OTHER TACTICAL OPERATIONS
There are several other tactical operations that the engineer company could be involved with. These include retrograde, passage-of-lines, breakout, linkup, river-crossing, and heavy/light forces operations; military operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT); and contingency operations. See Appendix E for formation examples.
TYPES OF RETROGRADE OPERATIONS
CONSIDERATIONS FOR RETROGRADE OPERATIONS
Leadership and Morale
Reconnaissance and Surveillance
The engineer company supports the security force through the construction of obstacle groups that limit the enemy's maneuver, lane closure, situational-obstacle emplacement to protect the security force, and hasty fortification that affords the security force additional protection.
- Conducting route reconnaissance.
- Positioning mobility assets at critical points.
- Improving routes and providing guides through friendly obstacles along the retrograde routes.
- Rehearsing lane closure, situational- obstacle emplacement, and movement.
- Acquiring, treating, and medically evacuating casualties rapidly.
- Evacuating recoverable supplies and materials and excess equipment before the retrograde.
- Displacing nonessential company assets early in the operation.
- Constructing obstacles at choke points or on routes not used by the TF.
- Fortifying construction for forces occupying key terrain that dominates high-speed AAs.
- Destroying roads, bridges, and rafting on avenues not required by the TF.
- Improving existing obstacle groups with conventional or SCATMINE systems.
- Planning situational obstacles to delay and disrupt the enemy's maneuver.
PASSAGE OF LINES
Passage control between the passing and stationary TFs is a key consideration in a passage of lines. Normally, both TFs' TOCs will collocate. This allows both engineer company CPs to also collocate. Collocation allows both CPs to control the engineer passage and exchange scheme-of-obstacle overlays and allows the passing engineer company the necessary information required to assume control of the obstacle effort in sector.
Both engineer companies must jointly plan and closely coordinate to ensure the passage's success. They exchange information that includes individual obstacle locations and their markings, situational obstacles planned, cleared routes through the sector, and standards for lane marking. Details of reserve obstacles and situational-obstacle triggers and execution criteria are also exchanged.
The stationary TF is responsible for the passing TF's mobility. The stationary engineer company normally provides guides through existing obstacles and positions breaching assets to move the passing TF through quickly. In a rearward passage, the stationary engineer company is prepared to close obstacle lanes after the passage of the rearward moving unit (see Figures 5-2 and 5-3).
The passing TF generally organizes for in-stride breaching before starting its passage. The passing force must be prepared to breach enemy remotely delivered mines rapidly during passage as well as breach any friendly obstacles that do not have lanes. NOTE: Creating lanes through the stationary unit's obstacles requires permission from the stationary force and should only be done in extreme situations. Authority to reduce obstacles may be delegated to subordinate units of the passing force in the coordinating instructions of the brigade OPORD. Any breaching required or undertaken by the passing force must be reported so that the stationary unit can repair the obstacle. This is especially important during a rearward passage of lines.
Regardless of initial command/support relationships, all forces encircled become attached, including the engineer company with the TF. The TF organizes for the break-out with four forces: the rupture force, the reserve force, the main body, and the rear guard.
- The rupture force must penetrate the enemy positions and open a gap for the remainder of the TF to pass. The engineer company must ensure the mobility of the rupture force and be prepared to rapidly breach any obstacle the rupture force encounters. Once the gap is opened, the rupture force must hold the shoulders of the gap until the TF passes. Situational obstacles are normally planned to protect the TF's flanks as they pass through the penetration. The rupture force would trigger any obstacles emplaced.
- The reserve force follows and assists the rupture force. The reserve force normally passes through the rupture force to maintain the momentum of the breakout. The reserve force would also organize to breach any obstacles encountered following the initial rupture of the encirclement.
- The TF's main body consists of the command group, the main CP, and CS and CSS assets. The engineer company assets that are not actively involved with the breakout are in the main body (specifically, the A&O platoon and the engineer company trains element).
- The rear guard protects the TF's rear as it moves through the rupture and links up with friendly forces. The rear guard would also employ situational obstacles to assist in disrupting and delaying the enemy's pursuit.
The TF participates in deliberate or retrograde river crossings as part of a larger force. FMs 90-13 and 71-2 provide detailed explanations for planning these operations. Generally, the TF organizes for in-stride breaching during these operations to facilitate rapid transition through the crossing area.
The TF approaches a hasty water crossing in much the same way as an in-stride breaching operation. FM 71-2 details the following characteristics of a hasty crossing:
- Speed, surprise, and a minimum loss of momentum.
- Decentralized operations with organic, existing, or expedient resources.
- Weak or no enemy defenses on both banks.
- Minimum concentration of forces.
- Quick continuation of the operation.
HEAVY/LIGHT FORCES OPERATIONS
There is an overlap of situations where both heavy and light engineers can operate. The integration of heavy and light engineers capitalizes on the enemy's force structure to attack its weakness and then seize the initiative (see Figure 5-5).
SUPPORT TO A LIGHT INFANTRY COMPANY ATTACHED TO A TASK FORCE
LIGHT ENGINEER AUGMENTATION
ENGINEER COMPANY SUPPORTING A LIGHT INFANTRY BRIGADE OR TASK FORCE
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBANIZED TERRAIN
- Secures blueprints of buildings and sewer, electrical, and water systems.
- Determines the location of utilities (power, water, telephone system, mass transit hubs, and mass fuel locations) through subterranean analysis (subways and sewers) and by using local city and road maps.
- Determines the availability of host-nation (HN) equipment, construction, and fortification resources, civilian work-force assets, and HN civilian subject-matter experts (SMEs) (guides, electricians, and so forth).
- Determines the unexploded ordnance (UXO) characteristics in the AO (type, number, density, and location).
- Considers centralized planning and decentralized execution.
- Determines how the rules of engagement (ROE) affect engineer capabilities and missions.
- War-games engineer support during the following phases:
- Isolate the area.
- Control dominant terrain (no traffic or resupply in or out).
- Seize a foothold.
- Clear the urban area.
- Establishes common obstacle-control measures.
- Establishes demolition blast signals (visual and audible).
- Establishes common route markings.
- Ensures that engineers breach or reduce tactical obstacles and the infantry breaches or reduces protective obstacles.
- War-games SOSR in MOUT and ensures rehearsals.
- Plans for mobility teams (task- organized based on METT-T).
- Plans in three dimensions (above ground, ground, and below ground).
- Plans an engineer contingency mission for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).
- Plans for a hasty defense.
- Plans for follow-on engineer requirements.
- Plans and resources route-clearance operations.
- Addresses special obstacle-reduction requirements.
- Addresses and requests engineers to support TF general-engineering tasks.
- War-games and plans for the contingency of MOUT-peculiar follow-on mission requirements.
- Addresses and resources the increase of demolition/Class V requirements in MOUT.
- Plans for additional "bunker-busting" capabilities.
- Requests special mission-essential equipment, such as 120-foot rope and grapnels.
- Plans for the procurement of additional materials (locally fabricated, if required), such as-
- Satchel charges (field expedient, if conventional satchel charges are not available).
- Rope ladders and ladders.
- Marking materials (paint, chalk, engineer tape, and chemical lights).
- Bangalore torpedoes.
- Fragmentation or concussion grenades.
- Determines and disseminates booby-trap-neutralization equipment and techniques.
- Identifies special-equipment needs for the platoon.
- Plans for the continuous resupply of engineer-specific logistics, especially demolition.
- Ensures that combined-arms rehearsals are conducted for all operations.
- Teaches infantry demolition/breaching techniques.
- Plans for decentralized operations (team-leader level).
- Ensures that every soldier understands the ROE and how they affect engineer support of the operation.
- Attacks and raids.
- Combating terrorism.
- Disaster relief.
- Humanitarian assistance.
- Nation assistance.
- Support to insurgency and counterinsurgency.
- Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs).
- Peace operations.
- Demonstrations and shows of force.
- Support to civil authorities.
- Support to counterdrug operations.
- Countermine operations.
- Force-protection operations.
ENGINEER SUPPORT TO CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS
Attacks and Raids
- Create situations that permit seizing and maintaining political initiative.
- Place considerable pressure on governments and groups supporting terrorism.
- Damage, destroy, or seize high-value targets (HVTs), equipment, or facilities that threaten national-security interests.
- Demonstrate US capability and resolve to achieve a favorable result.
- Support counterdrug operations by destroying narcotics production or transshipment facilities or by supporting HN activities in this arena.
- Protect flanks, withdrawal routes, and landing zones.
- Emplace and man roadblocks.
- Breach obstacles.
- Move or destroy captured equipment.
- Use captured equipment to perform missions.
Engineers may become targets for terrorists because of how and where they perform their missions, especially construction projects and other wide-area missions. Equipment parks and supply yards are large and difficult to defend. Soldiers operating equipment or hauling materials are vulnerable to ambush by direct and indirect fires, mines, and booby traps. Engineer leaders support antiterrorism by-
- Developing a good IPB and EBA of threat forces.
- Establishing and enforcing sound operating procedures.
- Organizing security elements.
- Constructing secure Class IV/V supply points and CPs.
- Constructing protective shelters for key facilities.
- Emplacing vehicle barriers.
- Clearing standoff zones around facilities.
- Erecting predetonation screens to protect units and installations.
The engineer company can provide personnel and equipment capabilities that are extremely useful during disaster-relief operations in the following areas:
- Removing debris.
- Rebuilding lines of communication (LOC).
- Assisting with the distribution of aid, including food and clothing.
- Building temporary facilities and structures for displaced persons.
Engineer assistance may include constructing and repairing rudimentary surface-transportation systems, basic sanitation facilities, and rudimentary public facilities and utilities. Other tasks may include constructing feeding centers and disposing of human and hazardous waste.
- Engineers visit and exchange engineer SMEs between the US and the foreign nation to discuss specific engineer topics.
- Companies deploy to perform multinational engineer training with the HN's military.
Support to Insurgency and Counterinsurgency
Engineers that support a NEO generally operate as part of a joint force and may conduct a wide variety of tasks, including-
- Constructing temporary facilities and protective structures in country or in another country for either US forces or the evacuees.
- Conducting route reconnaissance and mobility operations for land evacuation.
- Repairing airfields and clearing helicopter landing zones for use in air- evacuation operations.
Peacekeeping Operations. Peacekeeping operations support diplomatic efforts to establish or maintain peace in areas of potential or actual conflict. They are undertaken with the consent of all belligerents. Peacekeeping forces monitor and facilitate the implementation of an existing truce or cease-fire and they support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. Strict appearance of neutrality, an adequate means of self-protection, and the availability of timely and effective support are critical. The engineer company may be tasked to conduct peacekeeping operations over a considerable time period, under multinational control (such as the United Nations [UN]), or under a unilateral peacekeeping umbrella.
ngineer missions in peacekeeping operations range from facilities construction to minefield clearance. Although the requirement for combat engineers may be small, there is a possible need to construct barriers, provide assistance and training in engineering skills, or conduct countermine operations, either in contested areas or along peacekeeping-force patrol routes.
Combat-engineering tasks (such as mobility, countermobility, and survivability tasks) may be conducted by US engineer units in support of peacekeeping operations. Engineer missions specifically related to peacekeeping operations include-
- Constructing CPs, bunkers, and OPs.
- Constructing force-protection structures such as earth revetments, wire obstacles, and defensive positions.
- Clearing fields of observation.
- Demolishing fortifications.
- Clearing or marking minefields (including minefield-fence maintenance).
- Clearing mines and booby traps.
- Providing backup support for identifying, marking, removing, or destroying explosive ordnance.
Demonstrations and Shows of Force
Support to Civil Authorities
Engineer forces may be called upon to support civil authorities in various missions such as fighting forest fires, removing snow, removing hazardous waste, providing riot control, and constructing emergency bridges and airfields. FM 100-19 describes in detail how engineers support civil authorities.
Support to Counterdrug Operations
Engineers supporting domestic counterdrug operations perform missions focused on supporting local law-enforcement agencies. Engineers are sensitive to the legal aspects of support to civilian authorities and abide by the Posse Comitatus Act. They are also aware of the capabilities of the threat, which is primarily heavily armed narcotics traffickers. Typical support tasks include-
- Constructing or rehabilitating law- enforcement target ranges; helipads; and fuel-storage, billet, CP, and maintenance facilities.
- Constructing or upgrading access roads for drug-interdiction patrols.
- Clearing observation fields for counterdrug teams.
- Work closely with the S2 to determine the land-mine threat in the contingency operation's AO. Exploit all sources of intelligence to identify mined areas in the contingency operation's AO.
- Ensure that the company is trained to identify, mark, and report encountered land mines.
- Ensure that engineers are fully confident in the employment of countermine equipment and that the equipment is operational. Conduct land-mine detection, marking, and removal training for soldiers conducting countermine missions.
- Provide necessary individual protective equipment and mine-resistant vehicles to soldiers conducting countermine operations.
- Establish, disseminate, and enforce route and area land-mine clearance and marking procedures for the contingency operation's AO. Include these procedures with established ROE.
- Establish with the JTF or Army forces commander the required level of protection needed in the contingency operation's AO, based on the expected threat.
- Develop force-protection construction standards for operating and life-support bases, including the need for security fencing, lighting, obstacles, and guard posts.
- Ensure that adequate force-protection construction materials are provided to early-entry forces.
- Establish facility security-inspection procedures with military and local law-enforcement personnel to quickly identify and repair breaches.
- Threat engineer capabilities in likely lodgment areas, including combat- engineering requirements for force protection, countermine, counterobstacle, and early-entry force-support operations.
- Existing topographic product availability and requirements for new terrain-visualization products.
- Specialized engineer requirements such as prime-power, fire-fighting, water-detection, and well-drilling support.
- Engineer liaison requirements, including linguists and civil-affairs personnel.
- Mission objectives and end-state, mission-success, and liaison procedures.
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