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The term "combat service support" describes the full range of health services and personnel services functions as well as the traditional logistical support of supply, maintenance, field services, and transportation. It includes the requirement to men, arm, fuel, fix, and move the force during combat operations.

Section I


Combat service support is a critical but often neglected component of the war-fighting equation. If the cannon battalion is to provide sustained fire support to the maneuver units, it must be resupplied with food, fuel, and ammunition; wounded soldiers must be cared for and evacuated; personnel and equipment lost in combat must be replaced; and equipment must be maintained. A shortfall in any of these areas can quickly render a unit combat ineffective. This section outlines the organizations within the FA cannon battalion that are tasked to provide CSS. Also addressed are the agencies of higher-level units with which the CSS staff and sections of the battalion coordinate for logistic support.


The basic mission of combat service support is to sustain the force. The sole purpose of the CSS system is to maintain and support our soldiers and their weapon systems. CSS planning must focus on sustaining the force as it executes the commander's intent while conducting deep, close, and rear combat operations.


The execution of CSS functions is removed from the firing battery commander, as much as possible, and is placed under the control of the battalion. The battery commander concentrates on the timely and accurate execution of the fire support mission. The CSS responsibility at battery or platoon level is to report requirement request support, and ensure that CSS is properly executed once it arrives in the unit area.

The battalion XO is responsible for coordinating all CSS within the battalion. The S4 is responsible for the logistical support of the battalion and for the preparation of paragraph 4 of the FA support plan. The S1 is responsible for personnel service support within the battalion, and he coordinates the actions of the medical section. The S3 considers logistical support as he develops the FA support plan he must ensure that the plan is feasible from the support perspective. Also, in conjunction with the S4, the S3 recommends to the battalion commander CSS priorities for subordinate elements when resources are constrained.

The maintenance officer supervises maintenance activities for the battalion except maintenance on communications and medical equipment.

The battalion signal officer supervises the maintenance of communications-electronics (C-E) items and communications platoon operations.

The medical section leader supervises the maintenance of medical items and the evacuation of wounded personnel.


The S1 section is responsible for personnel services and the general administration of the battalion. The S1 is assisted by the personnel and administration center (PAC) supervisor and the personnel staff NCO (PSNCO). The S1 and his staff primarily perform the critical tasks of strength accountability, casualty reporting replacement operations, administrative services, personnel actions, legal services, finance services, and command post functions. The S1 also has primary staff responsibility for EPW operations and medical planning. He coordinates with the S2 for interrogation of prisoners and with the S4 for processing of captured equipment and transportation requirements. The S1 coordinates with the medical section leader to ensure that patient treatment and evacuation are planned and coordinated throughout the battalion area.


The battalion aid station (BAS) sorts, treats, and evacuates casualties or returns them to duty. It stocks medical supplies for the battalion and manages all Class VIII support. It is also responsible for maintaining and evacuating battalion medical equipment.

The medical section (treatment team) officer in charge (OIC), a field surgeon or a physician's assistant, operates the battalion aid station. He coordinates the operations, administration, and logistics of the medical section. This includes coordinating patient evacuation to the supporting medical company and providing support to batteries.


The S4 section is responsible for supply, transportation, and field service functions. It coordinates requisition of supplies and their distribution to battery supply sections; it turns in captured supplies and equipment as directed. Personnel in the S4 and S1 sections are cross-trained in critical tasks so they can provide continuous operations. The S4 section is supervised by the S4, who is assisted by the battalion supply sergeant.

In combat, the S4 concentrates on seven classes of supply: Classes I, II, III, IV, V, VII, and IX. The battalion ammunition officer, working with the S3 and S4, coordinates the requisition, receipt, preparation, and delivery of Class V.

The S4 section is responsible for obtaining water and maps. Battalion transportation is used to get water from the water supply point in or near the BSA or from forward sources tested and approved by the medical section noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC). Maps are stocked by the supply and service company of the main support battalion; they are requested through the supply company of the forward support battalion (FSB). The S2 is responsible for distributing maps as required. Classified maps are obtained through G2 or S2 channels.


Maintenance operations are executed as far forward as feasible. The battalion rnaintenance section is responsible for unit maintenance on all battalion equipment except COMSEC and medical equipment. The OIC is the battalion maintenance officer. He is assisted by the maintenance technician and the senior maintenance supervisor.

Some TOEs have consolidated maintenance activities; however, the responsibility for operator and crew maintenance remains with the battery commanders. During maintenance operations, the maintenance elements of the battalion are task-organized to maximize forward support to the batteries.

The administration section maintains Class IX (repair parts) and the Army Maintenance Management System (TAMMS) records. The prescribed load list (PLL) stocks are maintained for each battery and are managed by the PLL clerks located forward with the appropriate battery maintenance team.

The recovery section provides recovery and lift capability to the battalion maintenance section as well as to each firing battery. Also, a wheeled vehicle recovery asset is based in the field trains to help in repairs and the movement of major assemblies and components.


The battalion ammunition section is an element of the service battery (or headquarters and service battery in light units). It is supervised by, and receives orders from, the battalion ammunition officer. He performs the ammunition resupply functions for the battalion. Usually, battery ammunition sections are consolidated under battalion control.


Each battery in the battalion has a limited CSS capability. Normally, a battery headquarters has its own supply and communications sections. Because of operational considerations, some or all of these elements may have to be centralized at battalion level. This concept, task organization, involves taking much of the administrative and service support elements out of the batteries and consolidating them at battalion level. The battalion commander then task-organizes these elements to provide the needed CSS to the firing batteries on a user basis. This centralization may include any or all of the following elements:

  • Supply administration center--consolidation of supply activities and personnel at battalion level.
  • Dining facility administration center--consolidation of cooks and mess operations at battalion level.

  • Ammunition administration center--consolidation of ammunition personnel and vehicles at battalion level under the control of the BAO.

When determining how much centralization will be required, the battalion commander must consider many factors, some of which are as follows:

  • The threat.
  • The tactical situation.

  • The terrain.

  • The personnel status of these sections.

  • The availability of equipment.

  • The availability of external support.

  • The capability of the battalion staff to adequately supervise these sections.


To understand how the cannon battalion organizes its CSS elements to support combat operations, it is necessary to understand the brigade trains concept. The brigade trains is located in the BSA and is generally beyond the range of enemy cannon artillery. It is located about 20 to 25 kilometers behind the FLOT. The BSA is that portion of the brigade rear area occupied by the brigade rear CP, the FSB, and the task force field trains.

A brigade does not have CSS elements of its own to support battalions under its control. The CSS assets in the BSA include elements from the FSB and/or forward area support team (FAST), maneuver and combat support unit field trains, and selected corps support command (COSCOM) and division support command (DISCOM) resources, as required. Normally, the support consists of the following:

  • A Class I ration breakdown point.
  • A bulk fuel (Class III) distribution point.

  • Classes II, III (package petroleum), IV, and VII distribution points.

  • An ammunition (Class V) transfer point.

  • A graves registration collection point.

  • A clothing exchange and bath point.

A DS maintenance company with contact teams for forward maintenance functions, limited recovery and evacuation, and a repair parts (Class IX) supply point is also in the brigade support area. Also in this area is a medical company that provides a clearing station, an evacuation capability and limited Class VIII supplies.

The divisional cannon battalion receives CSS from the DISCOM. The division materiel management center (DMMC) provides centralized and integrated materiel management of all classes of supply and maintenance except medical, cryptographic and maps for units assigned to the division. Maintenance, supply, and transportation support is provided by the maintenance, supply, and transportation battalions in the DISCOM. The divisional cannon battalion coordinates its CSS through the DISCOM forward area support coordinator (FASCO) in light divisions and through the FSB commander in heavy divisions. These individuals are usually located in the BSA and are responsive to the brigade S4.

Nondivisional cannon battalions may receive CSS from units in the COSCOM. The COSCOM is specifically tailored to support the units assigned to the corps. Normally, COSCOM units are formed into area support groups, which provide CSS on an area basis. Combat service support is managed by the COSCOM materiel management center. This center should ensure that the battalion receives required CSS even though the battalion may move from one support group area to another. However, nondivisional FA battalions operating in a brigade or division main area may be supported by DISCOM units when the situation dictates. The DISCOM will require COSCOM augmentation to provide this support. Proper planning forecasting of requirements, and thorough coordination between DISCOM and COSCOM are essential for adequate support.

The cannon battalion in a separate maneuver brigade receives CSS from the brigade support battalion. This battalion supports the separate brigade just as the DISCOM supports the division.

It is into this organization that the cannon battalion must mesh to obtain the necessary CSS provided by higher headquarters.


The battalion trains is a grouping of equipment and vehicles to provide logistical support to the batteries. The organization of the cannon battalion trains varies with the mission and tactical situation and such other factors as terrain, weather, time, and space. Generally, trains can be organized for combat in one of the following two ways:

  • Single location--All support operating under direct control of the unit is termed "unit trains."
  • Dual location--Elements providing critical battlefield support forward with the batteries are called "combat trains." Elements operating farther back with or near support units of the next higher headquarters are termed "field trains."

Unit Trains

If logistical resources are centralized in one location, they are called unit trains. This option provides the following:

  • Centralized coordination and control of logistical personnel and equipment.
  • Enhanced security and capability for ground defense.

  • A single base for CSS activities.

Unit trains may be appropriate in slow-moving or static situations, when firing batteries have organic or attached support, or when the tactical situation forces the trains to be a self-contained operation. A unit trains setup would consist of the entire service battery or the logistical elements of the headquarters and service battery and those headquarters elements not located with the battalion CP. A unit trains is commanded by the service battery commander. It may be formed in an assembly area and during an extended tactical march.

The CSS in a light unit differs from that in a heavy unit in that the light unit TOE lacks adequate resources to allow echeloning of trains. Light FA battalions usually operate under a unit trains organization. The unit trains is normally collocated with the FAST in the BSA. The CP in the unit trains is the ALOC. The planning considerations for trains, logistics package (LOGPAC), and other CSS operations for heavy units are generally relevant to light units as well.

Dual (Combat and Field) Trains

The preferred method of supporting the battalion is through echeloned trains. The battalion trains is normally made up of battalion CSS assets and elements of the FSB. Echeloning trains into combat (forward) and field (rear) trains provides the following:

  • Immediately responsive forward support tailored to the tactical situation.
  • Flexible resource usage.

  • Increased resource survivability.

  • Enhanced responsiveness when the tactical situation is very fluid or the supported unit is operating over extended distances.

Combat Trains. The battalion combat trains is organized to provide immediate critical CSS. It can include the following:

  • POL (awaiting distribution to the batteries).
  • Ammunition sections (awaiting distribution).

  • Maintenance contact teams with a recovery capability.

  • A battalion aid station.

  • The combat trains ALOC.

  • Decontamination assets.

  • Up-loaded Classes III and V vehicles.

  • Elements of the communications platoon.

  • The nearby unit maintenance collection point (UMCP).

  • Some supporting elements from the FSB or FAST.

The combat trains is commanded by the HHB commander; the ALOC is supervised by the S4, assisted by the PSNCO. Elements of the combat trains are linked to the combat trains ALOC by landline.

The battalion combat trains should be close enough to the FLOT to be responsive to the forward units; but, if possible, it should not be within range of enemy indirect fire. It generally occupies an area between the BSA and about 5 to 8 km behind the forward battery or platoon position areas. The combat trains can expect to move often to stay in supporting distance of the firing units.

The UMCP is established, when necessary, to provide forward maintenance support to the battalion. It is supervised by the battalion maintenance technician. It is normally located in or near the battalion combat trains. The combat trains and UMCP, if normally located separately, may be combined to form a base cluster for defense.

Field Trains. The field trains is organized from elements not included in the combat trains and not required for immediate support of the batteries. It is usually in the BSA and is commanded by the service battery commander. The elements there include the following:

  • The personnel and administration center.
  • The remaining maintenance sections (to perform scheduled maintenance and maintenance for trains elements).

  • The remaining battalion ammunition trains.

  • Supply and food service sections.

The field trains CP is referred to as the battalion support operations center. The BSOC is supervised by the S1, assisted by the battalion S4 NCOIC.

Determining Trains Organization

A commander must consider several factors when determining the trains organization. It is not just a simple decision of one trains location versus two.

Status of Unit Personnel and Equipment. The commander always considers the unit personnel and equipment in determining the trains organization. This factor alone could dictate a single trains location.

Phase of Combat. Just as the offense or defense affects the organization of field artillery for combat, it also affects the trains organization. In the defense, the battalion can afford to be more centralized, since friendly forces "own" the ground. Routes have been reconnoitered, supplies and ammunition are stockpiled, and communications lines are laid and ready. In the offense, the situation is more fluid and the terrain is likely to be unfamiliar. Communication is mostly by radio, routes have not been reconnoitered, and there are no stockpiles for the firing batteries. Responsiveness is the key to maintaining the offense. In the offense, the dual location would be preferred. In the defense, a single location might suffice. Even then, the type of defense must be considered. A highly mobile, fast-moving situation such as exists in the covering force area might dictate a dual trains location.

Survivability. The threat may influence the trains organization. If the threat of ground attack is great, unit trains may increase the ground defense capability. If air attack or indirect fire is the primary threat, dual locations increase the dispersion and afford smaller targets.

Location of the Brigade Support Area. The distance the BSA is from the FLOT also is a factor. If this distance is fairly short, responsive support could be provided to the batteries from a single location. As the distance increases, responsiveness from a single location decreases, This is because much of the support provided by battalion depends on those elements from higher headquarters located in the BSA. Although splitting into two locations does not decrease that distance, it decreases the turnaround time between battery and battalion locations.

Terrain. The availability of terrain in the brigade sector may dictate the use of single rather than dual locations. Terrain also may affect the turnaround time for support. An area with paved, well-marked supply routes between elements is conducive to a single location, while restrictive terrain slows the support effort. Thus, terrain can be just as important a determinant as the distance itself.

Amount of Centralization. The amount of centralization is also a deciding factor in determining trains organization. The more independent the batteries remain (maintaining their own mess, maintenance, and supply), the easier it is for the battalion to support from a single location. That is not to say that a battalion with a completely decentralized CSS effort cannot have dual locations. It certainly may. In fact, that aids in the dispersal of units and may even increase the responsiveness to the batteries. A battalion that does run a centralized CSS effort, however, may be forced into dual locations to stay responsive.

Responsiveness. However the commander organizes his CSS effort, the idea behind the entire operation is to maintain maximum responsiveness of the entire CSS effort.

Trains Security

The CSS elements behind the FLOT form base clusters. They must be prepared to defend themselves against guerrillas and partisans and forces that have broken through friendly defenses or that were bypassed in offensive operations.

The service battery commander is responsible for trains security when in a unit trains configuration. When trains are echeloned, the HHB commander is responsible for securing the combat trains and the service battery commander is responsible for securing the field trains. When the battalion commander collocates his field trains with the BSA, the service battery commander coordinates with the FSB commander or FASCO and the brigade rear CP to integrate the battalion field trains into the BSA defensive plan. In all trains areas, a perimeter defense is planned. Elements in the trains are assigned a specific sector to defend. Mutually supporting positions that dominate likely avenues of approach are selected for vehicles armed with heavy machine guns. Reaction forces and OPs are established. These are based on the unit SOP. To enhance security, an alarm or warning system is arranged. Sector sketches, fire plans, and obstacle plans should be prepared. Rehearsals are conducted to ensure that all personnel know the parts they play in the defensive scheme. The OIC at each location establishes a shift schedule for operations and security on a 24-hour basis.

Command and Control of Trains

Command and control of CSS are the responsibility of the battalion XO. The S4 routinely coordinates all logistics operations, and the S1 coordinates all personnel and administrative operations. Both follow the XO's guidance. C2 facilities are the combat trains ALOC and the field trains BSOC.

The combat trains ALOC includes enough S1 and S4 personnel cross-trained to ensure continuous operation and the communications platoon equipment and personnel. The combat trains must--

  • Stay abreast of the tactical situation.
  • Monitor the battalion command net to identify CSS requirements.

  • Receive requests, reports, and requirements from subordinate elements.

Subordinate requirements are analyzed consolidate, and forwarded to the field trains BSOC or to the appropriate supporting agency. The S1 or battalion S4 NCOIC coordinates and directs elements in the field trains to take action to meet the requirements of the forward units.

The field trains BSOC is the coordination and control center for the battalion S4 section, PAC, maintenance platoon(-), and battalion supply section. Personnel from these sections operate the field trains BSOC under supervision of the battalion S1. The battalion S1 coordinates all requirements for battalion organic and attached elements with all units in the BSA and with parent units as necessary.

Trains Communication

At battalion level, CSS communication may be by any combination of FM radio, MSE, messenger, or wire. The admin/log radio net is used for most CSS traffic. For lengthy reports, messenger, wire, RATT or facsimile is used.

The combat trains ALOC is the NCS for the admin/log net. The S4, S1, HHB and service battery commanders, BMO, BAO, medical section OIC, and others (as required) operate in the battalion admin/log net. The combat trains ALOC also operates in the brigade admin/log net and in the battalion command net.

Procedures for submission of routine reports (such as the personnel daily summary and the DA Form 2406 [Materiel Condition Status Report]) should be established by SOP and included as a part of LOGPAC operations. These reports should be consolidated by battery and delivered in a standard packet for update in both the ALOC and the BSOC.

Communication is critical to expedite the CSS effort. Batteries must report their losses and requirements as soon as practical. When use of radio is not possible, messages are sent with resupply or evacuation vehicles. The combat trains ALOC and field trains BSOC maintain control of vehicles moving forward to the logistics release points (LRPs). Battalion SOP establishes procedures for resupply without request in case communications fail.

Trains Positioning

The battalion S4 coordinates with the XO, S3, and HHB and service battery commanders when selecting the trains location. Just as with cannon battery positions, the trains position must be coordinated with the maneuver commander who owns the ground.

On occasion, the field trains location may be selected by someone other than the S4 if the field trains is to be located with another element, such as a maneuver brigade trains. Such a location facilitates coordination between the battalion and the representatives from forward DS units. It also enhances security for battalion elements. However, turnaround time, communications requirements, or other mission-related considerations may require that the field trains be located elsewhere. When the field trains is located in the BSA, the exact location is selected by the brigade S4.

A good trains location will have the following:

  • Defensible terrain--to allow the selective use of limited personnel assets.
  • Sufficient space--to permit the dispersion of both vehicles and activities.

  • Firm ground--to support the heavy ammunition and POL vehicles.

  • Landing pad--for both aerial resupply and medical evacuation.

  • Road network--to the batteries and back to higher-level CSS elements; also, a suitable network within the position.

  • Communications--both forward to the batteries and to the rear to farther CSS elements.

  • Water--three-orif possible.

  • No undesirable terrain feature--to avoid obstacles to CSS operations (such as a river) and targeting sources for the enemy.

Built-up areas are good locations for trains because they provide cover and concealment for vehicles and sheltered areas for maintenance operations at night. When built-up areas are used, trains elements should occupy buildings near the edge of the area to reduce the chance of being trapped.

Seldom will a site be found that has all of the desirable traits. Those most important to the mission and tactical situation should be given priority.

Trains Operations

The battalion S4 is also responsible for selection of battalion supply routes for resupply, evacuation, and maintenance support. The proposed routes should extend forward from the support elements in the brigade or division area to the batteries. Primary and alternate routes should be planned and coordinated with the FA S3 and the maneuver commander to avoid interference with maneuver elements. Coordination with adjacent combat, combat support, and combat service support units is necessary to ensure adequate movement of support resources forward and to the rear.

Trains Displacement

Proper positioning of trains can minimize displacements and increase the quantity and quality of support. In repositioning the technique used to displace the trains will be in direct relation to that used by the battalion. The trains can be displaced as a whole along with the battalion or by echelon to permit continuous CSS, or it may infiltrate in modular form to its next position.

Section II


CSS planning is conducted to ensure support during all phases of an operation. The CSS plan is developed concurrently with the tactical plan. Supporting CSS plans are as detailed as planning time permits. Use of SOPs and planning for contingencies greatly help the CSS staff officer in the planning effort. The FA support plan addresses only deviations from the routine procedures established in the SOPs.


Flexibility and innovation must characterize CSS planning and execution for any tactical plan. Not every brigade is always committed to the close battle. Operations of the covering force, rear area operations, and contingency missions also require resources. Close support battalions are not always assigned a DS mission. They are likely to have R, GSR, or GS missions at some point in the battle. Logistical support for the transition from GSR or GS to DS and vice versa requires detailed planning and thorough coordination. Similar transition planning must occur when nondivisional cannon battalions operate in one brigade or division area during one phase of the operation and in another area during subsequent phases.

Transition from one area of operation to another normally results in a change in support battalions (heavy forces) or companies (light forces). Therefore, units must forecast future needs with the gaining FSB. They must relentlessly coordinate to complete the transfer of logistical responsibilities and to ensure all classes of supply are forwarded through the gaining FSB or company to the unit. Of particular interest are the unique planning requirements for Classes V and IX supplies and maintenance support.

Each ATP is normally designed to handle a three- or four-battalion maneuver brigade with a DS artillery battalion. However, the addition of one or more GS or GSR artillery unit(s) (often of different caliber than the DS unit) may quickly cause the capacity of the forward support battalion ATP to be exceeded. Realistic positioning of ATPs to support the main effort, as well as identifying additional transportation assets needed to support the ATPs, is imperative.

It may be necessary to identify authorized stockage list (ASL) push packages and maintenance support teams from the losing FSB to augment the gaining FSB in support of additional FA units. It is critical to identify ASL and maintenance support team requirements for nondivisional units. These assets must be thoroughly coordinated with corps support units and provided to the supporting divisional forward or main support battalion or company.


The CSS functions are anticipative in nature; they are performed as far forward as the tactical situation permits. Support must be continuous, and immediately available assets must be used. Ammunition, fuel, repair parts and items, maintenance personnel, and replacements are pushed as far forward as possible.

CSS planning is a continuous function. Coordination among tactical planners and those planning CSS is essential. It should address all factors that can have a significant effect on the tactical mission.

The CSS staff officers and commanders must act rather than react to support requirements. Personal involvement, remaining abreast of the tactical situation, and on-the-scene appraisal of the situation by CSS personnel are critical to mission accomplishment.


To ensure effective support, CSS operators and planners must understand the commander's tactical plans and intent. They must know the following:

  • What each of the supported elements will be doing.
  • When they will do it.

  • How they will do it.

  • Where the current and proposed locations of the supported units are.

  • What the tactical situation is.

After analyzing the concept of operations, CSS planners must be able to accurately predict support requirements. They determine the following:

  • What type of support is required.
  • What quantities of support are required.

  • The priority of support by time, type, and unit.

Support capabilities are assessed as follows:

  • What CSS resources are available (organic, lateral, and higher headquarters).
  • Where the CSS resources are.

  • When CSS resources can be available.

  • How they can be made available.

On the basis of this analysis, CSS plans are developed that apply resources against requirements.

Support of the Offense

If offensive momentum is not maintained, the enemy may recover from the shock of the first assault, gain the initiative, and mount a successful counterattack. Therefore, the CSS priority must be to maintain the momentum of the attack.

A successful attack may develop into an exploitation or a pursuit. The CSS planners must be flexible enough to support either type of operation. The following techniques and considerations apply to CSS offensive planning:

  • Position essential CSS assets, such as ammunition, POL, and maintenance, well forward in the combat trains; and ensure that basic loads remain replenished. If preparation or other large-scale fires are planned to support the initial phase of the attack, consider prestocking firing batteries with ammunition for immediate consumption.
  • Establish maintenance priorities based on the commander's guidance or intent and the factors of METT-T. Priorities may change as different phases of an operation are completed.

  • Plan for increased POL consumption.

  • Push planned and preconfigured LOGPACs of essential CSS items.

  • Plan for increased vehicle maintenance, especially in rough terrain.

  • Make maximum use of unit maintenance personnel in forward areas.

  • Request unit distribution at forward locations.

  • Increase use of meals, ready to eat (MREs).

  • Use captured enemy supplies and equipment, particularly support vehicles and POL. (Before use, test them for contamination.)

  • Suspend most field service functions except graves registration.

  • Prepare for increased casualties and additional evacuation requirements.

  • Select supply routes, logistics release points, and subsequent trains locations based on map reconnaissance.

  • Plan and coordinate EPW operations; expect more EPWs.

  • Plan replacement operations on the basis of known and projected losses.

  • Consider the increasing distances and longer travel times to ASPs and ATPs.

  • Ensure that CSS preparations for the attack do not compromise tactical plans.

These considerations apply to some degree to all offensive operations. The change from one type of operation to another, such as from a hasty attack to a pursuit, does not require a major shift in CSS plans and procedures. However, the priorities and requirements for support may change. The XO, assisted primarily by the S4, organizes the battalion CSS assets to permit uninterrupted support. The main purpose of CSS in the offense is to allow the force to maintain the momentum of the attack.

Support of the Defense

The immediate purpose of the defense is to cause an enemy attack to fail or, in contrast to offensive operations, to break the momentum of the attack.

As in offensive operations, perhaps the most critical time in the defense is the preparation stage. General considerations in preparing for defensive operations include the following:

  • Pre-position limited amounts of ammunition and POL in a centrally located position in the forward area. Make plans to destroy those stocks if necessary.
  • Resupply during limited visibility to reduce the chance of enemy interference.

  • Plan to reorganize or reconstitute lost CSS capability. Identify personnel from the field trains as potential replacements to reestablish the lost capability.

  • Consider the additional requirements for obtaining and moving Class IV reinforcement material and pre-positioned ammunition.

Continuous Support

The CSS elements conduct sustainment operations continuously. When batteries are not firing, battalion CSS elements may take advantage of the lull to prepare the elements for the next operation.

Maintenance, repair work, and normal services are done whenever possible. Repairing damaged equipment and returning it to the fight require early diagnosis and identification of faults. These repairs are made as far forward as possible.

Emergency resupply is conducted when needed routine resupply is usually conducted daily. Vulnerability and limited cross-country mobility of CSS vehicles dictate that LOGPACs use existing roads.

Continuous CSS operations require careful personnel management. A carefully planned and strictly enforced rest-work schedule or sleep plan is necessary to ensure continuous capability. Also, CSS personnel must not be overly burdened with administrative housekeeping tasks (guard, details, and so forth) to the point that they are unable to do their primary mission.


The decision-making process involved in a logistics estimate is as simple or as complex as the time available and the tactical situation allow. When the commander receives the mission, the estimate process begins. The XO, S1, S3, S4, motor officer, ammunition officer, and other logisticians in the battalion gather and analyze information, prepare an estimate, and brief the commander. Emphasis is on how the status of CSS will impact on a proposed course of action. A logistics estimate is a continuous analysis of logistics factors affecting mission accomplishment. Logistics planners use these estimates to recommend courses of action and to develop plans to support the selected course of action. The key concerns of battalion logistics planners are the status of supply Classes III, IV, and V and the operational status of howitzers and fire direction equipment. For more information, see FM 101-5.

Logistics estimates at the battalion level are rarely written. They are often formulated in terms that answer the following questions:

  • What are the current and projected statuses of personnel, maintenance, supply, and transportation?
  • How much of what is needed to support the operation?

  • How will it get to where it is needed?

  • What external (FSB or FAST) support is needed?

  • Can the requirements be met by using LOGPAC operations, or are other techniques necessary?

  • What are the shortfalls and negative impacts?

  • What courses of action can be supported?

Section III


The following are the four functional areas of battalion logistics:
  • Supply.
  • Maintenance.

  • Field services.

  • Transportation.


Methods Of Supply

The battalion always maintains some combat-essential supplies and repair parts. These are called basic loads and prescribed load lists. The minimum stockage level is normally directed by division or higher. The purpose of these loads is to allow a unit to sustain itself in combat for a limited period should there be an interruption in the resupply system.

The battalion has three methods by which to replenish its stocks:

  • Supply point distribution.
  • Unit distribution.

  • Rearm, refuel, resupply point (R3P) distribution.

Supply Point Distribution. The battalion, using organic transportation, goes to the supply point to pick up supplies. This is the normal method used by the battalion S4 section to pickup supplies.

Unit Distribution. Supplies are delivered to a unit by transportation assets other than its own. The battalion uses unit distribution to resupply its subordinate elements. When feasible, supplies are shipped directly from the issuing agency as far forward as possible if the receiving unit has the materials handling equipment necessary. This means that some supplies may be issued directly to the battalion from COSCOM or even theater Army level, especially Classes III and VII. This issue usually occurs no farther forward than the field trains.

The most efficient resupply of forward units is done by usc of logistics packages. The LOGPACs are organized in the field trains under the supervision of the service battery commander and the battalion S4 NCOIC. The LOGPACs are organized for each battery and separate element in the battalion. They are moved forward to the LRPs at least daily for routine resupply. When possible, all LOGPACs are moved forward in a march unit under the control of an OIC or NCOIC. Special LOGPACs are organized and dispatched as required by the tactical situation and logistical demands.

The battalion S4 must plan and coordinate LOGPAC operations to ensure that they fully support the commander's tactical plans.

Battalion SOPs establish the standard LOGPAC. Normally, a battery LOGPAC includes the following:

  • Cargo trucks carry the Class I requirements based on the ration cycle. The cargo truck may tow a water trailer and carry some full water cans for direct excange. In addition, the truck carries any supplies requested by the unit, incoming mail, and other items required by the unit. The truck may also carry replacement personnel. The most readily available vehicles for this purpose are the trucks of the mess sections.
  • POL trucks carry bulk fuel and packaged POL products.

  • Vehicles carrying additional supplies and replacements join the LOGPAC as coordinated by the battalion S4 NCOIC and supply sergeant.

When the battery LOGPAC has been formed, it is ready to move forward under the control of an S4 representative. The OIC or NCOIC organizes a convoy for movement of all battery LOGPACs under his control. The convoy may contain additional vehicles, such as a maintenance vehicle with Class IX supplies to move to the UMCP or an additional ammunition or fuel vehicle for the combat trains. The LOGPACs move along the MSR to an LRP, where the unit supply sergeant or a unit guide takes control of the battery LOGPAC.

From the LRP, the battery supply sergeant or guide controls the LOGPAC and conducts resupply. The supply sergeant informs the S4 representative of requirements for the next LOGPAC. The S4 representative collects outgoing mail, personnel, and equipment for movement to the rear. The LOGPAC then follows unit SOP and returns to the LRP.

The LRP locations are determined by the S4 in coordination with the S3 and are based on the tactical situation. They should be well forward and easily located. Normally, two to four LRPs are planned. The LRPs, as well as the MSR, combat trains, and field trains locations, are included on the operation overlay, if possible. The combat trains ALOC notifies subordinates and the BSOC well in advance which LRP will be used. The LOGPAC convoy arrival time at the LRP and the length of time it remains are normally established by SOP. If the tactical situation dictates otherwise, the S4 must determine the time and notify units accordingly. If the LOGPAC cannot be completed on schedule, the combat trains ALOC must be notified.

At least one senior representative from the combat trains (S4, HHB commander, or senior NCO) should be present at the LRP while the LOGPAC is in effect. His purpose is to meet with the supply sergeants for coordination of logistical requirements and to ensure that the LOGPAC is released and returned efficiently. A brief meeting is normally held immediately before the supply sergeant picks up his LOGPAC. Coordination may include the following:

  • Changes in logistical requirements reflecting any last-minute changes to the plan.
  • Reports on personnel logistics, and maintenance from the first sergeants.

  • First-hand updates on the tactical situation and logistical status.

  • Delivery, receipt, and distribution of unit mail.

The S4 representative moves the LOGPAC convoy from the LRP back to the field trains. The battalion S4 NCOIC then begins organizing the next LOGPAC.

Resupply of the CP, combat trains, and attached elements must be planned and coordinated. The HHB first sergeant coordinates and supervises resupply of these elements; he operates from the combat trains. The platoon sergeant of these elements or the senior NCO at a facility must report his requirements to the HHB first sergeant or to the combat trains ALOC. The following are methods of resupply:

  • The most desirable method is to form small LOGPACs for these elements. The platoon sergeant picks them up at the LRP as would a battery supply sergeant.
  • The HHB first sergeant may deliver the LOGPAC to the CP, combat trains, and attached elements.

  • Attached elements may be resupplied from a nearby battery LOGPAC. The S4 coordinates this resupply before the LOGPACs are dispatched.

While the LOGPACs are the preferred methods of resupply, there will be times when other methods of resupply are required. These methods include the following:

  • Resupply from the combat trains (emergency resupply). The combat trains has a limited amount of Classes III and V supplies for emergency resupply. The S4 coordinates emergency resupply from the combat trains and then refills or replaces the combat trains assets.
  • Prestocking. This is the placing and concealing of supplies on the battlefield. It is normally done during defensive operations when supplies are placed in subsequent positions (for example, ammunition for immediate consumption).

  • Mobile pre-positioning. This is similar to prestocking except that the supplies remain on the truck, which is positioned forward on the battlefield.

Rearm, Refuel, Resupply Point Distribution. This technique combines features of supply point and unit distribution. It usually emphasizes Class III and V resupply requirements, typically along the route of an extended battalion road march. Close coordination between the S3 and S4 is essential to ensure the proper selection of the location and timing of this supply action. The battalion S4 is responsible for the preparation of the R3P site; the battalion XO oversees the movement of units through this position.

While R3P distribution is rapid and often convenient, it does require that the unit take itself out of action to accomplish the resupply function. However, since the unit will normally perform R3P distribution in conjunction with a scheduled move, the overall loss of support capability should be minimal.

Distribution priorities for critical items are determined by the battalion S3 on the basis of recommendations from the S4 and the battalion operational requirements. Normal supply priority is Class III, Class V, and Class IX.

Classes of Supplies

The division of supplies into classes improves logistics planning and operations, which helps speed requisitioning and distribution procedures. Battalion commanders and their staffs need to be aware of supply accountability procedures as presented in AR 710-2.

The FA battalion normally deals directly with the FSB, FAST, or DISCOM supply activity. However, the div arty or FA brigade (as appropriate) monitors those items of command interest. This is done by means of SOP-directed reporting requirements. The following paragraphs briefly describe each class of supplies as it impacts on the FA battalion.

Class I: Rations. Brigade automatically requests Class I on the basis of daily strength reports for its supporting FA units. The combat trains ALOC forwards the strength report to the field trains BSOC. The mess section gets subsistence from the FAST or FSB supply company Class I point in the BSA. A- or B-rations are prepared in the field trains and delivered to the batteries and attached elements as part of the LOGPAC. T-rations may be prepared in the field trains and sent forward, or they may be pushed forward to the batteries and then prepared (heated) on site. The MREs stored on combat vehicles are eaten only when daily Class I resupply cannot be accomplished.

Often it is better to centralize preparation, supervised by the senior food service sergeant, in the trains location. The S4 or his designated representative, in conjunction with the battery commanders, develops a feeding plan with instructions concerning how and when to feed.

Water is not a Class I supply item, but it is normally delivered with Class I. The service battery commander or battalion S4 NCOIC coordinates with the FAST or FSB to pick up water from the main support battalion (MSB) water supply point. Water can be delivered to the units by use of water trailers or blivets. Also, forward water points can be tested and approved by the battalion surgeon. Each vehicle in the battalion should carry water cans to be refilled or exchanged during Class I resupply and LOGPAC operations.

Class II: Supplies and Equipment. This class applies to all supplies and equipment (except cryptographic) prescribed by TOE, CTAs, and PLLs. Class II supplies include clothing, individual equipment, tentage, organizational tool sets and kits, hand tools, and administrative and housekeeping supplies and equipment (including mission-oriented protective posture [MOPP] suits and decontamination items). The S4 section coordinates for pickup of Class II items from the FAST or FSB supply company in the BSA before normal LOGPAC operations. Expendable items, such as soap, toilet tissue, insecticide, clothing, and TA-50 items, are provided during the LOGPAC operations.

Class III: Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants. The brigade S4's POL forecasts form the basis for division and corps stockage levels. POL are normally obtained by the battalion S4 section from the supply company Class III supply point in the BSA. A formal request is not needed to obtain bulk fuel at a supply point. The DISCOM fuel vehicles may be directed to deliver fuel to the combat trains area.

Requests from batteries are not required for POL and packaged products resupply. POL tankers move forward with each LOGPAC; POL packaged products are carried on each tanker. Requests for unusual supplies are submitted to the combat trains ALOC. Battery refueling operations may be carried out in one of three ways:

  • The fuel truck is taken to howitzer and vehicle positions.
  • Howitzers and vehicles are moved to a centrally located fuel truck.

  • All vehicles refuel during movement from one battery position to another (R3P).

Combat refueling (the use of 5-gallon cans) is an alternative to the above three methods. It is slower; however, it may be required in some circumstances when bulk refueling is not available or feasible. The battalion SOPs should prescribe procedures for all types of refueling, and these procedures should be practiced during field training.

Class IV: Construction Materials. This class of supply includes consumable items such as construction and fortification material and the lightweight camouflage support system. Requisitions for regulated Class IV items (fortification and barrier material) are submitted through command channels. Nonregulated items (small quantities of nails and common electrical, plumbing, and similar hardware items) are requested or obtained from the FAST, FSB, or DISCOM.

Class V: Ammunition. The S4 plans for Class V operations, and the ammunition officer supervises resupply operations. The S3, S4, and ammunition officer must continually coordinate and exchange information concerning ammunition. Each must know the required supply rate (RSR) submitted to higher headquarters, the controlled supply rate established by higher headquarters, and the authorized basic load. This information must also be provided to the battalion and battery commanders so they can plan resupply operations and set priorities. When the commander positions additional artillery units to add weight to a particular area of the operation, the S4 should request periodic updates on ammunition availability. The brigade ATP has a limited haul capability.

The tactical situation may warrant requesting extra ammunition for scheduled tires. With higher headquarters approval, the ammunition on hand in a unit may temporarily exceed that authorized (CSR). This approval is explicitly for ammunition for immediate consumption.

Such ammunition is drawn on the premise that it will be expended within the next 24 hours. Higher headquarters considers this ammunition expended when issued. If circumstances beyond unit control preclude expenditure within that time frame, excess ammunition must be reported to higher headquarters during each 24-hour period until that excess is expended or redistributed to other units. Class V supplies may be obtained from ATPs in the brigade area as well as from corps ammunition supply points located in the corps or division area. On occasion, the COSCOM may establish ASPs farther forward in the division area. The DISCOM, working with the COSCOM may establish ATPs in the brigade support area. Normally, corps transportation vehicles deliver ammunition to designated ATP locations. Each ATP includes corps and division personnel and ammunition resupply vehicles from the FA battalions while being resupplied. Also, ammunition may be delivered by surface or by air by corps or division aviation assets directly to the battalion area. Finally, ammunition may also be delivered by United States Air Force (USAF) air through the container delivery system or through mass supply airdrop or air landing into a division area of operations.

Class VI: Personal Demand Items. Class VI includes personal items sold through COSCOM post exchanges (PXs). Requests for support are submitted by the S1 through administrative channels when no PX is available. In some cases, ration supplementary sundry packs are issued along with normal ration distribution.

Class VII: Major and Items. The issuing of major and items (howitzers and ammunition carriers) is closely controlled through command channels. Issue priorities for the replacement of battle or other losses are based on item availability, unit mission, and the tactical situation. The DMMC processes requests (usually in the form of battle loss reports) from divisional units. Class VII items may not be available in the early periods of a conflict because of limited prestocks and the lack of a supply line. These items may be delivered to the battalion, or the battalion may be required to pick up the items from a designated support unit. In some cases, weapon system replacement items (howitzers) may be provided to the battalion with crew, fuel, and ammunition, preferably during routine LOGPAC operations. Weapon system replacement operations (WSRO) are discussed in detail later in this chapter.

Class VIII: Medical Supplies. Medical supplies are obtained through medical channels. For divisional battalions, the battalion medical section gets supplies from the divisional clearing station in the BSA. The battalion medical section provides organizational maintenance for medical items in the battalion. Maintenance above this level is obtained by evacuation through medical channels to the medical company in the BSA or to a comparable COSCOM element. For organizational maintenance, the medical section also stocks medical repair parts.

Class IX: Repair Parts. The FA battalion stocks repair parts based on a prescribed load list. High-demand and combat-essential repair parts for vehicles, weapons (artillery and small arms). NBC equipment, and mess equipment are ordered and stocked by the battalion equipment maintenance clerk. Repair parts for C-E equipment are stocked by the battalion communications platoon. Other repair parts are stocked by battalion maintenance.

Repair parts are issued in response to a specific request or by repairable (direct) exchange. The battalion gets repair parts from the Class IX supply point in the BSA. Parts are moved forward during routine LOGPAC operations or as required to the UMCP. The maintenance section requests Class IX items (less repairable exchange) and major Class IX subassemblies, such as engines and transmissions. It submits requests to the maintenance platoon of the FAST or the maintenance company of the FSB. Repairable exchange for selected items (including components and subassemblies) is handled as a simple exchange with the DS maintenance unit of the unserviceable item (with an attached request for issue or turn-in) for a serviceable item. In combat, exchange and cannibalization are the norm to obtain critical Class IX supplies.

Class X: Material to Support Nonmilitary Programs. Material to support nonmilitary programs such as agriculture and economic development, is not included in Classes I through IX. Class X items are requested and obtained by the S4 on the basis of civil-military requirements. Specific instructions for request and issue of Class X supplies are provided by division or higher.


The following discussion of the ammunition system will give the BAO a guide to which he can refer. It will help standardize ammunition resupply operations within FA battalions.

The FA ammunition system involves the supply and expenditure of all ammunition that FA battalions are equipped to fire. Small-arms ammunition constitutes an insignificant portion of FA battalion daily tonnage requirements. It can be handled routinely with normal ammunition resupply. For nuclear and chemical ammunition resupply, see FM 100-10.

Ammunition Resupply Terms. Some common ammunition terms are described below.

The basic load is that quantity of nonnuclear ammunition authorized and required to be on hand in a unit to meet combat needs until resupply can be accomplished. The basic load is specified by the theater army and is expressed in rounds, units, or units of weight as appropriate.

The required supply rate is the amount of ammunition a tactical commander estimates will be needed to sustain operations for a specified time. It is expressed in rounds per weapon per day.

The controlled supply rate is the rate of consumption of ammunition that can be allocated, considering the supplies and facilities available, for a given period. It is also expressed in rounds per weapon per day. Each tactical commander announces a CSR to the next subordinate tactical commander. The CSRs may be published in the OPORD or as a fragmentary order. They may be included in the fire support annex and the FA support plan. Permission for a unit to exceed its CSR must be obtained from the next higher commander except in an emergency. The commander granting permission for one unit to exceed the CSR must cut back on issues to his other units to make up the difference, or he must get an increase in his CSR from his next higher commander.

Ammunition for immediate consumption is ammunition drawn for a specific purpose, such as a preparation. This ammunition is drawn in addition to the unit CSR. It is drawn to be expended within the next 24 hours and is considered to have been expended when issued. If circumstances preclude expenditure as planned, the battalion must report this ammunition as excess daily until it is expended or reallocated.

Ammunition Supply Points. Corps establishes ASPs within each division zone. These are located between 45 and 60 km from the FLOT. The number established is determined by demand and by the number of DS ordnance companies available to the corps.

The ASPs must handle all of the division ammunition requirements not filled by the ATPs and must satisfy up to 20 percent of the demands of the ATPs. As compared to the ATP, this means more customers, a more spread-out location, greater congestion longer turnaround time within the supply point itself, and greater distances to travel.

Ammunition Transfer Points. Division operates three or four ATPs in its area. These are located between 15 and 30 km from the FLOT. If there are three, one supports each DS battalion from its supported brigade's rear area and GS units are resupplied at the ASPs. If there are four, three are used as above and the fourth resupplies the GS units from the division rear area.

Each ATP is equipped to handle as much as 450 to 600 short tons (STs) of ammunition per day in heavy units. This is its total lift capability but since all ammunition is transloaded rather than downloaded and reloaded, it also represents its issue capability.

The ATPs are constrained in both quantities and types of ammunition they can handle. The ATPs handle field artillery; armor; antitank Hellfire; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile (TOW) ammunition. The exact mixes and quantities to be handled by each ATP are determined by the division ammunition officer (DAO). They are based on consultation with the division G3 and the div arty S3.

The ASP and ATP capabilities are limited by the following:

  • Materials handling equipment.
  • Personnel available.

  • Number of different types of ammunition to be handled.

  • Number of users to be serviced.

  • Surge demands.

  • Space.

  • Routes in and out.

  • Hostile action.

According to the preceding discussion, the ASPs and ATPs supporting a division should be able to issue about 4,000 STs of ammunition per day in support of above-average demands for limited periods of time.

Battalion Ammunition Resupply. Normally, the BAO of each FA battalion is responsible for the resupply of the firing batteries of the battalion. He must be current in his knowledge of what ammunition is available at the ATP and/or ASP, what his CSR is, the current and anticipated expenditure rates, and locations (present and future) of the firing batteries and resupply points. This information can be obtained from OPORDs, fire support plans, and close and frequent coordination with his battalion S3 and/or operations section. The BAO can best perform his coordination and management functions from the combat trains. The battalion XO or service battery commander must coordinate with the brigade S4 and the DAO representative at the ATP to ensure that ATP organization and operations meet the battalion requirements.

The BAO must plan the use of the battalion's ammunition-carrying assets. He plans how to most effectively use the battery's ammunition-hauling assets and how to use and control convoys for ammunition pickup and delivery. He must plan the loads for each vehicle to allow for the delivery of complete rounds and to make maximum use of its carrying capacity. In coordination with the S3, the BAO must carefully plan for the delivery of the appropriate types and lots of ammunition. The capability of the battalion to mass fires must not be compromised by Class V incompatibility. Other aspects that must be considered include the following:

  • The size of the convoy depends on the tactical situation and the level of training of ammunition personnel. If the unit is in heavy contact or the enemy has a good moving-target-aquisition capability, infiltration by groups of two or three vehicles might be best. Other situations (darkness or surge or peak requirements) may dictate the use of larger convoys.
  • Each convoy, regardless of size, must have one person in charge and a designated succession of control.

  • The man most recently returned from a firing battery could be pulled from the convoy and sent with the next convoy to that battery to ease the problem of unit location. However, all personnel must be able to read a map.

  • Battery assets must be used and controlled consistent with the resupply option selected.

  • Each firing battery should report the arrival of an ammunition convoy to the battalion operations section.

  • Ammunition carrier loads must be configured to carry complete rounds of ammunition.

  • If possible, a series of standardized preconfigured ammunition loads should be developed and the ammunition sections trained to use them. This allows flexibility and saves time when briefing crews and uploading carriers.

On demand, ammunition is sent to a firing battery. There the XO, platoon leader, FDO, chief of firing battery, or platoon" sergeant signs" a hand-receipt for ammunition received.

The battery is responsible for supervising and directing issue of ammunition to the firing sections.


Maintenance involves inspecting, testing, servicing, repairing, requisitioning, and recovering. Repair and recovery are completed as far forward as possible, at the lowest capable echelon. When equipment cannot be repaired on site, it is moved only as far as necessary for repair. When all maintenance requirements of the battalion cannot be met, the XO determines maintenance support priorities for subordinate units. These priorities are based on operational requirements of the battalion and on recommendations of the S3, S4, and BMO.

Maintenance Terms

Some common maintenance terms are discussed below.

A maintenance support team (MST) is a mobile team from the FSB maintenance company or FAST maintenance platoon organized and equipped to provide forward support.

A unit maintenance collection point is a facility established by the battalion maintenance section to collect equipment awaiting repair, evacuation, controlled exchange, or cannibalization. It is the first point to which battery maintenance teams recover equipment and at which some DS maintenance is performed. It is located next to the combat trains.

Controlled exchange is the removal of serviceable parts, components, or assemblies from unserviceable, economically repairable equipment and their immediate reuse in restoring a like item to combat-operable or serviceable condition.

Cannibalization is the authorized removal of parts or components from uneconomically repairable or disposable and items or assemblies and making them available for reuse.

Battlefield damage assessment and repair (BDAR) is the act of inspecting battle damage to determine its extent, classifying the type of repairs required, and determining the procedure best suited to make the equipment mission-capable. BDAR may involve the immediate repair of equipment by field-expedient methods; however, BDAR procedures shall be used only in combat, at the direction of the commander.

The battery maintenance team is a team from the maintenance platoon that is organized and equipped by MTOE to provide forward unit maintenance support. Normally, the team deploys a recovery vehicle and a maintenance truck forward with the battery, split between each platoon (when applicable).

Categories of Maintenance

The Army maintenance system consists of three levels of maintenance: unit, intermediate, and depot.

Unit Maintenance. Unit maintenance consists of preventive maintenance tasks performed by the operator and crew and those performed by unit mechanics. Unit mechanics--

  • Isolate faults by use of test equipment.
  • Make visual inspections.

  • Make minor adjustments.

  • Repair and items by exchanging faulty modules and components.

These actions can be performed on site or in the UMCP. Unit mechanics also perform recovery tasks.

Intermediate Maintenance. Intermediate maintenance can be either direct support or general support.

Direct Support. The DS mechanics--

  • Diagnose and isolate equipment or module failure.
  • Adjust and align modules and components.

  • Repair defective and items.

Maintenance support teams from the FAST or FSB operate from the UMCP. If equipment cannot be repaired in the UMCP because of time constrain workload, or the tactical situation, it is recovered to the FSB maintenance company or the FAST maintenance platoon in the BSA for repair.

General Support. GS maintenance is provided by division and corps in support of the maintenance system. It involves the following:

  • Repair of modules and components by replacement of internal pieces or parts.
  • Repair of end items involving time-consuming tasks.

Depot Maintenance. Depot maintenance personnel--

  • Rebuild end items, modules, components, and assemblies.
  • Perform cyclic overhaul.

  • Perform inspections.

  • Complete modifications requiring extensive disassembly or elaborate testing.

Maintenance Forward

Combat power is maximized when disabled equipment is repaired as far forward and as quickly as possible. The BMO, in coordination with the XO, directs the maintenance effort for the battalion. He uses established time guidelines and coordinates maintenance actions.

Battle damage assessment and diagnosis indicate repair time. An item is repaired on site or recovered directly to the appropriate maintenance echelon in the appropriate support area. The location is based on the following:

  • Tactical situation.
  • Echelon of work required.

  • Availability of required repair parts.

  • Current workload in each area.

  • Maintenance time guidelines.

Maintenance time guidelines establish the maximum time that unserviceable equipment will remain in various support areas. The decision to repair, recover, or evacuate is made at all levels and is based on the time required to repair. Those times are based on command policy and the factors of METT-T. They do not include evacuation, preparation, and movement time. The maintenance times shown below are flexible and should not be considered restrictive.

Maintenance Concepts

The following discussion of battlefield maintenance concepts places the various maintenance echelons into proper perspective. The discussion illustrates how echelons overlap to provide continuous maintenance support to the batteries.

The BMO task-organizes the maintenance platoon according to his analysis of current and anticipated requirements. He is concerned with providing the appropriate support at each of three locations the battery, the UMCP, and the field trains.

Normally, the battalion provides each battery its habitually associated maintenance team. Usually, the battalion's three vehicles, tracked, recovery (VTRs) (heavy divisions only) are positioned forward with each firing battery but remain under battalion control. This provides a quick-fix capability for those items that can be repaired in less than 2 hours and a recovery capability for those items requiring more extensive repairs.

The UMCP is normally established next to the combat trains. It includes the maintenance platoon headquarters (-), HHB maintenance team and PLL, number 2 common tool kit and welding equipment, and the DS MST (-). The task organization of the UMCP is modified according to the BMO's analysis of the maintenance requirements and the tactical situation. The UMCP cannot become a collection point for nonoperational vehicles to the extent that it cannot move with an hour's notice. Anything that cannot be repaired in the UMCP or that cannot be towed by UMCP assets is recovered to the field trains or directly to the FSB maintenance company or FAST maintenance platoon in the BSA. The UMCP is supervised by the battalion maintenance technician (BMT) and the senior maintenance supervisor.

The rest of the maintenance platoon is in the field trains under the control of the BMO and the battalion motor sergeant.

The battalion maintenance platoon organizes to support six elements--three line batteries, the CP, the combat trains, and the field trains--as follows:

  • The three line battery maintenance trucks and PLL trailers provide tools and repair parts to support one battery each. These vehicles also transport enough packaged POL to support repair operations. The HHB maintenance truck with PLL items is configured to carry tools and PLL to support the vehicles habitually located in the combat trains and at the CP. Finally, the service battery maintenance truck with PLL items is configured to support the density of vehicles and equipment generally housed in the field trains.
  • Some high-demand, low-volume parts are carried by the battery maintenance team. The selection of these parts as well as the breakout of parts to be carried on each PLL trailer should be addressed in the battalion maintenance SOP.

  • Direct support maintenance element priorities are set by the BMO. Since the maintenance elements are equipped and trained to support the unit, task-organizing DS maintenance assets is not routine. The PLL parts, special tools, and test sets are not easily split.

NOTE: Direct support FA battalions organic to light divisions do not have the personnel or equipment assets to implement as described. However, the concept is valid for light units and must be adjusted on the basis of the unit's organic capabilities.

The battery maintenance vehicles are in the forward platoon locations. These vehicles carry the tool boxes, some unit-level technical manuals, and a limited number of special tools and repair parts. This team usually repairs the damage on site if the repair can be made within 2 hours.

If a damaged vehicle cannot be repaired within 2 hours, it is recovered to the UMCP or the field trains. The forward positioned VTRs are used for this purpose. They can be directed by battalion maintenance to support recovery operations regardless of battery affiliation.

The damaged vehicles recovered to the UMCP are repaired by maintenance platoon elements or MSTs from the FSB maintenance company or FAST maintenance platoon. When not involved in on-site repairs, the battery maintenance teams may also repair vehicles in the UMCP. This is especially true of work requiring diagnostic test equipment that cannot be taken into the forward positions.

Some vehicles cannot be repaired within 6 hours, or their repair would otherwise overload the capability of the UMCP. They are recovered to the field trains or directly to the FSB maintenance company or FAST maintenance platoon collection point for repair. This recovery may be done by the battery or battalion maintenance team VTR, by a 5-ton wrecker, or by a combination of the above and heavy equipment transporters (HETs). The use of HETs applies to FA units equipped with tracked vehicles. The BMT coordinates and directs the method to be used. The use of HETs is preferred but they are restricted by road requirements and availability. The HETs are requested through the FSB maintenance company. Some crew members go with the vehicle to the rear to help mechanics repair the vehicle and to return it to the unit when repaired. They also man operational weapon systems on the vehicle to provide additional security to rear areas. C-E equipment installed in the vehicle is evacuated with the vehicle. Crewmen not going with the vehicle remove personal equipment and any special equipment before the vehicle leaves the area.

The UMCP usually displaces with the other elements of the combat trains. During periods of frequent displacement, the BMT may direct that the UMCP displace by echelon. In this case, some personnel of the maintenance platoon including the BMT, complete repair on vehicles at the old UMCP before displacing forward to the new location. Maintenance platoon assets not involved in repairs move with the rest of the combat trains and establish the forward UMCP.

During rapid forward moves, such as in the exploitation, the UMCP conducts only essential repairs and simple recovery. Other disabled vehicles are taken to collection points on the MSR. There they remain to be repaired or evacuated. Field trains and the maintenance element of the FSB or FAST displace forward to subsequent locations. The BMT coordinates the repair or evacuation with the battalion motor sergeant in the field trains.

In the field trains, remaining elements of the battalion maintenance platoon perform other tracked and wheeled vehicle maintenance and Class IX resupply. The battalion motor sergeant coordinates requirements with the service battery commander or S4 and with the maintenance element of the FSB or FAST. He also coordinates maintenance requirements with the parent headquarters of any attached or supporting elements working with the battalion.


Graves Registration

Graves registration services are provided by the MSB supply and service company. Graves registration at battalion level consists of three functions: collection, identification, and evacuation. DA Forms 1156 (Casualty Feeder Reports) and DA Form 1155 (Witness Statement on Individual) are completed by the soldier who has knowledge of the casualty. The forms are sent to the field trains with the returning LOGPAC. Military equipment is collected and turned over to the supply sergeant to be forwarded during LOGPAC operations. Remains are placed in a human remains pouch, along with personal effects, and evacuated with returning LOGPAC vehicles to the field trains. A collection point may be established, if necessary, at the combat trains under the control of the S4. In any case, remains are evacuated as quickly as possible to the brigade collection point in the BSA, (See FM 10-63-1.)

Clothing Exchange and Bath

Clothing exchange and bath (CEB) services are provided by the MSB supply and service company or the supply and transport battalion in the DISCOM of an LID. Clothing exchange (or gratuitous issue) and bath service are requested from the MSB through the brigade S4. A request for CEB service must specify the following:

  • The location of the unit making the request.
  • The desired time for service.

  • The range of clothing sizes for unit members.

The requesting unit must be prepared to furnish soldiers to help set up the CEB operation. Normally, there is one CEB point per BSA.


Salvage services are provided by the FSB supply company or FAST supply section. A salvage collection point is established in the BSA by the FSB supply company or FAST supply section. It receives serviceable, unserviceable (repairable), discarded, abandoned, and captured supplies and equipment. The salvage point will not accept COMSEC or medical supplies, toxic agents, radioactive materials, contaminated equipment, aircraft, ammunition, and explosives.

Laundry and Renovation

Laundry and renovation services are provided by corps (COSCOM) when the tactical situation permits. This service is coordinated through the brigade S4.


Transportation is the means of distributing supplies, evacuating damaged equipment, and moving personnel to where they are needed. Without adequate transportation the successful support of combat operations would be impossible.

Should the cannon battalion require transportation support beyond its organic capabilities, the S4 forwards a request to the brigade, div arty, or FA brigade S4. He in turn forwards it to the movement control officer (MCO) at the DISCOM or COSCOM. The MCO makes a determination based on requirements and existing priorities.

Section IV


Personnel and health services support functions sustain the morale and welfare of the soldier. At battalion level, these include personnel and administrative (P&A) services, chaplain activities, legal services, finance services, postal services, EPW support, and health services support.


S1 Functions

The P&A services are the responsibility of the battalion S1. They are discussed below.

Strength Accounting. Batteries and attached elements submit a personnel daily summary report to the S1 representative in the combat trains ALOC. The S1 forwards a battalion consolidated report through brigade S1 to the division G1 and/or adjutant general (AG) at the division main CP. The PAC in the field trains is given an information copy. These reports are the basis for individual replacements and Class I resupply. Accurate strength reports also give the commander and staff information to plan operations. Daily reports are included in the battalion SOPs.

Casualty Reporting. The S1 ensures that both strength and casualty reporting are timely and accurate. Initial reports are usually verbal. Written reporting occurs as soon as possible after the event. It is initiated by the section chief or any individual having knowledge of the incident. The DA Form 1156 is carried by all small-unit leaders and is used to report battle and nonbattle casualties. It provides initial information for notifying next of kin and for paying benefits. When a soldier is reported missing or missing in action or when the remains are not under US control, a DA Form 1155 goes with the DA Form 1156. The first sergeant collects the reports and forwards them to the combat trains ALOC. The S1 cross-checks the reports, requests any needed clarification, adjusts unit strength reports, and forwards the reports through the PAC to the brigade S4.

Replacement Operations. Replacement flow is monitored by the PAC in the field trains. The service battery commander establishes a replacement receiving point (RRP) in the field trains and notifies the brigade S1 of its location. All replacements or hospital returnees are brought to the RRP for initial processing. The division AG is normally responsible for delivering replacements to the RRP. Replacements are briefed on SOPs and equipped with weapons and field gear before leaving the field trains. They move forward to their unit with the LOGPAC.

Other Administrative Services. During lulls in the battle, the S1 and PAC complete all other P&A actions necessary. Special consideration is given to timely processing of awards and decorations.

Chaplain Activities

Chaplain activities are provided by the unit ministry team (one chaplain and one chaplain's assistant) operating from the combat trains. This team is dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of soldiers. Chaplain activities include the following:

  • Providing worship opportunities.
  • Administering sacraments, rites, and ordinances.

  • Providing pastoral care and counseling.

  • Advising the commander and staff on matters of religion, morals, and morale.

  • Ministering to those suffering battle fatigue.

  • Providing religious support to enhance soldier morale and unit cohesion.

  • Routinely visiting unit soldiers in nearby hospitals. The activities of the chaplain are coordinated through the S1 and are published in paragraph 4 of the FA support plan.

Legal Services

Legal services support is coordinated by the S1 section. It is provided to the battalion on a GS basis by the staff judge advocate of the division. It includes the following:

  • Legal advice to commanders on all matters involving military law, domestic law, foreign law, international law, and administrative proceedings.
  • Representation to soldiers accused and/or suspected in military justice matters and to personnel pending adverse military personnel action.

  • Advice to soldiers on complaints reports of survey, and the right to silence in administrative proceedings.

  • Legal assistance to soldiers on personal civil legal matters.

Finance Services

Finance support to the battalion is usually provided by mobile pay teams (MPTs) from the corps area finance support unit. During low-intensity operations, the MPTs make combat payments to soldiers in amounts established by the theater army commander or in lesser amounts if the soldier so desires. The div arty commander may establish an amount less than the maximum for personnel of the div arty according to the tactical situation and the needs of the soldier. When and where the soldier is paid are determined by the commander and coordinated by the S1.

Postal Services

A postal element, assigned by the corps DS postal company, receives and separates mail by battalion and then turns it over to the brigade S1. The battalion mail clerk receives and sorts the mail by task organization. He distributes it to the unit supply sergeant (assistant mail clerk), who delivers it to the first sergeant or to the soldier himself (accountable mail) during LOGPAC resupply.

Prisoners of War

The S1 plans and coordinates EPW operations, collection points, and evacuation procedures. Prisoners of war are evacuated from the battalion area as rapidly as possible. The capturing battery is responsible for the following:

  • Guarding prisoners until relieved by proper authority.
  • Recovering weapons and equipment.

  • Removing documents with intelligence value.

  • Reporting to the CP and combat trains ALOC.

Prisoners may be evacuated to the vicinity of the combat trains or UMCP for processing and initial interrogation. Crews of vehicles undergoing repair or unoccupied mechanics act as guards. Prisoners are then moved to the brigade EPW collection point on returning LOGPAC vehicles or by transportation coordinated by the S4. As necessary, the S2 reviews and reports any documents or information of immediate value. The S4 coordinates evacuation of large amounts of enemy equipment. Wounded prisoners are treated through normal medical channels but are kept separated from US and allied patients. For additional information on treatment and handling of EPWs, see FM 27-10.



Battalion health services support is planned by the medical section OIC (battalion field surgeon or PA) and the S1. It is provided by the battalion medical section. Backup support is provided by the FSB medical company or FAST medical platoon. To support battalion operations, the field surgeon or PA and the medical operations officer of the FSB or FAST medical element must understand the scheme of maneuver as well as the medical support plan.


The medical section is organized with a treatment team, an ambulance team, and a combat medic section. This organization allows quick evacuation of wounded soldiers so that they may be treated by trained medical personnel within 30 minutes of the time they are wounded. The medical section in light units consists of the medical treatment team and a combat medic section.

The medical treatment team establishes the battalion aid station, which operates from the combat trains.

The ambulance team also operates from the BAS. Combat medics habitually work with the same battery. It is necessary to augment the medics with soldiers who have been given intense medical training; they are called combat lifesavers. The goal is to train one combat lifesaver per section throughout the battalion.


The functions of the platoon medic are as follows:

  • Provide emergency medical treatment and protection for the sick and wounded.
  • Help section crews evacuate injured crewmen from their vehicles.

  • Provide medical evacuation.

  • Initiate a field medical card for the sick and wounded, and, time permitting, complete this card for deceased personnel.

  • Screen, evaluate, and treat patients suffering from minor illnesses and injuries; return to duty patients requiring no further attention; and notify the first sergeant of those requiring evacuation to the BAS.

  • Keep abreast of the tactical situation.

  • Ensure that the battery commander and the battalion surgeon are informed of the status of patients seen and the overall status of health and welfare of the platoon.

  • Train unit personnel to enable them to perform self-aid and buddy aid.

  • Provide trained combat lifesavers with medical supplies as required.

The battalion aid station has medically trained personnel to stabilize patients for further evacuation, to perform immediate lifesaving or limb-saving techniques, and to treat minor wounds or illnesses and return the patients to duty. Other functions of the BAS include the following:

  • Receive and record patients.
  • Notify the S1 of all patients processed and the disposition of casualties as directed by SOP.

  • Prepare field medical records and verify information on field medical cards.

  • Request and monitor aeromedical evacuation.

  • Monitor personnel when necessary, for radiological contamination before medical treatment.

  • Decontaminate and treat small numbers of chemical casualties.

Casualty Reporting and Evacuation

Medical evacuation must be planned in detail. Too often, units rely unreasonably on aeromedical evacuation. If these limited assets are available, units must have standard procedures for their use. However, units must plan to care for and evacuate their soldiers by use of organic equipment.

Individual Casualties. Medics in forward platoon or battery locations treat casualties immediately after appropriate triage. Appropriate documentation (such as DA Form 1156 and DD Form 1380 [US Field Medical Card]) is prepared by the unit. The ALOC is notified to prepare to receive casualties, to include preparation of litter teams, and the unit transports the patients to the BAS in the combat trains.

Mass Casualties. Casualties in this category are beyond the capability of the unit to handle with organic assets. To initiate an appropriate response, the CP and the ALOC are notified immediately. Support for this unit is coordinated and supervised by the battalion XO. Medical and transportation assets are augmented by battalion assets in the combat trains. Once casualties are cared for and evacuated, the remnants of the unit are consolidated under battery control.

NBC-Contaminated Casualties. These casualties fall into two categories:

  • Soldiers suffering the effects of an NBC attack.
  • Soldiers, although fully protected in MOPP 4, suffering a conventional wound.

For both circumstances, the casualty must be decontaminated before he is entered into the unit's casualty evacuation system. The initial procedures include taking appropriate protective measures as well as notifying the CP and the ALOC.

A hasty decontamination site, organized under battalion control, is established and augmented by battery personnel as appropriate. The focus of this initial effort is on the decontamination of casualties. Decontamination of the rest of the unit personnel and equipment follows, when appropriate, after coordination by the battalion S3.

Medical Supply and Property Exchange

The medical section maintains a 2-day stock of medical supplies. To prevent unnecessary depletion of blankets, litters, splints, and the like, the receiving medical facility exchanges like property with the transferring agency. Medical property accompanying patients of allied nations is disposed of in accordance with STANAG 2128, Appendix C.

Preventive Measures

Experience in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam indicates that most hospital admissions were for disease and nonbattle injury. Commanders can reduce disease and nonbattle injury by emphasizing preventive medicine, safety, and personal hygiene, (See FM 27-10.)

Section V


Planners must be prepared for mass casualties, mass destruction of equipment, and the destruction or loss of effectiveness of entire units. Battalion units that have been catastrophically depleted or rendered ineffective are returned to combat effectiveness through reconstitution.

Reconstitution consists of the actions to restore units to a desired level of combat effectiveness commensurate with mission requirements and availability of resources. Reconstitution differs from sustaining operations in that it is undertaken only when a unit is at an unacceptable level of combat readiness; sustainment operations era routine actions to maintain combat readiness. Commanders reconstitute by either reorganization or regeneration. See FM 100-10.


Reorganization is the action taken to shift resources within a degraded unit to increase its combat power. Measures taken include the following:

  • Cross-leveling equipment and personnel.
  • Matching operational weapon systems with crews.

  • Forming composite units.

Immediate battlefield reorganization is the quick and often temporary restoration of units conducted during an operation.

Deliberate reorganization is a permanent restructuring of the unit. It is the type of reorganization considered during reconstitution planning. Deliberate reorganization is supported with higher echelon resources (such as maintenance and transportation). Additional replacements and other resources may be made available. Deliberate reorganization must be approved by the parent-unit commander one echelon higher than that reorganized.


Regeneration is not a battalion commander's prerogative. It consists of the following:

  • Incremental or whole-unit rebuilding through large-scale replacement of personnel, equipment, and supplies.
  • Reestablishing or replacing essential command, control, and communications.

  • Conducting the necessary training for the rebuilt unit.

The intensive nature of regeneration requires that a unit be pulled out of combat for this purpose.


Weapon system replacement operations is a method to supply the combat commander with fully operational replacement weapon systems. Three terms which are often used in describing WSRO are discussed below.

  • A ready-for-issue weapon is a weapon that is mechanically operable according to current standards and has all ancillary equipment (fire control, machine guns, radio mounts, and radios) installed. The vehicle has been fully fueled, and basic issue items are on board in boxes. There is no ammunition on board, and the gaining unit must provide the crew.
  • A ready-to-fight weapon system is a crewed, ready-for-issue weapon with ammunition stored on board The weapon has been boresighted, and boresight has been verified.

  • Linkup is the process of joining a ready-for-issue weapon with a trained crew.

WSRO is simply a procedure for bringing a weapon system to a ready-to-fight condition and handing it off to the combat unit. It involves making a vehicle ready to issue and marrying it to a complete crew, which makes it ready to fight. WSRO is an intensively managed process for giving the commander usable weapon systems in the shortest possible time.

To manage weapon systems, a common weapon system manager (WSM) is required. A WSM is designated at each level of command. The mission of the WSM is to maximize the number of operational weapon systems in accordance with the commander's priorities. The WSMs at all levels are charged with quick-fix responsibility; they match serviceable vehicles and surviving crews.

The primary linkup points for weapon systems (howitzer with crew) are in the division support area or in assembly areas for formations in reserve. The DISCOM or support group commander organizes the linkup point and provides personnel to make the weapon system ready for issue. The crew, working with division elements, makes the weapon system ready to fight.

Conditions permitting, some familiarization training may be provided to crews in the linkup area. Such training should include the following:

  • Refresher gunnery.
  • Tactical driving.

  • Enemy and allied vehicle identification.

  • Passive air defense procedures.

  • Local SOPs.

  • Any other subjects appropriate to the operational area.

It is not intended that such wartime training should be elaborate or should substitute for crew qualification. The intent is to familiarize crews with operating conditions in the combat area.

Whenever possible, experienced soldiers should be mixed with replacement soldiers to form complete crews. New crewmen can join a partial howitzer crew (those whose howitzers have been destroyed or evacuated) at linkup points to form complete crews. There they pick up a replacement howitzer, make it ready to fight, and rejoin their unit.

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