This chapter deals with planning and executing the defense. It does not attempt to deal with all tactical issues facing the defending TF. It focuses on the interface that must be achieved to synchronize the engineer company into the TF's defensive preparations.
Engineer planning and preparation must not only rovide a centralized focus for the defense but also allow for decentralized integration and execution. Engineer preparations in the defense are time-, manpower-, equipment-, and material-intensive. With no time to waste, the TF engineer must quickly identify engineer requirements. His dilemma is that the details of the TF plan will not be complete until the staff has time to conduct tactical planning and commanders have conducted personal reconnaissances. He must identify those requirements for survivability positions and obstacles that are not likely to change so that he can get engineers to work. As the plan matures, the TF engineer adjusts the supporting engineer plan through clear FRAGOs to his subordinates.
MASS AND CONCENTRATION
The company also constructs fortifications as the TF emplaces protective obstacles, allowing the TF to survive the enemy's fires and break up his final assault. Defending from survivable positions is a key factor in maintaining concentrated fires until the enemy is destroyed. The engineer company provides mobility to the TF's counterattack or reserve, allowing the TF to exploit a broken enemy attack rapidly.
Obstacle planning is linked to the most likely enemy COA rather than to a specific piece of terrain. Mobile-defense obstacle planning is more restrictive than permissive, and it reduces the flexibility of the companies/teams. This allows massed obstacle effort at areas that are crucial and preserves mobility for counterattacking forces.
Survivability is also tailored to a force- oriented defense. The TF must fight the depth of its sector from multiple battle positions. Fortification efforts must support fighting quick engagements from multiple positions by providing primarily hull-down positions in both primary and subsequent battle positions. Protective-obstacle requirements are concentrated in the final subsequent positions where the penetration must be blunted to allow the counterattack.
The enemy is destroyed in the mobile defense by a large counterattacking reserve. The engineer company supports this reinforced company/team in two ways. First, the engineer company's obstacle-control measures ensure that the TF's obstacle efforts do not limit the mobile reserve's freedom to maneuver. Second, the engineer company ensures that the mobile reserve has the necessary dedicated engineer support to maintain mobility during the counterattack. The engineers that are a part of the counter-attack must be able to counter the enemy's situational obstacles or reduce friendly obstacles as required by changes to the situation. The TF engineer must weigh the trade-off between the counterattack and the obstacle and survivability requirements of the TF's MBA when he allocates engineer forces, assets, and resources.
The SOEO focuses on retaining terrain and enabling the TF to concentrate fires from fixed positions. Locating and analyzing key and decisive terrain plays a major role in the organization of the area defense and becomes the focus of the obstacle and survivability effort.
The survivability effort must enable the companies/teams to concentrate fires from fixed positions. The TF engineer must be sensitive to increased fortification requirements. To fight from fixed positions, the companies/teams may require primary, alternate, and supplemental turret-defilade positions. The heavier survivability effort also requires a larger and more substantial protective-obstacle effort that breaks the enemy's final assault. The tactical-obstacle effort must be well-synchronized between the companies/teams to ensure mutual support and interlocking obstacle groups.
ENGINEER PLANNING FOR DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS
The focus of defensive planning is to integrate and synchronize obstacles and fortifications into the TF's direct- and indirect-fire plans. This planning is directive and detailed in nature and focuses on the determination of obstacle groups and the type and amount of prepared positions. Actual obstacle siting and emplacement and position location are the purview of the company/team commander and the supporting engineer platoons.
TF-level defensive planning is part of the tactical decision-making process. The EBA process provides the basis for integrating defensive planning with the decision-making process.
ANALYZE THE MISSION
- Determine facts and assumptions.
- Analyze relative combat power.
- Analyze the engineer battalion's/brigade's mission and the commander's intent.
- Issue the commander's guidance.
DETERMINE FACTS ANDASSUMPTIONS
The MCOO should define the AAs and mobility corridors within the TF's AO. This information is vital to obstacle planning. Obstacles are placed on AAs to attack enemy maneuver. The AA analysis also details potential EAs. The MCOO also highlights areas where fortification is not feasible because of soil type, terrain restrictions, or limited fields of fire. It also indicates where forces can defend with limited survivability construction because the reverse slope or undulating terrain provides natural concealment and cover.
The threat evaluation and enemy COA development detail how the enemy will potentially attack. They also provide an insight as to what and where the enemy's objective and routes might be. The SITEMP helps the engineer to understand how the enemy will traverse through the TF's sector and allows the engineer to gain an understanding of how and where he can best attack the enemy's maneuver.
The SITEMP also depicts how the enemy's reconnaissance forces will enter the sector. This is especially important to counter the enemy's ability to reconnoiter obstacle and fortification efforts.
The engineer must articulate the current capabilities of the engineer company, its current combat power, and its ability to support the TF. Assumptions on future capability or potential reinforcement by other engineers should be analyzed. Specific characteristics of special engineer equipment and SCATMINE systems are detailed for the staff. An initial Class IV/V supply-point location and operation plan should be developed with the TF staff (note that the TF has responsibility for Class IV/V supply-point operation). The XO/1SG works with the TF and the engineer battalion S4 to ensure that delivery of Class IV/V barrier material is synchronized with the execution.
ANALYZE RELATIVE COMBAT POWER
ANALYZE THE ENGINEER BATTALION'S/BRIGADE'S MISSION AND THE COMMANDER'S INTENT
The TF must identify tasks and limitations imposed from the brigade OPORD. These might include obstacle belts with or without specific intents, obstacle-restricted areas, or restrictions on the type of obstacles. Also, the brigade OPORD might specify reserve, situational, or directed obstacle groups or the minimum level of survivability.
The engineer must identify the TF's total obstacle and fortification capabilities. Available assets include engineer units, SCATMINE systems, and infantry units that can provide additional manpower for obstacle construction. Engineer equipment status and work rates must be considered. Appendix D details the engineer company's defensive planning factors. Time must also be considered.
ISSUE COMMANDER'S GUIDANCE
- Direct-/indirect-fire analysis.
- Obstacle-intent integration.
- Obstacle priority.
- Fortification priority.
- Mobility requirements.
The direct-fire plan also illuminates which companies/teams will require fortification based on their position with respect to the terrain. The engineer must understand the purpose of each company/team to determine its fortification requirements. Synchronization of direct and indirect fires with obstacles multiplies the relative effect on the enemy. An obstacle is an excellent location for preplanned artillery and mortar fires. These fires can eliminate dismounted breaching efforts. The indirect fires contribute to the threat's ability to breach, making the obstacle more effective and providing direct-fire systems a higher probability of kill.
Obstacle groups target specific enemy elements based on the SITEMP. The engineer generally allocates an obstacle group against a battalion-sized AA. This approach mirrors the staff's placement of a company/team against the same enemy force. The company's/team's fire responsibility drives the placement of the obstacle groups. The engineer advises the commander on which specific effect each directed obstacle group must achieve. He plans obstacle groups to-
- Disrupt the enemy.
- Turn the enemy into an area where friendly units can mass fires.
- Fix the enemy in the EA and enhance his direct-fire destruction.
- Block the enemy from using an AA.
- Enemy reactions at the obstacle groups (breaching or bypassing capability) versus the desired obstacle effect.
- Enemy breaching capabilities that make one obstacle type preferable to another (such as a tank ditch versus a minefield).
- Obstacle locations that hinder friendly maneuver.
- The compatibility of obstacle effects and weapons-systems capabilities.
- Adequate direct-/indirect-fire-control measures, as well as targeting that supports the obstacle effect. Effects of artillery and obstacles must be synchronized to gain the desired effect on the enemy's maneuver.
- Locations of suspected enemy artillery concentrations that make one type of fighting position preferable to another.
- Locations and types of enemy situational obstacles that make one type of breaching asset preferable to another.
- Obstacle-group location changes.
- Obstacle-effect changes.
- Additional situational-obstacle groups.
- Additional reserve-obstacle groups.
- Fortification effort, type, or priority changes.
- Identification of other mobility requirements.
- Refinement of artillery targets based on obstacle group changes.
OBSTACLE DESIGN AND RESOURCING
If time permits, a detailed ground reconnaissance of the obstacle-group location can be conducted. This will allow a more detailed analysis of the obstacle requirement for that AA, and then individual obstacles can be planned by the engineer. However, usually the engineer will only designate the intent to guide the companies/teams. The company/team commanders and their supporting engineers will complete the actual design of the individual obstacles within the obstacle groups.
DECISION AND EXECUTION
- The zone/belt/group designation and in-dividual obstacle numbers, to include situational obstacles.
- The location.
- The obstacle effect for the group.
- The priority of the group.
- The emplacing and owning unit.
- Locations of lanes or bypasses.
- Lane-closure responsibility and closure resource location.
- The material allocation or assets allocated to the group.
- The Class IV/V supply-point responsibility.
- The location of obstacle materials and Class IV/V supply-point locations.
- Any special instructions, such as triggers or firing-party procedures.
- Obstacle repair instructions.
SURVIVABILITY MATRIX AND TIME LINE
- The survivability priority for the type of position and the type of system.
- The company/team priority.
- The number, type of position, and time allotted to fortify each TF element.
- The location.
- The allocation of equipment.
- The maneuver point of contact (POC) with each element, including the call sign and frequency.
- Any special instructions, such as disengagement triggers, follow-in construction tasks, or equipment rally points.
TASK-FORCE OBSTACLE SCENARIO
The TF commander has the mission to defend in sector to defeat an enemy regiment. Based on the TF's mission, the commander directs the staff to develop a COA (see Figure 4-4). . The scouts will screen forward. Teams A and C and Company D defend from battle positions (BPs) A, C, and D, respectively, to mass direct and indirect fires in EA Dog. Team B defends along a secondary AA in the south from BP B. On order, Team B repositions to a subsequent BP to support the fight in EA Dog.
The engineer develops an obstacle plan to support the COA. First, he analyzes the fire plan to determine the areas where fires are massed to destroy the enemy. He sketches in rough range fans based on the probable weapon systems in each BP. These areas suggest locations where the engineer can integrate obstacles with fires (see Figure 4-5). The engineer selects locations for directed obstacle groups. He confines the obstacle-group locations to obstacle belt A1, which was identified during mission analysis. He uses obstacle-effects graphics to show the relative location of the obstacle groups and to indicate the desired obstacle effect. The obstacle groups target enemy battalion-size formations (see Figure 4-6). The engineer coordinates with the FSO to ensure that indirect fires are planned to support and reinforce the desired obstacle effect. Finally, the TF engineer sets priorities for the obstacle groups based on the importance of the obstacle group to the success of the COA and the commander's guidance on obstacles. Figure 4-6 also shows the priorities that support the commander's desire to stop the enemy in the south, to force him to piecemeal into the EA, and to destroy him in EA Dog.
The engineer also develops a fortification plan and a survivability matrix and time line to support the COA. He prioritizes the fortification effort by maneuver element and allocates equipment, time, and number and type of positions to each maneuver element. Figure 4-7 shows the priorities that support the commander's intent to protect the force while it destroys the enemy entering the EA.
The staff analyzes the COA and makes adjustments based on the analysis. These adjustments include the addition of a situational-obstacle group to support the withdrawal of the scouts. The engineer also identifies mobility requirements. These requirements include lanes for passage of the TF scouts and marked bypasses in the EA to support EA rehearsals. He also recommends that Team B have four tank plows to ensure that they can freely reposition to fire into EA Dog. Figure 4-8 shows the situational-obstacle group and mobility requirements annotated on the obstacle plan. The engineer conducts obstacle design and resourcing for the obstacle plan.
Following the commander's decision to accept the COA as is, the engineer finalizes the obstacle plan. The final plan includes a scheme-of-obstacles overlay and obstacle- execution matrixes. The engineer also coordinates for obstacle overwatch and patrolling with the maneuver team commanders. He also plans for subsequent engineer rally points and defensive positions, should the enemy attack earlier than expected.
PLANNING BELOW TASK-FORCE LEVEL
COORDINATING WITH THE MANEUVER COMMANDER
- The SITEMP.
- The commander's intent, including the unit's task and purpose.
- Maneuver graphics and the fire plan.
- The obstacle-execution matrix.
- The scheme-of-obstacle overlay.
- The fire-support plan.
- CSS graphics.
SITING THE OBSTACLE
Once the company/team marks the general limits and orientation of the obstacle group, the engineers can begin marking individual obstacles (if not already done). To mark individual obstacles, the engineer platoon uses the group markers as a guide. As shown in Figure 4-9, the group markers may lend themselves well as the start and end points of individual obstacles; however, this is not always the case. As the engineer platoon refines the group limits into the site of individual obstacles, the platoon can then begin the necessary site layout based on the method of obstacle emplacement.
OBSTACLE TURNOVER AND TRANSFER
- Briefing on local friendly and enemy situation.
- Description of the obstacle, including location, type, marking, and composition.
- Conventional minefields: type of mines, fuzing, and AHDs.
- Scatterable minefields: type of mines, duration/self-destruct time, and safety zone.
- Other obstacles (booby traps and other hazards).
- Information on lanes, including number, locations, marking, and closure plan, or information on the reserve obstacle (if applicable).
- Coordination completed or still required with the fire-support team.
- Transfer of graphics and documentation (minefield records, demolition target folders, orders for the demolition guard, or other written records).
- Guidance on obstacle-protection measures taken or required (counterreconnaissance, targeting enemy breachers, obstacle repair, or phony obstacles).
After the A&O platoon leader understands where the company/team will place their systems, he can direct his equipment to start work. The A&O platoon leader must monitor the construction effort and keep the engineer informed of his progress. This information is critical for the staff to monitor defensive preparation and will allow them to make informed recommendations to the commander if changes in priority are required.
The A&O platoon leader, maneuver platoon leaders, and combat/section leaders must ensure that the direct-fire systems can see the EA, TRPs, and obstacles once the positions are completed as shown in Figure 4-10. They should immediately inform the company/team commander if they discover a potential problem with this. The A&O platoon leader also helps to ensure that the quality control of the position's construction is monitored with the company/team leadership. It is a joint responsibility between the builder and occupier of the position to ensure the following:
- That the position is properly positioned.
- That the position is of the proper depth, width, type, and length.
- That the spoil is removed or camouflaged.
- That the position is test-fitted by the direct-fire system.
The A&O platoon leader should use equipment teams where possible. This maximizes equipment usage while minimizing C2. He should mass his equipment for the same reasons. Also, ACE-equipped units can construct hasty fighting positions quickly using ACE teams. These can be upgraded later with bulldozers or, if additional time is available, with extra ACEs. Like the heavy equipment, the A&O platoon leader should mass his small emplacement excavators (SEEs) to dig in critical dismounted fighting positions.
In many situations, the A&O platoon leader and the engineer and company/team commanders will be able to optimize existing terrain features with a small amount of earth moving. Existing folds in terrain, wadis, or ditches can be easily and effectively turned into fighting positions with limited equipment use.
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