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Supporting Offensive Operations

COSCOM logistics assets are essential to maintaining the momentum of offensive operations. The corps' goal is to support maneuver and combat support units engaged in the main battle. The COSCOM provides forward support to nondivision units in the division area and reinforcing support to divisions and elements organic to the combat battalions and brigades.







Close coordination between the COSCOM support operations officer, G2, and G3 staffs and corps and division G2, G3, and G4 staffs keeps support operations section staffs informed of the support required to sustain different types of offensive operations. CSS plans branch staff officers perform a risk benefit analysis to help determine how best to provide support to offensive operations. They need to consider the areas listed in Table B-1 as well as --

  • Support priorities.

  • Critical requirements.

  • Task organization option.

  • LOC considerations.

  • Impact on supply requirements.

  • Impact on maintenance support.

  • Impact on health service support.

  • Impact on field services support.


Logistics support priorities are given to those organizations which the corps G3 views as capable of contributing more significantly to the battle. Appropriate COSCOM support operations section branch staff officers recommend priorities for the allocation of critical supplies and COSCOM support assets. After coordinating with the corps rear CP's CSS staff, the COSCOM support operations officer redirects the priority of support to reflect changes in the corps' battle.


Applicable support operations section branch staffs anticipate critical requirements and prepare directives regarding push package support required to maintain the momentum of the offensive operation. Critical supplies, particularly fuel and ammunition, are held ready to move in support of the operation. Selected critical supplies can be prerigged for airdrop resupply based on the factors of METT-T.


The COSCOM could task organize a CSB to support a maneuver force undertaking an offensive operation. The COSCOM support operations officer monitors changes in the composition of the supported force as a result of attachments or detachments. While support may be enhanced, the maneuver force would be slowed down by a CSB with limited cross-country mobility and survivability. The combat force might be further hindered by the requirement to protect the CSB task organization.


Forces either carry all resources needed throughout the operation or they are supported through either a surface or an air LOC. Corps service support plans need to take into account LOC vulnerabilities and resulting high level equipment losses.

Surface LOC

A surface LOC remains vulnerable to enemy actions. The tactical force intermittently or continuously secures surface LOCs. Scarce combat and CS forces need to protect supply convoys. To reduce this requirement and shorten the surface LOC, COSCOM supply units place stocks as far forward as possible, though not in positions that impede maneuver forces.

To assure optimum support of the offensive operation, the CMCC balances movements and transportation assets. It ensures that corps priorities implemented by the corps rear CP's CSS cell are followed and that corps truck assets move supplies, equipment, and personnel to areas of greatest need.


An air LOC requires air superiority or at least air parity and close interservice cooperation with the Air Force. Forces need to secure landing fields for air landings. Airdrop and ground support equipment is needed to airdrop supplies. Resupply by air consists of emergency on-call resupply of high-priority requirements. Routine aerial resupply by the Air Force is required to support contingency operations.

To meet increased transportation demands during surge operations, medium lift cargo helicopters from the aviation brigade augment surface transportation. Corps aviation deliver emergency loads of ammunition or petroleum directly to the trains of engaged battalions.


Bulk Fuel Requirements

Offensive operations are movement intense operations which call for high fuel consumption. Bulk fuel requirements increase, depending on the dispersion and activity of maneuver units. As an example, an armored division consumes from 20 to 30 percent more fuel in pursuit than in a defensive operation. Depending on road networks, corps truck assets deliver bulk fuel to BSA and battalion trains areas.

Ammunition Requirements

Historically, ammunition expenditure remains lower in the offense than in other types of operations. However, emerging technology, to include weapons stabilization platforms, alter ammunition consumption planning data. Corps transportation assets transport ammunition to forward positioned ASPS and all ATPs.

Class IV Requirements

The COSCOM moves Class IV construction materials forward only in support of specific plans or requirements. Corps trucks deliver construction materials directly to the emplacement area. Logistics units in the area provide MHE and off-loading assistance, if so directed.

Captured Supplies and Equipment

Support operations section staff officers ensure that units understand the value of captured supplies and equipment as a possible source of support. Maneuver units should capture rather than destroy usable enemy assets. Medical supplies and equipment remain protected under the Geneva convention and cannot be destroyed.


Maintenance support branch personnel determine the priority and level of repair. Priority of maintenance support goes to primary weapon systems first, then to lesser systems in descending order as time permits. Maintenance support branch personnel compute and order on call repair parts push packages in anticipation of their requirement. MSTs provide on-site assistance for quick return of weapon systems to battle. Truck assets backhaul disabled critical weapon systems to maintenance collection points.


The COSCOM provides prepackaged medical material for initial resuscitation and stabilization of large numbers of casualties. Corps medical units receive patients evacuated from the clearing station in the BSA or a medical treatment facility in the DSA.

Ground ambulances and air ambulances evacuate patients from medical elements and medical treatment companies to corps hospitals. When organic medical evacuation resources are exceeded, the COSCOM uses nonmedical transportation assets to support evacuation operations. The COSCOM medical group/brigade coordinates for augmentation medical personnel to provide en route medical care on nonmedical vehicles.


Except for airdrop and mortuary affairs support, the COSCOM suspends field services until the tactical situation permits. Critical life sustaining supplies may be airdropped to forward or encircled forces. Corps resupply vehicles backhaul remains to corps mortuary affairs collection points for processing and further evacuation or temporary burial.


CSS plans branch personnel develop plans to support various types of offensive operations. The major types of offensive operations, described in FMs 100-5 and 100-15, include --

  • Movement to contact.

  • Hasty attack.

  • Deliberate attack.

  • Exploitation.

  • Pursuit.

CSS plans branch personnel plan logistics support in ways that permit support of each type of offensive operation without an interruption of support. Close coordination with corps and division G2, G3, and G4 staff officers keep support operation section staff informed of the tactical situation.


A movement to contact occurs when a defending enemy disengages or attempts to disengage and the corps commander wants to force the enemy to take part in a battle before the enemy establishes a strong defense. It might also occur when the enemy has not established or fortified its positions.

The movement to contact force consists of a covering force, an advance guard, and a main body. Depending on METT-T, a flank and rear security force might also employ. The covering force maintains sufficient combat and CSS to be self-contained. Main body forces normally take enough supplies to support them through the movement to contact and ensuing battle.

Only minimal corps resupply occurs during the move to contact. COSCOM petroleum support branch personnel plan for increased consumption of bulk fuels. Petroleum staff officers arrange for refuel-on-the-move support. Munitions support branch personnel plan for reduced ammunition expenditure. As the force moves the COSCOM performs recovery and evacuation of equipment left in place. Concurrently, it moves and positions supplies and medical assets forward to best support the operation.

Since the main body normally moves to contact in multiple columns along available road nets, the COSCOM assigns MCTs or MRTs to aid in controlling movement. These teams synchronize the forward movement of supporting units to avoid interfering with tactical movements.


Hasty Attack

The movement to contact ceases and the attack begins when the corps commits units from the main body. The corps launches a hasty attack to prevent the enemy from establishing an effective defense. Since time prevents obtaining external logistics support, units executing a hasty attack carry limited logistics with them. The COSCOM prepares to provide fuel and ammunition resupply, attaches MSTs, and assists in medical treatment and evacuation support.

Deliberate Attack

If the corps force encounters an enemy force that it cannot outflank or an enemy force in well prepared positions that it cannot overcome by a hasty attack, it needs to prepare for and synchronize a deliberate attack. The COSCOM places support emphasis on resupply of critical stocks -- normally fuel, ammunition, and repair parts. In addition, the COSCOM provides MSTs and medical treatment and evacuation support early in the deliberate attack phase.

In support of a deliberate attack the --

  • COSCOM support operations officer prioritizes support to the main effort through the CMMC and CMCC.

  • COSCOM petroleum and munitions support branch personnel coordinate with the forward CSG's support operations officer and the CMCC to push resupply of fuel and critical ammunition items.

  • Forward CSGs position supporting units as far forward as the tactical situation allows. Staff emphasis focuses on keeping MSB and FSB Class III points and FSB ATPs full. To retain the mobility to follow the attacking force, stocks are uploaded or kept as mobile as circumstances permit. Resupply in forward areas of the combat zone normally occurs at night.

  • CMCC diverts transportation assets to deliver critical fuel and ammunition supplies.

  • CMCC coordinates with the corps G3 and G4 on maintaining an MSR for each committed division. It also coordinates the use of alternate supply routes.

  • COSCOM maintenance support branch personnel coordinate with the CMMC and forward CSG's support operations officer to ensure rapid on-site repair of critical weapon systems. Forward CSGs attach MSTs to the deliberate attack force.

  • Medical brigade/group staff officers coordinate with the CMCC for additional transportation assets to speed medical evacuation to corps hospitals.

  • COSCOM CSS plans branch personnel prepare plans for support of follow-on operation.


The corps initiates an exploitation when attacking forces make decisive gains and enemy resistance lessens. Exploitation prevents the enemy from developing a counterattack or conducting an orderly withdrawal. The exploiting force might be inhibited more by vehicle breakdown and lack of fuel than by combat losses or ammunition expenditure. In order not to impede maneuverability, adequate maintenance support needs to accompany the exploiting force.

Support of the exploitation is tied to movement assets. The ability of the logistics structure to move fuel and ammunition forward determines the limits of advance. If tactical forces cannot keep ground LOCs open and secure, COSCOM transportation support branch personnel plan for aerial resupply.

To support the exploitation forces, COSCOM support operations section staff officers --

  • Coordinate the forward echelonment of logistics supporting elements with corps and division G4 and G3 staffs. Forward CSGs move the nondivision ATP and Class III supply point assets forward to shorten ground LOCs in support of exploiting forces.

  • Coordinate with corps G3 staff on obtaining support from maneuver support forces to keep ground LOCs open.

  • Task MSTs to accompany the exploiting force to perform repairs on site on vehicles needed to enable the exploitation force to maintain their momentum.

  • Shift support priorities as necessary.

  • Plan aerial resupply of critical supplies to the exploitation force securing objectives deep in the enemy's rear area.

  • Coordinate with corps G3 staff on possible seizure of enemy fuel and ammunition.


Pursuit follows a successful exploitation as pursuit forces intercept and destroy the main enemy force. The corps objective may be either to cut off and annihilate a retreating enemy or to destroy the enemy's will to fight.

Pursuit is transportation dependent. Open and secure LOCs suitable for transporting fuel and ammunition remain essential to a pursuit operation. Aerial resupply augments surface LOCs and alleviates problems created by road congestion and disruption.

To support pursuing forces, COSCOM support operations section staff officers need to --

  • Arrange for air resupply of fuel and ammunition.

  • Coordinate requirements with corps G3 and corps MP brigade staff to keep ground LOCs open.

  • Coordinate with CMCC and medical brigade staff on evacuation of casualties.

  • Coordinate with CMCC and forward CSG support operations staff officers on the evacuation and disposition of disabled equipment.

  • Direct that staff officers focus on requirements for future operations.


Differences in force structure, types and quantities of equipment, and tactical doctrine between heavy and light forces result in differences in support required from the corps. COSCOM support operations section staff officers need to understand these differences in order to plan reinforcing supply, maintenance, and transportation support from the corps. Appendix A of FM 71-100 provides additional information on augmentation to heavy/light forces.


The COSCOM pushes bulk fuel to division Class III points based on fuel forecasts and status reports. Jet fuel is pushed from corps rear areas to the division aviation brigade. Light forces lack bulk fuel storage and distribution assets required by offensive operations. The corps throughputs bulk fuel to the BSA whenever possible.


A major difference between heavy divisions and light divisions occurs in the weapon systems organic to each division and the resultant difference in ammunition consumption factors. FM 101-10-1/2 details the consumption factors for each type of force.

LIDs rely on ammunition loads configured by nondivision DS ammunition companies. For example, when a light brigade is cross-attached to a heavy division, the heavy division ammunition officer arranges with COSCOM munitions support branch staff for a different mix of Class V to be throughput to the ATP in the light brigade BSA. The mix of new and old weapon systems technology and associated mix of Class V munitions required by heavy and light forces places an additional burden on the corps Class V distribution system. Under MOADS, the goal is 100 percent throughput of ammunition from the corps to the ATP in the BSA for all divisions.


COSCOM DS maintenance units perform minimal DS maintenance during the offense. Unit maintenance support in the LID is consolidated at brigade level. Corps forces in support of LIDs rely on replacement over repair, with increased maintenance passback to nondivision DS maintenance units. The COSCOM attaches an MST and missile maintenance team to the LID to offset maintenance passback to corps maintenance units.

The COSCOM maintenance support branch coordinates with the CMMC in tailoring maintenance support to the equipment unique to the heavy and light forces. The heavy DISCOM does not maintain the required repair parts to support equipment such as 105-mm towed howitzers and 60-mm and 81-mm mortars unique to light forces. Light DISCOMs do not have the repair parts or maintenance capability to support heavy systems. Planners ensure that unit maintenance assets accompany light infantry forces of less than brigade size when they are cross-attached to a heavy force. ASLs need to be revised to cover the combat PLLs of heavy and light forces. Nondivision DS maintenance units need to alter the repair parts stocks they maintain for exchange and repair.


Mobility remains critical to offensive operations. Light divisions and light brigades possess a transportation shortfall. If light forces of a heavy/light mix force are to keep pace with heavy elements, corps transportation assets need to move light units and their supplies. To remain mobile, offensive forces cannot move large amounts of reserve stocks forward.

DISCOM support operations branch personnel coordinate configured unit load requirements with their counterpart staffs in the COSCOM. To relieve congested ground LOCs, the COSCOM plans on increased air delivery, with the associated requirement to provide increased rigging and airdrop repair. Light brigades remain particularly dependent on corps aviation assets and aerial delivery.


COSCOM support operations section staff officers coordinate with corps G4 staffs in the corps main and rear CP's CSS cell in determining the composition of the corps slice needed to support heavy/light forces. The tailored slice of support for heavy divisions might include a petroleum supply platoon, an ordnance section, a maintenance company, and medium truck companies.

In addition to the augmentation specifically designed for light divisions (LID MST, missile maintenance support team, AVIM support team, supply support team, and CEB and mortuary affairs sections), the slice of support for light forces might include --

  • An ordnance section.

  • A DS maintenance company.

  • Medium truck companies.

  • An airdrop supply element.


In support of corps G3 plans, the COSCOM might direct that a forward CSG focus support to a corps FA brigade.


Corps FA organizations receive area support from a CSB employed in the division area or behind the division. However, the forward CSG LO/COSCOM LO at the DISCOM may coordinate for corps FA brigade elements to receive rations, water, and bulk fuel from FSB or MSB elements.


If the FA brigade moves to another sector, or even out of the corps, the CSB providing area support in the new sector provides support. However, if corps FA elements move to an allied corps, the COSCOM support operations officer arranges for CSB task force elements to accompany them. Elements that could move with corps FA brigade elements might include --

  • DS maintenance company platoons and MSTs with artillery oriented ASL.

  • ASP and/or nondivision ATP to receive and issue CCLS of artillery rounds and rockets.

  • DS supply company elements.

  • Truck platoons.

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