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CHAPTER 5
BCD SUPPORT TO CONTINGENCY MISSIONS


The BCD organization is designed to support a mature theater of operations and to operate in fully deployed JAOC. The first chapters of this manual focused on how the BCD operates in that type of environment. However, when needed the BCD is capable of deploying in tailored cells to satisfy a specific contingency. This can occur in a range of situations. For example, any of the following might call for a tailored BCD cell:

  • A NAVFOR or MARFOR commander is designated as the JFACC.
  • When the ARFOR commander is a corps, division, or brigade commander.
  • In a SAS0.
  • Deployment under the direct control of the JFC when there is no designated JFACC.


Contingency Operations

The BCD is key to synchronized contingency operations. Having a BCD in the JFACC JAOC during contingency operations is important because of the detailed coordination that must take place in a very short time span. In the multipolar post-cold war environment, contingency operations are increasingly common. They tend to be more the norm than the exception. They are often highly visible and politically sensitive. They are characterized by the "surgical" use of air assets and high level concern about the collateral damage effects of friendly air attacks. For these reasons, the JAOC expects detailed information about Army operations. The BCD must be prepared to provide this information in addition to supporting other doctrinal functions.

BCD Personnel for Contingency Support

There is no established manning for a BCD cell to support a contingency operation. Manning depends on the following:

  • Size of the operation.
  • Theater air control system (TACS) and Army air-ground system (AAGS) structuring
  • Designation of the JFACC.
  • Size of the JAOC function.
  • Enemy strengths and capabilities.
  • Extent of air support requirements.

However, the principal factor influencing the size of the BCD is the coordination and support needed by the ARFOR commander and his vision or concept of impending joint operations. Deployment constraints usually limit the size of the BCD cell deployed in the early stages of a contingency operation. BCD support to operation Just Cause in Panama is an example.

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

  Initial planning called for a 12 man BCD to be deployed in three increments. A two man BCD   team deployed as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps ADVON following the issue of the NCA   execute order on D - 2. The team included the senior plans officer who had long-term   involvement in the planning and was to act as chief of the deployed cell. With him was an   intelligence officer who had extensive BCD experience.

  The second increment included four more personnel: an operations/airspace management   officer, a plans NCO, an operations NCO, and an airlift officer. They deployed with the corps   HQ on D-day.

  These four, plus the two already deployed, made up the initial BCD cell. The first three soldiers   deployed as scheduled on D-day. However, the airlift officer was "bumped" due to deployment   constraints.

  If needed, a third increment of six people was on standby to deploy after D-day. Only one, an   airlift NCO, deployed, along with the "bumped" airlift officer, on D + 4. They handled the   unforeseen theater airlift requirements. By D + 4, combat operations had stabilized and the   deployed seven man BCD was adequate for the mission.

The minimum size of a deployed BCD cell should be twelve. Any fewer severely degrades the capability to sustain operations and provide expertise in all BCD functions. BCD support to operation Just Cause illustrates many considerations for planning BCD support in contingency operations. The contingency BCD must:

  • Be prepared to perform all BCD functions without regard to the size of the cell.
  • Deploy an initial BCD cell with the most experienced soldiers to cover all functions. They may be all that arrive or are needed.
  • Stay involved with the ARFOR plans staff to ensure OPLANs include considerations for BCD deployment and support.
  • Identify communications and automation needs as early in the planning process as possible.
  • Establish deployment priorities. Airlift constraints increase the possibility of being bumped.

Airborne Warning and Control System

During contingency operations, procedures for passing information from USAF airborne C2 platforms (for example, airborne warning and control system [AWACS] and ABCCC) to Army units can be eased by a BCD member flying with the platform.

Role of the ANGLICO

The air and naval gunfire liaison company (ANGLICO) is organized and equipped for the planning, requesting, and controlling of naval gunfire (naval surface fire support), artillery, and MAGTF CAS. The company can support allied and US forces, including US Army divisional units and their organic combat forces. The ANGLICO deploys teams to each level of command when Army units are engaged in amphibious or other operations supported by naval surface fire support and MAGTF aviation. It is composed of USN and Marine Corps air control and fire direction personnel, under Marine Corps command. The personnel serve as liaison to supported Army and allied combat units.

The significance of the ANGLICO to the BCD is that ANGLICO teams collocate with the ARFOR FSE and G3 or S3 air ashore. The teams have direct communications to the sea-based USN JAOC, TACC and/or supporting arms coordination center (SACC) facility and to the Marine TACC and/or DASC, facilities ashore, once established. In joint operations, BCD cells will work in the sea-based USN JAOC, TACC and/or SACC and at the Marine TACC, DASC ashore at the terminal end of existing ANGLICO communications nets.

The relationship between the ANGLICO and BCD is mutually supporting and key. The ARFOR FSE (corps and below) processes preplanned and immediate air support requests for AI, CAS, EW, and tactical air reconnaissance (TAR) through the ANGLICO who uses a combination of hard copy and voice nets. The presence of the BCD at the TACC end of the nets ensures the following:

  • Priority handling of each request.
  • The ARFOR situation and needs are clearly stated.
  • The USN or MAGTF commander's ability to support ARFOR request is assured by feedback through the ANGLICO.

Planning and Considerations

When the BCD operates with the USN and Marine Corps some additional operational considerations from a planning and execution perspective exist. The BCD must do the following:

  • Brief the following key personnel and agencies early on the role, mission, and function of the BCD:

-ARFOR, TOC staff.

-Commander landing force (CLF).

-Commander amphibious task force (CATF) and staff.

-Tactical air control squadron (TACRON).

-ANGLICO.

-Sea-based ARFOR LOs.

  • Ensure all components agree to use the Army request numbering system for commonality across all air component services. The use is specified in accordance with (IAW) USMTF AIRSUPREQ format and the JFACC OPLAN.
  • Ensure all ARFOR preplanned air operations in the amphibious operations area (AOA) are given to the USN helicopter coordination section (HCS) or Marine direct air support center (DASC) in time to be added to the daily joint ATO.
  • Ensure all deployed BCD sections are appropriately listed in the joint signal operating instructions (JSOI).
  • If there is no JSOI, ensure all BCD sections deploy with necessary ARFOR and ANGLICO communication-electronics standing instructions (CESI) and BCD entries into the nets are made early.
  • Activate or request activation of the inter-theater (COMSEC) package (ICP) to insure communications.
  • Establish a plain address (PLAD) or route indicator (RI) for all hard copy message traffic routing as soon as a joint operation or exercise appears imminent. Several may be needed to establish hard copy communications to BCD teams at multiple locations. Ensure these are provided to the J6 for listing in address indicator groups (AIG) as needed.
  • Establish communications and automation support links with the ARFOR ANGLICO to pass USMTF messages as follows:

-Situation report (SITREP).

-Intelligence summary (INTSUM).

-Daily intelligence summary (DISUM).

-Support geometry (SPRT.GEOM).

-Orders.

-Plans and orders changes (PLANORDCHNG).

-Designated area (DESIGAREA).

-AIRSUPREQ.

  • Coordinate use of the joint supporting arms coordination (JSAC) voice net as voice backup by using USMTF voice templates with the ARFOR information manager, G3 or S3, FSE, and ANGLICO.
  • Coordinate for an ARFOR signal officer to augment the BCD team with an operational control (OPCON) relationship to work inside the communications center of the ship. He will help troubleshoot all ship to shore communications nets. The officer should be required to attend the USN and USAF formal training recommended in Appendix C.
  • Coordinate installation and testing of all ARFOR communications systems with associated COMSEC materials to ensure compatibility with the USN ship communications as early as possible.
  • Ensure all BCD sections have copies of ARFOR operations checklists to monitor ARFOR progress.
  • Ensure two BCD personnel stay with the sea-based USN JAOC TACC in case control of air operations is transferred from shore back to the ship.
  • Coordinate all BCD transportation needs with the HCS and DASC.
  • Ensure access rosters are prepared and provided to all USN and/or Marine Corps agencies that have restricted access before the operation begins.
  • Coordinate the storage of classified material aboard ship with USN or Marine Corps security managers.
  • Coordinate the details of who posts which maps with the ARFOR situation in the USN JAOC TACC and/or SACC or the Marine TACC and/or DASC. Press to have BCD review of and input on all situation maps (SITMAPs) in the facilities.
  • Coordinate any special logistics such as the following:

-Field gear for operations ashore.

-Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defensive equipment.

-Weapons and ammunition compatibility.

-Equipment storage and access.

-Armory procedures.




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