration effort includes both the replacement of equipment and the maintenance activities to return unserviceable items to serviceability. The maintenance actions include the following tasks:
- Establishing repair priorities.
- Identifying degree of maintenance to be performed.
- Identifying parts needed.
- Obtaining repair parts through the Class IX system (including lateral search) and through controlled substitution, cannibalization, and fabrication.
- Repairing vehicles/equipment.
- Coordinating movement of parts to repair site.
- Coordinating transportation (including HET) needs.
- Coordinating reinforcing maintenance support.
- Providing periodic maintenance status reports.
Maintenance requirements for a regeneration can vary dramatically based on several factors. These include the--
- Level of regeneration required (the current equipment status of the unit compared to the goals for the unit).
- Commitment of maintenance units, commonly referred to as work load or backlog, needed to sustain the remainder of the supported forces.
- Availability of repair parts.
- Availability of replacement equipment.
- Availability of maintenance personnel, tools, and test equipment.
- Location (position of units with respect to the overall battlefield, the regeneration site, sources of supplies, and other maintenance units).
The role of the RTF in the fixing effort requires close coordination among the supply and maintenance units, the designated materiel managers, and the personnel replacement element. It is a concentrated, centralized, and intensely managed action. The RTF recovers, repairs, and returns inoperable and battle-damaged equipment to the battle. It replaces critical equipment that it cannot repair and return to the unit within the time limitations set by the commander. Units undergoing regeneration may receive priority of effort and resources. Emphasis is on replacing and repairing end items and major components.
Initial maintenance efforts are assessment of damage and establishment of priorities for recovery, repair, and cannibalization. The organic unit maintainers in the attrited unit, with help from the RTF as required at the link-up point, use battle damage assessments as a basis for immediate battlefield repairs. Such repairs include cross-leveling and the use of expedient repairs which restore capability or at least enable equipment to move to a collection point. Unit maintainers also concentrate on recovery of items to the regeneration site. The unit often needs help in recovering its disabled equipment. If help is not available through the unit's normal channels, the RTF should be ready to provide recovery assets.
RTF maintenance elements support on a repair and return-to-user basis. Repair of end items depends on the replacement of unserviceable components. The RTF elements repair most reparable components. RTF maintenance and transportation elements arrange to evacuate end items beyond the repair capability of the unit to supporting units. Supply managers requisition replacement items through supply channels.
Expediting these requisitions requires the coordination mentioned above among supply and maintenance units and materiel managers. Prompt delivery also requires close coordination with movement managers. Whenever possible, the regenerating unit should have priority for theater war reserve stocks. A heavy materiel supply company in the TAACOM or COSCOM deprocesses end items from these reserve stocks at or near the stockage site. Items should be at a low level of preservation so the company can make them ready for issue within a few hours, not the several days required to deprocess them from Level A storage. Movement managers use rail as much as possible to move major end items to the regeneration site. If rail is not available, they use low-boys, S&P trailers, and HETs. The Class VII issue point in the regeneration site is at the site's hub. Maintenance and personnel replacement elements are located nearby whenever possible to facilitate coordination to build crewed systems.
The RTF may use weapon systems managers to oversee this process. Managers typically come from the RTF materiel management element. They coordinate activity among the supply point, maintenance activity, replacement element, and the attrited unit. They notify all concerned when a piece of equipment is to arrive in the regeneration site or return from the maintenance system. The supply unit receives the equipment. The replacement element works with the unit to assemble a crew for the equipment. The maintenance element conducts the required system checks with the crew.
In addition to replacing and repairing major systems, the RTF should also focus on providing, obtaining, and recovering items needed to make a complete system. These include radios, basic-issue items, installation kits, thermal sights, communications security devices, and machine guns. Further, since the RTF uses all available sources of repair parts, it recovers serviceable components and repair parts by using controlled substitution and cannibalization whenever possible.
For parts they do not have in DS stocks and cannot obtain through the means described above, RTF maintenance units send requests to the MMC element. The supporting GS repair parts supply company normally supplies parts directly to the RTF maintenance unit. Repair parts requisitioned from the NICP are shipped directly to the RTF unit if that unit is a designated ALOC unit. These shipments are normally by air to the POD nearest the requesting unit.
Any type of reconstitution requiring aircraft maintenance involves AVIM companies. The design, training, and equipment of the division and nondivisional AVIM companies allow them to effectively support reconstitution. AVIM units include forward support platoons which can break down into teams as needed. These platoons can go forward on the battlefield via organic air or ground assets. They provide a sorting service in the forward area. Trained assessors assigned to the teams examine the condition of the aircraft and determine their airworthiness. The immediate goals are to guarantee that the aircraft are fit to return to battle, document any restrictions or time limits to be observed, and return them to the control of the operator. The next step in the system is to perform expedient battle damage repairs needed to get the remaining damaged aircraft back into operation. Using BDAR kits and procedures, the forward support team can provide shop-comparable repairs on site in the forward areas. If the team cannot repair and put an aircraft back into the fight, it brings it to a flyable condition, if possible, and sends it to a rear maintenance facility. FM 1-500 discusses BDAR techniques for aircraft.
If personnel cannot return an aircraft to a flyable status, it is either recovered or evacuated to the rear. To do this, AVIM elements require support through supporting MMC and movement control channels. The DISCOM/COSCOM/ TAACOM should identify ground and air assets (to include MHE) to help in this effort. AVIM units cannot move the quantities and types of aircraft involved in such an operation.
The division AVIM unit can normally accomplish the AVIM for immediate reorganization of elements of the division aviation brigade. The DMMC requests additional support from nondivisional AVIM for any requirements beyond the division AVIM's capability. Forward support teams from the corps go forward to assist. Deliberate reorganization, on the other hand, is a joint division/nondivisional AVIM effort. The most efficient method is to move reorganizing units near the division AVIM. This facilitates the concentration of resources and allows for continuity of support to the other customers.
Regeneration of aviation units is a mission of the nondivisional AVIM battalion. The scale and intensity of the operation would overwhelm the division AVIM unit and force it to limit or cease its support to remaining customers. Planners should also consider that prepositioned war reserve stocks are not available for aircraft replacements.
Whenever possible, planners should locate the regeneration site at or near an AVIM facility if the regeneration involves significant numbers of aircraft. The AVIM unit, which lacks mobility, not only repairs unserviceable items, but also prepares any equipment coming in from the supply system. The time required to move an AVIM unit to a regeneration site is not likely to be available. The rapid turnaround of aircraft from a fully functioning AVIM facility would probably justify moving other RTF elements to the AVIM site.
If conditions require fuel allocations, the materiel managers of the RTF work with the supporting MMC to get instructions for the regeneration effort from corps or TA. They also coordinate with the movement control element and provide prioritized shipping instructions to the petroleum supply unit for direct shipment of fuel to the attrited unit or the DS petroleum activity of the RTF. The MMC can divert products moving from GS stocks to meet needs. It submits the consolidated requirements to the TAMMC, SAPO, or JPO as appropriate.
The petroleum battalion or the petroleum group may ship bulk fuel by bulk carriers to the RTF. The transportation medium truck company (petroleum), petroleum supply battalion, delivers fuel to the supply points that RTF petroleum supply units operate in the regeneration site. The RTF may set up refuel-on-the-move sites at both the regeneration site itself and the link-up point on the unit line of march to the site.
To raise the newly regenerated unit to a specified level of combat effectiveness requires training. The training program depends on the
- Time available.
- Combat effectiveness goal.
- Number of replacements involved.
- Level of training of survivors and replacements.
- Use of any nonlike replacement items.
- Size and location of the regeneration site.
- Tactical situation.
Less tangible but equally important factors include the status of unit leadership, cohesion, and the nature of expected future missions. History suggests that the newly regenerated unit must have a mission on which to focus for the regeneration to be successful. The training program should focus on the essential collective tasks to perform future missions and the individual skills associated with those tasks. It also takes into account the training needs identified during the assessment process.
The training principles in FMs 25-100 and 25-101 apply in this situation. However, training in regeneration typically involves severe time constraints. This requires that the RTF and the unit carefully plan training. They set priorities by focusing on the most critical tasks the unit must perform as part of its upcoming mission. The unit needs to have all doctrine required to train. This may include field manuals, training circulars, mission training plans, drill books, and soldier manuals. The leaders within the attrited unit should be deeply involved in the training. The RTF should include trainers to help as necessary with individual and crew/squad training. The RTF should also provide all other resources required for training. For example, it ensures there is adequate ammunition to support the training program.
In the early stages of the regeneration, while surviving personnel rest and recuperate, the personnel cell of the RTF processes replacement soldiers. It orients them to the unit and provides initial training in the positions they will eventually fill. The RTF materiel managers should help the unit mesh this training with equipment maintenance needs. This helps both the training program and the maintenance effort of the RTF.
As unit veterans continue to rest, the RTF personnel element and the attrited unit leaders should integrate replacements with the veterans into subunits to begin to develop cohesion. They link these subunits with operational equipment to prepare for unit training. If possible, they reunite surviving personnel and equipment to develop cohesion and confidence.
As subunits expand through this process, they move to the training area that the RTF training element operates. There they perform multiechelon training and prepare for the next mission. Within the guidelines and priorities set by the commander, training emphasizes collective tasks of squads, teams, and crews, and low-density, technical duties to foster cohesion and teamwork. Training should progress from squads, teams, and crews to the highest level that available time, space, and resources permit. Commanders should give the unit low-risk security missions when ready. This builds confidence and cohesion, while also contributing to the overall mission.
While units train at each level, staffs and commanders train (time allowing) to develop their own teamwork and cohesion. At the same time, they should reestablish SOPs for the newly regenerated unit. The unit leadership should take control for the training as soon as possible. This improves cohesion and leadership as well as strengthening command and control of the unit.
The RTF also helps the unit commander assess the progress of the unit as it trains. The assessment element makes the final determination as to if and when the unit has met the combat effectiveness goals. It maintains contact with the commander directing the regeneration to keep him apprised of the status of the unit.
Candidates for regeneration are not limited to tactical fighting units. Combat support and CSS units contribute to the synergistic whole of combat power. With long-range artillery, deep air interdiction, and unconventional units operating in rear areas, CS and CSS units have as much chance to be destroyed as infantry, armor, and cavalry units.
Regeneration of CS and CSS units involves unique problems. Such units typically rely on low-density, high-technology skills and equipment. Replacements for soldiers with these skills and the equipment they use are difficult to come by. However, a dire need for these types of soldiers and equipment may be just as crippling as a need for tankers and tanks. Regeneration of a multifunctional CSS unit is particularly difficult. Considerations include both the ones for low-density, high-technology elements listed below and those discussed earlier for reestablishing the chain of command.
This discussion highlights some specific considerations, problems, and possible directions for solutions for regeneration of selected low-density units.
Maintenance considerations include both maintenance concerns for the regeneration of all types of CS and CSS units and considerations for regeneration of maintenance units.
Regeneration of a CS or CSS unit can present unique maintenance problems. If the affected unit has low-density equipment, obtaining repair parts and skilled mechanics presents the primary challenge. Repairs may require parts fabrication, a process which is normally manpower intensive. Regeneration of certain support units may be beyond the capability of division and corps maintenance units. This is especially true if the unit mission involves tools and test equipment that are not reparable at DS level.
Some of the considerations for regeneration of a maintenance unit are as follows:
- Personnel. Low-density MOSs, such as those in maintenance units, are harder for the replacement system to provide. If the system does not replace critical skills, the capability of the maintenance system to repair and return items to users decreases. This degradation affects the supply and transportation systems in the efforts to compensate for the loss. Cross-training may provide limited support survivability.
- Supply. Tools, test equipment, shop equipment, and low-density vehicles are also difficult to replace. In addition, partial destruction of a maintenance unit could involve loss of larger stocks of supplies such as ASL, major assemblies, and reparable assets. Such a loss could create a substantial supply interruption.
- Command. Loss of maintenance capability could adversely affect the total force supported in several ways. It could affect force employment options and cause changes in supply stockages and repair authorizations at lower levels. It may also reduce the commander's ability to reconstitute other units. Also, determination of a maintenance unit's effectiveness is difficult.
At the division level and below, the medical force is built around medical modules. The modular design allows medical managers to tailor, augment, reinforce, or reconstitute medical elements on the battlefield in areas of most critical need. These modules focus on casualty assessment and collection, treatment, evacuation, and initial emergency surgery. A specific module is identical in design and structure regardless of the type of unit it is in. This design facilitates reconstitution of medical units. Commanders may replace a module with one from another unit. The modules are the--
- Combat medic.
- Ambulance squad.
- Treatment squad.
- Area support squad.
- Patient-holding squad.
The medical detachment, surgical, and the surgical squad support these modules. Their mission is to provide early intervening and resuscitative surgery for seriously wounded casualties who could not survive the long evacuation to a corps hospital. Commanders employ them as needed within the corps. They may also augment division medical companies.
Hospitals at corps and EAC levels include modules to allow regeneration. These modules may also deploy to forward areas to augment existing medical elements.
Regeneration of medical units using modules from a higher echelon is a temporary measure. Once the PSS system provides a replacement module, the module from the higher echelon returns to its parent unit.
Several specific considerations apply to ammunition support units due to their organizations and disposition. Some of these are discussed below.
A corps DS ammunition company fields up to three ASPs either in or right behind a division rear area. If an ASP is destroyed or degraded, the loss includes Class V stocks for the division and, more critically, ammunition lift and the capability to receive, store, and issue stocks. A DS company may be able to reorganize an ASP using resources from its other ASPs or assets from other DS or GS units in the corps. However, managers should consider the associated degradation of support to the losing units.
The loss or massive degradation of a GS company operating a large corps or theater storage area may not be immediately felt at the tactical level of the battlefield. However, this loss may cripple or greatly limit the operational battle. Not only should the command immediately bring this unit to an operational level, it should also rapidly recover visibility of stocks and get them into the distribution loop. This is essential due to the limited amount of Class V stocks forward in the division area.
An ammunition unit requires highly trained specialists intimately familiar with the characteristics of Class V items, safety, quantity/ distance and compatibility requirements. Other specialists include MHE operators, truck drivers, Class V surveillance and inspection specialists, and highly skilled stock control specialists fluent in the SAAS and associated hardware.
If an ammunition unit or storage site is destroyed, there is likely to be a considerable amount of ordnance that is not destroyed but is scattered and in a highly unstable state. Personnel must evacuate the site. Also, if METT-T conditions require, EOD personnel clear the site of unexploded ordnance.
The loss of an ammunition site could involve considerable trauma to the personnel in the area if there is sympathetic detonation of stored stocks. Survivors may have witnessed multiple extreme explosions and massive death and destruction comparable to a combat unit receiving intensive long-term artillery and aerial bombardment. Medical personnel should assess the immediate and long-term effects of this type of trauma. They treat personnel and evaluate them to ensure complete recovery.
Ammunition units require considerable amounts of highly specialized MHE, tools, and materials to conduct Class V missions. If these items are lost, no amount of personnel can bring the unit up to operational effectiveness. An ammunition unit without forklifts, cranes, and other MHE is comparable to a tank unit without its missiles. Unit capability is a balance of personnel, equipment, training, supplies, and technically competent leadership. Personnel familiar with Class V unit operations should assess this type of unit.
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