CHARACTERISTICS OF ORDERS
A good order is characterized by the following--
- Clarity. Use doctrinally established military terminology to clearly convey identical meanings to all elements that receive the order.
- Completeness. The order should contain all the information and instructions necessary to coordinate and execute the operation.
- Brevity. Avoid unnecessary detail. Do not sacrifice clarity and completeness in the interest of brevity.
- Use of the affirmative form. In the interest of simplicity and clarity, use the affirmative form of expression throughout orders.
- Avoidance of qualified directives. Avoid meaningless adverbs and expressions that do not fix responsibility.
- Authoritative expression. Avoid indecisive, vague, and ambiguous language that indicates indecision and leads to uncertainty and lack of confidence by subordinates.
- Timeliness. Orders must allow subordinate leaders sufficient time for planning and preparation.
Warning orders give subordinate units notice of a contemplated action or order that is to follow. The purpose is to initiate the troop-leading procedures of subordinate units. A warning order has no prescribed format. It should, however, be brief and contain as much information as possible to allow subordinates to prepare for the mission. The warning order should be updated as more information becomes available.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ORDER
Basic elements of a warning order are--
- Addressee (who).
- Time and nature of the operation (what).
- Earliest time to move (when)
- Time and place of OPORD.
- Other information as appropriate (such as attachments and detachments).
The platoon leader should send a warning order to his platoon when he receives the supported unit's order. This will allow his platoon to begin preparations while the platoon leader is traveling back to the platoon location.
The platoon leader receives various type of operations orders from the units he supports. They can be written orders, matrix orders, or any mixture of the two. The platoon leader must understand the formatting of operations orders so that he can extract all necessary information.
The platoon leader will issue his order using the five-paragraph field order format (figure A-l). Under normal circumstances the order will be issued verbally to his platoon. Squad leaders and vehicle commanders will copy the graphics from the platoon leader's map.
A FRAGO is a brief oral or written order. It serves any of the following purposes--
- It provides timely changes to existing orders.
- It provides pertinent extracts from more detailed orders.
- It provides instructions as a detailed order is developed.
- It provides specific instructions to commanders who do not require a complete order.
There is no specified format for a FRAGO, but it normally contains--
- Changes to task organization.
- Fire support.
- Coordinating instructions.
PREPARATION OF THE SMOKE OVERLAY
The overlay must contain: smoke control point(s), forward fuel resupply points, primary and alternate smoke generator positions, smoke pot locations, indirect fire targets, and any supporting and supported unit graphics. Most importantly, the overlay must specify which subordinate smoke units are responsible for each portion of the smoke screen. A method of doing this follows:
Step 1. Divide the area to be screened into platoon or squad sectors. Positions selected should cover all potential wind directions (360 degrees) which are executable. (At times, the enemy situation will be such that some wind directions will render the mission insupportable by smoke generator assets. When this occurs, maneuver commanders will have to explore other methods, such as artillery-or mortar-delivered smoke). Subordinate smoke units are assigned various sectors. Smoke positions/sectors surrounding the objective should be numbered to allow rapid repositioning of generators. The number of sectors will vary with the size and nature of the target, the number of available smoke assets, and the type of smoke mission conducted.
Step 2. Plot sites previously selected for smoke control points. Existing OPs can be used if they provide satisfactory line of sight and tactical concealment and are satisfactory for communications purposes. (Friendly aerial observers may assist in this effort if available.)
Step 3. Plot lanes (mobile) or the approximate location of individual generators (static), planned fires, supported and supporting elements, fuel supply points, and enemy locations. Shifts in the direction of the wind may cause the smoke control officer to shift assets to alternate numbered positions to continue the mission. The overlay will facilitate this process and avoid confusion. Each leader who has the responsibility to control smoke units should have a copy of the overlay. Figure A-2 is an example of a smoke overlay.
TECHNIQUES FOR DISSEMINATING
AND PASSING ORAL ORDERS
Leaders issue orders over the radio when distance prevents issuing the order face-to-face and time does not allow for written orders. This is the most frequently used method for issuing an order once a operation begins. Radio transmissions must be short to counter the EW threat.
The phrasing of the mission statement is all-important. A commander must choose his words carefully when issuing an order over the radio. Commanders can use the following techniques to issue short but effective radio orders--
- Use mission orders which are concise and emphasize intent.
- Use brevity codes and code words.
- Break the order into short transmissions.
- Use Terrain Index Reference System and other existing control measures.
Commanders issue orders face-to-face when time does not allow for written orders. The commander uses this method because it has the benefit of command presence and instills his will on his subordinates.
Commanders issue orders using an orders group when time and situation permit. Key individuals responsible for execution and coordination of the details of the operation must be present. The commander normally uses this method before an operation begins and when there is sufficient planning time.
TECHNIQUES FOR DISSEMINATING OTHER ORDERS
Commanders may use written orders or overlays to augment oral orders, or as a method of passing the order itself.
Commanders use stand-alone overlays when time is available and new graphics are necessary. Overlays should be delivered forward to subordinate commanders by courier unless time allows for an orders group. The commander should include necessary information, such as the task organization (if changed), the mission statement, and commander's intent on or with the overlay.
SMOKE UNIT CHECK LISTS
SMOKE COORDINATION CHECKLIST
1. What are the grid coordinates of the smoke target area?
2. What are the tactical or operational missions to be supported?
3. What kind of visibility criteria in the smoke target area is required?
4. What type of screening smoke (haze, blanket, or curtain) is required?
5. What type of smoke unit support for logistics, security, and fire support is available?
6. What is the intent/purpose for each smoke target?
7. How will weather and terrain affect the mission?
8. What is the anticipated duration of the tactical or operational mission?
9. What is the direction of known or suspected enemy forces?
10. What are the supported unit's frequencies, call signs, and brevity codes?
11. What are the signals for starting, stopping, shifting, or continuing the smoke mission?
12. What is the tactical situation in the proposed smoke area of operations concerning enemy contact, obstacles, etc?
13. What actions should the smoke unit take upon enemy contact?
14. What are the grid coordinates of supported unit's tactical operations center/command post (tactical operations center (TOC)/CP)?
15. What is the challenge/password?
16. How will fog oil and fuel (both diesel and gasoline) be resupplied to the platoon?
17. How will the platoon conduct resupply during the mission?
18. How will maintenance support be provided?
19. What is the projected requirement for class V?
20. How will casualties be evacuated?
SMOKE RECONNAISSANCE CHECKLIST
1. Locate selected target areas.
2. Determine supported and subordinate unit positions.
3. Designate subordinate unit smoke positions and/or lanes.
4. Locate smoke control point(s).
5. Designate supply routes, access routes, fuel resupply points, and/or fuel/fog oil forward prestock points if required.
6. Determine local weather and terrain conditions. (While it is important to note local weather conditions at the time of the recon, the unpredictable nature of weather necessitates that the smoke unit leader consider all possibilities when drafting the operations order.)
7. Determine security support requirements and internal smoke unit defense measures.
8. Locate communications positions for radio and wire.
9. Determine primary and alternate routes into and out of the area of operation.
10. Determine the location of the forward fuel supply point.
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