The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Chapter 7
Command and Control

CONTENTS

CONCEPT
COMMAND AND STAFF PROCEDURES
Normative Planning
Centralized Control and Decentralized Battle Management
Flexibility
STRATEGIC-LEVEL ORGANIZATION
General Staff
Theater Headquarters
OPERATIONAL-LEVEL ORGANIZATION
Commander
Staff
INFORMATION WARFARE
Information
Information-Based Processes
Information Systems
Staff Responsibilities
COMMAND POSTS
Theater-Level
Operational-Level
Survivability
Communications
COMMAND AND CONTROL PROCESS
Acquisition and Processing of Information
Decision Making and Planning
Phases in Decision Making
Time
Implementation of Commander's Decision
Planned Flexibility
CALCULATING THE CORRELATION OF FORCES
Level of Analysis
Combat Potential Values
Aggregate Combat Potential Values
Overall Correlation of Forces
Adjustments
Strike Sector Assessment

This chapter examines the OPFOR system of command and control (C2). It explains how the OPFOR expects to direct the forces and actions described in other chapters of this field manual. It provides insights on the OPFOR theory and practice of controlling combined arms forces in war. Most important, it shows how OPFOR commanders and staffs think and work.

Although dealing briefly with strategic control of forces, this chapter focuses on operational command and control. OPFOR army groups, armies, and corps share a common decision-making and planning process. They also share a parallel staff organization and command post structure, tailored to match the differences in scope and span of control.

CONCEPT

OPFOR command and control includes all the measures necessary to effectively manage forces in combat. These measures represent a systematic and scientific approach to staff planning and decision-making processes. They stress efficient staff organization, in-depth planning, and extensive use of automation to assist decision making.

The objective of command and control is to attain maximum combat effectiveness from all resources. This enables the OPFOR to fully exploit the combat situation.

The OPFOR specifically defines C2 at tactical and operational levels as the actions of commanders, staffs, services, and headquarters to maintain continual combat readiness and combat efficiency of forces, to prepare for combat operations (battles), and to provide leadership during the accomplishment of assigned missions. The three key elements are--

  1. Commanders and staffs.
  2. Command posts.
  3. Communications and automated support systems.

The C2 process includes the following:

  • Continuous receipt, collection, study, reporting, and analysis of information on the situation. (Effective C2 depends on the proper management and use of information.)
  • Decision making for operations (battles).
  • Issuing of missions to subordinate forces.
  • Planning of operations (battles).
  • Organization and maintenance of continuous coordination of forces.
  • Preparation of forces for combat operations (battle) and provision for their direct leadership.
  • Creation of C2 systems.
  • Monitoring of and assistance to subordinate commanders, staffs, and forces.
  • Defensive measures to protect C2-related facilities, systems, personnel, and information from disruption, destruction, or deception.

In modern war, victory is likely to go to the side that reacts most quickly. The overriding need for speed drastically reduces the time available for decision making and for issuing and implementing orders. The successful execution of an information warfare (IW) plan is critical to victory. The need for wide and deep-ranging maneuver, coupled with dispersion to avoid the threat of precision weapons, dictates the replacement of concentration in terms of space by concentration in terms of time. Moreover, the operational and tactical situation is subject to sudden and radical changes, and the results of combat are likely to be more decisive than in the past.

COMMAND AND STAFF PROCEDURES

The professional training of commanders and staffs emphasizes consistency in staff planning procedures at all levels of command. Emphasis on in-depth normative planning (assisted by automation) in the C2 process has produced a cadre of professional, highly trained staff officers. Thoroughly educated in all aspects of operational art and tactics, these officers are capable of functioning from the General Staff down to brigade level.

This obviously offers some possibilities for saving time and increasing efficiency. For instance, parallel planning, in which all levels (and operations and logistics staffs) work concurrently, has for the most part replaced the sequential planning method, whereby each headquarters would only begin work on receipt of a complete set of orders from its superior.

Normative Planning

Command and control is more than the commander and staff working together to accomplish a single objective. It is a carefully thought out, comprehensive approach to maximizing the combat potential and active use of military forces. OPFOR command and control has as its basis a scientific military philosophy that emphasizes standardization of components and procedures within the system. It also stresses rigorous adherence to the norms for organizing and conducting control activities. This philosophy creates uniformity at each level of command, but the system is not unduly rigid.

In the OPFOR view, it is not the intuitive genius of commanders but the scientifically developed methods of evaluation, decision making, and planning that lead to the "right" decisions in combat. An understanding and consistent application of approved methods, norms, and calculations are essential to the proper exercise of command. These tools do not dictate decisions to the commander, but provide him with the parameters for a solution to his combat requirements with a high probability of success.

Scientifically substantiated C2 provides operational and tactical commanders with the means to seize and maintain the initiative on the battlefield. To this end, command and control relies heavily, but not solely, on correlation of forces (COF) calculations, quantitative norms, and combat modeling. The ability to foresee conditions on the battlefield and anticipate enemy actions ensures that the OPFOR commander is able to pick where, when, and how to fight or to alter decisions once fighting begins.

Correlation of Forces

The COF is the most important calculation that decision making and planning requires. The OPFOR defines the COF an objective index of the combat power of opposing sides, which allows a determination of the degree of superiority of one over the other. (See also the final section of this chapter.)

Norms

The use of norms is pervasive in the military, as the numerous examples scattered throughout this manual testify. There are norms for everything, from the time required to change the fan belt on a truck to the number of 152-mm artillery rounds required to destroy a tactical missile launcher at a range of 15 km. Norms serve as a basis for staff calculations and as measures against which to test and assess troops and units. The OPFOR sees these norms as averages rather than absolutes, and as guides in planning rather than figures to which one must adhere rigidly in all circumstances.

Norms represent scientifically derived guidelines for the use of resources. Two types of norms have direct application to the decision-making and planning process. The OPFOR applies both types extensively, viewing them as practical expressions of the relationships dictated by the laws and principles of war.

Operational-tactical norms. The first type, operational-tactical norms, deals with average space and time factors concerning the missions of forces and their areas of combat activity. For example, such norms establish parameters for the depth of combat missions (objectives), width of an operational (tactical) sector, rate of advance in an offensive, length of time to accomplish combat tasks, and the average rate of column movement under specified conditions. (See Chapters 2 through 6 for examples.) The basis for these norms is a close study of military history, field training exercises, and mathematical simulations. These sources provide a solid historical, theoretical, and experimental-scientific basis for the applicability of the norms to modern warfare. The resulting norms are tailored to the makeup of OPFOR formations, their capabilities, enemy capabilities, and conditions on the modern battlefield. Regulations and directives reflect the basic operational-tactical norms. Decisions and plans that correspond to these carefully developed indices are likely to be successful; those that deviate from the norms experience higher rates of failure.

Performance and expenditure norms. The second type of norms includes those that express the normative times, resources, or extent of accomplishment required for individuals and small units to perform a specific task or procedure. They deal with timeliness and with quantitative and qualitative factors. Examples include normative expenditures of ammunition to destroy a given target (see Chapter 9), rates of POL consumption under specific conditions, and the number of halts in a road march of a given duration (see Chapter 3). Such norms ensure a uniform and objective approach to expected performance in combat and a standard for evaluating the training level of personnel and units.

Combat Modeling

The OPFOR believes that only actual combat can demonstrate true military capability. Only when hostile forces are pitted against one another is it truly possible to measure the accuracy of forecasts, the completeness of plans, the efficiency of the decision process, and the effectiveness of control. Staffs can use combat modeling in estimating the situation. They can model variants of a plan before the commander makes a final decision. They can also keep the more promising nonselected variants as contingency plans.

Centralized Control and Decentralized Battle Management

The Supreme High Command and commanders down through the operational level recognize that the principle of centralized control and decentralized battle management is essential to the successful conduct of a fluid, deep operation. Centralization of control at the operational level keeps the focus on the overall goal and ensures the direction of resources toward the main effort. Should the control mechanism break down, the issue of the commander's decision and the insistence that commanders use their initiative within the framework of their superior's overall concept should ensure that the constructive direction of the battle continues.

It is necessary to maintain control at high levels, and subordinate control organs must firmly and persistently execute the adopted decisions and plans of higher authority. Once the commander has established missions and objectives, subordinate organizations must accomplish them in order to facilitate the success of the overall mission. However, this does not imply an indifference to changes in the situation or rote implementation of plans already negated by enemy action.

One-Man Command

One man (the commander) has complete authority and responsibility for the actions of subordinate forces, including the authority to impose unity of action on them. The commander is personally responsible for the decisions made, for the use of subordinate forces, and the results.

A single commander must control the full scope of combined arms activity. The clearest example of this requirement for unity in control structures is the complex nature of C2 in a theater. A single theater or army group commander (or the General Staff) must direct ground, long-range fire strike, air defense, airborne, amphibious, and naval operations. Developing a theory of C2 and appropriate staffs, methods, and hardware are critical tasks for OPFOR military planners.

Centralization of Control

Centralization of control gives the OPFOR flexibility in the employment of resources to meet the overall goal of an operation. It ensures a unity of views on the management of forces. Above all, it is essential to the control of NBC and precision weapons. It is important in the management of long-range fire strikes and air defense operations. As warfare has become more complex and deadly, the need for well-integrated combined arms groupings (including air power) has grown.

Decentralized Battle Management

At the operational level, centralized control continues to be essential to the efficient management of the resources necessary for achieving the goal. On the other hand, it is necessary to leave the detailed implementation of the operations plan more to the executors. Timely reaction to rapidly developing and changing situations requires considerable freedom of action, within the framework of the overall plan, on the part of army, corps, division, and even brigade commanders. This is especially true on the battlefield on which electronic combat and deep strikes can threaten communications and even the very survivability of higher headquarters. Thus, the OPFOR employs task-oriented control where possible. The superior commander states the mission in broad terms, accompanied by his concept of operations, which contains the essential elements of his plan. Thus, in the event circumstances change, a subordinate who is familiar with his superior's concept can adapt his efforts to ensure his unit contributes to the overall goal.

Where time is critical, an operational-level headquarters cannot accomplish the detailed planning or control of tactical actions. The independent action of a division functioning as an OMG is an example of much looser, directive control. The OMG commander, as well as his subordinate commanders, must have great independence and exercise initiative while remaining within the overall operational goal and plan.

Initiative

Maintaining independence and exercising initiative within the overall operational goal and plan places demands on subordinate commanders. Initiative and a creative approach have become the main criteria for describing the tactical maturity in a commander. To an OPFOR commander, initiative consists of intelligent anticipation, or at least correct interpretation, of the higher intent and the effective implementation of it without detailed guidance. Initiative is also the ability and the farsighted, flexible organization of the combined arms grouping to react speedily, without waiting for direction, to meet unexpected changes in the operational and/or tactical situation.

Flexibility

One essential characteristic of the OPFOR C2 system is flexibility. It is a mistake to view OPFOR C2 as a rigid, top-down system. One might see a disadvantage in the fact that the OPFOR accomplishes planning by the use of computers and correlation of forces calculations. This would seem to limit the commander's options, leading to predictability.

However, the OPFOR views it as an advantage that its commanders receive their missions in relation to the senior commander's plan and the missions of adjacent forces. In its view, automated support to the commander employs simple, approximate models; and quantitative assessments support well-founded, scientifically substantiated decisions. It sees the system as providing consistent, flexible methods of decision making and planning even in the absence of positive control.

To the OPFOR, the basic objective of C2 is maximum effectiveness in the accomplishment of assigned missions. The commander's role is key to successful command and control, especially in maintaining the combat readiness of forces, planning operations (battles), and efficiently controlling those forces in combat. The commander does not do this alone, but rather with the support of a whole C2 infrastructure. The key elements in this structure are headquarters and command posts. These require support from communications systems.

STRATEGIC-LEVEL ORGANIZATION

The Supreme High Command is responsible for the preparation and conduct of military campaigns and strategic operations. It also resolves issues regarding the overall wartime situation of the State and the allocation of strategic resources. The Supreme High Command allocates forces to theaters and establishes general plans for the conduct of strategic operations in the theaters.

In addition to the Supreme Commander in Chief (CINC), the primary strategic headquarters includes the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff, and the CINCs of the five services of the armed forces. (See Figure 7-1.) The head of state is the Supreme CINC of the armed forces. He represents the unity of political and military leadership, and he alone has the authority to make final decisions about the use of the armed forces. The Supreme CINC relies heavily on his deputies to command the armed forces. The Minister of Defense is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the armed forces. He is also responsible for the readiness and overall development of the five services. The Chief of the General Staff has direct control over the five services of the armed forces, and through him, directives are issued to implement strategic plans. The CINC of each service has his own staff and is responsible for the administration, management, and training of his respective forces.

Figure 7-1. The Supreme High Command.

General Staff

The General Staff is a major link in the centralization of the OPFOR national command authority. It provides staff support and acts as the executive agency for the Supreme High Command. The forces in various theaters report through it to the Supreme High Command and the Supreme CINC.

The General Staff consists of four staff directorates. These are the main directorates for operations; intelligence; communications; and organization and mobilization. (See Figure 7-2.) Working with the staffs of each of the services, the Main Operations Directorate drafts detailed plans for strategic operations for the Supreme High Command. Once the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command approves the plans, the General Staff issues them to operational commanders as Supreme High Command directives. Because of the uncertainties of combat, the General Staff continually reevaluates and refines these directives. Its Main Organization and Mobilization Directorate determines the assets the force needs to perform strategic operations.

Figure 7-2. The General Staff.

Theater Headquarters

The OPFOR may have an intermediate high command level between the General Staff and the field forces in a theater. If so, the theater headquarters acts to effectively centralize and integrate General Staff control over theaterwide offensive (or defensive) operations. Establishing one or more of these theater headquarters provides more-flexible and responsive strategic control of forces.

OPERATIONAL-LEVEL ORGANIZATION

Within the C2 system, the headquarters includes the commander, his staff, the chief of staff, and the chiefs of branches and their staffs. They perform the functions required to control the activities of forces preparing for and conducting combat.

The primary function of these headquarters are acquiring and processing information on the situation. Evaluation and knowledge of the situational elements of combat are fundamental to the decision-making process and the direction of troops. Decision making and planning combat actions are also C2 functions of the headquarters. After headquarters has acquired and processed the information, it reviews the situation to determine if a decision is necessary. After making the decision, headquarters organizes, coordinates, disseminates, and supports the missions of subordinates.

Commander

Under the principle of one-man command, OPFOR commanders have complete authority over their subordinates and overall responsibility for their actions. Because the commander's decision is the basis for planning and executing combat tasks, his role activates and guides all other headquarters. This centralized authority enables the commander to maintain troop discipline and unity and to act decisively. Under the fluid conditions of modern warfare, even in the course of carefully planned operations, the commander must accomplish assigned missions on his own initiative without constant guidance from above.

At the operational level, orders are issued over the signatures of the commander as well as his chief of staff. This is indicative of the fact that the commander does not act alone, but rather with the support of the whole C2 structure. This procedure reflects an acceptance of the complexity of the control process and that the sharp rise in the level of responsibility is really beyond a single individual's capabilities. This sharing of responsibility and risk contributes to a much greater display of initiative at the operational level.

The commander is responsible for the combat capability of subordinate units, the organization of combat operations, the maintenance of uninterrupted C2, and the successful conduct of combat missions. He clarifies the mission he receives (that is, he determines his forces' place in the senior commander's concept of operations). He may do this alone or jointly with the chief of staff. He then gives instructions to the chief of staff on preparing his forces and staff for combat. He also provides instructions about the timing of preparations. The commander makes his own assessment of intelligence data supplied by the chief of reconnaissance, who heads the intelligence directorate. Then, with advice from the chiefs of branches, he makes an assessment of his own forces. After discussing his deductions and proposals with the chief of staff, the commander reaches a decision, issues combat missions to subordinates, and gives instructions about planning the operation. He then organizes coordination within his organization and with adjacent forces and other elements operating in his area of responsibility.

During the course of operations, the commander must constantly evaluate the changing situation, predict likely developments, and issue new combat missions in accordance with his forecast. He also keeps his superiors informed as to the situation and character of friendly and enemy actions and his current decisions.

Compared to their tactical counterparts, operational commanders are less likely to be visible to the fighting troops. They cannot exercise continuous C2 of large formations from the front line. It is the task of army group, army, and corps commanders to turn tactical success into operational success and not to supervise the achievement of tactical success. Only on rare occasions would operational commanders leave their own forward CPs and go down to the CPs of nearby main-axis subordinate units to issue instructions.

Staff

The commander controls and supervises subordinates through the staff. However well-trained and broadly experienced an OPFOR commander may be, only full use of his staff can allow him to effectively prepare his forces for combat. A well-trained staff provides rapid, in-depth planning for combat activity and then coordinates and monitors the execution of the resulting plans. Proper use of this staff allows the commander to focus on the most critical issues in a timely manner and to preserve his energies.

In the decision-making and planning process, the staff--

  • Prepares the data and estimates the commander uses to make a decision.
  • Plans and implements the basic measures for comprehensive support of a combat action.
  • Organizes communications with subordinate, coordinating, and adjacent headquarters and the next higher staff.
  • Monitors the activities of subordinate staffs.
  • Coordinates ongoing activity with higher-level and adjacent staffs during an operation (battle).

All major headquarters have the same basic organization, although each differs in size and complexity. The higher the level, the larger and more complex the staff. Therefore, the organization of command and staff elements is similar at army group, army, or corps levels. The main difference is that army- and corps-level staffs are smaller. In all cases, the staff organization is leaner than typical U.S. counterparts.

The staff consists of two elements: the principal staff and the primary staff. Figure 7-3 depicts the principal staff officers of an army group headquarters.

Figure 7-3. Principal staff organization (army group).

Principal Staff

Principal staff officers are directly subordinate to the commander. (See Figure 7-3.) These officers include deputy commanders (such as those for the rear, armament, or aviation) and their staffs, chiefs of branches and their staffs, and the chief of staff.

Chief of Staff. Preeminent among OPFOR staff officers is the chief of staff position (found at every level from the General Staff down to battalion). The chief of staff is the commander's closest assistant. Only he has the power to speak in the name of the commander, and he normally countersigns all written orders and combat documents originating from the commander's authority. He alone has the authority to sign orders for the commander and to issue instructions in the commander's name to subordinate formations and the chiefs of branches. In emergency situations, he can make changes in the operational plans of subordinate commanders. Thus, it is vital that he understands not merely the commander's specific instructions but also his general concept and train of thought. He runs the main CP and controls the battle during the commander's absences.

Chiefs of Branches. The army group, army, or corps commander also has chiefs of branches subordinate to him. They normally report to him through the chief of staff. The commander of missile troops and artillery (CMTA) at the operational level is a commander (rather than chief). There is also a commander of air defense. There are chiefs of engineer, chemical, and signal troops and a chief of the personnel directorate. Each of these individuals has his own staff.

At every level from brigade upward, chiefs of branches augment the primary staff, conforming to the needs of the level of command. These officers bring specialized knowledge and skills to the control of various elements of the combined arms. Although the chiefs perform as an element of the commander's staff in advising him on the use of forces in their branch of troops or services, in many cases they are also commanders. They are responsible for artillery, engineer, or air defense units readiness and performance. Like the primary staff, the chiefs continuously interact with the corresponding chiefs of branches at both higher and lower levels of command.

Although directly subordinate to the commander of their own force, chiefs of branches also receive and issue directives and instructions through a chain of special subordination within their branch. For example, because of the complex coordination required to integrate army group and army fire support planning in an offensive, the army CMTA can be specially subordinate to the army group CMTA. This special subordination serves as a high-speed channel for guidance, control, and coordination concerning the allocation and use of missile and artillery assets, while preserving the authority and responsibility of the army group and army commanders.

Thus, each chief has a dual chain of command. He is primarily responsible to the commander (or the chief of staff) in whose headquarters he serves, but he also receives additional instructions and guidance from his own counterpart at the next higher level. This dual chain of reporting reduces the administrative and technical burden on the commander, so he can concentrate on the operations (tactics) of his maneuver elements. The commander at the highest level has centralized control over all the assets available to him. However, the drawback is the increased need for coordination, which can sometimes create problems of responsiveness.

Primary Staff

Primary staff officers are all staff officers who are subordinate to the chief of staff and are members of the "staff" in their primary duties. For example, the chief of the operations directorate and chief of reconnaissance are primary staff officers. The army group chief of staff has four directorates subordinate to him: operations, intelligence (reconnaissance), communications, and organization and mobilization. So are several services. (See Figure 7-4.)

Figure 7-4. Primary staff organization (army group).

The chief of operations (chief of the operations directorate) prepares preliminary instructions (warning orders), calendar plans, and operational directives. His directorate prepares the COF calculations the commander requires for making his decision. The chief of operations plays a key role in planning the operation.

The chief of reconnaissance heads the intelligence directorate. He is responsible for preparing the reconnaissance plan, allocating forces and coordinating reconnaissance assets, and analyzing and disseminating intelligence information. He ensures that the reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering effort is continuous, beginning as soon as his unit receives preliminary instructions from higher headquarters.

The chief of communications heads the communications directorate. The staff of this directorate is responsible for communications planning; coordinating signal operations with overall operational planning; deciding on the location, composition, and employment of communications centers and equipment; and issuing signal operating instructions. In his dual role as chief of signal forces (on the principal staff), he exercises operational control over organic and attached signal units.

The chief of organization and mobilization determines the assets needed for army group operations and coordinates for their employment. He also prepares some of the calculations the commander requires for making decisions.

INFORMATION WARFARE

Information warfare activities, particularly defensive measures, play a significant role in ensuring the viability of the OPFOR C2 process. IW operations are planned at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. IW measures, combined with the mobility and redundancy of the C2 system, can provide a high degree of survivability even if the enemy is successful in disrupting or destroying individual elements of the system.

The OPFOR plans and integrates actions to achieve an information advantage at critical times and locations on the battlefield. As stated in Chapter 2, there is both an offensive and defensive aspect to IW. To protect the C2 process, the OPFOR focuses on defending three distinct but related areas: information, information-based processes, and information systems.

Information

The OPFOR considers information to be a national resource that requires substantial protection. This includes information on friendly forces, capabilities, and intentions, as well as information the OPFOR possesses or may obtain concerning potential or actual enemies. Protective measures used by the military include the use of cryptographic systems for encryption of communications, the use of alternate communications methods, and the minimizing of communications and noncommunications emissions. While the potential activities related to computer warfare decrease once conflict begins, the OPFOR continues to practice defensive measures. These include limiting unauthorized access to information systems and supporting data bases and efforts to screen or remove computer viruses. This is especially critical for those systems that may be accessed through digital data transmissions or are tied into a commercial communications network.

Information-Based Processes

The OPFOR protects any process that uses information. These include the decision-making process, the strategic planning process, and the intelligence cycle. One of the most critical elements of any information-based process is the accuracy of the information the processes use to perform analysis or arrive at a decision. The OPFOR uses a wide variety of reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition systems across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Recognition of enemy deception efforts is vital to ensuring the OPFOR decision-making process is not contaminated by false or misleading information. Successfully defending information and information systems directly results in more effective information processes.

Information Systems

Information systems include the entire infrastructure, organization, personnel, and components that collect, process, store, transmit, display, disseminate, and act on information. Protective measures focus on preventing disruption or destruction from both physical and electromagnetic means. Protection and security measures include extensive use of camouflage, cover, and concealment of CPs and supporting communications facilities. Redundant communications links between and within echelons utilizing different communications types (e.g., high frequency, satellite communications (SATCOM), radio relay) minimize disruption due to the loss of a link. Multiple and redundant CPs ensure continuous C2 of forces during movement or in the event a CP is detected and destroyed. Doctrinal tenets such as skip-echelon communications compensate for the loss of an intervening level of control. Electromagnetic spectrum operations (ESO) focus on preventing enemy electronic reconnaissance and neutralization activities.

Staff Responsibilities

The information warfare officer is responsible for developing the IW plan. A member of the operations staff, the IW officer develops the IW plan based upon the commander's guidance. After reviewing and concurring with the plan, the chief of operations forwards the plan to the chief of staff for his approval.

The IW officer is responsible for coordinating with principal and primary staff officers and their staffs to ensure the objectives identified in the plan are met. The plan provides guidance for targeting high-priority enemy assets and activities at the appropriate time and place, as well as measures necessary to protect the OPFOR's own command and control.

The following principal and primary staff officers have specified responsibilities in carrying out IW plan taskings. In many instances, successful accomplishment of the plan requires close coordination between the staff elements, not just with the IW officer.

The chief of reconnaissance is perhaps the most critical staff officer supporting IW. He is responsible for the collection of information required for the conduct of electromagnetic spectrum operations, identifying and locating targets for destruction, and the counterreconnaissance battle aimed at degrading or denying the enemy's ability to identify OPFOR capabilities and intentions. The veracity and timeliness of information collected is critical to the OPFOR planning process and must identify enemy efforts at deception. The chief of reconnaissance is also responsible for psychological warfare directed against the enemy. He coordinates with the chief of operations to ensure psychological warfare activities do not conflict with planned activities of the OPFOR and are consistent with the overall mission.

The commander of missile troops and artillery ensures the targeting of enemy assets identified for destruction in the IW plan. He allocates appropriate assets to engage those targets.

The commander of air defense ensures the correct placement of air defense systems and jammers protecting high-value assets. He is responsible for disrupting airborne radar emitters. The air defense staff must coordinate to receive the most up-to-date information from the intelligence directorate on the emitters' signal parameters and characteristics. It also coordinates with the operations staff when deploying radar deception jammers in support of a deception operation.

The deputy commander for aviation ensures the availability of dedicated reconnaissance and jamming aircraft, as well as their protection. He also provides strike aircraft for the destruction of targets beyond the reach of artillery and missile strikes.

The chief of engineer troops directs engineer operations in support of deception. Activities include the preparation of false positions and routes, and the provision of false thermal, radar, and visual signatures.

The chief of signal troops is responsible for the efficient use and survivability of the C2 process. He ensures all information security measures are followed, to include the protection of computers and information-handling systems from enemy intrusion efforts. He provides dedicated signal assets as required in support of deception operations. The chief of signal troops is also responsible for deconflicting frequencies between signal requirements, ESO, and deception.

The chief of chemical troops provides protective smoke for concealment of OPFOR activities and assets from enemy reconnaissance, as well as degrading or denying target acquisition efforts. Smoke is used as a supporting component of deception.

The chief of the electronic combat service is responsible for the conduct of jamming operations targeting high-priority enemy communications nets. He provides technical expertise to the chief of air defense and the deputy commander for aviation as required.

The chief of operations has overall responsibility for the development of the IW plan. As the "first among equals," he provides the final recommendation for those instances where there is conflicting requirements amongst the staffs. He also provides critical oversight of the deception plan to ensure deception activities do not conflict with actual or planned OPFOR operations.

COMMAND POSTS

The OPFOR plans to exercise strategic, operational, and tactical control over its wartime forces from an integrated system of command posts. It has designed this system to ensure uninterrupted control of forces. Because the OPFOR expects the C2 system to come under heavy attack in wartime, its military planners have created a CP structure that emphasizes survivability through dispersal, stringent security measures, redundancy, and mobility. They have constructed a CP system that can sustain damage with minimum disruption to the actual C2 process. In the event of disruption, they can quickly reestablish control. This extensive system of command posts extends from the hardened command facilities of the national command authority to the specially designed command vehicles from which OPFOR tactical commanders control their units. The number, size, and types of CPs depend on the level of command.

OPFOR ground forces use six basic types of command posts. (See Figure 7-5.) Not all levels of command use all six types. Generally, the larger force groupings use more CPs of various types due to their greater span of control. The redundancy provided by multiple CPs helps to ensure that the C2 process remains survivable.

 
Unit

Main
CP

Alt
CP

Fwd
CP

Aux
CP

Rear
CP

Abn
CP

Brigade

X

 

X

 

X

 

Division

X

(X)1

X

 

X

X

Corps

X

X

X

 

X

X

Army

X

X

X

X

X

X

Army Group

X

X

X

X

X

X

Theater2

X

X

X

X

X

X

1 Does not normally exist in offensive operations.

2 Not all theaters have their own CINC and headquarters/CPs.

Figure 7-5. OPFOR command post system.

Theater-Level

A theater headquarters, if established, uses the same number and types of CPs as the army group: main, alternate, forward, auxiliary, rear, and airborne. The main CP at this level may initially be in permanent, hardened bunkers; the other CP types are at less-protected sites. Airborne CPs are most likely aboard fixed-wing aircraft.

Operational-Level

The operational-level C2 system is not a rigid structure. Its organization and deployment can vary with the mission, situation, and combat disposition of the particular army group or army. Army groups and armies use the same types of CPs (main, alternate, auxiliary, forward, rear, and airborne). Army-group-level airborne CPs may be aboard fixed-wing aircraft. However, helicopters are more likely to serve this purpose at army level. Various functional groupings of staff personnel occupy different CPs, depending on their roles and the tasks associated with the post. Figure 7-6 shows the typical deployment of CPs in the advance.

 
 
 
CP

Dimensions of CP
(km2)1

Separation of
Control and
Support
Groups
(km)2

 

Control Group

Support Group

Remarks

Army Group Forward

2.25-4

0.75-2

1

Moves with first-echelon armies

Army Group Main/Alternate

16-25

8-15

2-3

Moves behind first-echelon
armies

Army Group Rear

16-25

8-15

2-3

Usually collocated with rear
service elements, probably near a
railhead

Army Forward

1-2.25

0.5-0.75

0.5-1

Moves with first-echelon divisions

Army Main/Alternate

4-9

3-4.5

1.5-2

Moves behind first-echelon
divisions

Army Rear

4-9

3-4.5

1.5-2

Usually collocated with rear
service elements

1 The control group comprises the commander and staff, and the support group, the transport and signal elements.
2 Communications centers are remoted 3-4 km from the support group, and HF transmitters may be remoted as much as 15-20 km.

Figure 7-6. Typical deployment of command posts in the advance. (part 1)

Main Command Post

At all levels, the main CP is the focus of control. It consists of the commander and his staff. Its organizations include a communications center, a control group, a support group, and if necessary, an airborne control element. At army group, army, and corps levels, the main CP is also generally the focus of command, since commanders at these levels tend to remain at their main CP to keep a firm grip on developments across their wide frontages.

The chief of staff runs the main CP, directing the staff in translating the commander's decision into plans and orders. The main CP coordinates the movement and deployment of forces and monitors their combat effectiveness.

Alternate Command Post

The purpose of the alternate CP is to be a substitute for the main CP. Its primary function is to monitor the situation and assume C2 responsibilities in the event the main CP becomes ineffective. It consists of officers designated specifically by the commander, with personnel and equipment taken from the staff and other headquarters, as well as from communications and service elements. Thus, its equipment normally duplicates, but is less extensive than, that of the main CP. It also has reduced manning levels.

While it is usual to create an alternate CP in defense, it is less common during the offense. If a unit does not establish an alternative CP, it may designate a subordinate headquarters to perform its function. In addition, an alternate CP can assume control when the main CP is moving to another location, if there is no forward CP to do so. The location of the alternate CP is not forward of but is lateral to the main CP. The deputy commander is usually in the alternate CP if he is not in the forward CP.

Forward Command Post

An army group or army may deploy a forward CP. Its purpose is to further the commander's control on the main strike axis. It usually consists of the deputy commander and officers of the staff, branches, special troops, and services.

Particularly at division level, commanders like to move with the first echelon on the main axis in the offensive. This allows the commander to obtain personal observation of key sectors and contract with his subordinate commanders. The commander may bring with him a small group of principal advisers, for example, the chiefs of the operations; intelligence; and communications staff sections; the CMTA and, perhaps, the chief of engineer troops; and an air force representative. When formed, and when the commander is present, the forward CP is the main focus of command, though the chief of staff (remaining in the main CP) has the authority to issue orders in the commander's absence. The forward CP is generally established only in the offense. In the defense, the only reason for forming a forward CP would be to control the counterattack/counterstrike.

Auxiliary Command Post

At army group, army, and corps levels, the operational commander creates an auxiliary CP to provide C2 over subordinate units operating on isolated or remote axes. He may also use it in the event of disrupted control or when he cannot adequately maintain control from the main CP. An officer appointed at the discretion of the higher commander mans it, with support from a communications unit.

When a single army operates on an isolated axis with an isolated mission, it may have an auxiliary CP from its parent army group. It may be no more than the headquarters of that particular army, in both numbers and organization. (The exception is augmentation of communications personnel.) However, in many cases the army group may deploy a small "operations group" to assist the army commander and staff who are controlling forces on the separate axis.

Rear Command Post

The chief of logistics (deputy commander for the rear) establishes and manages this post. He normally does this in cooperation with the deputy commander for armament. Therefore, the rear CP consists of these two deputy commanders and their staffs. It has the mission of planning and controlling the entire scope of logistics and maintenance functions. It controls all rear supply and special-technical units, and establishments. Like the main CP, the rear CP functions continuously. In cases of extreme emergency, the rear CP can assume control of the force (formation) for limited periods.

Other Types

Though all command posts are ideally mobile, several have the specific designation of "mobile command posts." These posts are useful when the commander desires a closer look at the battlefield situation, or they can function as forward, auxiliary, and other types of CPs. The OPFOR may place an airborne control post on helicopters and transport aircraft. They are necessary when operations become fluid and spread over a wide area and to maintain continuity of control when other CPs are displacing. Army group commanders normally establish airborne CPs in fixed-wing aircraft, although they may also use CP variants of heavy-lift or medium helicopters. Army commanders normally establish airborne CPs using medium helicopters.

Operations Groups

Armies or army groups might form temporary operations groups to assume control over part of the force. This occurs when control from the main CP becomes problematical, either because of geographical separation or due to the fact that the grouping in question is operating on a different axis from the main body. Commanders can also set up operations groups with a subordinate commander and a team of specialists to plan and control special operations, such as an amphibious landing.

Survivability

The OPFOR C2 system stresses the need to maintain continuous, reliable control of forces. It takes numerous measures to prevent disruption and to enhance survivability. The IW activities discussed earlier in this chapter contribute to the survivability of the C2 system. Command posts are usually mobile (that is, in vehicles) but may also be fixed. By emphasizing the use of mobile CPs, planners hope to minimize the disruption of C2 that would occur with the enemy's destruction of this element of the C2 system. Security of CPs is important, and the OPFOR takes a number of measures to ensure it.

Mobility

The OPFOR has configured its C2 system to provide a high degree of survivability through mobility, reliability, and flexibility. Highly mobile signal units support mobile CPs. This mobility, coupled with the redundancy and multiplicity of CPs and communications systems, gives OPFOR commanders great flexibility in organizing and deploying the C2 system. Thus, they are able to provide effective control in varied situations.

Location

The commander decides where to locate the CPs and where they will move. He locates CPs in areas affording good concealment and with a good road net access, either on or just off the main axis. Higher headquarters dictates the locations of its immediate subordinates' main and rear CPs. Figure 7-7 shows the approximate locations of various CPs in relation to the line of contact and how frequently they normally move. However, these distances typically increase as the momentum of operations quickens. Similarly, the frequency of movement can vary, as dictated by the speed of advance, the stability of defense, or the rate of withdrawal.

Distance from Line of Contact (km)

 
CP

March
Formation

Prebattle
Formation

Battle
Formation

Frequency of
Displacement
1

Army Group Forward

80-150

80-150

25-40

1-3 per day

Army Group Main/Alternate

150-250

150-250

100-150

1 per 2-3 days

Army Group Rear

250-350

250-350

150-250

1 per 2-3 days

Army/Corps Forward

20-40

20-40

10-20

Constantly moving

Army/Corps Main/Alternate

75-150

75-150

25-40

1 per day2

Army/Corps Rear

150-200

150-200

60-100

1 per day

Division Forward

10-20

2-5

2-5

Constantly moving

Div Main/Alternate

50-75

10-20

10-20

1-3 per day

Division Rear

75-100

40-80

30-40

1-3 per day

1 The frequency of displacement obviously depends partly on the tempo of the operation. Figures here assume a rate of advance of 40-60 km per day. Even given a slower rate of advance, however, it is likely that moves would occur the same frequency to avoid detection and destruction.
2 The army/corps main CP may move only once every 2 days. In the course of an army/corps operation, planners envision 2 or 3 moves.

Figure 7-7. Typical deployment of command posts in the advance (part 2).

The OPFOR locates CPs so no single weapon can eliminate more than one. Remoting communications facilities lessens the chance of the enemy's locating the actual command element by radio direction finding.

Colocation

During some particularly difficult phases of an operation/battle, where close cooperation between formations/units is essential, the forward CP of one element may be collocated with the forward or main CP of another. Examples are the commitment of an OMG or the passing of a second echelon through the first.

Movement

Commanders generally deploy army group and army CPs in depth to facilitate control of their entire zones of action. (See Figure 7-8.) During lengthy moves, CPs may bound forward along parallel routes, preceded by reconnaissance parties that select the new locations. Normally, the main and forward CPs do not move at the same time, with one moving while the other is set up and controlling operations. During an administrative march, when there is little or no likelihood of contact with the enemy, a CP may move into a site previously occupied by another CP. However, during a tactical march or when contact is likely, the OPFOR will not occupy a site twice, because to do so would increase the chances of an enemy locating a CP. While on the move, CPs maintain continuous contact with subordinates, higher headquarters, and flanking organizations. During movement halts, the practice is to disperse the post in a concealed area, camouflaging it if necessary and locating radio stations and special vehicles some distance from the actual command center. Because of dispersion in a mobile environment, CPs are often responsible for their own local ground defenses.

Figure 7-8. Movement of CPs in the offensive.

During the movement of a main CP, the OPFOR maintains continuity of control by handing over control to either the forward or airborne CP or, more rarely. to the alternate CP. Often key staffs move to the new location by helicopter to reduce the time spent away from their posts. Before any move, headquarters' troops carefully reconnoiter and mark the new location. Engineer preparation provides protection and concealment. (See Chapter 3 for additional detail on the deployment of CPs during the march.)

Defense of Command Post

Command posts are a high priority for air defense protection. Ideally main CPs also locate near second-echelon/reserve elements to gain protection from ground attack. Nevertheless, circumstances often dictate that they provide for their own local defense. Engineers normally dig in and camouflage key elements.

Good camouflage, the remoting of communications facilities, and the deployment of alternate CPs makes most of the C2 system fairly survivable. Nevertheless, one of the most important elements, the forward CP, often remains vulnerable. It forms a distinctive, if small, grouping, well within artillery range, even at army level. Its destruction could seriously affect the conduct of the battle.

Despite protective measures, the simultaneous destruction of main and alternate CPs would cause a significant disruption. Though the OPFOR emphasizes initiative and creativity in combat, it is not the type of initiative that would allow an operational force to rebound in a timely or efficient fashion after the destruction of its control system. The OPFOR practice of skip-echelon communications would, however, enable the commander and staff of the next-higher command level to exert a measure of control over the organizations two levels below it, thus reducing the effects of the disruption.

Communications

The chief characteristics of communications supporting the C2 system are security, survivability, and flexibility. In the OPFOR view, centralization is a prerequisite to achieving the flexibility required to ensure timely concentration of forces. Redundancy in equipment, as well as communications links and CPs, is the primary means of ensuring the control structure's security and survivability.

Assets

Signal units at all levels, from army group to battalion, support communications within the headquarters and provide communications with higher, subordinate, and adjacent organizations. Signal units use three different means to ensure continuity:

  1. Landline as far forward as possible.
  2. Multichannel radio-relay.
  3. Troposcatter and satellite links down to army level (and below, for instance, in the case of OMGs).

Encrypted communications are common from brigade upward, but may extend to the lowest levels in the most modern OPFOR units.

At the operational level, an army group, army, or corps headquarters normally task-organizes its signal assets to support its formation of forward, main, alternate, and rear CPs. The numbers and types of signal units can vary greatly depending on the size and makeup of the operational force grouping under a particular headquarters.

Each army group has at least one signal brigade. In addition to that, it may have a second signal brigade and/or a smaller signal regiment. A signal regiment at army group level differs from those at army or corps level by having an organic troposcatter battalion and a SATCOM company, as does a signal brigade. In lieu of or in addition to a signal brigade or regiment, an army group may receive communications support from separate battalions. These may include one or two signal battalions, a radio relay battalion, and/or a troposcatter battalion.

An army normally has a signal regiment. In lieu of such a regiment, however, it may get its communications support from separate battalions. These may include a signal battalion and/or a radio relay battalion. A corps would have at least a signal battalion and perhaps an entire signal regiment. At army or corps level, troposcatter or SATCOM units or stations from them are present only if allocated from the parent army group.

Responsibilities

The commander at each level is responsible for the organization of communications to meet immediate requirements. He tasks his chief of communications with establishing and maintaining continuous communications. The chief of communications is responsible for the actual organization of communications, in accordance with the orders of his commander and chief of staff, as well as the communications instructions of higher headquarters.

Nets

OPFOR signal troops deploy and operate the communications system which supports operational command and control. This includes communications lines from the CPs to subordinate organizations and direct lines of communication between corresponding commanders. A general-purpose support communications net provides service to all troops located in its area of deployment. At army group, army, and corps level, the OPFOR deploys three types of communications centers--CP, support, and auxiliary. Near the main CP communications center, it deploys a support communications center at the intersection of axial and lateral communications links or at communications channel distribution (switching) points. This center switches, routes, and transmits to the CP and auxiliary communications centers. An auxiliary communications center provides communications with forces operating at a considerable distance from higher headquarters' CP and support communications centers. It can also serve forces that lack the personnel and facilities to maintain direct communications with CPs or tie-in to support communications centers.

In addition, the OPFOR uses various types of more specialized communications nets as follows:

  • Command. Commanders use these nets primarily to pass orders. Channels are generally direct from a superior to his immediate subordinates, but they also permit skipping echelons.
  • Chief of Staff. When the commander is working from a forward or airborne CP, the chief of staff duplicates the command net so he is in touch with all major subordinate headquarters. This enables the chief of staff to issue detailed orders implementing the commander's decision. There is also a back-up net enabling the alternate CP to assume control without delay if the main CP is disrupted or destroyed.
  • Staff. The chief of staff uses staff nets for directing other staff elements at this level and for keeping subordinate and superior staffs informed of the commander's intentions. Principal staff officers have their own dedicated nets to ensure the uninterrupted receipt of information and the issue of orders necessary to fulfill their function in a timely fashion.
  • Coordination. The OPFOR uses coordination nets between commanders to ensure mutual understanding and unity of purpose and action with flanking formations. These nets also allow coordination between first and second echelons, reserves, or OMGs at the critical time of the latter's commitment. Another use is for coordination between main and rear CPs.
  • Special-purpose. The OPFOR may establish special-purpose nets between main CPs and selected subordinates. The main CP uses these links to communicate with forces executing special missions.

COMMAND AND CONTROL PROCESS

Command and control is a continuous process at all levels of command. The OPFOR recognizes seven elements in this process:

  1. Acquiring and processing information.
  2. Decision making and planning.
  3. Disseminating missions and organizing coordination.
  4. Organizing and directing combat support.
  5. Preparing troops for combat.
  6. Organizing and maintaining control.
  7. Monitoring readiness and executing missions.

The remainder of this chapter primarily focuses on the first three elements of the C2 process. Other chapters address the remaining elements.

Acquisition and Processing of Information

Acquiring and processing information is always the first function in the C2 process. This function is a continuous, active process of requesting, receiving, collating, analyzing, and disseminating information commanders and staffs need for decision making and planning. However, the physical collection of information is not actually part of the C2 process.

Strategic-Level Information Requirements

At the General Staff level and above, military and political information requirements are global in scope. The OPFOR has a continuous requirement to evaluate changes in the military or political capabilities and intentions of foreign nations in relation to the State. The accuracy of these assessments can directly influence the selection of military and political goals, the structure of the armed forces, and the strategic concept for using military power.

Operational-Level Information Requirements

Army group, army, and corps staffs are the focal points for detailed situation evaluation and large-scale planning for combat units. Therefore, they have a particularly heavy demand for information to support the decision-making and planning process. To function efficiently, operational-level staffs require high-resolution data on both enemy and friendly forces. Required periodic and special reporting is the primary source of detailed, accurate, and timely information on friendly forces. The availability and timeliness of such friendly force data depends largely on the availability and efficiency of the necessary communications links. On the other hand, acquiring information on the enemy involves collecting and reporting in a hostile environment. Operational staffs must analyze conflicting and incomplete data and assess and correlate intelligence provided by higher headquarters.

Information Requirements

The commander and staff must bring together all available data applicable to their mission and use the data skillfully to achieve their objectives. At a minimum, these data include information on enemy and friendly forces, terrain, weather, and climatic and seasonal conditions.

Enemy. Of these elements, information about the enemy is the most important. An OPFOR commander must have continuous, reliable information about the enemy's effective combat strength and organization to determine the correlation of forces. He must receive information concerning enemy locations, reinforcing units, C2 systems, and defensive positions. Information pertaining to the disposition and potential use of precision weapons is important. The required degree of detail will vary in different situations and at various levels of command. Constant attention is given to identifying enemy deception efforts. The OPFOR emphasizes multi-spectral collection efforts to reduce the potential effects of the enemy's deceiving a single reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition asset.

Friendly forces. Information about friendly forces is necessary to help the commander determine how best to use them and to identify requirements for coordination. OPFOR planners consider training status when making qualitative calculations of relative strengths of their own and enemy forces. In addition, they must consider how missions of other friendly forces may affect the accomplishment of their own assigned tasks.

Combat environment. The NBC environment, the terrain, and seasonal conditions also provide OPFOR planners insight as to what they can and cannot do effectively during a combat action. Planners use this information to determine routes, use of NBC weapons, and types of camouflage. This information can also help determine the effects these factors could have on friendly actions and on the enemy's possible courses of action.

Economy and politics. The economic and sociopolitical makeup of a region interests OPFOR military planners. Information about the hostile population enables the OPFOR to exploit local resources and to plan appropriate levels of security and perception management strategies to manipulate the population.

Decision Making and Planning

The commander's decision is the basis for command and control. The OPFOR commander must assess the situation and make a decision. At army group, army, or corps levels, he bases his decision on his assigned mission, his knowledge of the senior commander's concept of operations, his knowledge of the general situation, and his review of a series of options his chief of staff presents. (This differs from the tactical level, where the commander normally bases his decision on personal observation of the battlefield and selects one of a number of standardized solutions to standard tactical problems.) The decision includes the concept, organization for combat, axes of advance, missions for major subordinates, and C2 organization.

The commander conveys his decision to the chief of staff, who, with his subordinates, fleshes it out with detailed planning tailored to the circumstances of the operation and the terrain. The chief of staff issues detailed, precise orders for the initial phase of an operation only. At this point, there probably is not enough hard data to allow an accurate forecast of how the situation will develop. The plan includes intelligence, the commander's decision, boundaries, the missions of flanking forces, the missions of CS and CSS elements, the air defense plan, coordinating instructions, and the deployment of CPs.

Since the conditions of modern warfare dictate quick decisions, the commander must effectively use his staff to support his decision process. He usually focuses on only the elements of the decision that he alone can develop. He leaves other areas, like the organization of logistics or the communications structure, for his staff to formulate. The staff sorts out these decisions in detail and presents them to the commander for approval. Regardless of the degree of staff involvement in assisting the commander in decision making, the responsibility for the timeliness and quality of the decisions are solely his. These two critical elements--timeliness and quality--underlie both the decision and the entire C2 process.

Phases in Decision Making

The receipt of a mission from a higher authority sets the OPFOR combat decision-making process in motion. This process consists of four phases:

  1. Clarifying the mission.
  2. Estimating (evaluating) the situation.
  3. Assessing decision variants.
  4. Selecting the most appropriate decision.

These phases are not completely independent processes or stages of thought. Each phase overlaps and relies on the others. The result of the decision-making process is a set of missions for subordinates and a framework for detailed planning of the operation the commander has decided to conduct. These four phases inevitably involve the staff in providing the information and calculations essential to making a scientifically substantiated decision.

Before the receipt of the operational directive and during the course of combat, elements of the staff conduct certain analyses. At army group and army, the operations directorate continually updates and reevaluates the analysis of the numerical strength of its own forces and the terrain. The intelligence directorate/department continually updates and reevaluates the estimate of the enemy. Figures 7-9 through 7-11 detail the process by which the commander reaches his decision.

Function

Main Issues Considered

Commander's Deductions
and Influence on Decision

1. Clarify the Senior Commander's Mission

From senior commander's concept of operations, identify--
(a) Which enemy he plans to attack and how; what percentage of destruction he requires.
(b) His zone of advance and main/secondary attack axes (strike sectors).
(c) Major targets for conventional artillery.
(d) The operational formation and nature of maneuver.
(e) His own mission, including aim, immediate and subsequent missions and timings, reinforcing or supporting assets, boundaries, strike sector, routes, and deployment times.
(f) Overall correlation of forces.

Deductions:
(a) His own formation's role in senior commander's plan.
(b) Where to attack and the required rate of advance.
(c) Quantity of forces and echelonment.
(d) Allocation of time.
(e) What percentage of losses he expects to suffer.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) His own zone of advance and main/supporting attack axes (strike sectors).
(b) His operational formation and maneuver plan.
(c) Outlining missions for subordinates.
(d) Priorities in planning operation.

The commander issues preliminary instructions to subordinate commanders and staffs on completion of this phase.

Figure 7-9. Clarification of the mission.

Function

Main Issues Considered

Commander's Deductions and
Influence on Decision

2. Estimate the Situation

(a) Assess the enemy

Major elements in assessment include:
(a) Composition and combat capability of enemy force.
(b) Density of enemy forces to depth of immediate and subsequent missions.
(c) Layout of defense, including fire and obstacle plans.
(d) Location of boundaries, CPs, comm centers, and logistic sites.
(e) Morale of troops and personal qualities of commander.
(f) Enemy options during operation, including sector of main effort, counterattack plans.

Deductions:
(a) Main enemy groupings.
(b) Strong and weak points of defense.
(c) Probable enemy concept of operations (including use of NBC).

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Outline plan, including zone of advance, main/supporting attack axes (strike sectors), and operational formation.
(b) Subordinates' missions.
(c) Combat support plan (including final recon plan).

(b) Assess own forces

Headings include:
(a) Effective fighting strength, including morale.
(b) Combat capabilities, classified by arm of service.
(c) Correlation of forces.

Deductions:
(a) General condition of own forces.
(b) Any requirement for regrouping.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Zone of advance, main/ supporting attack axes (strike sector), and operational formation.
(b) Immediate and subsequent missions for the force as a whole.
(c) Subordinates' missions.
(d) Plan for deployment.

(c) Assess flanking units

Commander assesses:

(a) Their position, nature of operations, missions, including tempo of attack.
(b) Their lines of deployment and axes for second echelon.

Deductions:
(a) Influence of flanking units on air operations.
(b) Priorities of cooperation with flanks.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Zone of advance (to link with flanking units).
(b) Measures to coordinate with flanking units.

(d) Assess terrain

Commander assesses terrain in sequence:
(a) In the assembly area.
(b) From the LD to the LC.
(c) In the depth of enemy positions, including general nature of terrain and its effects on observation, fire, and deception.

Deductions:
(a) Effect of terrain on accomplishment of mission.
(b) Most favorable axes for operations.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Zone of advance and main/ supporting attack axes (strike sectors).
(b) Assembly areas, routes, deployment lines, objectives, second-echelon commitment line, river-crossing sites, and command posts.

(e) Assess hydrography, meteorology, times of year and day

(a) Water barrier conditions.
(b) Weather, including temperature, winds, clouds, fog, visibility.
(c) Hours of light and darkness and timings.

Deductions:
(a) Effect on operations.
(b) Effect on employment of various weapons by either side.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Zone of advance, main/ supporting attack axes (strike sectors), and operational formation.
(b) Measures to anticipate changes in conditions (such as floods, snow storms).

(f) Assess NBC situation

(a) Existing NBC destruction and contamination.
(b) Future effects of NBC contamination.

Deductions:
(a) Likely effect on fulfillment of mission.
(b) Safest sectors of operation for troops.

Used as guidance in planning:
(a) Zone of advance, main/ supporting attack axes (strike sectors), and operational formation.
(b) Decontamination measures.

(g) Assess economic, social, and political conditions in the combat zone

(a) Possibilities of using local resources, including repair, medical, and communications facilities.
(b) Class composition of local population, its mood, and its attitude toward the war and OPFOR troops.

Deductions:
Effect on combat operations.

Used as guidance in planning:
Measures to exploit local resources.

Figure 7-10. Estimate of situation.

Function

Main Issues Considered

Commander's Deductions and
Influence on Decision

3. Assess Decision Variants

Staff models several different variants based on--
(a) Commander's concept.
(b) Estimate of situation.
(c) Revised correlation of forces calculations.
(d) Modeling of variants.
(e) Possible enemy responses.

Deductions:
(a) Which variants meet decision criteria set by commander, achieving mission on time and at lowest cost.
(b) Where to attack, where to defend, and where to plan the main/ supporting attack (strike sectors).

4. Select and Formulate the Most Appropriate Decision

Commander proceeds to select the most appropriate decision, which he outlines under the following headings:
1. Concept of Operations:
(a) Which enemy to destroy and the required percentage of destruction.
(b) Main targets to hit.
(c) Zone of advance, main/ supporting attack axes (strike sectors), operational formation, and maneuver plan.
2. Missions of Subordinates:
Includes groupings, missions, axes, timings, and the percentage of losses acceptable in OPFOR formations.
3. Cooperation:
How to coordinate operations in terms of missions, place, and time.
4. Support:
Includes CS and C2.

Once the senior commander approves the decision, the commander passes it to his staff, where it forms the foundation of the plan they produce.

The commander may keep the more promising nonselected variants "on the shelf" as contingency plans.

Figure 7-11. Evaluation of variants and formulation of decision.

The commander's decision consists of the following four components:

  1. Concept of combat operations.
  2. Missions of major subordinates.
  3. Troop coordination procedure.
  4. Measures for comprehensive support of combat operation and organization of command and control.

See Figure 7-12 for more detail on the commander's decision. The commander's decision is the basis for the operations plan.

Figure 7-12. Content of the commander's decision.

Time

To OPFOR decision makers and planners, time assumes a role of unparalleled importance on the battlefield. If they cannot achieve time lines at all levels, they think they cannot accomplish their tactical, operational, and strategic military objectives. The effectiveness of their C2 system is inseparably linked to its ability to make and implement decisions quickly enough to deny the enemy any opportunity to impose his concept of battle against the OPFOR.

Correlation of Forces

Many factors from the COF are important to OPFOR decision makers and planners, but time is the critical determinant. Planners believe that effective C2 can give one of otherwise equal opponents at least a 2:1 advantage in combat effectiveness. Given forces with equivalent combat potential, the actual COF would favor the side that has the better C2 system and, consequently, that side would more skillfully realize its potential capabilities. Decreasing the time required to make effective decisions in battle is the focus of improvement efforts in the C2 process.

Time Segment Analysis

The OPFOR divides the C2 cycle into four time segments, as follows:

T1 = time that elapses from the occurrence of some significant event until relevant information about the event reaches the commander and his staff.

T2 = time the commander takes to reach a decision. This includes the time he requires to clarify the task, estimate the situation, and adopt a plan.

T3 = time the commander requires to transmit his decision to subordinate commanders.

Taction = time that elapses between receipt of the order by subordinate commanders and mission accomplishment.

To initiate this whole cycle, the OPFOR must first recognize that the significant event that should trigger the cycle has occurred. Therefore, the T1 phase is particularly vulnerable to enemy deception operations. Also, T3 is especially vulnerable to enemy electronic combat operations that could prevent or delay transmission of the decision to subordinates.

The first three phases combine to comprise control time:

Tcontrol = T1 + T2 + T3

This control time (Tcontrol) is the total time the decisionmaking process requires. It must take place quickly enough to allow actual implementation of the decision. The fourth time segment (Taction) measures the time required for detailed planning and mission accomplishment. The sum of these four time segments (Tcontrol + Taction) must take place inside the enemy's time window in order to achieve victory. The enemy's requirement for time to complete his control cycle and implement his decision dictates the critical time (Tcritical). Thus, OPFOR success in battle requires the following inequality:

Tcontrol + Taction critical

OPFOR control time and action time must not exceed the critical time. While this rule appears to be obvious, it demonstrates the OPFOR's commitment to seizing and maintaining the initiative by using time efficiently.

Planning Methods

OPFOR staff officers also recognize three planning methods that correspond to the available time for fully detailing the assigned missions in supporting plans: parallel, sequential, and executive. The two primary methods of combat planning are the parallel and sequential. Parallel planning is the more flexible and preferred method, but commanders may use either of these methods, depending on the intensity of the situation. A combination of the two is appropriate in some cases.

Implementation of Commander's Decision

Although the decision-making process is complete at the point of the commander's decision, the full OPFOR combat planning process has two more phases. The headquarters must still disseminate the finalized missions to subordinate elements and plan the operation (battle) in accordance with the commander's concept of operations (battle) and the decision. Use of the parallel planning method can streamline and shorten this process to save time.

Dissemination of Missions

The dissemination of missions to subordinates is a critical C2 task. The commander usually establishes the general procedures of staffs and other headquarters for disseminating missions to the troops. However, the chief of staff is the main organizer for carrying out this work. He must accomplish this quickly, in order to give subordinate commanders and staffs, and units as well, sufficient time to prepare for their combat missions. In order to decrease the time this task requires, the OPFOR applies technology, such as graphic display panels and other sophisticated signal equipment.

Disseminating mission-type information concerning upcoming or planned combat activity occurs at several points in the decision-making and planning process. At any level, preliminary instructions and preliminary combat instructions from higher-level commanders first present this information in general outline, allowing subordinate commanders and staffs to begin preliminary planning (as part of the decision-making process). Only when they receive the senior commander's final decision in operational directives or combat orders can lower-level commanders decide on their own final concept of the operation. The process at a given level ends when commanders issue combat orders/operational directives to their own subordinates.

Preliminary instructions. The means by which commanders can make the earliest possible dissemination of information concerning an upcoming operation are preliminary instructions. In them, commanders provide basic instructions for preparations that are not mission specific. These instructions, which the chief of operations prepares, contain the missions of the subordinate elements and the higher commander's general concept of operations. Similar to a warning order in the U.S. Army, they allow subordinate units to prepare for the flurry of activity demanded of headquarters on receipt of a new mission. They enable subordinate headquarters to begin their planning process concurrently with the higher command levels. The commander may issue preliminary instructions to subordinates in either oral or written form. However, it is normal to transmit preliminary instructions by electronic, secure-voice means rather than in written form.

Preliminary combat instructions. At the operational level, the commander issues preliminary combat instructions (sometimes called "combat instructions" or simply "instructions"). These normally serve as a vehicle to provide the outline of the commander's decision, basic information on the situation, and the mission for which the receiving headquarters should begin planning. (This allows parallel planning to begin at army and division levels.) These instructions may revise a previous order or issue a new, time-sensitive mission. Normally, the missions established in the preliminary combat instructions should not change; however, the operational directive or combat order (issued later) may clarify or refine them. Providing more detail than preliminary instructions, they contain both the operational/tactical missions and the technical missions of subordinate elements. They would probably include a brief assessment of the enemy situation, the location and missions of adjacent formations/units, and the combat mission of the formation/unit receiving the instruction.

Combat order. A combat order is an eight-paragraph order that the commander issues. These orders are complete mission statements that contain complete information for accomplishing the operational or tactical tasks of a unit. Commanders issue them in both written and oral form from army to divisions and from divisions to brigades.

Operational Directive

The operational directive is the formal operational-level order to subordinate elements, and it forms the basis of the operations plan. It contains the general goal of the operation, the procedure for its attainment, the missions of subordinates, and the time for accomplishing these missions. The chief of the operations directorate (or sometimes the chief of staff) is responsible for preparing the operational directive. The Supreme CINC and the Chief of the General Staff (or the theater CINC and his chief of staff) sign it for theater-level operations; at army group level, the army group commander and his chief of staff sign it. The General Staff (or theater headquarters) disseminates it to army groups, and an army group disseminates it to armies and corps. The normal eight-paragraph format is similar to that of a combat order. (See Figure 7-13.)

Traditional Format

Modified Format

1. Enemy Situation: A concise statement of enemy forces and their disposition, as that information relates to the mission of the issuing unit.

2. Mission: A statement of the mission assigned to the issuing unit by its superior headquarters.

3. Missions of Higher and Adjacent Units: A description of the missions of higher and adjacent units and their impact on the mission of the issuing unit; includes coordination procedures for nonorganic and attached units.

4. Concept of Combat Action: A discussion of the commander's decision for fulfilling the mission of paragraph 2; includes the concept of maneuver and fire support.

5. "I Order...": Establishes combat missions of subordinate elements, normally in order of: first echelon, second echelon, artillery, air defense, and reserves.

6. Preparation Times: Establishes the times by which subordinate units must be prepared for combat.

7. Control Coordination: Provides special instructions for coordination of combat actions by units.

8. Command Continuity: Indicates which of the subordinate officers is designated to assume control if the commander is incapacitated.

1. Enemy Situation: A concise statement of enemy forces and their disposition, as that information relates to the mission of the issuing unit.

2. Mission: A statement of the mission assigned to the issuing unit by its superior headquarters.

3. Missions of Higher and Adjacent Units: A description of the missions of higher and adjacent units and their impact on the mission of the issuing unit; includes coordination procedures for nonorganic and attached units.

4. Concept of Combat Action: A discussion of the commander's decision for fulfilling the mission of paragraph 2; includes the concept of maneuver and fire support.

5. "I Order...": Establishes combat missions of subordinate elements, normally in order of: first echelon, second echelon, artillery, air defense, and reserves.

6. Expenditure Norms: Provides the consumption norms for ammunition and fuel to be used during the combat action.

7. Preparation Times: Establishes the times by which individual units must be prepared for combat.

8. C2: Contains all C2-related information.

Figure 7-13 Format for a combat order.

Detailed Planning

When the commander decides on the final concept of operations, the staff begins detailed planning. Detailed planning is a prerequisite for success. Modern combined arms warfare integrates the actions of many types of forces and combat equipment, as well as diverse support requirements. In terms of detail, OPFOR planning considers forces an echelon below those dealt with in the commander's decision. Thus, army group operational planning looks at divisional requirements in detail (just as division staffs look in detail at battalion activities in their planning for tactical missions).

Operations Plan

Echelons of command down to corps compile operations plans. An operations plan is a series of documents the staffs prepare based on the commander's decision on how to conduct a mission. The operations plan must--

  • Optimally allocate forces and resources to each mission.
  • Provide concrete methods to coordinate the actions of maneuver, fire support, and materiel support.
  • Provide for a specific sequence and methods for conducting each subtask required to assure mission success.

From the completed operations plan, the staff creates its operational directive or combat orders to inform subordinates of their missions, roles, and time requirements for executing the plan.

The operations plan details the commander's thinking and reflects the input of various headquarters according to their functional responsibilities. It normally includes the following specific areas:

  • Assessment of the enemy situation and probable intentions.
  • Scope, aim, and concept of operations.
  • Organization for combat of subordinate elements.
  • Correlation of forces.
  • Location, direction, and width of strike sectors for main and supporting attacks.
  • Unit boundaries.
  • Plan for commitment of the second echelon.
  • Immediate and subsequent missions of subordinate units.
  • Missions of supporting and adjacent units.
  • Plan for logistic support.
  • Locations of CPs.

Most of the principal staff officers, and some of the primary staff officers, prepare subordinate plans for the operations plan. These include reconnaissance, communications, engineer, chemical, air, missiles and artillery, rear service, and air defense plans.

The operations plan includes a varying number of annexes. There are normally annexes for preparation and occupation of assembly areas, march lines and routes of movement, information warfare, airborne landings, special-purpose forces, and C2, among others.

Planned Flexibility

Operational-level C2 is highly flexible. This flexibility comes from mission-type orders from the General Staff (or theater headquarters) to the army groups and from army groups to armies and corps. The staff structure provides operational commanders the capability for rapid situation assessment and decision making. A standardized, streamlined process, using automated support, produces the decision and the accompanying plans to implement it. Scientific substantiation is a key criterion at the operational level. Such substantiation is a tool to decrease uncertainty and increase the probability of operational success.

Since operational planning occurs up to 3 days in advance, it would be difficult for the enemy to disrupt the initial decision making and planning, However, the army group, army, and corps commanders and staffs are continually updating of the operations plan. By limiting a commander's time to plan, an enemy could force the OPFOR staff to forsake the preferable parallel or sequential planning methods for less desirable executive planning. The OPFOR uses IW measures to help ensure that the OPFOR commander has sufficient time to acquire and process information on the combat situation.

The OPFOR's response to this concern is planned flexibility. It helps OPFOR commanders adjust the composition of forces on various axes, as well as adjusting their methods of operations and support. Planning continues the process of forecasting and modeling the commander began in his decision process. It produces a series of variants, or contingency plans, the commander can implement without completely changing his concept of operations (battle). Such planning also accounts for a range of probable enemy responses to OPFOR combat actions. Each variant, however, must allow the achievement of the assigned mission by the designated time; these aspects of the plan are not subject to contingency planning.

CALCULATING THE CORRELATION OF FORCES

The OPFOR calculates the COF on a strategic, operational, and tactical scale throughout an entire zone of action, in the main sector, and in other sectors. It uses various reference manuals, tables, and computers to speed calculations.

Level of Analysis

OPFOR decision makers and planners calculate the COF with varying degrees of refinement depending on the level of analysis. At the strategic political-military level, they may assess only a general overall balance, which includes a more detailed calculation for military forces. At the lower end of the strategic level, the General Staff (or the staff of a theater headquarters) does COF analysis down to army and corps level. At the operational level, the army group staff does it down to division, and the army or corps staff does it down to brigade. The actual COF takes into account both the quantity and quality of weapons systems on both sides.

Lower, tactical-level commanders and staffs would not always have time for these calculations; rather than comparing OPFOR /enemy force ratios, they might use tactical density norms (for example, tanks or artillery pieces per km of frontage for the OPFOR side).

Combat Potential Values

The OPFOR has assigned to all models of all types of weapons a numerical value in comparison to an arbitrarily adopted standard unit of armament. This means that it compares all weapons systems (whether tanks, artillery, or aircraft) to the same standard unit of armament to determine their relative worth or combat potential value (CPV). Thus, the combat potentials of weapons and combat equipment and the aggregate CPVs of the force elements they make up are quantitative and qualitative indicators of their relative effect on the outcome of combat action. These general potential scores reflect an average for offensive and defensive missions performed under average expected conditions.

Aggregate Combat Potential Values

The COF does not simply measure tanks versus tanks, artillery versus artillery, or air defense versus air defense; rather, this OPFOR calculation is based on the aggregate CPV scores of combined arms units. If different weapons happen to have the same CPV, it does not mean they are interchangeable; it only means they perform equal shares of the combat mission. It is impossible to totally replace tanks with aircraft or mechanized infantry troops with missiles. However, in combined arms combat, it is possible to make up partially for a deficiency in certain weapons with others that have an equivalent influence on the course of combat. While tanks might destroy tanks, so do other (fire support) weapons; air defense weapons do not normally destroy air defense weapons.

Overall Correlation of Forces

Calculating the overall COF in a zone of action involves the following steps:

  1. Determine the number of each type of weapons system in a unit.
  2. Multiply the number of weapons by the established CPV for that specific weapons system.
  3. Add the weapon CPV totals for each unit or formation.
  4. Add the unit CPV totals for each side (OPFOR and enemy).
  5. Divide the OPFOR CPV total by the enemy CPV total.

See Figure 7-14 for an example of how the OPFOR calculated the aggregate (unit) CPV for a mechanized infantry brigade and Figure 7-15 for an example of the overall COF calculation for a hypothetical situation. The values used to make these calculations are examples only.

Unit: 302d MIBR

 
System

 
Weapon CPV*

Number Of Weapons=

Weapon CPV
Total

Tank

10

31

310

IFV

4

143

572

SP Howitzer

2

18

36

Mortar

3

18

54

SP AA Gun

1

6

6

SP SAM

2

6

12

Shoulder-Fired SAM

1

48

48

ATGM Vehicle

2

9

18

ATGM Manpack

1

18

18

AT Grenade Launcher

1

140

140

Unit CPV Total

1214

* The purpose of these examples is only to illustrate the calculation process. The actual values would differ according to the specific equipment model and its relationship to whatever standard unit of armament the OPFOR selects as the baseline for comparison.

Figure 7-14. Calculation of unit CPV (example).

Situation

 
OPFOR

Unit CPV*

 
Enemy Forces

Unit CPV*

MID

6,441

Mech Div

6,164

MID

6,441

Aviation Bde

2,596

TD

6,265

SP Howitzer Bn

80

SSM Bde

540

SP Howitzer Bn

80

Helicopter Regt

230

SP Howitzer Bn

80

Artillery Bde

336

SAM Bde

432

CPV TOTAL

20,685

CPV TOTAL

9,000

Overall COF = OPFOR/Enemy CPV Total = 20,685/9,000 = 2.3:1

* For illustrative purposes only.

Figure 7-15. Calculation of overall COF (example).

Adjustments

The OPFOR may adjust unit CPVs to reflect the conditions of a specific combat action. These include--

  • Type of combat action (offense or defense).
  • Terrain.
  • Losses already incurred.
  • Logistics.
  • Training and morale.
  • Other factors.

Strike Sector Assessment

The calculation of the COF is central to decision making both before and during the course of combat actions. However, what is most important at the operational-tactical level is not the overall COF but the creation of local superiority in selected strike sectors. Each army group, army, corps, and division has a main strike sector where it weights its resources to achieve a penetration of enemy defenses. It may also have one or more secondary strike sectors for shallower fixing or holding attacks. The remaining "nonstrike" sectors are purely defensive sectors. (See Figure 7-16.)

Figure 7-16. Strike sectors.

Norms for Correlation of Forces Advantage

OPFOR commanders believe it is possible to achieve victory with a slightly superior, equal, or even inferior overall COF in relation to the enemy. The critical task is to create such a decisive COF advantage in designated strike sectors that the assigned mission has a high probability of success. On the basis of historical data, the OPFOR has concluded that a strike sector COF of 4:1 gives only a 75 percent probability of achieving the mission, while a 5:1 advantage raises the probability to over 90 percent. Generally, it would like to have a strike sector COF somewhere between 4:1 and 6:1. Although it might seek as much as a 7:1 superiority to reduce casualty rates, the benchmark figure seems to be 5:1 in the strike sectors. It is normally willing to defend in the remaining (nonstrike) sectors with no more than a 1:1 COF, and it believes it is possible to defend successfully even at a 0.5:1 negative correlation.

OPFOR planners do not limit their calculations only to the CPVs of the forces conducting and defending against the initial strike. They include all forces on both sides involved in continuing the offensive to the entire depth of the planned operation, that is, to the subsequent mission of the organization planning the attack. Therefore, COF calculations must take into account probable changes in the disposition of the sides and their composition in connection with losses, their replacement, and the arrival of follow-on echelons and reserves. OPFOR commanders seek to find a scheme of maneuver and fire support that will maintain a favorable COF throughout the course of the operation.

Norms for Width

Operational and tactical staffs have planning norms that recommend the width of strike sectors at different levels. (See Figure 7-17.) Note that the total strike sector width for an army group or army is the cumulative total of division and separate brigade strike sectors in the first-echelon divisions of first-echelon armies. (See Figure 7-16.) The OPFOR uses COF methodology to allocate sufficient forces to strike sectors and to more precisely determine the optimum width of these sectors.

Overall Width of Attack Zone
Frontage (km)

 
Strike Sector Width (km)

Army Group

300-400

25-30

Army

60-100

8-12

Division

15-25

2-4

Figure 7-17. Operational and tactical planning norms for overall frontage and strike sector width.

Formulas

It is critically important to create a decisive superiority in a force grouping that is to penetrate the enemy defense. However, defensive sectors must not be so weak that the enemy can attack through them to attain the flank or rear of the attacking force or shift forces from them to meet the main attack. To help the commander evaluate decision variants, OPFOR military scientists have developed a series of mathematical formulas. These formulas deal with the relationships between the following important factors:

  • Wo =Overall width of frontage for the whole zone of action.
  • Wss =Strike sector width (total).
  • Co =Overall COF along the entire frontage (attack zone).
  • Css =COF achievable/required in the strike sector.

Cm=Minimum COF allowable outside the strike sector.

Determining width. The formula below allows the staff to determine the total width of strike sectors possible, given a known COF in strike sectors:

Wss = Wo (Co - Cm) / (Css - Cm)

For example, an army group with a total frontage of 300 km and an overall COF of 1.4:1 is willing to defend on nonstrike sectors with a COF of 1:1. The staff needs to know the total strike sector width possible if they plan to have a 5:1 COF advantage in those key sectors. They calculate--

Wss = 300 (1.4 - 1) / (5 - 1) = 30 km

The OPFOR believes it can expect greater than 90 percent probability of achieving its mission if the total width of strike sectors in the first-echelon divisions of first-echelon armies does not exceed 30 km. The remaining 270 km must be nonstrike sectors.

Determining COF. The next formula allows the OPFOR to determine the COF its forces could possibly achieve in a strike sector of given width:

Css = Wo / Wss (Co - Cm) + Cm

For example, the same army group still has an assigned total frontage of 300 km. The staff is considering an operational variant using a total strike sector width of 25 km (within the operational planning norm). The staff has calculated an overall COF of 1.4:1 and is still willing to accept a 1:1 COF in nonstrike sectors. They use the above formula to calculate--

Css = 300 / 25 (1.4 - 1) + 1 = 5.8:1

This strike sector COF gives a slightly higher probability of success than the previous variant with a 30-km strike sector width.

Increasing COF. If the resulting Css had been too low (less than 4:1), planners would have the following options:

  • Reduce the strike sector width.
  • Reduce the minimum COF in nonstrike sectors (accept more risk).
  • Request more forces.
  • Weaken the enemy grouping with fire strikes.

(1) Reducing the width of the strike sector does not proportionately increase the strike sector COF. For example, an army with a total frontage of 75 km, an overall COF of 1.5:1, and a minimum COF of 1:1, might have calculated its strike sector COF using a sector width of 12 km, using the following formula:

Css = 75/12 (1.5 - 1) + 1 = 4.13:1

Since this does not achieve the benchmark 5:1 advantage, the staff might reduce the strike sector width by one-third, to 8 km. If so, it would apply the following formula:

Css = 75/8 (1.5 - 1) + 1 = 5.69: 1

The staff would find that this resulted in a 38-percent increase in the COF.

(2) The same army staff might try to solve their original COF problem by accepting greater risk on the nonstrike sectors. The OPFOR might be willing to defend with a 0.5:1 COF disadvantage there. The result would be--

Css = 75/12 (1.5 - 0.5) + 0.5 = 6.75:1

This would greatly improve the chances for success in the strike sector.

(3) Bringing in more forces would chiefly influence the COF along the entire frontage; that is, Wss. Given the original COF problem in the strike sector, the same army staff could determine the new overall COF (Co) required to achieve a 5:1 superiority in the strike sector using the following formula:

Co = Wss/Wo (Css - Cm) + Cm

The original situation was--

Co = 12/75 (4.13 - 1) + 1 = 1.50:1

By substituting the desired strike sector COF, the staff could calculate--

Co = 12/75 (5 - 1) + 1 = 1.64:1

This might be a manageable solution, since it represents only a modest increase over the original 1.5:1 overall COF.

(4) Weakening the enemy through fire strikes depends on calculating the minimal degree of damage to the enemy that would achieve of the necessary COF, at least on the strike sector. The enemy, however, is likely to retaliate against strikes to alter the COF, and calculations must also take into account one's own losses. The formula to calculate the necessary degree of fire destruction is--

M = 100 - (Ci/Cn) x (100 - F)

where

M = The necessary destruction of the enemy, as a percentage.

Ci = The initial COF.

Cn = The necessary COF.

F = The forecast of percentage losses to own forces.

Applying this formula, and allowing for 30-percent friendly losses, the same army staff could calculate--

M = 100 - (4.13/5.00) x (100 - 30) = 42 percent

Other variables. Absolute norms for the necessary COF on the overall frontage of the zone of attack and in strike sectors are difficult to establish. The reason for this is that a multitude of other factors, objective or subjective and varying widely, can influence the correlations. Other factors might include deep missile and air strikes, actions by OMGs and airborne and amphibious landings in the operational depth, electronic combat, and C2 effectiveness. These and other factors outside the direct confrontation of forces on the line of contact in the main sector complicate the calculation of the true total combat potential of the opposing sides.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list


One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias