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Appendix A

Reconstitution in the AirLand Operations Concept


The Army is currently developing AirLand Battle further to guide its evolution through the multipolar world of the 1990s and beyond. TRADOC Pam 525-5 is one in a series of concepts that describe how the various levels of command will conduct future combat, CS, CSS operations during war, conflict, and peacetime competition. This appendix summarizes key points related to reconstitution from that concept.

One key point is that force reconstitution under this concept has a different meaning than reconstitution in current doctrine as discussed in the main text of this manual. The key to the current doctrinal term is the status of the supported unit. Reconstitution occurs when a unit is combat ineffective or when a commander can shift internal assets to increase effectiveness closer to the desired level. The ALO concept term relates to a sequence of events. Under the concept, force reconstitution is one of the four stages that characterize nonlinear combat operations at the operational level. The stages are--

  • Detection/preparation.

  • Establishing conditions for decisive operations.

  • Decisive operations.

  • Force reconstitution.

These stages are at first sequential. However, once initiated, they overlap. Since this is a reconstitution manual, this appendix only briefly summarizes the first three stages. It discusses the fourth stage in more detail. However, as with current doctrine, CSS actions occur during all stages of operations.


This stage includes activities to deploy the force, prepare the battlefield, and protect the force. The operational commander determines what is necessary for decisive operations and decides on a plan.


In this stage, the commander establishes conditions that lead to decisive operations. He must grab the initiative early in this stage and control the entire battle from this stage forward. Major elements include the following:

  • Shaping of the battlefield by fires.

  • Positioning of maneuver and CSS assets.

  • Conducting deception operations and maintaining operational security.


The focus of this stage is on culminating the effort of previous stages with tactical and operational decisions. The key is allocating appropriate maneuver, intelligence, and security forces and fires to ensure decisive success. At the same time, forces begin secondary planning, collecting, targeting, and attacking activities for subsequent operations.


Having depleted some of his operational capability while conducting decisive operations, the commander reconstitutes his forces. The purpose of force reconstitution is to restore optimum combat power given considerations of METT-T and available CSS resources. Force reconstitution spans activities from normal sustainment (rearm, refuel, recover, repair, and replace) through reorganization and regeneration to redeployment.

The first key action after decisive operations will be to disperse the force. The unit establishes security to facilitate future mission actions and appropriate force reconstitution.

Maintenance of combat power and force agility depends on anticipatory, real-time CSS during all stages of operations. Application of technological advances in automation and communications will be key. They will provide real-time visibility of tailored, seamless logistics in motion within the tactical and operational situation.

The CSS portion of the concept envisions unweighting selected echelons. Maneuver commanders are unburdened logistically. They can better focus on the joint and combined arms fight.

The AirLand Operations concept also envisions that successful, well-executed earlier stages reduce catastrophic destruction of forces. A well-trained force, with competent leadership, using superior weapons with range advantage, integrated in joint and combined operations, planned and guided by responsive intelligence, and focused on a properly conditioned enemy force will be overwhelming and successful. Major consumption is likely in fuel, ammunition, and rations. Ideally, forces will avoid heavy attrition. This will limit force reconstitution needs to sustainment and possibly reorganization. At the tactical level, some combat elements will likely require regeneration. However, anticipation, planning, and execution of regeneration is normally at the operational level.

The concept has evolved from current doctrine and designates force reconstitution as the fourth stage of operations. However, many of the principles and techniques related to restoring a unit to combat effectiveness are not radically different from those in the text of this manual. Below are brief discussions of some key terms. They tie in closely with current doctrine. However, the units and resources available will change under the concept. So will some of the CSS principles involved, such as dependence on unit distribution.


CSS to sustain units will involve the same types of supplies and services as under current doctrine. However, the system to provide them will differ. At the tactical level, sustainment will involve--

  • Unit distribution of critical CSS resources. These will likely include fuel, ammunition, water, rations, and personnel replacements.

  • Provision of essential recovery support.

  • Responsive repair support.

  • Timely evacuation of equipment and medical evacuation of casualties.

Continuity of support will depend on two concepts. Planners will integrate and synchronize support with the tactical commander's intent and concept of operation as they do currently. Support will also involve a seamless logistics system extending through the operational level to the strategic level. The aim of sustainment is to provide the commander the freedom of action to execute his plan throughout the operational cycle. Its criticality, however, culminates during force reconstitution. Sustainment integrates the flow of resources from CONUS, theater reserves, HNS, and US or local contract assets.


Even under near optimum conditions, commanders may need to reorganize. As with current doctrine, this is a routine command function at the tactical level. Reorganization is within the capability of the commander directing it. CSS operations of organic or habitually associated support units will normally supplement reorganization. Except for the fact that this process is embedded as part of the fourth stage of operations, the nature of reorganization is consistent with current doctrine. The commander will assess his unit as he does now. He will use the same considerations. He will also use the same techniques. These include cross-leveling assets and matching operational weapons with crews.


Extraordinary or catastrophic actions, possibly caused by weapons of mass destruction, may require force reconstitution efforts beyond normal sustainment and reorganization. A command decision at the operational level will trigger regeneration. Regeneration requires resources and synchronization actions beyond the capability of the force undergoing regeneration. Planners should integrate the location, timing, and extent with the operational commander's intent and concept of operations, as well as the CSS capability. Regeneration will focus on weapon system replacement operations. Because regeneration builds on a surviving force, sustainment operations will also occur during regeneration. The regenerated tactical force may require some crew reorganization and hasty training to achieve combat readiness.

This concept is consistent with current doctrine except that regeneration is an inherent part of the operational cycle. However, the principles in the text will still largely apply. Many of the techniques can also be adapted to fit the situation. The recovery area on the nonlinear battlefield may not be in the rear area. However, it still should be relatively secure.


The successful AirLand Operations campaign will result in destruction of the enemy's center of gravity. It will attain strategic military objectives. As the need for to maintain the full forward deployed force abates, redeployment considerations increase. The goal of redeployment operations is to reestablish the strategic military, economic, and cultural posture of the US. Several factors will drive redeployment. These include the following:

  • Redefined world threats.

  • Revised national military strategy.

  • Demobilization decisions.

  • The nature of current contingency needs.

The supported CINC's concept, priorities, and needs remain significant. At the strategic and national political level, redeployment triggers reestablishment of national military power projection capability; it better postures the US Army to continue its strategic mission.

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