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APPENDIX A

UXO OBSTACLE NUMBERING

UXO hazard areas are integrated into the standard obstacle numbering system using the procedures described below. Army and Marine Corps use the same numbering system. Army units are used for example only.

a. Obstacle Numbering from Other Echelons. FM 90-7, Combined Arms Obstacle Integration, covers obstacle planning (and numbering) from corps through task force (TF) level. A theater Army (TA) or joint task force (JTF) headquarters (HQ) could give an obstacle to subordinate units as specified tasks. The solution is to add other options for the unit type (Character 1) in the 12-character obstacle number. In this case "T" for TA or "J" for JTF. Thus, the number for a bridge demolition (span) obstacle (planned) designated by 4th Army is T004-** A-BS0l/. Additionally, other joint force HQ can use this system (e.g., a MEF could use "M"). In this case, the use of a distinctive letter designator for an individual HQ is specified in the OPLAN/OPORD.

b. Encountered Obstacles. Frequently, units in combat environments encounter or identify enemy obstacles, areas affected by UXO (caused by enemy or friendly submunitions), or possibly other things that require tracking as an obstacle. The term encountered obstacle is used to describe these types of obstacles. In these situations the obstacle numbering system can be used with minor modifications. These modifications are made to the obstacle type abbreviation (Characters 8 and 9) and zone, belt, or group designators (Characters 5, 6, and 7).

c. Obstacle Type Abbreviations. Currently the obstacle numbering system has six different letter prefixes (B=bridge demolition, M=conventional minefield, R=road crater, W=wire obstacles, S=scatterable minefields, and A=miscellaneous conventional obstacles). This allows great flexibility for identifying other areas or things that serve as obstacles (i.e., encountered obstacles such as UXO) but do not fit into the categories described above.

(1) Obstacle Type Abbreviation for UXO. The obstacle type abbreviation "UX" is for UXO areas where the specific type is not identified. Use "U" as the prefix and use another letter for the suffix to delineate between different types of UXO (e.g., UM for MLRS, UD for DPICM; see list at end of section).

(2) Obstacle Type Abbreviations for Enemy Obstacles. Enemy obstacles are identified by an obstacle type with "E" as the prefix (e.g., EM is an enemy minefield, and ED is an enemy antitank ditch).

(3) Obstacle Type Abbreviations for Other Situations. There may be other applications for modifications of the obstacle type abbreviation (e.g., chemically contaminated areas or natural obstacles that require special tracking).

d. Obstacle Type Abbreviation Detail. Although the letter codes seem to lack detail, the obstacle number is really nothing more than an unique address that allows an obstacle to be identified in a database. This in turn allows database users (engineers, EOD, etc.) to determine the detailed information concerning a specific obstacle and accurately track the employment of submunitions throughout the depth of the battlefield. The obstacle number is the start point to developing further information concerning the UXO (e.g., location, quantity, enemy, or friendly).

e. Zone, Belt, and Group Designators. The primary function of the zone, belt, and group designators for UXO tracking is to identify geographical or relative locations of UXO; moreover, it can further enhance situation awareness and reduce fratricide on the battlefield.

(1) Zone, Belt, and Group versus Unit Identification. A secondary function of the zone, belt, and group designator is to identify the owning (or responsible) unit for the obstacle control measure. The zone, belt, and group designators allow identification of the responsible unit down to company level.

(2) Zone Designators. When coupled with the HQ designation (Characters 1 through 4), the zone designator identifies the owning brigade (a single zone is the responsibility of a single brigade). Thus, a division can distinguish between obstacles reported by its subordinate brigades. Note: Corps use the HQ designation to distinguish between obstacles reported by subordinate divisions.

(3) Belt Designators. When coupled with the HQ designation and the zone designator, the belt designator identifies the owning TF (a single belt is the responsibility of a single TF). Thus a brigade can distinguish between obstacles reported by its subordinate TFs.

(4) Group Designators. When coupled with the HQ designation, the zone designator and the belt designator, the group designator identifies the owning company (a single group is the responsibility of a single company). Thus a TF can distinguish between obstacles reported by its subordinate companies.

f. Unit Identification. One cannot look at an obstacle number at all levels and immediately identify the responsible unit. However, one can immediately identify the exact unit at least one level down (e.g., 12ID will know that it assigned obstacle Zone A to 1st Brigade). Once a unit receives obstacle plans from subordinate units (down to the appropriate level), it will be able to identify units to the same level. Most importantly, the obstacle number is, after all, just an address to detailed data in a database. For example, a minefield fix is emplaced/owned by A/2-2/l/12ID. A second minefield fix is emplaced/owned by B/3-3/l/12ID. The two individual obstacles will have completely unique addresses (obstacle numbers) in the corps obstacle database.

g. Zone, Belt, and Group Designation for Protective Obstacle Numbering. FM 90-7 describes obstacle numbering for protective obstacles using the following procedure: Units assign default obstacle zone, belt, and group designators for protective obstacles. For example, 77th ID assigns W, X, Y, and Z (it is unlikely that the division will ever have enough actual obstacle zones to require these letters) as default obstacle zone designators for subordinate units as follows: W -1st Brigade, X - 2d Brigade, Y - 3d Brigade, and Z - Division Rear. The 1st Brigade assigns default obstacle belts W1, W2, and W3 to TF 1-2, TF 2-3, and TF 3-4 respectively. TF 1-2 then assigns default obstacle group designators W1A, W1B, W1C, and W1D to its four company/teams (TM B, TM C, CO C, and TM E). Protective obstacles can now be linked directly to specific companies/teams. The first protective minefield that TM B, TF 1-2 emplaces has the obstacle number I077-W1A-MP01X.

h. Zone, Belt, and Group Designation for Encountered Obstacles. The same default zones, belts, and groups used for protective obstacles are used for encountered obstacles. These zone, belt, and group designators do not have a geographical location- instead they identify units. They could, in fact, be designated by SOP or could be designated using different letters/numbers for each operation. What really distinguishes a protective obstacle from an enemy obstacle or from an UXO is the prefix for the obstacle type abbreviation. The following is an example of the use of default zone, belt, and group designators: 7 Armor Division assigns 1st Brigade Zone W. 1st Brigade assigns TF Strike Belt W5. TF Strike assigns Company A Group W5A. Company A, TF Strike, 1st Brigade, 7 Armor Division identifies an area with unknown UXO. This is the first such area identified by the company and is assigned obstacle number A007-W5AUX01X. The first enemy minefield that this company encounters is A007-W5A-EM01X.

i. Obstacle Status Symbols. Current symbols can show status for planned, being prepared, prepared but not executed, and executed. Other situations may call for other symbols.

(1) Obstacle Status Symbol for Breached Obstacles. Indicating breached obstacles is very simple. The only difference is the substitution of the status symbol "=" for other status symbols. The "=" indicates that the obstacle is breached. For example, the first completed standard turning minefield in obstacle group A007-A1A has the obstacle number A007-A1A-MT01X. If this minefield is breached, the obstacle number is changed to A007-A1A-MT01=. As another example, if Company A, TF Strike breaches the minefield discussed above, the obstacle number is changed to A007-W5A-EM01=.

(2) Obstacle Status Symbol for Other Situations. The following list shows examples of other status symbols. In addition, units may specify other symbology in OPLANs/OPORDs.

(a) Suffixes for UXO Obstacle Type Abbreviations:

    • Bomb (Air) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B
    • CBU (Air) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C
    • DPICM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D
    • MLRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .M
    • General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .X

(b) Sufixes for Enemy Obstacle Type Abbreviations:

  • Abatis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T
  • Antitank Ditch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D
  • Bridge Demolition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B
  • Log Obstacle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .L
  • Minefield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .M
  • Nonstandard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N
  • Road Crater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .R
  • Rubble Obstacle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E
  • Scatterable Mines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
  • Wire Obstacle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W

(c) Obstacle Status Symbol for Other Situations:

  • Breached . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . =
  • Unknown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
  • Being Cleared . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #



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