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A company that has a well-established system of checks and inspections will consistently perform to standard. The engineer leader must establish checks and inspections that support the unit's mission-essential task list (METL). Once established, the engineer leader must ensure that the checks and inspections are performed before and after combat operations. Checks and inspections fall into the following categories: precombat checks, precombat inspections, postcombat checks, and postcombat inspections.


Precombat checks aid the leader in preparing his unit for combat. These include checks for individuals, vehicles, weapons, and equipment. While these checklists are generic, they can be easily tailored to fit a unit's specific needs. Leaders at all levels use these checklists in their planning and in preparing instructions to their subordinate leaders.


Precombat inspections validate that the precombat checks have been performed. The leader must plan his time and that of his unit's to ensure that inspections are performed. Time must also be available for corrective actions should an individual or item fail the inspection. The leader cannot delegate this responsibility; he must be the inspector. This demands that he be competent in the maintenance and care of all of his unit's equipment. The standards he sets will determine the unit's ability to perform in combat.


Postcombat checks are identical in form to precombat checks but differ in substance. Checks are still performed on individuals, vehicles, weapons, and equipment; however, the focus changes to repairing and refitting these items to a reusable condition. Expendable items may need replenishing and lost items require replacing. Units replace their basic-load items and ensure that equipment has its full complement of POL. Damaged and nonoperational equipment is evacuated for repair. Individual needs must also be attended to-soldiers require rest and refitting and medical problems must be attended to-as well as morale problems.


In the same way that precombat inspections are performed, postcombat inspections must be planned and conducted by the leaders. Since postcombat operations are heavily maintenance-oriented, the leader should seek the aid of his vehicle, communications, and supply personnel to assist him in conducting his inspections. They are capable of making immediate repairs and also serve as expert advisers. Inspections must focus on serviceability. Vehicles and equipment must be operated to standard. A check of all radios requires that a net station be positioned at a distance consistent with combat conditions. It does a unit no good to be able to talk only in an assembly area. Sufficient time must be allocated to perform these inspections as it is necessary to pay strict attention to detail. An inspection which checks only one of every three weapons ensures that the unit is only one-third operable. A 100 percent inspection must be made of everything.

Table C-1 provides an example of a precombat inspection. The commander can rotate the inspectors' responsibilities to train his officers and provide as thorough an inspection as possible.

Table C-1. Sample precombat inspection

Vehicle preparations

Communications equipment





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