There is a lack of every kind of resource in
the desert, especially of the sophisticated infrastructure of
ports and railways for their high capacity for moving combat supplies.
Logistical support is always a challenge, and an arid environment
burdens all types-supply, aviation, communications, and maintenance.
Commanders must be sensitive to the constraints, and those providing
support must work to overcome them. A unit's tactical effectiveness
in the desert depends to a large degree on the combat service
support available. Equally, its vulnerability lies in its exposed
lines of communications and the immobility of its bases of supply
Inherent to the success of any tactical operation
is continuous, sound, logistical planning for adequate supply,
medical, and maintenance support. This is especially important
in the desert because the greater distances used in maneuver and
deployment complicate supply procedures. Other reasons are the
shortage of locally available water and the increased maintenance
requirements due to sand and dust damage. The effects of the environment
on equipment are severe, requiring increased levels of support
to maintain a standard level of efficiency. The extended supply
lines required for expanded frontages call for special considerations
and procedures to ensure adequate and timely supplies arrive to
sustain combat in the desert.
US forces in the desert operate at the end of
a long, perhaps tenuous line of communication. Cargo space must
not be wasted to provide all the comforts of home. A significant
difference in living standards between rear area support personnel
and those in forward combat areas must be avoided since this can
affect morale and weaken the ability of combat units to resist
psychological warfare. Transportation priority must be given to
minimum essential materials and the support base should be austere.
US forces deploying for operations in a desert
environment should expect to begin operations from a lodgement
area. When this is the case, it is necessary for the headquarters
deploying the force to prepare a detailed base development plan.
How the plan is developed will depend on a number of factors that
are described below:
- The mission and size of the force. The size
of the force depends on its mission and the operations it is expected
to conduct. The size of US forces deployed for desert operations
could vary from a small force conducting a show of force, to a
joint task force capable of full-scale operations.
- Security of the lodgement area. A lodgement
area will probably be secured by allied forces or US Marines before
deployment of US Army forces into the operational area. However,
it may be necessary to use US Army forces, either air-dropped
or air-landed, to secure a lodgement area.
- Transportation of US forces into the lodgement
area. It is probable that initial forces will be transported by
air and follow-on forces by sea. Another possibility is that initial
forces will be transported by sea with follow-on personnel being
transported by air.
- Strategic lines of communication (LOC). The
initial strategic LOC will probably be an air LOC. However, at
some point in the operation a sea LOC will be established to convey
the bulk of the supplies, supplemented by an air LOC to haul time-sensitive
- Theater lines of communication. Lines of communication
within the operations area should be analyzed before selecting
the lodgement area. The analysis should include ports available,
airfields throughout the operational area, road nets, and railroads.
It may be necessary to stage engineer construction units into
the operational area early to improve existing facilities and
LOCs or to construct new ones. In a single or multi-corps theater,
a theater army headquarters provides overall management of CSS
operations. It establishes priorities, assigns missions, and allocates
resources in accordance with the theater army commander's concept
- Local resources. These are extremely important
as they will affect logistics planning. Typical information about
resources in the operational area that should be obtained before
base development planning includes--
-Construction materials and available equipment.
-Material-handling equipment at ports and airfields.
-Local hospitals, maintenance capability, and storage sites.
-Local power supply to include types and equipment.
-Railroad rolling stock and gauge of tracks in local areas.
After consideration of the factors listed above,
the lodgement area is selected Ideally, a lodgement area should
have a deep water port and airfield suitable for heavy strategic
airlift, located at the end of an adequate road or rail system
suitable for an intratheater LOC. Once the lodgement area has
been selected, then LOC-port units can be specially tailored for
early deployment to the operational area.
THEATER HEADQUARTERS COMMAND
Should a friendly nation ask for military assistance
either following an invasion or in anticipation of one, the first
combative units to arrive in the theater will probably be a force
designed to secure entry points. The assembly and movement of
armor and mechanized forces will take time, time that the logistics
staffs can put to good use preparing for the reception of these
forces. Elements of the theater staff can assess the assets and
facilities available in the following areas and make an estimate
of the work, labor, equipment, and other resources required to
support the buildup of the force.
Port capacity, cranes and off-loading equipment,
storage facilities, the availability of stevedores, and local
shipping assets at the main port facilities should be determined.
Contract and requisition of host nation support assets can be
arranged by initial theater staff personnel. The theater staff
should also determine airfield facilities and capacities that
are available. Railway assets that can be made available for logistics
support and the movement of troops should also be determined.
The host nation in a Middle Eastern theater will
probably be an oil producer and may be able to provide the bulk
of our fuel requirements. However, if the host nation exports
its oil in bulk crude, it may have only a limited refinery capacity
to meet a local domestic demand for diesel, kerosene, high-octane
fuel, and lubricants.
The host nation may be able to produce a limited
supply of fresh rations but the bulk may have to be imported from
neighboring countries. If there is arable land within the host
nation, it may be possible to start farms to relieve the burden
on the local economy and on that of neighboring friendly states.
The extent to which hospitals in the host nation
can accept long-term patients until our own base hospitals can
be established is also an issue of concern.
The share of the host nation's electric power
supplies which can be offered to our forces must be determined.
Initially, there is unlikely to be any shortage in power supply,
but as a large force (including other allies) builds up there
maybe a generating capacity problem. At the beginning of the campaign
the difficulty may be in distributing electricity where it is
required throughout the theater. It may be necessary to construct
overhead or underground cables together with transformers.
Sites should be located for transient camps for
troops arriving in the theater and convalescent camps for the
recovery of the sick and wounded.
Local currency may also be required for extended
operations, both to pay troops and to locally purchase supplies.
Maps are a critical item that maybe more readily
available through local survey teams or oil companies.
Interpreters will be required to communicate
with the host-nation troops, contractors, and labor forces.
Higher stock levels are required in the desert
due to the following factors: use of the limited life of many
perishable items in a harsh environment; the enormous distances
stockpiles must be lifted and over inadequate transport systems;
the loss of supplies due to sudden changes in the fortunes of
war, and the time it takes to replace items from the US. The levels
of each commodity to be held in theater and the proportion of
the totals will be decided during the staff planning process.
The distribution will depend on the tactical situation and the
vulnerability of the lines of communication to enemy action.
While the requirement for rations and water remain
relatively constant, the expenditure of fuel and ammunition will
vary far more, not just because of the fluctuation between quiet
periods and intense operations, but because of the environment.
The amount of driving in soft sand and the longer distances to
be traversed combine to increase consumption beyond central European
rates. Similarly, the expenditure of tank and artillery ammunition
may be increased because of the open terrain.
In a desert environment where resources, CSS
personnel, and equipment are limited, the use of host-nation support
assets can be vital to the success of an operation. Host-nation
support assists in the accomplishment of missions and functions
in support of US forces and enhances their capability to perform
their wartime role.
All forms of peacetime transition to wartime, and wartime host-nation support should be included in the planning process.
Host-nation support includes-
- Government agency support such as police, fire
companies, and border patrols, may be available to support US
- Contractor support such as supplies and services,
including laundry, bath, bakery, transportation, labor, and construction.
- Host-nation civilians may be able to provide
needed skills for laborers, stevedores, truck drivers, managers,
- Host-nation military units may provide traffic
control, convoy escort, installation security, cargo and troop
transport, POL storage and distribution, and rear operations.
- Host-nation facilities may be contracted and
used for hospitals, headquarters, billets, maintenance shops,
or other activities.
- Functional or area support maybe provided in
the form of rail operations, convoy scheduling, air traffic control,
and harbor pilot services.
- Services may be provided by the host nation for
gymnasiums, recreation facilities, and other morale and welfare
- Supplies and equipment needed for missions may
be acquired locally, precluding or reducing materiel shipments
An Army corps support command (COSCOM) deploying
to support desert operations must be carefully tailored to meet
the needs of combat forces operating in a harsh environment. Requirements
for long-haul truck companies, engineer construction battalions,
water production units, and LOC-port units previously described,
must be carefully weighed. A shortfall of these units could significantly
impair combat operations. Organization of the COSCOM should be
planned based on the factors described in the previous paragraphs,
with particular attention given to--
- Number of troops to be supported.
- Quantity and types of equipment to be maintained.
- Tonnage to be handled.
- Available local resources and labor force.
- Types of units to be deployed to the theater
The organization of the COSCOM and a description
of its tasks are provided in FM 63-3J. Initial corps forces entering
the theater can be supported by a forward support battalion (FSB)
of a division support command and a corps support battalion (CSB)
of a corps. Once initial forces have arrived in the theater, additional
tailored elements from the COSCOM must immediately follow, or
even arrive first to minimize the requirement for the DISCOM cooperate
such activities as ports or airheads.
As previously mentioned, combat service support
units are high-priority targets for any desert enemy. In most
cases, Army division support command (DISCOM) units will not be
able to provide for their own security, considering the many ways
in which they could be attacked. Air defense protection must be
provided. It may even be necessary to provide a maneuver unit
or additional MP units to secure DISCOM elements. Nearby maneuver
units can also be designated to move to their defense-attack helicopters
are especially suited for this purpose-and on-call fires should
be planned by nearby field artillery units. Any pipelines in the
division area must also be secured by any means at hand. Observation
helicopters can be used to patrol pipelines.
Stocks should be kept as mobile as possible in
the event rapid displacement is necessary. Stockpiling off vehicles
must be held to a minimum, as should stockage levels. To the extent
practical, supplies located forward of the division support area
should be stored aboard vehicles to minimize the Possibility of
having to leave them behind. For this purpose, a force operating
in the desert should be augmented with additional transportation
DISCOM organizations of the lead divisions in
austere and immature theaters may be called upon to establish
forward logistic bases. In these situations division assets may
have to assume other support or transportation responsibilities
temporarily until area support groups can establish support operations
The Marine Corps' combat service support element
(CSSE) is a task organized service support element of the MAGTF.
Its composition is based on many factors, to include--
- MAGTF size (MEF, MEB, MEU, or SPMAGTF).
- MAGTF mission.
- Type of operation.
- Area of operation.
The considerations listed under Sections III
and IV are also true for a CSSE. For more information on CSSE
operations, see FMFM 4-1.
Listed below are some of the factors that make
support operations complicated.
Consumption rates must often be developed after
the force has operated for some time in the area. Water has to
be found, purified, stored, and transported.
There will be a greater demand for such items
as filters, oils, and lubricants. More Class IX stores are required
than normal, and the work load on maintenance units is much greater.
Supply items and spare parts should be packed or wrapped as if
to be air and water tight to prevent blowing sand from contaminating
or damaging them. All echelons that request supplies and repair
parts should be using the same or compatible equipment for requisitioning,
with alternative means in place as a backup so there is little
or no slow down in the reorder process.
It is difficult to conceal trains areas. However,
trains areas must be concealed to the best extent possible. These
are soft targets in any environment and are high-priority enemy
targets as their destruction (especially water, HETTS, and fuel
supplies) effectively cripples the force.
Maneuver units may be farther apart, both in
width and depth, than in temperate environments. They move more
frequently and faster. Lines of communication are longer. Terrain
away from the main supply mute (MSR) maybe such that it is only
trafficked by cross-country vehicles, and then only with reduced
payloads. Lack of significant terrain features may increase navigational
problems, requiring local guides.
COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
The commander's intent and METT-T analysis must
dictate the CSS plan to support the tactical mission. However,
CSS planners must not become locked into rigid CSS plans. The
situation will dictate how trains are configured, echeloned, and
controlled. Commanders and their staffs must use a logical and
fast means to evaluate the battlefield and reach decisions. The
military decision-making process described in FM 101-5 provides
the framework within which the commander and staff interact to
arrive at and execute a decision. Battlefield support must be
planned to satisfy requirements during the following operational
- Prior to D-day (before).
- Commitment to battle (during).
- Future mission (after).
All areas of CSS (man, arm, fuel, fix, move,
and protect) must be considered during each operational phase
to ensure an integrated, responsive plan of support. Support requirements
must be projected and plans developed to satisfy these projected
requirements. Supporting CSS plans should be as detailed as planning
CSS commanders and planners must thoroughly understand
the tactical mission and plans and the commander's intent. They
- What each of the supported elements will be
- When they will do it.
- How they will do it.
- Where they will do it.
- What the priority of support is.
- Density of personnel and equipment being supported.
After analyzing the concept of the operation,
CSS commanders and planners must be able to accurately predict
support requirements. They must determine-
- What type of support is required.
- What quantities of support are required.
- The operational commander's priorities, by
type and unit.
Using the support requirement of the tactical
plan as a base, the support capabilities of the CSS structure
are assessed. The staff must determine--
- What CSS resources are available (organic,
lateral, and higher headquarters).
- Where the CSS resources are.
- When CSS resources will be available to maneuver
- How the FSB will make these resources available.
Based on this information, the staff must then
develop support plans that apply resources against requirements
in a manner that results in the most responsive support possible.
Communications links must be established and maintained.
Orders that clearly describe tasks to be accomplished
must be issued. Continuous follow-up must ensure tasks are being
accomplished as planned.
CSS functions should be performed as far forward
as the tactical situation and available resources will permit.
They should be performed at or close to the site where the weapon
system is located to lessen evacuation requirements. Support must
be continuous, using immediately available assets. This will involve
bringing ammunition, fuels, parts, end items, maintenance personnel,
and occasionally replacement crews or individuals, to the forward
elements such as battalion field trains, combat trains, and equipment
downsites. Planning and execution emphasize the concept of providing
support to forces in the forward areas.
CSS planners must know priorities for support.
This is necessary to ensure that units with the highest tactical
priority receive required support first. The commander and his
staff provide mission directives, determine CSS requirements,
and establish priorities within the unit.
Long lines of communications require convoys
from the support base to the combat forces, and convoys are subject
to air attacks (as learned during World War II when convoys from
Casablanca to Al Guettar Tunisia, were frequently targeted by
Luftwaffe raids), Enemy ambushes on main supply routes (MSR) are
always a threat in desert operations. Enemy patrols may also place
nuisance mines on routes, especially at critical points such as
defiles. Actions must be taken to minimize the threat to supply
The MSR will be considerably longer in the desert.
The logistical assets utilizing the MSR are extremely vulnerable
and must be protected. It maybe necessary to allocate maneuver
forces to maintain an open and relatively safe MSR. This will
allow supplies to be pushed forward and casualties to be moved
to the rear. Coordination must be accomplished between maneuver
elements as to where responsibility will end and begin on the
MSR during each phase of an operation. The MSR requires constant
patrolling to ensure safest operations and continuance of supplies
to the maneuver forces. Marking of the MSR facilitates security.
Different techniques for marking MSRs range from chemical lights,
to spray paint, to signs. MPs can also position themselves along
the MSR to help guide units.
Time and distance factors developed on different
terrain by experience are of little value in the desert. The absence
of roads in forward areas, navigation problems, vulnerability
of trains and supply installations to attack by ground forces
or aircraft, sandstorms, and wide dispersion, all require a different
appreciation of time for resupply operations.
CLASSES OF SUPPLY
Requirements for supplies vary from that of temperate
climates according to the classification of supply. Differences
that may be expected in any desert are described in the following
Until the theater is fully developed and ration
requests can be implemented, ensure enough MRE rations for three
to five days are stored on combat vehicles. Meals from this combat
load are eaten only when daily Class I resupply cannot be accomplished.
Frequency of unit feeding and use of A or B rations depends on
the tactical situations, If possible, troops should receive at
least one hot meal per day. Hot rations should be packed in platoon-size
portions rather than consolidating company-size packages.
It is critical to plan for the cooling of water
supplies. Troops will drink any potable water available to them;
however, they would prefer chilled water. Commanders and staffs
must plan for water coding systems, ice, and individual soldier/marine
field-expedient devices. Troops fighting in the desert will likely
be wearing the battle dress overgarment and body armor. This fact
will impact on the planning for water consumption.
The key to having enough water in a task force
conducting desert operations is the capacity of that force to
store and transport it. Current water trailers are inadequate.
The potential for water consumption is high when you consider
personal use and consumption, decontamination, medical needs,
messing operations, and maintenance uses. Possible solutions include
converting fuel tankers to water tankers, the use of blivets,
and local purchase of civilian water-holding tanks through host-nation
support. Water is vital, yet local supplies may be scarce or nonexistent
in a desert combat zone. If water is plentiful, as it is in mess
around Tripoli and Benghasi in Libya, water supply should not
be a problem, provided that normal water supply procedures are
This paragraph deals with situations where local
water is difficult to obtain. All units must maintain a continuous
watch for possible sites such as oases, dry wells, dry water courses,
open water (even marshes), or captured enemy dumps. These should
be reported to the next higher headquarters, giving the location
and quantity and flow, if possible. It is not the responsibility
of these units to test the water for potability, which could be
dangerous for untrained personnel. This task should be left to
Since distances between water points may be long,
it may be desirable to augment the division with additional 5,000-
and 2,500-gallon bulk water tankers, processed to haul water.
Priorities for water use should be established.
See Appendix G for a suggested list of water priorities and additional
information concerning drinking water needs, water requirements,
and water heating rates. If vehicle decontamination is necessary,
it will take a high priority. NonPotable water should be used
for this task.
There is little change in Class II consumption.
However, clothing variations, from tropical clothing to sweaters
and sleeping bags, must be anticipated Requirements for items
such as neck scarves and canteens will be increased as well as
those for hand tools, since tools tend to get lost in the sand.
There is a marked increase in oils and lubricants
used in preventive maintenance however, the actual quantities
depend on operating conditions. Some types of desert terrain can
lead to greatly increased fuel consumption per mile moved or hours
that equipment is used. Use of cans or fuel bladders in certain
circumstances should also be considered as they allow fuel to
be spread more evenly among cargo vehicles since a loaded fuel
tanker's cross-country capability may be degraded in desert sand.
HEMTTS may be a suitable replacement vehicle to solve the cross-country
Antifreeze requirements remain roughly the same
as in temperate climates as antifreeze increases the boiling point
of coolant and decreases wear on liquid-cooled engines. Various
oils and lubricants are required in smaller user containers. This
assists in preventing sand from contaminating larger containers
since they would have to be moved from site to site, and opened
and closed numerous times.
The requirement for Class IV stores can be significantly
more than in other theaters, and consumption of some items such
as sandbags is greatly increased. Maximum use must be made of
local materials. An engineer reconnaissance unit should be present
in the theater from the initial buildup to establish what resources
are available. All possible Class IV should be carried and incorporated
into vehicle load plans when deploying. The construction of airstrips,
minor port facilities, and rehabilitation of major port facilities
and railways, are all engineer missions of particular importance
in desert warfare.
Due to excellent firing conditions, and the need
for extensive suppressive fires, ammunition consumption may be
high. It may be necessary to restrict firing of certain types
of ammunition once they have reached predesignated levels unless
command approval is obtained. Battalion task force trains should
contain a one-day supply of ammunition and missiles for all vehicles
in the task force. Ammunition should be divided between combat
and field trains when trains are echeloned. Units should keep
ammunition as packaged until it can be uploaded on combat vehicles.
This will protect the ammunition from sand that could cause weapon
If artificial obstacles are to be employed, considerable
quantities of mines will be required as minefield must be long
and deep to be effective. Since extensive minefield will be preplanned,
relatively few antitank mines need to be held in ammunition supply
points forward of the division support area. When required, the
quantities needed should be moved as close to minefield locations
as possible. Only mines necessary to replenish unit basic loads
used for local defense need be stocked forward of the division.
The demand for Class VI supplies, especially
beverages, is high. They are not, however, essential and if transportation
is limited they are given a low priority, especially if refrigeration
space is certain to be in short supply. Sundries packs can also
The demand for Class VII supplies depends greatly
on maneuver and the intensity of the battle. The only variation
that can be forecast is for refrigeration equipment, especially
if it is necessary to move deceased personnel to the United States
Class VIII supplies may vary in type, but is
unlikely that the overall quantity will vary significantly from
that required in temperate climates.
There is a large increase in demand for Class
IX supplies due to environmental effects on equipment and the
extra maintenance effort required. Small items with high usage
rates should be held as far forward as team trains and may also
be kept on fighting vehicles. Typical high consumption items are--
- Tires for wheel vehicles.
- Water pumps, gaskets, fan belts, water hoses,
- All parts for ignition systems.
- Wheel and sprocket nuts, and wedge bolts.
- Spare caps for all liquid containers.
- Speedometers and cables (due to dead-reckoning
navigation these are critical items).
- Filter elements.
Due to extended lines of communication, consumption
forecasts are very important in desert operations. Forecasts should
be provided once a day and should include.
- A POL forecast for the next 24 hours.
- Status of the unit's basic ammunition loads.
- Equipment losses in the past 24 hours not previously
- Status of reserve water and rations.
- Special supply shortages or maintenance problems
not previously reported.
In order to return equipment to battle as quickly
as possible, repair of disabled equipment must be accomplished
as close to the site of damage as possible. Evacuation should
be limited whenever possible.
Due to unit dispersion, organizational maintenance
personnel and direct-support contact teams will be thinly spread,
so vehicle crews must be trained to make as many adjustments and
repairs as they can. General guidelines for desert repair are--
- Repair only what is necessary to make the equipment
- Recover and then evacuate to the nearest reasonably
secure site, followed by on-the-spot repair.
- Guidelines for crew-level recovery and expedient
- Recovery by organizational maintenance.
- Recovery by direct-support maintenance.
- Priorities for recovery by vehicle type.
- Limitations on field expedients. For example,
the distance or time over which one tank is allowed to tow another
tank considering the heat buildup in the transmission in this
- Recovery of classified equipment such as crypto.
- Security and guides for recovery teams.
Mail is the soldier's/marine's link to family
and friends. Inefficient distribution of mail can quickly undermine
morale, regardless of the theater. Mail may be particularly affected
by longer lines of communications in a desert theater of operations.
Mail is important to the soldier/marine in the desert as it assists
in defeating the sense of isolation caused by the environment
and the necessary dispersion of units, It is especially important
in the first few weeks to counter the shock of entering totally
new terrain. Transportation of mail should be given a high priority
on arrival in the theater of operations.
The mission of finance support organizations
during conflict is to provide high-priority support to the soldier/marine
on an area basis. Mobile pay teams from corps-level finance organizations
provide support to brigade-size units. Generally, finance support
will not change in the desert environment.
Legal service support will be provided to the
commander and to troops by personnel of the division staff judge
advocate section. This support will be on an as-required basis
coordinated through personnel support channels. Legal advice will
be available for the following areas:
- International law.
- Operational law.
- Foreign law.
- Status of forces agreements (SOFA).
- Rules of engagement.
- Claims and compensation payments.
- Public affairs.
The chaplain is the staff officer responsible
for implementation of the unit religious program. Included in
this program are worship opportunities, administration of sacraments,
rites and ordinances, pastoral care and counseling, development
and mangement of the unit ministry team (UMT), advice to the commander
and staff on matters of morals, morale as affected by religion,
and ministry in support of combat shock casualty treatment. Many
of the above elements may be affected by the religion of the host
nation. With many of the deserts being in predominantly Muslim
cultures, religious support may be affected and should be a consideration
prior to deployment.
Medical unit requirements for desert operations
are essentially the same as for temperate climates. It is essential
that each brigade has an environmental sanitation team attached.
When planning for medical support the following factors should
Increased dispersion and large areas over which
battles are fought increases vehicle evacuation time. This problem
can be further complicated if the enemy does not recognize the
protection of the Red Cross, thereby inhibiting air evacuation
within the range of enemy air defense weapons. The importance
of units having trained combat lifesavers is critical to overcoming
this. The reduction of the number of deaths due to slow evacuation
time can be directly affected by the combat lifesavers available.
One combat lifesaver per combat vehicle is an adequate number.
The comparatively long distances between units
may limit the availability of medical aidmen to adequately support
combat troops. Reinforcements may be required from the division
medical battalion or from supporting corps level medical units.
Augmentation should include vehicles as well as personnel.
The incidence of illness from heat injuries and
diseases are higher than in temperate climates. Fevers, diarrhea,
and vomiting, for example, cause loss of water and salt, which
can culminate in heat illnesses. Cold weather injuries can also
occur during a desert winter.
The mobility required of maneuver units will
be inhibited if movement of any part of these units, including
trains, is restricted by having to hold a number of casualties;
therefore, the wounded and sick must be evacuated immediately.
In order to properly treat patients, all medical
treatment facilities should be provided additional supplies of
water. Medical personnel at all levels must assist tactical commanders
in preventing or reducing heat casualties within their units.
Divisional medical units should be augmented
with extra field ambulances from corps units. In an emergency,
empty cargo trucks moving to the rear can be used for medical
Evacuation from the battalion combat trains back
to the brigade ambulance exchange point (AXP) or clearing station,
will be performed by ground or air transportation. METT-T, availability
of equipment, and the patient's condition, will be the determining
factors on what method of transportation will be utilized.
The effects of nuclear weapons can be expected
to be greater in desert terrain. Introduction of nuclear weapons
by the enemy will greatly increase casualties and severely strain
available medical resources. The same effects can be expected
if the enemy introduces chemical weapons against unprepared troops.
During the initial stages of an operation it
may be necessary to request logistic support from the US Navy.
Ships, with the exception of a few special types, are neither
designed nor equipped to give logistic support to ground forces.
Limited support may be available if it is adequately coordinated
in advance. A cruiser, for example, may have more than 20,000
gallons of water per day available beyond the requirements of
the crew. Limited supplies of items such as bread may be available.
Limited surgical and medical assistance may also be available.
The military air command (MAC) provides tactical
airlift in support of the force. Air Force assistance must be
coordinated with MAC to deliver personnel, supplies, and equipment
forward to brigades and farther forward when necessary. Delivery
is made by the most suitable means available, air landing, extraction,
or airdrop. MAC also makes aircraft available for rearward movement
of wounded persons or prisoners of war.
The mortuary affairs program provides peacetime
and wartime support to search, recover, identify, evacuate, and,
when required, temporarily inter, disinter and re-inter deceased
US military or civilian personnel, and allied and enemy dead.
In addition, the program provides support to collect, inventory,
store, and process personal effects (PE) of deceased, missing,
captured, and medically evacuated US personnel and deceased allied
and enemy personnel.
The goal of the mortuary affairs program is to
search, recover, identify, and evacuate the remains of US military
and certain civilian personnel from the theater of operations
as long as feasible using available US Air Force aircraft.
The longer lines of communication required in
desert environments may affect the evacuation of the deceased
and therefore must be a planning consideration. Transport remains
in palletized transfer cases when the tactical and logistical
When the situation prohibits immediate evacuation,
remains may have to be temporarily interred within the theater.
When possible, the use of temporary cemeteries will be confined
to echelons above corps. However, emergency war burial (mass burial)
sites, as authorized by the theater commander, may be required
as far forward as the brigade area. Desert environmental factors
should be considered when establishing temporary interment sites,
as the desert environment can significantly affect burial sites
(strong winds, flash flooding and so forth. Remains will be buried
with their personal effects in these burial sites to assist in
the identification of remains when they are disinterred.
This concept will permit the use of host nation
support (HNS) to dig and fill mass burial sites. Host nation support
laborers will not actually handle or process remains or personal
effects of US personnel, but will generally provide labor for
interment operations. The mortuary affairs company commander has
overall technical responsibility for the layout and survey accuracy
of the cemetery. During World War II HNS/EPW labor was used successfully
by mortuary affairs units.
CAPTURED MATERIEL AND PERSONNEL
In a desert theater of operations, where resources
are scarce to begin with, the innovative use of captured materiel
can be critical. This materiel can contribute to the retention
of momentum by maneuver forces and decreases the need to consume
our own supply stocks and to transport them to using units. Obvious
sources are captured or overrun enemy fuel supply points, and
materiel which may be used for barrier and fortification construction.
Food and medical supplies may be used to feed and treat EPWs and
civilians. Commanders and staffs must have a workable plan for
handling EPWs. These potentially overwhelming requirements include
health services, transportation, security forces, and so forth.
|NOTE: These activities may not be possible in the early stages of an operation, or not at all in forward areas. Additional effort will be required to provide these services in the desert.|
CLOTHING EXCHANGE AND BATH
Clothing exchange and bath (CEB) services are
provided by the supply and service company, when augmented. CEB
services are requested through the brigade S4. The request must
specify the location of the unit making the request, desired time
for service, and range of clothing sizes for unit members. The
requesting unit must be prepared to assist troops in setting up
the CEB point.
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