This appendix implements STANAG 2017 and QSTAG 508.
Some critical points, such as key bridges and mountain passes, within the division or brigade area may be vital to the tactical plan. Such points need to be controlled to permit friendly units to use them and to prevent the enemy from using them. If there is a plan to turn these critical points into obstacles by use of demolitions, they are called reserved obstacles or reserved demolitions. The commander designating these obstacles normally reserves their execution to his order.
When the division or brigade commander designates a reserved demolition, he also designates a demolition firing party (normally made up of engineers) to prepare and execute the demolitions. Likewise, he designates a demolition guard (normally a rifle company or part of its subordinate elements) to secure the area until the demolitions are fired and the obstacle is completed.
a. If the rifle company is the demolition guard, its company commander is the demolition guard commander. He is under the command of and reports directly to a senior commander who will be designated as the authorized commander. The senior man in the demolition firing party is the demolition firing party commander. However, the demolition guard commander has overall responsibility.
b. The headquarters initiating the demolition guard mission prepares and provides an order to the demolition guard commander (Figure I-1) (annex A of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508) and an order to the demolition firing party commander (Figure I-2) (annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508).
Figure I-1. Order to the demolition guard commander.
Figure I-2. Order to the demolition firing party commander.
NOTE: The procedures outlined in this appendix conform to NATO's STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508. If the unit is operating within a NATO force, the doctrine, procedures, and printed forms shown in this appendix will be complied with. If the unit is operating outside of NATO, the doctrine and procedures will be complied with, and the necessary printed forms may be provided locally by the authorized commander who designates the reserved demolition, or else the NATO forms may be used.
NOTE: Upon arrival at the site of the reserve demolition, the commander of the demolition guard and the commander of the demolition firing party should compare their orders to ensure that they are correct and complete.
c. The headquarters initiating the mission also prepares and provides the demolition firing party commander with a target folder. The target folder normally contains a description of the target, the location of the target, and the technical data needed for the placement of the charges. The demolition guard commander must become familiar with the information in the target folder and use it when inspecting the demolitions.
I-2. COMMON TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
The following terms and definitions should be familiar to infantry leaders.
a. Reserved Demolitions. These are demolitions (intended to create obstacles) that play a vital part in the tactical plan, and thus, their firing must be controlled.
b. Authorized Commander. This is the officer empowered to authorize the firing of a reserved demolition (normally the division commander; however, authority can be delegated to the brigade commander and down to the battalion commander as the battle progresses).
c. Demolition Guard. This is the unit tasked to ensure that the site of a reserved demolition is not destroyed or captured by the enemy.
d. Demolition Firing Party. This is the unit technically responsible for emplacing and firing the demolitions. It is normally an engineer unit and often commanded by a noncommissioned officer. Depending upon the engineer work effort in sector, the engineers may emplace the demolitions and hand over the target detonation to the guard force. Such action will be coordinated.
e. Uncharged. This is the state of a reserved demolition when it has been prepared to receive charges. The charges are packaged and stored in a nearby, safe place.
f. Charged. This is the state of a reserved demolition when charges have been placed. The charges are maintained at one of the following states of readiness:
(1) State of Readiness 1 (SAFE). The charges have been placed and secured, but are not yet armed.
(2) State of readiness 2 (ARMED). The charges have been placed and armed and are ready to fire. The danger of premature firing (caused by the close explosion of a bomb or shell when the charges are armed) must be balanced against the time required to change from state of readiness 2.
g. Completion. This means that the demolition were fired, were effective, and that all related tasks in the area, such as mining approaches to the target, have been completed. It is incorrect to think, however, that the firing of he demolitions necessarily completes the intended destruction. Engineers must ensure the demolition was effective before reporting that the mission is complete. In the event of a misfire or only partial destruction of the target, the demolition guard must continue to provide protection while the charges are reset or more charges are placed on the target and fired.
h. Contact Point. This is the place where withdrawing friendly units make initial contact with the demolition guard and make their final approach to the site.
i. Roadblock. This is a position Occupied by a friendly unit that controls access into the area.
j. Firing Point. This is the location from which the demolition firing party commander physically executes the demolition.
k. Bridge Guard. This is the unit stationed on and around the bridge to protect it against sabotage or an enemy attack.
l. Chain of Command Roster. This is a list indicating the chain of command within a unit. There is one for the demolition firing party and one for the demolition guard.
The guard and firing party commanders' duties are designated as follows.
a. Demolition Guard commander. He is responsible for the following:
- Commanding all soldiers at the site of the reserved demolitions.
- Guarding the site from enemy attack and sabotage.
- Controlling traffic and refuges.
- Giving the order to the demolition firing party commander (in writing [annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508]) to change the state of readiness of the demolition charges.
- Giving the order to the demolition firing party commander (in writing [annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508]) to fire the demolitions.
- Keeping the authorized commander informed on the status of the demolitions and the defense.
- Informing the authorized commander on the estimated time required to change from State of readiness 1 to State of readiness 2.
- Maintaining a chain of command roster for both the demolition guard and the demolition firing party, and ensuring the information is exchanged between the two groups.
- Reporting the effectiveness of the authorized commander.
b. Demolition Firing Party Commander. He is responsible for the following:
- Preparing the demolitions.
- Maintaining the state of readiness ordered.
- Firing the demolitions (after receiving a written order [annex B of STANAG 2017 and or QSTAG 508]) and ensuring that the demolition is successful.
- Reporting results of the demolition to the demolition guard commander.
I-4. PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
Upon receiving the mission to guard a reserved demolition site the company commander (demolition guard commander) initiates his troop-leading procedure. He considers the METT-T factors and develops a defense plan (Chapter 5). He must prepare for a continuous 360-degree defense. The commander may be given additional assets (such as medical, recovery, evacuation, engineer, air defense, attack helicopters, antiarmor, and military police) to assist in the defense. For ease of reference, this discussion uses a bridge as the site of the reserved demolition.
a. Rifle Platoons. The commander initially positions his rifle platoons to provide an all-round defense. He should position one platoon on the enemy side of the bridge to occupy roadblocks on avenues of approach leading to the area. This platoon is responsible for all actions on the enemy side, The commander should position another platoon on and around the bridge to defend it and the demolitions. This platoon is responsible for all actions on and around the bridge. The commander should position any other platoons in locations (normally on the friendly side) from which they can support the platoon defending the bridge and the platoon defending the enemy side. The commander also assigns subsequent positions, which are on the friendly side, to both the platoon defending the enemy side and the platoon defending the bridge.
b. TOW Section. The commander positions the TOW section, if attached, in overmatch positions on the friendly side of the bridge. If the armor threat is such that TOWs are needed on the enemy side, they should be positioned there. Then they are withdrawn to the friendly side when the demolition charges are placed at State of Readiness 2.
c. Dragons. The commander must ensure that the platoon leaders position their Dragons to tie in with tank (if available) and TOW fire. At first, he may detach some Dragons from the platoons defending the friendly side and attach them to the platoon defending the enemy side. He must also ensure that some Dragons are in position to provide continuous coverage of the bridge itself.
d. Tanks. The commander normally positions his tank platoon (when present) in overmatch on the friendly side. Depending on the armor threat, he may at first position a tank section on the enemy side, supported by a section on the friendly side, to increase the antiarmor capability on the enemy side. (The tank platoon leader must, however, maintain control of both sections.) At least one tank on the friendly side should be tasked to block any enemy armor that tries to cross the bridge. If the commander positions tanks on the enemy side, he must withdraw them to the friendly side when the demolition charges are placed at State of Readiness 2. Upon being withdrawn to the friendly side, the tanks occupy overmatch positions.
e. Fire Support. The commander and company FSO plan indirect fire on the bridge and on the enemy and friendly sides of it. This includes ford sites and other surrounding key terrain features. They plan for illumination in case the enemy attacks at night and for smoke to conceal the withdrawal of friendly units.
f. Observation Posts and Patrols. The commander plans for OPs and patrols in order to provide early warning of an enemy attack. He should also use sensors and other early warning devices. He should position OPs near the water and have patrol units reconnoiter the river banks. In addition to watching for activity on land, the OPs and patrol units should watch for activity in the water, such as floating pressure-detonated or command-detonated explosives, or swimmers trying to knock out the bridge. When possible, the commander should place some type of barrier material (such as submerged wire or net screens) in the water to stop floating mines and swimmers.
g. Landing Zones and Pickup Zones. The commander should reconnoiter to determine the locations of all LZs/PZs in the area. He should then consider them from two viewpoints. First, he should consider them from the enemy's viewpoint. Since the enemy may conduct an air assault into the area, the commander should establish OPs at a likely LZs/PZs. Secondly, the commander should consider the LZs/PZs from the viewpoint of how he can use them to support his mission. He may be able to use them for evacuation of casualties, for resupply, or for bringing in reinforcements.
h. Air Defense. When air defense assets are available, the commander should assign them positions from which they can best support the defense. They should be dispersed and positioned to provide mutual support. If likely LZs/PZs have been identified, the commander should ensure that they are covered by the air defense assets.
i. Traffic Control. The commander must plan measures to ensure the control of withdrawing units and refugees. He should establish a contact point, traffic control points, unit holding areas, refugee holding areas, a passage lane, routes, and a guide system (when necessary). He must maintain separation between tactical units and refugees and ensure that the refugees do not interfere with tactical units. When military or civilian police are available, the commander should use them to assist in traffic control.
j. Contact Point. The commander must establish a contact point on the enemy side of the bridge. The contact point should be in a place that all withdrawing units will naturally pass through before crossing the bridge (for example, on the last single approach). If the units are withdrawing from several different directions, the contact point may have to be close to the bridge. If they are withdrawing from one general direction, the contact point may be well forward. It may be collocated with a roadblock or in a separate position. The contact point must be manned at all times by a unit from the demolition guard, and the unit manning it must maintain communications with the command post. The commander must select a responsible subordinate leader to be in charge of the contact point. He normally selects his XO, 1SG, or one of his platoon leaders or platoon sergeants. The unit manning the contact point monitors, controls, and informs the commander on the passage of the withdrawing friendly units. Each withdrawing unit should send a liaison officer to the contact point (before the unit's arrival) to coordinate the rearward passage.
k. Traffic Control Point. The commander must identify points along the routes in the area that may present a traffic control problem. He should then establish a TCP at each of these points or on the approaches to these points. This includes points on both the enemy and friendly sides of the bridge. The units manning the TCPs must maintain communications between themselves and with the commander. The TCPs are responsible for controlling the flow of traffic in the area.
l. Holding Areas. The commander must identify areas on the enemy and the friendly sides of the bridge that can be used as holding areas for units and refugees. The unit holding areas must, however, be separated from the refugee areas. The commander uses these areas to help reduce the massing of units and refugees at the bridge. If the lane across the bridge becomes congested as units or refugees approach the contact point, the commander has the element at the contact point direct the units or refugees to their respective holding areas. They will remain there until directed to cross.
m. Passage Lane. The commander selects a passage lane across the bridge.
n. Routes. The commander selects and marks two separate routes through the passage lane. There will be one route for tactical units and one route for the refugees.
o. Guide System. There may be times such as during limited visibility when it will be necessary for the commander to establish a guide system to lead the withdrawing units and refugees through the area. If guides are used, they should link up with the units and refugees at the contact point.
p. Mines and Obstacles. The commander employs mines and obstacles to disrupt and block enemy movement. He plans them near the bridge, on approaches to it, and on likely fords and crossing sites. He also sets up roadblocks on major avenues of approach. Some minefields may be armed and some obstacles may be blown or constructed while the defense is being prepared. However, the commander must maintain open lanes through which withdrawing units and refugees can pass. Once all friendly units have passed through the area, the commander arms the minefields and completes construction of other obstacles. He should consider using field artillery-delivered scatterable minefields or MOPMS once friendly units have passed through the area.
q. Firing Points. The demolition guard commander and the demolition firing party commander select primary and alternate locations for the firing point. These--
- Are on the friendly side of the bridge.
- Are slightly to a flank so that the demolitions can be observed.
- Are collocated with the primary and alternate CPs.
- Provide protection to the demolition firing party.
r. Command Post. The commander selects a primary and an alternate CP on the friendly side of the bridge that allows him to observe and control the defense. Since the CP and firing point should be collocated, the commander may have to select a position more suited for the firing point than for the CP. If this happens, the commander should move to the alternate CP once the demolitions have been fired.
s. Recovery and Evacuation. The commander places recovery and evacuation assets near and on the friendly side of the bridge. These assets must ensure that the passage lane remains clear.
t. Chain of Command Roster. The demolition guard commander must prepare a chain of command roster for his unit. This roster includes all officers and senior NCOs in the company. The demolition firing party commander must also prepare a chain of command roster for his unit. This roster must include every soldier (officer, NCO, and enlisted) in the demolition firing party. These rosters are maintained at the command post/firing point and must be kept current. The rosters are used to determine who is in command at all times in the event of casualties, or in the event that key personnel are removed from the site for any other reason.
u. Withdrawal of Demolition Guard Units. The demolition guard commander is required to fire the demolitions immediately on receipt of the code word (prearranged to mean fire the demolitions) from the authorized commander unless he has previously received authority to delay the firing. (For example, if the commander needs time to withdraw his units from the enemy side or to move soldiers out of the danger areas before firing the demolitions, be must coordinate this with the authorized commander before receiving orders to fire. This must be done as soon as possible after arriving at the site.) While most of the demolition guard units will be withdrawn to the friendly side before firing the demolitions, the commander may leave some elements on the enemy side until the mission is complete. These elements may be required to continue to provide security or to complete some of the final demolition tasks on the enemy side. The commander must plan for a way to withdraw these elements after their tasks have been completed.
v. Crossing Means. The commander must plan for withdrawing his units from the enemy side of the obstacle, both primary and alternate crossing means. The means used depends on the type obstacle being crossed. These means may include boats, rafts, ferries, rope bridges, helicopters, and vehicles (before the bridge is blown).
w. Warning Signal. The commander should plan signals to warn friendly soldiers that the demolitions are about to be fired. He should plan a signal to use during good visibility and one to use during limited visibility. Information detailing the type signals to be used must be disseminated and understood by all.
I-5. FIRING PROCEDURE
On receipt of the order (a code word from the authorized commander) to change the state of readiness of the demolition charges, the demolition guard commander notifies the firing party commander and fills in paragraph 8 of annex A of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508 (orders to the demolition guard commander) and paragraph 3 of annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508 (orders to the demolition firing party commander). On receipt of the order, the demolition firing party commander has his personnel change the state of readiness of the demolition charges. When the change is complete, the demolition guard commander reports its completion to the authorized commander in accordance with paragraph 9 of annex A of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508.
a. Order to Fire. On receipt of the order to fire the demolitions, the demolition guard commander notifies the firing party commander, fills in paragraph 8 to annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508, and follows the instructions in part III of annex A of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508.
b. Misfire Procedure. If the demolitions fail to fire, the demolition guard commander must continue to provide security while the demolition firing party makes further arrangements to fire the demolitions.
c. Inspection and Reporting. The demolition firing party commander must inspect the demolition after the charges have been fired, report the results on the engineer communications net in accordance with paragraph 13 of annex B of STANAG 2017/QSTAG 508, and give the annex to the demolition guard commander. The demolition guard commander must also report the results immediately to the authorized commander. After all work has been completed (and before departing the area), both the demolition guard commander and demolition firing party commander must report the completion or abandonment of work on the obstacle to their respective commanders.
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