COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT OPERATIONS
Simply stated, the role of combat service support in any military unit is to sustain the force for continuous combat operations. Within the SBCT, a brigade support battalion (BSB) will provide the distribution of supplies and services to company, troop, and battery level. Depending on METT-TC, volume of supplies, expected future operations, and current situation, that level of distribution may be to battalion, company/team, or platoon level. Generally, distribution to SBCT infantry battalions is provided to the company/team. Distribution to other SBCT units will be executed on an "area support" basis and normally will occur at the same time as the parent battalion under the current task organization of units. At the SBCT infantry company level, the SBCT infantry company commander has ultimate responsibility for CSS. The executive officer and the first sergeant are the SBCT infantry company's primary CSS operators; they work closely with the SBCT battalion staff to ensure they receive the required support for the company's assigned operations.
SBCT battalion and SBCT infantry company commanders, as well as the SBCT battalion S4, make plans and key decisions concerning CSS. The battalion S4, company executive officer, company first sergeant, company supply sergeant, platoon sergeants, and squad leaders implement these plans. Platoon leaders plan and make CSS decisions to accomplish their assigned missions according to guidance from higher headquarters and SOPs. Unit SOPs should address planning, implementation, and responsibilities in detail and should standardize as many routine CSS operations as possible.
In SBCT infantry battalions, the health service support assets are assigned to the battalion headquarters company. The battalion medical platoon provides HSS to the companies. The brigade support battalion provides each SBCT infantry company with key logistics support, such as equipment, supplies, and other support functions including petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) and transportation requirements. The respective battalion staff supports other CSS functions, such as personnel, legal, and religious (for example, the S1 and unit ministry team [UMT])).
a. Within this support structure, the SBCT infantry company must plan, prepare, and execute its portion of the SBCT battalion CSS plan. Concurrent with other operational planning, the company develops its CSS plan during mission analysis and refines it in the war gaming portion of the troop-leading process. CSS rehearsals are normally conducted at both SBCT battalion and company levels to ensure a smooth, continuous flow of materiel and services.
b. The company's basic CSS responsibilities are to report and request support requirements through the correct SBCT battalion channels and to ensure that CSS operations are properly executed when support elements arrive in the company area. The XO and 1SG are normally in charge of these functions, with guidance and oversight provided by the company commander. They must submit accurate personnel and logistical reports, along with other necessary information and requests.
The SBCT infantry company headquarters is responsible for the coordination and execution of CSS functions within the company. This includes reporting current status, requesting supplies or support, and conducting effective CSS operations within the unit. The primary CSS functions required by the SBCT infantry company include casualty evacuation, resupply operations, maintenance activities, and personnel service support. The following SBCT infantry company personnel have the primary responsibility for company CSS.
a. Commander. The commander ensures that CSS operations sustain his company's fighting potential. He integrates CSS activities into the tactical plan and provides guidance to the CSS operators. He tailors his CSS operations to meet the tactical plan.
b. Executive Officer. The XO coordinates and supervises the company's logistical effort. During the planning, he receives status reports from the platoon leaders, platoon sergeants, and 1SG; reviews the tactical plan with the company commander to determine company CSS requirements; and coordinates these needs with the battalion S4. During execution, the XO locates at the second most important place on the battlefield, as determined by the company commander. At times, this is the place from which he can best supervise sustainment operations. The XO also performs the following CSS functions:
c. First Sergeant. The company 1SG is a fighter first and logistician second. In addition to his tactical responsibilities listed in Chapter 1, the 1SG will be a key player in CSS operations for the company. He also is a key player in the execution of the company's CSS plan and may supervise the company trains based upon commander intent and the factors of METT-TC. He ensures that the XO receives current status reports from all subordinate units, assists the XO in preparing reports and requests to battalion, and helps the XO or commander prepare paragraph 4 of the OPORD.
(1) The 1SG ensures receipt, consolidation, and forwarding of all logistics, personnel, and casualty reports to the battalion combat trains CP. He normally supervises the evacuation of casualties, EPWs, and damaged equipment. He normally supervises company resupply activities and monitors company maintenance activities.
(2) The 1SG orients new replacements and assigns them to squads and platoons IAW the company commander's guidance.
(3) The 1SG ensures the required information is received from the platoon and section sergeants and the senior trauma specialist. These NCOs are responsible for providing all CSS reports IAW the SBCT infantry company SOP.
d. Supply Sergeant. The supply sergeant is the company representative in the BSA.
(1) He verifies the logistics package (LOGPAC) and moves with the LOGPAC forward to the company. He assists with resupply and coordinates the company's CSS requirements with the BSB's supply support platoon leader and the SBCT infantry battalion S4. The supply sergeant may control the medical evacuation vehicle when it is unable to remain forward with the company. He monitors the tactical situation and adjusts the CSS plan as appropriate to meet the tactical plan and the company commander's guidance. He may assist the commander by establishing caches. He forecasts the company's consumption of food, water, ammunition, POL, and batteries, based on the operation.
(2) The supply sergeant also performs the following CSS functions:
e. Platoon Sergeant. Each PSG in the company performs the following CSS functions:
f. Senior Trauma Specialist/Senior Company Medic. The senior trauma specialist/senior company medic is attached to the rifle company to provide emergency medical treatment for sick, injured, or wounded company personnel. Emergency medical treatment procedures performed by the trauma specialist may include opening an airway, starting intravenous fluids, controlling hemorrhage, preventing or treating for shock, splinting fractures or suspected fractures, and providing relief for pain. The EMT performed by the trauma specialist is under the supervision of the battalion surgeon or physician's assistant (PA). The senior trauma specialist/company medic is responsible for--
The soldier's load is of crucial concern of the leader. How much is carried, how far, and in what configuration are important mission considerations requiring command emphasis. Army research indicates that a soldier can carry an amount equal to 30 percent of his body weight and still retain a high percentage of his agility, stamina, alertness, and mobility. For the average soldier (weighing 160 pounds), this would be a 48-pound load. Success and survival in SBCT infantry company operations demand that soldiers retain these capabilities. When unable to move with stealth, agility, and alertness, the unit is at risk. For each pound over 30 percent, the soldier loses a proportional amount of his functional ability. When his load exceeds 45 percent of his body weight, or an average of 72 pounds, his functional ability drops rapidly, and his chances of becoming a casualty increase. Research also indicates that training can improve load-carrying capability by 10 to 20 percent at best. Commanders must ensure soldiers carry no more than 48 pounds when in contact with the enemy or when enemy contact is expected. At other times, the soldier's load should not exceed 72 pounds. Sometimes soldiers may have to carry more than the recommended combat weight, but leaders must realize how that excess weight impacts the unit's effectiveness. (FM 3-25.18 [FM 21-18]) provides additional information on the soldier's load.)
The purpose of load planning is two fold. First, it allows the SBCT infantry company commander to use the estimate of the situation to determine what ammunition, supplies, and equipment are essential. Second, it recognizes the potential impact of the soldier-load problem and emphasizes the need to carry only what is necessary. The commander then arranges for the remainder of the load to be secured or transported. The company commander must consider METT-TC to determine the transition from vehicle load to dismounted movement load, thus determining the soldier's load to be carried by the company. The company commander breaks down the company's equipment and supplies into one of the three echelons: combat load (approach march or fighting load), sustainment load, and contingency load (Figure 11-1). The flexibility of the SBCT company allows the company commander to plan and conduct load planning for mounted and dismounted movement. The company commander must tailor his load plan to meet his mission requirements and the unique flexibility of the company to move mounted and dismounted.
Figure 11-1. Load echelon diagram.
a. Combat Load. A combat load consists of the minimum mission-essential equipment, as determined by the mission commander. This includes only what is needed to fight and survive immediate combat operations. There are two levels of combat load: fighting loads, which are carried on dynamic operations where contact with the enemy is expected, and approach march loads, which are carried when transportation cannot be provided for equipment over and above fighting loads.
(1) Fighting Load. A fighting load is what the soldier carries once contact has been made with the enemy. It consists only of essential items the soldier needs to accomplish his task during the engagement. For close combat and operations requiring stealth, any load at all is a disadvantage. Cross loading of machine-gun ammunition, mortar rounds, antitank weapons, and radio equipment causes most combat loads to exceed 48 pounds. This is where risk analysis is critical. Excessive combat loads of assaulting troops must be configured so that the excess can be redistributed or shed (leaving only the fighting load) before or upon contact with the enemy.
(2) Approach March Load. This is the load that the soldier carries in addition to his fighting load. These items, if not kept on the ICVs, are dropped in an assault position, ORP, or other rally point before or upon contact with the enemy. On long dynamic operations, soldiers must carry enough equipment and munitions to fight and exist until a planned resupply can take place. These loads vary and may exceed the goal of 72 pounds.
b. Sustainment Load. A sustainment load consists of the equipment required by the company commander for sustained operations. Ideally, this equipment is carried on the ICVs. However, under some circumstances this equipment may be stored by the company supply section in the BSA and brought forward when needed. A sustaining load can include rucksacks, squad duffel bags, and sleeping bags. In combat, protective items for specific threats, such as armored vests and chemical protective overgarments (CPOGs), if not carried on the ICVs, may be stored in preconfigured unit loads. Commanders must coordinate with the battalion S4 to ensure that all sustainment load items are available.
c. Contingency Load. The contingency load includes all other items that are not necessary for ongoing operations, such as extra clothing, personal items, or even Javelins in a nonarmored threat environment. The austere structure of the SBCT has constrained its ability to store and maintain contingency stocks. The critical element for company commanders to determine is what goes in these loads and who is responsible for the storage and delivery of them.
The combat load for each soldier consists of three components: common essential items carried (worn) by all soldiers regardless of threat, environment, or mission; duty position load, consisting of the soldier's assigned weapon (or components of the weapon system) plus ammunition; and variables, consisting of all other items carried, based on the commander's estimate of the situation. The latter are items that constitute the environmental, threat protection, and mission loads. When calculating load requirements, leaders should--
- Adjust combat loads so soldiers carry less than 72 pounds.
- Divide combat loads into fighting loads and approach march loads.
- Have soldiers pack rucksacks and assault packs accordingly.
- Place all other company equipment into the sustainment load.
Once he decides what items soldiers will carry on the mission, the leader decides how they will carry them. Soldiers need some items to be immediately available; other items can be carried in rucksacks.
The key to load management is to carry only what is necessary to accomplish the mission. The following techniques assist the commander in load management. The commander must also consider his mounted capabilities when determining the company's load management techniques and dismounted transition.
a. Make sure soldiers distribute their loads evenly over the body and load-carrying equipment (LCE).
b. Carry critical items within easy reach: carry water, ammunition, and a first aid pouch on the LCE, with other items in battle dress uniform (BDU) pockets. Ensure that placement of all items is standardized within the unit, and nothing that could prevent the soldier from taking a well-aimed shot is allowed on the firing side of the LCE.
c. Distribute loads throughout the unit. If it is necessary to manpack bulk ammunition, rations, water, or demolitions, divide them into small loads consistent with METT-TC to ensure they can be distributed on the battlefield where needed.
d. Rotate heavy loads among several soldiers. The unit can rotate radios, M240s, mortars, and Javelins if enemy contact is not imminent. Ensure that the assigned gunner stays near the weapons system components if they are rotated.
e. Upon contact with the enemy, drop rucksacks or leave them in an ORP, an assault position, or the assembly area. The leader can later request battalion or SBCT transportation assets to bring them to his unit when possible. Soldiers mark their rucksacks by unit to facilitate quick recovery.
f. Share or consolidate items; if the weather requires soldiers to carry sleeping bags, carry only enough for those who will sleep at the same time. Soldiers can share the bags as they take turns rotating security duty. In the same manner, two or three soldiers can share a rucksack and take turns carrying it.
g. Consider cutting rations to two or even one meal, ready to eat (MRE) per man per day for short periods.
h. While carrying the rucksack, use water and rations carried in or on it first. If soldiers must drop their rucksacks, what they carry in their BDUs and on the LCE remains available. Replace ammunition, water, and rations carried on LCE or in BDU pockets as soon as possible.
i. When carrying radios in rucksacks, keep them attached to the backpack for access and use when rucksacks are dropped.
j. Consider caches, supply linkups, captured stocks, and foraging to provide food, water, shelter, weapons, and equipment to reduce the need to manpack supplies.
k. Avoid unnecessary movement and displacements. To conserve the soldier's stamina, plan the mission as efficiently as possible. Do not move a platoon when moving a squad can do the job. If the leader becomes lost, he stops and determines his unit's location before moving and, if necessary, sends out someone to confirm the unit's location.
l. Supervise the soldier's load closely. Soldiers may carry unnecessary items when they start on a mission and throw essential items away when they are tired. Packing lists for rucksack management and leader inspections before and during the mission ensure that only necessary items are carried. Rucksack management results in efficient use of a soldier's energy and ensures that essential items are available when needed in combat.
m. The company net does not always need the COMSEC equipment to function effectively. Ensure the threat warrants the extra weight on the RATELOs.
n. Consider distributing the approach march or sustainment loads to only two platoons. This allows the lead platoon to move with more stealth and alertness and to remain unburdened in case of contact. Platoons can then quickly swap rucksacks as they rotate the lead.
In order to maintain the intent of the SBCT and SBCT infantry battalion commander, each organization at the company level and higher must have a logistical focal point. This focal point is generally described as the "trains." CSS personnel and equipment organic or attached to a force that provides support such as supply, evacuation, and maintenance services comprise the unit trains. The types of trains are described in this section.
SBCT infantry battalion trains normally consist of two types: combat trains and field trains.
a. Combat Trains. The SBCT battalion combat trains normally are positioned close enough to combat elements to be responsive to forward units but beyond the range of enemy direct fires. The SBCT battalion combat trains usually consist of the HHC's medical platoon and the supporting CRT. They are supervised by the combat trains command post (CTCP). The trains are positioned based upon the factors of METT-TC.
b. Field Trains. The SBCT battalion field trains normally are positioned in the BSA. The battalion field trains is the primary direct coordination element between the battalion and the BSB. The HHC HQ section provides direct interface with the administrative and logistics support elements of the SBCT battalion and BSB in the BSA. The company normally locates its supply section and corresponding vehicles in the SBCT battalion field trains.
The company trains are the focal point for company sustainment operations. It is the most forward CSS element, and provides essential medical treatment and maintenance support. The size and composition of the company trains vary depending upon the tactical situation. The trains may consist of nothing more than preplanned locations on the ground (a control measure such as a checkpoint) during fast-paced offensive operations, or the trains may contain two to five tactical vehicles during resupply operations. The company trains are established to conduct evacuation (of wounded in action, weapons, and equipment) and resupply as required. When the company has been allocated an ambulance, it usually locates in the company trains as well. The company trains are located in a covered and concealed position, close enough to the company to provide responsive support, but out of enemy direct fire. The 1SG or XO will position the trains and supervise CSS operations.
Security of CSS elements is critical to the success of the SBCT infantry company and SBCT battalion missions. For this reason, the company and battalion combat trains must develop plans for continuous security operations. Company trains normally operate one terrain feature to the rear of the company. (METT-TC factors dictate the actual distance.) This location gives the company virtually immediate access to essential CSS functions while allowing the trains to remain in a covered and concealed position behind the company combat elements. Where feasible, they may plan and execute a perimeter defense. The trains, however, may lack the personnel and combat power to conduct a major security effort. In such situations, they must plan and implement passive security measures to provide protection from enemy forces.
Fast, reliable communications are critical to the CSS effort. Whether as directed by higher headquarters or as needed to support the SBCT infantry company mission, the XO or 1SG must be able to report instantly the company's status, including combat losses, and to send resupply and support requests.
a. Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below. FBCB2 is a network of computers, global positioning equipment, and communication systems that provide on-the-move, real-time command and control information to tactical combat arms, CS, and CSS soldiers and leaders. The system provides preformatted, standardized reports allowing the leaders to rapidly disseminate required reports and FRAGOs. The company may use the FBCB2 to transmit its logistical and personnel status reports to the battalion S4 and the company supply sergeant. FBCB2 is the fastest method of disseminating this information. Leaders should verify receipt of all reports sent via FBCB2 either by follow-up message or via FM voice.
b. FM Voice. FM communication is still a critical mode of passing required reports. However, it may not be the fastest means and may be the least secure means of communications and poses other problems for the company's CSS operators. The SBCT battalion administrative and logistics net is used for most CSS traffic, but the company may not have enough authorized radio systems to monitor it. When this is the case, a higher net control station must enter the company net to contact the company. Another type of problem can arise when a company enters the A/L net. The transmission of one company may "walk over" another company's report or request. Unit SOPs must specify procedures to be followed in this type of situation to ensure that the battalion trains receive all transmissions on a timely basis.
c. Messenger. As an alternative, the company can send CSS reports and requests by messenger or wire. Messengers are slower than radio transmission but more secure. Wire communications are also very secure but are strictly limited in range and coverage and may not be a feasible option in a fast paced operation or non-contiguous environment. For sending lengthy or complex reports and requests, messenger or wire is better than radio transmission.
To meet the challenge of supporting the operations of high-speed war fighters and meet time-to-deploy objectives, the SBCT employs an austere CSS package with the minimum capabilities. The SBCT tailors its combat service support by optimizing the use of CSS resources (through CSS situational understanding) and minimizing the operational and CSS footprint in the area of operations. The result is a CSS force package that is streamlined, strategically mobile, and focused on the sustainment necessities. Split-basing (the concept of locating assets in the rear and forward with all but the immediate essentials held in the rear) and modularity (the concept of creating standardized units which may be located rear or forward) provide just-in-time, tailored support to the SBCT. Supplies are pushed forward from the rear as needed whenever and wherever feasible. Also, highly deployable CSS assets are positioned to enter and depart the area of operations rapidly, as needed, to sustain the force. These concepts are part of CSS reach as discussed below and in FM 4-0 (100-10). The key logistics and CHS provider within the SBCT is the BSB. However, there are other elements in the SBCT that plan and execute CSS operations. This section covers the CSS functions performed by the BSB and those SBCT elements other than the BSB.
The SBCT brigade support battalion is organized to perform distribution-based, centralized CSS functions in accordance with Army XXI CSS concepts. Logistics functions have been removed from combat and combat support units and consolidated in the BSB. The brigade support battalion (Figure 11-2) consists of the headquarters and three companies: the headquarters and distribution company (HDC), the forward maintenance company (FMC), and the brigade support medical company (BSMC). The austere design of the CSS structure is insufficient to sustain the SBCT in garrison and during extended operations. The combat service support company (CSSC) is the minimum solution to overcome the shortfalls of the BSB during sustained operations. The BSB has no explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) capability.
Figure 11- 2. Brigade support battalion.
Battalion personnel sections perform their traditional roles of personnel management, personnel services, and personnel support.
a. Personnel Management. S1 sections manage and provide the sustainment tasks of personnel readiness, personnel accounting, strength reporting, and replacement management.
b. Personnel Services. When deployed, the S1 performs limited personnel services (awards, promotions, evaluations, and reassignments). S1s will handle pay-input transactions for military pay. The brigade S1 is responsible for verifying unit submissions of Witness Statement/Casualty Feeder Reports against the personnel database and emergency data in the soldier's deployment packet. After verifying information with the appropriate medical treatment facility, the S1 forwards the casualty information through the Army Casualty Information Processing System. Home station assets primarily perform other personnel services via reach-back operations.
c. Personnel Support. Postal operations within the SBCT is limited to mail and distribution activities. The brigade S1 section will receive pre-sorted letter mail and small packages. Battalion mail clerks within the S1 sections will pick up incoming mail from, and drop off outgoing to, the brigade mail clerk. Battalions will coordinate with the brigade S1 for provision of morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) activities and services as the mission permits. The MWR system is a necessary outlet for soldiers to relieve combat stress, which is critical to sustaining the readiness of the force.
The brigade operational law team (BOLT) provides legal support in operational law (OPLAW) and either provides or coordinates legal support for the six legal disciplines: military justice, international law, administrative law, civil law (contract law, fiscal law, and environmental law), claims, and legal assistance.
Unit ministry teams facilitate and coordinate religious support across the battlespace.
a. The UMT works directly for the commander. The UMT, at a minimum, is composed of a chaplain (56A) and an enlisted chaplain assistant (56M). The UMT locates where it can best coordinate, communicate and facilitate religious support throughout the AO.
b. The brigade UMT coordinates religious support throughout the brigade AO. It ensures all units and individuals operating within the AO are provided religious support to include contractors, refugees, displaced persons, detained civilians in the area of operation, and enemy prisoners of war.
c. Chaplains often serve as the "conscience of the command." Chaplains advise the commander on the moral and ethical nature of command policies, programs, and actions, and their impact on soldiers. The UMT is responsible for and supports the free exercise of religion. Chaplains provide support for death notifications, Red Cross notifications by command, and liaison with continental United States (CONUS) and host-nation clergy.
Financial management support includes the following:
The SBCT has no organic financial management support assets. Finance units must deploy to provide financial management for SBCTs in the same manner they support the rest of the Army.
The SBCT has no organic military police support assets to take control and evacuate EPWs. SBCT OPORDs and SOPs will assign responsibility for EPWs.
Each SBCT infantry company deploys with 72 hours of supplies. The SBCT infantry company commander considers his situation to decide on the best means of resupplying his company. Resupply operations are generally classified as routine, emergency, or prestock. Cues and procedures for each method are specified in the company SOP and are rehearsed during company training exercises. The actual method selected for resupply in the field depends on METT-TC factors.
Supplies are divided into 10 major categories, which are referred to as classes (Figure 11-3). There are also a few miscellaneous items that do not fit into any of the other 10 supply classes.
a. Class I. Class I supplies (MREs) will be configured into unit-configured loads based on personnel strength reports. These loads will be delivered with the LOGPACs by the BSB's transportation platoon. No unit in the SBCT has organic food service capabilities. Operational rations (MREs) will be used until military augmentation (BSB combat service support company) or contractor support is identified in theater.
b. Water. The BSB's fuel and water support platoon is capable of limited purification, storage, and distribution of water. The SBCT is expected to obtain water in the theater of operations. Each day the SBCT infantry company should refill one of its two 400-gallon water trailers.
c. Class II. Limited stocks of Class II items (preventive medicine, field hygiene, weapons cleaning, and special tools) will be available at the BSB. Class II (NBC) will be configured at intermediate staging bases (ISBs) and called forward as needed. Class II administrative supplies will not be stocked at the BSB but may be requested as the theater matures.
d. Class III. The BSB's fuel and water support platoon has the only bulk fuel storage and distribution capability within the SBCT. The SBCT is expected to obtain fuel in the theater of operations. The battalion S4 will arrange for LOGPACs to deliver fuel based on logistics status reports.
e. Class IV. Company SOP specifies the combat load of Class IV items for each vehicle. The BSB's supply support platoon stocks a limited amount of barrier material such as concertina wire, sandbags, and pickets. Other Class IV must be configured at ISBs and called forward as needed.
f. Class V. The SBCT infantry company deploys with a combat load of personal munitions and a turret load of vehicle munitions. The BSB's ammunition transfer point (ATP) section does not deploy with sustainment stocks. Munitions will be delivered to the ATP on HEMMT-load handling system (LHS) flatracks and delivered to battalion release points. The SBCT infantry company will use its personnel and equipment to rearm.
g. Class VI. The BSB does not stock Class VI supplies. After 30 days in theater, the supplement health and comfort pack (HCP) ration is usually issued with Class I rations.
h. Class VII. Class VII status is reported through command channels; it is intensively managed and command controlled. The BSB will receive replacement items as ready-to-fight systems. Ready-to-fight systems are sent forward with the LOGPAC.
i. Class VIII. Medical supplies, such as first aid dressings, refills for first aid kits, water purification tablets, and foot powder, are supplied by the BSB's BSMC to the battalion medical platoon via LOGPAC, ambulance backhaul, or emergency delivery.
j. Class IX. The SBCT infantry company stocks limited Class IX to perform organizational maintenance on small arms and communications equipment. The battalion's supporting CRT will either request the appropriate repair parts in response to a specific request or repair the piece of equipment by controlled exchange of serviceable parts. Rechargeable batteries for night vision devices and man-portable radios may require one-for-one exchange. In combat situations, exchange and controlled substitution are the normal means of obtaining Class IX items.
Figure 11-3. Classes of supply.
Routine resupply operations cover items in Classes I, III, V, and IX, as well as mail and any other items requested by the company. Whenever possible, routine resupply should be conducted daily, ideally during periods of limited visibility.
a. Logistics Package Operations. The LOGPAC technique is a simple, efficient way to accomplish routine resupply operations. SBCT infantry company, SBCT infantry battalion, and BSB SOPs specify the exact composition and execution order of the LOGPAC.
(1) Preparation. The company supply sergeant first compiles and coordinates all the company's supply requests. Based on the requests, he then verifies the LOGPAC with the assistance of the BSB supply support platoon leader. The BSB focuses on the resupply side of the LOGPAC. The company supply sergeant focuses on the other needs of the company to include--
When LOGPAC preparations are complete, the supply sergeant receives an update of the company's location and LRP via FBCB2 or FM voice. He will accompany the LOGPAC to the LRP where he will assume control of the company LOGPAC. The supply sergeant and LOGPAC move through the LRP to the company resupply point and link up with the XO or 1SG.
(2) Actions at the LRP. When the LOGPAC arrives at the LRP, the company supply sergeant quickly assumes control of the company LOGPAC and continues tactical movement to the company resupply point. The LOGPAC will stop at the LRP only when the tactical situation dictates or when ordered by the commander. Security will be maintained at all times.
(3) Resupply Procedures. The company can use the service station or tailgate resupply method, both of which are discussed later in this section. The time required for resupply is an important planning factor. Resupply must be conducted as quickly and efficiently as possible, both to ensure operational effectiveness and to allow the company LOGPAC to return to the LRP on time. Service station resupply of the company normally takes 60 to 90 minutes but may take longer. Tailgate resupply usually requires significantly more time than service station resupply.
(4) Return to the LRP. Once resupply operations are complete, the LOGPAC vehicles are prepared for the return trip. Company vehicles requiring evacuation for maintenance are lined up and prepared for towing. Human remains and their personal effects are carried on cargo trucks, fuel trucks, or disabled vehicles. EPWs ride in the cargo trucks and are guarded by walking wounded or other company personnel. All supply requests and personnel action documents are consolidated for forwarding to the field trains, where the appropriate staff section processes them for the next LOGPAC. The supply sergeant leads the LOGPAC back to the LRP where he links up with the BSB transportation platoon leader or moves through the LRP to the BSA. It is critical that the LOGPAC continue to move through the LRP to avoid interdiction by enemy forces or artillery. Whenever possible, the reunited LOGPAC convoy returns to the BSA together. When METT-TC dictates or when the LOGPAC arrives too late to rejoin the larger convoy, the company vehicles must return to the BSA on their own.
b. Resupply Methods (Mounted). As directed by the commander or XO, the 1SG establishes the company resupply point using either the service station or tailgate method. He briefs each LOGPAC driver on which method to use. When the resupply point is ready, the 1SG informs the commander, who in turn directs each platoon or element to conduct resupply based on the tactical situation.
(1) Service Station Resupply. With the service station method, vehicles move individually or in small groups to a centrally located resupply point. Depending on the tactical situation, one vehicle or section, or even an entire platoon, moves out of its position, conducts resupply operations, and then moves back into position. This process continues until the entire company has been resupplied (Figure 11-4). In using this method, platoons, sections, or individual vehicles enter the resupply point following a one-way traffic flow. Only vehicles requiring immediate maintenance stop at the maintenance holding area. Vehicles move through each supply location, with squads and crews rotating individually to eat, pick up mail and sundries, and refill or exchange water cans. When all platoon vehicles, squads, and crews have completed resupply, they move to a holding area where, time permitting, the platoon leader and PSG conduct a pre-combat inspection.
Figure 11-4. Service station resupply method.
(2) Tailgate Resupply. The tailgate method of resupply is normally used only in assembly areas. Vehicles remain in their vehicle positions or back out a short distance to allow trucks carrying supplies to reach them. Squads, fire teams, machine gun teams, or individual vehicle crews rotate through the feeding area, pick up mail and sundries, and fill or exchange water cans. Any EPWs are centralized and guarded by company security teams. Human remains and their personal effects, are brought to the holding area where they are secured by the company supply sergeant (Figure 11-5).
Figure 11-5. Tailgate resupply method.
Occasionally (normally during combat operations), the company may have such an urgent need for resupply that it cannot wait for a routine LOGPAC. Emergency resupply may involve Classes III, V, and VIII, as well as NBC equipment and, on rare occasions, Class I. The SBCT battalion usually uses BSB supply support platoon and HHC medical assets to conduct emergency resupply of the company. Emergency resupply can be conducted using either the service station or tailgate method, although procedures may have to be adjusted when the company is in contact with the enemy. In the service station method, individual vehicles pull back during a lull in combat on order of the company commander or platoon leader; they conduct resupply and then return to the fight. With tailgate resupply, the company brings limited supplies forward to the closest concealed position behind each vehicle or element.
Prestock resupply, also known as pre-positioning or cache, is most often required in defensive operations. Normally only Class V items are pre-positioned. Class III supplies can be pre-positioned, but this requires that company vehicles refuel before moving into fighting positions during initial occupation of the BP or to move out of their fighting positions to conduct refueling operations at the rear of the BP. Prestock operations must be carefully planned and executed at every level. All leaders, down to vehicle commanders and squad leaders, must know the exact locations of prestock sites, which they verify during reconnaissance or rehearsals. The SBCT infantry company must take steps to ensure survivability of the prestock supplies. These measures include digging in prestock positions and selecting covered and concealed positions. The company commander must also have a plan to remove or destroy pre-positioned supplies to prevent the enemy from capturing them.
Company resupply is mainly a "push" system. This means the company receives a standard package of supplies from battalion based on past usage factors and planning estimates.
a. The SBCT battalion S4 plans the contents of a LOGPAC. The supplies are normally organized and assembled in the BSA by the BSB supply support platoon leader in coordination with the company supply sergeant. The LOGPAC should, if possible, provide all supplies, equipment, and personnel needed to sustain the company for the next 24 hours or until the next scheduled LOGPAC delivery.
b. Adjustments to the LOGPAC are sent to the battalion S4, who is located in the combat trains CP. These adjustments may be sent over the battalion A/L net, through the company supply sergeant, or by a company messenger. When using a battalion A/L net that is not secure, encode reports using SOI.
c. Company status reports often translate into supply requests or they provide information to allow the battalion S4 to anticipate company needs. An example is the personnel daily summary, which is sent to the battalion S1. It provides the number of personnel in the field, which the battalion S4 can use to plan Class I resupply.
d. The supply sergeant is responsible for non-BSB actions (for example, personnel and administrative actions) and for delivering them to the company.
Company resupply techniques are those methods of employing company assets (personnel and equipment) to effect resupply or redistribution of supplies with subordinate elements. These techniques are independent from the methods in which the company receives supplies from higher headquarters; they are solely concerned with distribution of supplies to the platoons and sections. There are three company resupply techniques: in position, out of position, and pre-position.
a. In Position. The company executes in-position resupply by moving the required supplies or equipment forward while the platoons remain in their fighting positions. This technique is used when it is essential to maintain combat power forward (during contact or when contact is imminent) or when the company is dispersed over a wide area. If vehicles are not able to move near the platoons because of enemy fire, some platoon members may have to assist resupply personnel in moving supplies and equipment forward.
b. Out of Position. The company executes out-of-position resupply by establishing a resupply point in a covered and concealed position to the rear of a platoon position and directing platoons to move from their fighting positions to the resupply point, pick up supplies, and move back to their fighting positions. This technique is used when the situation does not necessitate all combat power being forward (contact is not likely). Company SOPs establish whether all or part of the platoon moves to resupply at one time. A variation of this technique would be to establish a resupply point for each platoon and pre-position the LOGPAC.
c. Pre-Position. The company pre-positions supplies and equipment along the route to or at the location to which the platoons are moving and directs the platoons to these locations. The supplies or equipment may be uploaded on a vehicle or on the ground, secured or unsecured, concealed or in the open. The factors of METT-TC determine exactly what measures are required. This technique is most often used during defensive operations when supplies are positioned in subsequent defensive positions.
d. Caches. A cache is a pre-positioned and concealed supply point. It can be used in any operation. Caches are an excellent tool for reducing the soldier's load and can be set up for a specific mission or as a contingency measure. Cache sites have the same characteristics as an ORP or patrol base, with the supplies concealed above or below ground. An aboveground cache is easier to get to but is more likely to be discovered by the enemy, civilians, or animals. There is always a security risk when returning to a cache. A cache site should be observed for signs of enemy presence and secured before being used; it may have been booby-trapped and may be under enemy observation.
(1) In the offense, advance elements may set up a cache along the intended route of advance to the objective. Caches may also be set up in-zone to support continuous operations without allowing the enemy to locate the company through air or ground resupply. Soldier's load considerations may limit the size of caches. Do not let the cache activities jeopardize the offensive mission. In some cases, special forces, allied forces, or partisans may set up caches.
(2) In the defense, a defending unit may set up caches throughout the area of operations during the preparation phase. A cache should also be in each alternate or subsequent position throughout the depth of the defense sector. During stay-behind operations, or in an area defense on a fluid battlefield where the enemy is all around, caches may be the only source of supply for extended periods.
e. Security. While these techniques are used in both offensive and defensive operations, the transfer of supplies to the company is usually conducted from a defensive posture. As such, the security considerations for a resupply operation are like those for a perimeter defense.
The techniques described in the preceding paragraphs are the normal methods for resupply within the company. However, a basic understanding of nonstandard techniques, different modes of delivery, and specific supply issues is also required for the successful execution of the sustainment function.
a. Foraging and Scavenging. Foraging and scavenging are used infrequently and only under extreme conditions. Foraging is the gathering of supplies and equipment necessary to sustain basic needs (food, water, shelter, and so forth) from within the area of operations. Scavenging is the gathering of supplies or equipment (friendly or enemy) from within the area of operations to help the user accomplish his military mission. Leaders must protect their soldiers by determining whether the food or water is safe or whether the equipment is booby-trapped (FM 1-04.10 [FM 27-10]).
b. Aerial Resupply. In using aerial resupply, the SBCT infantry company commander must consider the threat's ability to locate his unit by observing the aircraft. Unless conducting the resupply in an area under friendly control and away from direct enemy observation (reverse slope of a defensive position with recon well forward), locate the drop zone/landing zone (DZ/LZ) away from the main unit in an area that can be defended for a short time. The delivered supplies are immediately transported away from the DZ/LZ. The SBCT has no capability to configure loads for packaging airloads.
c. Cross-Leveling. Cross-leveling is simply a redistribution of supplies throughout the unit. Usually done automatically between platoons and squads after every engagement, the company may cross-level supplies between platoons when resupply cannot be effected. In some instances, supplies may not be evenly redistributed. For example, during preparation for an assault of an enemy trench system, the platoon with the task of support by fire may be required to give its hand grenades to the platoon with the task of clearing the trench.
d. Backhauling. Backhauling is a method used to make the most use of vehicular or manpack capabilities moving rearward. Backhauling returns supplies, equipment, or HAZMAT to the rear for disposition. Backhauling is also a means for nonstandard evacuation.
e. Water. Ensuring that soldiers receive and drink enough water is one of the prime CSS and leadership functions at all levels in the company chain of command. Even in cold areas, everyone needs to drink at least two quarts of water a day to maintain efficiency. Soldiers must drink water at an increased rate in a combat environment.
(1) Water is delivered to the unit under company or battalion control in 5-gallon cans, bottled water, water trailers, or collapsible containers. When a centralized feeding area is established, a water point is set up in the mess area and each soldier fills his canteen as he goes through. When the company distributes rations, it can resupply water either by collecting and filling empty canteens or by distributing water cans to the platoons.
(2) Water is habitually included in LOGPACs. The ability of the command to supply water is limited by the ability of the BSB's water section to purify, store, and distribute it. The logistics system may not always be able to meet unit needs, particularly during decentralized operations. In most environments, water is available from natural sources. Soldiers should be trained to find, treat (chemically or using field expedients), and use natural water sources. See FM 3-05.70 (21-76) for ways the unit can supply its own water if necessary.
(3) When water is not scarce, leaders must urge soldiers to drink water even when they are not thirsty. The body's thirst mechanism does not keep pace with the loss of water through normal daily activity. The rate at which dehydration occurs depends on the weather conditions and the level of physical exertion.
(4) If water is in short supply, be sparing in its use for hygiene purposes. Water used for coffee or tea may be counterproductive since both increase the flow of urine. Soups, however, are an efficient means of getting both water and nutrition when water is scarce. This is especially true in cold weather when heated food is desirable. When in short supply, water should not be used to heat MREs. A centralized heating point can be used to conserve water yet provide warmed MREs.
Although an SBCT infantry company has organic transportation, movement of supplies, equipment, and personnel with the limited vehicle assets available requires careful planning and execution. Leaders must ensure that drivers know where they are going and how to get there. Land navigation training, marked routes, and strip maps referenced to landmarks are all ways to keep drivers from getting lost. SBCT infantry company personnel must know how to select PZs and LZs and receive aerial resupply (see FM 3-97.4[FM 90-4]).
The maintenance of weapons and equipment is continuous. Every soldier must know how to maintain his weapon and equipment in accordance with the related technical manual. The commander, XO, and 1SG must understand maintenance for every piece of equipment in the company.
The SBCT maintenance concept is based upon the two-level maintenance system and centralized management. The two levels of maintenance are field and sustainment. Field maintenance is the combined organizational and direct support tasks performed by the BSB's CRT to return a piece of equipment to an operational status. Sustainment maintenance occurs at echelons above the SBCT. The BSB's forward maintenance company provides all maintenance support for the SBCT, less medical and the limited automation capability, which is integrated into the SBCT's S6 sections and the signal company. The BSB may augment its capability with contractor maintenance support. Centralized management of all field maintenance by the BSB allows the infantry company commander to focus on PMCS to keep his company's weapons systems operational.
Proper maintenance is the key to keeping vehicles, equipment, and other materials in serviceable condition. It is a continuous process that starts with preventive measures taken by each vehicle crew and continues through repair and recovery efforts by maintenance personnel. It includes the functions of inspecting, testing, servicing, repairing, requisitioning, recovering, and evacuating equipment.
a. The unit SOP should detail when maintenance is performed (at least once a day in the field), to what standards, and who inspects it. The squad leader is most often the one who inspects maintenance work, with the platoon sergeant, platoon leader, 1SG, XO, and commander conducting spot-checks. One technique is for each to spot-check a different platoon; another is for each to check a single type of weapon or piece of equipment in all platoons daily. These instructions must be integrated into the SOP for patrol bases, assembly areas, defenses, and reorganization to ensure that maintenance is done without jeopardizing unit security and to make it a habit for the soldiers.
b. In addition to operator maintenance, selected soldiers are trained to perform limited maintenance on damaged weapons and battle damage assessment and repair (BDAR).
c. Inoperative equipment is fixed as far forward as possible. When a piece of equipment is damaged, it should be inspected to see if it can be repaired on the spot. The company armorer keeps a small-arms repair kit in the company trains or on the dedicated company vehicle. If equipment cannot be repaired forward, it is evacuated immediately or returned with a LOGPAC. Even if the item cannot be evacuated at once, the CSS system is alerted to prepare for repair or replacement. If a replacement is available (from an evacuated soldier or inoperative equipment), it is sent forward. If not, the leader must work around it by prioritizing the use of remaining equipment (for example, using a squad radio for the company FM command net if the platoon radio is broken).
d. Maintenance applies to all equipment. Items such as magazines, ammunition, and batteries are also maintained and inspected. While test firing in an assembly area, mark the magazines of weapons that have stoppages. If a magazine is marked more than twice, the magazine may be causing the stoppages. Inspect the ammunition belts for crew-served weapons along with the weapons. Dirty or corroded ammunition may also cause weapon malfunctions.
Company maintenance functions begin with PMCS, a daily crew responsibility, and crew-level preparation of the appropriate equipment inspection and maintenance forms (DA Form 2404 or 5988). These forms are the primary means through which the company obtains maintenance support or repair parts. The forms follow a pathway, described in the following paragraphs, from crew level to the BSA and back. Per unit SOP, the company XO or 1SG supervises the "flow" of these critical maintenance documents and parts.
a. Squad leaders or vehicle commanders collect the maintenance forms each day and send them via FBCB2 or give them to the PSG, who consolidates the forms for the platoon. The PSG forwards an electronic version or gives a hard copy of the forms to the XO or 1SG, who reviews and verifies problems and deficiencies and requests parts needed for maintenance and repairs. The electronic versions of the forms are consolidated at company level and then transmitted to the battalion and its supporting CRT. During the next LOGPAC operation, the completed hard copy forms are returned to the CRT to document completion of the repair.
b. In the BSA, the required repair parts are packaged for delivery during the next scheduled resupply or through emergency resupply means.
c. The individual soldier or vehicle crew conducts initial maintenance, repair, and recovery actions on site. Once it is determined that the crew cannot repair or recover the vehicle or equipment, the platoon contacts the XO or 1SG. If additional assistance is needed, the 1SG requests it from the SBCT battalion S4. The battalion S4 will notify the CRT supporting the battalion to repair, classify, and coordinate evacuation, if required. The CRT will assess the damaged or broken equipment and make necessary repairs to return the piece of equipment to fully mission-capable or mission-capable status, if appropriate.
When a vehicle or piece of equipment cannot be recovered or is damaged beyond repair, the platoon reports the situation to the SBCT infantry company commander. The commander gives permission for destruction of the materiel if that is the only way to prevent enemy capture. Crewmen remove all digital equipment, radios, crew-served weapons, ammunition, personal items, and other serviceable items and parts; they also take all classified materials or paperwork that could be of intelligence value to the enemy. The platoon then destroys the vehicle or equipment using procedures specified in the company SOP.
Effective, timely medical care is an essential factor in sustaining the company's combat power during continuous operations. The company commander must ensure that the company's leaders and its medical personnel know how to keep soldiers healthy, how to save their lives if they are wounded or injured, and how to make them well once injury or illness occurs.
The company commander and all leaders, in conjunction with the company senior trauma specialist and field sanitation team, must emphasize and enforce high standards of health and hygiene at all times. This "preventive medicine" approach should cover all aspects of the soldier's health and well being, including the following:
- Daily shaving to ensure proper fit of the protective mask.
- Regular bathing and changing of clothes.
- Prevention of weather-related problems. These include cold injuries such as frostbite, trench foot, and immersion foot, and heat injuries like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Soldiers must understand the effects of conditions such as sunburn and wind-chill.
- Prevention of diseases. Insect-borne diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease, and diarrheal diseases can be prevented with effective field sanitation measures, including unit waste control, water purification, rodent control, and use of insect repellents.
- Combat operational stress control, battle fatigue prevention, and strict implementation of the unit sleep plan.
Care of wounded or injured soldiers during combat operations is a continuous, progressive operation that occurs in a series of separate but interlocking stages. It involves personnel, equipment, and facilities at virtually every level of the organization. The normal flow of medical treatment for combat casualties is from the combat lifesaver to the company senior trauma specialist at the CCP to medics at the BAS. In addition, company leaders play an important role in obtaining and providing medical services for their wounded in action (WIA). The following paragraphs discuss the individual responsibilities of company personnel in this process.
a. Combat Lifesaver. The combat lifesaver (CLS) is almost always the first person on the scene to begin the process of providing enhanced first aid to the wounded and injured personnel. The CLS is a non-medical soldier trained to provide advanced first aid/lifesaving procedures beyond the level of self-aid or buddy aid. The CLS is not intended to take the place of medical personnel but to slow deterioration of a wounded soldier's condition until medical personnel arrive. Each certified CLS will be issued a CLS aid bag. Whenever possible, the company commander should ensure that there is at least one combat lifesaver in each fire team or at least one on each vehicle at all times.
b. Vehicle Commander. The vehicle commander is responsible for ensuring that wounded or injured crewmen receive immediate first aid and that the commander is informed of casualties. He coordinates with the 1SG and company senior trauma specialist for ground evacuation. The vehicle commander ensures that casualty feeder (DA Form 1156) and witness statement (DA Form 1155) forms are completed and routed to the proper channels. (The casualty feeder card stays with the wounded soldier; witness statements are given to the 1SG.)
c. Senior Trauma Specialist. The senior trauma specialist is both the company's primary medical treatment practitioner and the supervisor of all battlefield medical operations. The latter role encompasses numerous responsibilities. The senior trauma specialist works closely with the company commander to ensure all members of the company understand what to do to provide and obtain medical treatment in combat situations. He oversees the training of combat lifesavers. Once combat begins, he will manage the company CCP, provide medical treatment, and prepare patients for MEDEVAC. He assists the vehicle commanders and the 1SG in arranging casualty evacuation. The senior trauma specialist is also responsible for monitoring the vital paperwork that is part of the medical treatment and evacuation process:
(1) He ensures that the casualty feeder report remains with each casualty until the soldier reaches the SBCT infantry battalion main aid station or field aid station.
(2) If a soldier's remains cannot be recovered, the senior trauma specialist ensures that the crew completes DA Form 1155 (witness statement) as quickly as possible and ensures that the form is given to the 1SG for processing.
DA Form 1156 is collected at the aid station by designated medical personnel; it is forwarded to the S1 section for further processing through administrative channels in the SBCT battalion field trains.
d. First Sergeant. The 1SG supervises and coordinates casualty operations, collects witness statements and submits them to the battalion S1, and submits the battle loss report to the SBCT battalion TOC. Perhaps his most important duty is managing the company's personnel status during combat operations. As necessary, he directs cross leveling among platoons and vehicle crews to alleviate personnel shortages.
e. Commander. The company commander has overall responsibility for medical services. His primary task is to position medical personnel at the proper point on the battlefield to treat casualties or to evacuate those casualties properly. The company commander designates the location for the company's CCP and ensures that all vehicle commanders record the location on appropriate overlays. He also develops and implements appropriate SOPs for casualty evacuation. An example is standardized vehicle markings based on the severity of casualties carried on particular vehicles.
Effective casualty evacuation provides a major increase in the morale of a unit. Casualties are cared for at the point of injury (or under nearby cover and concealment) and receive self-aid/buddy-aid, advanced first aid from the combat lifesaver, or emergency medical treatment from the trauma specialist (company or platoon medic).
a. During the fight, casualties should remain under cover where they received initial treatment (self-aid or buddy-aid). As soon as the situation allows, casualties are moved to the platoon CCP. From the platoon area, casualties are normally evacuated to the company CCP and then back to the BAS, which is designated by the company commander in the OPORD. The unit SOP should address this activity, to include the marking of casualties during limited visibility operations. Small, standard, or IR chemical lights work well for this purpose. Once the casualties are collected, evaluated, and treated, they are prioritized IAW FM 8-10-6 for evacuation back to the company CCP. Once they arrive at the company CCP, the above process is repeated while awaiting their evacuation back to the BAS.
b. An effective technique, particularly during an attack, is to task-organize a logistics team under the 1SG. These soldiers carry additional ammunition forward to the platoons and evacuate casualties to either the company or the battalion CCP. The leader determines the size of the team during his estimate.
c. When the company is widely dispersed, the casualties may be evacuated directly from the platoon CCP by vehicle or helicopter. Often, helicopter evacuation is restricted due to the enemy ADA threat. In some cases, the casualties must be moved to the company CCP before evacuation. When the battalion's organic ambulances are not enough to move the wounded, unit leaders may direct supply vehicles to "backhaul" non-urgent casualties to the battalion aid station after supplies are delivered. In other cases, the platoon sergeant may direct platoon litter teams to carry the casualties to the rear.
d. Leaders must minimize the number of soldiers required to evacuate casualties. Casualties with minor wounds can walk or even assist with carrying the more seriously wounded. Soldiers can make field-expedient litters by cutting small trees and putting the poles through the sleeves of buttoned BDU blouses. A travois, or skid, may be used for casualty evacuation. This is a type of litter on which wounded can be strapped; it can be pulled by one person. It can be locally fabricated from durable, rollable plastic on which tie-down straps are fastened. In rough terrain (or on patrols), casualties may be evacuated to the battalion aid station by litter teams, carried with the unit until transportation can reach them, or left at a position and picked up later.
e. Unit SOPs and OPORDs must address casualty treatment and evacuation in detail. They should cover the duties and responsibilities of key personnel, the evacuation of chemically contaminated casualties (on separate routes from noncontaminated casualties), and the priority for manning key weapons and positions. They should specify preferred and alternate methods of evacuation and make provisions for retrieving and safeguarding the weapons, ammunition, and equipment of casualties. Slightly wounded personnel are treated and returned to duty by the lowest echelon possible. Platoon aidmen evaluate sick soldiers and either treat or evacuate them as necessary. Casualty evacuation should be rehearsed like any other critical part of an operation.
f. A casualty report, DA Form 1156 (Figure 11-6), is filled out when a casualty occurs or as soon as the tactical situation permits. This is usually done by the soldier's squad leader and turned in to the platoon sergeant, who forwards it to the 1SG. A brief description of how the casualty occurred (to include the place, time, and activity being performed) and who or what inflicted the wound is included. If the squad leader does not have personal knowledge of how the casualty occurred, he gets this information from any soldier who does have the knowledge. Pocketsize witness statements, DA Form 1155 (Figure 11-7), are used to report missing or captured soldiers or when remains are not recovered. The soldier with the most knowledge of the incident should complete the witness statement. This information is used to inform the soldier's next of kin and to provide a statistical base for analysis of friendly or enemy tactics. Once the casualty's medical condition has stabilized, the company commander may write a letter to the soldier's next of kin.
Before casualties are evacuated to the CCP or beyond, leaders should remove all key operational items and equipment, including SOIs, maps, position location devices, and laser pointers. Every unit should establish an SOP for handling the weapons and ammunition of its WIAs. Protective masks must stay with the individual.
g. At the CCP, the senior trauma specialist conducts triage of all casualties, takes the necessary steps to stabilize their condition, and initiates the process of evacuating them to the rear for further treatment. He assists the PSG and vehicle commanders in arranging evacuation via ground or air ambulance, or by non-standard means.
h. When possible, the HHC medical platoon ambulances provide evacuation and en route care from the soldier's point of injury or the company's CCP to the BAS. The ambulance team supporting the company works in coordination with the senior trauma specialist supporting the platoons. When a casualty occurs in a fighting vehicle, the evacuation team will move as close to the vehicle as possible, making full use of cover, concealment, and defilade. Assisted, if possible by the vehicle's crew, they will extract the casualty from the vehicle and administer emergency medical treatment. In mass casualty situations, non-medical vehicles may be used to assist in casualty evacuation as directed by the infantry company commander. Plans for the use of non-medical vehicles to perform casualty evacuation should be included in the unit SOP. Ground ambulances from the BSMC or supporting corps air ambulances evacuate patients from the BAS back to the BSMC medical treatment facility (MTF) located in the BSA.
During entry operations, air ambulances may not be available for the first 96 hours.
Figure 11-6. Casualty report.
Figure 11-7. Witness statement.
The company commander designates a location for the collection of those killed in action. Temporary remains holding areas should be established behind a natural barrier, such as a stand of trees, or shielded from the view of others by using either tents or tarpaulins. All personal effects remain with the body, but equipment and issue items become the responsibility of the vehicle commander or squad leader until they can be turned over to the 1SG or supply sergeant. As a rule, human remains should not be transported on the same vehicle as wounded soldiers. The commander sends a letter of condolence to the soldier's next of kin, normally within 48 hours of the death.
To maintain effective, consistent combat power, the company must have specific plans and procedures that allow each element to quickly integrate replacement personnel and equipment. Unit SOP should define how soldiers and equipment are prepared for combat, including areas such as uploading, load plans, PCIs, and in-briefings.
Replacements for wounded, killed, or missing personnel are requested through the battalion S1. Returning or replacement personnel arriving with the LOGPAC should have already been issued all TA-50 equipment, MOPP gear, and other items, including their personal weapons. Within the company, each platoon leader cross-levels personnel among his crews, with the 1SG controlling cross leveling from platoon to platoon. Soldiers from disabled or destroyed vehicles are used to fill out squads and crews until replacement personnel and vehicles arrive at the company CP.
Integrating replacements into a company is important. A new arrival on the battlefield may be scared and disoriented as well as unfamiliar with local SOPs and the theater of operations. The following procedures help integrate new arrivals into a company.
a. The company commander meets them and welcomes them to the unit. This is normally a brief interview. The company commander must have an SOP for reception and integration of newly assigned soldiers.
b. The platoon leader and platoon sergeant welcome them to the unit, inform them of unit standards, and introduce them to their squad leaders.
c. The squad leader introduces them to the squad and briefs them on duty positions. He also ensures that each replacement has a serviceable, zeroed weapon, as well as ammunition, MOPP gear, and other essential equipment. The in-briefing should cover the squad and platoon's recent and planned activities.
d. The new arrival is told about important SOPs and special information concerning the area of operations. He may be given a form letter to send to his next of kin. The letter should tell them where to mail letters and packages, tell them how to use the Red Cross in emergencies, and introduce them to the chain of command.
Lost, damaged, or destroyed equipment is replaced through normal supply channels and brought forward with the LOGPAC. When vehicles are evacuated to the rear for extended periods, the company commander coordinates with the battalion S4 to have crews remove any serviceable equipment or parts for use on other company vehicles.
Weapons system replacement operations (WSRO) are conducted to provide units with fully operational, ready-to-fight replacement weapons systems; they cover both vehicle and crew-served systems. Echelons above the SBCT will provide replacement weapons systems to battalions based on SBCT priorities. Before these weapons systems are brought forward for delivery to the company, the higher headquarters supervises the completion of all necessary pre-combat checks.
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