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Chapter 1

Unit Movement Responsibilities

A unit move is the relocation of a force and its materiel to a desired area of operations. To accomplish a unit move, movement plans are developed and unit movement operations are conducted.


1-1. A unit movement operation is the movement of unit equipment, personnel, and accompanying supplies from one location to another. Unit movement operations are conducted during training exercises, mobilization, and deployment. Unit movement operations are planned, coordinated, and executed by four principal modes: rail, motor, air, and sea. The mode of movement determines tactics, techniques and procedures for preparation, planning, coordination and execution of unit movements. This FM discusses unit movement operations by all modes.

1-2. Every movement is unique. These operations seldom begin with a clear idea of the entire package or purpose. Often, they develop by bits and pieces, with a few false starts and subsequent large adjustments. They follow a general sequence, although the stages often overlap in space and time, and can happen simultaneously. The process is flexible and can be abbreviated and adjusted as required. However, the fundamental processes of moving units do not change to support a deployment. They become more complex because of the need to coordinate on a broad scale with other Services and organizations (outside the US Army).

NOTE:  Redeployment is a separate phase of force deployment. However, it is a unit move and the principles of unit movement operations discussed in this FM prevail.


1-3. The remainder of this chapter outlines the duties and responsibilities of key personnel during the coordination and planning of unit movement operations.

1-4. Unit movement operations involve the command's staff expertise in personnel, intelligence, operations, and logistics. At the battalion and brigade level, staff proponency for movement operations resides with the S3 and is executed in coordination with the S4. Higher headquarters operations and intelligence staff conduct mission analysis and receive the commander's intent for accomplishing the mission. The next step is to produce several courses of action to accomplish the mission. These courses of action may involve several task organizations and usually address limitations in transportation capability to support the mission. A course of action and task organization are selected which starts the unit movement planning sequence. Staff planners need to translate operational mission requirements into detailed and realistic unit movement plans. This translation must occur in a short time frame and must be able to capture continuous changes based on the current tactical situation. This process involves task organizing, echeloning, tailoring and movement.

1-5. Brigade level, battalion level, and separate company level organizations select soldiers to be trained in unit movement operations. These tasks are performed as additional duties in support of the unit mission. These soldiers are then appointed on additional duty orders to be responsible for these functions for their units. Unit movement training includes hazardous material certification, aircraft load planning, and unit loading teams. Unit loading teams that execute the load plans by physically loading, blocking, bracing, and tying down the load on the truck, aircraft, or railcar. Additional training is required on automated information systems such as Automated Air Load Planning System (AALPS) and Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movement Planning System (TC-AIMS II). (See Commander's Unit Movement Officer checklist at Appendix K.) Additionally, the staffs in these organizations play an integral part in the unit movement process.

1-6. Commanders responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring adequate movement plans are prepared.
  • Ensuring proper execution of movements.
  • Appointing a unit movement officer (UMO) and providing proper training.
  • Ensuring that load teams are appointed and trained.
  • Ensuring that hazardous materials (HAZMAT) personnel are properly certified, trained, and equipped.
  • Ensuring that personnel responsible for movements receive the required training.
  • Ensuring that the proper equipment and supplies are available for movements.
  • Ensuring that the unit follows required regulatory and higher command guidance for unit movements.
  • Maintaining the morale of the unit.
  • Ensuring that unit responsibilities outlined in paragraph 1-11 are performed.

1-7. Executive Officers:

  • Assists the unit commander in meeting the commander's movement responsibilities.
  • Supervises the unit staff in all matters dealing with unit movements.

1-8. Brigade and battalion S1 and personnel administrative specialists have responsibility for maintaining the personnel and medical readiness information on all soldiers assigned to the unit. The battalion S1 coordinates the soldier readiness processing program. Unit commanders must have a formal review process in place to ensure soldiers meet deployment readiness requirements IAW AR 600-8-101. Soldier readiness is a continuous process that involves unit commanders and staff and the installation staff agencies. Unit commanders are responsible for ensuring their soldiers are prepared for deployment. To assist the unit commander in performing this task, the battalion S-1 and admin specialist must provide current information concerning an individual soldier's completion of the following requirements prior to deployment.

  • Personnel - Verify re-enlistment status, family care plan, SGLI-8286, DD Form 93, ID Tags, ID cards, etc.
  • Medical - Verify current HIV test, complete medical records, required immunizations, eyeglasses and insert requirements, medical history screening reviewed, existing profiles.
  • Dental - Verify current panographic x-ray on file, existence of pending or incomplete treatment requirements.
  • Provost marshal - Complete vehicle registration requirements, registration and storage of privately owned weapons.
  • Finance - Verify establishment of SUREPAY, pay entitlements, required pay allotments.
  • Security - Verify security clearance requirements are met/current.
  • Legal - Verify Geneva Convention briefing, will and powers of attorney requirements, any pending UCMJ or civil charges.
  • Training - Verify all required mission/terrorist briefs have been provided, current weapons qualification.
  • Additional personnel information as required

1-9. Brigade and battalion S3 and training officer and NCO have the responsibility for maintaining the training readiness information on the unit and the individual soldiers assigned to the unit. Unit movement training is also required to support unit movement operations. Unit movement missions can occur rapidly, leaving the moving unit with little or no time to correct training deficiencies. Unit commanders are responsible for unit movement training of soldiers and units to support movement operations. The battalion S3 and training officer and NCO supports the commanders by scheduling required training, maintaining individual soldier training records, and providing soldier's current training status concerning:

  • Army physical fitness test (APFT)
  • Code of conduct training
  • Weapons qualification
  • Subversion and espionage directed against the Department of the Army (SAEDA) training
  • Driver's training course for destination country
  • Specialized training as required for destination country
  • First aid training
  • Unit movement officer and unit movement NCO Training
  • Air deployment planning
  • Transportation Coordinators - Automated Information for Movement II (TC-AIMS II) Training
  • HAZMAT certification training
  • Unit loading team training
  • Mobilization briefing (RC units)
  • Legal briefing (RC units)
  • Any additional training requirements needed to support the mission

1-10. Brigade and battalion S4 and supply sergeant has the responsibility for maintaining the equipment and supply information on the unit. The S4 and supply sergeant maintains updated equipment on hand, unit basic load and equipment status information. The supply sergeant maintains updated supply information such as supplies and equipment assigned to individual soldiers in the unit. The battalion S4 is responsible for coordinating support requirements for unit movement operations. The S4 uses TC-AIMS II to plan, manage, and execute the movement.


1-11. The unit coordinates movement of personnel and equipment using internal assets and coordinates movement of personnel and equipment that it cannot move with higher headquarters, the brigade movement coordinator (BMC), or the unit movement coordinator (UMC). The unit:

  • Prepares support requests and sends them to the BMC or UMC.
  • Requests convoy clearances and special hauling permits from the BMC, UMC, or state area command (STARC).
  • Requests blocking, bracing, packing, crating, and tie-down (BBPCT) materials from the UMC or other designated source.
  • Coordinates obtaining pallets and containers with BMC or UMC.
  • Establishes liaison with the arrival/departure airfield control group at the aerial ports of embarkation and debarkation.
  • Coordinates with the property book officer to reconcile any MTO&E and CTA movement critical shortages have valid requisitions.
  • Coordinates other company-level UMOs and brigade UMCs to identify any equipment shortages that must be cross-leveled upon movement notification.
  • Coordinates with the installation food advisor (IFA) or subsistence manager to learn procedures and get forms required to draw operational rations. (These rations are exclusive of rations enroute to the theater of operations).
  • Coordinates with the Classes II and IV (individual equipment and construction materials) Officer to verify availability of items required for the move. These items include a basic load of organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE).
  • Coordinates with the Class III (petroleum, oil, and lubricants) Officer to verify quantities required of packaged petroleum, oil, and lubricants.
  • Coordinates with Class VIII (medical supplies) Officer to ensure availability on station of medical supplies required for the move.
  • Coordinates Class V basic load through supply channels.


1-12. The unit movement officer (UMO) is appointed at the company and battalion levels. The UMO represents the company or battalion commander in attending to the details of getting the unit ready for movement and maintaining that readiness when it is achieved. The position is an extremely important one. While different commanders may demand more or less of their UMOs, this FM outlines the duties and responsibilities that must be met and accomplished for the unit to perform a successful unit move. Whether the move is a road march from a cantonment area to an exercise area, or from home station to a port of embarkation (POE) (or to another location for unknown reasons), the basic preparation and coordination, outlined in the chapters that follow, are critical to success.

1-13. Commanders appoint in writing an officer or senior NCO (E6 or above), with an alternate (E5 or above), to serve as the UMO at the battalion, company, or detachment level. The UMO is trained in a school or in the unit (on-the-job training) to perform the following duties:

  • Supervise preparation and maintenance of unit movement and unit load plans (rail, air, and vehicle load plans). Also to supervise the execution of the plans on order.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to prepare and maintain documentation needed for unit movements. This includes maintaining the unit's movement data, from which the organizational equipment list (OEL) is generated, and creating and processing the unit deployment list (UDL). The OEL and UDL include equipment, personnel, and supplies. The company UDLs are passed to the battalion where they are merged into a battalion UDL.
  • Train unit load teams.
  • Ensure unit personnel authorized to handle and certify hazardous materials are available.
  • Ensure packing lists are properly prepared..
  • Use TC-AIMS II to prepare convoy clearance requests.
  • Ensure convoy vehicles are properly marked.
  • Ensure all cargo is properly labeled.
  • Assist in preparation of unit passenger and cargo manifests. Inspect manifests for accuracy.
  • Coordinate with higher headquarters and supporting units for operational and logistical support of unit movements. This includes coordination with the departure airfield control group (A/DACG) and military traffic management command (MTMC) element as necessary.
  • Maintain a UMO continuity folder or movement binder. (See Appendix H.)

1-14. Company UMOs maintain movement binders. Movement binders include items such as appointment orders training certificates, recall rosters, current OEL; and copies of load cards, packing lists, transportation requests, convoy movement requests, special handling permits, and BBPCT requirements. Suggested items to be included in movement binders are in Appendix H.

1-15. Battalion UMOs are appointed to be responsible for battalion movement actions and to coordinate and assist in the development, maintenance, and evaluation of subordinate units' movement plans. Normally located in the S4 office, the battalion UMO performs the following actions:

  • Coordinate movement planning guidance that applies to subordinate units.
  • Prepare recommendations as appropriate to enhance movement planning and execution.
  • Prepare and maintain battalion movement plans that incorporate subordinate units' movement requirements.
  • Train subordinate UMOs in duties and responsibilities of movement planning.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to consolidate company UDLs and pass the battalion UDL to the brigade.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to create military shipping labels (MSL) and automatic identification technology (AIT) tags.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to create and submit convoy documentation.
  • Create air load plans using AALPS.
  • Identify Supercargoes. (See Appendix A.)
  • Create commercial and military transportation documentation.

1-16. In addition to the above duties, both the battalion and company UMOs must be familiar with:

  • Transportability of the units' organic equipment and cargo.
  • Identifying, labeling, segregating, documenting, and moving hazardous materials (HAZMAT) peculiar to the unit.
  • Hazardous materials certification process.
  • Procedures for requesting commercial and military transportation.
  • Unit requirements for 463L pallets, containers; BBPCT materials.
  • Unit radio frequency (RF) tag and military shipping label (MSL) requirements.


1-17. The UMC is the command technical movements expert. As such, the UMC provides advice to those in both superior and subordinate positions. When reviewing plans, the UMC ensures that they adequately address all aspects of logistics and are designed to meet the needs of the unit.

1-18. The UMC is usually found in the installation transportation office (ITO) in CONUS, and OCONUS, in the MCT. However, especially in CONUS, the UMC location is the commander's discretion and can be found outside the ITO or its equivalent. (NOTE: The term ITO is used generically in this FM to refer to the staff section at installation level responsible for planning and coordinating transportation for unit moves.) The UMC coordinates strategic movements and assists units in developing and executing unit movement plans. The UMC:

  • Provides movement guidance to all units moving from the installation.
  • Processes convoy clearances and special hauling permits to meet unit requirements.
  • Advises the unit on preparing movement documentation.
  • Verifies the amount of ships and aircraft (determined by TRANSCOM) required by each unit and assists in designating loading sites and coordinating times to start and complete unit loading.
  • Assists units in identifying and obtaining BBPCT materials.
  • Coordinates unit materiel handling equipment (MHE) requirements with commercial and military MHE sources.
  • Coordinates movement documents for commercial lift of unit personnel to include enroute support.
  • Ensures unit equipment is properly marked prior to movement by any mode.
  • Supports unit movement at railheads, seaports, and airfields.
  • Serves as the primary POC for special assignment airlift mission (SAAM) and exercise airlift. Coordinates airlift requests for active component (AC) and USAR units.
  • Coordinate allocations of containers, 463L pallets, and cargo nets.


1-19. The brigade movement coordinator (BMC) coordinates the movement of personnel and equipment beyond the capability of organic unit assets with the installation transportation officer or UMC. The BMC is the liaison between the UMO (at battalion and company) and the ITO in CONUS locations, the MCT in OCONUS locations; and in both locations, the UMC. BMCs are appointed to coordinate and support Brigade movement activities and to assist in the development, maintenance, and evaluation of subordinate units' movement plans. Normally located in the S4 office, the BMC is responsible to:

  • Verify the OEL data with units and submit changes to higher headquarters.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to consolidate unit UDLs and create movement programs.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to receive and distribute TPFDD after receiving it from Joint Force Requirements Generator (JFRG).
  • Provide TC-AIMS II movement programs to the UMC.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to submit support requests to the UMC.
  • Use TC-AIMS II to plan convoys and create documentation.

  • Create commercial and military transportation documentation.
  • Oversee the brigade HAZMAT program.


1-20. The mobility warrant officer (MWO) program (MOS 882A) is designed to provide the combat commander a soldier with proven expertise who can work through the specific unit movement challenges. The MWO is the commander's key staff officer for movement operations planning, execution, advice, coordinating, and training. The duties of the MWO include:

  • Plans and supervises the movement and deployment of Army personnel and equipment.
  • Coordinates movement requests with joint, Army, and commercial agencies.
  • Translates and submits unit movement requests in the Defense Transportation System.
  • Provides technical understanding and guidance on the implementation and use of transportation automated information systems.
  • Trains unit personnel on their responsibilities in unit movement processes and on their tasks associated with unit movement information systems.
  • Advises and assists commanders and staffs on unit movement operations.

The brigade mobility warrant officer and transportation logistics NCO provide the brigade with deployment training and execution expertise. The mobility officer is a movement technician who manages and controls the flow of Army Transportation during unit movement operations. Mobility officer and transportation logistics NCO plan, organize, and supervise the movement of Army personnel and equipment. They coordinate movement operations issues with joint, Army, and commercial agencies, and provide technical interpretation and guidance on the implementation and use of transportation automation systems. They also coordinate training of unit personnel, and advise and assist commanders and staffs on the elements of unit movement operations.


1-21. Each unit (company or detachment) requires at least one individual trained to certify hazardous cargo. This individual should not be the UMO. Hazardous cargo certifiers must be trained at a DOD approved school on applicable regulations for all modes. Once trained and appointed by the unit commander in writing, these individuals can certify documentation for all commercial and military modes of shipment. The hazardous cargo certifying official is responsible for ensuring shipments are properly prepared, packaged, labeled, and segregated. The certifying official is also responsible for personally inspecting the item being certified and signing the HAZMAT documentation. Appendix D provides general HAZMAT guidance for commanders and UMOs. (See Appendix D.)


1-22. Air load planners are appointed and trained to prepare and update unit aircraft load plans. The UMO uses the AALPS to supervise the development of aircraft load plans and manifests for both equipment and personnel. TC-AIMS II through its air load planner module allows the UMO to develop aircraft loading plans and manifests for both equipment and personnel.


1-23. Each unit requires an appropriate number of personnel trained in vehicle preparation, and aircraft and rail loading and unloading techniques formed into loading teams. Composition of each loading team is tailored to the type and quantity of equipment for which it is responsible and for the time available for loading it. Skills required include those needed for:

  • Preparing vehicle, air, container, and rail load plans.
  • Loading and unloading unit vehicles properly for all modes.
  • Loading cargo into aircraft.
  • Palletizing cargo on 463L pallets.
  • Preparing vehicles for shipment (purging, protecting fragile components, weighing and marking for air and rail movement).
  • Exercising proper aircraft and railcar tie-down procedures.

1-24. Tailoring a loading team to its equipment and available time is necessary. The following guidelines are provided for planning purposes:

  • For rail movements, a well-trained team of five operators, using prefabricated tie-down devices, can provide efficient loading and lashing of equipment on a flatcar. Units are normally provided 72 hours for loading once the railcars are spotted.
  • For air movement, a six-person team can provide efficient loading and tie-down of equipment. Depending on the type of aircraft more than one team may be required.


1-25. Figure 1-1 depicts present doctrine for intratheater unit movements. Intratheater unit movements normally involve units moving from an origin location to a tactical assembly area (TAA). Based on the transportation assets available and the unit movement plan, any available mode may be used for intratheater movements. How the unit moves from the origin to the TAA depends on the modes selected (e.g., a unit may move by highway directly by from its motor pool to the TAA). Some of the functions depicted in Figure 1-1 may occur at the same geographical location. For instance, if there are rail ramps in or near the motor pool, a unit moving by rail may find the origin and rail marshalling areas collocated.

Figure 1-1.  Intratheater Unit Movement
Figure 1-1. Intratheater Unit Movement


1-26. Figure 1-2 depicts present doctrine for intertheater unit movements. Intertheater unit movements normally involve units moving from an origin location to a TAA. The strategic lift portion of intertheater unit movements is by air or sea. As in intratheater moves, all available modes can be used for intertheater moves. And depending on the facilities available and activities to be performed, staging and marshaling area functions may be collocated.

Figure 1-2.  Intertheater Unit Movement
Figure 1-2. Intertheater Unit Movement

1-27. Future intertheater unit movements may occur in the absence of reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) capabilities. Future movements of Army forces will not have traditional RSOI in the area of operations. The reception function and preparation for onward movement and integration will take place at an intermodal transfer point (this could be as simple as the unit home station) as depicted in Figure 1-3, or the unit may deploy directly into the theater as depicted in Figure 1-4. Future organizational and materiel designs are going to enhance our ability to arrive in the AO in a much more "ready to fight" configuration than is possible today.

Figure 1-3.  Intertheater Unit Movement
Figure 1-3. Intertheater Unit Movement

Figure 1-4.  Intertheater Unit Movement
Figure 1-4. Intertheater Unit Movement


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