Win the adventure of a lifetime!

UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Chapter 5


Units routinely conduct concurrent operations as part of all division operations. They contribute to overall combat effectiveness but are not standalone actions as are offensive or defensive operations. Concurrent operations enhance overall division operations. This chapter provides some examples of techniques for planning and executing concurrent operations.


Division rear operations include all activities from the rear boundaries of forward brigades to the division's rear boundary. Such activities ensure freedom of maneuver, continuity of sustainment, and continuity of command and control.

Rear operations include four interrelated functions: sustainment, movement, terrain management, and security. Area damage control, addressed separately, supports all four areas. The rear CP synchronizes these activities.

The division conducts rear operations within the division rear area, which contains a large number of CS and CSS units, C2 headquarters, and noncommitted combat units. It may also contain joint facilities, such as air bases, and HN facilities and population centers.

The ADC-S is the rear operations commander. He is responsible for directing and synchronizing sustainment operations. He and the rear CP staff plan and execute all rear operations thereby ensuring that sustainment operations respond to divisional needs.

The rear commander commands and controls rear operations through the division rear CP. The rear CP has three cells: a headquarters cell, an operations cell, and a CSS cell.

The rear CP is normally collocated with the DISCOM CP for security, life support, and ease of coordination. However, both CPs are separate and distinct. (See Chapter 2 for a detailed discussion of the rear CP.)


The basic mission of CSS units is to sustain the battle. Tactical logistic functions consist of actions that man, arm, fuel, fix, move, and sustain soldiers and their systems before, during, and after operations. The rear commander integrates the rear operations functions of movement, security, and terrain management as well as area damage control (ADC) with sustainment to provide synchronized logistic support.

Sustainment planning is the responsibility of coordinating staff officers, who have personnel and logistic responsibilities, and special staff officers, who have CSS responsibilities. The G1 or adjutant general (AG) plans and coordinates measures necessary to man the force. The G4 plans and coordinates (with DISCOM) measures to arm, fuel, fix, and sustain soldiers and their systems.

The DTO plans movement control and highway regulation. The assistant CofS, G5, (civil affairs) helps obtain HN resources such as civilian labor and supplies. He also helps coordinate these activities.

Personnel, logistic, and combat medical staff officers perform planning and supervisory functions primarily from within the CSS cell of the rear CP. They collocate with the DISCOM CP to aid in logistic planning, coordination, and execution. Their location also helps integrate the functions of terrain management, movement, security, and ADC.

DISCOM, the division's logistic operator, translates logistic planning into logistic support. It provides supply, maintenance, CHS, and transportation assets to the division.

The DISCOM S2/S3 section is the commander's interface with the division rear CP. The S2/S3 section develops the DISCOM critical assets list and recommends its priorities to the commander in concert with the DMMC. Once the commander approves the list, the S2/S3 section gives it to the rear CP operations cell where it is continually monitored and adjusted.

The S2/S3 section supporting criminal is also the key interface with investigation division (CID) elements for the command's logistics security (LOGSEC) operations. As the DISCOM link with the rear CP, the S2/S3 section maintains an operations map and updates other staff officers on the current situation. (For detailed discussions of CSS sustainment operations, see FM 63-2-1.)


Movement includes planning, coordinating, and synchronizing mode operations, terminal operations, and movement control. It is inherent in all combat, CS, and CSS fictions. There are generally two categories of movements--tactical and administrative.

Tactical movements are movements or maneuver to make contact with the enemy or during which contact is anticipated. Elements are organized for combat.

Administrative moves are movements in which troops and vehicles are arranged to expedite their movement and to conserve time and energy when no interference, except by air, is anticipated. Administrative movements are characterized by maximum effective use of transportation assets.

The rear CP operations cell--

  • Controls administrative movements in the division rear area.
  • Controls the tactical maneuver of response forces and the TCF.
  • Monitors and deconflicts movement of nondivisional forces through the division rear area.
  • Ensures necessary routes are cleared and that additional CSS support is available as needed.
  • Coordinates CS resources, including engineer, NBC, reconnaissance, and chemical decontamination support.
  • Coordinates MP support with PM operations for movements within the division rear area.
  • Deconflicts tactical and administrative movements.
  • Enforces movement priorities and directs the use of alternate routes to lower priority traffic.
  • The operations cell closely coordinates with the G3 at the main CP and with the DTO, DISCOM movement control officer (MCO), and PM to ensure tactical movements are not hindered. The G4, with the G3, designates MSRs and determines MSR conditions (red, green, and yellow). He maintains the status and expected recovery time of routes which are not green. A timely exchange of information between MPs, engineers, and the G4 is essential.

    The DTO plans and establishes movement priorities based on the division commander's overall mission priorities. The division G3 assigns motor transportation mission priorities for tactical support. The G4 is responsible for logistic support.

    The DTO is the staff's communications link for transportation between the division and the corps. The DTO gives the DISCOM MCO broad policy guidance and basic plans and policies. He also provides staff supervision and assistance in transportation matters concerning all modes of transport.

    The MCO controls motor transportation asset employment and allocated CSS air assets within the division. The DTO coordinates with the G3 and the division aviation officer to allocate division air assets.

    All users forward transportation requirements within the division to the MCO. Transportation capabilities are then balanced against requirements and division-level priorities. When routine requirements exceed available division motor transport capabilities, the MCO requests additional transport support through a supporting MCT. The DTO will still request all required nondivisional air support and nonroutine motor transport requirements from the MCC (if a supporting MCT cannot meet requirements).

    The DISCOM MCO controls division motor transport assets for CSS. He ensures the force follows established movement priorities. The MCO requests additional transportation from the DTO if requirements exceed DISCOM assets. In turn, the DTO recommends tasking other assets, or he requests COSCOM support to resolve the shortfall.

    Combat support and CSS units execute administrative movement and assist with tactical movements. Through coordination with the DTO, MCO, and the rear operations cell, CS and CSS units--

  • Ensure that convoys receive necessary security.
  • Road congestion is minimal.
  • Supplies reach their required locations at the right time.
  • If the division does not coordinate tactical and administrative movements, road congestion can foil the best plans. This would degrade the ability to deliver supplies and replacements to maneuver units or the ability to evacuate casualties and damaged equipment.

    Tactical movements normally receive priority over administrative movements. (Field Manuals 55-2 and 55-10 discuss movements planning and execution in greater detail.)

    The division rear CP establishes a process of tracking convoys in the division rear area from the division rear boundary to their destination in the division area. It also--

  • Develops alternatives to ensure movements remain constant.
  • Keeps transportation users informed of available assets.
  • Programs back-haul availability to cut down on delayed returns.
  • Directs MSR maintenance and security.
  • Processes convoy clearance requests for unit movement on division MSRs.
  • Terrain Management

    Terrain management demands highly centralized planning and control. The major problem, in positioning units within the division rear area, comes from the competing demands of mission and security. Positioning units in the division rear area requires a fine balance between unit needs, the requirement to support the concept of operations, and the need to provide security to units.

    Terrain management should facilitate current and future operations. Faulty terrain management can result in congestion, interruption of rear area traffic patterns, and degradation of support operations.

    The rear CP is responsible for terrain management in the division rear area. The operations cell manages terrain in coordination with the CSS cell, MSCs, and separate units. The situation map contains all locations of bases, base clusters, MSRs, key facilities, risk areas, traffic control points (TCPs), and target reference points (TRPs).

    There may be METT-T driven examples that dictate that the main CP be responsible for terrain management for support units, as during LAB and/or FOB operations. The AASLT division SOP must clearly outline these responsibilities and how the decision is made, based on METT-T, to give the main CP or rear CP this responsibility.

    The importance of the units' missions to the division mission is also a key consideration. Once the staff completes units' missions and contributions to the division operation analysis, they can resolve conflicts between units and position them effectively.

    A continual IPB of the rear area provides much of the data for accurately assessing terrain management needs. The rear CP operations cell uses the intelligence estimate and other intelligence products from the main CP to analyze enemy capabilities and to determine possible threats.

    If a significant AASLT threat exists, the rear operations cell positions CSS units away from likely LZs or DZs. Combat units, such as the division reserve or TCF, may locate close to likely enemy LZs (usually monitored by MPs when they conduct area security) to counter the threat at its most vulnerable time-during insertion.

    Field artillery units must be within range of intended targets. Transportation units should be near road networks; supply units, near LOCs.

    Unless the mission dictates otherwise, the rear CP operations cell should not position units within enemy air or ground avenues of approach or adjacent to likely threat objectives. However, it should position units to provide reconnaissance and surveillance of these avenues as part of security and counterreconnaissance actions.

    Combat service support units have unique terrain requirements. When possible, they locate near established air, road, rail, and water LOCs to aid mission accomplishment.

    Positioning must simplify receipt of supplies and materiel, ease their movement forward to the MBA, and make evacuation, repair, and return of damaged equipment easier. The G5 coordinates facilities with the host nation and the rear CP.

    All CSS units require transportation networks and alternate routes which connect them with sources of supply and support and with their customers. During offensive operations, the operations cell chooses unit locations to extend supply routes and minimize changes to division and corps CSS transportation plans.

    The G3 allocates terrain by establishing AO, designating AAs, and specifying locations for certain units or activities. Once the rear area has been designated, the rear CP manages the use of the terrain within the AO.

    After initial positioning, the operations cell monitors the tactical situation. It directs or responds to requests to position and reposition units in the division rear area to enhance continuous support and survivability. This centralized management process prevents positioning conflicts, maintains an integrated security plan, ensures unit survivability, and improves OPSEC.

    When the division moves, either forward or to the rear, the rear CP plans for gaining additional terrain within the division rear area as the tactical situation dictates. The G3 at the main CP establishes phase lines during offensive operations to indicate future division rear area boundaries. He coordinates with the corps G3 for additional terrain during retrograde operations.

    Close coordination with the corps rear area operations cell through the corps rear CP LO is essential. This ensures a logical handover of terrain management responsibilities.

    Numerous units and activities occupy terrain and conduct operations in the division rear area. Figure 5-1 shows many of the units and activities which compete for usable terrain and facilities.

    The rear CP operations cell plans for units two echelons down and incorporates corps or JTF units which require space. For rear operations, these echelons are base clusters and bases. This means placing units together to form multiunit bases.

    The rear CP operations cell designates base commanders. Normally, the base commander is the senior unit commander when more than one unit is present.

    A medical unit commander, even if senior, cannot command a base or base cluster containing nonmedical units (AR 600-20). In addition, according to the Geneva Convention, medical units cannot take offensive action of any kind except to defend patients.

    Many factors influence which units the rear operations cell will group into which bases and where they will locate. The rear operations cell must conduct a thorough METT-T analysis, including each unit's size and composition.

    Medical units should not collocate with units that may be priority enemy targets. They should, however, collocate with units capable of assisting in their defense.

    Situation maps depict bases by drawing a line around them similar to an assembly area. This establishes the base commander's AOR.

    The base receives a numeric label designator. The rear CP maintains lists of units occupying specific bases, including types of units, personnel strength, major weapons available, and other information not on the situation map.

    The base commander's AOR should allow sufficient space for subordinate units to operate, establish perimeter defenses, and conduct surveillance and counterreconnaissance. The line denoting the base should be drawn far enough from its internal installations to allow artillery use without endangering the base. For example, the DANGER CLOSE range for cannon artillery is 600 meters. The line designating the base should be at least 600 meters from subordinate units.

    Most bases are in a base cluster. However, some may operate separately. These separate bases report directly to the rear CP which integrates them into rear security plans.


    The rear operations cell must thoroughly understand the threat to the rear area. It must ensure a good IPB for the division rear area to further proactive security operations. The IPB for the division rear area determines the potential effects of enemy capabilities and weather and terrain on rear operations.

    The specific focus of rear IPB is the enemy's air threats, airmobile and AASLT threats, SOF threats, and the CI threat (agents, sympathizers, and terrorists). This IPB becomes the basis for initial patrol plans and a consideration in selecting base cluster locations.

    Continuous IPB ensures the rear operations commander has current intelligence and information for decision making. (Field Manuals 34-8 and 34-130 contain thorough discussions of the IPB process for rear operations.)

    Security of the division rear area is a command responsibility extending from the division commander through the rear operations commander, to base cluster and base commanders, to unit commanders. It includes all actions from local defensive measures through commitment of TCFs.

    The rear operations commander exercises operational control over all assets operating in or transiting the division rear area for security and terrain management. The rear CP operations cell supports the rear operations commander's efforts by--

  • Grouping units into bases.
  • Forming base clusters when necessary.
  • Designating base and base cluster commanders.
  • Collecting, analyzing, and approving base defense plans.
  • Developing an integrated division rear area security plan.
  • Approving and coordinating obstacle and fire support plans.
  • Positioning response forces and fire support assets.
  • Providing continual METT-T analysis of the division rear area.
  • Providing continual information on the enemy and other matters to units within the division rear area.
  • Security operations in the division rear area are characteristically economy of force measures and are designed to provide a graduated response to threat activity. There are three levels of response:

    Level I. Response to threats which base defense forces can defeat.

    Level II. Response to threats which are beyond the capabilities of base defense forces but which response forces can defeat.

    Level III. Response to threats which necessitate a command decision to commit TCFs.

    These guidelines should not restrict a commander's response to a threat. He must apply the necessary force to destroy the threat. Any given threat may require one or all three levels of response (sequentially or simultaneously).

    Base Defense Forces

    Bases have clearly defined defensible perimeters and entry and exit points. By grouping units together, they share responsibilities for security, capitalizing on each unit's strengths while minimizing weaknesses.

    A viable base includes a mix of weapons systems, sufficient personnel for planning and supervising, and adequate communications assets. Positioning similar units in different bases, unless it is absolutely necessary to collocate them in the same base, ensures a degree of dispersion.

    Every unit or base is responsible for its own security. It must be capable of detecting and defending itself against enemy forces. Bases must use both active and passive measures to avoid detection. The base, if detected, must be able to defeat the threat or withstand attacks until assistance arrives.

    Base defense is the cornerstone of rear security operations. The unit or base commander--

  • Prepares a base defense plan.
  • Rehearses all personnel and units within the base on the effective execution of the base defense plan.
  • Organizes a reaction force.
  • Recommends movement or repositioning of the base to enhance security.
  • Coordinates mutual support from other bases or the base cluster commander.
  • Coordinates response force operations.
  • Adjusts base defenses as the threat changes.
  • Determines the base defense status.
  • Unit and base commanders are responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive security plans to defend their sites and protect their sustainment capability. In establishing a base defense, the base commander employs the same procedures and techniques maneuver commanders use in developing a perimeter defense.

    Units establish security for 360 degrees and place the bulk of combat power on the outer edge of the position. They use interlocking fields of fire to prevent penetrations of the perimeter. They also establish perimeter defenses in either urban or rural terrain.

    Base commanders ensure they and their subordinate units are aware of other units and bases in their areas of interest and establish limits of fire to prevent fratricide between units. To coordinate indirect fires, base commanders may establish RFAs around subordinate units and restrictive fire lines (RFLs) between units.

    Base commanders coordinate with their base cluster commander or the rear CP to ensure they have sufficient terrain to establish OPs and patrols outside their perimeter. Commanders integrate these locations with NAIs that the base cluster commander or the rear CP establish. Figure 5-2 outlines the elements needed for a viable base defense.

    Units conduct defensive operations concurrently with normal support operations. These include hardening and dispersal actions, cover and concealment, deception, and immediate reaction to enemy threat or attack. Extensive use of obstacles, sensors, surveillance devices, and OPs enhances these operations.

    Base and base cluster commanders identify shortages in materiel and weaknesses in their defenses. Protective obstacles (wire, demolitions, and mines) are essential to each base's defense.

    Commanders consider repositioning when a unit's defensive posture is inadequate to defend itself. The rear CP coordinates the relocation of a unit with its parent unit. Military police may assist in the movement of units by providing TCP or convoy escorts.

    Base defenses should not automatically engage hostile forces. The first line of defense is to avoid detection.

    Base and base cluster commanders should implement counterreconnaissance actions with those the rear CP establishes. Base commanders prepare to defend the base, report the hostile force, and observe it.

    The base commander establishes a base defense operations center (BDOC) in support of security operations. The BDOC plans, coordinates, and supervises base defense operations.

    Personnel from the base commander's unit normally form the BDOC. However, the base commander may draw personnel and equipment from his own unit and tenant units to form a fictional BDOC.

    The BDOC may be a relatively small element, possibly as small as two personnel per shift (an NCO and a clerk-radio operator). The BDOC--

  • Defines the base perimeter and establishes sector responsibilities.
  • Establishes and maintains communications within the base and key locations such as entry and exit points, OPs, and the base cluster operations center (BCOC).
  • Increases or decreases defensive postures based on the threat condition (THREATCON).
  • Develops and monitors the base defense plan.
  • Monitors and reports the base defense status.
  • Develops levels of survivability required in the area.
  • Coordinates fire support, obstacles, reaction force, and response force plans for the base.
  • Maintains a current situation map of base units, OPs, patrols, and other friendly and enemy data as required.
  • Base Clusters

    The rear operations cell establishes base clusters by placing geographically contiguous bases under the control of a headquarters and designating it a base cluster. Abase cluster is a mission grouping of bases and/or security requirements lacking a clearly defined perimeter.

    The base cluster has OPCON of all units within the cluster for security and terrain management. Normal mission taskings and priorities remain the parent unit's responsibility.

    The rear CP may also establish a base cluster for a CSG operating in the division rear area. The CSG then assigns bases within its cluster to its subordinate units and informs the rear CP of these locations and the information required by the rear CP as to type, composition, and weapons.

    When possible, the rear CP operations cell designates a battalion-or brigade-level headquarters as the base cluster headquarters. In their tables of organization and equipment (TOE) support operation sections, CSS battalions and brigade-level headquarters have the capability for customer mission support activities. They also have a separate operations section for C2 of internal unit operations.

    The operations sections function as the BCOC. It coordinates terrain management planning and use and security planning and execution with the rear CP.

    Base clusters on the rear operations situation map are indicated by drawing a line around the bases and by placing an alphabetic designator within the area. (Figure 5-3 shows a typical base cluster.)

    The rear CP analyzes the division rear area to develop risk areas. Risk areas are areas of terrain that are not useful to the division and provide no advantage to the enemy.

    By designating risk areas, the rear CP weights the limited MP force within the remainder of the division rear area. Occasional overflights or mobile patrols monitor risk areas.

    Base clusters rely on mutual support between bases to enhance security. Mutual support comes from using reaction forces to assist threatened bases, from integration of MP patrol and surveillance plans, or from coordinated and interlocking fires if the bases are close together. There are no fire support personnel on a base cluster commander's staff. Units direct requests for fires to the division rear CP.

    Base cluster commanders, like base commanders, exercise positive clearance before initiating fire missions in the division rear area. Positive clearance means asking the right questions of the unit requesting fire. Can you actually see and positively identify the target as enemy? Is the target doing anything hostile that requires fire now rather than maneuver action a little later? As a general rule, the rear FSE should require "eyes on target" before initiating fires in the division rear area.

    The base cluster commander coordinates base defense force operations and conducts security operations by using the reaction forces of each base in the cluster if response forces are unavailable. Base commanders must have a plan to reestablish their reaction force if the primary reaction force is unavailable.

    Each base cluster commander forms a BCOC to monitor the status of subordinate bases and to receive and pass information to or from the rear CP. Ideally, the base cluster commander is a battalion or higher commander with a staff that can accomplish unit and base cluster functions.

    Base cluster operations center tasks include--

  • Integrating and/or coordinating base defense plans.
  • Developing and monitoring the base cluster defense plan.
  • Establishing and maintaining communications with all assigned bases, separate units in the base cluster, and the rear CP.
  • Receiving and passing on threat and base defense STATREPs.
  • Adjusting defense posture based on the threat.
  • Coordinating fire support, obstacle, reaction force, and response force plans.
  • Maintaining a current situation map.
  • Response Forces

    Normally, response forces are MP units supported by fire support assets (Figure 5-4). Fire support for MP response forces may consist of artillery or mortars, CAS, or Army aviation.

    The rear operations cell may commit MP elements to other priority missions or they may be unavailable for commitment in sufficient strength for response-force operations. If so, back-up or alternative response forces from base CSS units; engineer, chemical, or transiting combat units; and elements of the reserve (or HN assets, if available) must accomplish security operations. The rear CP coordinates with the division G3 before committing other than MPs to response-force missions.

    Under certain circumstances, committing the TCF maybe preferable. It avoids risking degradation or destruction of critical CS assets. However, this must be a METT-T decision. Field Manual 100-15 cautions against premature commitment of the TCF, because doing so would rob the commander of flexibility and the initiative required to counter the overall enemy threat to the rear.

    Performing response force operations requires extensive planning and coordination before commitment against an enemy. Success depends on the response force knowing and properly using terrain to gain advantage over the enemy. It also depends on massing sufficient combat power to destroy the enemy.

    When possible, commanders who organize response forces should ensure bases and base clusters organize their own response forces instead of one response force. This reduces level I reaction time for the response force and facilitates coordination between the response force commander and base or base cluster commanders.

    In addition to knowing the location of bases in his AO, the response force commander must know which bases are most critical and most vulnerable. The response force commander should have the following information available for each base and base cluster in his AO:

  • Defensive capability.
  • Base defense status.
  • Location of any obstacles near the base.
  • Location and direction of fire of crew-served weapons.
  • Signal for final protective fires.
  • Location of TRPs and preplanned fires.
  • Method of contacting the BDOC or BCOC, including call signs and frequencies.
  • Location of OPs and patrols, if employed.
  • The response force commander must also be able to mass supporting fires and facilitate TCF operations, if committed. Therefore, he must know the call signs and frequencies for supporting artillery, Army aviation units, the TCF, and the rear CP. He must also know the approved division rear area fire support target list.

    The purpose of response force operations is to hasten a base's ability to return to mission accomplishment as quickly as possible. This avoids devoting sustainment resources to self-defense or limited tactical operations.

    Response forces must rapidly commit in order to force an enemy to disengage from an attack before he causes significant damage. Once the enemy abandons his attack, the response force fixes and destroys him with fire support or in close combat.

    When the commander commits the response force, the response force normally has OPCON of an AO. The base cluster commander and rear CP should develop on-order graphics to implement when they commit a response force or TCF.

    Base commanders support the efforts of the response force by lifting or shifting base defense fires to support the response force's maneuver. If the commander subsequently commits a TCF, the TCF commander has OPCON of all bases and response forces within the TCF's designated AO.

    Response forces are only effective if they can react swiftly. They must be familiar with the locations and dispositions of bases in the threatened area.

    Military police platoon leaders and company commanders normally coordinate with BCOCs to ensure unity of effort. When threats materialize, the rear CP conducts an assessment and, if appropriate, commits additional response force assets.

    If the threat exceeds the capability of response forces, the commander may commit a TCF. Response forces maintain contact with threatening forces and render SPOTREPs to the rear CP and TCF commander until the TCF arrives to engage the threat.

    Tactical Combat Force

    A TCF's primary mission is to defeat those enemy forces in the division rear area that exceed the capability of response forces. To counter the many possible threats to the rear area, a TCF must be flexible, capable of either day or night operations, and able to obtain an advantage in mobility. It does this either by positioning or by speed of movement.

    The division TCF is normally a combined-arms task force. METT-T factors and the amount of risk the commander is willing to accept influence TCF design and size.

    Air assault infantry, augmented with attack and assault helicopters, may conduct TCF operations against similarly equipped enemy forces. Air assault infantry requires armored and attack helicopter augmentation if committed against armored forces. If drawn from the aviation brigade, the TCF should bean AHB.

    Division rear area IPB and METT-T analyses help determine the TCF's size and composition. Under the division commander's guidance, the G3 designates one or more forces as TCFs to provide flexible responses to competing needs.

    The TCF maybe dedicated or given an on-order mission. A fully committed TCF should not be given an on-order mission (such as reserve forces, for example).

    The commander organizes the TCF under the rear CP if he feels the threat to his rear area is sufficient. The rear CP plans, coordinates, and controls TCF operations.

    The division rear area defense plan incorporates base and base cluster self-defense measures, response force operations, and TCF operations. The rear CP provides copies of the division rear area defense plan, including fire support and obstacle plans, to the TCF.

    The TCF coordinates possible response plans with the rear CP, response force commanders, and base and base cluster commanders. The TCF positions LOS with the rear CP to help with contingency planning and TCF employment.

    The rear CP is C2 headquarters for the TCF if it is dedicated and/or task-organized under the rear command. When the rear CP task-organizes TCFs, it positions them in assembly areas based on METT-T requirements.

    When a threat in the division rear area exceeds the division's capability to defeat it, the division requests corps assistance. The corps TCF, or a portion of the corps TCF, can be either OPCON to the division or remain under corps control, based on tactical needs. If the corps TCF is dedicated and/or task-organized under the division rear CP, it reverts back to corps rear CP control after mission completion.

    Area Damage Control (ADC)

    Area damage control consists of measures taken before, during, and after hostile action or natural disasters to reduce the probability of damage and to minimize its effects. Area damage control within the rear area affects all rear operations. The division rear operations commander is responsible for ADC within the division rear area.

    The ADC process includes continuous planning and action to minimize damage and a systematic approach to resolving the impact of damage on operations. Damage control teams must accurately assess damage to determine its extent and impact on operations. They must set alternatives and priorities for repairs.

    Damage control plans consider rescue, firefighting, lifesaving, and communications. Every echelon conducts ADC planning.

    Each base commander identifies available resources within his base and assesses its ability to conduct ADC operations. The continual upgrading of base defenses includes measures to reduce the effects of damages sustained. Detailed ADC planning is an important part of the base defense plan.

    Each BCOC compiles ADC capabilities from each subordinate base and develops a comprehensive damage control plan that it forwards to the rear CP. The base cluster plan identifies available resources within each base to direct assistance from one base to another as required.

    The rear CP reviews each base cluster ADC capability. It maintains a status of the damage control posture of each independent base and base cluster.

    The rear CP coordinates directly with MP, engineers, chemical, and medical treatment facilities to ensure compatibility with subordinate plans. The rear CP ensures each base's capabilities are clear and that they identify all available resources, including HN assets.

    Planning Considerations for Area Damage Control

    Military police support ADC by conducting refugee and straggler control and NBC detecting and reporting. They also conduct local physical security when required.

    Engineer support includes constructing fortifications and obstacles which reduce the impact of damages. Engineers also clear debris and rubble, including MSR maintenance.

    Commanders should exercise caution in committing engineer assets to every incident. Engineers fulfill critical mobility, survivability, and countermobility missions. Division light engineers normally require external support from nondivisional engineers to perform ADC missions.

    Medical units accept casualties from units near their locations. All units must know the exact locations of the nearest medical facilities so injured personnel can receive prompt treatment.

    Civil affairs or G5 elements identify HN support, especially engineer assets, to augment resources. They coordinate civilian involvement with ADC operations.

    Chemical units support ADC operations through decontamination of personnel, equipment, supplies, key sites, and LOCs. Survey teams from the division chemical company assist units on a priority basis as the rear CP directs.

    Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) is necessary because of the presence or suspected presence of unexploded ordnance. The possibility of detonation can pose a threat to operations.

    Explosive ordnance reconnaissance agents in each unit assist in reducing hazards and reporting unexploded ordnance to the rear CP. Explosive ordnance disposal training ensures agents can assist local commanders. Training teams should include all MPs and at least two soldiers from each company-size unit.

    Aviation assets may assist in transporting casualties. Utility helicopters can provide emergency resupply, communications relay, and aerial assessment of damages.


    Once an event causes or has caused damage, specialized personnel must simultaneously--

  • Treat and evacuate casualties.
  • Control damage.
  • Identify and mark unexploded ordnance.
  • Secure critical assets.
  • Reestablish operations.
  • Conduct a damage assessment.
  • Report assessment of damages and status of operations.
  • The rear CP evaluates the information it receives. If necessary, it directs further damage assessment by aerial observation, MP patrol, its own experts, or DISCOM experts.

    In developing alternatives, the rear CP or the DISCOM must determine--

  • What has been damaged (facilities, supplies, and equipment).
  • How extensive the damage is.
  • Whether engineer assets will be needed.
  • Whether the unit can continue its mission.
  • Whether the unit can relocate and still perform its mission.
  • Whether other facilities, supplies, and equipment are available in sufficient quantity to accomplish the mission.
  • The rear operations cell develops damage assessments and alternatives for repair or support. Based on the evaluation, the rear operations cell develops recommendations for the rear operations commander. He then directs actions to repair damages or pursue alternatives.

    Field Manual 71-100-2 contains a sample base, base cluster, or rear area defense plan. The plan contains minimum essential elements. Field Manual 101-5 (D) contains an expanded list of what may go into the OPLAN or OPORD. Division SOPs should expand on the plan to enhance their own needs.


    Reconnaissance is an essential and continuous operation the division conducts to collect information and to gain and maintain contact with the enemy. The G2 processes information into intelligence and provides combat information to the commander.

    Commanders and staffs should not confuse reconnaissance with security operations, nor should a unit have both reconnaissance and security missions at the same time. Reconnaissance is a mission undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an enemy, or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.

    Security operations provide reaction time, maneuver space, and protection to the main body. They are characterized by aggressive reconnaissance to reduce terrain and enemy unknowns, gaining and maintaining contact with the enemy to ensure continuous information, and providing early and accurate reporting of information to the protected force.

    The G2 or S2 has staff responsibility for reconnaissance at respective levels. They assign reconnaissance tasks to subordinate units in the collection plan and coordinate with the G3 to allocate resources and assign specific reconnaissance missions to subordinate commanders when required.

    Reconnaissance of some type should always precede commitment of forces. Time available determines the extent of reconnaissance. Failure to conduct a thorough reconnaissance may result in loss of initiative, unacceptable losses in personnel and equipment and, in its worst case, a catastrophic defeat.

    Reconnaissance enables the G2 or S2 to confirm or deny enemy templates and the enemy's most probable COAs (developed during the IPB process). Reconnaissance by ground or air maneuver elements confirm information that IEW assets develop. It provides detailed information and verification that IEW assets cannot.

    The three traditional types of reconnaissance are route, zone, and area (Figure 5-5). A route reconnaissance is a reconnaissance along a specific line of communications, such as a road, railway, or waterway. It provides new or updated information on route conditions and activities along the route.

    A zone reconnaissance is a directed effort to obtain detailed information concerning all routes, obstacles (including chemical or radiological contamination), terrain, and enemy forces within a zone defined by boundaries. It normally is assigned when the enemy situation is vague or when information concerning cross-country trafficability is desired.

    An area reconnaissance is a form of reconnaissance that is a directed effort to obtain detailed information concerning the terrain or enemy activity within a prescribed area, such as a town, ridge line, woods, or other feature critical to operations. Reconnaissance may be aerial, ground-based, or a combination of both.

    A fourth type of reconnaissance operation is force-oriented reconnaissance. It is a precursor to maneuver and tire and accomplishes much more than simply providing information. The objective of the force-oriented reconnaissance mission is for the reconnaissance unit to find and maintain contact with a specified enemy force.

    Reconnaissance elements may be required to maintain contact with the enemy, develop the situation, and forewarn maneuver units before initial engagements. For example, a cavalry unit can quickly conduct reconnaissance by sifting through enemy reconnaissance and security elements until it finds the enemy's main body. The cavalry unit can then do whatever it has to do to maintain contact with the enemy force. When the enemy force moves, the cavalry unit also moves.


    During the IPB process, the G2 identifies gaps in intelligence information and develops a collection plan to fill the information gaps. He plans the division reconnaissance effort using the collection plan.

    The G2 integrates division assets into the reconnaissance effort. He considers availability and capability of units, IEW assets, air and ground maneuver capabilities, FA radars, and TACAIR reconnaissance.

    The G2 normally tasks SIGINT or imagery intelligence (IMINT) assets. However, he recommends to the G3 the missions the reconnaissance squadron or aviation brigade are to conduct, such as deep area reconnaissance. He may also forward requests for intelligence information to the corps or JTF.

    The G2 prioritizes the reconnaissance effort using the commander's PIR and information requirements (IR). He coordinates the reconnaissance effort by assigning intelligence-acquisition tasks to units through the intelligence annex to the division OPORD.

    During the execution of the division's mission, the G2 coordinates specific reconnaissance missions with the G3 and synchronizes the reconnaissance effort by sequencing reconnaissance tasks. He considers the times for information requirements in the decision-making process as well as the acquisition time required.

    In close operations or the MBA, the G2 may assign intelligence acquisition tasks to committed forces (Annex B of the OPLAN/OPORD). These tasks are collateral to the unit's assigned mission. He may assign intelligence acquisition tasks in the reserve area to the reserve brigade, MPs, or engineers. In the division rear, he may assign intelligence acquisition tasks to CS or CSS units.

    The G2, with the G3 and the MI battalion commander, resources the reconnaissance effort. On the basis of intelligence gaps, the collection plan, assets available, and sequencing, the G2 recommends task organization of IEW assets to support the division reconnaissance effort as well as those of subordinate commands.

    When required, the G2 may recommend assigning reconnaissance missions to subordinate commands. However, he must make reconnaissance tasks specific (where to look, what to look for, and what information he requires). Mission-type orders will not suffice.

    When planning AASLT operations during reconnaissance missions, planners must develop potential LZ and PZ locations, air corridors, LRS locations, FARP locations, attack positions for attack helicopters, and refinement of the enemy ADA picture to assist route selection and SEAD planning.

    The G2 also provides specific tasks to subordinate commanders for their own mission planning. The G2 ensures the plan does not spread available reconnaissance assets too thin. It is not wise to disperse reconnaissance elements across wide frontages to simultaneously accomplish multiple tasks. The capabilities of IEW assets and moving-target-locating radars should be part of the reconnaissance effort.

    Reconnaissance should include specialists such as engineers and chemical personnel. The G2 should assign reporting schedules to the assets conducting the reconnaissance. This allows him to monitor the progress of the reconnaissance and redirect efforts as required.

    Routine reports pass through the division intelligence or operations and intelligence nets. Units submit critical information using the division command net. This combat information, although unevaluated, may have immediate tactical significance to the commander.

    In offensive operations, the commander should base his plan for maneuver on reconnaissance. Reconnaissance determines which routes are suitable for friendly unit maneuver, where the enemy is strong or weak, and where gaps exist.

    In the AASLT division, reconnaissance of air avenues is a critical requirement. Thus, reconnaissance should pull the main body toward and along the path of least resistance. This enhances the division's initiative and agility.

    Reconnaissance is also valid in defensive operations. It determines which routes the enemy is using. It also enhances agility by identifying opportunities and by pulling the division along the path of least resistance to mass the division's combat power at the critical time and place.

    The G3 tasks approved reconnaissance missions to units (paragraph 3 of the OPLAN/OPORD). He also assists the commander in controlling these missions. The G2 discusses the reconnaissance effort in Annex B. Staff sections must closely coordinate reconnaissance needs and activities.


    Reconnaissance missions inherently place units in harm's way. Units strive for stealth, but stealth is not assured. The division should expect the unit assigned a reconnaissance mission to do more than just find the enemy.

    There is a spectrum of reconnaissance operations that units conduct depending on a METT-T analysis. Reconnaissance operations at the division level range from deploying LRSD or unit scouts to employing the division's cavalry squadron (reinforced) to committing a brigade-size task force if necessary.

    At the division level, depending on METT-T and the tactical situation, units develop the situation by reporting either the lack of enemy activity or enemy activity such as --

  • Penetrating or disrupting the enemy's security forces.
  • Fighting through and uncovering enemy deception schemes.
  • Forcing the early uncovering of artillery.
  • Determining the depth and width of the enemy's disposition.
  • Reconnaissance operations develop the situation to the tactical depths of the opposing enemy formation. The cavalry squadron is the division's primary reconnaissance unit, but all units can perform reconnaissance.

    Reconnaissance prevents the decisive commitment of main force units. By locating the enemy, developing the situation, and discovering or creating weakness, the squadron improves the division's ability to mass combat power at the right place at the right time.

    The G2 integrates reconnaissance missions with other division intelligence-collection assets for a cohesive battle picture. When possible, the cavalry squadron coordinates and integrates with the LRSD and combat net radios (CNR) of the intelligence and electronic warfare support element (IEWSE).


    The division conducts security operations to provide maneuver space and reaction time and to protect the main body. It incorporates security as part of the battlefield framework in planning all offensive or defensive operations.

    The G3 develops and recommends the concept of operations, including assigning security responsibilities and missions to subordinate commanders. The subordinate commanders then plan, prepare, and execute security operations. Every unit has a continuous security role.

    Types of Operations

    Security operations include screen, guard, and cover operations. Screen missions maintain surveillance, provide early warning to the main body, conduct counterreconnaissance, and harass and impede the enemy through indirect fires. Guard missions include everything in a screening mission and also protect the main body from ground observation and direct fire.

    Cover missions include screening and guarding operations but also help develop the situation. Cover missions deceive, disorganize, and destroy enemy forces.

    Planning Considerations

    As the G3 and other staff members incorporate security requirements into the planning of division operations, they consider--

  • Adequate support to security forces.
  • Ranges and capabilities of IEW, fire support, and communications systems.
  • Time-distance relationships.
  • Economy of force factors.
  • Passage of lines.
  • Formation of the main body.
  • The covering force, especially inoffensive operations, operates well forward of the division's main body. The G3 allocates resources to the covering force so it functions as a tactically self-sufficient force.

    Guard forces operate within the main body's supporting artillery range. The G3 and other staff elements consider METT-T factors to determine relationships between the main body and the guard force.

    The staff considers the range, capabilities, and availability of weapons systems and ammunition as it assigns security missions to subordinate commanders. Similarly, staffs consider IEW assets that may range to 30 kilometers. However, terrain, weather, and enemy electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) actions may significantly reduce the range.

    The staff considers time-distance relationships when using screens or guards. Screens provide early warning to the main body. Planners consider the time required for the main body to counter a threat. They then compute the distance the enemy could move during that time. This helps determine the screen's location.

    Planners consider economy of force factors in assigning security responsibilities and missions. Fewer forces can screen a force than can guard it. The considerations of adequate support, time and distance factors, and the threat affect this decision.

    Planners consider the requirements for passage of lines by security forces. The division may require an offensive covering force when conducting a forward passage as it begins a movement to contact or when exploiting or pursuing.

    Similarly, a defensive covering force may execute a rearward passage into the MBA. Screens or guards may conduct a passage with main body forces. This helps the G3 determine which headquarters provides and controls the security force. A brigade passing through an advance guard which it controls is easier to coordinate than one passing through a division-controlled advance guard.

    The staff must also consider the division formation. Each formation has its own strengths, weaknesses, and planning considerations for security.

    Screen Missions

    Screens provide early warning and harass and impede the enemy with indirect fires. When sufficient maneuver space exists, the division positions the screen far enough away from the main body to allow time to identify and counter the threat.

    Screen forces normally operate within fire support range of the main body. Depending on the situation, the division assumes risk and positions the screen force outside the range of supporting artillery. If the division does this, they must assign adequate attack helicopter and CAS sorties to support the screen force.

    The screen commander combines reconnaissance, surveillance, and counterreconnaissance techniques to identify threats to the main body. He uses the IPB to identify enemy avenues of approach and to establish NAIs for his forces to observe.

    After identifying a threat, the screen commander reports to the TAC CP and uses all available assets to impede the enemy. This may require the screen to leave stay-behind forces to direct the attack.

    Helicopter scouts (aeroscouts) may also direct the attack. As the screen withdraws into range, it employs main body artillery.

    Guard Missions

    The advance guard and the offensive covering force differ in their scope during movement and in their zone of operations. The advance guard orients on the movement of the main body and provides security along the main body's specific routes of movement.

    The advance guard operates within supporting artillery range of the main body and protects it from ground observation and direct fire. The division may command and control the advance guard or give this mission to a maneuver brigade.

    The G3 operations in the TAC CP monitors the advance guard's operations if it is controlled by the division. The G3 monitors its advance and operations as with any other committed force. He integrates the actions of the advance guard with those of the covering force and main body.

    The advance guard conducts route reconnaissance in front of the main body. The TAC CP coordinates its movement with the main body to ensure it remains within supporting range. Phase lines control this movement and allow the advance guard to speed up or slow down, depending on the main body's status.

    Artillery moves to provide support to the advance guard (as well as flank and rear guards) and to rapidly occupy positions when the main body must deploy. Priority of tires is to the advance guard during movement.

    The advance guard FSE plans fire support much like the covering force's, emphasizing simple fire plans with as much detail as possible. He plans groups, series, and smoke missions to support the maneuver commander's scheme of maneuver.

    Engineers, when part of the advance guard, focus on mobility of the force conducting the following missions: engineer reconnaissance, obstacle reporting to the main body, breaching obstacles, and marking breaches or bypasses. The security force commander sets the priorities.

    The TAC CP coordinates IEW support for the division-controlled advance guard. The G2 operations at the TAC CP disseminates combat information and intelligence from the covering force and from the main CP to the advance guard. The TAC CP G3 coordinates engineer and AD support for the division-controlled advance guard along with the AD battalion and the engineer battalion.

    Flank Guard

    The main body's trail maneuver brigade normally provides and controls flank guards. This mission entails conducting security operations to the flanks to prevent ground observation and to protect the main body against direct fire.

    The flank guard establishes defensive positions to the flanks for stationary or moving forces (Figure 5-6). To secure the moving force, the flank guard leapfrogs forces to successive positions along the main body's flank.

    The flank guard normally focuses on battalion mobility corridors. This allows the battalion conducting the flank guard to occupy two positions while one company team leapfrogs to a forward position.

    The AT company of the AASLT division acts as a counterattack force. The scout platoon conducts a screen to the flank or to the front of the task force.

    Similarly, the brigade S2 closely coordinates IEW support for the flank guard. Intelligence and EW assets such as GSRs must be part of this plan for early warning, monitoring of threats, and economy of force.

    The flank guard S2 establishes NAIs and TAIs. Counterreconnaissance actions assist in providing security to the flank guard and, ultimately, the main body. They may also provide the first indication a threat is developing to the flank.

    The focus of engineers with the flank guard is countermobility. They plan and emplace situational obstacles to protect the main body.

    The maneuver brigade controlling the flank guard plans for reinforcement or withdrawal. To reinforce the flank guard, it becomes the fixing force while other brigade elements engage the enemy with fire and maneuver. To withdraw the guard, the brigade establishes a hasty defense and passage points to allow the flank guard to withdraw into brigade positions.

    Rear Guard

    The rear guard protects the main body from the rear during retrograde operations or from bypassed units during exploitation and pursuit (Figure 5-7). The rear guard orients on the movement of the main body to prevent gaps from developing and from being cut off.

    Main body forces position supporting elements toward the rear of the main body to support the rear guard. This is particularly true of artillery. During retrograde operations, CAS's first priority is to the rear guard.

    The rear guard commander prepares to conduct a series of delays from subsequent battle positions (BPs). He must not decisively engage unless the controlling commander approves. The main body may not be in a position to reinforce the rear guard.

    During offensive or retrograde operations, the rear guard occupies the BPs. It leapfrogs to new positions toward the main body.

    Rear guard elements closest to the enemy should not be outside the main body's supporting range. This requires close coordination between the rear guard and its controlling headquarters. The rear guard commander closely monitors subordinate units to allow displacing forces to occupy new positions before in-place units vacate theirs.

    The rear maneuver brigade or TAC CP controls the rear guard. During the exploitation and pursuit, the rear maneuver brigade controls the rear guard. During retrograde operations, the TAC CP controls the rear guard.

    Main body forces identify and assist in preparing BPs for the rear guard force. Engineers prepare survivability positions. They also conduct countermobility operations to delay, disorganize, and limit the enemy force.

    In retrograde operations, engineer units coordinate obstacle-free areas (OFAs) and lanes through obstacle belts with the rear guard. Artillery, helicopter, and USAF-delivered mines can rapidly close these lanes and reinforce breached obstacles.

    The use of FASCAM in the exploitation and pursuit can help the rear guard delay the enemy and block rear approaches. The DFSCOORD ensures that appropriate units plan fires to help the rear guard disengage and move to subsequent positions.

    Offensive Covering Forces

    Cover missions differ between offensive and defensive operations. A division offensive covering force may be a brigade TF. The division commander establishes objectives to support his scheme of maneuver based on the IPB and available intelligence about the enemy.

    As with all security operations, the covering force orients on the main body. However, the G3 and division commander may establish additional objectives on which they want the cover force to focus, such as defeating and destroying the enemy's reconnaissance capability. This requires the covering force to use a two-team method. One team locates the enemy reconnaissance in the security zone; another destroys it. Locating enemy reconnaissance normally requires a mix of ground, aerial, and electronic reconnaissance.

    Another objective of a covering force maybe to determine routes through enemy defensive belts. The covering force uncovers enemy strengths, weaknesses, gaps, locations, and dispositions and serves as a reconnaissance-pull for the main body. It may conduct limited objective attacks or probes across a wide front.

    If the covering force successfully negotiates the first defensive belt, it continues to the second belt. If it is not successful, it establishes a hasty defense and waits to pass the main body. It maintains contact with the enemy and coordinates the passage of the main body with the TAC CP.

    If the covering force conducts a movement to contact against a moving enemy, it performs a series of limited objective attacks and uses the objectives to orient its movement. The battalions of the covering force seize each objective and continue until they establish contact. After establishing contact, the covering force conducts a hasty attack or hasty defense to pass the main body.

    The G2 considers IEW support for the offensive covering force. He provides a full complement of multidisciplined MI resources to the covering force. To ensure effective coordination and control, the MI battalion normally task-organizes into an MI company team. They operate in pairs to leapfrog between positions and to maintain continuous coverage.

    Aerial intelligence assets, such as Quick Fix, habitually support the offensive covering force. They provide continuous long-range coverage over wide areas forward and to the flanks of the covering force. They also cue other systems to confirm or deny information other agencies provide and to provide coverage while ground-based systems displace.

    Signal intercept systems identify and collect technical data on key enemy C3, target acquisition, and fire control systems. Ground support radars provide early warning, information on enemy movement, and targeting information.

    Interrogators ask civilians for information until EPWs, who have more valuable information, arrive. Intelligence teams conduct hasty screening and interrogations for information of immediate tactical value, such as information about enemy forces, obstacles, the terrain, and enemy plans and intentions.

    Fire support planning includes both supporting and deceptive fires. If sufficient artillery is available, each battalion in the covering force should have a DS battalion.

    Counterfire radars are part of the artillery task organization. The covering force establishes critical friendly radar zones around the main effort to expedite reactive counterfire.

    The fire support coordination plan uses permissive control measures planned along PLs. These measures are on-order control measures planned well ahead of the covering force.

    Fire plans are simple but as detailed as possible. The FSE plans groups and series of targets to support the rapidly moving maneuver forces. It also plans FASCAM on flank avenues of approach.

    The FSE includes jamming, especially against the enemy's fire support and reconnaissance nets in the fire support plan. Quick Fix provides a relatively deep capability to jam enemy C2 nets.

    The DFSCOORD integrates CAS into the fire support annex and, when possible, preplans for it. Even when the enemy is moving, the G2, G3, and FSE projects when they expect to make contact. War-gaming this event provides an approximate location and time for preplanning CAS.

    The G3 task-organizes AD assets to the covering force based on the ADA battalion commander's recommendation. Assets may include a mixture of Vulcan/Stinger (V/S) systems.

    Teams can also be reconnaissance assets. Placing them with IEW assets assists in local protection and AD for IEW assets and simplifies terrain management and movement control. The covering force engineer plans M/S support.

    Engineers with the covering force identify routes for forward movement and lateral routes to provide the commander flexibility as he develops the situation. With the FSE, the engineer plans situational obstacles on avenues of approach into the flanks of the covering force. Engineers prepare for earth moving, rapid obstacle breaching, and assault bridging (if required).

    Defensive Covering Forces

    In the defense, the corps, not the division, normally provides the covering force. This allows the corps to control the covering force battle and shape the battlefield rather than allowing each division to fight an independent battle. If required, however, the division's covering force operates well forward of the main body to develop the situation and deceive, disorganize, and destroy enemy forces.

    The covering force's mobility is normally equal to or greater than that of the main body and, preferably, to the opposing force as well. The defensive covering force mission may be to delay enemy forces forward of a given phase line for a specified period of time until a specific event occurs, such as when the covering force is 70 percent combat-effective.

    The division plans for the rearward passage of the covering force by establishing passage points with the MBA brigades and the BHL. A phase line depicts the area in front of which the covering force is to delay and forward of the BHL.

    Main body defensive units have LOS and direct-fire capability to the BHL, yet the BHL should be far enough out for the defending force to protect the covering force's rearward movement. This would give the covering force commander the depth to complete the delay and yet retain enough maneuver space to conduct an orderly passage. This also would aid the covering force's staggered withdrawal. Maneuver forces in the covering force should execute detailed counterreconnaissance plans.

    Intelligence and EW assets supporting the defensive covering force are much the same as those in the offensive covering force. In the defense, IEW resources leapfrog to the rear, withdrawing in a manner that facilitates their use in the MBA.

    Fire support assets organize and function in much the same manner. The FSE's detailed fire support plans are an integral part of the scheme of defense.

    The FSE plans artillery and other fire support assets to mass at critical times and places. Observers watch obstacles and plan fires to cover them.

    Fire support measures are permissive and close enough to the covering force to facilitate engaging the enemy. This is especially critical as the covering force withdraws into the range of artillery in the MBA.

    Units plan CAS for EAs. The LRSTs observe and monitor DPs for initiation of these attacks. Engineers with the covering force conduct countermobility and survivability tasks as their first priority.

    Air defense assets provide coverage on likely air avenues of approach. This is critical as the covering force tends to mass during the withdrawal. The covering force coordinates coverage of passage points and lanes into the MBA with MBA air defense forces.

    Note that counterreconnaissance is not a distinct mission; rather, it is a result of security operations. Units conduct traditional security actions (including screen, guard, cover, and area security missions) as well as a variety of other activities (such as OPSEC, deception, and physical security) to counter the enemy's reconnaissance. In doing so they defeat or destroy hostile reconnaissance forces.


    The division conducts targeting to mass combat power at critical times and places. The targeting process results in integrating all means of lethal and non-lethal fires, including artillery of all types, freed-wing aircraft, and attack helicopters, EW, PSYOP, and NGF.

    Targeting aids the division commander in seizing the initiative and synchronizing combat power in deep, close, and rear operations. It is an integral and continuous part of planning and executing division operations. It begins with mission receipt and continues through operation completion. Field Manual 6-20-10 is the division's base manual for targeting operations.


    The targeting methodology is decide, detect and track, deliver, and assess (D3A). The targeting process supports synchronization by focusing detection, tracking, and delivery capabilities on high-payoff targets (HPTs).

    Successfully engaging HPTs is tied to the division's successful execution of the commander's intent. The key to understanding targeting in an AASLT division is the understanding that attacking HPTs is what establishes conditions for maneuver against an opposing force.

    When possible, the division conducts AASLT operations where an enemy is weakest. When required by the mission, the division must create a vulnerable enemy by attacking it relentlessly, but methodically, with fires. The targeting process defines and directs this relentless method.

    Targeting begins at the earliest phase of planning--mission analysis. During the planning sequence, initiated by the receipt of a warning order from higher headquarters, the division plans element establishes a targeting time line and schedules specific times for the targeting team to meet.

    During COA development and war gaming, the plans element identifies critical times and events, proposes PIR, and conducts target-value analysis (TVA), in support of the restated mission and the commander's intent. During operations, targeting is a major part of the division's battle rhythm. Planners propose, detect, track, and assess HPTs in a continuous and carefully timed operational cycle. The commander approves any update.

    Time is a critical resource. The targeting process creates time-sensitive opportunities for division and subordinate commanders. Using the time available, they position assets to detect, track, and engage critical enemy units and capabilities.

    Without the targeting process to focus the targeting effort, the division might conduct an air assault to the wrong place or at the wrong time. Intelligence and maneuver assets may incorrectly focus on the enemy's critical targets. This may result in not supporting the division or subordinate commanders' intent and concept of operations. In the absence of the targeting process, synchronization is likely to be lost during AASLT operations.


    Targeting methodology is to decide the HPT (that is, to identify which HPT targets to attack and what weapons systems to use to attack the target), detect and track it until delivery, deliver lethal or nonlethal fires, and assess the effects subsequent to delivery, and reattack as necessary.

    The decide portion is the planning phase. The detect and track, deliver, and assess portions are the execution phases.

    The G3 has general staff proponency of the decide and deliver phases; the G2 has general staff proponency over detecting and tracking and assessing HPTs. The commander makes the final decision and approves all changes.

    The targeting cell or board is the official body that develops targeting products in the division. The CofS serves as the CG's representative on the board and is the approving authority for all targeting cell products.

    Because many members of the division staff play significant roles in the planning and execution of targeting, the targeting cell membership is broad. Normally the CofS chairs the targeting board. An example of targeting cell membership includes the following representatives:

  • The G3.
  • The G2.
  • The FSE and DIVARTY.
  • The aviation brigade.
  • The EW section.
  • The ALO.
  • The engineer battalion.
  • The ADA battalion.
  • The NBC section.
  • METT-T may dictate staff representation from--

  • The staff judge advocate (SJA).
  • The G5.
  • The ANGLICO section.
  • The special operations command and control elements (SOCCE) section.
  • The maneuver brigades.
  • The PSYOP section.
  • The LO.
  • NOTE: See also Figure 5-8.

    The targeting board convenes at least once daily to validate the current high-payoff target list (HPTL), high-value target (HVT), and attack guidance based on current METT-T analysis and future plans. One technique is to hold a cell meeting in the evening with full membership, then conduct a second meeting midmorning the next day with a smaller, executive group. A standardized targeting board agenda for each session focuses the membership on events that may affect the HPTL or attack guidance.

    There are many ways to validate an HPTL. One technique is to review future operations in blocks of time (H-hours, operational phases, and so on), then validate the HPTL against each time block. Whatever technique is used, the targeting process is dynamic, requiring constant validation and updating by the coordinated efforts of those charged with execution. To ensure that changes are communicated effectively, all targeting products are posted in division FRAGOs and distributed as orders.


    The decide phase of the targeting process includes developing an HPTL, target selection standards, and attack guidance. Air assault operations require a detailed accounting of enemy artillery, AD, and maneuver targets that might influence the AASLT objective. Therefore, HPTLs in support of such operations are usually as specific as possible.

    The G2 section conducts the first step in the decide phase. Using TVA, the G2 identifies HVTs, including units or capabilities critical to the success of the enemy's most probable and most dangerous COAs.

    From the HVTs and the friendly COAs, the targeting team determines which HVTs to engage to ensure success. The G3 normally expresses these as target sets, such as maneuver, fire support, air defense, or other categories. The attack of these target sets must be possible in the context of the concept of operations.

    The targeting team then determines critical nodes within these categories that the division or supporting assets can detect and attack. The plans officer and DFSCOORD consider HPTs in terms of importance to the division plan and then develop a prioritized list.

    Priorities are likely to change with the division's battle rhythm or because of nightly attack helicopter raids. Also, the effectiveness of observed artillery, CAS, and AI increases during daytime and cause conditions which could change priorities.

    The targeting team also determines the desired results of an attack on HPTs. The team measures the results in terms of delay, disruption, or limitation of the enemy force and expresses delay in terms of time or events.

    The team expresses disruption in terms of the enemy's capability. Disruption is less precise than delay or limitation. In defensive operations, the result may be to disrupt the enemy's reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) capabilities in the main effort's defensive sector.

    Finally, the team expresses limitation in terms of geographical approaches. In rear operations, the desired result might be to limit the enemy's capability for air assaults on the division rear area.

    Achieving the desired results requires the division to integrate several actions into one coordinated effort against the HPT. Limiting the commitment of an enemy force into a given area requires integrating maneuver, fire support, and engineer assets.

    In rear operations, limiting the enemy's capability for air assault requires integrating engineers to create obstacles on likely LZs, for MPs to monitor likely LZs while conducting area security, and for AD assets to control likely air avenues of approach. The commander may have to position fire support assets to range likely LZs and assign R& S tasks to rear operations units. He may also position the reserve and TCF to enhance response time to air assaults.

    The targeting team also develops target selection standards (TSS) during the decide portion of the targeting methodology. It defines what sources or agencies will identify targets or suspected targets.

    The G3 and the FSCOORD use the standards during execution to determine which target information warrants commitment of attack assets. Discriminators to determine target-selection standards include--

  • The system's inherent target-location error.
  • The susceptibility to deception.
  • Previously demonstrated reliability.
  • The weather.
  • The enemy's direction-finding and jamming capability.
  • The ROE.
  • The time since acquisition.
  • The targeting team then develops attack guidance which helps in synchronizing engagement of HPTs during execution. Attack guidance gives the G3 and FSCOORD a predetermined priority of targets to use during the battle. It assigns each HPT a target selection standard. (See FM 6-20-1.)

    The targeting team determines the requirement to conduct a combat assessment during the decide process. The BDA shows if the HPT attack achieved the desired results. The division SOP must clearly identify who is responsible for the combat assessment.

    During a combat assessment the first decision is whether or not the division requires a BDA against the HPT. Some HPTs may not be suitable for developing timely BDAs. The division may achieve the desired result at the critical time and place.

    There may be no requirement or capability to conduct a combat assessment. If a requirement exists to conduct a BDA, the plans element allocates resources and determines its conduct.

    During the COA briefing and orders approval process, the targeting team (with the DFSCOORD) presents the results of the decide portion to the CofS, G2, G3, and division commander for approval. The commander ultimately approves HPTs, TSS, and attack guidance.

    During the COA and orders development process, the CofS coordinates the actions of the G2 and G3 operations elements at targeting board meetings, providing for parallel planning. Targeting meetings occur as units transition from one plan to its sequel or at periodic intervals as listed in the unit SOP. It allows elements to make decisions which support the current operation and facilitate future operations, providing continuity to the targeting effort.

    Detect and Track

    The detect portion of the targeting process includes developing the collection plan, allocating resources, assigning intelligence-acquisition tasks, processing information into target intelligence, and disseminating target intelligence to attack systems. The more specific the HPTs, the more likely the G2 can identify, locate and track, and accurately target them.

    The detect portion of targeting has a relationship to the attack system. If EA assets are to attack the target to disrupt C3, then the detect process not only includes a location but also technical data that electronic surveillance (ES) collected to effectively jam the target. If surface-to-surface indirect fires are to engage the target, detect includes an accurate target location and projected loiter time.

    If helicopters are to attack the target, the need for location accuracy is less than for artillery. However, because of reaction time, the G2 must project and closely track the target's location. This allows the aviation brigade to conduct final preparations and update locations before the attack. The HPTs targeted for attack by AI require early identification, nomination, and continuous tracking because of the long lead times AI requires.

    The G2 identifies, locates, tracks, and targets HPTs in his recommendation for IEW task organization and the division collection plan. Because of the limited range of division intelligence assets, he must coordinate with the corps collection manager to request intelligence targeting assistance for deep HPTs. This is a major reason for coordinating corps and division targeting meetings.

    The G2 operations and ACE detect HPTs for close and deep operations, relying heavily on corps and EAC intelligence products. The division detects HPTs with LRSTs, Quick Fix, Q-36 and Q-37 counterfire radars, and TACAIR.

    Within the division intelligence system, the G2 ensures all personnel are aware of HPTs. The HPTL distribution includes the G2 operations and the ACE as a ready reference, particularly as soldiers become fatigued.

    The field artillery intelligence officer (FAIO) assists the G2. He ensures personnel are aware of the HPTs. He coordinates with intelligence managers to screen all intelligence for targeting information. He also serves as a conduit to disseminate targeting information to the FSE.

    The heart of the detection phase is the IPB process. The ACE continuously updates the IPB to confirm or deny situation and event templates, using information which organic, supporting, higher, adjacent, and subordinate assets provide.

    The EW section of the ACE develops the electronic preparation of the battlefield (EPB) portion of the IPB which supports HPT detection. It integrates information and intelligence from corps and EAC to assist in HPT development.

    Reconnaissance reports support targeting in close operations. Intelligence acquisition tasks in the collection plan, or specific reconnaissance missions the G3 assigns to units, provide this information.

    The DIVARTY counterfire officer routinely passes radar acquisitions to the G2 special compartmentalized information facility. Fire support assets may have already attacked these targets, depending on their priority and division attack guidance. However, their locations may help the ACE adjust and update situation and event templates and to locate other HPTs.

    Terrain analysis helps detect HPTs for rear operations. The rear CP identifies likely LZs and integrates assigned surveillance responsibilities with the air IPB.

    The G2 synchronizes HPT detection in deep, close, and rear operations using situation, event, and decision support templates. These help him coordinate and integrate resources at critical times to provide required targeting information.

    Committed forces detect HPTs in close operations. These forces and assets detect both division HPTs and those of respective subordinate maneuver commanders.

    The division commander and subordinate commanders may have different HPTs. The G2 may task the 1st Brigade to identify and locate enemy AD in its sector in support of a cross-FLOT aviation mission. However, air defense may not be an HPT for the 1st Brigade commander. His priority may be artillery and mortars arrayed against his main attack or reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition (RISTA) elements.

    Conversely, a subordinate commander's HPT may duplicate those of the division commander. Coordination between echelons precludes duplicating effort and resources.

    The G2 operations at the main CP coordinates the collection effort with the subordinate commander's S2, integrating it into the division collection plan. Likewise, the G3 operations at the main CP coordinates the attack plan with the subordinate commander's S3 and integrates it with the division's attack.

    The G2 operations at the TAC CP coordinates HPT detection in close operations. He coordinates with S2s of committed forces and the G2 at the main CP to ensure collection assets focus on HPTs. As the G2 receives HPT detection reports, he informs the FSE and G3 for commitment of attack resources.

    The G2 operations in the rear CP coordinates detection of HPTs in rear operations with the G2 in the main CP and base and base cluster S2s. His primary means of detecting HPTs are R& S efforts of base and base cluster commanders.

    Detecting HPTs in an enemy force requiring a level II or III response to a rear area threat depends on contingency planning between the rear and main CPs' G2 operations. The rear G2 may task IEW assets to detect HPTs quickly and accurately to engage them with the TCF, supporting artillery, attack helicopters, or CAS. The G2 operations at the main CP coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes reallocation of assets.

    Often HPTs are not engaged despite detection. Perhaps the target is low on the priority list, or perhaps assets are initially unavailable for attack. Sometimes it is not merely the attack of an enemy target that is advantageous, but the timely attack of the target--such as the attack of enemy C2 at the outset of friendly counterattack.

    Any time an HPT is detected but not engaged, an agency must track the target. Often the agency is in the G2 fictional area. At times, however, a maneuver or other subordinate commander may receive the mission.


    The deliver phase is the execution of the attack against the target. The focal points are the G3 operations and DFSCOORD. Using the prioritized HPTL, target intelligence from the G2, target-selections standards, and attack guidance, they direct the attack.

    The G3 operation's role in the deliver phase is to confirm HPTs and to direct their attack by maneuver forces. The FSE directs attack of HPTs by fire support assets once the G2 confirms detection and they meet attack guidance.

    TACAIR and/or attack helicopters normally attack HPTs in deep operations. The range of division attack assets normally does not reach uncommitted enemy forces. Deep maneuver, though an attack option, is a high risk.

    The aviation brigade plans and executes attack of HPTs by attack helicopters. The division main CP integrates this attack as part of the concept of operations.

    Using the DST, the main CP G3 coordinates the attack time and location with the aviation brigade. He aids planning and execution by allocating resources and changing intelligence and fire support priorities.

    The DFSCOORD and G3 operations in the main CP coordinate and integrate the joint force air coordination center's (JFACC) attack of HPTs. The DFSCOORD submits AI, CAS, and tactical air reconnaissance (TAR) nominations to the corps FSE before the desired attack in accordance with the corps' SOP (generally from 24 to 36 hours before execution).

    The division FSE submits periodic updates on the location and status of targets to the corps FSE. The G2 operations provides information for these updates.

    The division FSE informs G3 operations of the impending attack. The G3 operations either confirms the attack or requests diversion to a different target.

    The USAF approves requests to divert after considering--

  • The types of aircraft.
  • The effectiveness of munitions against the new target.
  • Enemy air defense in the vicinity of the target.
  • The effects of weather on target engagement.
  • Target distance from the old target.
  • Committed forces attack HPTs in close operations. Committed forces' CPs, the division TAC CP, and the main CP coordinate and synchronize attacks. Attack assets include maneuver, fire support, and engineers.

    Maneuver forces may attack enemy reconnaissance as part of counterreconnaissance efforts. They may conduct limited objective attacks to disrupt AD during aviation operations.

    Units may use smoke to disrupt enemy reconnaissance and target acquisition. Fire support may attack a range of targets, including enemy AD, artillery, and maneuver forces.


    Combat assessment is the determination of the overall effectiveness of force employment during military operations. It includes three major components: battle damage assessment, munitions effects assessment, and reattack recommendation.

    The objective of combat assessment is to identify recommendations for the course of military operations. The J3 is normally the single point of contact for combat assessment at the joint force level, assisted by the joint force J2.

    The last phase in the targeting process is assessing the damage to the target after attacking it. This phase is the most critical when the division is preparing an objective for an air assault.

    The BDA requirement is determined during the decide phase of the targeting process. Generally, the HPTs, which the CofS approves, are critical to the success of the division's mission and do require a BDA. Such targets are nominated with the realization that there are a limited number of resources available to conduct a BDA. Approved HPT nominations trigger the division collection manager to update the division collection plan and to focus collection assets on those targets.

    The division is extremely limited in its ability to collect BDAs. It must rely heavily on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and BDAs from the corps and EAC.

    There are two resources at division level that are reliable and responsive when collecting information on deep targets. They include the six LRSTs (if pre-positioned in a location where they can observe the target) and division aviation assets.

    All BDAs are fed into the ACE where the intelligence analyst makes objective assessments. Time permitting, he verifies conclusions, identifying and resolving discrepancies between analysts at various headquarters.

    The degree of reliability and credibility of assessments relies largely on collection resources, whose quantity and quality significantly influences whether the assessment is highly reliable (concrete, quantifiable, and precise) or has a low reliability (best guess).

    The best BDAs use more than one collection asset to verify each conclusion. An example of an assessment of high reliability would be a pilot report (PIREP) from an Apache helicopter flying over a struck target and a UAV report from corps that confirms the kill. An example of an assessment of low reliability would be a civilian HUMINT source stating that a target was destroyed.

    As soon as the intelligence analyst make his postattack assessment of the HPTs, he feeds the information to the targeting cell. The results may cause changes in battle plans and earlier decisions. If necessary, the targeting cell reexamines the decisions made during the decide phase. The IPB products, the HPTL, the TSS, and/or the entire plan may have to be updated.


    SEAD is paramount to AASLT operations. Lethal friendly fire support suppresses, neutralizes, and destroys known and suspected threat AD weapons and affiliated radars, warning, and CPs. Nonlethal friendly EW aircraft, such as the electronic helicopter (EH)-60A Quick Fix IIB aerial jammer, contribute to SEAD programs by suppressing warning and CP communications systems.

    There are three categories of SEAD: localized, complementary, and campaign. (See FM 6-20-30 for a detailed discussion.) The Army has primary responsibility for SEAD out to the limits of observed fires. Beyond that the USAF has primary responsibility.

    The Army must plan for localized SEAD for every mission. It must consider artillery (cannon and rockets) and attack helicopter and EW assets. If possible, it conducts missions to receive the benefits of sister service SEAD activities. When the Army and another service combine SEAD activities, they become joint SEAD (JSEAD).

    United States Air Force, US Navy (USN), and US Marine Corps (USMC) on-board passive and active countermeasures (such as chaff and radar jammers) and EW aircraft combine to defeat enemy AD along flight routes and near LZs and objective areas. The division routinely plans and executes SEAD along multiple air routes to provide several options to aircraft and to confuse enemy attempts to focus antiaircraft combat power.

    The corps or JTF may task the division to support SEAD activities for USAF, USN, and/or USMC aviation missions. SEAD provides combat multipliers to cross the FLOT.

    Division aviation assets must survive to contribute their full combat potential. Units must accomplish SEAD quickly and efficiently to support aviation operations. Night-capable AHBs excel in identifying and destroying enemy AD positions, artillery units, headquarters, and vehicle parks.

    When the division commander decides to commit the aviation brigade, the aviation brigade plans SEAD support for the mission. The division supports the aviation brigade commander and his staff and synchronizes overall operations, including SEAD. The division concept of the aviation mission determines the complexity of the supporting SEAD operation.

    The division's primary responsibility is to support suppression of ground-based enemy AD weapons to the limits of observed fire. The division has secondary responsibility out to the range limit of its indirect-fire weapons. In most situations, when reported target locations are accurate, the division can suppress targets with unobserved indirect fire.

    By coordinating cross-FLOT operations with the corps or JTF and/or the USAF, the division might benefit from SEAD already planned and disseminated in the air tasking order (ATO) and/or the airspace control order (ACO). Any residual benefit the division can obtain from other SEAD operations acts as a combat multiplier.

    The division supports SEAD with specific critical combat and CS elements to synergize combat power against enemy AD. Unity of effort is essential and requires detailed planning, close coordination, and precise timing.

    SEAD Effects

    Within each category, SEAD effects maybe destructive or disruptive. Destructive SEAD destroys surface-to-air defenses or personnel.

    Destructive SEAD's effects are cumulative and steadily reduce aircraft attrition. When employed alone, it places large demands on combat power such as artillery pieces and ammunition. The commander must integrate destructive SEAD with disruptive SEAD, such as jammers, which are generally reusable resources.

    Disruptive SEAD can temporarily degrade, deceive, delay, or neutralize surface-to-air defenses or personnel. There are two types of disruptive SEAD--active and passive.

    Active suppression includes jamming, chaff, flares, and tactics such as deception, avoidance, or evasion. Passive suppression includes camouflage, infrared shielding, warning receivers, and materiel design features.

    Disruptive SEAD complements destructive SEAD. It--

  • Degrades jammable threats.
  • Assists destructive airborne suppression systems in suppressing surface-to-air defense systems.
  • Temporarily degrades or neutralizes enemy AD systems when their destruction is not possible or feasible.
  • Sustains suppression effects achieved by destruction once threats are at levels commensurate with JSEAD objectives.
  • The division conducts localized SEAD to support cross-FLOT operations as part of its scheme of maneuver. Indirect-fire support weapons and IEW assets are the primary systems the force uses to open corridors or to suppress specific attack objectives.

    Suppression begins before aircraft arrive and should continue as long as aircraft are in range, unless the system suppressing the ADA would endanger the aircraft. The division establishes egress routes and suppresses them in a similar manner.

    Coordination, synchronization, and timing are critical to the success of suppression operations. Fire support, A2C2, and TACAIR control systems coordinate these aspects with aviation elements conducting cross-FLOT missions.

    It is important for the division staff and aviation units to know to what extent the division commander wants to commit resources to the destruction of enemy AD systems versus how important it is to simply disrupt them. If the division intends to destroy all enemy AD along the flight route, it must commit the following for each enemy AD system:

  • Acquisition assets to detect enemy AD locations.
  • Observers to confirm AD locations, to adjust friendly destructive fires, and to submit a target damage assessment (TDA) report after the mission.
  • Combat assets to engage the enemy AD system.
  • Class V munitions to destroy each enemy AD system.
  • Logistic assets to support the committed combat systems.
  • Such missions are resource-intensive operations when the enemy has several AD systems. The division probably will not attempt to destroy every target it detects. In all probability it will issue guidance that provides parameters for a mixture of destructive and disruptive SEAD.

    The division continuously conducts complementary SEAD. SEAD attacks enemy AD targets of opportunity that might adversely affect current or future aviation operations when units and/or sensors identify and locate them or when attacks are consistent with available resources and commander's priorities.

    The FSE may prioritize complementary SEAD efforts in specific areas to facilitate a future aviation mission. When this exceeds the division's capabilities, the G3 requests support from corps.

    If the division attacks AD targets of opportunity as they find them, they do so with destructive fires. Disruptive fires would only let the enemy know his position was found. If the division cannot, or decides not to, immediately attack the enemy AD system, the division maintains the location of this target so fires can suppress it at the earliest opportunity.

    Division SEAD Operations

    The best protection against air defense is to select routes that avoid ADA. The routes selected determine the resources required to conduct an effective SEAD program.

    The G3 must consider METT-T factors as he develops COAs for cross-FLOT or near-FLOT employment of the aviation brigade. Key considerations in staff estimates which may impact division support of SEAD operations include--

  • What is the enemy force and status (not just the enemy ADA)?
  • Is the enemy attacking or defending?
  • Is the division facing the enemy's main or supporting effort?
  • Can the division divert attack assets to conduct the SEAD without accepting unnecessary risk in other areas of the close battle?
  • How much can the division commit to SEAD at the required time?
  • Does the division have adequate Class V munitions to conduct destructive SEAD operations?
  • Can the division logistically support resupply of SEAD operations along with other operations?
  • Does terrain reinforce nap-of-earth (NOE) flights or have the effect of isolating enemy ADA?
  • Does terrain result in radar blind spots the division can exploit?
  • Does weather favor use of aviation assets?
  • What current division operations will impact troops available to support the SEAD program for the aviation mission?
  • What, if any, intelligence collection will the division have to reduce or terminate to support the development of SEAD targets?
  • Is ADA an HPT?
  • Did the G2 develop and maintain a good enemy AD database or will he have to redirect collection assets to target ADA? (An electronic intelligence (ELINT) or communications intelligence (COMINT) report on ADA used for situation development may be insufficient for artillery targeting.)
  • What attack assets are available to support the SEAD program?
  • Are adequate FARPs and Class III supplies available to support SEAD operations?
  • Will they have to reposition?
  • Do attack assets have the correct amount and types of munitions?
  • What kind of mission is this? An attack mission? A raid? An air assault? An LRSD insertion?
  • Staff Responsibilities

    SEAD is a force-protection requirement inherent in aviation operations. The division aviation brigade plans, prepares, and executes SEAD with division staff cells in support of its operations. The division commander and staff synchronize SEAD support for aviation operations with the division's current and future operations.

    The division G3 coordinates with the aviation brigade's S3 during mission development, He coordinates, integrates, recommends, and synchronizes changes to priorities and task organization to support the aviation brigade. The aviation brigade S3 integrates and synchronizes these assets and capabilities into the aviation brigade plan.

    The aviation brigade S3 A2C2 element plans, coordinates, and submits air corridors to the G3 operations A2C2 element for synchronization and division commander approval. The G3 may synchronize a ground attack with an air operation to open a corridor. A forward thrust by maneuver forces may effectively disrupt the enemy and his FAAD system.

    Maneuver units' direct-fire weapons are the most responsive and effective means of attacking close-in AD targets. Because the enemy may locate significant AD near the FLOT, planners should look for opportunities to bring ground and air penetrations together in time and space to benefit from each. Maneuver units engaging enemy AD systems report them through operations channels in accordance with unit SOPs.

    The aviation brigade S3 coordinates FARPs, forward assembly areas (FAAs), and other terrain requirements with committed maneuver brigades. The G3 resolves conflicts or recommends solutions to the division commander.

    Situation and target development is critical in SEAD. Working closely with the aviation brigade S2, the G2 directs intelligence organizations to identify and locate enemy AD order of battle. He also finds critical nodes which, if interdicted, would significantly degrade enemy capabilities. He integrates the aviation brigade commander's PIR, IR, and requests for intelligence information into the division collection plan.

    Based on the aviation brigade mission, the G2 may recommend changes to the division commander's PIR and IR. However, he must ensure they support division operations, not just the aviation brigade's SEAD.

    The aviation brigade S2 forwards requests for intelligence information to committed maneuver units to determine enemy AD locations in their AOs. He integrates this information with intelligence from the G2 and develops and disseminates target information to the aviation brigade FSE.

    The FSE recommends to the G3 required changes to the artillery task organization and priority of fires to support the aviation brigade. It may recommend a mix of DS, reinforcing (R), or GS-R artillery, or it may assign the aviation brigade priority of fires for a specific mission. METT-T factors influence the choice of method.

    The FSE also may recommend changes to the division HPTL, attack-guidance matrix, and target-selection standards. Depending on the time available, he may direct repositioning of fire support assets to support the overall mission as well as to provide SEAD support for the aviation brigade's mission.

    Artillery units support the operation with preplanned fires and on-call missions. Electronic warfare assets degrade the effectiveness of enemy air defense by jamming key C2 nets.

    The FSE coordinates additional fires for the aviation brigade at the request of the brigade tire support officer (FSO). The FSE also coordinates SEAD for targets outside the division's boundaries but which are capable of ranging air corridors.

    The opening of a corridor is a major operation requiring a heavy commitment of resources. The division can only establish a limited number of corridors in a given time. Therefore, the division FSE must coordinate with adjacent and subordinate units to ensure all division suppression operations are mutually supportive and to capitalize on enemy vulnerabilities.

    Using artillery smoke in SEAD operations is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Smoke hides aircraft from enemy AD weapons that use visual acquisition. However, it is ineffective against electronic sensor-guided AD systems. Also, smoke obscures targets and prevents friendly aircraft from identifying enemy AD weapons. Smoke is a limited resource; units must carefully plan and coordinate smoke usage.

    The MLRS, if available to the AASLT division, is an effective SEAD weapon. It can create corridors at the FLOT or engage several targets with its multiple-aim point capability.

    Jamming enemy AD system C2 nodes has two objectives. First, it can force enemy firing units to activate their radars to acquire targets rather than relying on the C2 system, thus exposing themselves to acquisition and attack. However, this is useful only if systems are poised to attack when the enemy activates its radars. Second, jamming also degrades C2 systems during friendly air operations. This type of suppression requires close coordination of flight and jamming schedules. Because of the limited number and capabilities of division jammers, the EW staff officer in the FSE synchronizes jamming of SEAD targets with the total division electronic attack (EA) effort.


    Successful division operations and engagements may depend on the effective use of airspace over the AO. Within this airspace, a high density of friendly weapons systems and aerial platforms with overlapping operating envelopes and flight profiles must contribute to combat effectiveness without interfering with one another, hindering the efforts of friendly combatants, or causing fratricide.

    Division A2C2 consists of all actions required to synchronize airspace use. The division A2C2 element performs these actions under the G3 air's supervision.

    The A2C2 element coordinates airspace user requirements with the commander's plan for effective airspace use over the division's AO. The A2C2 element is a separate cell in the division main CP, normally located near the division fire support cell. Its primary tasks include--

  • Identifying and resolving airspace user conflicts.
  • Coordinating and integrating airspace user requirements within the division's AO and with other services and adjacent units.
  • Maintaining A2C2 information displays and maps.
  • Developing and coordinating airspace control SOPs, plans, and annexes to the division's OPORD and OPLANs, and disseminating ACOs, messages, and overlays.
  • Approving, staffing, and forwarding to corps requests for airspace control measures requiring airspace control authority (ACA) approval and special-use airspace.
  • To accomplish these tasks, A2C2 elements continuously update G3 air and A2C2 displays and maps. This coordination helps synchronize combat power within the limited airspace over the division's AO.

    Airspace Control Measures

    To retain simplicity and flexibility, A2C2 element methodology stresses procedural control. Units maintain control by using airspace control measures and SOPs (air axis, air corridor). Figure 5-9 depicts airspace control measures available to provide procedural control.

    Airspace control measures requiring ACA approval are forwarded through the corps A2C2 element. (See Figure 5-10.)

    NOTE: See FM 100-103 for a detailed discussion of the A2C2 system.

    Command Post Functions

    The division A2C2 element is under the G3. The G3 air supervises A2C2 element operations.

    The A2C2 element conducts 24-hour operations and is the focal point at the main CP for all airspace control activities related to division operations. It maintains close coordination with the TAC CP, the rear CP, and the corps or JTF A2C2 element. This ensures that airspace requirements (which change as the tactical situation changes) are timely and effectively met.

    No formal A2C2 element exists at the TAC CP. Selected TAC CP staff and liaison elements perform airspace control as collateral functions.

    The division A2C2 element includes the G3 air element, ADA element, aviation element, and the ALO. The A2C2 element often includes an MI brigade LO and an air traffic service (ATS) LO.

    The A2C2 element coordinates with--

  • The FSE.
  • The G3 air.
  • The aviation brigade.
  • The G4 airlift.
  • The ADA battalion.
  • The naval aviation liaison element (NALE).
  • The ATS unit assigned to the division.
  • The G2 section.
  • The G4 section and, when required, the ANGLICO.
  • The A2C2 element and the brigade S3 air.
  • Army airspace command and control staff sections and liaison element representatives are only within the main CP.

    Personnel assigned to A2C2 accomplish two primary tasks. First, they assist in coordinating their parent units' assets, provide technical expertise, and serve as liaison between the commander, his headquarters, and their parent units. Second, they synchronize their parent units' airspace requirements with other airspace users of the combined-arms team and services. As an additional task, the A2C2 staff often obtains and passes BDA information from A2C2 channels to the G2 staff.

    Personnel performing A2C2 staff functions require an in-depth knowledge of A2C2 doctrine and procedures, corps or JTF and division airspace control plans, and division airspace control SOPs. This requires assigning personnel to perform staff duties in the A2C2 on a fill-time basis. It is recommended that A2C2 personnel receive formal training (for example, attending the Air-Ground Operations School (AGOS)) to perform their duties during training and real-world missions.

    The Tactical CP

    The G3 operations cell responds to airspace conflicts and changing requirements during close operations based on committed forces information and on reports, requests, and coordination with the main CP A2C2 element. The operations section maintains and displays unit locations down to battalion level. Committed forces provide OPLANs and OPORDs, graphics, and FRAGOs to the operations section.

    The fire support cell receives and maintains locations of artillery and AD units and their coverage and range fans. The ALO has information concerning sorties-how many, when, and where. He also has information on MRRs, CPs, and initial points (IPs) that are in effect. The A2C2 element at the main CP provides the TAC CP with effective or planned air corridors affecting the close AO.

    The A2C2 cell uses automated deconfliction methods when possible to expedite the deconfliction process. The G3 operations cell then requests the A2C2 element to resolve the conflict with affected units. In time-critical instances, the TAC CP may issue directives to resolve an immediate conflict and then pass overall synchronization to the A2C2 element at the main CP.

    The Main CP

    The A2C2 element at the main CP is the focal point for A2C2 in the division. It synchronizes airspace use for current deep, close, and rear operations and provides input and technical expertise to the plans cell for future operations.

    Various organizations and CPs provide the information required to synchronize division airspace use. The A2C2 element keeps this information on one A2C2 map. The G3 air keeps up to date on branches and sequels to current deep, close, and rear operations.

    Support to current deep, close, and rear operations begins with planning and coordinating airspace control measures that the division or ACA implement. In the case of LLTRs and MRRs, the A2C2 receives input from committed unit S3 airs, correlates the information, and provides it to the corps A2C2 element.

    The A2C2 element normally plans, coordinates, and correlates information in cycles, every 8, 12, or 24 hours. It then makes recommendations based on division and brigade missions, concepts of operations, and intent. The objective is to prevent airspace control measures from restricting ground operations--especially artillery, mortar, and AD operations.

    War-gaming the concept of operations, branches, and sequels should indicate artillery, AD, and Army aviation locations to avoid. The A2C2 element develops on-call airspace control measures to support various branches and sequels.

    During operations, the A2C2 element anticipates activating airspace control measures to preclude airspace conflicts. Members of the A2C2 element review the ACO as they receive it to identify conflicts. For example, GS AD assets positioned in an LLTR may require repositioning.

    Artillery units positioned in a division air corridor or positioned so their trajectory crosses an air corridor may have to reposition to fire SEAD missions in support of aircraft using the corridor. In each case, there are other options besides repositioning. (One such would be establishing airspace coordination areas for the artillery or changes to AD units' weapons control status (WCS)). The A2C2 element informs the G3 of conflicts which it cannot resolve at division level or through coordination with the corps A2C2 element.

    The Rear CP

    The rear CP does not have an A2C2 element, but it does have an aviation cell to provide A2C2 interface with the division main CP or aviation brigade. The rear CP G3 operations cell responds to airspace conflicts as required and coordinates with the A2C2 element in the main CP. The A2C2 element plans, coordinates, and monitors A2C2 for rear operations.

    During rear operations, tactical changes may require changes to airspace control in the rear. A level III response to a rear area threat primarily affects LLTRs, SAAFRs, and other air corridors that transit through the rear.

    Army A2C2 Planning

    The division should limit A2C2 plans and associated control measures to those necessary to ensure conformity with the tactical plan and aircraft safety. They should make maximum use of procedural control measures. The scheme of maneuver and commander's intent determine and govern their design.

    The division plans as much detail as the situation and time allow. The situation's urgency and the time available dictate whether to produce an A2C2 annex. If used, the annex includes only information which clarifies or amplifies unit SOPs or which specifies actions and procedures necessary to synchronize airspace use.

    In many situations, the fast-paced and dynamic tempo of combat operations may cause the A2C2 staff to use an A2C2 overlay and to issue verbal directives to subordinate forces. Using field SOPs, ACOs, and an airspace control plan standardizes procedures, reduces the amount of coordination, provides implementing instructions, and in many situations, reduces the need for an A2C2 annex.

    Army A2C2 in Battle

    Once the battle is in progress, the A2C2 element at the main CP continues to monitor subordinate and parent units and to modify plans as required. Effective coordination, rapid exchange of information, timely decision making, and rapid issuance of orders promote agility and initiative.

    Army airspace command and control actions during the battle are the same as those performed during the planning phase. During the battle, emphasis is on--

  • Anticipating and reacting to changes in the tactical situation.
  • Anticipating future requirements based on the battle's progress.
  • Facilitating the ability of the commander to influence the battle with air assets (identifying potential airspace conflicts and taking immediate action to resolve them).
  • The following activities require actions to change current operations:

  • Conflicts that develop in the division rear area.
  • Corps-directed specific operations such as a deep operation.
  • Changes to the corps OPORD affecting airspace usage in response to the tactical situation.
  • The division A2C2 element cannot resolve a conflict at its level.
  • The division A2C2 element maintains data on ATS facilities, current and planned restrictive measures, and special joint-use requirements. The A2C2 element assists the commander by making recommendations concerning the impact ADA weapons control status has on air operations.


    Electronic warfare is the means through which the division commander protects his own electronic systems while attacking those of the enemy. Electronic warfare--

  • Exploits, disrupts, and deceives the enemy C2 system.
  • Protects friendly use of communications and non-communications systems.
  • Enhances the division's agility and initiative while limiting the enemy's.
  • May be offensive or defensive and is an essential element of combat power.
  • Electronic warfare is any military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or to attack the enemy. The three major subdivisions within electronic warfare are electronic attack (EA), electronic protection (EP), and electronic warfare support (ES).

    Electronic warfare is the use of electromagnetic energy to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum and to ensure friendly use thereof. Electronic warfare support and EA are offensive EW components. Electronic protection is the defensive portion of EW. Electronic warfare support is that division of electronic warfare involving actions tasked by, or under direct control of, an operational commander.

    Electronic warfare support is used to search for, intercept, identify, and locate sources of intentional and unintentional radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition. Thus, ES provides information required for immediate decisions involving EW operations and other tactical actions such as threat avoidance, targeting, and homing. Electronic warfare support data can be used to produce SIGINT, COMINT, and ELINT.

    Electronic attack involves the use of electromagnetic or directed energy to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing, or destroying enemy combat capability. Electronic attack includes preventing or reducing an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as manning and electromagnetic deception, and employment of weapons that use either electromagnetic or directed energy as their primary destructive mechanism (lasers, radio frequency weapons, particle beams).

    Electronic protection involves actions taken to protect personnel, facilities, and equipment from any effects of friendly or enemy employment of EW that degrade, neutralize, or destroy friendly combat capability. It protects the friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum and the location of critical installations and systems. It consists of anti-ES and anti-EA. Anti-ES prevents the enemy from intercepting, locating, and identifying friendly electronic systems. Anti-EA precludes jamming or electronic deception of friendly forces. (See also FM 90-2, (S)FM 34-40, and FM 34-1.)

    Roles and Relationships

    The G3 exercises staff supervision over EW activities along with the G2 and the ADSO. The EW staff officer--

  • Is responsible to the G3 for planning and coordinating EW.
  • Coordinates electronic deception and integrates it into the deception plan.
  • Prepares both the EW estimate and the EW annex to the division OPORD and/or OPLAN.
  • The G2 conducts ES. The G2 operations is responsible for planning, coordinating, and integrating ES in division operations. He coordinates ES requirements with the EW staff officer and the ACE.

    The EPB occurs within the ACE. Units coordinate guarded frequencies with the EW staff officer to preclude jamming.

    The ACE maintains the status of EW assets, collects supporting technical data, and assesses the effectiveness of division EW operations. He also conducts the mission management of EW assets.

    The division signal officer (SO) is responsible for EP. The ADSO, at the division main CP, plans, coordinates, and integrates EP into division operations. He coordinates with the EW staff officer and the G2 and G3 operations to determine and disseminate the restricted frequency list consisting of taboo, guarded, and protected frequencies and to identify negative effects of EA on division operations.

    The division DFSCOORD in the FSE integrates EA into the division fire support plan. He coordinates with the EW staff officer to ensure EA use is consistent with the division commander's concept and intent for fire support and the capabilities and availability of EA assets.

    The EW staff officer--

  • Identifies HPTs and uses the HPTL, AGM, and division synchronization matrix to plan the attack and coordinates EA taskings with the ACE, FSE, G3 operations, and SO.
  • Coordinates with the ACE to ensure he directs assets to the proper positions and that they are available to accomplish EA taskings.
  • Coordinates with the FSE to ensure EA targets are valid and require attack.
  • Coordinates with the G3 operations to ensure the division attacks EA targets according to the synchronization matrix.
  • Coordinates with the SO to ensure EA targets are not on the protected or guarded frequencies list to ensure EA operations do not interfere with friendly operations or target frequencies that are providing significant intelligence.
  • Coordinates with the G3 and ADSO in the main CP to plan EW support of deception operations.
  • At division level, electronic deception consists primarily of manipulative or simulative electronic deception. Manipulative electronic deception alters the friendly electromagnetic profile or deliberately transmits false information. Simulative electronic deception simulates nonexisting units or capabilities or units and capabilities at false locations.

    The ADSO conducts EP planning at the division level. Threat evaluation and integration during the IPB indicate the enemy's capability to conduct EW against the division. The ADSO, with the G3, determines which critical friendly emitters to protect. He plans EP by assigning taboo and guarded frequencies; frequency allocation; use of meaconing, intrusion, jamming, and interference (MIJI) reports; terrain masking; and attack of enemy jammers.

    Electronic warfare planning differs little between offensive and defensive operations. The primary difference is proximity of systems to the FLOT. In both offense and defense, the division employs EW assets as part of MI company teams and leapfrogs from position to position to maintain coverage.

    Planning Considerations

    The EW staff officer, G2 operations, ACE, and ADSO consider EW priorities as they plan and coordinate EW in support of division operations. Priorities include--

  • Protecting friendly C3 systems.
  • Attacking critical fire support capabilities.
  • Degrading (or locating for destruction) critical enemy AD elements.
  • Disrupting critical enemy C3 links.
  • For EA, planners consider the target-link distance (the distance between the enemy transmitter and receiver) as well as the distance between the jammer and enemy receiver. They consider radio LOS, antenna polarization, jammer power and enemy transmitter power, band-width compatibility, and terrain, weather, and vegetation.

    In ES, planners consider system accuracy and distance to the target. A minimum of three lines of bearing (LOBs) is necessary to accurately locate a target through direction-finding.

    Planners consider the enemy's capability to conduct electronic deception against the division. In EP planning, planners consider the protection inherent in division communications equipment and procedures as well as the enemy's capabilities and the division's ability to quickly locate and attack enemy jammers.

    Based on the division commander's planning guidance, the G2 and the MI battalion commander recommend the task organization of IEW assets to the G3. This task organization incorporates support to division deep, close, and rear operations as well as to committed maneuver brigades. The task organization incorporates ES support to situation and target development and to EA and EP targeting according to the division's HPTL and attack guidance matrix (AGM).

    The ADSO conducts EP planning. Planning begins with identifying essential friendly emitters and sensitive communications to protect.

    The staff evaluates friendly electronic emitters, signatures, and profiles based on their vulnerabilities to EW and SIGINT capabilities. They then plan EP to overcome these vulnerabilities.

    The G2 integrates ES planning in the overall IPB. While terrain and weather both impact friendly and enemy use of the electromagnetic spectrum, ES planning begins during the threat evaluation phase of the IPB.

    The ACE in the main CP conducts an EPB. This process identifies the electronic template of the enemy force, is part of overall situation development, and is the initial step in developing ES requirements for EA.

    Electronic warfare support assets confirm or deny the EPB. The EPB supports development of situational, event, and decision support templates during the threat integration phase of the IPB process. The EW staff officer and the ACE also use this information to identify and plan targets for EA.

    Electronic attack planning incorporates the results of IPB and EPB into the commander's concept and intent through the targeting process. The commander and G3 identify EA HPTs.


    Deception is an important combat multiplier. It enhances the conditions that allow the commander to effectively mass forces at decisive times and locations. It should be a consideration in every division operation.

    The ultimate goal of division-level deception operations is to manipulate enemy behavior and create opportunities for exploitation. Battlefield deception enables the commander to conduct operations with economy of force characteristics, mass at a decisive point, and conserve and protect the force. Well-planned and executed deceptions, not luck, achieve surprise and its benefits.

    Units cannot plan deception operations independently of tactical operations. The primary consideration in any deception is the corps' mission and deception plan. When possible, units should conduct centralized execution of deception operations.

    Units must synchronize deception operations from the top down. Failure to fully synchronize deception operations can result in wasted combat power and possible disaster.

    Higher and, when necessary, adjacent headquarters should be aware of division deception operations. Failure to coordinate these operations can damage other units' operations or deceptions.

    A deception must be plausible. The enemy must believe the division's actions reflect doctrine and that it is capable of doing what the deception indicates. The deception effort must feed the enemy information in a coordinated, redundant effort through multiple channels to ensure the enemy sees the deception.

    Deceptions should be adaptable and flexible. As the plan changes, the deception may also change. However, the division must portray the deception for as long as it is feasible and beneficial.

    Integration is vital to successful deceptions. It must extend into every facet of the plan, including the logistics, fire support, air defense, signal, engineer, and other plans.

    The target of any deception is the enemy decision maker. He has the authority to react. It does no good to design elaborate deceptions if the enemy cannot collect, analyze, or react to the information or if the deception is contrary to normal operating procedures.

    Feedback is important. The division must establish the means to verify the deception. Usually, the division's normal intelligence infrastructure can accomplish this. However, it may not always be possible. Therefore, all plans, including deception plans, must be flexible.

    Finally, the division must consider cost of a deception in terms of resource expenditure. For a deception to appear real, the division must dedicate adequate resources. The cost depends on the type of deception (demonstration, display, feint, or ruse) and its objective.

    The division must also measure costs in risk and flexibility. Flexibility is built into the plan by using branches, sequels, or executable deceptions.

    The five components of battlefield deception are the objective, target, story, plan, and event. The objective is what the division wants the enemy to do. The target is the enemy decision maker. The story is what the division portrays to the enemy. The plan is the concept of how the story is portrayed. The event is a specific action performed as part of the plan. Since deception is inherent in planning and concurrent with current operations, the division G3 has overall responsibility for deception (with support from other staff agencies).

    If the intent is to induce the enemy to do something the division can exploit, the commander and staff address deception early in the planning process. The division wastes its time and resources if it begins work on the deception operations after the division has developed, war-gamed, and decided on a COA. It becomes an afterthought, ill-planned because of lack of time, and ill-resourced because the division has already allocated its assets in the war game of the chosen COA.

    In providing his deception guidance, the division commander considers--

  • What he wants the enemy to do.
  • How the division can best make the enemy do it.
  • What forces and materiel he will dedicate to the effort.
  • How he expects the enemy to behave.
  • How the division can benefit from that behavior.
  • These guidelines require the deception to do more than just alter or reinforce enemy perceptions. It must manipulate enemy behavior and then exploit it.

    The staff uses this guidance to develop a deception plan or COA in the same manner it develops and analyzes other COAs. The G2 provides normal input, identifying enemy weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and collection assets that can detect the deception.

    Done properly, a deception is part of a COA. Like any COA, deception development involves the entire staff with developed and implemented OPSEC measures.


    The enemy may employ fire support to create opportunities for maneuver forces to exploit. The division should establish conditions for decisive combat maneuver through destruction of the enemy's fire support system. Effective and efficient counterfire requires integration of intelligence, tire support, and maneuver.

    Counterfire consists of fires targeted throughout the battlefield that attack the enemy's entire fire support system. Counterfire--

  • Assists the division in achieving and maintaining agility and initiative.
  • Gains freedom of action and protects the force.
  • Deprives the enemy of freedom of action.
  • Components of Counterfire

    Counterfire maybe proactive or reactive. Proactive counterfire is the detection and attack of enemy firing and nonfiring systems before they engage friendly forces. Units must link proactive counterfire with the targeting effort. As the name implies, reactive counterfire is a response to the enemy's engagement of the division.

    Proactive counterfire requires the intelligence system to identify, locate, and accurately target elements of the enemy fire support system. The corps normally conducts the proactive portion of counterfire. Still, the division may conduct proactive counterfire against enemy fire support systems within range of organic and supporting intelligence and fire support systems.

    Reactive counterfire requires integration of intelligence, target acquisition, fire support, maneuver, and C2. The intelligence system must use the IPB to predict likely locations of enemy fire support systems. Using the prediction, the division positions and tasks intelligence sensors and target-acquisition assets to confirm the IPB and provide target information. Fire support assets engage enemy fire support systems on the basis of this information.

    Maneuver elements provide information from R& S. They also may engage enemy target-acquisition assets located on or near the FLOT. The C2 system provides the reporting network for counterfire and identifies priorities for force protection.

    Planning Considerations

    Division planning considerations for counterfire include--

  • The corps counterfire plan.
  • The capabilities of friendly and enemy fire support.
  • The capabilities of friendly and enemy target acquisition.
  • Command and control capabilities.
  • The division must understand its role within the corps' counterfire plan. The corps commander's concept and intent define the corps' counterfire plan.

    Corps fire support and artillery support plans further define corps and division roles. The corps delineates responsibilities, establishes priorities, and allocates resources based on the corps mission and the part counterfire plays in the mission.

    Within the division, the first counterfire consideration is the enemy's capabilities. The G2 provides this information as part of the IPB and targeting process.

    Counterfire considerations include the enemy's mission and whether the division is facing the enemy's main effort, enemy mortars and artillery, enemy EW, and fixed-and rotary-wing assets. The G2 includes ranges, echelons, and types of artillery in the estimate.

    The G2 must also consider the munitions capabilities of the enemy's fire support system. For example, weapons that fire improved conventional munitions (ICMs) are a greater threat than those capable of firing only standard high-explosive (HE) munitions.

    The G3 and DFSCOORD must consider the capabilities of friendly weapons systems. The corps' 155-millimeter and 203-millimeter howitzers can fire 30 kilometers with rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP). However, these munitions do not have the effectiveness of dual-purpose, improved, conventional munitions (DPICMs) which have a maximum range of 18 kilometers for the 155-millimeter howitzer and 23 kilometers for the 203-millimeter howitzer.

    Normally, the MLRS is the counterfire weapon of choice. It has a maximum range of 30 kilometers, but a minimum range of 10 kilometers. If positioned well forward to range deep into the enemy formation, it may not be capable of ranging counterfire targets on or near the FLOT.

    Enemy target acquisition capabilities also impact division counterfire planning. The division must plan to attack and destroy enemy artillery reconnaissance elements, counterfire radars, and command OPs through an aggressive counterreconnaissance effort. The division must also strictly employ and enforce EP to negate or limit enemy direction-finding capabilities.

    Similarly, the commander and staff must consider the division's and corps' target acquisition capabilities. These capabilities include the Q-36 Fire Finder radar, Q-37 radars, IEW systems, UAVs, forward observers, and combat observation/lasing teams (COLTs) employed with maneuver forces. The division must also consider the threats to each of these.

    The C2 organization of friendly artillery is also a consideration. The division must decide whether to centralize or decentralize artillery counterfire. Augmenting the division with a corps artillery detachment and a target-acquisition detachment provides additional flexibility.

    Centralization facilitates massing of artillery and precludes duplication of effort. It also enhances use of counterfire radars (Figure 5-11).

    However, centralization places a heavy burden on the headquarters responsible for executing artillery counterfire. If the division has a reinforcing corps FA brigade, it may direct the reinforcing FA brigade to execute artillery-delivered counterfire (but the DIVARTY commander still has the overall responsibility to execute the division's counterfire efforts. This allows the corps FA brigade to focus on counterfire while the DIVARTY headquarters focuses on artillery support to committed forces.


    The corps should delineate counterfire responsibilities between the corps and division. This allows each echelon to focus on a specific area of the battlefield and prevents duplication of effort.

    Counterfire planning begins with the targeting process during COA development and war-gaming. The targeting cell identifies HVTs and refines them into HPTs for the division. It recommends what targets to attack, how to detect and engage them, and how to determine the results (through the BDA), The targeting cell does this as part of the division's total targeting process, not as a separate action.

    Generally, the division conducts reactive counterfire against enemy mortars and artillery. The corps normally engages enemy artillery and other fire support assets. Maneuver brigades may have counterfire responsibility against mortars and artillery of committed regiments, while the division conducts counterfire against enemy division artillery.

    The commander prioritizes counterfire targets within the division's zone. Normally, enemy fire support facing the division's main attack or main defensive effort receives priority for counterfire. However, when the division employs a unit in an economy of force role, that unit may receive priority.

    Once the commander decides what to attack with counterfire, his staff can plan how to detect targets. Again, the IPB process is the first step.

    Using situation and event templates from the IPB process, the G2 and FSE focus IEW sensors and target-acquisition assets on likely enemy fire support positions. The division uses the engineer terrain team, computer software, or other methods to develop visibility diagrams which assist in the placement of acquisition radars and observers.

    Units establish call-for-fire zones (CFFZs) around likely enemy firing positions. Ground surveillance radars may provide combat information on enemy firing units occupying likely firing positions. They may also provide a degree of BDA indicating that units are displacing after counterfires have engaged a likely firing position. They may also cue other target-acquisition assets such as the aerial fire support observer (AFSO).

    Similarly, with direction finding, ES assets may locate key fire support headquarters for lethal attack or jamming. Units may also use ES assets to identify and locate artillery reconnaissance elements or command OPs as part of the division counterreconnaissance effort.

    The division employs a variety of techniques to execute counterfire. It uses the counterfire program when there is little movement of enemy fire support assets and sufficient time available to identify, locate, and target them. This technique allows the division to disrupt enemy fire support systems at critical times, such as during a counterattack or a penetration.

    Another technique is strictly reactive counterfire. It involves attacking enemy fire support assets during or immediately following enemy engagement of friendly forces. A cuing agent normally initiates this technique. The FAIO, or any other person designated by the FSCOORD, directs the counterfire radar to radiate, acquire the target, and transmit a fire mission to its reporting headquarters.

    Using counterfire radars requires several decisions. First, the division examines the threat to decide if radars will operate in a continuous or command-cued manner. If the threat of acquiring the radars is low, the commander may direct continuous cuing. If the threat is high, the division normally employs command cuing.

    Command cuing requires cuing agents to direct the radar to radiate. These agents are normally battalion or brigade FSOs, but may include fire support team (FIST) chiefs or even individual forward observers.

    The controlling headquarters assigns zones of search to individual radars. Each radar may establish four types (up to nine zones) of search, including--

  • Critical friendly zones (CFZs).
  • Call-for-fire zones (CFFZs).
  • Artillery target intelligence zones (ATIZs).
  • Censor zones.
  • Units establish CFZs around the highest priority friendly locations. Typical CFZs include maneuver assembly areas, headquarters, and other troop concentrations, The CFZ provides the most responsive priority of fires from radars.

    The CFFZs designate locations beyond the FLOT that are likely enemy artillery or mortar positions. Enemy fires from a CFFZ result in the second most responsive priority of fires from the radar.

    The ATIZs allow the commander to monitor a likely enemy firing position, but give higher priority to other locations. The division can evaluate enemy fires from within an ATIZ for attack, but do not automatically generate a fire mission as do the CFZ and CFFZ.

    Censor zones designate areas from which the commander does not want to attack targets. Units frequently use these zones to prevent overlap and duplication. Censor zones are particularly critical during cross-FLOT air assaults in which friendly artillery units at the FLOT and at the objective can be firing toward each other at an enemy caught in the middle.

    Units can digitally link counterfire radars to one of several artillery headquarters. One technique is to assign a Q-36 radar to each DS artillery battalion to provide the maneuver brigade commander a reactive counterfire capability he would not otherwise have. It allows the brigade commander to orient the radar and establish zones of search that best support his concept of operations.

    DIVARTY may direct the two Q-37 radars to link to DIVARTY headquarters concurrently to provide reactive target acquisition at division level. The division may use this technique if maneuver brigades have the counterfire responsibility against regimental artillery and mortars.

    A second technique is to have all counterfire radars report to DIVARTY headquarters to allow central C2 of radars and artillery counterfire. It also enables DIVARTY to maintain continuous coverage of the division sector by leapfrogging counterfire radars. The complexity of this technique may cause DIVARTY to lose visibility of other functions. In addition, if the division does not have sufficient GS or GS-R artillery, radars may quickly overload available artillery at the division level.

    Counterfire radars may report to a reinforcing artillery brigade if the corps assigned one to the division, This allows DIVARTY to monitor counterfire execution while focusing on its other functions.

    Even if the reinforcing artillery brigade has the counterfire mission, the DIVARTY commander maintains overall responsibility. He augments the reinforcing FA brigade with assets from the target acquisition battery to enable the FA brigade to effectively accomplish this mission.

    The division may employ--

  • Maneuver forces against enemy fire support systems, including using small maneuver elements to engage RSTA elements (such as artillery reconnaissance or command OPs).
  • Attack helicopters against artillery groupings at regiment, division, or army levels.
  • A mix of these techniques.
  • Ground maneuver forces may attack target-acquisition elements while EW assets jam key fire support nets. The division may use mortars against target acquisition assets or fire direction centers (FDCs) while artillery and attack helicopter and CAS aircraft engage artillery.

    Join the mailing list