The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Chapter 8

Protecting the ASG Support Structure

Threats in the COMMZ cover the entire spectrum of operations from individual and small-group terrorists and saboteurs to a well-organized combination of military, partisan, terrorist, saboteur units, and individuals. The wide operational dispersion of ASG units makes them prime target for guerrilla, terrorists, and sabotage tactics, as well as coordinated attacks by an insurgent force in OOTW. Threat forces may focus on key assets, staging areas, ports, airfields, missile sites, and the theater munitions storage area.

Protection of the ASG logistics sustainment base, enabling its continuing support of corps combat operations, is a primary concern of the combatant commander. Rear operations protect the ASG support structure in that they focus on--

  • Securing rear areas and key facilities in the COMMZ.
  • Preventing or minimizing enemy interference with command, control, and communications.
  • Preventing or minimizing disruption of CS and CSS forward.
  • Providing unimpeded movement of friendly units throughout the COMMZ.
  • Finding, delaying, and destroying enemy incursions in the COMMZ.
  • Providing area damage control after an attack or incident.

ASGs serve as the focal point for coordinating and controlling of rear operations in their respective areas. The ASG is the tactical command and control element for rear operations and is responsible for all aspects of rear operations.




EAC support command commanders decentralize authority for rear security to subordinate ASG commanders. ASGs have operational responsibility for rear operations. ASG commanders coordinate, control, and execute rear security operations within their assigned area through a ROC (ASG). The organization for rear operations is depicted in Figure 8-1.

As explained in FM 90-23, the support structure for rear operations is based on other than normal command relationships. While operating on a day-to-day basis on assigned missions under normal command relationships, units may also respond to command and control headquarters not in their normal chain of command for rear operations missions. Even MP and engineer organizations that normally conduct rear operations against Level I and II threats have other primary missions. ADS maintenance company commander may be a part of a cluster responding to an engineer or transportation battalion in its rear operations role. Similarly, an engineer battalion commander may work for an engineer group commander in performing its routine missions, but be directed by the commander of an ASG in the matter of rear operations. For this reason, command and control of rear operations is complicated and is not a routine, everyday procedure.


In the COMMZ, the theater army commander is responsible for rear operations. Because the COMMZ is typically a large geographical area with dispersed units, the theater commander assigns responsibility for rear operations to the EAC support command. For the same reasons, the EAC support command commander assigns responsibility to the subordinate ASG commanders.

The EAC support command commander has a EAC support command ROC as his staff element for rear operations. The EAC support command ROC serves as the rear operations coordinating agency for that headquarters. Similarly, ASGs have operational responsibility for rear operations within their assigned areas of responsibility. ASGs are augmented with a ROC (ASG) to assist in the planning, coordination, and control of rear operations activities.


In the COMMZ, rear operations are controlled on an area basis. The ASG is the most visible area command. By virtue of its having real estate allocation as a mission responsibility, the ASG is the most logical command to control rear operations.

In his assigned portion of the EAC support command geographical area, the ASG commander is responsible for the security of all units and installations located within the area, not just units assigned or attached to the ASG. Execution of this responsibility requires the utmost in cooperation and coordination between the ASG and tenant units. This is crucial because it requires that the tenant units become subordinate to the ASG relative to rear operations.

ASG Commander

The ASG commander has responsibility for all aspects of rear operations in his assigned territory. He can serve as the rear operations officer or assign this mission to another officer. Normally he remains responsible for the overall security of all units and installations within his AO. The ASG commander has the following responsibilities for forces transiting in the ASG AO:

  • Inform commanders of transient forces of pertinent portions of the area defense plan.
  • Inform transient force commanders of all pertinent information and intelligence available.
  • Inform the EAC support command ROC of requests for support from transient forces.

The ASG commander has several assets to assist him in rear operations planning and execution. The staff director for security, plans, and operations is his chief staff officer for this function. Upon its arrival in the AO, the ROC (ASG) augments the SPO for the planning, coordination, and control of rear operations. In effect, it becomes the primary point of contact between the commander, staff, and designated base cluster and base commanders.

Rear Operations Officer

Acting through the ROC (ASG), the rear operations officer commands and controls base clusters and independent bases for rear operations. The rear operations officer establishes priorities and contingency plans for the defense of bases, base clusters, installations, and other facilities in the AOR. When the rear operations officer so directs, MPs, critical to repelling attacks, come under the command of the rear operations officer. As the situation requires, other resources, such as engineers, may also be directed by the rear operations officer.


As the staff officer for overall security, plans, and operations, the ASG SPO is responsible for the technical operations of the ASG. He supervises rear operations peacetime training throughout the command. In coordination with the ROC (ASG) and the unit in question, he assigns the locations of all subordinate and tenant units. If an ROC (ASG) is not assigned or attached, his staff performs the ROC (ASG) mission as directed by the rear operations officer. A nucleus of rear operations staff is assigned to the SPO directorate's rear operations branch. The SPO also ensures that communications systems are available for rear operations.

Rear Operations Center (ASG)

The ROC (ASG) plans, coordinates, and controls the conduct of rear operations for the commander and serves as the link between the ASG and tenant units. It coordinates with other commands such as engineers and MP. It coordinates the mission and operations of a TCF when one is committed. It provides advice and assistance to bases and base clusters.

The ROC (ASG) coordinates terrain management in the ASG AO. As necessary, it coordinates with base commanders from other Services and HN forces. It has tasking authority for rear security operations over land combat units stationed within its AOR. This authority includes combat units transiting or reconstituting within the ASG's AOR during emergency wartime conditions.

ROCs (ASG) perform the following functions--

  • Provide centralized planning and coordination for rear security operations.
  • Conduct direct staff coordination with the operations and intelligence staff at ASGs/EAC support command.
  • Plan and coordinate security aspects of terrain management.
  • Coordinate with local HN assets for police and fire fighting support.
  • Identify all initial response forces.
  • Assess criticality for support by response forces.
  • Assess vulnerably of bases or base clusters.
  • Set priorities for defense.
  • Monitor unit activity locations and relocations within the AO through coordination with EAC support command staff, the TAMCA, HN interface elements, and adjacent commands.
  • Coordinate security aspects of sustainment operations.
  • Review and coordinate base or base cluster defense plans to ensure integrated mutual support.
  • Maintain information on available fire support assets.
  • Interface with Corps Rear CP/RAOCs.
  • Provide current rear security information to the BCOCs/BDOCs.
  • Assist bases in conducting battle damage assessment.
  • Request ADC support from engineer battalions.
  • Designate bases and base clusters as necessary and appoint base/base cluster commanders.

ROCs (ASG) are Reserve Component organizations and may not always be available. In such cases, the ASG commander must make every effort to have the ROC (ASG) functions performed by task-organizing organic resources and by requiring that subordinate and tenant commands provide staff officers and NCOs to perform those ROC (ASG) functions.

To assist in coordinating rear operations, ASG/EAC support command ROCs may place a liaison team under OPCON of the TCF. The ASG may request that all Services with forces located in the ASG AOR provide liaison personnel to the ROC (ASG). The Navy provides a liaison team to the ROC (ASG) or the highest land headquarters located in the harbor. That team provides naval expertise and liaison with naval assets to support rear security operations and to prepare naval fire support plans. The Marine Corps may provide liaison elements to the EAC support command or ROC (ASG) to coordinate fire support for rear security operations. Liaison officers coordinate ground defensive operations and procedures.

Base Clusters

For mutual security, units occupying the ASG AOR are organized into base cluster by the ROC (ASG) acting in coordination with the SPO. The ROC (ASG) organizes base clusters based on the SPO's requirements and recommendations for placement. Figure 8-2 depicts base clustering in an ASG AO. The ASG headquarters normally shares with four-plus units.

The ROC (ASG) appoints a base cluster commander from the units in the cluster. Normally the base cluster commander is the senior commander in the base cluster. Exceptions are made in the case of a medical commander. Army regulations prohibit a medical officer from exercising command over other than medical units and personnel.

The base cluster commander establishes a BCOC to plan, coordinate and control rear operations among the bases in the cluster. He forms the BCOC from his own staff assets and from those of other elements in the cluster.


In some instances, as shown on Figure 8-2, independent bases are formed. In coordination with the base cluster commander, the ROC (ASG) appoints base commanders. All units within a base come under the operational command of the base commander for security operations.

Base commanders establish a BDOC to plan and establish organic self-defense for the base. Base units divert staff from their headquarters to the BDOC.

If the base is part of a base cluster, the BDOC communicates with the BCOC. When faced with a threat attack above base defense capability, the BDOC requests assistance through the BCOC from the ROC (ASG). If the base is independent, the BDOC communicates directly with the ROC (ASG) for security planning and execution.

When a Level I attack occurs, the base defends itself with its own resources. Reporting channels are followed for alerting the base cluster, the ROC (ASG), and supporting MP. The attack is repelled and, if required, MP pursue and neutralize or apprehend the assailants. Damage and casualty assessments are made and reported. Base units then return to their normal missions.

Host-Nation Support

In most allied nations, the rear area behind the corps rear area is a HN responsibility. The COMMZ is normally sovereign territory of the friendly host-nation. As such, the US may support the HN's overall security responsibility. However, the capability of HNs to provide rear operations support must be carefully monitored. Battle command relationships with HN forces are highly situation and theater dependent.

In developed theaters, such as Germany or in South Korea, where complex alliance infrastructures have been developed and tested over the years, extensive use is made of HN forces in rear operations. Based on signed agreements, viable HN forces normally assume rear operations responsibilities in the COMMZ. The HN area commander may be given authority to exercise OPCON over tenant US units when an emergency exists. When the HN is viable, the ASG coordinates with HN authorities for support of rear security operations in the ASG area. It negotiates with HN authorities to ensure that support is provided in accordance with existing agreements.

However, not all theaters have a viable HNS structure in place. In undeveloped and developing theaters, HN support cannot be judged reliable until it has been tested. The rear security capability and willingness of the HN may not be sufficient. In unfriendly countries, US forces may assume complete responsibility for rear security operations.


Each echelon of command conducts an IPB and provides it to its subordinate echelon. The ASG SPO directorate conducts a detailed IPB of the area. The IPB process helps to identify the battlefield environment ASG units operate within and the effects of that environment upon mission accomplishment. The IPB process focuses on the battlefield's effects on COA. FMs 34-3 and 34-130 provide a detailed discussion of the IPB process.

SPO Staff Officers

SPO staffs use IPB products to determine what the threat can accomplish. ASG security staff officers focus their intelligence operations on their area of operations and their area of interest. They then focus the IPB effort on the logistical infrastructure, terrain, weather, and the effects of politics, civilian press, and local population on ASG missions.

Intelligence officers distribute target lists to all ROCs (ASG). Key threat targets within ASG AO may include--

  • POMCUS sites.
  • MMC and MCA.
  • EAC support command and MMC.
  • EAC support command and ROCs (ASG).
  • Theater storage area for ammunition stocks.
  • Port facilities.
  • Air defense missile sites.
  • Communications center.
  • Airfields and airbases.
  • Reserve assembly areas.
  • Main supply routes and MSR choke points.
  • Key logistics sites.
  • Class III points.
  • ROWPUs.

Possible targets of opportunity include Class III supply points or Class V storage facilities. Intelligence officers need to assess the value and vulnerability of high-value assets such as petroleum supply points, theater storage area, and Class VII points.

Intelligence officers identify possible measures to protect key logistics assets. Intelligence staff officers coordinate their efforts to provide units with an idea of possible enemy intentions. They identify and evaluate avenues of approach, defensible terrain, and potential assembly and dispersal areas. They develop situation templates, event templates, and event matrixes.

Support Operations Staff Officers

Support operations staffs identify specific intelligence requirements. They may request that intelligence staff focus on the existing transportation or telecommunications infrastructures and on political or socio-economic factors. Support operations staffs analyze all characteristics of the AO that may affect ASG support operations. They assess population status overlays, weather analysis matrix terrain overlays, and other IPB products.

Support operations staffs use IPB terrain overlays to identify positions for specific system or supply points. Support operations staffs use IPB products to assess possible threat impact on LOCs, sea LOCs, and critical logistics facilities. For example, during planning for a humanitarian assistance operation, intelligence identifies the activity of local armed factions that influence the activities of civilian relief organizations.


ASG units continue to perform CSS missions until threat actions force them to defend themselves. However, in addition to their logistics support mission, ASG soldiers have an inherent responsibility to defend themselves. Each unit has a responsibility to defend itself and to contribute to the defense of other base units by bearing its assigned share of the base perimeter defense. This includes such tasks as manning observation posts and guard duty.

As a rule, a medical unit is to be guarded by its own personnel. However, US Army policy is that Article 24 personnel will not be used in perimeter defense of nonmedical units such as unit trains logistics areas or base clusters under overall security defense plans. Adherence to this policy should avoid any issues regarding Article 24 personnel's role from noncombatant to combatant (See FMs 8-10 and 27-10).

Supporting units in rear areas must be viewed as an extension of the fight, rather than as a disconnected, industrial backup zone. ASG and subordinate battalion commanders must decide what are acceptable risks. They must accept reasonable risks to continue their support mission for as long as possible. They focus on preventing or minimizing disruption of support. Subordinate units must use every measure available to avoid being engaged.

Active Protective Measures

Active protective measures which may be employed include--

  • Patrols.
  • Reconnaissance.
  • Fire support planning.
  • Deception devices and operations.
  • Initial response forces (MP).

Passive Measures

The scarcity of defense forces in the rear area requires that units take advantage of protective measures that can reduce base dependence on external combat response forces. Examples of passive measures include--

  • Dispersion.
  • Camouflage.
  • Cover and concealment.
  • OPSEC.
  • Protective obstacles.
  • Sensors and surveillance devices.
  • Observation and listening posts.


The COMMZ is characterized by the presence of a great number of units dispersed over a wide area. These units are directed by an array of different commanders. They operate independently of each other in pursuing mission accomplishment. Many units in the COMMZ relocate frequently. Others are merely passing through the area.

The ASG provides a semblance of unity of command by virtue of its being the real estate manager. As the allocator of real estate and facilities, the ASG commander is the manager of terrain. While the ASG does not direct any nonassigned or nonattached units in mission performance, it does control them in the areas of terrain management and security operations. Through his director of security, plans, and operations, the ASG commander assigns locations and facilities to all units located in or passing through his geographic AOR.


DCSOPS/SPO staffs assign units to a specific area or command based on the theater commander's intent, the concept of operation, and unit's mission requirements. Unit positioning decisions are made by the ROC (ASG)/SPO in coordination with the units involved.

Two critical factors enter into the decision of assigning locations and facilities. They are mission requirements and security requirements. The ROC (ASG) must also consider less critical but important safety factors that affect the mission such as safe storage requirements. The ROC (ASG) evaluates security factors. The SPO evaluates mission requirements. Due to mission requirements, ASG support units are normally positioned near main supply routes. This facilitates timely support. They are positioned in-depth to minimize the effect of threat attacks on logistics support. A transportation truck company requires a location on a road network. However, if the truck unit is effectively employed, few of its personnel are available to perform security duties. Therefore, that same truck company must also be located according to its security requirements.


EAC support command and ROCs (ASG) use input from BCOCs and BDOCs to monitor movement within the area. ROCs (ASG) coordinate with MPs relative to convoy security and tracking convoys within their AOR.


The necessary force is applied to eliminate the disruptive effect of the threat. There is no standard rule that dictates when a specific type of unit or level of response force is deployed to counteract the threat. Each incidence must be evaluated and compared to other requirements for the limited available resources.


The EAC support command allocates response forces to ASG areas. If the HN is viable, it retains responsibility for the response force.

Military Police

Within resources, area MP conduct surveillance, reconnaissance, highway control, and escort missions within resources. Since the MP brigade is the only tactical unit under direct control of the EAC support command, it normally remains under the EAC support command. However, MP battalions may employ general support to the ASG. The EAC support command assigns area security missions to the MPs. MP forces respond to requests for assistance passed through the ROC (ASG) to counter and defeat Level II threat forces. MP forces may also support either a US or HN TCF.

Base Support Battalion MP

Theater dependent, BSB MP perform limited rear operations support tasks in response to the ROC (ASG). Their rear operations support may include--

  • Local security planning, coordination, and HN integration.
  • Intelligence gathering, reporting, and dissemination.
  • Level I threat reaction or protection.
  • Level II threat coordination with supporting US and HN MP.

Transient Forces

Elements of transient forces can support area forces in countering a surprise enemy attack that cannot be met with assigned or attached forces. However, combatant commander approval is required before these forces may support an area command.

Other Response Forces

Other response forces may include--

  • Units undergoing reconstitution.
  • Units of other Services.
  • Newly arrived units.
  • HN assets.


When the threat exceeds response force capabilities, BCOCs/BDOCs request additional assistance from the ROC (ASG). The ROC (ASG) relays the requests for commitment of a TCF to defeat a Level III incursion through the EAC support command ROC to the theater operations staff. If the HN is viable and has responsibility for external base or base cluster security operations, the EAC support command/ROC (ASG) advises the HN representative of the requirement for the HN TCF. If the TCF is a combined arms organization, it usually remains under the command of the theater commander. However, EAC support command or ASG commanders may be given OPCON of the TCF under special circumstances.

The TCF requests logistics support through the ROC (ASG). The ROC (ASG) notifies logistics units when the priority of support has been shifted to the TCF.


ADC measures reduce the probability of damage, minimize destructive effects, and aid in the continuation or re-establishment of normal support operations. ADC includes all of the actions taken to avoid or minimize the effects of threat activities or natural disasters. ADC measures are designed to limit damage, seal off affected areas, save lives, salvage equipment, and restore unit operational capability as quickly as possible. The ADC objective is to reestablish the capability of affected units to perform their primary missions.


ASG commanders are responsible for planning ADC operations within their area. SPO staffs plan ADC operations in coordination with ROC (ASG) staff. ROC (ASG) in coordination with other ASG staff elements and tenant units focus on minimizing damage that impairs mission-essential operations. ROCs (ASG) review ADC plans that area required part of base and base cluster defense plans.

The ROC (ASG) anticipates requirements for ADC and prioritizes ADC missions. It plans large area deception smoke operations in coordination with units in its area to minimize the possibility of damage and deny enemy forces information about friendly activities. Table 8-1 lists ADC measures to be taken by a ROC (ASG) before, during, and after an incident.

The EAC support command commander may attach engineer units under OPCON of the ASG for specific ADC missions or specific periods of time. Theater dependent, a base support battalion controls engineer resources for facilities protection and damage recovery.


Theater dependent, a base support battalion is attached to an ASG. It focuses on the protection, maintenance, hardening, damage recovery, and repair of rear property. The BSB manages organic civilian engineer activities or attached utilities and fire-fighting teams. These activities or teams provide--

  • Repair or construction to harden facilities.
  • Fire-fighting and protection.
  • Rubble removal.

The BSB provides technical assistance to the ASG or units in the area on damage control. Its staff officers plan for and request assistance for retrograde of threatened supplies. They must also plan for and be prepared to execute destruction of militarily significant facilities, equipment, and supplies (less medical) to prevent enemy capture or use. As necessary, the BSB moves to other built-up areas to organize and perform limited damage recovery and repair of facilities and utilities for assigned missions.


Depending upon bilateral agreements, the HN may retain overall area responsibility for ADC. The US would then have responsibility for ADC on US bases and provide ADC assistance to the HN.

Join the mailing list