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CHAPTER 6

LOGISTICS

This chapter discusses LOGPAC support for the Avenger platoon. The Avenger platoon receives logistics from the supported unit or the battery headquarters. The platoon leader and platoon sergeant should ensure they conduct detailed and timely coordination to logistically support the tactical situation. Logistics, or lack of it, may determine the success or failure of combat operations. The Avenger platoon should be armed, fueled, and repaired as far forward as the tactical situation permits. Forward support is accomplished through logistics packages (LOGPACs).

LOGISTICS FUNCTIONAL OVERVIEW

Logistics operations in combat and combat support battalions are normally organized into support trains. Support elements from the companies and the battalion headquarters displace from the combat elements into either field trains or combat trains. The support and sup plies available vary greatly between the combat trains and the field trains.

Battalion combat trains carry the minimum amounts of supplies and equipment needed to sustain the force for short periods of time. Combat trains will be positioned where they can quickly provide essential support to fighting forces, usually between the company team area and the brigade support area (BSA). Combat trains can provide battlefield recovery, maintenance, medical services, and some Class III and V support.

CONTENTS

Logistics Functional Overview

LOGPAC Operations by the Supported Force

LOGPAC Operations by the Battery Headquarters

Cross-Leveling

Aerial Resupply

Personnel Services

Replacement Operations

Health Services Support

Field trains will consist of the remainder of the battalion combat service support (CSS) element. Field trains for all task forces and battalions operating in the brigade area are located in the forward part of the BSA. The BSA will also consist of the brigade trains, forward area support teams, and other combat support and combat units.

LOGPACs are organized and put together at the field trains. They usually include Class I, III, V, medical, and Avenger peculiar items. The platoon leader and platoon sergeant are responsible for planning and executing an effective CSS system for the platoon. CSS functions such as supply, maintenance, field services, personnel services, and health services must also be considered during the planning phase.

The Avenger platoon leader conducts logistics planning. The Avenger platoon logistics plan is implemented by the platoon sergeant. The platoon sergeant consolidates information provided by the section leaders and requests support from the supported unit or battery. Routine and recurring CSS operations should be addressed in unit SOPs.

The platoon sergeant is the maintenance coordinator for the ADA platoon and assists the platoon leader in all logistical aspects. The PSG and ADO must synchronize their efforts to ensure that the PSG maintains situational awareness and that the ADO keeps him well informed. The battle captain concept can assist in both tasks (see Chapter 1). The PSG is chief advisor to the ADO on all maintenance matters and provides maintenance quality control for all squad maintenance. He closely supervises squads during maintenance and logistics activities and ensures high preparedness standards through precombat inspections (see Appendix D).

The PSG supervises precombat checks, recovery operations, initial battle damage assessments, and the application of field expedients. He completes maintenance and logistical forms and records and must know readiness reporting requirements and the general capabilities of the battery, battalion, and or supported unit's maintenance teams and logistics support system. He must also understand the forward maintenance concept (recovery and repair as far forward as possible) and the area support concept.

If the Avenger is employed and deployed to a divisional rear or corps rear, it will be supported by the parent unit, if time and distance permits. Otherwise, Avenger platoons will be supplied on an area support by a designated CSB. Area support means that DS supply and maintenance relationship in effect are determined by the location of the units requiring support. For more information see FM 63-3. The ADA brigade and or battalion S4's job is to provide the Avenger battalion and battery commander with information, and to work through support relationship issues. The Avenger platoon leader will establish the support relationship through the supporting maneuver S4 and or directly with a FSB or CSB support operations section.

LOGPAC OPERATIONS BY THE SUPPORTED FORCE

Joint integration of logistics is crucial to unity of effort. The Avenger platoon leader cannot rest on the notion that logistics is the responsibility of the supported force; he must take the responsibility to ensure that essential Avenger parts are part of the LOGPACs moved forward under the control of the supported force. Support for the Avenger platoon is discussed in this chapter.

SUPPORTED FORCE

LOGPAC operations at the supported force level are formed by companies and moved forward under the control of the support platoon leader who normally organizes a convoy for movement of all LOGPACs under his control. In emergencies, he dispatches unit LOGPACs individually. The convoy may contain additional vehicles, such as a maintenance vehicle with Class IX to move to the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP), or additional ammunition and fuel for the combat trains. The LOGPACs move along the main supply route (MSR) to a logistics release point (LRP), where the company's first sergeant or a unit guide takes control of the company LOGPAC. After the company has been resupplied, the company first sergeant informs his supply sergeant of requirements for the next LOGPAC. The supply sergeant collects outgoing mail and equipment for movement to the rear. The LOGPAC then returns to the LRP, where it joins the rest of the supported force's LOGPACs for return to the field trains (see the LOGPAC Operations by Supported Unit illustration).

AVENGER PLATOON

Anytime the Avenger platoon has a support relationship of direct support, the basic principles of LOGPAC operations by the supported unit will apply. If the platoon is reinforcing another ADA platoon, it should follow the procedure established for the ADA platoon that is being reinforced. It must integrate into the planning and preparation of the supported force's LOGPAC operations.

The platoon should coordinate with the supported force constantly to ensure the platoon's LOGPAC has the items required, is formed at the field trains, and moved forward to the LRP. The Avenger platoon sergeant must ensure that supplies, equipment, and personnel replacements which are peculiar to the ADA mission (for example, Stinger missiles and ADA personnel) are coordinated with the support platoon leader or supported unit S4 and S1. When the LOGPAC reaches the LRP, the Avenger platoon sergeant or a designated representative will take control of the platoon's LOGPAC.

Maintenance and evacuation of damaged vehicles will be coordinated with ADA battery or the supported force which is closest. The location of UMCPs should be available and briefed to platoon personnel. When the supported force has not responded to a request for support in sufficient time, the platoon leader should notify the supported force commander and his battery commander.

Evacuation of wounded personnel has to be coordinated with the supported force. This is time-sensitive and generally beyond the capability of the Avenger platoon. This requires the Avenger platoon to be knowledgeable of the supported force's SOP on evacuation procedures. The platoon must be informed of locations for casualty collection points. When the tactical situation allows, organic platoon vehicles may be used to evacuate the wounded.

LOGPAC OPERATIONS BY THE BATTERY HEADQUARTERS

LOGPAC operations by the battery headquarters follow the same procedures as supported force LOGPAC operations with the exception of having different, key players. The major difference is that the platoon will normally be operating in terrain which is "owned" by a larger fighting force. The support relationship will likely be general support or general support-reinforcing. In this situation, the battery may provide the support.

The battery support vehicles are maintained-at the battery trains where they are loaded with the necessary supplies. The battery first sergeant, with the help of the battery supply sergeant, form the LOGPACs for each Avenger platoon based upon prior coordination. The first sergeant moves the LOGPACs forward along the established MSR to a designated LRP. When MSRs and LRPs are located within the area of operations of another unit, the platoon leader or platoon sergeant may be required to coordinate for the use of MSRs or LRPs with the unit occupying the area. When the LOGPACs arrive at the LRP, the Avenger platoon sergeant or a designated representative will take control of the platoon's LOGPAC. Once the platoon has been resupplied, the vehicle returns to the LRP, and the platoon sergeant gives his requests to the battery first sergeant for the next LOGPAC.

LRP locations are determined either by the first sergeant or a designated representative (such as the battery XO). LRPs are established based on the tactical situation. It is often useful or necessary to coordinate for the use of MSRs or LRPs which have already been established. The LRP should be close to where the platoons are employed and easy to locate. The MSR, LRP, UMCP, and trains locations should be included on the operations overlay. The LOGPAC convoy arrival time at the LRP and length of time it remains are normally established by the SOP.

The first sergeant or responsible battery representative remains at the LRP as long as the LOGPAC vehicles are in the platoon area. He should ensure that the LOGPAC release and return take place efficiently. To assist in the coordination for the next LOGPAC, the following must be considered:

  • Changes in logistical requirements reflecting any last-minute changes in task organizations.
  • Reports on personnel, logistics, and maintenance from the platoon sergeants.
  • First-hand updates on the tactical situation and logistical status.
  • Delivery, receipt, and distribution of mail.

The battery maintenance personnel monitor and ensure the Avenger platoons are being supported in LOGPAC operations. Contact teams will be integrated into the LOGPAC convoys when required by the platoons. Contact teams will be moved from LRPs by the platoon sergeants. If it is necessary to evacuate a vehicle, the recovery asset will move the vehicle to the battery UMCP.

Evacuation of wounded personnel has to be coordinated and planned in detail. Evacuation of wounded personnel should be by the most expeditious means possible. The means to evacuate personnel will be based on the unit SOP and the current tactical situation.

CROSS-LEVELING

Cross-leveling is not a technique of resupply but a way to make supplies last longer. It is the distribution of supplies evenly throughout the platoon. It is done automatically by section leaders and platoon sergeants in the assembly areas and after every action. Cross-leveling usually takes place between section and team members but is also used between sections and platoons. It is done for repair parts and all classes of supply. In some cases, supplies may be shifted in the platoon to increase combat potential. For example, if a section is preparing for movement but is short on ammunition and water, they may acquire or draw these items from the other sections remaining in position. These sections would, in turn, be resupplied by the normal resupply system. Cross leveling between platoons must be approved by the battery headquarters.

AERIAL RESUPPLY

Supplies can be delivered by Air Force aircraft or by Army helicopters. The airdrop of supplies poses less risk to the aircraft than air landing, but can result in the supplies being widely dispersed and possibly lost. This increases the time needed for recovery and resupply. Airlanding is the quickest and most accurate way to deliver supplies, but it poses an additional risk to the aircraft and may attract enemy fires to the resupply point. Unless conducting the resupply in an area under friendly control and away from direct enemy observation, the resupply should be conducted away from the main unit in an area that can be defended for a short time. Security is required during the entire resupply action. Leaders receiving aerial resupply must be aware of several considerations as discussed in the following paragraphs.

LANDING AND PICKUP ZONES

The size of the landing zone depends on the number of aircraft, height of obstructions on the landing zones (LZ), wind direction, and velocity. The LZ or pickup zone (PZ) is marked by smoke, lights, or panels for identification. The ground and air elements should have radio contact with each other. When identifying the LZ, the aircraft pilot is required to describe the panel code letter, smoke, or other visual marking (see FM 90-4).

AIRDROPS

Air Force airdrop of supplies may be high level (2,500 feet or above) or low level. The minimum size for a drop zone (DZ) is normally 500 yards by 500 yards. This accommodates one airdrop bundle. Prior coordination is required to determine ground markings and DZ location. An Air Force combat control team may be necessary to provide a ground communications link with Air Force aircraft. An Army pathfinder, or pathfinder experienced leader, provides the ground communications link for Army aircraft. Aerial delivery of supplies is not a precise method of delivery (refer to FMs 57-38 and 90-26).

AIRLAND AND SLINGLOAD

Delivery of supplies by slingload and airland, using Army helicopters, requires the same consideration when selecting an LZ. Security of the area is critical due to aircraft vulnerability during landing, lift-off, or hovering. Other considerations include rapid unloading of supplies and moving them from the LZ before the enemy can interdict the operation with fires. Slingloads require practice to prepare, airlift, and deliver. After the aircraft departs, clear the area of slings, platforms, cans, and cardboard.

PERSONNEL SERVICES

Personnel services consist of strength accounting, casualty reporting, replacement procedures, maintenance, personnel actions, and awards.

According to local SOP, a strength accounting report is sent to battery headquarters detailing platoon strength by officer, enlisted, and attached personnel. At higher echelons, these reports are used to determine which units receive priority when replacement troops arrive.

When a casualty occurs, DA Form 1156 is filled out for each casualty as soon as the tactical situation permits. This report is processed through administrative/logistics (ADMIN/LOG) channels. This information is used to inform the soldier's next of kin and to provide a statistical base for analysis of friendly or enemy activity. The platoon leader should be prepared to write a letter for the commander's signature to be sent to the soldier's next of kin.

REPLACEMENT OPERATIONS

Integrating replacements into a platoon is important. A new soldier arriving on the battlefield may be scared and disoriented as well as unfamiliar with local SOPs and the theater of operations. The platoon leader and platoon sergeant should welcome him to the unit, interview him, and introduce him to his section leader and team leader. The section leader introduces him to the team and briefs him on his duty position, and assigns him an experienced "buddy" to "look out" for him. This in-briefing should cover recent section and platoon activities, current activities, future activities, and enemy activity. Furthermore, this in-briefing should reinforce the fact that he is part of a good unit with a proud heritage (esprit de corps). The soldier should be told about important SOPs and special information concerning the area of operations.

HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT

At platoon level, health services support consists of three things: prevention, treatment, and evacuation of casualties. Emphasis is placed on prevention since soldiers may become combat ineffective due to nonbattle injuries or disease as often as due to combat. These casualties may be eliminated by understanding and applying the principles of field hygiene and prevention of weatherrelated injuries. Leaders have the responsibility to monitor the overall condition of their soldiers (refer to FM 21-10).

The leader must be prepared to treat and evacuate casualties. The treatment of serious casualties consists primarily of stabilizing the soldier until he can be evacuated to the nearest medical aid station.

Casualties are treated and may be evacuated directly from the platoon by vehicle or helicopter. If evacuated by vehicle, they are taken to the supported unit casualty collection point designated in the OPORD. If evacuated by helicopter, they are taken to the rear area to receive medical assistance.

Unit SOPs and OPORDs address casualty evacuation in detail. They cover the duties and responsibilities of key personnel, rank methods of evacuation, and establish procedures for retrieving and safeguarding the weapons, ammunition, and equipment of casualties.

In war, leaders must be prepared to treat and evacuate casualties. The combat lifesaver program enhances the platoon's ability to provide immediate medical attention to casualties until evacuated to the nearest casualty collection point. The unit must identify and train selected team members as combat lifesavers. The goal is to have one combat lifesaver in each Avenger section.



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