The engineer estimate is an extension of the military decision-making process (see FMs 5-100, 5-71-3, 71-2, and 90-7). It is a logical thought process conducted by the engineer concurrently with the supported maneuver force's tactical planning process. The engineer-estimate process generates early integration of the engineer plan into the combined-arms planning process. It drives the coordination between the engineer, the supported commander, and other staff officers and the development of detailed engineer plans, orders, and annexes.
RECEIVE THE MISSION
- Type of operation (offensive or defensive).
- Current intelligence picture.
- Assets available.
- Time available (estimated).
CONDUCT AN INTELLIGENCE PREPARATION OF THE BATTLEFIELD/ENGINEER BATTLEFIELD ASSESSMENT
- The terrain analysis.
- Enemy mission and mobility/
survivability (M/S) capabilities.
- Friendly mission and M/S capabilities.
To analyze the terrain and the enemy, the engineer commander uses the IPB and the EBA. The engineer XO uses the same process to assist in developing the TF's SITEMP and the engineer estimate. The IPB is a tool used to see the terrain and the enemy. The first two steps of the EBA do the same, but with an engineer focus. For example, the EBA will detail how the enemy engineers will modify terrain and develop EAs. This is critical information needed to complete the TF's SITEMP. However, the IPB process is used by the engineer to develop his "engineer-specific" IPB. The IPB is only two-thirds of the EBA process. The friendly engineer capability must be analyzed to complete the EBA. The TF engineer must use all assets and resources available-the TF S2, the brigade engineer, and the engineer battalion staff-during the IPB/EBA process.
The EBA is a continuous process that is continually refined as the situation becomes clearer. Each time new information is collected or the conditions change, the engineer must evaluate its impact on the mission and refine the facts and assumptions as necessary.
To do a proper EBA, the engineer company planner must understand the IPB process. The following paragraphs detail the IPB process and the engineer contribution to the completed product. For more information on the IPB, see FM 34-130.
INTELLIGENCE PREPARATION OF THE BATTLEFIELD
Define The Battlefield Environment
Describe The Battlefield's Effects
Specifically, weather analysis determines the effect of the weather on the mission. Weather affects terrain, equipment, visibility, and soldiers. Snow, dust, humidity, and temperature extremes all have an impact on soldier efficiency and limit the potential of weapons and equipment. Poor visibility affects obstacle placement. Normally, inclement weather will favor an attacker but will degrade his mobility and C2. Defenders are less likely to be alert and weapons less effective. The attacker can close with the defender with greater ease in limited visibility conditions. Table A-3 summarizes the effects of weather.
- Dense forests.
- Deep, steep-sloped ravines.
- Rivers and streams.
- Hills or mountains with excessive slopes.
Reinforcing obstacles are those constructed, emplaced, or detonated to enhance existing obstacles or the terrain. Some examples of reinforcing obstacles are-
Built-up areas, rivers, steep elevation, and old friendly or enemy obstacle systems are normally analyzed for their effect on the AAs. A technique used to display the cumulative effects of obstacles is a graphical product that depicts areas of terrain as unrestricted, restricted, and severely restricted in terms of their effects on mobility.
Unrestricted terrain is fairly open and presents no hinderance to ground movement. Nothing needs to be done to enhance the force's mobility. Unrestricted terrain is a function of the type of unit moving on the terrain. Table A-5 depicts the terrain that is considered to be unrestricted (favorable).
- Terrain which gives good observation over AAs.
- Terrain which permits the defenders to cover obstacles by fire.
- Important road junctions which affect the use of reserves, sustainment, or LOC.
Mobility corridors are areas within AAs that permit movement and maneuver. These are mostly open areas with good routes for rapid movement and mutual support. When existing or tactical obstacles cross an AA, they form lines of resistance called cross compartments. Table A-8 depicts the frontages that determine the size of the unit that can deploy along each mobility corridor.
2,000 to 3,000 meters
1,000 to 1,500 meters
500 to 1,000 meters
100 to 200 meters
Evaluate the Threat
Engineer threat evaluation should provide the TF S2 with the number of obstacles that the enemy can build (by type), the amount of fortification he is capable of, and how many breaches the enemy can complete given his equipment and doctrine. The engineer must ensure that these analyses are incorporated into the TF's SITEMP.
Determine Threat Courses of Action
- Enemy's mobility capabilities and location in the enemy's formation.
- Enemy's use of SCATMINEs.
- Enemy engineers that support the reconnaissance effort.
- HVT recommendations (such as bridging assets, breaching assets, and SCATMINE delivery systems).
- Enemy's countermobility and survivability capabilities in a transition to a defense.
ENGINEER BATTLEFIELD ASSESSMENT
The third component of the EBA estimates the friendly engineer capability and its impact on mission accomplishment. To perform this function, the engineer uses the information he developed in the first step of the engineer estimate (receive the mission).
Knowing the type of operation, the engineer quickly prioritizes the development of capability estimates. He considers engineer forces task-organized to his supported unit as well as the assets that other members of the combined-arms team have (such as mine plows) to determine the assets that are available. Assets under the control of the higher engineer headquarters and adjacent engineer units should be noted for future reference in the event a lack of assets is identified during SOEO development.
Having determined the assets available and having already estimated and refined the time available with the S3, the engineer uses standard planning factors or known unit work rates to determine the total engineer capability. For example, in the offense, the engineer would focus first on the amount of breaching equipment (AVLBs, MICLICs, ACEs, engineer platoons, and CEVs) available and translate that into breaching lanes. In the defense, the engineer would determine the number of minefields, hull- or turret- defilade positions, and tank ditches that he could construct with available resources. He uses the results of his capability estimates during the SOEO development. Table A-2 contains an outline of this analysis.
The engineer combines his analyses of the terrain, enemy capability, and friendly capability to form facts and assumptions about the following:
- Likely enemy engineer effort and the most probable enemy COA.
- Potential enemy vulnerabilities.
- Critical friendly requirements.
- The impact of the above factors on the mission.
The availability of key breaching equipment such as the ACE, the CEV, the AVLB, and the M1A1 plows and rollers, are tracked to keep the TF commander apprised of the breaching capability available. During the war-gaming phase of the tactical decision-making process, the engineer normally recommends the placement of TF breaching assets as well as the breaching technique based on the terrain and enemy obstacle threat. He also determines the number of lanes the TF potentially can make. Table A-9 shows the TF's breaching capability.
- 15 hours per day available to actually dig (remaining hours used for movement, maintenance, resupply, reconnaissance, position siting, and coordination).
- ACEs work in teams using 3.5 hours per two-tier vehicle fighting position.
- Dozers work in teams using 2.5 hours per two-tier vehicle fighting position.
- SEEs working individually using 1 hour per crew-served weapons position.
- All crews are assumed to be trained.
ANALYZE THE MISSION
- Mission (paragraph 2).
- Commander's intent (two levels up) (paragraphs 1b and 3).
- Scheme of maneuver (paragraph 3).
- SOEO (paragraph 3).
- Subunit instructions (paragraph 3).
- Coordinating instructions (paragraph 3).
- Service support (paragraph 4).
- Command and signal (paragraph 5).
- Engineer annex.
- Specified tasks.
- Implied tasks.
- Assets available.
- Limitations (constraints and restrictions).
- Time analysis.
- Essential tasks.
- Restated mission.
- Supported unit's OPORD.
- Engineer unit OPORD.
- Movement times.
- LD or prepare-to-defend times.
- Hours of darkness or limited visibility.
DEVELOP THE SCHEME OF ENGINEER OPERATIONS
- Situational obstacle planning.
- The use of digging assets (survivability versus countermobility).
- The use of maneuver forces in the obstacle effort.
- Risk acceptance of M/S tasks.
- Interpretations of the higher commander's intent pertaining to M/S.
Analyze relative combat power.
Identify engineer missions and allocate forces/assets.
Develop an SOEO.
Balance assets available with support requirements.
Integrate into the maneuver COA.
ANALYZE RELATIVE COMBAT POWER
IDENTIFY ENGINEER MISSIONS AND
DEVELOP A SCHEME OF ENGINEER
BALANCE ASSETS AGAINST SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
- Shifting assets to the main effort.
- Shifting priorities with the phases of the operation.
- Recommending to the commander where to accept risk.
- Requesting additional assets.
INTEGRATE INTO THE MANEUVER COURSE OF ACTION
WAR-GAME AND REFINE THE ENGINEER PLAN
RECOMMEND A COURSE OF ACTION
FINALIZE THE ENGINEER PLAN AND ISSUE ORDERS
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