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TAACOM Organization And Operations

The theater army area command is the key logistics operator in the COMMZ. It functions as a major subordinate command under the theater army. The TAACOM is organized to provide direct support to units located in or passing through its assigned area and specified general support to all Army and other units in the theater as directed by the theater army commander.


A theater of operations is normally divided into a combat zone and a communications zone. However, the situation and international agreements might dictate further breakdown of the combat zone into a forward and a rear combat zone. The combat zone is that part of the theater of operations that the combat forces need to conduct operations. It contains the necessary organic combat support and combat service support facilities. It includes the geographical area extending from the rear boundary of the corps into the enemy-controlled area. The COMMZ extends from the corps rear boundary to the theater boundaries designated by higher authority.


The COMMZ encompasses the area to the rear of the combat zone. It includes the lines of communication, means for supply and evacuation, and the area required by the agencies and facilities that provide support to elements in the combat zone.

The major functional and area commands of the theater army in the COMMZ provide combat support and combat service support to Army forces and other services and agencies as directed. Combat service support provided includes support to the COMMZ, rear area protection in conjunction with the host nation if viable within the COMMZ, and support to the combat zone as directed by TA headquarters.

The theater army commander assigns the commanders responsibility for carrying out their functions to include--

  • Civil-military operations.

  • Construction.

  • Maintenance.

  • Health services.

  • Military police support.

  • Personnel services.

  • Postal services.

  • Comptroller/finance services.

  • Field services.

  • Supply.

  • Transportation.

  • Chaplain activities.

  • Legal services.

  • Public affairs.

  • Morale support activities.

  • Acquisition and disposal of real property.

  • Facilities engineering.

  • Topographic engineering.

  • Property disposal.

There are five major subordinate commands that perform most of these functions. These commands are the personnel command, engineer command, transportation command, medical command, and TAACOM. The first four are functional commands that provide theaterwide combat service support to the theater army and other forces and activities as directed. The fifth subordinate command, TAACOM, is discussed in this manual.


The TAACOM is a major subordinate command of the theater army in the COMMZ. The number of TAACOMs assigned to a theater will depend on the size of the theater expressed in terms of the force in the theater, work load, and geographical area.

The TAACOM has three missions. The first is to provide direct CSS, less movement control and line-haul transportation, to units located in or passing through its assigned area. This includes personnel and administration support, intermediate maintenance, the provision of most classes of supply (exceptions being nuclear ammunition and class VIII), DS- and GS-level field services, and local transportation. The second mission is to support the corps with specified logistics support and the overall theater supply system with maintenance in support of the supply system, under work-load direction of the theater army through the TAMMC. The TAACOM also coordinates area-related functions, such as circulation and population control, with HN elements and supervises and coordinates real property maintenance activities with the ENCOM through its area support groups. The third mission is geographical in that the TAACOM is responsible for rear area protection within its assigned area.


The TAACOM is made up of only those units needed to provide support. The numbers and types of subordinate units depend on the makeup, number of corps supported, and the number of units located within its assigned area of the COMMZ. Figure 2-1 shows a typical TAACOM organization. A typical TAACOM organization normally includes one or more of the following:

  • Headquarters and headquarters company.
  • Rear area operations center.
  • Material management center.
  • Ammunition group (conventional).
  • Petroleum supply battalion.
  • Aviation support battalion-aviation intermediate maintenance.
  • Theater army support group (GS).
  • Area support group.
  • Graves registration battalion.
  • Personnel and administration battalion.
  • Explosive ordnance disposal centers.

When required, the following elements are added:

  • Signal unit.
  • Military police brigade.
  • Automatic data processing unit.
  • Nuclear, biological, and chemical unit.

The TAACOM has responsibility for carrying out the functions assigned by the TA commander. Generally, the functions include command and control of subordinate units that provide GS and DS combat service support (less medical and classified map supply). The functions include out-of-sector support and support for the corps as directed by the TA commander through the TAMMC. Units of the TAACOM perform specific functions which are--

  • GS and DS supply (less medical and classified maps).
  • Intermediate maintenance services (less medical).
  • GS and DS field services.
  • Procurement services.
  • NBC services and support.
  • Operation of the bulk POL pipeline system when this responsibility is not assigned to a petroleum group at theater level.
  • Intratheater technical escort services of dangerous materials outlined in AR 740-32.
  • Military intelligence support.
  • Civil affairs.
  • Psychological operations.
  • Explosive ordnance disposal.
  • Rear area protection.
  • Military police support.
  • ADP services.


The TAACOM headquarters plans and directs the provision of specified CSS on an area basis through its subordinate organizations to all Army forces located in or passing through its assigned area of the COMMZ. It also provides intermediate (GS) maintenance in support of the theater supply system and GS supply to the corps that the particular TAACOM supports. It may provide specified support to other US and allied forces as directed by the theater army commander.

The TAACOM headquarters (Fig 2-2) is normally organized with a command section, a chief of staff section, general staff elements, and personal staff elements. The commander may organize the staff as he or she sees fit. Normally, the various personal staff officers are placed under the administrative supervision of the ACofS, personnel. Personal staff officers include the public affairs officer, the chaplain, the inspector general, the staff judge advocate, the RR/EO officer, and the adjutant general. Staffs, like units, may be tailored to requirements. Accordingly, a command aviation section and a provost marshal section may be added to the staff if wartime needs require them. The TAACOM deputy commander/CofS is the TOE-designated logistics readiness officer. During wartime a logistics readiness office may be established to relieve that officer of some or all of those duties. Other elements which may be attached for support of the headquarters mission include an MP company, a command transport company, and an ADPU.



The MMC ( Figure 2-3 ) is assigned to the TAACOM under the staff supervision of the ACofS, material, and under the direct supervision of the deputy ACofS, material management, who is also the commander of the MMC. It serves as a control center for material activities in the TAACOM through daily monitoring of supply and maintenance actions. The MMC performs integrated supply and maintenance management in the TAACOM for all classes of supply (less medical and map supply) and for those maintenance activities for which the TAACOM has control and responsibility. The TAACOM MMC does not have responsibility for managing the maintenance and supply of TA stocks that may be stored and distributed by TAACOM units, unless so directed by TA.



The RAOC at the TAACOM headquarters level plans, coordinates, advises, monitors, and directs the execution of the RAP response based upon RAP priorities and plans. The RAOC--

  • Provides a staff element to plan and coordinate the RAP response.
  • Monitors the RAP situation and advises the SPO and the rear area commanders thereon; and coordinates fire, maneuver, and ADC support based upon priorities and the RAP plan.
  • Recommends to the SPO positioning and operational missions for tactical com-bat forces.
  • Advises on the positioning of units, bases, and base clusters in the rear area.
  • Identifies host nation support capabilities and coordinates RAP support from the host nation.
  • Conducts the rear area vulnerability analysis.
  • Monitors and coordinates support for rear area operations communications.

For more details on RAP, see chapter 8.



The ammunition group (fig 2-4) consists of conventional and chemical ammunition units. Ammunition maintenance and modification are performed according to unit capabilities. The ammunition group provides DS ammunition support to units in the COMMZ and to US units deployed out of sector, when required, and theater-level GS to the corps supported by the TAACOM. Ammunition support includes the supply and maintenance of conventional and chemical ammunition and the supply of ammunition peculiar repair parts.


The petroleum supply battalion (fig 2-5)is assigned to the TAACOM and consists of petroleum supply companies, which operate petroleum supply points, and transportation medium truck companies, POL. Generally, the petroleum supply battalion operates 5,000-gallon tankers and when practicable, rail tank cars or barges to distribute bulk petroleum fuels (class III) to supply and service companies (DS) in the COMMZ. When required, this battalion can also provide bulk and retail supply point distribution.


ASGs are assigned to the TAACOM and are composed of functional units assigned to the ASGs to accomplish their assigned missions. The mission, functions, and organization of ASGs vary according to the type and extent of support required. ASGs may be tailored to provide DS supply and intermediate (DS) maintenance to units located in or passing through the area, depending upon the types of units supported and their specific requirements.

The basic mission of the ASG is to provide DS CSS to tenant units. This support may be DS supply (less ammunition, classified map supply, and medical supply and support) and intermediate (DS) maintenance. A typical ASG organization is shown at figure 2-6).


An ASG is assigned an area of responsibility that is dependent on the density of military units and material to be supported and on political boundaries and identifiable terrain features. Normally, one ASG is assigned to a TAACOM for every 15,000 to 30,000 troops to be supported in the COMMZ. ASGs are generally located along the LOC to take advantage of the transportation network and provide responsive support to the units they support.



The TASG provides specified GS supply to the corps supported and to units in the COMMZ. It also provides intermediate (GS) maintenance support to the theater supply system based on work loads assigned by the TAMMC through the TAACOM MMC. To carry out the TAACOM supply mission, there may be like GS supply units assigned within the S&S battalion(s) of the TASG. One of the units is theater-oriented. It issues to TAACOM and corps GSUs based on MROs originating at the TAMMC. The MROs may be sent through the TAACOM MMC, or they may be sent directly from the TAMMC to the GS unit, depending on the procedures established in the particular theater. The other unit is TAACOM-area-oriented; that is, it issues to TAACOM DS supply units. Its MROs originate in the TAACOM MMC. The TASG also provides GS-level field services. This group is normally assigned on the basis of one or more per TAACOM depending upon geographical area, number of subordinate units, and work load. Figure 2-7 shows a typical TASG organization. The TASG--

  • Provides intermediate (GS) maintenance in support of the theater supply system.

  • Provides GS supply (less classes III (bulk), V, VIII, and classified maps) to the corps and units in and passing through the COMMZ.

  • Maintains and issues theater army war reserves and sustaining stock as directed by the TAMMC.

  • Provides specific GS-level field services to the corps and units located in and passing through the COMMZ.

  • Assists in receiving, equipping, and preparing US units arriving in the theater.

  • Provides backup intermediate (DS) maintenance to the corps for specified commodities.

  • Provides intermediate (GS) maintenance for ADP equipment.

  • Provides collection, classification, and cannibalization functions in support of supply and maintenance operations.

  • Provides COMSEC logistics support to theater units.


The mission of the P&A battalion is to provide DS personnel and administrative services to the TAACOM on an area or command channel basis. The P&A battalion operates under the technical control of the TAACOM ACofS, personnel. The P&A battalion and its supporting elements maintain technical coordination with the PERSCOM.

When ADP support is centralized, the personnel service companies assigned to the P&A battalion are supported by ADPUs. A typical P&A battalion is shown at figure 2-8.

The P&A battalion provides that portion of personnel service support normally associated with AG organizations. Specific functions include:

  • Personnel services, to include strength accounting, replacement operations, casualty reporting, personnel management, personnel actions, personnel records maintenance, and automated personnel data management.

  • Administrative services to include local and volume reproduction.

  • Morale support activities.

For more information on operational concepts, organization, and capabilities of P&A support in echelons above corps, see FM 12-3-4.


Finance support is provided to all units in the COMMZ by a network of AFSCs. AFSCs provide support to soldiers in each TAACOM as required. The basic mission of finance operations during combat is to provide the soldier high-priority tailored support on an area basis. This means all soldiers within a TAACOM geographical locale, regardless of unit affiliation, would be serviced by the same support center. Finance support can be tailored to meet varying scenarios (levels of conflict) through the use of cellular teams which are the building blocks of finance support. Each team has a specific function such as military pay, disbursing, funding, commercial accounts, and accounting. Teams are added as required to fulfill the above functions.


Location and maintenance of personal financial records, coding and transmission of pay changes, and the degree of pay service provided in the area of operations depend upon the size and intensity of the operation. During peacetime, services are provided to division and nondivisional units by use of AFSCs organized under a theater finance support center (fig 2-9). The AFSCs have the same composition in war as in peace; that is, primarily a disbursing and finance service organization. Once in an area of operations, the AFSCs come under the command of the TFSC and provide support within a COMMZ on an area basis.


The TAM battalion (AVIM), is the focal point for all aviation maintenance in the COMMZ. It operates within the three-level aircraft maintenance system. Each aviation company has an organic aviation unit maintenance capability. This capability permits the company to perform routine servicing and some "on aircraft" maintenance tasks required to return the aircraft to a serviceable condition. (See FM 55-41.) AVUM is backed up by AVIM units assigned on an area basis, as necessary. CONUS depots perform overhaul, some component repair, and other tasks that require more extensive skills, equipment, and facilities than are available in the AVIM units.


The TAM battalion (AVIM) is normally assigned as a separate TAACOM unit. It is a flexible organization designed to be tailored to meet the specific needs of the supported force. The minimum requirement for a battalion operation is a structure consisting of a headquarters and headquarters detachment and one transportation aircraft maintenance company (AVIM). It can function with up to six subordinate AVIM units, depending on the density of aircraft to be supported. (See Figure 2-10.)


The mission of the battalion is to provide aircraft intermediate support maintenance, including avionics, organic COMSEC equipment, aircraft armament and calibration, aircraft systems oil analysis, and recovery and retrograde of reparable aircraft. Repair parts supply for units in the COMMZ is handled by the repair parts supply company GS assigned to the TASG.

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment

The mission of the HHD is to provide command and control, staff planning, administration, and technical supervision of attached or assigned transportation aircraft maintenance companies.

TAM Company

This company provides AVIM support (including avionics, aircraft armament, organic COMSEC equipment, aircraft peculiar items of ground support equipment, and limited calibration service).


EOD support is managed at the TAACOM by the ACofS, SPO. The SPO is advised on EOD support by the EOD control center commander who also functions as the EOD special staff officer. EOD units are assigned to the TAACOM (fig 2-11) and further attached to ASGs or other subordinate commands for administrative, communications, and logistical support. Additional EOD units will be attached as required for major incidents and buried ordnance based on a priority system. The nominal planning factors should be eight EOD detachments per TAACOM under the command and control of one EOD control center.

The mission of the EODCC is command and control of four to ten EOD operational detachments within the COMMZ. In addition, this unit commands EOD units in support of US maneuver elements that might be deployed out of sector. The EODCC is an operational center that receives and monitors incident reports and assigns disposal missions to subordinate detachments based on the TAACOM commander's priorities. Requirements for EOD service are reported in the rear area operations centers where they are prioritized in coordination with the EODCC or EOD detachment commander.


EOD detachments provide EOD support on a geographical area basis or to a specific unit of attachment based on operational requirements. Ordnance incidents may be reported in a centralized mode directly to the EODCC or in a decentralized mode to subordinate EOD detachments based on communication capabilities and operational requirements.

FM 9-15 contains details of the missions, responsibilities, functions, and method of operation for EOD units in the COMMZ.

The EOD control center--

  • Provides staff supervision of EOD service in the COMMZ.

  • Prepares directives governing EOD service in the COMMZ.

  • Provides guidance to subordinate units relative to EOD service.

  • Monitors, coordinates, and controls EOD support activities and the conduct of the explosive ordnance reconnaissance program.

  • Advises the ACofS, SPO, on apportionment of personnel, units, special equipment, and the assignment of EOD incident priorities.



The TAACOM GRREG battalion is the theater level GS operator for the GRREG program. Its units will process remains evacuated from the corps and from COMMZ units. Depending upon the policy established for the theater, units of this battalion may establish temporary cemeteries in the COMMZ or process remains for evacuation to CONUS. Included in the GRREG battalion is a personal effects depot and a number of GRREG companies, the number dependent upon requirements. Details on graves registration can be obtained from FM 10-63. Figure Figure 2-12 shows a typical TAACOM GRREG battalion.


In addition to the CSS units assigned to the TAACOM, other support elements assigned to the TA functional commands may be attached to provide specialized support to military units located in or passing through the COMMZ and to the corps when required. Generally, these attached support elements operate under the staff supervision or operational control of the appropriate TAACOM staff section.

Military Police Brigade

The military police brigade assigned or attached to the TAACOM is the command and control headquarters for police support in the TAACOM area of the COMMZ. (See figure 2-13.) Elements of this brigade provide police support on an area basis, and MP operations extend over the entire COMMZ land area. The commander of the MP brigade assigns areas of operations and missions to the battalions, companies, or detachments assigned as operating elements of the brigade. This brigade also provides MP support oriented toward the other TA commands within the TAACOM area. The MP brigade--

  • Provides route security.

  • Controls military traffic.

  • Conducts route reconnaissance.

  • Provides physical security for railways, water terminals, general hospitals and convalescent centers, nuclear ammunition supply points, and command headquarters.

  • Provides movement security for critical or sensitive supplies and designated individuals.

  • Controls the circulation of individuals, including assistance to the civil affairs brigade in the control of refugees and displaced persons.

  • Conducts rear area protection operations to include tactical offensive and defensive missions when required, civil disturbance control, and support of area damage or disaster control activities.

  • Enforces military laws, orders, and regulations.

  • Provides military police investigative support.

  • Advises, assists, and supports indigenous civil and military police forces, as required.

  • Assists and supports enemy prisoner-of-war operations, as required.

The MP brigade is assigned and responsive to the commander of the TAACOM. To provide maximum area and functional support, the MP brigade coordinates with the ACofS, personnel; ACofS, SPO; ACofS, services; and ACofS, civil-military operations.

The MP brigade provides support to ASGs with an MP battalion giving area-wide support to the area in which the ASG is located. This form of support gives the MP brigade commander maximum flexibility in the use of assets to meet missions on a priority basis.

The brigade provides direct and continuing coordination with--

  • Military intelligence units of the TAACOM.

  • Intelligence and law enforcement units supporting theater air force and naval assets.

  • PERSCOM prisoner of war and confinement elements.

  • Civil affairs units.

  • The US Army criminal investigation detachment control element supporting the theater.

  • Intelligence and police services of host and allied governments.


Signal Operations Company, Medium Headquarters

The signal operations company, medium headquarters (fig 2-14), is attached to the TAACOM for administration, but it depends on other service support units for specified support.

In support of TAACOM operations, the signal operations company provides--

  • Internal communications facilities and services for the TAACOM headquarters and its associated MMC.

  • Installation, operation, and maintenance of a telephone communications system to include dial central office operations and a circuit control and directory service.

  • A telecommunications center with secure teletype terminals, teletype relays, facsimile terminals, data transmission capabilities, and message center service.

  • Motor messenger service within the supported headquarters and to its subordinate headquarters.

  • Photographic services for the headquarters to include still and motion picture coverage and operation of a mobile photo lab for processing still photographs.

  • Maintenance on all organic C-E and COMSEC equipment.



Automatic Data Processing Unit

The ADPU (fig 2-15) operates the ADP system in support of the CSS function in the TAACOM. (The ADPU will be eliminated from the TAACOM structure with the assignment of dedicated ADPE to using organizations requiring automation.) This unit has a unit headquarters, control section, systems and programs section, machine section, and maintenance section. The unit is 100-percent mobile and provides machine services, but it is not involved in the management of the CSS functions. To support TAACOM operations, the ADPU

  • Installs, operates, and maintains general purpose data processing equipment including associated devices and digital data transmission terminals.

  • Maintains computer programs for new application to be used locally.

  • Reports unit readiness.

  • Maintains personnel management records.

  • Maintains labor management records.

  • Maintains material management records.

  • Maintains budget, finance, and fiscal accounting services records.

One ADPU is assigned to each TAACOM headquarters to operate an ADP center. The ADP center is not involved in the management of the combat service support functions. It simply provides machine services. The ADP center uses computer programs developed in CONUS based on centrally developed functional systems.


NBC Unit

NBC units are assigned to all TA major subordinate commands which have an area responsibility. In the COMMZ an NBC unit is assigned to the TAACOM as a major subordinate unit. The major NBC unit in the TAACOM provides NBC defense and smoke support to all units in the TAACOM area of responsibility. Initially, the major NBC unit will be a battalion (fig 2-16), and as the theater matures, it may become an NBC brigade (fig 2-17) with NBC battalions and subordinate elements.

NBC battalions provide command and control of NBC functional companies which provide decontamination, NBC reconnaissance, and smoke. In the mature theater, NBC battalions may be placed in support of ASGs of the TAACOM and provide NBC and smoke support to units in the ASG area.

NBC functional companies are assigned to NBC battalions based upon the work load in the battalion area of responsibility. The work-load determination includes an analysis of the geographical area; the threat; and the density of personnel, equipment, and facilities.

In some cases, an NBC battalion will have a single mission in support of a particular unit or area. For example, a battalion may be assigned several smoke companies to support a large area smoke mission.

Requests for NBC reconnaissance, decontamination, or large-area smoke support are submitted by the requesting units to the ASGs. If the supporting NBC battalions have the capability to perform the requested mission, they normally accept the mission at this level. If the NBC support assets are not capable of supporting the requested missions, the requests for support are forwarded to the TAACOM headquarters and, as necessary, on to the TA headquarters. At each level of command, an attempt is made to fulfill the NBC requirements within the capabilities of the supporting NBC units. The NBC organization commander provides technical advice on the resources required to accomplish a particular mission. The echelons-above-corps area commands (ASG, TAACOM, or TA) establish the priority of missions to be accomplished if the missions exceed the available NBC assets.


The mission of NBC units at TA level is to perform specific functions in support of NBC defensive operations. These functions are to provide NBC reconnaissance and decontamination of units located in the COMMZ; chemical agent identification for the theater; and an NBC warning and reporting system for the COMMZ.

Reconnaissance. Dedicated NBC reconnaissance units will conduct large-area reconnaissance throughout the COMMZ with the objective of providing contamination information to commanders to assist in the development of their plans. NBC reconnaissance activities are planned by the appropriate NBC headquarters in coordination with the supported area headquarters. Information from NBC reconnaissance units flows to the NBC centers and subsequently is disseminated through periodic intelligence reports to US and allied forces. Additional NBC information will come from US Army units operating in the area and from other services and territorial forces. These observations will supplement the NBC reconnaissance efforts of the US units and provide a more complete picture of the rear area to the TA commander.


Decontamination. NBC decontamination companies provide equipment, terrain, and logistics facilities with decontamination support. Decontamination companies provide the TA units with decontamination support required in excess of unit organic capabilities. This is accomplished through the use of large-scale decontamination equipment and procedures to minimize the support required for the decontamination operations.

Decontamination is provided for equipment, stockpiles of material, terrain, and facilities on a priority basis. Priorities are established by supported unit commanders.

Higher priority material and facilities will be decontaminated by the NBC decontamination units. Lower priority items will be decontaminated through the natural weathering process. Engineer assistance may be required to move large volumes of earth or debris. The support will be coordinated between TAACOM and ENCOM commanders or as directed by the TA commander.

Agent Identification. Threat forces may employ chemical or biological agents which are unknown to US forces or beyond the capability of US identification equipment. Samples of unidentified chemical agents will be collected by NBC reconnaissance units and evacuated to the Chemical Research and Development Command or to predesignated allied laboratories for analysis. Suspected biological agents will be sampled by NBC reconnaissance units and forwarded to supporting medical activities for identification. Following analysis of the unknown agent, appropriate countermeasures are developed and implemented throughout the theater.

Warning and Reporting System. The TA operates a network of NBC warning and reporting centers which provide information about NBC hazards. The centers direct the collection effort, perform evaluation, and disseminate NBC information. Commanders at all levels then use the NBC hazard information in planning and executing their missions.

An NBC center is assigned to the NBC staff at TA level. This center coordinates activities throughout the theater. It acts as the focal point for all NBC battlefield contamination information. This centralized information point is particularly important in that unit boundaries will often change, and known NBC contamination information must be passed to the new units.

NBC brigades and battalions provide NBC centers for their areas of responsibility. These subordinate centers function as the focal point for their area and provide the evaluated NBC information to the TA NBC center. Normally, these centers are located at TAACOM and ASG headquarters but are under the command of the NBC brigade and battalion.

The NBC centers provide the evaluated NBC information to the units in their areas through operations channels. NBC centers coordinate with the appropriate allied nation NBC warning and reporting centers as well as adjacent armed forces units of other allied nations.

Smoke Operations. The objective of smoke employment at theater level is to deny the enemy information and assist in the defense of theater army activities. This is accomplished by reducing the effectiveness of threat surveillance and target acquisition capability. This in turn reduces the availability of information to threat intelligence and hence the effectiveness of threat attacks. Finally, smoke directly interferes with threat attacks through its effect on threat munitions guidance systems.

Smoke has two general applications at the theater level, screening and deception.

  • Screening smoke is smoke employed on friendly activities. This type of smoke may be used in two roles. The first is to deny threat forces information about actual friendly activities. This type of smoke screen must be significantly larger than the concealed activity to prevent the target acquisition of the specific location. It must be continuously maintained for long periods of time to prevent acquisition by frequent threat surveillance. The second role of smoke screens is to prevent or reduce the effectiveness of threat attacks. Threat visual or electro-optical target acquisition and terminal guidance systems require a definite target signature. The signature is reduced by the use of smoke screens. Smoke is employed in this role only during an enemy attack.

  • Deception is used to confuse the enemy concerning friendly activities. Smoke in this role complements other deceptive measures. The use of smoke can be particularly important in the application as it degrades the threat's ability to "see" the deception activity and forces the threat to rely more heavily on other means of intelligence gathering or on speculation.

Large-area smoke is provided by smoke companies of the NBC brigades. A variable number of companies are assigned to NBC battalions based upon local situations, including the specific priorities for protection and available resources.

Allied Support. The US Army must coordinate its NBC defense and smoke efforts with those of other allied forces and with national governments. The TA should capitalize on any systems and support resources available from allies or the host nation to reduce the impact on the US force structure and provide for an effectively integrated force. Available non-US support must be effectively coordinated in all areas of NBC and smoke operations.


CSS planning is a continuing and essential function that must be the focus of attention of commanders and staffs. Close coordination among tactical planners and those planning combat support and Css is essential. Consideration must be given to all factors that can have a significant effect on the accomplishment of the mission. The availability of critical CSS may decisively influence combat operations.

To provide effective support, the CSS planner must thoroughly understand the mission of the supported force, be able to predict the supported force requirements, assess the capability of the supporting force, and finally apply resources against requirements in a manner which results in the most responsive support possible.

CSS staff officers and commanders cannot "let things happen." They must be in a position to act positively rather than reacting to support requirements. The personal involvement and "on-the-scene" appraisal of the situation by CSS personnel is just as important to mission accomplishment as is the personal involvement of combat leaders and staff.


The key to positive CSS action is a thorough analysis and understanding of the tactical concept of operation. To provide positive and responsive support to each element of the supported force, the planner must know exactly what each of the supported elements will be doing, when it will be doing it, and how it will be accomplished. Questions must be answered by the tactical planners which relate directly to the type, quantity, and priority of logistics support required. The CSS organization exists only to provide support, and the CSS requirements of any force are directly related to the mission of that supported force.

CSS planning is conducted to accommodate the requirements of the supported force during all phases of an operation. The CSS plan is developed concurrently with the tactical plan. This insures that the plan or concept of operation is not finalized until CSS planners have determined the supportability of the proposed courses of action. Once the supported force concept of operation is determined, CSS planning can proceed. Support requirements can be projected and plans developed to satisfy these projected requirements. Supporting CSS plans should be as detailed as planning time will permit. The development of sound SOPs and contingency plans will greatly assist CSS staff officers in their planning efforts. When SOPs are comprehensive, only modifications will be required to accommodate specific requirements or circumstances. In any case, the planning effort must be concentrated in those areas most vital to successful mission accomplishment of the supported force.


The TAACOM CSS system must be able to function effectively in both peace and war. It must also be able to make the transition from peace to war as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, a realistic balance must be struck between peacetime constraints and the demands of war. The peacetime goal must be to maintain a support structure, facilities, and supply levels capable of sustaining the tactical forces in war until supplies and reinforcements can arrive from CONUS. Where differences exist between policies and procedures necessary for peacetime operation and those required in combat, provisions must be made for transition to war with little or no warning. During the transition period, the theater must be supported until full-scale resupply from CONUS is established. Therefore, CSS operations should be planned in three phases: peacetime, transition, and sustaining.

Planning should begin with learning the ready-to-go-to-war condition of forces to be employed followed by determining requirements for the sustaining phase. It should also consider the time-phased arrival of reinforcing combat, combat support, and CSS units that will be deployed to augment existing forces. Transition and peacetime operations are planned in sufficient detail and provide for support of combat operations until the sustaining phase has begun. Each phase has distinct requirements and limitations which influence CSS operations.


CSS plans must show priorities for support. It is necessary to insure that the units with the highest tactical priority receive required support first.

CSS requirements can be calculated with some degree of accuracy. They are computed based on density of each type of weapon system and on personnel strength. The effects of the intensity of battle on supply consumption and battle loss rates are calculated based on analysis, wargaming, and experience. Support capability is identified in terms of units needed to satisfy requirements. Required support capability is then compared with resources available, and adjustments are made as necessary.

In those areas in which we have forward-deployed forces, CSS plans should include disposition of pre-positioned war reserve material stocks located in the communications zone. The amount of PWRMS stored is based upon the policies established by TA or higher headquarters. A minimum of 30 days of supply of all classes of PWRMS should be pre-positioned in the theater. However, levels should be based on the best estimate of time when resupply can begin. These stocks allow units to rapidly replenish their initial losses until support from CONUS can be provided. Contingency plans for resupply of PWRMS that are at less than 30-day stockage must be made and updated as stockage situations change.



CSS is an element of combat power. When forces are concentrated at the critical time and place, CSS resources must be available to support the concentrated effort. Therefore, CSS resources must be concentrated at the same time to support these systems.

CSS units must be flexible. The battlefield will probably be the scene of highly fluid combat operations that could present extraordinary logistical problems. Such operations, combined with use of mass-destruction weapons, will require increased emphasis on one or more of the following procedures:

  • Using alternate methods of communication and data processing.

  • Regulating and controlling movement of supplies and personnel.

  • Implementing rapid movements of personnel and supplies.

  • Maximizing use of all transportation assets.

  • Diverting logistics units from low-priority tasks to support the main effort.

  • Positioning supplies to support withdrawing forces.

  • Establishing priorities to insure availability of transportation for the most urgent requirements.

  • Redistributing supplies and equipment (particularly weapon systems and vehicles) of ineffective units promptly.

  • Preparing to perform the above functions in an NBC environment, in darkness, and in all extremes of weather.


In addition to being flexible enough to support from any base arrangement, CSS units must tailor resources and priorities to the changing combat situation. Tailoring is based on the number and types of weapon systems to be supported, the number of personnel to be supported, and the tons and volume of supplies to be handled or transported. Typical examples of tailoring the TAACOM would be to assign or attach the following units as needed:

  • Theater army support groups.

  • Area support groups.

  • Supply, maintenance, transportation, and service units.

  • Personnel and administration battalions.

  • Explosive ordnance disposal control centers.

  • Explosive ordnance disposal detachments.

06-03-1996; 09:11:42

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