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CHAPTER 1

OVERVIEW OF THE SBCT INFANTRY BATTALION

The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) infantry battalion's primary mission is to close with and destroy the enemy during full-spectrum operations through close, violent combat. The SBCT infantry battalion is capable of accomplishing all missions historically identified with the infantry and is organized and equipped to conduct operations in restricted terrain, severely restricted terrain, and urban terrain. The battalion, as part of the SBCT, deploys rapidly, executes early-entry operations, and conducts effective combat operations immediately upon arrival to assist in the prevention, containment, stabilization, or resolution of a conflict

Section I. MISSION AND KEY OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES

The SBCT infantry battalion can deploy rapidly and can be sustained by an austere support structure. The battalion conducts operations against conventional and unconventional enemy forces in all types of terrain and climate conditions. The battalion can perform its mission throughout the entire spectrum of military operations. Additionally, the battalion has the following key operational capabilities.

1-1.     MISSION

The SBCT infantry battalion's mission is to close with the enemy by fire and to maneuver to destroy or capture him or to repel his assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack.

1-2.     MOBILITY

The battalion has a high level of mobility at all three levels of operations. Strategically, the battalion is organized, equipped, and configured to meet the SBCT's 96-hour deployment standard. Operationally, the battalion is capable of intra-theater deployment by ground, by sea, or by C130 air transport. At the tactical level, superior mobility is critical to the success of the force. The battalion has a mobility capability equal to that of a mechanized formation when task-organized within a division for high-end operations in unrestricted terrain across the battlefield. Its unique mobility capabilities allow the battalion to maintain effectiveness in complex and urban terrain that would limit mechanized and armored forces while also maintaining rapid vehicular mobility that is unavailable to light forces. The organic vehicle systems provide tactical mobility that enables the battalion to strike the enemy in depth, reposition its reserve rapidly, secure lines of communications, and conduct noncontiguous platoon and company fights.

1-3.     DISMOUNTED ASSAULT AND THE CLOSE FIGHT

The battalion achieves decisive action using combined arms at the company level. It focuses on dismounted assault supported by direct fires from the mobile gun system (MGS) and, when possible, the Stryker. The combined effects of mortars, integrated joint assets, artillery, and mobility support based on robust command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities down to company level allow for highly responsive fires and effects to support decisive action. The battalion's ultimate success depends on its ability to integrate and synchronize combined-arms effects to support the dismounted assault in the close fight.

1-4.     ENHANCED INFORMATION SUPERIORITY

The SBCT has the capability to gain information superiority to achieve surprise or to anticipate the actions of the enemy force and engage it effectively. The SBCT employs an integrated suite of intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) capabilities to develop and disseminate a common operational picture (COP) throughout the force, facilitating situational understanding (SU) through the application of the commander's judgment and experience.

    a.     The cavalry squadron (reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition [RSTA]) is the primary force for providing combat information to build the knowledge base necessary to achieve a COP, including an in-depth understanding of the local and regional nonmilitary factors that typically influence the outcome of stability operations, particularly against an asymmetric enemy. ISR analytical and management assets at SBCT level integrate information and intelligence from all sources, including human collectors (human intelligence [HUMINT]), organic unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and resources at higher echelons.

    b.     Situational understanding and information superiority enable the battalion to avoid surprise, to develop timely decisions, to control the time and place to engage in combat, to conduct maneuver, to shape the battlespace with fires and effects, and to achieve decisive outcomes. The battalion is equipped with the maneuver control system- Light (MCS-Light), All Source Analysis System-Light (ASAS-Light) and Force XXI battle command, brigade and below (FBCB2) which facilitate effective information management and achieve the quality of information sharing necessary for multiechelon collaborative planning and the execution-focused command and control.

1-5.     LETHALITY

The SBCT infantry battalion is a lethal force built around the infantryman. The battalion possesses a robust array of direct and indirect fire systems to shape the battlespace and achieve decision in the close fight inherent within restricted and severely restricted terrain. Direct fire support from the MGS focuses on defeating hardened and fortified positions. Battalion- and company-level organic mortars facilitate operations. Mortars enhance indirect fire responsiveness with volume and the high angle fire essential to effective engagement in urban terrain. The battalion possesses limited antitank capability and normally receives antitank augmentation, if required, to deal with large numbers of enemy mechanized forces in unrestricted terrain. The requirement to reduce collateral damage and noncombatant casualties requires precision fires and well-trained soldiers who understand the direct fire plan and who remain aware of the situation. Similarly, battalion capabilities to create effects must be part of the overall effects concept in synergy with the employment of lethal systems and munitions. The battalion may be reinforced with antitank (tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided [TOW] IIB missile) assets from the SBCT's antitank company or other assets augmenting the SBCT. The battalion can also expect supporting fires from cannon and rocket artillery units supporting the SBCT. The high mobility of these systems sharply increases their effectiveness in supporting the infantryman in the close fight by generating combat power well beyond that of US light forces of comparable size.

1-6.     FORCE PROTECTION AND SURVIVABILITY

The SBCT infantry battalion's relatively light armor and limited survivability assets preclude it from relying on traditional means of enhancing protection and survivability. The battalion conducts force protection through the appropriate use of terrain for protection. The tactical mobility inherent in this organization allows elements to displace quickly for force protection. Also, the information dominance capability of this organization increases force protection and survivability by reducing the likelihood of surprise against the battalion. In environments where these measures are not adequate, the battalion must be augmented appropriately or given missions appropriate to its force protection capability.

1-7.     FORCE EFFECTIVENESS

The battalion achieves force effectiveness by exploiting the abilities of its skilled soldiers and capable leaders. In addition to the human dimensions, the rapid tactical mobility afforded by the common vehicle platforms and the increase in situational understanding provided by the technological advances in information systems (INFOSYS) at the SBCT allow the battalion to maintain force effectiveness in smaller-scale contingencies (SSCs). When deployed in support of a major theater war (MTW) or peacetime military engagement (PME), the augmentation provided by divisional or corps units allows the SBCT to maintain force effectiveness.

1-8.     UNIFIED ACTION

The battalion normally operates under the command of the SBCT but may augment a light, mechanized, or armored brigade. The SSC environment may require it to maintain direct links with multinational forces, US interagency organizations operating in the theater, and other international, local, nongovernmental, and private organizations involved in the crisis, conflict, or instability. In many situations, the battalion benefits from exploiting the knowledge and capabilities residing within these organizations. Effective interaction is especially important at the lower end of the SSC scale in an environment where the adversary is primarily employing asymmetric capabilities rather than military power to achieve its ends. In some contingencies, the battalion headquarters (HQ) or battalion elements actively participate in civil-military activities and serve within civil-military organizations.

1-9.     FULL-SPECTRUM FLEXIBILITY AND AUGMENTATION

When the SBCT participates in full-spectrum operations, it does so as a subordinate element with a division or Army forces (ARFOR). Adjustments to task organization, including augmentation, are required. Likely augmentation packages for the SBCT include lift and or attack aviation, armor, cannon or rocket artillery, air defense, military police, civil affairs, psychological operations, combat and construction engineers, and additional INFOSYS assets with requisite combat service support (CSS) for each system. Depending on its mission and the nature of its assigned area of operations, the battalion can expect to receive additional combat, combat support, and CSS from the forces augmenting the SBCT.

Section II. ORGANIZATION AND CAPABILITIES

The SBCT infantry battalion is designed for employment as an early-entry force in full- spectrum operations (MTWs, SSCs, and PMEs). Its operational environment is primarily restricted, severely restricted, and urban terrain, opposed by an unconventional enemy. Other potential environmental features include a weak transportation and logistical infrastructure, an uncertain political climate, and coalition involvement. The battalion is able to deploy as part of the SBCT and arrive in theater within 96 hours of embarkation and to begin operations immediately upon arrival at the airport of debarkation (APOD). At the tactical level, overmatching SU, lethality, and mobility are critical to the success of the force.

1-10.     BATTLEFIELD ORGANIZATION

Commanders visualize their battlespace and determine how to arrange their forces. Battlefield organization is the arrangement of subordinate forces according to purpose, time, and space to accomplish a mission.

    a.     The purpose-based framework centers on decisive, shaping, and sustaining operations. Purpose unifies all elements of the battlefield organization by providing the common focus for all actions. However, forces act in time and space to accomplish a purpose. A commander may choose to use the "decisive point," "main effort," "supporting efforts" method to articulate his organization of forces if this better facilitates the commander's ability to visualize, describe, and direct actions.

    b.     As a full-spectrum combat force, the SBCT infantry battalion organization design includes embedded unit-based capabilities tailored specifically to the unique requirements of the battalion's mission set. The battalion organization allows the commander to scale his force to accept like-type additional infantry or intelligence organizations. The commander can also accept augmentation of units or elements that are not organic to the battalion structure, such as armor or air defense. This organizational flexibility allows the battalion to function in its primary role as a major participant in combat operations as part of a division or corps structure, or to serve as a "guarantor combat force" in a stability or support operation.

1-11.     CAPABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS

The SBCT infantry battalion is capable of executing all military operations in varying terrain throughout the full-spectrum of combat operations. (Table 1-1). (Refer also to Appendix A, Integration of Special Operations, Mechanized, and Light Forces.)

LIGHT INFANTRY BATTALION

HEAVY INFANTRY BATTALION

SBCT INFANTRY BATTALION

CAPABILITIES

Conduct offensive and defensive operations in all types of environments.

Conduct offensive, defensive, retrograde, or other operations over assigned areas in all environments.

Conduct offensive and defensive operations in all environments across the spectrum of conflict.

Screen and guard friendly units.

Conduct security operations (screen, guard, and cover) for a larger force.

Screen and guard friendly units.

 

Exploit the success and pursue a defeated enemy as part of a larger formation.

Exploit the success and pursue a defeated enemy as part of a larger formation.

 

Accomplish rapid movement and limited penetrations.

Tactically mobile.

Seize, secure, occupy, and retain terrain.

Seize, secure, occupy, and retain terrain.

Seize, secure, occupy, and retain terrain.

Destroy, neutralize, suppress, interdict, disrupt, block, canalize, and fix enemy forces.

Destroy, neutralize, suppress, interdict, disrupt, block, canalize, and fix enemy forces.

Destroy, neutralize, suppress, interdict, disrupt, block, canalize, and fix enemy forces.

Breach enemy obstacles.

Breach enemy obstacles.

Breach enemy obstacles.

Feint and demonstrate to deceive the enemy.

Feint and demonstrate to deceive the enemy.

Feint and demonstrate to deceive the enemy.

Reconnoiter, deny, bypass, clear, contain, and isolate (terrain or enemy).

Reconnoiter, deny, bypass, clear, contain, and isolate (terrain or enemy).

Reconnoiter, deny, bypass, clear, contain, and isolate (terrain or enemy).

Operate in conjunction with SBCT/heavy, coalition, or special operating forces.

Operate in conjunction with light/SBCT, coalition, or special operating forces.

Operate in conjunction with light/heavy, coalition, or special operating forces.

Conduct small-unit operations.

 

Conduct small-scale operations in all types of environments.

Conduct amphibious operations.

 

Conduct amphibious operations.

Conduct air assault and airborne operations.

 

Conduct air assault operations.

Conduct stability operations and support operations.

Conduct stability operations and support operations.

Conduct stability operations and support operations.

High strategic mobility.

High tactical mobility.

Strategic mobility retains rapid deployment.

   

Conduct sustained combat operations for 72 hours in all environments.

LIMITATIONS

Especially vulnerable to enemy fires, NBC, and enemy air.

 

Especially vulnerable to enemy direct fires, NBC, and enemy air.

Austere CSS structure may require external support for independent operations.

 

Austere CSS structure may require external support for full-spectrum operations.

Lacks the firepower, mobility, and protection of a mechanized force.

Mobility and firepower are restricted by urban areas, dense jungles and forests, very steep and rugged terrain, and significant water obstacles.

Dense jungles and forests, very steep and rugged terrain, and significant water obstacles.

Foot mobile; organic vehicles move either soldiers or supplies.

Strategic mobility is limited by substantial quantities of heavy equipment.

 

Low tactical mobility.

 

Reduced C2 during dismounted operations.

Consumption of supply items is high, especially Classes III and V

Consumption of supply items is high, especially Classes III, V, and IX.

Consumption of supply items is high, especially Classes III, V, and IX.

Table 1-1. Capabilities and limitations.

1-12.     ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

The SBCT infantry battalion can function autonomously or as part of any combat brigade. It consists of three rifle companies and a headquarters & headquarters company (HHC) (Figure 1-1). The HHC consists of two elements: the headquarters section, consisting of the battalion command section and the principal and special staff, and the HQ company, consisting of the HHC headquarters and the battalion's reconnaissance, mortar, and medical platoons and sniper squad.

Figure 1-1. SBCT infantry battalion

Figure 1-1. SBCT infantry battalion.

    a.     Headquarters Section. The headquarters consists of the command group and the coordinating and special staff to the battalion commander.

    (1)     Battalion Command Section. The battalion command section (Figure 1-2) consists of the battalion commander, the battalion executive officer (XO), the battalion command sergeant major (CSM), and supporting enlisted soldiers such as vehicle drivers. The commander locates where he can observe and influence the critical points and actions on the battlefield and communicate orders and guidance. The battalion command section is equipped with the Stryker command vehicle (CV) and several wheeled vehicles to assist with the command, control, coordination, protection, and transportation of command section personnel throughout the battlefield.

Figure 1-2. Battalion command section

Figure 1-2. Battalion command section.

    (a)     Battalion Executive Officer. The battalion XO exercises the traditional doctrinal duties and responsibilities associated with this position in infantry battalions. His primary duties include—

    • Exercising command in the absence or incapacitation of the commander.
    • Synchronizing and integrating staff activities to optimize control of battalion operations.
    • Direct supervision of the battalion main command post.
    • Planning of CSS.
    • Oversight of the integration of information management within the battalion.
    • Execution of any other duties prescribed by the commander.

    (b)     Battalion Command Sergeant Major. The CSM is the senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) within the infantry battalion and advises the commander concerning the enlisted ranks. He is the senior enlisted trainer in the battalion and works closely with company commanders when coaching and training company first sergeants and platoon sergeants. He acts as the commander's representative in supervising aspects vital to battalion operations, as determined by the commander and by himself.

    (2)     Battalion Coordinating and Special Staff. The battalion coordinating staff consists of the personnel and administration section (S1), the intelligence section (S2), the operations section (S3), the logistics section (S4), the communications section (S6), and the fire support element (FSE). The special staff consists of the chaplain and the medical platoon leader. All staff elements assist the commander with planning, organizing, employing, and sustaining the battalion.

    (a)     Personnel and Administration Section. The S1 section (Figure 1-3) is responsible for maintaining unit strength and conducting personnel actions. The S1 identifies and reports critical personnel shortages to the commander and higher headquarters. The S1 section ensures assigned personnel transition smoothly into and out of the battalion. It handles routine day-to-day tasks such as preparing battalion status and strength reports, monitoring and preparing personnel awards and orders, scheduling, and other administrative support as required. During tactical operations, the S1 section operates with the S4 section to provide CSS to the battalion, including unit strength reporting to higher headquarters and coordination of unit replacements as directed by the battalion commander. The S1 supervises the chaplain and medical platoon and any attached public affairs personnel. The S1 is also the staff point of contact for activities such as inspector general and judge advocate general issues.

Figure 1-3. S1 section

Figure 1-3. S1 section.

    (b)     Intelligence Section. Intelligence is one of the commander's most important decision-making tools. The S2 section (Figure 1-4) is responsible for providing timely and accurate intelligence analysis and products in support of the commander, staff, and subordinate units. The S2 supervises and coordinates collection, processing, production, and dissemination of intelligence (in conjunction with the S3). The section makes analytical predictions on when and where battlefield actions will occur. It also provides analysis on the effects of the battlefield environment on friendly and enemy courses of action and capabilities. The S2 is responsible for evaluating the enemy in terms of doctrine, order of battle, high-value and or high-pay-off targets, capabilities, and vulnerabilities. In conjunction with the S3, the S2 coordinates the battalion staff's recommended priority intelligence requirements (PIR) for inclusion in the commander's critical information requirements (CCIR). The S2 section integrates staff input to intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) products for staff planning, decision-making, targeting, and combat assessment. The S2 also plans and manages ISR operations in coordination with the S3 and fire support officer (FSO).

Figure 1-4. S2 section

Figure 1-4. S2 section.

    (c)     Operations Section. The S3 section (Figure 1-5) is the commander's primary staff element for planning, coordinating, prioritizing, and synchronizing all battalion operations. The S3 section controls and directs the battalion main command post (CP). The main CP acts as the control center for battalion tactical operations and coordinates critical support operations, as required, with the other staff sections. The main CP controls current operations and plans future operations, providing the commander with critical combat information and disseminating the commander's decisions and guidance to the individual maneuver commanders and to principal and special staffs. The battalion main CP is located as far forward as possible. To ensure force protection and maintain survivability on the battlefield, it is capable of frequent, rapid displacement and is equipped with communications equipment with a low electronic signature. It facilitates clear and timely communications forward to subordinate maneuver commanders and higher headquarters. Personnel from the S3 section, S2 section, and FSE habitually man the battalion's main CP, along with an augmenting United States Air Force (USAF) tactical air control party (TACP) section and other supporting elements such as combat engineers, military intelligence, or air defense. (Refer to Appendix B, Command Post Operations.) The S3 section is equipped with a CV to transport the S3 as he assists the commander with the forward command and control of tactical operations. The remainder of the S3 section's vehicles are wheeled.

Figure 1-5. S3 section

Figure 1-5. S3 section.

    (d)     Logistics Section. The S4 section (Figure 1-6) is responsible for providing logistical planning and support to the battalion and operates the battalion's combat trains command post (CTCP). The S4 functions as the commander's primary logistics planner and provides timely and accurate logistical information required to support and sustain the individual maneuver companies with all classes of supply. The S4 supports the S3's synchronization of combat and sustainment operations. The S4 section mans the CTCP in conjunction with elements of the S1 section and provides personnel and logistics reporting to higher headquarters. It also coordinates logistics resupply and unit replacements as required. The CTCP functions as the alternate battalion tactical operations center (TOC).

Figure 1-6. S4 section

Figure 1-6. S4 section.

    (e)     Communications Section. The communications section (Figure 1-7) provides the battalion with communication personnel capable of supporting battalion and company operations. The S6 section's signal officer is the primary planner for all battalion communication and networking operations. He advises the commander, staff, and the maneuver companies on all network, signal, and communications matters. The section's communications personnel work closely with the S3 section to ensure and maintain clear lines of communication during tactical operations. The section has technical responsibility for information flow, networking of automated systems, and development of communications policies, procedures, and training. The communications section has 16 personnel and is equipped with two infantry carrier vehicles (ICVs) for radio retransmission and two high-mobility, multi-purpose, wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) for executing other section missions.

Figure 1-7. S6 section

Figure 1-7. S6 section.

    (f)     Fire Support Element. The battalion FSE (Figure 1-8) consists of the fire support officer, a senior fire support noncommissioned officer (FSNCO), an assistant FSNCO, and one fire support specialist. The FSE assists the battalion commander and S3 with planning, integrating, coordinating, and executing all types of available supporting fires during tactical operations. The FSE is the commander's primary fire support coordinator and provides a direct link to the battalion's indirect fire support systems and supporting artillery units. Elements of the FSE habitually collocate with the battalion's TOC.

Figure 1-8. Battalion fire support element

Figure 1-8. Battalion fire support element.

    (g)     Chaplain. The unit ministry team (UMT) (Figure 1-9) is composed of a chaplain and one enlisted chaplain's assistant. The unit ministry team facilitates and coordinates religious support across the battalion's area of operations (AO). The chaplain is also a special staff member who serves as a confidential advisor to the commander on the spiritual fitness and ethical and moral health of the command. The unit ministry team advises the commander on humanitarian aspects and the impact of command policies on indigenous religions. He provides and coordinates privileged and sensitive personal counseling and pastoral care to the unit's command, soldiers, authorized civilians, and families. The unit ministry team locates where it can best coordinate, communicate, and facilitate religious support.

Figure 1-9. Unit ministry team

Figure 1-9. Unit ministry team.

    b.     Headquarters Company. The HQ company provides limited combat support (CS) and CSS to the battalion through its special platoons.

    (1)     Company Headquarters Section. The company headquarters section provides the immediate leadership, supply, and personnel support to all HHC personnel, including the battalion's command group, coordinating and special staff, and specialty platoons and squads. It includes the HHC commander, first sergeant (1SG), executive officer, and supporting supply and chemical sections. In a tactical environment, the HHC HQ section provides direct interface with the administrative and logistics support elements of the SBCT and brigade support battalion (BSB) in the brigade support area (BSA) and provides direct support to the battalion's TOC with regard to coordination of security and displacement operations. It is equipped with several wheeled vehicles to assist with the support of HHC elements, including two small decontamination apparatuses to provide limited immediate tactical decontamination capability.

    (2)     Medical Platoon. The medical platoon (Figure 1-10) provides health service support for the battalion. The medical platoon is organized with a headquarters section, a treatment squad, an evacuation squad, and a combat medic section. The medical platoon is responsible for providing Level I medical care. This care includes emergency medical treatment for wounds, injuries or illness, advanced trauma management, and sick call services. It also includes casualty collection, medical evacuation from the supported maneuver company to the battalion aid station (BAS). The medical platoon habitually establishes the BAS where it can best support the battalion. It normally operates under the direction of the battalion main CP and the CTCP.

    (a)     Headquarters Section. The headquarters section provides the command, control, communications, and resupply for the medical platoon. The platoon headquarters consists of the field medical assistant and the platoon sergeant; it normally collocates with the treatment squad to form the BAS. The headquarters section includes the plans and operations functions performed by the field medical assistant. The medical platoon employs an frequency-modulated (FM) radio network for health service support (HSS) operations. The headquarters section serves as the net control station (NCS) for the medical platoon. The battalion surgeon, assisted by the field medical assistant and the platoon sergeant, is responsible for the HSS plan for the infantry battalion. See FM 4-02.4 and FM 8-55 for information on planning HSS for the maneuver battalion, military decision-making process (MDMP), course of action (COA), and medical troop leading procedures.

    (b)     Treatment Squad. The treatment squad consists of two treatment teams (Teams Alpha and Bravo). They operate the BAS and provide Echelon I medical care and treatment. This includes sick call, emergency medical treatment (EMT), and advanced trauma management (ATM). Team Alpha is staffed by the battalion surgeon, a health care sergeant (SGT), and two health care specialists. Team Bravo is staffed with a physician's assistant (PA), a health care SGT, and two health care specialists. The physician, PA, health care SGT, and specialists are trained to provide EMT and assist with ATM procedures, commensurate with their occupational specialties. The treatment teams can operate for limited times in split-based operations in direct support (DS) of battalion units.

    (c)     Ambulance Squad. Medical platoon ambulances provide medical evacuation and en route care from the soldier's point of injury or the company's casualty collection point (CCP) to the BAS. The ambulance team in support of the maneuver company works in coordination with the trauma specialists supporting the platoons. In mass casualty situations nonmedical vehicles may be used to assist in casualty evacuation as directed by the supported commander. Plans for the use of nonmedical vehicles to perform casualty evacuation should be included in the infantry battalion's tactical standing operating procedures (TSOP) and operations order (OPORD).

    (d)     Combat Medic Section. Trauma specialists are allocated on the basis of one trauma specialist per each rifle platoon in the battalion's rifle companies. The platoon trauma specialist normally locates with, or near, the rifle platoon leader or rifle platoon sergeant. The rifle company trauma specialist normally collocates with the 1SG. When the rifle company is engaged, he remains with the 1SG and provides medical advice as necessary. As the tactical situation allows, he will manage the company CCP, provide treatment, and prepare patients for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). For definitive information on medical platoon operations, see FM 4-02.4 and FM 8-55.

 

Figure 1-10. Medical platoon

Figure 1-10. Medical platoon.

    (3)     Reconnaissance Platoon. The battalion reconnaissance platoon (Figure 1-11) serves as the forward "eyes and ears" for the battalion commander. The primary mission of the reconnaissance platoon is to conduct mounted and dismounted reconnaissance to determine enemy composition and disposition along named areas of interest (NAIs) or targeted areas of interest (TAIs) defined within the battalion's ISR plan. The platoon has one officer and 23 enlisted personnel. The platoon leader employs both the mounted and dismounted reconnaissance elements within the platoon and is assisted by his platoon sergeant (PSG), who is the senior NCO in the platoon and is second in succession of command. He assists and advises the platoon leader and leads the platoon in his absence. The reconnaissance platoon is manned and equipped to enable the simultaneous conduct of both mounted and dismounted reconnaissance.

    (a)     The reconnaissance platoon is organized into two sections of two reconnaissance vehicles (RVs) each and three 5-man dismounted reconnaissance teams. These teams are divided between the platoon's two sections, with one "heavy" section transporting two reconnaissance teams and the other "light" team transporting one reconnaissance team and the platoon leader.

    (b)     The platoon is capable of conducting mounted and dismounted reconnaissance operations simultaneously. With slight platoon reorganization, each section also has this capability. Each section leader commands all elements of his section and is responsible for controlling the section's movement and intelligence collection requirements. He reports critical intelligence information obtained by his section to the reconnaissance platoon leader or battalion TOC. An assistant section leader assists with the command and control of the section. The vehicle elements of each section are capable of conducting traditional mounted reconnaissance missions (area, route, and zone) but must be supported by the section's dismounted reconnaissance team. The three dismounted reconnaissance teams are capable of independently conducting traditional dismounted reconnaissance missions similar to those of airborne, air assault, or light infantry battalions. These capabilities include the ability to provide long duration surveillance of NAIs, landing zone and pickup zone marking, terminal guidance for helicopter operations, and guides for the conduct of dismounted infiltration operations. If given the mission, the platoon's vehicles and design parameters provide it with the ability to maintain "surveillance" of four to six NAIs or TAIs at any one time by further breaking down into two to four mounted and two dismounted reconnaissance teams (the third team providing security for the mounted reconnaissance elements). The platoon can effectively observe three NAIs or TAIs for extended operations. The platoon's RVs provide the reconnaissance teams with protected battlefield transportation to critical locations on the battlefield. The mounted element also gives the platoon the mobility necessary to conduct effective route reconnaissance of two separate company mobility corridors and shift from one NAI to another rapidly. This organization enables the platoon to conduct both (limited) mounted and dismounted reconnaissance tasks simultaneously and provides the commander with the ability to reconnoiter throughout the battalion's battlespace.

    (c)     In either offensive or defensive operations, the commander may deploy his reconnaissance platoon to conduct limited screening operations of the battalion's front, flank, or rear or to occupy outposts from which it can relay critical information to the TOC concerning enemy composition and disposition. Once it establishes contact, the reconnaissance platoon's mobility and flexibility enable it to displace to critical locations along the enemy's route of movement or position itself to provide critical information that allows the commander to "visualize" the enemy in depth. The reconnaissance platoon may also be equipped to conduct terminal guidance operations (TGO) in support of ARFOR or joint aviation and artillery laser guided munitions.

    (d)     The commander may also deploy his reconnaissance platoon in a limited counterreconnaissance role and use it as a framework for the integration of other information collection assets such as Prophet teams and tactical HUMINT teams.

Figure 1-11. Reconnaissance platoon

Figure 1-11. Reconnaissance platoon.

    (4)     Mortar Platoon. The primary role of the battalion mortar platoon (Figure 1-12) is to provide immediate, responsive indirect fires that support the maneuver of the companies or battalion and that reinforce direct fires during close combat. The battalion mortar platoon consists of four 120-mm heavy mortars mounted on four Stryker mortar carriers (MCs). Each mortar carrier crew consists of four infantry indirect fire specialists. Adopting the "arms room concept" as a standing operating procedure (SOP), the platoon is also equipped with four 81-mm "strap-on" mortar systems which are stowed in the platoon's MCs. The 81-mm mortar systems enable the mortar platoon to provide dismounted mortar support to the battalion during air assault and infiltration operations. The MCs improve the survivability of the mortar crew and equipment by providing increased flexibility, responsiveness, mobility, and protected transportation. The platoon's fire direction center (FDC) controls and directs the mortar platoon's maneuver and fires. With the addition of the mortar fire control system (MFCS), the battalion can potentially mass the effects of the two mortar platoon sections and the three company mortar sections, all under control of the mortar platoon HQ.

    (a) Specifically, the mortar platoon provides the commander the ability to support the infantry's close fight with indirect fires that—

    • Shape the conditions for maneuver.
    • Provide close supporting fires for assaulting infantry forces in restricted and severely restricted terrain.
    • Destroy, neutralize, suppress, degrade, or disrupt enemy forces and force armored vehicles to button up.
    • Break up enemy troop concentrations (mounted and dismounted) and destroy the enemy's synchronization.
    • Fix enemy forces or reduce the enemy's mobility and canalize his assault forces into engagement areas.
    • Deny the enemy the advantage of defile terrain and force him into areas covered by direct fire weapons.
    • Provide standoff fires against light armored vehicles.
    • Optimize indirect fires in urban terrain.
    • Significantly improve the dismounted infantry's lethality and survivability against a close dismounted assault.

    (b)     Each mortar system (120-mm or 81-mm) is capable of providing three primary types of mortar fires:

    • High explosive (HE) rounds are used to suppress or destroy enemy dismounted infantry, mortars, and other supporting weapons and to interdict the movement of men, vehicles, and supplies in the enemy's forward area. Bursting white phosphorus (WP) rounds are often mixed with HE rounds to enhance their suppressive and destructive effects.
    • Obscuration rounds are used to conceal friendly forces as they maneuver or assault and to blind enemy supporting weapons. Obscurants can be used to isolate a portion of the enemy force while it is destroyed piecemeal. Some mortar rounds use bursting WP to achieve this obscuration; others employ more efficient technology. Bursting WP may be used to mark targets for engagement by other weapons, usually aircraft, and for signaling.
    • Illumination rounds are used to reveal the location of enemy forces hidden by darkness. They allow the commander to confirm or deny the presence of the enemy without revealing the location of friendly direct fire weapons. Illumination fires are often coordinated with HE fires both to expose the enemy and to kill or suppress him.

Figure 1-12. Mortar platoon

Figure 1-12. Mortar platoon.

    (5)     Sniper Squad. The battalion sniper squad (Figure 1-13) is a modular organization consisting of a squad leader and two similarly equipped three-man sniper teams. (Refer also to Appendix C, Sniper Employment.) Each team is capable of providing the battalion with a full range of sniper support and is equipped with both the M24 7.62-mm sniper rifle (providing anti-personnel fires out to 800 meters) and the .50-caliber XM107 sniper rifle (providing antipersonnel and anti-equipment 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. Battalion snipers are 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. During security missions, stability operations, or when operating in an SSC with extremely restrictive rules of engagement (ROE), sniper teams are used extensively in the countersniper role as a means of providing force protection without creating unwarranted collateral damage. The modularity of the sniper teams enables the augmentation of a sniper team to a subordinate company or task-organization of a company sniper team to the battalion sniper squad for the execution of specific sniper missions.

Figure 1-13. Sniper team

Figure 1-13. Sniper team.

    (6)     Other Attachments. The augmenting USAF TACP consists of the air liaison officer (ALO) and two enlisted terminal air controllers (ETAC). The TACP assists the commander with the planning, integration, and execution of close air support (CAS) operations. It is the commander's primary link to Air Force CAS assets that are made available to support the battalion's mission (Figure 1-5).

Section III. BATTLEFIELD OPERATING SYSTEMS

Successful tactical operations require coordination, integration, and synchronization of all combat, CS, and CSS elements of the SBCT infantry battalion. Synchronization of the battlefield operating systems (BOS) occurs horizontally and vertically throughout the battalion. A discussion of BOS functions, organizations, digital systems, and integration considerations follows.

1-13.     INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence is fundamental to effective planning, security, and deception. Intelligence operations are the organized efforts of a commander to gather and analyze information on the environment and the enemy. All units have the responsibility to report information about the enemy. However, the battalion has only the reconnaissance platoon and infantry patrols tasked to gather information. The SBCT employs a multilevel, integrated suite of ISR capabilities to develop and disseminate a common operational picture throughout the force. The cavalry squadron (RSTA) is the central capability for providing combat information to build the knowledge base necessary to achieve SU. Situational understanding and information superiority enable the force to avoid surprise, develop rapid decisions, conduct maneuver with synchronized fires and effects, and achieve decisive outcomes. This information is disseminated through an internetted force in order to carry out effective information management and achieve the quality of information sharing necessary for multi-echelon planning and execution.

1-14.     MANEUVER

The maneuver companies of the battalion destroy enemy forces and seize and hold terrain. All other battalion assets support the maneuver elements. The battalion achieves decisive action by means of combined arms at the company level focused on infantry assault. This effort is often supported by direct fires from organic weapon systems onboard the Stryker and the MGS, combined-arms integration of mortars, and artillery.

    a.     The commander may decide, in rare situations, to fight as a mounted force; he bases this decision on METT-TC and a thorough understanding of the situation. The mounted force initially seeks to overwhelm the enemy force through a mounted engagement, based on a rapid assessment of the situation. In accordance with the commander's guidance, the formations in contact may disengage or dismount and attack to achieve a decisive outcome.

    b.     Army aviation assets are maneuver assets that may conduct operations in support of the battalion even though aviation assets normally remain operational control (OPCON) to the brigade. Army aviation attack helicopters can conduct combat missions to find, fix, and destroy enemy forces using fire and maneuver and to concentrate and sustain combat power at the critical time and place. Aviation assets can also provide timely reconnaissance and surveillence information to ground maneuver commanders and conduct air movement operations in conjunction with infantry forces.

1-15.     FIRES AND EFFECTS

The fires and effects system coordinates and provides full-spectrum fires and effects in time, space, and purpose to enable the SBCT to conduct decisive operations during MTWs, SSCs, or PMEs. The fires and effects system acquires and tracks targets; delivers timely and accurate fires; provides proactive counterfire; and plans, coordinates, and orchestrates full-spectrum fires and effects. Battalions rely heavily on the SBCT effects coordination cell (ECC) to plan, coordinate, and integrate effects-based fires into the battalion's combined-arms operations. The FSE receives guidance from the commander regarding the effects desired in time, space, and purpose. The FSE then plans, coordinates, and achieves the desired effects using organic and nonorganic means in a rapid and responsive manner. Each FSE has subordinate fire support teams that support each infantry company. Each fire support team provides the maneuver companies with a resident fires and effects coordination and terminal control capability, with an emphasis on precision target acquisition to enable effective engagement of targets with lethal fires and assessment of effects. The TACP, consisting of an air liaison officer and enlisted tactical air controller, integrates into each maneuver battalion headquarters alongside the FSE, providing the ability to request, coordinate, and control close air support.

1-16.     MOBILITY AND SURVIVABILITY

Battalions rely heavily on the SBCT's maneuver support cell to plan and integrate mobility, engineer, topographic, and military police efforts into full spectrum operations. Mobility and survivability preserve friendly freedom of maneuver, attack that of the enemy, and protect friendly forces from the effects of enemy weapons systems and the environment. All units, regardless of type, perform basic mobility and survivability tasks.

    a.     Topographical and reconnaissance capabilities resident within the maneuver support cell assist the brigade in acquiring real-time knowledge and products that portray critical aspects of the terrain and environment that are required for planning and executing battalion operations. During the decision-making process, as these products become available, the maneuver support cell pushes them to infantry battalions to facilitate parallel planning and maximize situational understanding.

    b.     The SBCT military police (MP) staff in the maneuver support cell provides embedded military police planning but does not include a military police element. The SBCT is normally augmented with MP staff and units from division or corps.

    c.     Units must be able to operate under nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) conditions to survive and accomplish their missions. Thus, units must apply and adhere to the NBC defense fundamentals. The fundamentals are contamination avoidance, NBC protection, and NBC decontamination. Additional support may be available from the NBC reconnaissance platoon organic to the cavalry squadron (RSTA). The platoon possesses limited capability to provide warning and enhance protection against an NBC threat. Decontamination assets within the CSS structure are limited. Additional requirements necessitate unit augmentation.

1-17.     AIR DEFENSE

The battalion has no organic air defense artillery (ADA) assets. Depending on the brigade's organic air and missile defense (AMD) coordination cell's analysis of the threat, the SBCT may receive assets from the divisional short-range air defense battalion's direct support ADA battery. Even with the addition of ADA assets to the SBCT, however, the battalion may not have any ADA weapon systems directly task-organized. In the event of an air attack, the battalion should employ the combined arms for air defense procedures described in Chapter 10.

1-18.     COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT

The SBCT is capable of self-sustained combat operations for 72 hours. Due to the nature of the battalion's capabilities, the CSS structure is purposefully austere to increase force mobility. The traditional support platoon is not organic to the battalion. The battalion must rely on through-put from the brigade support battalion for supply operations that were previously handled by the organic support platoon. Initial sustainment relies on a combination of unit basic loads (UBLs) and configured loads from theater assets. Sustainment operations are characterized by centralized logistics. The battalion relies heavily upon aerial resupply until surface lines of communication are secure. Battlefield distribution must combine situational understanding with efficient air and surface delivery systems to form a seamless pipeline. Supplies are tailored and packaged for specific supported units based on a specific time and location.

1-19.     BATTLE COMMAND

The digitized infantry battalion exploits its enhanced command and control (C2) systems to maintain an increased level of situational understanding for more informed decision-making regarding tactical employment. These systems assist the commander in his visualization, description, and direction of combat operations. These systems enhance staff integration and the synchronization of combat multipliers with maneuver forces during combined-arms operations. These C2 enhancements also permit the establishment of a variety of digital interfaces with differing higher headquarters (for example, parent brigade, other battalions, and joint task force [JTF] headquarters). Refer also to Appendix D, Digital Division Supplement.

    a.     Information System. The modern INFOSYS provide all commanders within the SBCT the capability to "visualize" and understand their battlespace in all its dimensions. These capabilities are critical as the infantry battalion disrupts the enemy's decision-making and synchronizes combat power at the right time and place in accordance with the commander's vision. INFOSYS include the integrated systems of doctrine, procedures, organizational structures, personnel, equipment, facilities, and communications designed to—

    • Collect, evaluate, and interpret the information needed to answer PIR and information requirements (IR) in support of the commander's mission.
    • Support a commander's exercise of command and control across the range of military operations through regulation of forces and functions in accordance with (IAW) commander's intent.

INFOSYS allow the battalion to conduct improved battlespace planning and coordination. Timely and accurate information enhances the commander's ability to command and control his forces, resulting in greater freedom of action, flexibility, and increased ability to reconfigure his forces rapidly in response to the enemy's changing activities. INFOSYS increase the battalion's capacity to share data among commanders, staff, and subordinate units, resulting in a greater synchronization of combat power at the right time and place. Force effectiveness is also enhanced by the battalion's ability to reach through the SBCT on a routine basis. Reach permits the battalion to reduce its footprint in the area of operations without compromising its ability to accomplish its assigned mission.

    b.     Information Operations. Friendly forces employ information operations (IO) to magnify their own combat power and diminish the enemy's. A key function is to degrade, disrupt, or exploit the enemy's ability to apply his operating systems. Typical components are command and control warfare (C2W), physical destruction, deception, operational security (OPSEC), psychological operations (PSYOP), civil affairs (CA), and public affairs.

    (1)     The SBCT infantry battalion conducts IO (coupled with information management) to achieve information superiority. IO are those actions taken to affect the decision-making processes, information, and information systems of adversaries and to influence others while protecting friendly decision-making processes, information, and information systems. The ability of military forces to conduct full-spectrum operations is critically dependent on the information environment. In SSCs, the battalion may encounter an elusive, asymmetrical enemy conducting IO not only on a theater scale but also globally. The global efforts may be focused at affecting the support of American citizens. The SBCT possesses an unparalleled organic and reach capability to conduct IO successfully both to shape the battlefield for decisive operations and to mitigate or defeat its opponent's efforts along similar lines.

    (2)     The multifunctional FSE structure enables it to perform all tasks of a traditional FSE plus provides the ability to integrate available fires capabilities and to plan and monitor information operations in support of the operations plan. Overall responsibility for planning and oversight of IO is embedded within the ECC in the form of an IO team. As an integral part of effects planning, the IO team synchronizes organic SBCT infantry battalion assets with reach resources to develop the IO component of the effects concept and operations plan.

    (3)     The battalion employs operational IO IAW FM 100-6. This requires an interrelated INFOSYS architecture to achieve information superiority. C2W requires the battalion to employ attacks against an opponent's C2 system to degrade his abilities and shape the battlefield for decisive combat while protecting friendly C2 both to protect the force and to preserve the ability to synchronize combat operations. CA secures local acceptance of and support for US forces and is orchestrated as part of IO through the ECC.

 



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