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Tank and mechanized infantry battalions are organized to fight and win the nation's wars, but they are equally capable of operating in an unstable environment as part of a joint task force or multinational force. The battalion task force combines the efforts of its combat, combat support, and combat service support elements to perform tactical missions as part of a brigade or division operation. The key to victory is to mass the combat power of the company teams quickly while integrating and synchronizing the combat support and combat service support combat multipliers.

A task force can be a temporary grouping of units under one commander, formed for the purpose of carrying out a specific operation or mission, or a TF can be a semipermanent organization of units under one commander for the purpose of carrying out a continuing specific task. Units, regardless of attachments, may be designated as "task forces" whenever they are on a semi-independent mission. A battalion-size unit of the combat arms is called a "battalion task force" when one or more company-size units from another combat arms unit (or from a combat support unit) are attached.


Mechanized infantry battalion task forces and tank battalion task forces organize, equip, and train to accomplish comparable missions. Across the spectrum of operations, there is an overlap in which both tank and mechanized and light forces can operate. The use of a mixed force in this overlap takes advantage of the strengths of both forces and offsets their respective weaknesses. (Refer to Appendix A for a detailed discussion of heavy and light forces integration and operations.) The following section describes the armor and mechanized infantry TF's unique missions, organizations, capabilities, and limitations.


Mechanized infantry (Figure 2-1) and armor (Figure 2-2) battalions are organized, manned, and equipped to conduct high intensity combat operations continuously (see Appendix D, Section III, for information on the effects of continuous operations). Leaders organize TFs according to their directed missions and routinely augment them to improve intelligence, fire support, engineer, air defense, and CSS capabilities. A battalion task force most often accomplishes its tasks and purposes as part of a brigade operation. Occasionally, however, a battalion task force conducts operations directly under the control of a division or armored cavalry regiment.

Figure 2-1. Mechanized infantry battalion task force organization

Figure 2-1. Mechanized infantry battalion task force organization.

Figure 2-2. Tank battalion task force organization

Figure 2-2. Tank battalion task force organization.


Tank and mechanized infantry battalion task forces apply their combat power to—

    • Conduct sustained combat operations in all environments with proper augmentation and support.
    • Conduct offensive operations.
    • Conduct defensive operations.
    • Accomplish rapid movement and limited penetrations.
    • Exploit success and pursue a defeated enemy as part of a larger formation.
    • Conduct security operations (advance, flank, or rear guard) for a larger force.
    • Conduct stability operations and support operations as part of a larger force.
    • Conduct operations with light infantry forces.

Task organization increases the capabilities of the tank and mechanized infantry battalion task forces. The brigade commander task-organizes tank and mechanized infantry battalion task forces by cross-attaching companies between them. This cross-attachment is generally done at the battalion level because battalions have the necessary command, control, and support capabilities to employ combined arms formations. The brigade commander determines the mix of company teams in a battalion task force. Similarly, the TF commander may require cross-attachment of platoons to form one or more company teams for specific missions.


Tank and mechanized infantry battalion task forces have the following limitations:

    • Strategic lift requirements slow the deployment of mechanized and armored forces from home or staging bases into an AO.
    • The high density of tracked and wheeled vehicles limits the maneuver and firepower of TFs, particularly in urban areas, dense jungles and forests, steep and rugged terrain, and large water obstacles.
    • Consumption of supply items is high, especially Classes III, V, and IX.


The battalion task force is the lowest echelon at which intelligence, fire support, maneuver, combat support, and combat service support are combined under a single commander. Mechanized infantry and armored task forces provide mobile, armor-protected firepower for the TF's mobility, survivability, lethality, and psychological effect on the situation. A TF uses part of the force to find and fix the enemy while the remainder of the force attacks his weakest point—usually a flank or rear. The goal is to mass combat power at the decisive point to accomplish the TF's purpose while preserving freedom of maneuver for future operations.

    a.     Offensive Focus. During the offense, the TF masses its combat power to defeat a defending enemy force. The close fight consists of breaching tactical and protective obstacles and defeating enemy forces above- and below-ground. Following any penetration, the TF prepares to fight enemy reserves. The TF responds to threats to its rear as part of the close fight. Designated reserves react to changing situations and exploit successes. During the TF close fight, the brigade conducts its deep fight against enemy reserves, then attacks enemy units defending in subsequent defensive positions.

    b.     Defensive Focus. During the defense, the TF defends against and defeats enemy forces. The TF responds to defensive rear threats as part of the close fight and employs defensive security measures in concert with the brigade plan. The brigade deep fight supports the TF close fight by interdicting follow-on enemy battalions, then shifting to the lead unit's battalions of the second echelon formations. The TF does not have the capability or assets to conduct the deep fight; however, it can operate as part of a higher headquarters deep fight by executing the fight against follow-on enemy battalions.

    c.     Stability and Support Focus. Stability operations and support operations are two distinct and different operations. They are seldom short-term. Rather, commanders envision simultaneous activities and sequential stages that lead to a long-term outcome. For example, operations may begin with an initial objective of observing a cease-fire, then move to supporting an economic recovery program, and finally conclude with supporting an international agency program for cultural assimilation and resolution of the underlying conflict. (See Chapter 8 for more information on these operations.)

    d.     Commander's Focus. The objectives of maneuver are to position friendly forces' strengths against enemy weaknesses, to protect friendly weaknesses from enemy strengths, to throw the enemy off balance, and to follow up aggressively to complete the destruction of the enemy. The TF commander develops his intent and concept of the operation nested within the framework of the higher commander's intent. The TF commander must clearly understand how his mission-essential tasks and purposes fit into the intent of the brigade and division commanders. Since he will have to accept some risk in order to mass combat power at the critical place or time—whether in the offense or defense—this understanding will enable him to seize the initiative when opportunity allows.


A tank or mechanized infantry battalion task force consists of task-organized company teams under the command of a TF commander. It participates in brigade or division operations in accordance with the principles and concepts in FM 3-90.3 and FM 71-100.


The TF commander is responsible for everything his unit does or fails to do. He cannot delegate this responsibility. The commander is responsible to both his superiors and his subordinates. He increases the effectiveness of the organization by delegating to his subordinates the authority to accomplish their missions, holding subordinates responsible for their actions, and fostering a climate of mutual trust, cooperation, and teamwork. He organizes his force based on the mission of the higher headquarters and a thorough understanding of his mission, enemy, terrain (and weather), troops and support available, time available, and civil considerations (METT-TC).


The commander's personal staff group consists of the command sergeant major (CSM) and battalion task force chaplain.

    a.     Command Sergeant Major. The CSM is the senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the TF. He focuses on soldier welfare and individual training and on how well the TF carries out the commander's decisions and policies. The CSM can act as the commander's representative in supervising aspects vital to an operation, as determined by the commander. For example, he can help control movement through a breach in a critical obstacle or at a river crossing, or he can help coordinate a passage of lines or quarter assembly areas. He also plays a key role in the CSS effort as the CSS troubleshooter for the TF.

    b.     Battalion Task Force Chaplain. The chaplain coordinates the religious assets and operations in the TF.

    (1)     The chaplain's specific responsibilities include—

    • Advising the commander on issues of religion (and ethics and morals as affected by religion), including the religious needs of assigned personnel.
    • Providing commanders pastoral care, personal counseling advice, and the privilege of confidentiality and sacred confidence.
    • Developing and implementing the commander's religious support program.
    • Exercising staff supervision and technical control over religious support throughout the TF.
    • Helping the commander ensure all soldiers have the opportunity to exercise their religious beliefs constructively.
    • Informing the commander on the overall morale and climate of the task force.

    (2)     The battalion chaplain assistant's responsibilities are—

    • To advise the chaplain.
    • To provide specialized assistance in areas of religious support.
    • To serve as section battle staff.
    • To prepare the religious support annex to the OPORD.
    • To safeguard and account for field offerings.
    • To maintain unit equipment.


During the preparation for and execution of operations, staff officers have two broad areas of responsibility. The first is to provide information, assistance, and recommendations to the commander. The second is to supervise the preparation for and execution of the plan within their functional areas. Specific responsibilities include anticipating requirements, monitoring operations, taking action to support the plan, managing the information flow, making timely recommendations, conducting coordination, synchronizing operations, and maintaining continuity. The coordinating staff includes the executive officer (XO), S1, S2, S3, S4, and S6. In some instances, the TF may also be authorized an S5 to aid in civil-military operations (CMO). (For additional information, see FM 101-5. Knowledge of the commander's intent guides specific decisions within the staff's authority. The staff operates to carry out the commander's intent functionally. Normally, the commander delegates authority to the staff to take final action on matters within command policy. Assignment of staff responsibility does not include authority over other staff officers or over any command element.

    a.     Executive Officer. The XO is the principal assistant to the TF commander. As the second in command, the XO must be ready to assume command immediately if the commander becomes a casualty. The XO transmits the commander's intent for the TF. His two main responsibilities are to direct the efforts of the TF staff and to sustain the TF.

    (1)     Staff Coordination and Synchronization. The XO is the staff coordinator and establishes staff operating procedures. He ensures the commander and staff are informed on matters affecting the command. To coordinate and synchronize the plan, the XO assembles and supervises the staff during the military decision-making process (MDMP). Unless instructed otherwise by the commander, all staff officers inform the XO of any recommendations or information they give directly to the commander or any instructions they receive directly from the commander.

    (2)     Logistics. The XO's second responsibility is to synchronize the TF's logistical support. Depending on the unit's organization, this synchronization may take place with internal assets or through the forward support battalion (FSB).

    b.     S1 Adjutant. The S1 has responsibility for all personnel and administrative matters.

    (1)     The S1 adjutant—

    • Maintains unit strength and personnel services and personnel support.
    • Supervises medical, legal, safety, and civilian labor assets.
    • Monitors postal services and public affairs.
    • Coordinates religious support.
    • Operates from the combat trains.
    • Repositions as necessary to accomplish his mission.

In addition, the S-1 adjutant is responsible for—

    • Replacement policies and requirements.
    • Unit strength and loss estimation.
    • Morale and welfare support.
    • TF administration.
    • Administrative support of enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) and civilian internees.
    • Casualty evacuation planning and supervision.

The S-1 adjutant also shares supervisory responsibility for logistical operations with the S4.

    (2)     The S1 NCO provides technical and doctrinal advice to the S1 and commander. The S1 NCO—

    • Supervises the combat service support control system (CSSCS) and standard installation/division personnel system (SIDPERS) operations
    • Serves as shift NCO in charge (NCOIC) for rear command post (CP).
    • Executes personnel administrative and replacement operations to include soldier recognition and promotion and reduction actions.
    • Executes awards and evaluations program.

    c.     S2 Intelligence. The S2 collects and applies intelligence to support TF operations.

    (1)     S2 Officer. The S2's role in target analysis and his linkage with the S3 and fire support officer (FSO) are vital to mission accomplishment. The S2—

    • Works with the commander and S3 to perform intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) using higher collection sources, ground and aerial reconnaissance, observation posts, ground surveillance radar (GSR), target acquisition and electronic warfare assets, and company teams.
    • Prepares and disseminates intelligence products.
    • Recommends to the commander priority intelligence requirements (PIR) and generates other information requirements (IR).
    • Obtains and disseminates weather information and predicts (with the chemical officer) the probability of use and effects of enemy nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons.
    • Supervises counterintelligence efforts, intelligence training, and storage and control of classified information.
    • Operates in the main CP and assists the XO and S3 in monitoring ISR operations
    • Maintains the enemy situation map and analyzes enemy information.
    • Assists the S3 in planning ISR operations.
    • Works closely with the FSO and assistant S3 to ensure information is passed between staff sections.
    • Supervises supporting intelligence organizations when attached.
    • Monitor and maintains the required investigations, clearances, authorizations, and the need to know for digital command and control users.

    (2)     Tactical Intelligence Officer. The tactical intelligence officer (TIO) works under the supervision of the S2 and is part of the two-man battlefield information control center (BICC). The TIO—

    • Performs unit intelligence collection, processing, and dissemination actions as tasked by the S2.
    • Locates in the main CP.

    (3)     S2 NCO. The S2 NCO provides technical and doctrinal advice to the S2 and commander. The S2 NCO—

    • Supervises and trains all-source analysis system (ASAS) operators.
    • Serves as shift NCOIC for main CP.
    • Executes the battalion's command security programs.
    • Attends targeting meetings.
    • Assists the S2 in product preparation.

    d.     S3 Operations and Training Officer. The S3 is the commander's primary assistant in planning and coordinating operations. The S3—

    • Advises the commander on operations, CS and operational matters, organization, and training.
    • Prepares the operation order (OPORD) in cooperation with the other staff members and, in the XO's absence, coordinates and synchronizes the battle plan and supervises the staff during the MDMP.
    • Plans and coordinates with other staff sections to publish operation orders, fragmentary orders (FRAGOs), and training programs.
    • Integrates and synchronizes all battlefield operating systems (BOS) into the tactical plan.
    • Establishes priorities for communications to support tactical operations.
    • Coordinates with the XO and S6 on the location of the main CP.
    • Coordinates the activities of the S2, FSO, forward air controller (FAC), engineer, and air defense officer (ADO) to ensure their plans support the commander's concept.
    • Coordinates closely with the S4 and headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) commander or the forward support company (FSC) commander to ensure tactical plans are logistically supportable.
    • Remains forward with the commander during the fight.
    • Monitors the battle, ensures CS assets are provided when and where required, and anticipates developing situations.
    • Provides the commander information that has immediate impact on the battle.
    • Recommends courses of action to the commander.

    (1)     S3 Air. The S3 air is the primary assistant to the S3. The S3 air—

    • Acts as the link to the Army airspace command and control (A2C2) system.
    • Coordinates use of TF airspace and employment of air support with the FSO, tactical air control party (TACP), aviation liaison officer (if attached), and the air defense element. (See Appendix B for a discussion of Army aviation employment.)
    • Locates in the main CP.
    • Coordinates air movement operations.
    • Is the primary assistant to the S3 during the MDMP, especially during course of action (COA) development and analysis.
    • Participates in TF rehearsals.
    • Acts as the TF battle captain during mission execution; helps the XO coordinate the fight.
    • Assumes the S3's duties and responsibilities in his absence.

    (2)     S3 Liaison Officer. The S3 liaison officer (LNO) is the primary assistant to the S3 Air. The S3 LNO—

    • Assists the S3 air as link to the Army airspace command and control (A2C2) system.
    • Acts as the link to ground units that require coordination directed from the TF operations staff
    • Locates in the main CP.
    • Assists S3 air in coordinating air movement operations.
    • Assists the S3 air in planning and executing the MDMP to include course of action development and analysis.
    • Participates in TF rehearsals.
    • Assumes the S3 air's planning duties and responsibilities in his absence.

    (3)     Chemical Officer. The chemical officer (CHEMO) advises the commander on the impact of NBC employment on current and future operations. (See Appendix C for more information on NBC conditions.) The chemical officer—

    • Develops the enemy's most probable use of NBC weapons and their effects on TF operations.
    • Disseminates friendly strike warning (STRIKEWARN) messages on use of nuclear weapons.
    • Recommends reconnaissance, monitoring, and surveying requirements.
    • Recommends mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) and operational exposure guidance (OEG) based on the threat analysis and higher headquarters guidance.
    • Maintains unit radiological dose records (by platoon).
    • Conducts vulnerability analyses of the unit's positions.
    • Plans TF decontamination operations (in conjunction with S3).
    • Coordinates nonorganic NBC assets (decontamination, smoke, and reconnaissance).

    (4)     S3 SGM. The S3 SGM acts as main CP NCOIC. The S3 SGM—.

    • Provides technical and doctrinal advice to the S3 and commander.
    • Is chief advisor to XO and S3 concerning main CP operations during planning, preparation, and execution.
    • Locates in the main CP where he can best influence operations.
    • Is responsible for the physical set up, arrangement, and breakdown of the main CP.
    • Is responsible for the movement of the main CP.
    • Supervises all TOC personnel to include section NCOICs.
    • Supervises maneuver control system (MCS) operators.
    • Prepares main CP for orders, drills, briefs, and rehearsals.
    • Executes CP security.
    • In coordination with (ICW) TF XO, executes main CP site reconnaissance and movement.
    • Coordinates the logistical needs of the main CP.

    (5)     S3 NCO. The S3 NCO acts as battle NCO. The S3 NCO—

    • Provides technical and doctrinal advice to the S3 and commander.
    • Serves as shift NCOIC for main CP.
    • Supervises MCS operators.
    • Prepares main CP for orders, drills, briefs, and rehearsals.
    • Executes CP security and movement.
    • Briefs attachments on TOC standing operating procedures (SOPs).

    (6)     Chemical NCO. The chemical NCO provides technical and doctrinal advice to the CHEMO and commander. The chemical NCO—

    • Serves as shift NCOIC for main CP.
    • Sustains and maintains the battalions chemical defense equipment.
    • Executes NBC reporting procedures.
    • Liaisons with supporting chemical decontamination units.

    e.     S4 Logistics. The S4 determines logistical requirements and priorities and ties the administrative/logistical (A/L) network together.

    (1)     S4 Logistics Officer. The S4 logistics officer—

    • Designates supply routes and locations of logistical elements (in coordination with the S3).
    • Prepares and develops logistical CSS plans in concert with the current tactical plan and anticipates future logistical needs.
    • Prepares and distributes logistical CSS plans and orders when published separately.
    • Is the officer in charge (OIC) of the combat trains command post (CTCP) in Army of Excellence (AOE) organizations. The CTCP is an alternate TF main CP.
    • Monitors the tactical situation closely to anticipate emergency resupply requests and support timely reorganization.
    • Pushes ammunition, food, fuel, and other supplies forward to resupply the TF.
    • Is responsible for procurement, receipt, storage, and distribution of supplies.
    • Is responsible for transportation of units, soldiers, and logistics items.
    • In AOE/limited conversion design (LCD) units, the S-4 is the OIC of the CTCP. In Force XXI organizations, the S-4 locates in the CTCP and acts as the chief logistics planner

    (2)     S4 Logistics NCO. The S4 logistics NCO provides technical advice to the S4 and the commander. The S4 logistics NCO—

    • Supervises CSSCS and unit-level logistics system (ULLS) S4 operations.
    • The S-4 NCO locates in the TF field trains in AOE/LCD organizations and in the task force support area (TFSA) in Force XXI-configured units.
    • Acts as shift NCOIC for rear CP.
    • Maintains logistics estimates.
    • Executes Class VII replacement.

    (3)     Support Platoon (Supply and Ttransportation [S&T] in Platoon Force XXI). The support platoon provides organic transportation and Class I, III, and V resupply to the TF. (For details on classes of supply, see Chapter 10.) The support platoon consists of a platoon headquarters, transportation section, ammunition section, petroleum, oil, lubrication (POL) section, and a food service section. The platoon provides the majority of the TF's combat service support. In Force XXI-configured units, the support platoon is assigned to the FSC. In AOE units, it is organic to the TF HHC.

    f.     Battalion Task Force Maintenance Officer (BMO). The BMO plans, coordinates, and supervises maintenance and recovery operations within the TF. The BMO—

    • Supervises the maintenance platoon.
    • Controls maintenance support and establishes time guidelines for the maintenance platoon ICW the battalion task force maintenance technician and the battalion task force motor sergeant.
    • Shifts assets to respond to workload demands and the TF commander's priorities.
    • Structures maintenance assets to meet TF requirements.
    • Acts as OIC of the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP).

The maintenance platoon is structured to maintain, evacuate, and repair TF vehicles. As the largest platoon in the TF, it is organized into a platoon headquarters, a maintenance supply section, a recovery section, a maintenance/service section, and a company maintenance section. In Force XXI-configured units, the maintenance platoon is assigned to the FSC; in AOE units, it is organic to the TF HHC.

    g.     S5 Civil Affairs Officer. The civil affairs officer is the principal staff officer for all matters concerning civil-military operations. He advises the commander on the impact of military operations on the civilian populace and the impact of civilians on military operations. He is responsible for establishing the civil military operations center (CMOC). The CMOC enhances the relationship between military forces and civilians in the AO to help ensure the success of the mission. For additional information, see FM 3-05.40 (41-10).

    h.     S6 Signal Officer. The battalion task force signal officer is the primary staff officer for all matters of signal operations and information security for the TF. The signal officer—

    • Advises the commander and staff on all signal matters.
    • Supervises the communications activities of subordinate and attached units.
    • Leads the communications section.
    • Exercises technical supervision over the installation and use of communication systems.
    • Recommends location for retransmission (retrans) sites
    • Reconnoiters possible CP sites for communications capabilities.
    • Recommends locations for the main CP and combat trains CPs to the S3.
    • Establishes messenger services and schedules.
    • Monitors communications security (COMSEC).
    • Maintains information systems and tactical local area network (LAN) management to include passwords and information security.
    • Is responsible for secure operations of the information systems (INFOSYS) and oversees function of the information services support office (ISSO) and automation officer.
    • Prepares, distributes, and maintains plans, instructions, guidance, and SOPs for command and control (C2) security.
    • Coordinates with the S2 to insure users have the required security investigations, clearances, authorizations, and the need to know.
    • Establishes and implements the system of issuing, protecting, and changing system passwords.

The communications section establishes and operates the TF radio and wire communications systems. It can set up retransmission nodes and perform limited field repair and testing of communications equipment. The section provides forward signal support NCOs to the company teams.

    i.     Surgeon. The surgeon (in his absence the physician's assistant) is the medical advisor to the commander and his staff and is also the medical platoon leader. The surgeon—

    • Advises the commander on the health of the command.
    • Oversees medical treatment provided by the medical platoon personnel.
    • Operates the battalion aid station (BAS) with the help of the physician's assistant.

As the platoon leader, the surgeon supervises the medical platoon in the execution of its assigned mission, to include HSS planning, maintenance, and training. He is responsible for providing HSS input to the CSS plan, he recommends casualty collection points (CCPs) and aid station locations, ensures coordination for air evacuation support, and provides evacuation routes to the battalion S4 during the battle.

    (1)     Field Medical Assistant. The field medical assistant, a medical service corps officer, is the operational and readiness officer for the platoon. He is the principal assistant to the surgeon/platoon leader for operations, training, and logistics. The field medical assistant coordinates HSS operations with the battalion S3 and S4 and coordinates patient evacuation with the forward support medical company (FSMC).

    (2)     Medical Platoon. The medical platoon (Figure 2-3) provides combat health support for the battalion. The medical platoon is organized with a headquarters section, a treatment squad, a combat medic section, and an evacuation section. The medical platoon is responsible for providing echelon I medical care. The first medical care a soldier receives is found at echelon I. This care includes emergency medical treatment for wounds, injuries or illness, and advanced trauma management. It also includes disease prevention, combat stress control, casualty collection, medical evacuation from the supported maneuver company to the battalion aid station or supporting treatment team, and sick call services. Medical platoon personnel monitor the force health protection areas for battalion personnel. The medical platoon habitually establishes the BAS where it can best support the battalion's operations under the directions of the battalion TOC and the CTCP. Trauma specialists from the combat medic section are attached to each of the company maneuver platoons and a senior health care sergeant locates with the company trains. Medical platoon ambulances normally pre-position forward to reduce evacuation time and to augment medical personnel attached to the maneuver companies as required. The battalion surgeon, assisted by the field medical assistant and the platoon sergeant, is responsible for the HSS plan for the battalion. As operational requirements or the mission changes, the HSS plan must be updated. See FM 4-02.4 for definitive information on developing the battalion HSS plan and for a layout of the battalion aid station.

    (a)     Platoon Headquarters. The headquarters section, under the direction of the battalion surgeon/medical platoon leader, provides for the command, control, and communications (C3) and resupply for the platoon. The platoon headquarters is manned by the field medical assistant and the platoon sergeant (PSG). It is normally collocated with the treatment squad to form the BAS. The CP includes the plans and operations functions performed by the field medical assistant. The platoon has access to Force XXI battle command brigade and below (FBCB2), the battalion wire communication network for communications with all major elements of the battalion and with supporting units. Wireless communications for this section consists of a tactical frequency modulated (FM) radio mounted in the platoon headquarters vehicle. The medical platoon employs an FM radio network for HSS operations. The headquarters section serves as the net control station (NCS) for the platoon.

    (b)     Treatment Squad. The treatment squad consists of two treatment teams (Teams Alpha and Bravo). They operate the BAS and provide Echelon I medical care and treatment. This includes sick call, emergency medical treatment (EMT), and advanced trauma management (ATM). Team Alpha is staffed with an operational medicine officer (primary care physician/battalion surgeon), a health care SGT, and two health care specialists. Team Bravo is staffed with a physician's assistant (PA), a health care sergeant (SGT), and two health care specialists. The physician, PA, and health care SGT and specialists are trained to provide EMT and assist with ATM procedures, commensurate with their occupational specialties. Preplanned triggers initiate treatment team movement to the next planned position; these triggers are key to timely and successful team displacement. The treatment teams can operate for limited times in split-team operations in direct support (DS) of battalion units. The teams can also operate in split-team operations when the BAS must move to a new location. One team remains at the current location and continues to treat patients while the other team moves to the new location and establishes patient care capabilities. Once the jump team has established a treatment capability at the new location, the other team evacuates or returns to duty all patients and moves to the new location. Treatment teams are also responsible for providing area support for other units and elements operating within the battalion's AO.

    (c)     Combat Medic Section. Trauma specialists are allocated to the companies of the task force. With assistance from combat lifesavers, trauma specialists will treat casualties and evacuate them to the CCP and BAS. A health care SGT is allocated on the basis of one per infantry company. The company health care SGT normally collocates with the first sergeant (1SG) in the company team trains. When the company is engaged, he assists in the evacuation of casualties to the CCP and or the BAS as directed by the 1SG. As the tactical situation permits, he may also prepare patients for evacuation by air ambulance.

    (d)     Evacuation Section. Patients are evacuated to the FSMC by FSMC ground ambulances or by corps aeromedical evacuation aircraft.

Figure 2-3. Medical platoon

Figure 2-3. Medical platoon.


The FSC commander's role is the same in Force XXI organizations and AOE organizations. The HHC commander has slightly different roles depending on whether the organization is Force XXI or AOE.

    a.     The FSC commander is the TF's primary logistics executor in Force XXI organizations. The FSC commander—

    • Forms the logistics package (LOGPAC) in the TFSA with the company supply sergeants and the S&T platoon.
    • Is the liaison between the TF and FSB.
    • Supervises the S&T platoon leader.
    • Commands the TFSA.
    • Advises the TF commander on supply and support issues.
    • Supervises the flow of information between the TFSA and CTCP.

    b.     The HHC commander has a slightly different role depending on whether he is in a Force XXI organizations or an AOE organization.

    (1)     In Force XXI, the HHC commander—

    • Is the OIC of the combat trains and responsible for its security and organization.
    • Based on METT-TC, has the flexibility to locate the UCMP, assist in recovery, assist in emergency resupply, and conduct other tasks throughout the task force area of operation.
    • Executes logistics forward of the CTCP for specialty platoons and the main command post.
    • Assists the BMO in maintenance management to allow the TF XO to coordinate the staff and fight the TF from the main CP.
    • Places the HHC XO in the TFSA to advise the FSC commander on TF logistical requirements. The HHC XO retains flexibility to assist in the planning and or execution of other tasks as needed throughout the task force area of operation.

    (2)     In AOE/LCD organizations, the HHC commander commands the TF field trains. The HHC commander—

    • Is the OIC of the field trains command post (FTCP) and responsible for its security and organization.
    • Is the TF CSS coordinator.
    • Is the TF representative in the brigade support area (BSA).
    • Forms the LOGPAC in the field trains with the company or team supply sergeant and the support platoon leader.
    • Supervises the support platoon leader.


Company team commanders fight battles by maneuver and firepower. Commanders directly influence the battle by employing their assets to accomplish the mission. They are the TF commander's executors of the plan. They must understand the commander's intent and concept of the operation and be fully versed in the capabilities and employment techniques of the combat power they control. They must be proficient in employing the CS and CSS assets that the commander may attach to their company teams.


The scout platoon conducts reconnaissance and security in support of the TF mission. The scout platoon leader advises the commander, S2, and S3 on employing the scout platoon. The platoon also assists in controlling TF movement but rarely conducts independent offensive, defensive, or retrograde operations. The scout platoon consists of a platoon headquarters and two or four sections, depending on the parent unit's organization. The scout platoon assists the commander in planning and executing operations by providing relevant information in a timely fashion during the preparation and execution phase of a mission.


Mortars are high-angle, relatively short-range, fire support weapons that are organic to the battalion task force. The mortar platoon leader advises the commander, S3, and FSO on employing the mortar platoon. The quick response time of the mortar platoon is well suited for providing close indirect fire support to maneuver units, making them the commander's most responsive indirect fire capability. The platoon consists of two sections of two 120-mm tubes each and has a fire direction center (FDC). The mortar platoon headquarters can also serve as an alternate TF main CP under special circumstances for limited periods of time.


In addition to the organic assets a commander controls, he may receive various supporting units to support his task force. These assets include a wide variety of indirect fires and aviation systems, which may be both divisional and nondivisional. Combat or combat support assets normally available to the TF include—

    • Field artillery (FA).
    • Close air support (CAS).
    • Air defense artillery (ADA).
    • Engineers.

    a.     Fire Support Officer. The FSO is an habitually associated officer from the FA battalion in direct support of the brigade. He coordinates all fire support for task force operations and is the fire support coordinator (FSCOORD). The FSO—

    • Advises the TF commander and his staff on all fire support matters.
    • Develops and recommends high-payoff targets (HPTs) ICW the S2.
    • Develops and recommends essential fire support tasks (EFSTs).
    • Recommends fire support coordination measures (FSCMs).
    • Coordinates indirect fires across boundaries.
    • Trains company team FSOs.
    • Synchronizes all aspects of the fire support plan ICW the TF S3 during the MDMP.

    b.     Battalion Task Force Air Liaison Officer (ALO). The ALO is normally an Air Force officer responsible for coordinating and controlling all close tactical air (TACAIR) support and employment of Air Force assets in support of the TF. The ALO—

    • Is responsible for the TACP.
    • Assists the commander and S3 in planning the use of available air support.
    • Coordinates the employment of air support with the S2, S3, FSO, and air defense element.
    • Locates forward with the commander.
    • Controls close air support of the TF.

    c.     Air Defense Officer. The leader of the supporting air defense unit serves as the ADO. The ADO—

    • Assists the S3 in planning and executing the air defense portion of the operation.
    • Advises the commander and S3 on the employment of air defense assets.
    • Coordinates with the S3 air, FSO, and brigade air liaison officer (BALO) for the appropriate air defense posture.
    • Controls integration of air defense elements and early warning systems.

    d.     Engineer Company Commander. The attached engineer company commander serves two major roles in the TF. First, he serves as the senior engineer and commander of all engineer assets assigned to the TF (whether organic to the engineer company or not). Second, he serves as the TF engineer by providing expertise in terrain analysis and the employment of engineer assets. The engineer company commander-

    • Advises the commander on using engineer assets.
    • Aids the staff in analyzing terrain, templating enemy obstacles, and coordinating a mobility and countermobility plan to support the scheme of maneuver.
    • Maintains continuous communications with the main CP.
    • Monitors the TF command net.


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