OVERVIEW OF THE SBCT INFANTRY RIFLE COMPANY
The five types of infantry have historically been separated into two "schools of thought": light vs. mechanized. Both are extremely lethal in the terrain and missions for which they are best suited. Mechanized forces excel in terrain that supports rapid fire and maneuver while light forces excel in more restrictive terrain and accomplish their missions at the small-unit level. The overarching doctrine is the same across these two schools of thought; however, the tactics, techniques, capabilities, and limitations between light and mechanized infantry create a divergence. The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) infantry rifle company, as a part of the SBCT battalion, fills this gap. The SBCT can operate independently, or it can supplement light and mechanized forces.
This manual addresses the doctrine of the SBCT at the company level. The SBCT infantry rifle company capitalizes on the strengths and minimizes the limitations of mechanized and light doctrine. The light infantry ethos is the foundation of this organization but is combined with the speed, mobility, and precision of mounted warfare. Success is achieved by integrating the complementary characteristics of each type of infantry where decisive action must occur.
Because the fundamentals of fire and maneuver are unchanged, the majority of the combat power of the SBCT infantry rifle company lies in its highly trained squads and platoons. The organic vehicles in the platoons are for moving infantry to the fight swiftly and providing tactical flexibility while tailoring the soldiers' loads through a "mobile arms room" concept. There is also a mobile gun system (MGS) platoon that supports the infantry fight with long-range precision fires. The MGS is a fighting vehicle but is not a Bradley or a tank and should not be employed in the traditional sense of a fighting vehicle. Flexibility is the key to the rifle company. Current and predicted global situations dictate the need for a force that is rapidly deployable (within 96 hours), lethal, and flexible enough to address the full spectrum of Army operations.
The SBCT was developed to address some of the changing situations the US Army currently faces. At the brigade level, there are significant changes that affect the way this unit fights. Although the changes at brigade level do not significantly change tactics at company level and below, they do affect the frequency with which companies, platoons and squads execute certain missions.
The SBCT infantry rifle company commander must understand the differences in the capabilities and limitations of this unit as compared to that of traditional infantry forces. The SBCT combines the tactical mobility aspect of mechanized units while emphasizing and exploiting the infantry fight where decisive action occurs. Table 1-1 highlights the capabilities and limitations of the SBCT infantry rifle company.
Table 1-1. Capabilities and limitations of the SBCT infantry rifle company.
The SBCT is capable of fighting combined-arms operations down to company level. This creates the necessary combat power and flexibility needed in complex environments.
The SBCT is an infantry-centric, full spectrum, early entry combat force pre-configured in ready-to-fight combined-arms packages (Figure 1-1). The design includes embedded unit-based capabilities such as military intelligence (MI), signal, engineer, antitank, artillery, and combat service support (CSS) elements. This organization allows the SBCT to fight using combined arms down to company level. The following are key organic assets that allow the brigade commander to conduct shaping and decisive operations more effectively:
- Brigade headquarters and headquarters company (HHC).
- Infantry battalion (x3).
- Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) squadron.
- Antitank company.
- Artillery battalion.
- Medium engineer company.
- Military intelligence company.
- Signal company.
- Brigade support battalion.
Figure 1-1. SBCT organization.
The SBCT infantry battalion (Figure 1-2) consists of three rifle companies and an HHC. The HHC provides support to the battalion commander and the staff and controls the battalion's reconnaissance platoon, mortar platoon, medical platoon, communication section, and sniper squad.
Figure 1-2. SBCT infantry battalion organization.
Figure 1-3, illustrates the organization of the SBCT infantry rifle company. The company headquarters section provides command, control, and supervision of all organic and attached elements. The company headquarters consists of the company commander, executive officer (XO), first sergeant (1SG), company supply and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) personnel, infantry carrier vehicle (ICV) crews for the company commander (CO) and XO, and the company commander's radiotelephone operators (RATELOs). The company headquarters includes the following personnel and equipment:
- Two ICVs, each with a driver and a vehicle commander (VC), commanded by the CO and the XO.
- Two high-mobility, multiwheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) with trailers, which are under the control of the 1SG. The NBC noncommissioned officer (NCO) and the communications specialist operate these vehicles.
- Two trucks with trailers, which are under the control of the supply sergeant. The supply specialists drive these vehicles.
Figure 1-3. SBCT infantry rifle company organization.
Figure 1-4 illustrates the organization of the SBCT infantry rifle platoon. The platoon includes the following personnel and equipment:
- Platoon headquarters, which includes platoon leader (PL), platoon sergeant (PSG), RATELO, forward observer (FO), and platoon medic (attached).
- Four ICVs, each with driver and vehicle commander. The PL and PSG are the vehicle commanders of two of the ICVs while the platoon is mounted.
- Three 9-man squads of infantry with antitank assets (Javelin).
- One 7-man weapons squad.
The SBCT infantry platoon has one officer and 44 enlisted personnel in three elements: the platoon headquarters, the mounted element, and the infantry squads.
Figure 1-4. SBCT infantry rifle platoon organization.
a. Rifle Platoon Headquarters. The platoon headquarters (Figure 1-5) consists of the rifle platoon leader, platoon sergeant, FO, and RATELO. In tactical situations, it also includes the platoon medic. The platoon leader is responsible for the employment of the platoon and all the platoon's systems. The platoon sergeant is the most senior NCO in the platoon. He is second in succession of command and leads the platoon's mounted element when the platoon leader dismounts with the infantry squads. He assists and advises the platoon leader, and he leads the platoon in the platoon leader's absence. The decision as to whether the PSG will participate as part of the dismounted element or mounted element will always be based on the factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time available, and civil considerations (METT-TC).
Figure 1-5. Rifle platoon headquarters.
b. Mounted Element. The infantry rifle platoon is equipped with four ICVs that provide rapid, protected tactical and operational mobility of infantry squads to critical locations on the battlefield (Figure 1-6). The ICV is a fully mobile system capable of operating in conjunction with infantry and other elements of the combined-arms team. Each ICV has a crew of two (VC and driver) that operates the vehicle. These mounted crews provide critical support to the platoon by operating and maintaining the ICVs and properly employing them on the battlefield to ensure protected delivery of the infantry squads to their dismount point. Once the infantry squads have dismounted the ICVs, the vehicle crew may employ local defensive armament to defeat "thin-skinned" enemy vehicles (trucks or lightly armored vehicles) or dismounted infantry.
(1) The VC is responsible for the overall employment of the ICV and operates the ICV's defensive armament. The vehicle driver operates the vehicle during all conditions--day or night. At the VC's direction, the driver negotiates the vehicle through all terrain and obstacles to deliver the infantry squad safely to the point of employment on the battlefield.
(2) As previously stated, the ICV's local defensive armament is capable of defeating "thin-skinned" enemy vehicles (trucks or lightly armored vehicles) and dismounted infantry. ICV crews may employ these weapons to augment the base of fire provided by the platoon's weapons squad. These augmenting direct fires can ensure the infantry squad's freedom of maneuver to close with and destroy the enemy. These fires can also provide accurate suppressive fires on enemy personnel, bunkers, or emplacements and destroy enemy infantry in daylight, at night, or during conditions of limited visibility (smoke, haze, and fog).
(3) The platoon's ICVs and infantry soldiers provide mutual protection for each other while performing their assigned missions. Infantry soldiers provide security for the vehicles while halted, and the ICVs provide rapid, protected battlefield mobility and an augmenting base of fire capability for the dismounted infantry assault.
(4) While the platoon remains mounted, the platoon leader controls the movement of the platoon's ICVs. When the platoon leader dismounts to conduct the assault or other dismounted infantry operations with the infantry squads, the platoon sergeant normally assumes control of the mounted element of the platoon. He maneuvers them in support of the infantry squads and as directed by the platoon leader. For example, if the direct fires of the ICVs are needed to facilitate the maneuver of the squads, the platoon leader may decide to have the platoon sergeant direct the fires of the mounted element to facilitate the platoon's maneuver. The platoon sergeant also can dismount with the rest of the platoon, if required.
(5) The platoon fights as a team. It must be prepared to maneuver in restricted terrain supported by the weapons squad and, when possible, the ICVs and MGS. When the platoon conducts dismounted operations, it has three 9-man rifle squads and a 7-man weapons squad. The key advantage here is that, with the added support of the weapons squad, the infantry no longer has to stay within range of ICV direct fire support. In this case, the ICVs could overwatch, block another avenue of approach, isolate the objective, or conduct other missions.
Figure 1-6. Mounted element.
c. Infantry Squads. The infantry rifle platoon has three 9-man rifle squads and one 7-man weapons squad. These squads are at the center of the SBCT infantry rifle platoon concept.
(1) Rifle Squads. Each of the three rifle squads (Figure 1-7) consists of a rifle squad leader and eight soldiers. The rifle squad leader is the senior tactical leader of the squad and controls the squad's movement and fires. He conducts squad training and maintains the squad's ability to conduct tactical missions successfully. Each infantry squad is further organized into two 4-man fire teams consisting of a team leader, a grenadier, and an automatic rifleman. The fourth member within each fire team is either the squad's antiarmor specialist or the squad's designated marksman (DM). The fire team leader is a fighting leader who leads his team by example. He is equipped with an M4 rifle. The fire team leader controls the movement of his team and the placement of fires against enemy soldiers. He assists the squad leader as required.
Figure 1-7. Rifle squad.
(a) Squad Antiarmor Specialist. Although normally functioning as a rifleman within one of the fire teams in a rifle squad, the squad antiarmor specialist is also capable of defeating heavy armor in any tactical environment. He is equipped with the Javelin missile system, which provides the squad, platoon, and company with an extremely lethal, fire-and-forget, man-portable, top-attack antiarmor capability to defeat threat main battle tanks during day, night, and adverse weather conditions at ranges up to 2,000 meters. The command launch unit (CLU) for the Javelin missile is transported in the squad's ICV. If required, the squad antiarmor specialist destroys enemy armor threats that may impede the squad and platoon's ability to accomplish their mission. See Appendix A for a discussion of Javelin employment.
(b) Squad Designated Marksman. Although normally functioning as a rifleman within one of the fire teams in a rifle squad, the squad designated marksman is also armed with the M24 7.62-mm sniper rifle. He is employed at the direction of the squad leader or reorganized with the other squad marksmen into a platoon sniper section. The designated marksman can defeat high-value enemy personnel targets, such as automatic rifle teams, antiarmor teams, and snipers, at ranges out to 800 meters.
(2) Weapons Squad. The seven-man weapons squad (Figure 1-8) consists of a squad leader and two 3-man machine-gun teams. The weapons squad provides the primary base of fire for the maneuver of the platoon's rifle squads with highly accurate short- and long-range, direct and small-arms fires against enemy personnel and equipment. Each of the two machine-gun teams consists of the gunner, assistant gunner, and ammunition bearer. Each team has an M240B 7.62-mm medium machine gun, which has an effective range of over 800 meters.
Figure 1-8. Weapons squad.
1-8. MOBILE GUN SYSTEM PLATOON
Figure 1-9 illustrates the organization of the MGS platoon. The platoon includes three MGS vehicles, each with a crew of three: VC, gunner, and driver. The platoon leader and platoon sergeant are the VCs for two of the MGS vehicles. (Appendix B of this manual details the MGS platoon and its employment considerations.)
Figure 1-9. MGS platoon organization.
The SBCT infantry company employs snipers as a three-man team, consisting of a sniper, an observer, and one man who secures the team (Figure 1-10). The senior man in the team is the observer, the next most senior is the sniper, and the junior man secures the sniper team. The team is capable of providing the company with a full range of sniper support and is equipped with both the M24 7.62-mm sniper rifle (providing antipersonnel fires out to 800 meters) and the .50-caliber XM107 sniper rifle (providing antipersonnel and antiequipment fires beyond 800 meters). This "arms room" concept allows the sniper team to employ the sniper system that best supports the mission parameters. Additionally, the third member of the sniper team is equipped with an M203 rifle system to provide protection and security for the sniper and his spotter as well as a means to break contact if the team is compromised. The sniper team is employed to support maneuver, to kill essential enemy leadership or command personnel, to disable lightly armored or "thin skinned" vehicles, to enhance force protection, to provide lethal accurate fires in urban operations, and to perform the counter-sniper role. Refer to Appendix C for a detailed discussion of Sniper employment.
Figure 1-10. Sniper team organization.
1-10. SBCT COMBAT SUPPORT ASSETS
The company has an organic mortar section and fire support team. The company also may be task-organized with additional combat support (CS) elements.
a. Mortar Section. The mortar section is the rifle company's primary indirect fire support element. The section consists of ten soldiers organized in two mortar crews; each crew is equipped with a 120-mm mortar mounted on a specially equipped mortar carrier (MC) (Figure 1-11). The MC allows for rapid and flexible delivery of indirect fires and increased responsiveness through rapid maneuver in support of company operations. Each crew is also equipped with a 60-mm mortar, which enables the section to provide a more lightweight dismounted mortar system to meet the requirements of a traditional light infantry mission (such as infiltration). With the exception of having two mortar systems rather than four, the mortar section provides the company commander with the same indirect fire capabilities that the battalion mortar platoon provides to the battalion commander. The man-portable nature of the mortar systems gives the company commander a flexible and robust indirect fire capability. Due to crew limitations, only one system (60-mm or 120-mm) can be employed at a given time.
Figure 1-11. Mortar section organization.
b. Fire Support Team. The fire support team (FIST) (Figure 1-12) consists of the fire support officer (FSO), the fire support (FS) NCO, and one fire support specialist. It is equipped with the fire support vehicle (FSV) and has the Striker to provide a combat laser designation capability for delivery of precision artillery or aerial-delivered munitions. The FIST assists the company commander in planning, integrating, coordinating, and executing all types of available supporting fires during tactical operations. The FIST is the commander's primary fire support coordinator and provides the commander a direct link to battalion indirect fire support systems.
Figure 1-12. Fire support team.
c. Other Elements. Additional CS elements that may be task organized to the company include--
1-11. SBCT COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT ASSETS
SBCT combat service support assets consist of a company medical team and a medical evacuation team attached from the SBCT battalion HHC.
a. Company Medical Team. The company medical team consists of a senior company medic and three platoon medics attached from the battalion's medical platoon. They ensure that the company is physically capable of conducting tactical operations. The company medic advises the commander on the medical readiness of his soldiers, assists the commander with planning and executing company and platoon medical training, supervises the three platoon medics, and supervises monitoring of the health and hygiene of company personnel. During tactical operations, the company medic organizes and coordinates casualty treatment and evacuation operations.
b. Medical Evacuation Team. A medical evacuation team (Figure 1-13) with a medical evacuation vehicle (MEV) from the battalion medical platoon is normally placed in direct support (DS) of the SBCT infantry company. This team has a senior trauma specialist (vehicle commander), a trauma specialist, and a driver. When in DS of the SBCT infantry rifle company, the ambulance crew assists the company medical personnel with treatment and medical evacuations of ill, injured, or wounded company personnel. While in DS of the company, the ambulance team is directed by the company 1SG and senior company medic. If required, the ambulance team provides medical evacuation of company personnel from platoon and company casualty collection points (CCP) to a supporting treatment team or to the battalion aid station (BAS).
Figure 1-13. Medical evacuation team.
This section describes the duties and responsibilities of key personnel in the SBCT infantry company.
The company commander is responsible for everything the company does or fails to do. This includes the tactical employment, training, administration, personnel management, maintenance, and sustainment of his company. He must know the capabilities of his men and supporting weapons and how to tactically employ them. He must also know the capabilities of the enemy.
a. The company commander exercises command through his subordinate leaders.
b. The commander employs his company to support the accomplishment of the battalion and SBCT missions. He requests additional support from the battalion when required.
The executive officer is second in command. His primary role is to oversee the management, collation, and processing of digitized information and to assist the commander in mission planning and accomplishment. He assumes command of the company as required and ensures that tactical reports from the platoons are forwarded to the battalion tactical operations center (TOC). The XO locates where he can maintain communications with the company commander and the battalion.
a. The XO is the company's primary facilitator for the flow of digitized information.
b. Before the battle, the XO (with the first sergeant) plans and supervises the company's CSS. They ensure precombat inspections are complete. The XO plans and coordinates logistical support with agencies outside the company while the first sergeant does the same internally. He prepares or assists in the preparation of paragraph 4 of the company operations order (OPORD). He may also assist the company commander in planning the mission.
c. The XO coordinates with higher, adjacent, and supporting units. He may aid in control of certain significant steps of the battle such as a passage of lines, bridging a gap, or breaching an obstacle, or he may assume control of a platoon attached to the company during movement.
d. The XO may be assigned tactical responsibilities such as the following:
(1) Landing or Pickup Zone Control Officer. This may include straggler control, casualty evacuation, resupply operations, or air/ground liaison.
(2) Quartering Party or Detachment Officer in Charge. The XO may be the officer in charge (OIC) of an element consisting of representatives of various company elements. Their purpose is to precede the company and reconnoiter, secure, and mark an assembly area, or they remain behind the company to move or secure excess equipment and personnel while the company moves to a new location or conducts combat operations.
(3) Element Leader. The XO may be assigned a mission and a task-organized element with which to accomplish it. He may, for instance, control all the company machine guns, the mortar section, and one rifle platoon as the support force leader in a company raid or attack. Common missions of this nature include--
The first sergeant is the senior NCO and normally the most experienced soldier in the company. He is the commander's primary tactical advisor and the expert on individual and NCO skills. He assists the commander in planning, coordinating, and supervising all activities that support the unit mission. He operates where the commander directs or where his duties require him. His specific duties include the following.
a. He executes and supervises routine operations. This includes enforcing the tactical standing operating procedure (SOP), planning and coordinating training, coordinating and reporting personnel and administrative actions, and supervising supply, maintenance, communications, field hygiene, and medical evacuation operations.
b. He supervises, inspects, or observes matters designated by the commander. (For example, he observes and reports on a portion of the company's sector or zone, inspects the mortar section, or inspects all range cards.)
c. He assists and coordinates with the XO and is prepared to assume the XO's duties.
d. The 1SG leads task-organized elements or subunits on designated missions, if required.
The platoon leader is responsible to the commander for leadership, discipline, training, and sustainment activities related to the platoon and for the platoon's success in combat. He is also responsible for maintenance and accountability of platoon equipment.
a. He must be proficient in the tactical employment of the platoon and his section (mounted or dismounted) in concert with the rest of the company.
b. He must have a solid understanding of troop-leading procedures and develop his ability to apply them quickly and efficiently.
c. He must know the capabilities and limitations of the platoon's personnel and equipment and be well versed in enemy organizations, doctrine, and equipment.
d. He must possess the ability to make rapid decisions accurately based on the commander's intent and specifics of the tactical situation.
The platoon sergeant is the platoon's second in command and is accountable to the platoon leader for the leadership, discipline, training, and welfare of the platoon's soldiers.
a. He coordinates the platoon's maintenance and logistical requirements and handles the personal needs of individual soldiers.
b. He remains with the mounted element when the platoon dismounts, or he can dismount with the platoon as required by METT-TC considerations.
The fire support officer helps plan, coordinate, and execute the company's fire support. During planning, he develops a fire support plan based on the company commander's concept and guidance. He coordinates the fire support plan with the battalion FSO.
a. During planning, the FSO's duties include--
b. The FSO briefs the fire support plan as part of the company OPORD and coordinates with PLs to ensure they understand their fire support responsibilities.
c. The FSO integrates platoon targets into the company target overlay and target worksheet. He then sends these products to the battalion fire support element (FSE).
d. During the battle, the FSO normally locates near the commander. This allows greater flexibility in conducting or adjusting the fire support plan. At times, the FSO may locate away from the commander to control supporting fires more effectively. The FSO informs the commander of key information on his radio net.
e. The FSO must understand infantry tactics. This knowledge allows the FSO to provide better fires integration and, if the company commander becomes a casualty, allows him to assume temporary control of the company until the XO can assume command.
f. The FSO may coordinate close air support (CAS), or he may employ and control the company mortar section.
g. The FSO ensures the indirect fire plan is part of each company rehearsal.
The communications specialist supervises operation, maintenance, and installation of digital communications equipment, organic wire, and FM communications. This includes sending and receiving routine traffic and making required communication checks.
a. He supervises the company command post (CP) to include relaying information, monitoring the tactical situation, establishing the CP security plan and radio watch schedule, and informing the commander and subordinate units of significant events.
b. He performs limited troubleshooting of organic communications equipment and provides the link between the company and the battalion for communications equipment maintenance.
c. He supervises all aspects of communications security (COMSEC) equipment, to include requesting, receipting, maintaining, securing, employing, and training for COMSEC equipment and related materials.
d. He advises the company commander in planning and employing the communications systems. Based on the commander's guidance, he prepares or assists in preparing paragraph 5 of the OPORD.
e. He is responsible for fielding new information systems digitization equipment and the employment of the tactical internet (TI).
The radiotelephone operator operates and performs maintenance on his assigned radio to include preparation for special operations (cold weather, air assault, or waterborne) and the construction of field-expedient antennas.
a. He must understand the company mission. In the event the commander becomes a casualty, the RATELO may be the only man on the radio for a time. If so, he must be prepared to call for and adjust artillery or to request medical evacuation or resupply.
b. He may assist in OPORD preparation by copying overlays and building a sand table.
The supply sergeant requests, receives, issues, stores, maintains, and turns in supplies and equipment for the company. He coordinates requirements with the 1SG and the battalion S4.
a. The HHC commander supervises the supply sergeant when he is located in the battalion field trains. He uses the battalion administrative/logistical (A/L) radio network or their Force XXI battle command brigade and below (FBCB2) net to communicate with the company.
b. The supply sergeant controls the supply trucks that are organic to the company.
c. The supply sergeant monitors the tactical situation and anticipates logistical requirements. (Chapter 11 has a more detailed discussion of the CSS requirements.)
The nuclear, chemical, and biological NCO assists and advises the company commander in planning NBC operations. He conducts and supervises NBC training within the company (decontamination, monitoring, survey, and equipment maintenance operations) and inspects detection and protective equipment for serviceability.
a. He uses digital systems to gain situational understanding quickly.
b. He operates forward with the company CP and assists the communications specialist with CP operations and security.
c. His specific duties include the following:
The mortar section leader is responsible for employing the mortar section and ensures effective mortar support for the company.
a. He assists the company commander in planning the employment of the mortar section.
b. He coordinates with the company FSO and FIST.
c. He controls the section during tactical operations.
d. He is the primary trainer for mortar systems.
The sniper team leader is responsible for employing the sniper team and ensures effective sniper support for the company.
a. He assists the company commander in planning the employment of the sniper team.
b. He coordinates with the company FSO and FIST.
c. He controls the team during tactical operations.
d. He is the primary trainer for the sniper team.
e. He is the primary observer of the sniper team.
The armorer/supply specialist performs organizational maintenance and repairs on the company's small arms weapons. He evacuates weapons to the DS maintenance unit, if required. Normally, he assists the supply sergeant in the brigade support area (BSA), but he may operate forward with the company CP to support continuous CP operations.
The senior trauma specialist/ senior company medic is attached to the rifle company to provide emergency medical treatment (EMT) for sick, injured, or wounded company personnel. Emergency medical treatment procedures performed by the trauma specialist may include opening an airway, starting intravenous fluids, controlling hemorrhage, preventing or treating for shock, splinting fractures or suspected fractures, and providing relief for pain. The EMT performed by the trauma specialist is under the supervision of the battalion surgeon or physician's assistant (PA). The senior trauma specialist/company medic is responsible for--
The battlefield operating systems (BOSs) provide a means of reviewing preparations or execution in discrete subsets. Critical to this review is the synchronization and coordination of activities not only within a BOS but also among the various BOSs.
The command and control process is the commander's basic tool in the employment of the company. It consists of the activities and procedures used by the commander to plan, direct, coordinate, and control the functions and actions of the company; it also includes the personnel and equipment that assist him with command and control.
a. The commander employs the company in accordance with the guidance and orders he receives from the SBCT battalion. Perhaps his most important skills are his ability to accurately analyze the situation and develop a plan that has the greatest chance of accomplishing the mission with the least cost in lives and equipment. After developing the plan, the commander delegates authority to his subordinates, clearly assigning responsibilities, tasks, and purposes and stating his intent so that every member of the unit can effectively use responsible initiative.
b. Critical to the commander's ability to command and control is employment of digitized communications. The tactical internet--composed of the FBCB2 system, enhanced position and location reporting system (EPLRS), and single-channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS)--passes data between company elements. This digital traffic allows dissemination of graphics, orders, and tactical enemy and friendly information to squad level.
The intelligence operating system covers activities employed to see the enemy, terrain, and other aspects of battle space that affect friendly operations. Although the company's primary mission is to fight, it normally conducts some type of reconnaissance or surveillance prior to any operation, and it conducts reconnaissance during execution of all operations. Both before and during an operation, the company receives intelligence and combat information from its parent headquarters, from other companies, and from elements within the company. At the same time, the company is a critical source of combat information throughout the operation.
Maneuver is the employment of forces on the battlefield. It entails using a combination of fire (or fire potential) and movement to achieve a position of advantage with respect to the enemy, to develop the situation as necessary, and to close with and destroy the enemy. Based on the factors of METT-TC, the company commander may maneuver his platoons (mounted or dismounted) and other support forces to achieve the positional advantage. Ideally, when contact is likely, the commander moves the company using bounding overwatch. Once contact is made, he then makes the transition to maneuver and executes actions on contact as necessary. He uses direct and indirect fires from stationary friendly elements to provide protection for the moving elements as they close with the enemy. He also ensures effective flank security, an essential element of successful maneuver.
The company integrates fire support into its portion of the battalion fight. The battalion fire support plan specifies the intended tactical purpose for each task assigned to the company. For example, the plan may state that a target will be fired so that it diverts an enemy force from a particular route. The company commander designates triggers for each target as well as primary and backup observers to call for and adjust fires as necessary. The commander then has ultimate responsibility for ensuring not only that the team effectively executes the target but also that the intended purpose is met (in this case, diverting the enemy from his original course).
The company executes passive or active air defense measures, or a combination, to evade enemy aircraft, degrade the effects of an air attack, or destroy the attacking aircraft. Passive air defense is aimed at avoiding detection and protecting the unit through the use of camouflage, hide positions, route selection, or other similar measures. Active air defense may entail execution of air defense drills by organic elements, employment of the company's organic firepower, employment of air defense assets, or any combination of these.
Mobility and survivability preserve friendly force freedom of maneuver, attack that of the enemy, and protect friendly forces from the effects of enemy weapon systems and the environment. All units, regardless of type, perform basic mobility and survivability tasks.
a. Because of the anticipated condensed planning timeline, SBCT companies rely heavily on the SBCT and its infantry battalions to plan and integrate mobility and survivability into offensive operations. The organic SBCT engineer company task-organizes its subordinate units and equipment to the infantry battalions and companies in order to accomplish specific mobility and survivability tasks. (Refer to Chapter 10 for a detailed discussion of the SBCT engineer company's organization, capabilities, and limitations.) Because overmatching mobility is critical to the success of the SBCT, engineers normally task organize to the lowest possible level, optimizing responsive mobility efforts during decentralized offensive operations.
b. Although mission-dependent, SBCT infantry battalions typically receive a task-organized engineer platoon; subsequently, infantry companies receive a task-organized engineer squad or team. Engineers perform obstacle reduction tasks for both mounted and dismounted maneuver to counter the effects of existing and reinforcing obstacles in all categories of terrain, including the urban environment. Engineer capabilities include manual, explosive, and mechanical breaching methods.
c. Engineers may employ limited countermobility capability (scatterable mines and sub-munitions) to shape enemy maneuver, to preserve and protect friendly forces, and to gain, retain, or secure the positional advantage. Engineers may also perform limited survivability tasks such as constructing individual and vehicle fighting positions, preparing protective positions, and constructing fortifications to enhance force protection.
d. Engineer assets may be organized into combat mobility platoons and mobility support sections.
(1) Combat Mobility Platoon. The combat mobility platoon normally supports an SBCT infantry battalion. During offensive operations, an infantry company may receive a portion, or all, of the combat mobility platoon based on the situation, mission, scheme of maneuver, and mobility tasks identified. Engineers normally do not task organize below squad level for mounted mobility operations. The platoon or squads may be task organized with a mobility support section or specific mobility support equipment from the SBCT engineer company's mobility support platoon.
(2) Mobility Support Section. The mobility support section provides short-span assault crossing of wet or dry gaps and moderate earthmoving and constructed obstacle reduction capability. The section, or any of the vehicles in the section, may be task organized to combat mobility platoons and squads.
There are five functional areas of CSS: supply, transportation, maintenance, field services, and personnel services. The company has an organic supply section and normally has an attached medical and evacuation team. The SBCT battalion provides other CSS for the infantry company. Combat service support is discussed in detail in Chapter 11.
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