COMMANDERS' GUIDE LINES
FOR NORTHERN OPERATIONS
a. Commanders at all echelons must know, understand, and appreciate the problems of northern operations.
b. Actively supervise, keep abreast of the important details in tactical operations, and coordinate closely with adjacent and supporting commanders.
c. Forceful action is the key to success of the leader in the north.
d. Insure your command is safety conscious. Check for fire hazards--especially gasoline handling, carbon monoxide poisoning, frostbite, and safe driving habits.
e. Planning is one of the most essential elements for the successful conduct of northern operations. Planning time can be shortened by the use of SOP. A workable, simple, well-rehearsed SOP is mandatory for all units down to include platoon level.
f. Most of the disabling problems associated with winter operations in northern areas can be avoided if commanders at all echelons are knowledgeable concerning the individual soldier's response to stress and fatigue.
g. Health is of primary importance. Without dynamic personal leadership the average soldier in northern operations becomes lethargic, dehydrated and undernourished with resultant mental and physical degeneration. To prevent this, commanders must insure that personnel consume adequate water and nourishment, and practice good personal hygiene habits.
a. Mobility must be considered one of the cardinal principles of operations in the north. True mobility can only be obtained through proper use of all aviation support, oversnow equipment, and tracked vehicles.
b. Rapid movement of small units with adequate firepower, mobility, and communications plays the vital role in the success of northern operations. Operational planning must include the use of vertical envelopment and wide flanking attacks to exploit the principle of surprise.
c. Because of vulnerability of forces in daylight, brought on by slow movement and problems of concealment, night operations should be a prime consideration.
d. Troops in northern operations are particularly dependent upon their lines of communications, whether by air, road, water or trail since supplies and equipment are required to maintain operational effectiveness. An enemy can be defeated by interdiction of his lines of communication, by the interposition of forces between his base of supply and his forward elements, or destroyed by air operation.
e. The construction of an adequate ground lines of communication to forward elements is prohibitive in terms of engineer effort required. Therefore, emphasis must be placed on the following: air supply and resupply; use of low ground pressure vehicles; and, in some instances by foot.
f. Combat effectiveness is most difficult to maintain unless troops are kept warm, fully hydrated, and in condition to fight. Thus, a force that is exposed to the elements for long periods and not accompanied by warming equipment and other essential support is in an ideal position to be vulnerable to counterattack.
a. The communications net is the commander's nerve center. Communications provide control; control permits command. Unceasing effort is required to maintain the flow of traffic.
b. Communications is a system or series of systems which include tank, infantry, artillery, and air communications vets. All alternate means must be employed to provide continuous communications to all elements of the task force.
c. Use aircraft for radio relay and message delivery.
d. Battery vests or other suitable means must be used to keep batteries warm.
e. Plan a forward maintenance capability.
f. Minimum variation in radio location has considerable effect on transmission ranges; try another transmitter site if unable to transmit or receive.
g. Because of reliance on radios, be especially aware of communications security. Use appropriate codes and keep traffic to a minimum.
C-4. Artillery and Fire Support
a. Close and continuous personal contact between the brigade commander and the artillery commander is essential to permit displacement with minimum instructions and to insure continuous fire support.
b. Forward observers must be properly equipped and wholly responsive to the infantry company commander's needs. He must remain in close and continuous personal contact. Infantry and artillery information must flow via both infantry and artillery means.
c. Artillery FO and forward air controllers should use Army aircraft to coordinate and direct fire support where feasible.
d. Helicopters should be used whenever possible for rapid displacement of artillery.
a. Task force air officers should be used to maintain the status of all assigned aircraft and to direct maximum employment which will insure constant productive utilization of aircraft during those hours in which aircraft can be flown.
b. Payload capability of aircraft is reduced in the Arctic because of added weight of ski installations and required survival equipment.
c. Rotor systems and engine exhaust often cause ice fog which may create delays in getting aircraft airborne. For this reason, use prepackaged loads to save ground time.
d. Use lakes for airfields to save construction time.
e. Plotting accurate ground positions is difficult in terrain with few recognizable landmarks. Use pilots to assist in determining unit positions because of their ability to see the units in their relationship to other landmarks.
f. Arrange for commanders to reconnoiter terrain from the air. Use aircraft to guide moving columns.
g. Plots should habitually monitor command nets and offer to relay communications.
h. Aircraft should be employed on station as an aerial relay for communications where required.
i. Aircraft loads must be carefully planned and loaded during periods of nonflying weather to permit immediate dispatch at first break in weather or light.
a. Make maximum use of engineer support available. Engineers are vital because of; water supply, road and bridge construction, atomic demolition munition (ADM) terms, construction and neutralization of barriers, obstacles, fortification, construction of airfields, and camouflage.
b. If an engineer staff officer is not available, use attached engineer commanders to coordinate staff planning and the overall engineer effort.
C-7. Intelligence and Security
a. Make maximum use of all intelligence collecting agencies, with emphasis on use of Army aviation.
b. Cross-country navigation is extremely difficult. Use Army aviation to assist in maintaining direction. Do not rely solely on maps and compass.
c. Route reconnaissance must precede any troop movement. Terrain obstacles often make the "long way around" the best route.
d. Be especially aware of sound and light discipline in forward areas.
e. Emphasize deception. (Effective camouflage and concealment are extremely difficult.)
f. The isolation and destruction of widely separated guerrilla forces requires forceful action on the part of commanders. The adoption of conventional tactics with emphasis on the seizure of terrain will not substitute for the isolation, fragmentation, and capture of guerrilla bands.
a. Preventive maintenance requires much additional time and effort and must be a matter of major concern and emphasis by all members in the chain of command.
b. Winter driving and operation of equipment must be stressed.
c. Plan logistical support in great detail even for small unit operations.
d. Insure that the command is provided adequate support to include sufficient heat, food, clothing, sleeping gear, tentage, POL, and ammunition resupply.
e. During extreme temperatures, plan additional time for accomplishment of tasks. Experience has shown that five times the norm may be required.
f. Frostbite causes casualties; do not underestimate effects of cold.
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