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Supporting Contingency Operations

The Army is charged with conducting land warfare against any enemy anywhere in the world. The array of potential operations can require any size unit from a battalion to a mature theater army. There are few situations in which the US would have substantial forward-deployed forces in the theater at the outbreak of war. Contingency operations are conducted in areas in which there are no such forces. There may or may not be friendly populations. There may or may not be facilities such as developed ports, highway networks, airfields, and railroads. Army forces must plan to conduct operations in any of those environments. Just as the fighting force is tailored to the threat, the support force is tailored to the fighting force's requirements.


In major contingency operations, it is generally conceded that the corps will be the force. It is the smallest force capable of sustaining itself for extended periods. The bulk of the CSS of the corps is done by the COSCOM. As long as the corps can perform its mission and the COSCOM can support it, EAC CSS units will not be deployed. However, the contingency operation may escalate to the point at which the corps cannot cope with the threat or the COSCOM cannot support the force. If this situation occurs, additional units may be deployed. It is at this point that the nucleus of what may become a TAACOM forms. At first, an Army support element-forward may be deployed. This organization is like a TAACOM in that it provides a GS supply and intermediate maintenance capability and an MMC. An MCC may also be included.

If the contingency escalates, it may become necessary to establish a command and control element between the corps and the overall joint or unified command. This will normally be a field army headquarters. It will provide command and control of all Army elements. EAC elements may include intelligence, security, and electronic warfare elements in addition to CSS elements. The CSS elements will perform the functions of a TAACOM.

If the situation were to escalate even further and the conflict were to require a multicorps force, the support base would also expand. In this case, a TA would evolve. Then the TAACOM as discussed in all previous chapters would be developed. The timing and conditions of the handoff between corps and EAC cannot be reliably predicted because of the many variables. Coordination must be made early in the contingency planning stage. Corps and EAC elements must both be involved.

The CSS base in any of the situations cited may be formed from existing TAACOM headquarters and operating units. For this reason, all TAACOM units must plan for such development. The Army planning system makes such planning mandatory TAACOMs are routinely provided with predictable contingency missions. Planning is continuing task. Unpredictable contingencies would allow little planning time. This situation makes workable SOPs and sound staff work critical.

This chapter deals with TAACOM elements in support of contingency operations. While doctrine is followed in contingency operations just as in forward-deployed force operations, procedures may vary.


Most contingency operations will require that the force carry with it the bare essentials of its own support. Support facilities and resources in the theater may be unpredictable and unreliable. Until the force secures its area of operations and the LOC, it must rely on its own resources for support. Once the area is expanded, follow-on forces can arrive and a support base can be established. As a rule, the following principles of contingency support should be considered:

  • Make maximum use of all available local resources.
  • Limit supplies to essentials.
  • Concentrate maintenance efforts on returning major items of equipment to service.

  • Structure follow-on forces to insure a balanced logistics capability.

  • Initially rely on strategic airlift for rapid resupply.
  • Use surface transport for outsized equipment, armored units, and bulk supplies.



During transition, units should deploy to the contingency area with sufficient basic loads to sustain them until a normal supply operation is established. Rations requiring little or no preparation, such as meal, ready-to-eat, will be carried and issued during initial stages of operation. Initially, limited GS supply support will be provided by TAACOM GS elements from a TCSB or sources afloat. TAACOM MMC operations will be conducted from a TCSB or will be afloat offshore until enough rear area security is achieved to permit relocation to the contingency area. Pre-positioned supplies will be in the area for use by the contingency forces, wherever possible. This will insure availability of supplies during the initial stages of deployment.


The TA commander is responsible for the control and distribution of bulk petroleum to US forces. The supply of class III is critical to battlefield success and will be centrally managed and allocated. TAMCA elements will coordinate the shipment of petroleum to the corps. Bulk class III will be moved as far forward as possible. Class III management operations may be conducted from a TCSB or facilities afloat until the situation permits the establishment of an ashore base. Class III supply is forecast based on initial planning factors and later adjusted based on experience concerning consumption and available storage.

Petroleum elements will establish support base receiving, issuing, and storing locations in a TCSB or a lodgment area in the theater of operations.


The main mission of the ammunition system is to provide the right ammunition. Ammunition used by the contingency force should be standardized to minimize the variety of rounds needed. When establishing pre-positioned stocks, priority is given to the most common and critical types of ammunition.

Units will deploy with the authorized basic load of ammunition in order to sustain operations until resupply can be established. Preplanned selected stocks are automatically shipped forward. Class V items are controlled through the TAACOM MMC by the TAMMC. Ammunition supply from a TCSB, afloat storage, and/or pre-positioned stocks in the theater is desired, with pre-positioned stocks in the theater being the preferred method.


Replacements for combat-damaged weapon systems will be limited to operational readiness float items, reparables, and prepositioned stocks, if available. Therefore, class VII supply availability must be sustained early by control of available items and speedy repair of equipment. Because of the critical need for class VII items, they will be centrally controlled by the TAMMC. Class VII items will be processed and issued to users by TAACOM elements as quickly as possible. The primary sources of major end items of equipment are ORF and those recovered from the battlefield, repaired, and returned to the user. Major items recovered in the area of operations will be made ready for Issue at the lowest level possible with direct issue to combat units whenever possible. Weapon systems processed by TAACOM supply elements will be placed in a ready-to-issue condition. TA and corps transportation must be available concurrently with the receipt, processing, and issue of these items Whenever possible, TAMCA elements wild arrange and use HN and indigenous transportation support.


Units will deploy to the area of operation with their combat PLL. Intermediate (DS) maintenance units will deploy with their combat ASLs. Deploying contingency corps units will initially perform quick-fix, combat-essential maintenance, with emphasis on assembly replacements, to return the maximum number of items to use in the shortest possible time. TAACOM elements may initially provide backup class IX support from a TCSB and/or sources afloat. Because of the nature of a contingency operation, great reliance will be placed on airlift of class IX. ALOC procedures in support of ALOC units will be the norm. Initially, even high-tonnage class IX may be air delivered.

GS-level repair parts companies will be deployed in the contingency area and provide "umbrella" support to the contingency force for combat-essential class IX items. As these repair parts units deploy in the contingency area, the backup class IX support being provided from the TCSB or sources afloat will shift to the contingency area. Stockages will be developed as the situation stabilizes. MMC operations may be initially conducted from a TCSB or sources afloat until enough rear area security is attained to permit the establishment of a TAACOM.


Water is a critical combat commodity that may require intensive management and control. The TA is responsible for the control and distribution of water to US Army forces, other US services, and, as required, to allied support elements. TAACOM has organic water purification and delivery capabilities. Whenever requirements exceed capabilities, they are passed to the higher headquarters, which will fulfill the requirement or allocate available resources if a shortfall exists. Existing water facilities in the area of operations will be the primary sources of water. Ponds, lakes, ocean water, storage containers, existing wells, and wells drilled by engineer units will be used. A secondary source will be from water tankers if required. Water quality monitoring is primarily the responsibility of the preventive medicine assets of the MEDCOM. Water supply units will perform routine testing.

Combat units initially deploying to the contingency area must secure water for themselves or carry sufficient water with them until the engineers, water units, and supply and service elements can establish water operations. It is particularly important that all water sources be located and secured when operations are conducted in an arid environment where water sources could easily be denied to the contingency force. Security of water sources and storage/distribution facilities is required to prevent contamination of the available water supply. As the contingency force grows and matures, it is critical that water resources remain adequate to support the force. It may be necessary to ultimately supply water from a source afloat, TCSB, or CONUS if sufficient water to sustain the force cannot be made available. TAACOM water supply units have the water supply mission at TA levels.


The fundamental principle of maintenance in the theater is to minimize the time required to return operational equipment to combat forces by fixing items as far forward as possible.

Intermediate maintenance may be provided from a TCSB or sources afloat. As the theater matures, higher level maintenance activities will be introduced into the contingency area, as required. Some support may continue from outside the contingency force area, depending on theater maintenance requirements and the tactical situation.

One mission of TA maintenance is to perform backup intermediate maintenance that overflows from the contingency corps. If TA intermediate facilities are located in a TCSB, equipment requiring intermediate maintenance will be returned by backhaul air or sea carrier from the contingency area. TAACOM intermediate maintenance support teams and technical assistance personnel may be inserted into the corps area to assist with damage assessment and repair. TAACOM units will perform intermediate maintenance for units operating in or passing through the area. Maintenance in the TAACOM will be managed by the TAACOM MMC. The TA maintenance elements deployed with the contingency force will normally be controlled by the COSCOM MMC.

Intermediate maintenance will be provided by units from offshore areas or a lodgment area within the contingency area if theater depth permits. Some intermediate units may repair and return selected components to the theater supply system. TA units will receive intermediate maintenance support from TAACOM maintenance elements on an area support basis.

TA intermediate (GS) maintenance units, if deployed at all, will operate primarily from fixed shops, but will support forward in the contingency area with technical assistance and maintenance support teams. Maintenance management will be directed by the TAMMC.


Missile Maintenance Support

A missile support battalion will be assigned to TAACOM to provide intermediate support when the contingency corps matures. The battalion provides backup intermediate support for corps missile maintenance units, intermediate support for corps reserve missiles stored in the TA area, and intermediate support for combat units in or passing through the TAACOM.

Aviation Maintenance

When substantial COMMZ aviation assets are introduced into the theater, they will be tailored with the capability to perform AVUM- and AVIM-level maintenance. If fewer than 10 aircraft are assigned to a COMMZ unit, AVUM maintenance support will be provided by the appropriate corps AVIM unit that assumes the mission as a result of its area support role. Personnel augmentation may be required by the supporting corps AVIM unit.

Should operations in the TCSB require Army aviation support, AVIM maintenance could be accomplished by one of the following:

  • An aviation classification repair activity depot deployed to the theater.
  • Through contractual arrangement with commercial maintenance facilities.
  • Through a cross-service arrangement with USAF elements located in the third country.
  • By the host nation.

Airdrop Equipment Maintenance

Support for aerial delivery equipment is provided by a specialized airdrop equipment repair and supply unit assigned to TAACOM. This unit maintains theater stockage of airdrop equipment and provides intermediate maintenance to using units. It supplements parachute packing and maintenance activities of units engaged in airdrop operations. The recovery of airdrop equipment is accomplished by the units receiving airdrop services. These units will coordinate return of airdrop equipment to airdrop units. Return of airdrop equipment is vital as airdrop assets are limited.

Rail and Watercraft Maintenance

Introduction of rail maintenance units is not anticipated in the contingency area. Host nation railway equipment will be used, with the railway operating battalions performing maintenance on railway equipment and roadbeds. If HNS cannot be developed, rail operating units will be introduced to perform the maintenance functions. Similarly, marine maintenance units may be required to support deployed floating craft. Amphibious craft may be moved inland for repair, but normally maintenance and repair facilities for all marine craft will be located at the water's edge or afloat. Intermediate (DS) maintenance for amphibians and landing craft will be performed by transportation lighterage maintenance units. Intermediate (GS) maintenance will be performed by transportation floating craft maintenance units. Depot maintenance is not performed in the contingency theater for either rail or marine equipment.

ADPE Maintenance

Elements of an ADPE maintenance unit will deploy with the contingency corps to provide an intermediate (GS) maintenance capability. An intermediate (GS) maintenance capability will be established in the TCSB, as required. Intermediate (DS) ADPE maintenance will be performed by elements organic to the corps and deploying divisions.


If substantial calibration becomes a requirement in the contingency area, teams will be deployed to the theater to perform the calibration functions. TMDE will not be repaired in the contingency area. Damaged/failed equipment will be exchanged on an item-for-item basis. The damaged/failed equipment will be evacuated to CONUS for repair.


Damaged equipment that cannot be repaired in country will be evacuated from the contingency area by air or surface transport. Recovery within the operational area will be to the most secure site where repairs can be made and items returned to service. Materiel that cannot be recovered for whatever reason will be destroyed in place at the discretion of the unit commander. Prior to destruction, parts required to repair other materiel will be removed.

Once the theater matures, to include insertion of TAACOM intermediate maintenance units, more traditional recovery and evacuation modes will be employed. See chapter 6 for more details on collection, classification, and salvage operations.


A contingency movement program should be developed as soon as practicable in the overall contingency planning process. Program execution provides for the movement of supplies, personnel, and equipment from support areas forward and for the movement of retrograde. Transportation in a contingency TAACOM force structure will be similar to the support discussed in chapter 6.


Field services are necessary for sustained contingency operations. The COSCOM provides limited field services. TAACOM organizations will provide backup support and those services not performed in the COSCOM. Services in a contingency are split into two groups essential and nonessential. Essential services include airdrop and GRREG. Nonessential services include CEB, laundry, renovation of clothing, and baking services. Nonessential services will not be provided in the contingency area initially. As the theater matures and the elements move into place, nonessential services may be provided by TAACOM field service units. TAACOM field service units will be geared to support COMMZ units, but they will also be prepared to respond to the corps when required. Whenever feasible, TAACOM elements will utilize resources indigenous to the contingency area in providing services. Services to be provided are airdrop, graves registration, and clothing exchange and bath.


Airdrop services will be provided by TA QM airdrop units from a TCSB or facilities afloat until rear area security is adequate to permit relocation to the contingency area.


Deceased personnel will be promptly evacuated from place of death, cared for in a reverent manner, and properly identified. In the contingency scenarios, the policy will be to evacuate the remains to CONUS. GRREG services are generally provided on an area basis unless otherwise directed. Treatment of allied military dead and enemy dead is discussed in chapter 2 and FM 10-63.


CEB will be available at all levels of operation. The standard is to provide a weekly bath and change of clothing for each soldier in the area of operation. The supply and service units of the corps and TAACOM will have the capability to provide this service. As the area of operations stabilizes and the contingency force matures, services are expanded to full support.



Individuals assigned to TAACOM units are supported in P&A matters in the same manner as soldiers assigned to organizations at the corps and below. Direct P&A support is normally provided by the P&A battalion assigned to the TAACOM. With its assigned personnel service companies, the battalion is extremely flexible, and the PSC can be tailored to provide the full range of support to various levels of troops. The PERSCOM provides the same technical guidance support to TAACOM P&A battalions as it provides to corps P&A battalions. See FMs 12-3-3 and 12-3-4 for details on the P&A battalion at TAACOM and corps levels.


In contingency operations, a minimal comptroller staff deploys with the force commander's staff. The COA directs the necessary financial operational and management requirements of the theater which determines the structure of the comptroller's staff. If necessary, the TFSC would deploy to the theater to provide area finance support through AFSCs or mobile teams (as outlined in FMs 14-6 and 14-7) to the soldiers and units in the COMMZ as well as necessary theater-wide support such as providing currency to all finance elements in the theater.


These functions will be austere during contingency operations and will consist primarily of unit activities.


Basic missions, responsibilities, and functions remain the same as those outlined in chapter 7.


These concepts are the same as outlined in chapter 7.


The restrictions on postal services described in chapter 7 will apply throughout contingency operations involving non-forward-deployed US forces. Overall management of the military postal service in the area of operations is the responsibility of the US joint forces. Incoming and outgoing mail will flow in a manner similar to the method discussed in chapter 7. Outgoing mail is the reverse of this process. Postal support provided to or received from allied forces will be in accordance with the appropriate inter national standardization agreement.


These concepts are the same as outlined in chapter 7.


In the initial phase of establishing a contingency force organization, reports concerning strength accounting as well as personnel actions pertaining to individuals will be submitted in the manual mode. Automated systems will replace manual operations as the situation permits.


Health services support functions provided in the COMMZ in contingency operations will parallel those described in chapter 7. However, closer coordination of intratheater patient evacuation will be required. There will also be a limited capability to reconstitute corps health service elements.



The Army contingency force engineer will normally be the commander of the senior engineer headquarters assigned. The contingency force engineer answers to the force commander and controls all Army engineer units assigned within the COMMZ. If Army engineer units in the theater are given a mission to support a TAACOM, they are normally controlled by the TA commander with advice and assistance from the TA engineer.

TA engineers provide construction support outside the corps area and in the corps rear area when it is necessary to sustain the corps. Construction within the corps area will be performed by corps engineers or by TA engineers on a task basis. Input to the joint civil engineering support plan and construction policies is similar to that for forward deployed forces in chapter 7.


Military police support in contingency operations is characterized by austere force levels. Because of the expected limited duration of such operations and the scarce amount of strategic lift assets, MP will necessarily concentrate their resources on the missions of area security and EPW operations. Battlefield circulation control may assume added importance if the TAACOM is given its own area of operations immediately adjacent to, or separated from, the corps rear boundary. The doctrine for MP operations in a contingency area is the same as described in chapter 7.


Civil affairs is a command responsibility applicable to both combined and contingency operations. CA concepts discussed in chapter 7 on support of combined operations apply equally to contingency operations.

06-03-1996; 09:20:11

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