COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
Combat service support (CSS) consists of the logistics and personnel service support required to sustain the cannon battery. Detailed coordination and planning are required to obtain supplies and services. The battery must relinquish CSS assets to the battalion trains to facilitate resupply operations for the battery. Key personnel provide direction and are responsible as follows:
a. The battery commander has overall responsibility for CSS operations. When authorized, he is assisted in this area by the battery executive officer.
b. The first sergeant of the firing unit coordinates and directs the activities of the supply sergeant, who is the primary executor of the logistics function. The first sergeant ensures the timely evacuation and reporting of casualties; he also requisitions replacements. He is responsible for assigning enlisted personnel within the battery.
a. The execution of CSS functions is removed from the BC, as much as possible, and is centralized under the control of the battalion. The CSS responsibility at battery or platoon level is to report and request requirements and to ensure that CSS is properly executed once it arrives in the unit area.
b. The battalion commander task-organizes the CSS assets and normally echelons his trains. The combat trains are located 5 to 8 kilometers behind the battery or platoon firing positions. The administration and logistics operation center (ALOC) is the combat trains CP and is the focal point for CSS for the battalion. The ALOC anticipates, requests, coordinates, and supervises CSS execution.
c. The battalion field trains collocate with the forward support battalion (FSB) in the brigade support area (BSA). The field trains CP is referred to as the battalion support operations center (BSOC). The BSOC coordinates directly with the ALOC to ensure that the CSS requirements of the batteries are met in a timely manner.
Note: CSS in battery-based units is accomplished through the unit trains, which are collocated with the forward area support team (FAST) in the BSA. The light FA battalion logistics CP at the unit trains is the ALOC. There are no combat trains.
Normally, support is provided by the automatic push of supplies and equipment to the battery at specified times. The logistics package (LOGPAC) includes most classes of supply (less Class V), mail, and replacement personnel and weapons systems as appropriate. The primary means of receiving a LOGPAC is through a logistics release point (LRP). An LRP is an identifiable location where the battery supply representative or guide can link up with the support package and move it forward to the battery or platoon location. The LRP site is selected by the ALOC and is announced to all elements. Usually, the LRP is located astride the main supply route (MSR), near the combat trains.
a. The CSS necessary to the battery is normally located within the battery area and consists of maintenance, supply, and ammunition sections. All or part of these elements may be organic to the battalion or consolidated under battalion control. Support may be provided by contact teams attached to the battery, or support may be pushed forward to the battery on an as-required basis. The maintenance section may be attached to the firing batteries during tactical operations. In this situation, the battery is configured with either two heavy platoons (maintenance assets split between them), a heavy platoon and a light platoon (maintenance contact team collocated with the heavy platoon), or with two light platoons and a battery trains. The supply section (supply sergeant) can remain with the battery and act as the primary logistics executor for the battery or the supply section can operate from the field trains (unit trains) to coordinate resupply requirements and execute LOGPACs. The food service and ammunition sections are normally consolidated in the field trains. They provide the needed support for the battery, pushing food and ammunition forward to the unit as necessary.
Note: Maintenance, supply, and ammunition assets may be organic to the FA battery or may be consolidated at battalion by design or task organization. At battery level, supply is a function rather than a section.
b. Supplies, logistics services, replacement weapons systems, mail, pay, personnel actions, and all other services will come from the field trains through coordination with the BSOC. The battery first sergeant, through the battery motor sergeant and supply sergeant, coordinates with the appropriate staff officer in the ALOC to obtain required supplies or services. Some supplies and services come to the battery as part of the LOGPAC. These are mail; pay; bulk petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL); and rations. Ammunition is not a part of the LOGPAC. Ammunition resupply is a continuous process to ensure the battery mission can be fulfilled.
c. The unit basic load (UBL) is a specified amount of Class I, II, III, IV, V, VIII and preprinted forms with which the unit will deploy on organic transportation. In some cases, the UBL is a set number or amount. In other cases, it is based upon the number of miles to be traveled or personnel authorized within the battery. Local commands provide the data necessary to compute the basic load for the battery.
a. Class I (Rations). Normally, the UBL specifies that combat rations (meals, ready to eat [MREs]) for 3 to 5 days will be maintained by the battery. Replenishment of the consumed UBL is coordinated through the battalion S-4 and delivered when the tactical situation permits. A- or B-rations are prepared in the field trains and delivered to the LRP and on to the platoon position areas for consumption as part of the LOGPAC. Under the field feeding system, T-rations can either be prepared at the field trains or pushed forward to the platoons and prepared on site.
b. Class II and IV (Expendable Supplies, NBC Suits, Sandbags, Concertina Wire, and So Forth). The consumption varies greatly between Class II items and Class IV items. It depends upon the intensity of the battle and the requirements of the battery to displace quickly. If the battery is operating in an NBC environment, the use of NBC protective equipment must be closely monitored to allow the supply system to replace items as required. Special coordination must take place when the battery goes through a decontamination site. Normally, the chemical company operating the site does not have the required replacement overgarments. Requests for Class II and IV items are submitted in any form to the ALOC. These items are received as part of the LOGPAC.
c. Class III (POL). Petroleum, oils and lubricants are received as part of the LOGPAC. Battery vehicles must not be allowed to run low on fuel and must be topped off when fuel reaches the 50 percent level. Along with the top-off of battery vehicles, all fuel containers must be filled.
d. Class V (Ammunition). Normally, ammunition is constantly pushed to the battery by the consolidated assets of the battalion ammunition section and the organic ammunition resupply vehicles in each battery. A LOGPAC could occur simultaneously with a normal Class V push to the tiring batteries, and they could use them to resupply/cross-level small arms. The three methods of Class V resupply are discussed below.
(1) Push to a flat rack transfer point (FRTP) (double loop method). The battalion ammunition section vehicles pick up the ammunition from the ammunition transfer point (ATP) in the BSA. They take it to a battalion level flat rack transfer point. The ALOC/combat trains is a good initial choice for the location of the FRTP. At the FRTP, the ammunition section chiefs, with guidance from the BAO and the battalion ammo sergeant, configure flat racks as outlined by the S3. They then drop the flat racks and wait for the empty flat racks from the battery it is habitually associated with. The firing battery returns an empty flat rack or a flat rack with residue. He drops the flat rack and picks up his designated flat rack in a combat-configured load (CCL) configuration. This one-for-one exchange of flat racks must occur to maintain the flow of ammunition resupply. In addition, this helps the ammunition section chiefs maintain control of their assets, and this assists the BAO and battalion ammo sergeant with resupply operations. The firing battery driver returns to the battery location with the loaded flat rack. The ammunition section chief returns to the ATP with the empty vehicle to receive more ammunition and discard the residue in peacetime. This method minimizes problems of battery movement and saves time because both drivers know the procedures and routes. If coordination has been done between batteries, the BAO, S4, ATP, and so on, this is the fastest method of ammunition resupply. See Figure 12-1.
(2) Push to battery (single loop method). In this method, the ammunition is drawn from the ATP and the same operator delivers the ammunition to the battery position. Success depends on the ability of drivers to find both the battery and the ATP. Use of this method depends upon the driver's familiarity with the area and the urgency of need for the ammunition by the battery. See Figure 12-2.
(3) Rearm, refuel, resupply point (R3P). This technique usually emphasizes Class III and V resupply requirements, typically along the route of an extended battalion road march. The battalion XO designates a key combat service support leader to execute the R3P. The site will provide Class III and V resupply facilities in a service station layout along the route of march to the subsequent firing position.
e. Class VII (Major End Items). These items will be issued as individual item of equipment or using weapon system replacement operations (WSRO) items. A WSRO item is to be issued complete with fire control and communications equipment. The crew should have had the opportunity to test the fire system and ensure it is operational. Once the crew has in-processed at the BSOC, the WSRO-prescribed item will come forward to the battery as part of the next LOGPAC.
f. Class VIII (Medical Supplies). Medical personnel request supplies from the next higher medical activity. When received, these supplies will come forward as part of the battery LOGPAC. The battery medic(s) consolidate their resupply requirements and those of the combat life savers and forward these to the battalion aid station.
g. Class IX (Repair Parts). The prescribed load list (PLL) identifies the quantity of combat-essential repair parts authorized to be on hand or on order at all times. The unit PLL clerk will request repair parts from the ALOC. When the part is procured, it comes forward as part of the LOGPAC. Parts necessary to repair nonmission-capable equipment should be sent forward under the control of the battalion motor officer (BMO), battalion maintenance technician (BMT), or senior mechanic.
a. Success on the battlefield is directly related to the ability of the unit to keep equipment and material in effective operating condition. When breakdowns do occur, equipment must be repaired as far forward as possible and by the lowest echelon possible. Battle damage assessment and repair (BDAR) is an expeditious method of getting battle damaged equipment (major end items) operationally capable. It may involve bypassing standard repair procedures, cannibalizing, or repairing components using field expedient methods to get the equipment up as quickly as possible. BDAR procedures shall be used only in combat, at the direction of the commander. Equipment repaired by BDAR means shall be repaired by standard maintenance procedures as soon as practical after the mission is completed. Operators should be familiar with BDAR technical manuals for their specific equipment. They provide repair procedures and guidelines for battlefield repairs. When equipment must be moved, it is moved only as far as necessary for repair. The battery must recover extensively damaged equipment to the nearest maintenance collection point or request assistance from battalion. Further evacuation beyond the maintenance collection point is the responsibility of the DS maintenance unit operating the point.
b. Each FA cannon battalion is authorized an FA maintenance support team from the nondivisional intermediate (DS) maintenance company. Equipment with faults not authorized for unit repair is repaired or replaced by the FA maintenance support team. This team is organized with limited capability, but it can help the battalion keep equipment available. Consideration should be given to placing this team in the combat trains for ease of coordination. The FA maintenance support team gets DS-level repair parts from its parent unit.
c. Battery maintenance responsibilities are as follows:
(1) Commanders are responsible to ensure that each item of equipment has an assigned operator. The operator is responsible for operator-level maintenance using the appropriate -10 technical manual.
(2) The first-line supervisor supervises the individual operator and crew in maintenance activities.
(3) The maintenance section performs battery-level maintenance with the assistance of the crew. This includes minor repairs and limited battlefield recovery. The maintenance section also assists in evacuation.
(4) The motor sergeant supervises the maintenance section. He ensures the necessary repair parts are requested and that required test equipment and tools are available.
(5) Normally, the motor officer is the platoon leader (platoon-based unit) or XO (battery-based unit). He supervises maintenance within the unit and establishes priorities for repair.
d. The complete unit maintenance team consists of the operator and/or crew, and battery maintenance personnel.
(1) The operator and/or crew must perform PMCS as directed by the -10 technical manual. PMCS includes inspecting, servicing, tightening, and lubricating the piece of equipment as well as caring and accounting for the basic issue items (BIIs). Equipment faults that cannot or should not be repaired by the operator or crew are recorded on DA Form 2404 (Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Worksheet) or DA Form 5988E. This form is submitted through the first-line supervisor to the battery motor sergeant.
(2) The battery maintenance section, with operator and/or crew assistance, performs services listed in the -20 technical manual. These include scheduled periodic services, authorized repairs, road testing, assistance in battlefield recovery, and limited assembly replacement.
e. Recovery capabilities of the battery are limited. Therefore, vehicles should be repaired on site if possible. If evacuation or repair by a higher level maintenance organization is required, a request should be submitted to the battalion motor officer or maintenance technician. FM 20-22 gives detailed information and guidance for all recovery operations.
When the tactical situation permits, a battalion R3P site (Figure 12-3) may be established to provide critical CSS to the battery. This technique involves the movement of critical battalion CSS elements (trains) to a location where the firing elements can pass through and take on needed ammunition and POL. Then the combat trains elements march-order and proceed from the site to a new location. Daylight operations, unless conducted expeditiously, are vulnerable and dangerous. Personnel may not be available in a fluid, fast-moving situation to provide the necessary security. Night operation of the R3P is the optimum tactical solution.
a. Selection. The site should--
- Be on or near the route of march for the firing elements.
- Provide good trafficability.
- Allow cover and concealment.
b. Organization. In organizing the site, the following should be considered.
- Operations security (OPSEC).
c. Activities. Some of the activities that can take place at the R3P are as follows:
- Key personnel (firing battery) briefing.
- Tailoring to meet the needs of the unit.
- POL, ammunition, maintenance, and rations (priorities) resupply.
- Local security (augmented by firing battery).
- Ammunition transfer point activities.
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