PREPARATION FOR COMBAT
SECTION I. Assembly Areas
SECTION II. Rehearsals
SECTION III. Deception
SECTION IV. Reconnaissance and Surveillance
SECTION V. Counterreconnaissance
An AA is a position in which a force prepares or regroups for further action. Units in AAs execute maintenance, resupply, and personnel actions to maintain the combat power of the force. Task organization and reorganization of the force, the development and issuance of tactical orders and plans, coordination with other units or higher headquarters, reconnaissance, training, and rehearsals may also be conducted. Units occupying AAs employ passive and/or active OPSEC measures to deny enemy intelligence any indicators of friendly plans and intentions, force composition, or unit identity and locations consistent with the higher commander's deception plan. Designation and occupation of an AA maybe directed by a higher headquarters or by the unit commander such as during relief or withdrawal operations or during unit movements. AA planning, occupation, and departure are difficult and time consuming. Performed correctly, they can aid in structuring the unit for timely execution of combat operations. Done incorrectly, they confuse and disorganize a unit before it ever makes contact with the enemy. AAs are categorized as either administrative or tactical.
Administrative Assembly Areas
Administrative AAs are those established to the rear of the corps rear boundary (COMMZ) where the likelihood of enemy contact is remote and the commitment of the force from the AA directly into combat is not anticipated. Examples of administrative AAs include seaport debarkation and POMCUS marshaling areas and AAs occupied by units in reserve to echelons above corps. Brigades occupy administrative AAs alone or as part of a larger force.
Administrative AAs will ideally provide--
- Concealment from air and ground observation.
- Terrain masking of electromagnetic signal signature.
- Sufficient area for unit and vehicle dispersion consistent with the degree and type of rear area threat and air threat present.
- Hardstand areas for maintenance and vehicle, equipment, and supply storage.
- Buildings for maintenance, billeting, mess, and headquarters. Optimally, buildings will have light, heat, and wire communications.
- An area suitable for a utility helicopter LZ.
- Suitable entrances, exits, and internal routes. Ideally, entrances and exits can be easily secured by unit personnel.
- Good drainage and soil conditions that will support unit vehicle movement.
Administrative AAs are organized and occupied with an emphasis on unit integrity, ease of operations, C2, and efficient use of facilities. Tactical dispersion and protection from ground or air attack are lesser considerations. Units will typically be grouped tightly together and at an extremely low readiness condition.
Units that are not EAC reserve and are occupying administrative AAs are typically preparing to move forward to a tactical AA in preparation for employment in combat operations. Forces may occupy administrative AAs to await arrival of other units before moving forward.
Tactical Assembly Areas
Tactical AAs are areas occupied by forces forward of the corps rear boundary where enemy contact is likely and commitment of the unit directly from the AA into combat is possible or anticipated. They are typically outside the range of enemy medium artillery fires, generally no closer than 15 km from the line of contact. Examples of tactical AAs include locations occupied by units designated as tactical reserves, by units after completing a rearward passage of lines, temporarily by units during tactical movement, and by units during reconstitution. Brigades typically occupy tactical AAs alone, although their parent divisions may be in the same general geographic area, as when the division is in the corps rear area as the corps reserve.
Tactical AAs will ideally provide--
- Concealment from air and ground observation.
- Cover from direct fire.
- Terrain masking of electromagnetic signal signature.
- Sufficient area the dispersion of subunits and their vehicles consistent with the tactical situation, both enemy and friendly.
- Buildings for unit trains, maintenance operations, and C2 facilities (TOC/TAC CP/rear CP).
- Suitable entrances, exits, and internal routes. Optimally, at least one all-weather paved surface road will transit the AA and connect to the main supply route in use by the next higher headquarters.
- Terrain that allows the observation of ground and air avenues of approach into the AA.
- Good drainage and soil conditions that will support unit vehicle movement.
Units in tactical AAs are typically preparing to move forward to execute a forward passage of lines followed by offensive operations or have been assigned a reserve mission by their higher commander.
Brigade tactical AAs may be organized using one of two methods.
Method 1. The brigade may assign sectors to subordinate maneuver battalions and require them to tie-in their fires with adjacent battalions. In this method the brigade C2 facilities, brigade HHC, and most CS assets are located near the center of the AA. This technique essentially configures the brigade in a perimeter defense, with maneuver battalions deployed along the entire perimeter and oriented outwards (see Figure 2-1).
Method 2. The brigade may assign separate individual AAs to subordinate elements. In this method, subordinate units maintain their own 360-degree security. Areas between subunits should be secured through visual and electronic surveillance or patrols. Brigade C2 facilities, the HHC, and the bulk of CS assets occupy positions central to the outlying maneuver battalions. SHORAD units may need to collocate with outlying maneuver units or establish separate firing positions around the brigade in order to provide adequate air defense. This is the most typical organization for the brigade tactical AA (see Figure 2-2).
Locating the Brigade Support Area/Forward Support Battalion
When the brigade is in corps rear or division rear and is not designated as a reserve, field trains of the brigade's subordinate battalions are collocated with their parent unit; the BSA is not established. In that case, the FSB will move and establish a separate AA like other battalions of the brigade. When the brigade moves forward of division rear or is in division rear as a tactical reserve, the BSA is formed by inclusion of the battalion field trains with the FSB. In either case, the FSB/BSA will be positioned to the rear of the supported battalions. This positioning prevents the extensive traffic in and out of the FSB/BSA from interfering with battalion AA activities. It also allows the battalions to move forward and deploy without having to maneuver through or around the BSA/FSB. The location of the FSB/BSA in relation to supported battalions depends on the rear area threat, mission of the brigade, proximity to division/corps MSR, and the ability of the BSA/FSB to support the battalions given the distance between them. Other information concerning the positioning of the BSA/FSB is in Chapter 8, Combat Service Support.
Battalion tactical AAs may be organized using one of three methods.
Method 1. The battalion may occupy a portion of the perimeter of a brigade AA. In that case, it will array company teams generally on a line oriented on avenues of approach into the AA. Leftmost and rightmost units tie in their fires and areas of observation with adjacent units of other battalions. Depending on tactical situation and width of the area assigned to the battalion, the battalion may maintain a reserve. Battalion trains are located to the rear of the companies. The battalion heavy mortar platoon and the battalion CP are located centrally within the AA where they can communicate land support units by fire. The battalion scout platoon, possibly with mechanized infantry augmentation, screens along the most likely or dangerous avenue of approach. The scout platoon may also conduct periodic patrols to man contact points with other units or effect direct coordination (see Figure 2-3).
Method 2. The battalion may assign sectors to subordinate companies and require them to tie in their fires and observation with other companies. The battalion CP, trains, and heavy mortar platoon are located near the center of the AA. Ideally, company sectors are assigned to place the best task organization possible astride the appropriate enemy avenue of approach: mechanized infantry units on dismounted avenues, armor units on mounted avenues, and so on. The battalion scout platoon may occupy OPs at key points around the entire perimeter of the battalion or screen along the most dangerous or likely avenue of approach. This method essentially configures the battalion in a perimeter defense with companies oriented outward. This is the most typical organization of battalion AAs (see Figure 2-4).
Method 3. The battalion may assign separate individual AAs to subordinate companies, which establish their own 360-degree security. Areas between companies are secured through surveillance and patrolling. The battalion CP, trains, and heavy mortar platoon establish positions central to outlying companies. If the battalion is dispersed over a large area, SHORAD assets, if available, may need to collocate with companies for adequate air defense (see Figure 2-5).
Locating Battalion Trains
While the battalion's parent brigade is located in the corps or division rear area and not designated as a tactical reserve, the brigade does not form a BSA. In this case the battalion establishes unit trains, which are positioned centrally within the battalion AA. In all other cases, the battalion will usually establish echeloned trains by locating the field trains with the FSB in the BSA and positioning the combat trains centrally within the AA. Other information concerning the positioning of battalion trains is in Chapter 8, Combat Service Support.
Company tactical AAs maybe organized using one of two methods.
The company may occupy a portion of a battalion AA perimeter. In this case, the company arrays platoons generally on a line oriented on avenues of approach into the AA. Leftmost and rightmost units tie in fires and AOs with adjacent units of other companies. Company trains are to the rear of the company. OPs/LPs are oriented on the most likely or dangerous avenue of approach (see Figure 2-6).
The company may assign sectors of fire and observation to platoons and require them to overlap the sectors. Company trains are located near the center of the AA. Ideally, platoon sectors are assigned to place the best type of unit possible astride the appropriate enemy avenue of approach: mechanized infantry units on dismounted avenues, armor units on mounted avenues, and so on. The platoons may establish OPs at key points adjacent to their sectors. This method essentially configures the company in a perimeter defense with platoons oriented outward (see Figure 2-7).
A quartering party is a group of unit representatives dispatched to a probable new site of operations in advance of the main body to secure, reconnoiter, and organize an area prior to the main body's arrival and occupation. Unit SOPs establish the exact composition of the quartering party and its transportation, security, communications equipment, and specific duties. Quartering parties typically reconnoiter and confirm the tentative locations for their parent elements selected from map reconnaissance. Quartering parties also usually act as a liaison between their parent headquarters and the quartering party of their higher headquarters to change unit locations within the AA based on the results of their reconnaissance.
Brigade Quartering Party
In organizing for the movement to and occupation of a tactical AA, the brigade will not employ a quartering party which includes subunit representatives. The brigade HHC and TOC will organize and dispatch a single quartering party to confirm the tentative locations for the HHC support elements and the new brigade TOC location. When preparing to occupy an administrative AA, the brigade S4 should accompany the quartering party. If the brigade will move to the AA at a later time, the brigade HHC/TOC quartering party will return to the brigade's current location after completion of a reconnaissance of the area. In this case, the quartering party may not act in a liaison capacity, and subunit requests for changes to the AA plan will be resolved after returning to the brigade's present position.
The S2 will routinely receive intelligence information from the brigade's higher headquarters throughout the brigade's deployment and operations. From this information the S2 will determine the characteristics and likelihood of the air and ground threat to the quartering party during its movement to and occupation of the AA. This information will assist the other members of the brigade staff and the quartering party OIC in determining the most appropriate mode of transportation for the quartering party, the degree and type of security required by the quartering party, and the desirability of maintaining the quartering party in the AA during the movement of the rest of the brigade. If the next higher headquarters has not provided the required information, the S2 will take positive action to obtain this information. This action may include requests to higher and adjacent units, liaison with units currently responsible for the brigade's new AA, or, in coordination with the S3, the tasking of subordinate units to perform reconnaissance missions. All pertinent information is provided to brigade staff sections, battalion S2s, and the brigade commander. Information obtained by the brigade through the reconnaissance and surveillance efforts of subordinate units is forwarded to the brigade's higher headquarters.
The quartering party will typically move to the new brigade AA by infiltration. The brigade quartering party may move with another subunit quartering party for security depending on the likelihood of enemy contact. In this case, it may be necessary to move as a march unit of a road march if the number of vehicles exceeds local SOP restrictions on vehicular infiltration. Ideally, the quartering party will move over the routes to be used by the brigade to execute a route reconnaissance and a time-distance check. While this will obtain useful information for the brigade, it will slow the movement of the quartering party to the speed of the brigade main body march units.
Composition of the quartering party is usually established by the brigade SOP. It will normally include an OIC and representatives from the brigade HHC and the brigade TOC. The OIC must be senior enough that he can settle disputes between the brigade tentative plan and the subunit quartering party OICs and NCOICs. The brigade HHC commander or assistant S3 will typically be designated as the OIC. The HHC and main CP representatives must be competent officers or senior NCOs who can make realistic decisions concerning the positioning of their respective elements. HHC representatives typically include NCOs from key support sections such as communications, supply, maintenance, and NBC at the commander's discretion. The main CP representative may be the brigade sergeant major or an assistant staff officer. The brigade signal officer or a representative from the divisional forward signal platoon from the main CP will typically be included as a main CP representative. This representative will identify a location for the new CP site which provides FM line-of-sight communication requirements. If the brigade will remain in the new AA for approximately 12 to 24 hours or longer, the main CP communications representative may also select a position suitable for a PCM shot. The quartering party must have FM communication with the brigade main CP/TOC or TAC CP and ground mobility once in the AA. Therefore, the quartering party is normally provided a tactical wheeled vehicle with FM radio. The HHC and TOC representatives must be competent officers or senior NCOs who can make realistic decisions concerning the positioning of each of their respective elements. In close terrain or in limited visibility, the quartering party may require additional personnel to act as guides for HHC elements and the TOC. The HHC and TOC representatives should obtain marking materials or means to construct field expedient markers for vehicle and unit positioning. If the quartering party is going to remain at the new AA and wait for the remainder of the brigade to close, a forward CP will normally be included in the quartering party. This CP may be either the TAC CP (less the commander) or an element from the main CP/TOC displacing to act as a jump TOC. In any case, this forward CP element must be capable of providing C2 of the brigade during the movement of the brigade main CP/TOC.
The quartering party may include a representative from the FSB or brigade S4 who will reconnoiter and quarter the tentative FSB/BSA location. More often, the FSB will organize, dispatch, and support its own separate quartering party. Additional details concerning movement of the BSA/FSB are found in Chapter 8, Combat Service Support.
The brigade will not normally plan or employ indirect fires in administrative AAs except in self-defense against observed targets. This restriction may be modified by standing rules of engagement, by the presence of exceptionally high degrees of rear area threat, or because of temporary changes in the tactical situation. Brigade FS in administrative AAs would be provided on an as-needed basis through rear area defense planning, CAS, or host nation support.
The brigade will not normally plan for indirect fires in support of the quartering party. Rather, the brigade FSO/FSE will coordinate with units through whose areas the brigade will move or in whose area the new AA lies to obtain their existing artillery target lists. The FSO/FSE compares this list to the current enemy situation to determine if additional targets are required to support the quartering party. If needed, these additional targets will be coordinated for inclusion in the target list of the appropriate units. The brigade FSO/FSE will also coordinate to allow the quartering party to initiate calls for fire through the units already in place. If calls will be processed via DMD, the brigade FSE/FSO will ensure that a qualified FIST element accompanies the quartering party. If calls for fire will be processed through FM voice, the FSO/FSE must ensure that the brigade signal officer will obtain the required SOI data and VINSON fills.
The coordination of FS for the brigade during movement to and occupation of the AA is vital. The brigade may not move to or occupy AAs with its own supporting artillery since that artillery is probably firing in support of units in contact with the enemy. Typically, the only FA support available is that coordinated from other units or GS artillery from the brigade's higher headquarters.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
Engineer support for the brigade in the administrative AA is provided on an area support basis by US military engineer units in the COMMZ or through host nation support. Engineer units assigned in support of the brigade will not normally be used for engineer missions. During transit of the COMMZ, mobility support will continue to be provided by COMMZ engineer units or through host nation support.
MCS engineer support for the quartering party is not normally required since the brigade will generally be moving through a known and secure area, with area support engineer units available as needed. Moreover, scarce engineer assets allocated to the brigade are probably better employed in support of other units in the brigade.
If the quartering party is to perform a route reconnaissance over a mute about which no current information exists or is subject to enemy interdiction, engineer personnel may accompany the quartering party to perform evaluation of roads and bridges.
Air defense units will not normally accompany the quartering party. Air defense protection for the quartering party is provided by HIMAD/SHORAD units already in place. If an element of the main CP travels with the quartering party, a SHORAD asset in support of the brigade may move with the CP element in accordance with the commander's priorities of protection.
Combat Service Support
During his planning the OIC must determine the support required for the quartering party. His estimation of necessary supplies and equipment must cover the entire quartering party, including accompanying staff section representatives, CS assets, and CSS assets, as required. Movements during limited visibility may require the OIC to obtain additional night-vision devices or chemical light sticks. If the quartering party will travel over extended distances or if CSS support is difficult to obtain through nearby units, the quartering party may be accompanied by other CSS assets such as fuel, maintenance, or medical support. If support will be obtained on an area support basis, the brigade S4 must ensure that the brigade signal officer coordinates for the SOI information and for the requesting procedures necessary to receive the support required.
Command and Control
The quartering party OIC commands the quartering party. He exercises C2 through personal contact, adherence to known unit SOPs, timely and thorough troop-leading procedures, and FM voice communications when applicable. He reports directly to the TAC CP or main CP (TOC), whichever is providing C2 for the rest of the brigade. If the TSOP or seniority does not clearly establish a 21C for the quartering party, he will appoint one. Over extended distances, FM retransmission or early displacement of the TAC CP or an element of the main CP (TOC) along the brigade's routes may be required to maintain contact with the quartering party and the remainder of the brigade. The brigade signal officer will coordinate with units the quartering party will pass through and those in and around the new AA to obtain SOI information and VINSON secure device fills. This signal information must include CS and CSS units and their headquarters. The quartering party may be required to move under radio listening silence or other emission-restrictive posture, especially en route to tactical AAs.
The brigade S2 will continue to gather, process, and disseminate intelligence information. For tactical AAs where a quartering party will be used, the brigade S2 will ensure the quartering party OIC is aware of the current enemy situation, probable enemy course of action, weather forecast, and the terrain and vegetation likely in the new AA. This intelligence information must specifically address areas the quartering party will travel through and the AA itself.
The quartering party will assemble at a time and place directed by the OIC or by TSOP. The OIC will coordinate with the S3 to determine the mission of the quartering party, whether or not the quartering party is to remain in the AA and await the remainder of the brigade, and the route to be used by the quartering party. The OIC will post graphics on his map concerning the brigade's route, location and identity of friendly units, and the brigade's tentative occupation plan for the AA. He will also determine if there are restrictions on the movement of the quartering party, such as restricted routes, contaminated areas, specific timings to comply with, or a requirement to move under cover of darkness. The OIC will ensure that subordinate unit quartering parties know where and when the brigade quartering party will be located in the AA. If the brigade quartering party is to move with a subordinate unit quartering party for security, the brigade quartering party OIC will coordinate with that unit's quartering party.
The OIC will backbrief the XO and S3 concerning his movement and occupation plans, composition of the quartering party, and timings for departure and arrival at the new AA. He will highlight any contingency plans he has developed for the quartering party.
The brigade will not usually direct the rehearsal of the quartering party. However, the quartering party may rehearse its own actions. Possible actions to rehearse include actions at defiles; reactions to air attack, ground attack, or ambush: and actions of guides.
The brigade FSO/FSE will prepare a target list and/or overlay of the artillery targets available to support the quartering party for all tactical AAs. The FSO/FSE will also ensure that the quartering party has some means to initiate calls for fire, via either DMD or FM voice, and that FS personnel appropriate to the tactical situation accompany the quartering party.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
The brigade engineer will coordinate with the quartering party OIC to determine if sending engineer personnel with the quartering party for the reconnaissance and evaluation of routes, bridges, and cross-country mobility is recommended. The brigade engineer will also determine the procedure for the quartering party to request rear area engineer support and brief the OIC on these procedures. The brigade engineer will also ensure that the brigade signal officer's signal coordination includes SOI information for area support engineer units and headquarters.
Air defense units may move with the quartering party en route to and in the new tactical AA. If air defense assets will move with the quartering party, the air defense unit leader will ensure that he knows both the current and projected future weapons control status and air defense warning. He must ensure that Stinger systems have the correct IFF code for that 24-hour period. Particular attention must be given to the potentially different WCS and ADW of the various units the quartering party will move through en route to the AA. The air defense unit moving with the quartering party must conform to the ADW and WCS of these units.
Combat Service Support
Having determined the support requirements of the quartering party during the planning phase, the OIC will take all actions necessary to obtain the support he needs to accomplish his missions. Most quartering party personnel will come with a supporting vehicle. If too many members arrive without transportation, the OIC will need to coordinate with the brigade HHC commander for additional vehicles. The OIC will ensure that all vehicles are prepared for movement including full fuel tanks, maps, radios if so equipped, ammunition, and water. The OIC and any accompanying medical personnel will ensure that they understand the air and ground medical evacuation procedures as well as the locations of the nearest medical facilities along the route of march. A vehicle tow bar should be carried by one or more quartering party vehicles. Radio checks with all appropriate unit and headquarters' NCSs will be performed.
If CSS will be obtained through other CSS units on an area support basis, the OIC will coordinate his estimated fuel and resupply requirements with the brigade S4. This coordination will include where and when the support is required. Usually, needed fuel and supplies will be pre-positioned along the quartering party's route and these points manned by supporting CSS personnel. Ideally. these points will also become the refuel/resupply points for both the quartering party and the main body.
Command and Control
After the OIC has completed his planning, he will assemble the quartering party at a time and place of his choosing to orally brief the quartering party elements. This briefing should follow the standard five-paragraph field order format. Emphasis should be placed on actions at halts and critical areas, actions of the quartering party in the AA, contingency plans, and methods to request and receive CS and CSS. Medical evacuation procedures, actions on contact, and actions to take if separated from the quartering party will be covered in detail.
The OIC may require backbriefs from quartering party element leaders and may execute rehearsals of key actions. Rehearsals will almost always be conducted when the quartering party will operate under limited-visibility conditions. Rehearsals are vitally important when the rear area threat level is high and accompanying CS assets have no habitual association or functioning SOP.
The OIC may conduct a brief, informal PCI of the quartering party. This inspection allows the OIC to personally determine the readiness of the quartering party to execute its mission. The PCI also provides the OIC an opportunity to make connections of any noted deficiencies and to exercise personal leadership. PCI checks should emphasize vehicle and radio PMCS, weapons and ammunition, MOPP and chemical detection equipment, soldiers' personal equipment, contingency plans, and signals information. If allowed by the tactical situation, test firing of weapons and radio checks may be made.
The quartering party will send spot reports to the brigade S2 and receive intelligence summary updates from him. The quartering party will also contact adjacent units throughout its movement and occupation to determine the local current enemy situation. Information obtained by the quartering party in this manner will be passed to the brigade S2.
The quartering party will move by infiltration to the AA, generally along one route. If the quartering party is moving along the same route to be used by the brigade main body, the quartering party will execute a route reconnaissance during movement. If the results of this reconnaissance reveal that the route is impassable to elements of the brigade, the quartering party will report this immediately, then seek a bypass. Once a bypass is located, the new route through the bypass and then back to the original route, as well as the marking method for the bypass, will also be reported to the brigade. If required, the quartering party will execute a simultaneous time-distance check.
After arrival at the AA, the quartering party will clear the route, move to the general location selected for it during the map reconnaissance, and seek covered and concealed positions. The HHC and main CP representatives will move to their units' tentative locations and determine suitability of those areas, coordinating any proposed changes with the quartering party OIC. Reconnaissance of proposed locations by the OICs or other quartering party subunits may reveal that the area is unsuitable for brigade occupation. In that case, the brigade quartering party OIC will attempt to make adjustments to unit locations within the area assigned to the brigade by higher headquarter. If such adjustments will not correct the problem, the OIC will immediately notify the S3 or commander. Pending the commander's decision regarding occupation of the present AA or coordination for a new one, the quartering party's actions continue. If the TAC CP or an element of the main CP has accompanied the quartering party, it will move to the location reconnoitered by its representative and establish forward C2 for the brigade. If air defense assets have accompanied the quartering party, they will move to advantageous firing positions oriented on air avenues of approach. The HHC representative and the main CP representative will begin organizing their respective areas, selecting and marking positions for vehicles and support facilities. If designated, guides will move on order to a preselected checkpoint or RP to await main body march unit elements.
The OIC will ensure that the subordinate unit quartering parties know of the brigade quartering party's arrival and location. If the quartering party will not remain in the AA, it will not depart the AA until all subordinate unit quartering parties have contacted the brigade quartering party concerning the results of their reconnaissance and have identified requested changes to their units' tentative locations. Upon departure, the quartering party has the opportunity to conduct a reconnaissance and time-distance analysis of another brigade route during movement to rejoin the rest of the brigade.
The quartering party will not usually engage targets with indirect fire. Quartering party calls for fire in tactical AAs or while moving forward of the corps rear boundary are sent to the nearest headquarters which controls FA fires and with which prior coordination for processing quartering party calls for fire has been made. Calls for fire cannot usually be processed by artillery units with the brigade main body because these units are either moving or preparing to move. In the corps and division rear, the procedure for requesting supporting fires may dictate contacting the appropriate RAOC.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
The quartering party will seldom require countermobility or survivability support. In some cases, mobility support may be required to repair or replace damaged bridging or roadways where no feasible bypass is available. The quartering party will not usually include assets capable of performing MCS missions. All requests for engineer support will be forwarded to the appropriate area support engineer unit headquarters with which prior coordination has been made. In some cases, engineer units supporting the brigade may accompany the quartering party to execute mobility operations at known obstacle locations when no bypass is known to exist. However, this will only occur when area support engineer assets are unavailable or unsuitable for the task.
If engineer support is requested and approved, the quartering party OIC will establish a contact point on the ground to meet the engineer unit leader. If the tactical situation permits, the OIC or 2IC will coordinate required support with the engineer unit and escort the unit to the work site. The OIC must ensure work accomplished by the engineers is capable of supporting any vehicle in the brigade and will not deteriorate with the passing of the number of vehicles in the brigade. The OIC will report to the brigade the initiation and completion of all engineer work, as well as the method used to mark the site, if any.
If air defense assets accompany the quartering party, they will typically consist of two or more Stinger systems. These systems may be employed in one of two ways based on the recommendation of the air defense element leader.
The first method is to have the Stingers move simultaneously with the quartering party on the same route. This method is usually used when likelihood of air attack is low or the quartering party will move at a high rate of speed. It is the least secure method.
The second technique is to have the Stingers move parallel to the quartering party's route, establishing temporary stationary firing positions to the flank of the quartering party. This technique establishes the greatest security; however, it is difficult to command and control and is quite slow. The OIC must ensure that air defense personnel know the current WCS and other applicable airspace control measures for the route of march.
Combat Service Support
CSS assets may accompany the quartering party. Resupply and maintenance operations for the quartering party using attached CSS assets are generally conducted at scheduled halts or in the new AA. The service station technique is most commonly used for resupply during temporary halts and the tailgate technique after occupation of the AA.
Resupply and maintenance support may be obtained from other CSS units operating on an area support basis after coordination by the brigade S4. If this technique is used, the OIC will obtain CSS status reports for all quartering party elements and consolidate them into one total. He will then contact the appropriate unit and detail quartering party requirements and the location and time that support is needed. Again, the OIC must anticipate the quartering party's requirements and allow enough lead time for the supporting unit to respond.
The OIC may decide to delay resupply until the arrival of the main body. In this case, he will take no action, and individual quartering party elements will coordinate their own resupply through their regular supply channels after the closure of the main body.
Maintenance recovery of quartering party vehicles will be through recovery by like vehicles using tow bars. In some cases, the quartering party may include dedicated wrecker/recovery assets. Unrecoverable vehicles will be left in place and reported to the brigade for later action by the main body trail party. The OIC will ensure that any abandoned vehicles are either secured by their crewmen or have all weapons, radios, and sensitive items removed.
Medical evacuation will be accomplished by the most expedient method using either ground or air evacuation. The decision to allow attached medical evacuation vehicles to evacuate quartering party personnel will likely prevent that vehicle from rejoining the quartering party until after the quartering party's closure in the AA.
Command and Control
The OIC exercises C2 during movement and in the AA through personal contact FM voice communications, hand-and-arm signals, and supervision of adherence to his orders and established TSOPs. He will position himself near the front of the infiltration column where he can best control the unit and maintain communications with all elements and the brigade. If another vehicle with a radio is in the quartering party, it should be placed at the tail of the infiltration column to inform the OIC of vehicles that are forced to leave the route of march.
During movement, the OIC will enter and leave the appropriate nets of supporting CS and CSS units whose SOI and VINSON secure information were provided by the brigade signal officer. He will maintain continuous communications with the brigade. If required to escort and establish a brigade FM RETRANS element the OIC will halt the quartering party at the proposed RETRANS site. The RETRANS element will begin emplacing its equipment. After the quartering party has ensured that it can maintain communication with the brigade main body, it will resume movement.
As with any road movement, the OIC will periodically call temporary halts to perform during-operation PMCS or to rest or exchange drivers. The OIC will base his decision on duration and distance of march, driver fatigue, visibility conditions, and rear area threat.
Battalion Quartering Party
In organizing for movement to and occupation of a tactical AA, the battalion will habitually employ a quartering party composed of battalion CP, battalion trains, and subordinate unit representatives. The quartering party marks vehicle and unit locations and then sends guides to the RP to await the arrival of the main body to lead their units to their respective locations. If the battalion will move at a significantly later time than the quartering party is dispatched to the new area, the quartering party may simply reconnoiter the new AA and mark vehicle and unit locations before returning to the battalion's current position. In this case, the quartering party would return to the AA again ahead of the main body to secure the area and provide guides for the battalion's occupation.
The battalion S2's actions in support of quartering party planning for the battalion are almost identical to those executed by the brigade S2. See Section I, of this chapter.
The maneuver planning considerations for the quartering party at battalion level are the same as those at brigade level. See Section I, of this chapter. Composition of the quartering party will normally include an OIC/NCOIC, representatives from the battalion CP, battalion trains, and the battalion's subunits. Guides are routinely included for all quartering party elements.
The OIC/NCOIC must be an experienced junior officer or senior NCO. He must be able to accurately evaluate the adequacy of the AA, coordinate with the brigade quartering party, and make sound decisions about recommended changes to the battalion tentative plan initiated by the subunit quartering parties. The S3-Air, HHC XO, S1, or CSM are potential quartering party leaders.
Composition of maneuver company quartering parties is usually determined by the company commander but may be specified by the battalion. At the discretion of the HHC commander, HHC representatives typically include NCOs from key support sections, such as communications, maintenance, or supply. An NCO from the mortar platoon is also included in the HHC quartering party. The battalion scout platoon will be represented in the quartering party if the platoon has not already been to the AA as the battalion reconnaissance party. A detailed discussion of the battalion reconnaissance party is in Appendix A, Movement.
The battalion TOC quartering party element will usually include a staff NCO or junior officer and a signal representative, normally the CESO. Together they will determine the new TOC location based on tactical requirements, such as cover and concealment and the line-of-sight signal requirements of FM radio. The number of personnel and vehicles in the quartering party usually justifies inclusion of maintenance and medical personnel and equipment from battalion HHC. A forward battalion CP element, such as the S2's or S3's M577, may move with the quartering party to establish C2 of the battalion when the remainder of the battalion CP displaces. If a forward CP element moves with the battalion quartering party, it acts as the TOC quartering party.
The battalion trains representative will usually be the S4 or S4 NCO. However, the BMO, HHC commander, or HHC XO may also act as the trains representative. The tins representative may also act as the quartering party OIC/NCOIC. When the battalion employs echeloned trains, a combat trains representative will accompany the quartering party and another quartering party will be formed for the field trains. This field trains quartering party will coordinate its activities with the FSB commander. The composition, deployment, and actions of the field trains quartering party will typically be established by unit SOP, which is in turn coordinated with the FSB commander. Additional information concerning the battalion trains is in Chapter 8, Combat Service Support.
The battalion will not normally plan for FS for the quartering party. If the battalion moves and occupies its AA as part of a brigade, the brigade will make all coordination for FS and provide the battalion FSO copies of appropriate target lists and FS overlays. If the battalion moves and occupies the AA without FS planning by its higher headquarters, it will make its own coordination for FS. Such coordination is similar to the coordination which would be made by the brigade. However, without a brigade movement which includes DS artillery, the battalion and the battalion quartering party will probably move without field artillery personnel who are actually assigned to the DS artillery unit. Therefore, the only FS for the battalion quartering party would be its organic mortars and that which is coordinated through other units in the area. Under these circumstances, all calls for fire would be initiated via FM voice. See the discussion of brigade coordination for FS during movement and in the AA in Section I, of this chapter.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
Planning MCS support for the battalion quartering party is identical to planning engineer support for the brigade quartering party. See Section I, of this chapter.
Air defense. Air defense units, even when assigned to the battalion, will not normally accompany the quartering party. Air defense protection for the quartering party is provided through incidental coverage by HIMAD/SHORAD units already in place in the quartering party's area.
Combat Service Support
CSS planning for the battalion quartering party is identical to that of the brigade quartering party. See Section I, of this chapter.
Command and Control
The OIC/NCOIC commands the quartering party. He reports directly to the TOC or forward CP element, whichever is providing C2 for the battalion at that time. If TSOP or seniority does not clearly establish a 2IC, he will appoint one. Ideally, the 2IC will come from the TOC or HHC element, not a company quartering party. Over extended distances FM RETRANS or early displacement of a TOC element along the battalion route may be required to maintain contact with both the quartering party and the remainder of the battalion during movement. The battalion signal officer will obtain necessary SOI information and VINSON fills to support the quartering party's movement. The quartering party may move under radio listening silence or other emission restrictive posture, especially during movement to tactical AAs.
All preparation actions in the battalion quartering party and the actions of the battalion quartering party OIC are identical with the preparation of the brigade quartering party. See Section I of this chapter.
All execution actions of the battalion quartering party and quartering party OIC are identical to those of the brigade quartering party except maneuver. See Section I, of this chapter. The following paragraph discusses maneuver.
If the quartering party moves along a route to be used by the main body, and the main body has not yet sent a reconnaissance party forward, the quartering party conducts a route reconnaissance during its movement. In some circumstances, the reconnaissance party may move with the quartering party. In this case, the quartering party does not conduct a route reconnaissance. The quartering party may also execute a time-distance check of the battalion's route. Driving the march speed of the battalion's main body march units, the OIC/NCOIC will note the times and actual ground odometer distances between the CPs along the route. After moving through the RP, the OIC/NCOIC will report these times and distances to the TOC in a preestablished format. If movement of the battalion coincides with movement of the brigade, the quartering party OIC/NCOIC establishes contact with the brigade quartering party OIC.
Company Quartering Party
In organizing for movement to and occupation of a tactical AA, the company will habitually employ a quartering party composed of an OIC/NCOIC and platoon representatives. The quartering party marks vehicle locations and then sends guides to the RP to await the arrival of the main body to lead their vehicles to their respective locations. If there is sufficient time, the quartering party may simply reconnoiter the new AA and mark vehicle and unit locations before returning to the company's current position. In this case, the quartering party would return to the AA ahead of the company to secure the area and provide guides for the company's occupation.
Considerations for the company quartering party are similar to those for the battalion quartering party, except as noted below.
The company commander will conduct a map reconnaissance of the company's tentative AA to determine the characteristics of the area with respect to OCOKA. He will also receive information from the battalion S2 concerning the potential air and ground threat to the quartering party during its movement to and occupation of the AA. This assessment will assist the company commander in determining the required degree and type of security and the best method of transportation for the quartering party. The company commander will also obtain information about the route assigned to the company for its movement to the AA from the S2 and map reconnaissance. The company commander makes the S2 aware of any information he needs to begin tactical planning for his company.
The quartering party will typically move to the AA by infiltration with the rest of the battalion's quartering party. Using the same mute that the main body will later use allows the quartering party to conduct a route reconnaissance and to make a time-distance check for the company's road march. Composition of the quartering party will normally include an OIC/NCOIC and platoon representatives. Guides are routinely included for all quartering party elements. The XO, 1SG, or a senior platoon leader is usually selected as the quartering party leader.
Composition of platoon quartering parties is usually determined by company TSOP. Each platoon usually sends one combat vehicle with a crew that includes an experienced NCO who can evaluate the platoon area and coordinate any changes with the company quartering party OIC/NCOIC. A combat trains representative may sometimes be included.
Depending on the time and distance to be traveled, the quartering party may need to stop for maintenance checks, rest, and fuel. The OIC/NCOIC must determine the quartering party's requirements for these and plan for temporary halts. Selected halt points should provide cover and concealment; shade; dry, firm ground conditions: and easy access to and from the mute. Ideally, they should also be easy to identify from the route of march.
The battalion FSO will provide copies of appropriate target lists and FS overlays to the company FIST. If the company is moving without accompanying FS personnel, the company commander will coordinate these targets through the battalion S3.
Combat Service Support
During his planning, the OIC/NCOIC will determine the support requirements for the quartering party. His estimation of supply requirements must take into account distance to travel, length of time spent away from the main body, number of personnel and vehicles, and materials to mark vehicle positions. He will report these estimates to the battalion quartering party OIC. If the quartering party will move alone and will need to refuel during movement, he determines where the fuel stop will take place. Under limited visibility, he may consider flashlights, night vision devices, or chemical light sticks in addition to other needs. If the quartering party will travel alone over extended distances or if area CSS support is difficult to obtain, he must anticipate the need for fuel, maintenance, and medical support. If included, these additional vehicles will require fuel and maintenance support. If support for the quartering party will be obtained on an as-needed basis through area support, the OIC/NCOIC must ensure that he has the required signal information and VINSON coding for communication with supporting units.
Command and Control
The OIC/NCOIC commands the quartering party. Quartering party subelement leaders report to him. He exercises C2 through personal contact, adherence to known TSOPs, timely and thorough troop-leading procedures, and FM voice radio. He reports directly to the company commander. If the TSOP or seniority does not clearly establish a 2IC, he will appoint one. The quartering party may move under radio listening silence or other emission restrictive posture, especially during movement to tactical AAs.
For movement to tactical AAs, the company commander will ensure that the quartering party OIC/NCOIC is aware of the most current enemy situation, probable enemy courses of action which may affect the AA or route, and the expected weather and light conditions during the quartering party's movement. This information will cover the route to be traveled by the quartering party and the AA itself.
The company quartering party OIC/NCOIC will be given all applicable target lists and FS overlays for the movement to and occupation of the AA by the battalion quartering party OIC. Elements of the company FIST will not usually accompany the unit's quartering party. If moving alone without FS personnel, the company commander will ensure that the quartering party has appropriate FS target lists/overlays, signal information, and VINSON fills to initiate tails for fire.
After arrival at the AA, the quartering party will clear the route and move to a covered and concealed position within the tentative AA. Platoon representatives move to their respective tentative areas identified during the map reconnaissance, execute their reconnaissance, determine locations for their vehicles, and coordinate final positions and changes with the company quartering party OIC/NCOIC. After positions are finalized and the main body march units are near the RP, unit guides move to the RP and await the arrival of their units.
Command and Control
During movement with the battalion quartering party, the company quartering party is attached to the battalion quartering party.
Units occupy AAs through the occupation actions of their subordinate units and the positioning of headquarters, CSS, and C2 assets. Units position themselves in AAs in accordance with their parent unit's tentative plan and whatever changes may have been coordinated to it. Units are typically guided into position by their quartering parties. Occupation procedures must be accomplished smoothly from the line of march without halting or bunching of units at the RP.
Units will usually establish mutes and separate SPs/RPs for march elements that proceed from the march column's route or RP toward the march units' AA positions. This technique clears the mute quickly, maintains march unit C2, and prevents bunching of units at the march column RP. March units may follow a similar procedure (see Figure 2-8).
The brigade S2 assists in the planning of the AA occupation by identifying enemy avenues of air and ground approach into the new AA and the degree and type of rear area threat to the brigade in its new location. He will also identify places in the AA where mobility may be poor due to drainage, vegetation, or slope. He will identify places in the AA where concealment is very good and also where it is poor. This information assists the commander/S3 in deciding what tentative locations to assign to brigade subunits based on those units' self-defense capability, size, mobility, and future missions. The S2 will also identify the security requirements for the brigade and begin planning the locations for emplacing GSRs and other sensor systems, if available. In coordination with the S3, he will make preliminary plans for reconnaissance and surveillance tasks to be assigned to subunits in the brigade.
The commander/S3 begins planning for AA occupation by choosing a method for occupation (whole brigade AA or separate subunit AAs) and tentative subunit locations based on METT-T. Special attention must be paid to the present locations and condition of units, which may influence their order of march to the AA, and to the anticipated future missions of units, which will influence their placement within the new AA. The ability of the brigade to move from the new AA and execute its assigned or anticipated future mission is the overriding consideration in planning. The S3 coordinates with the S2 to obtain the S2's recommendations concerning the brigade's reconnaissance and surveillance taskings. The FSB commander and/or the brigade S4 will recommend the location of the FSB/BSA to the commander/S3. The commander/S3 must consider the advice of the commanders/staff of subunits in selecting AA tentative locations. To be able to operate in the AA and later, certain subunits may have to meet specific positioning requirements, such as being close to water for decontamination or mess units or on hardstand for DS maintenance.
The commander must decide whether or not he wishes to conduct a personal reconnaissance of the AA prior to the brigade's occupation. A personal reconnaissance is clearly superior to map reconnaissance. However, based on his estimate of the situation the commander may choose to allow the brigade's quartering parties and the subunits' quartering/reconnaissance parties to execute this reconnaissance and base his unit positioning decisions on their input.
Based on METT-T, the commander/S3 may develop contingency plans which address the possibility of significant enemy contact in the AA. This contact may result from an enemy breakthrough of forward units, enemy commitment of OMGs, or enemy Level III incursions into the rear area. Depending on time available and the likelihood of enemy contact these contingency plans may be developed in great detail. These plans will typically include FS plans and alternate AAs or rally points if the brigade is forced out of its initial AA. Such contingency plans are coordinated with higher and adjacent units.
The results of all reconnaissance and the final coordinated subunit locations are consolidated at the brigade main CP, where the commander makes his decision. The commander expands his decision into an outline plan and the staff prepares and issues the brigade movement/OPORD.
FS for the occupation of the AA mirrors the planning and coordination done by the brigade FSO/FSE in support of the brigade quartering party. FS requirements are balanced against assets available from units already positioned near the new AA and the brigade's higher headquarters. Support shortfalls between requirements and availability are coordinated with either higher or adjacent units. Support may be available from supporting artillery units positioned with the brigade. FS planning must cover fires needed by subunits patrolling near the AA, fires on mounted and dismounted avenues of approach, fires on potential LZs/DZs near the AA, and fires to support the initial movement of the brigade away from the AA. FS planning will also include support for brigade contingency plans in case of enemy ground contact.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
The type and extent of engineer support required in the AA will depend on the anticipated length of stay, type and degree of enemy threat to the brigade, terrain in the AA, and the follow-on mission of the brigade. Unlike MCS support during movement of the brigade or support for the quartering party, which is typically provided on an area support basis by engineer units in the rear area, all MCS tasks in the AA are the responsibility of the brigade.
Based on the S2's analysis of the terrain in the AA and the enemy situation, the brigade engineer will begin planning for the possible employment of MCS support. If the anticipated requirements for engineer support exceed the capabilities of the engineer assets currently in support of the brigade, he will coordinate with the next higher headquarters for additional support.
AAs are selected to provide adequate ground mobility to all the elements in the brigade. Mobility support will rarely be necessary in administrative AAs. However, in some instances the construction of combat trails or the temporary emplacement of AVLBs may be required inside tactical AAs to support vehicle movement.
Countermobility operations are not conducted in support of administrative AAs except when an enemy maneuver unit actually threatens the brigade. In tactical AAs, countermobility operations are typically too time-and material-intensive to be used practically. Moreover, the tactical situation will rarely require the emplacement of engineer obstacles to ensure the security of the brigade. In instances where the rear area threat is extremely high or enemy penetration of forward units is possible, the brigade engineer may plan for the employment of GEMSS or FASCAM along ground avenues of approach.
Survivability support is impractical in AAs. It takes too much time and effort and prevents the engineer unit involved from preparing for future operations. Employment of survivability support may be justified under active nuclear conditions on the integrated battlefield.
Air defense units will plan for the occupation of administrative AAs as any other unit since they will not usually be actively involved in the air defense of the brigade.
Air defense planning for the tactical AA focuses on the selection of firing positions for SHORAD assets that will allow the engagement of enemy aircraft along identified air avenues of approach. Depending on the commander's stated priority of protection, assets available, and brigade task organization, air defense units may locate with supported brigade subunits or in separate locations under brigade control. The ADA unit commander must consider the arrival sequence and future missions of ADA elements when recommending SHORAD locations in and/or around the AA. These locations and the coverage of air avenues provided by the SHORAD assets located them are coordinated with units adjacent to the new AA.
Combat Service Support
The FSB commander and the brigade S4 will recommend locations for the FSB/BSA. The HHC commander will plan the occupation of the HHC brigade support elements after the tentative main CP location is identified. The locations of all CSS support elements are based on the rear area threat, proximity to designated higher headquarters' MSRs, and the ability of the unit to provide the required support from that location.
Command and Control
Tentative locations for brigade C2 facilities will be determined from map reconnaissance by the OICs of TAC, rear, and main CPs based on METT-T. The overriding consideration for the selection of these locations will be the ability of the various CPs to communicate higher, lower, and laterally. Exact locations will be determined by the quartering party responsible for the CP involved after a ground reconnaissance. Ideally, this reconnaissance would include a communications check to precisely fix the site. Establishment of the main CP in the new AA should occur early in the occupation so subunit CPs can locate based on their requirement to communicate with the brigade TOC. Early establishment of the main CP also allows for timely initiation and continuation of tactical planning. It minimizes the need for extensive FM communications from units already in place to the main CP, which otherwise might still be moving some distance to the rear of the AA.
Liaison with units already in position near the new AA should be initiated well in advance of the brigade's arrival. Brigade LOS should be dispatched to the main CP of brigade-size units prior to the dispatch of the quartering party. These LOS can collect and report vital information concerning terrain in the area, enemy activity, and stationary unit locations and intentions. They can also coordinate CS and CSS for the brigade, including signal information.
The brigade S2 will ensure that the reconnaissance and surveillance tasks which will be assigned to brigade subunits are included in the brigade WO, OPORD, or movement order. If intelligence assets will be employed in the AA under brigade control, the S2 will brief the appropriate intelligence unit leader concerning location, orientation, movement, PIR, reporting procedures, and friendly units adjacent to the proposed location. This information will also be reflected in the brigade OPORD or movement order.
The brigade prepares to occupy the AA by ensuring that each subordinate unit understands where it will be positioned in the AA, what security tasks the unit is responsible for in the AA, and how it is to move to the AA. The best technique to employ to check these items is the backbrief. This backbrief must also include CS and CSS unit commanders. The backbrief may be followed by a brief, informal war-gaming of contingency plans. The brigade HHC commander will also backbrief his occupation plan to the brigade commander/S3.
The FS plan is disseminated with the brigade OPORD or movement order. Any specific FS requirements associated with brigade contingency plans will be war gamed simultaneously with the contingency plan. The brigade FSO will ensure that each subunit FSO fully understands the FS plan, including FS coordinating measures and procedures to obtain FS from outside the brigade.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
The brigade engineer will ensure that required engineer support is available or on hand within the brigade. He will also ensure that the planned arrival of engineer units at the AA based on the brigade movement plan will provide sufficient support as it becomes necessary. Identified engineer tasks are assigned to one or more engineer units and these tasks are backbriefed/rehearsed. In cases where a key engineer action must be integrated with the movement of another unit, the two units should conduct a joint backbrief/rehearsal. An example of such a key action would be emplacement of an AVLB across a creek that must be crossed by a company team to occupy its AA. The rehearsal would include moving the AVLB forward from its position near the center of the column, guiding it into position, laying the bridge, and subsequently positioning the launcher near the bridge site.
The air defense unit commander will confirm the selected SHORAD tiring positions in and around the AA with the brigade commander/S3 through the backbrief process. He will ensure that the planned arrival of ADA units at the AA based on the brigade movement plan provides for complete coverage of the brigade in accordance with the commander's priorities of protection. The ADA unit commander will in turn conduct his own troop-leading procedures and issue an OPORD to his subordinate leaders. He will ensure that his ADA positions and coverage of air avenues of approach into the AA are coordinated with units already positioned near the AA.
Combat Service Support
The FSB commander and his staff will execute troopleading procedures and prepare to occupy the FSB/BSA AA like other subunits of the brigade. They will backbrief the brigade commander/S3. If the BSA will be formed by the incorporation of the subordinate unit field trains after the arrival of the brigade, the FSB commander may coordinate for a backbrief and rehearsal with battalion CSS representatives to review this portion of the operation. The FSB commander must ensure that the phased arrival of FSB/BSA elements in the AA allows for the most rapid reestablishment of support possible.
Command and Control
Brigade CP representatives in the quartering party will finalize the exact locations for the rear, main, and TAC CPs. Under conditions of limited visibility or if final locations differ significantly from those identified during map reconnaissance, the senior CP representative will ensure that guides are posted near the RP to be used by the CP elements. Ideally, CP vehicle locations will be marked. This marking is typically specified in unit SOP. The senior CP representative may execute a backbrief/rehearsal with these guides.
Intelligence collection agencies that will operate in support of the brigade move rapidly from the RP to their designated positions and establish local security and camouflage, as needed. Intelligence collection agencies initiate operations in accordance with the collection plan. The S2 may initially remain in his CP vehicle to monitor and control the beginning portion of the collection effort. After intelligence operations have begun, he personally visits each site to ensure that the positioning, orientation, and operations of each element give maximum support to the brigade. If subordinate units in the brigade have been tasked with reconnaissance and surveillance missions in support of the collection plan, the S2 will ensure their operations support the brigade collection plan.
Brigade HHC and CP elements will clear the RP quickly and move to their designated positions. Guides will meet their respective elements at or near the RP and take them to their positions. Vehicles w-ill move into the best cover and concealment in the area if their positions are not individually marked. Once their vehicles are in position, crewmen conduct appropriate maintenance checks, establish local security, and camouflage vehicles, as necessary. Simultaneously, the CPs provide C2 for the conclusion of the brigade's movement to and occupation of the AA. Brigade HHC support elements will move to locations near the main CP and organize themselves to provide needed CSS support to the brigade CPs.
Artillery units in support of the brigade move to and occupy AA positions like any other unit. Artillery units occupy assigned positions and prepare to support brigade contingency plans. They will occupy dispersed firing positions and establish FS communications nets. AIthough these artillery units are normally DS to the brigade, they may be tasked by the force artillery headquarters to fire in support of other units or rear battle contingency plans on an as-needed basis. Such arrangements will be specified in the artillery organization for combat portion of the higher headquarters OPORD. In this case, the artillery may locate away from the brigade or prepare firing positions away from the brigade for on-order occupation.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
Engineer units occupy AAs like any other unit. Engineer units may be required to perform mobility tasks in support of the occupation of other units in the tactical AA. Such support may include emplacement of AVLBs, the cutting of combat trails, or the destruction of minor obstacles. Generally, only those tasks which can be accomplished quickly from the march will be executed in support of other units' occupation. Tasks requiring more time or elaborate preparation must be completed prior to occupation by area support engineers or after occupation of the area by engineer units in support of the brigade. The brigade engineer may conduct a personal reconnaissance of engineer obstacle and FASCAM sites which support brigade contingency plans. This reconnaissance maybe done with the brigade FSO, who will confirm FA targeting for the obstacle sites.
SHORAD units in support of the brigade will move rapidly from the RP to their designated positions and establish local security and camouflage, as necessary. They will monitor the command and ADA early warning nets. Once positions are established and communications are checked, ADA elements will defend the brigade from air attack in accordance with the WCS, engagement criteria, and the brigade commander's priorities of protection. These air defense units will also simultaneously prepare for the next mission.
Combat Service Support
CSS units occupy AAs like any other unit. The FSB/BSA will move from the RP in multiple march units and occupy positions established by their quartering parties. The FSB/BSA will provide its own local security. As CSS units arrive, they are incorporated into whatever security plan has been designated by the FSB commander and prepare to support the brigade. Because the brigade's subunits will be concentrating on maintenance and replenishment tasks which we too difficult or time-consuming to perform during combat operations, the initial demand for CSS will be quite high. The CSS elements in the BSA/FSB must anticipate this and not become so involved in security actions or encumbered with wire communications and camouflage netting that they are unresponsive to unit needs.
Command and Control
Once brigade CP elements have parked in their positions, the brigade will proceed with communications checks with higher, lower, arid adjacent units. Communications checks on FS nets are also made. Once FM radio communications checks are complete, the brigade should minimize radio traffic. Radio communications on AM voice and PCM to division may also be established and checked. Generally, PCM communications will not be established unless the brigade will remain in the AA for approximately 12 to 24 hours or more. MSE will eventually replace PCM. MSE will negate the requirement to establish PCM communications because MSE provides constant communications without the setup time associated with PCM. Wire communications are seldom established at brigade level. Messengers and LOS from subordinate units to the brigade CPs may be employed. The use of messengers and LOs is usually established by unit SOP.
Under unusual circumstances, FM RETRANS may be necessary within the AA between the brigade and its subordinate units. If required, the brigade CESO and the signal platoon leader will establish the RETRANS site.
Planning for the battalion's occupation of the AA is similar to that done at brigade level except for the following.
The battalion S2 takes similar actions to the brigade S2 to support planning for the occupation of the battalion AA. Additionally, the S2 will also identify security requirements for the battalion and begin formulating the battalion R&S plan for the AA. In coordination with the S3, he will begin preliminary plans for the assignment of patrolling and surveillance tasks to subordinate units, including the battalion scout platoon.
Combat Service Support
CSS positioning is recommended by the S4. The combat trains are typically positioned near the battalion TOC to allow wire communications between them. HHC support elements position themselves in relation to the battalion TOC and the mortar platoon. The battalion scout platoon is usually too far from the TOC to influence the position of the HHC support elements.
Battalion preparation for occupation of the brigade AA mirrors the brigade's preparation except for CSS. The battalion S4 will confirm the locations for the battalion trains during the backbrief/rehearsal. Exact locations will be established by the CSS representative in the battalion quartering party. With echeloned trains, the exact positions for the battalion field trains will be determined by CSS representatives who accompany the FSB's quartering party. These quartering party representatives will ensure that guides are dispatched to the RP to assist their elements' movement to their positions. If the battalion is operating with echeloned trains or will form echeloned trains after arrival in the AA, the S4 will ensure that the battalion field trains movement and positioning in the BSA is coordinated with the FSB commander. The S4 must ensure that the area selected for the trains provides adequate cover and concealment to protect the trains and sufficient mobility to allow for the rapid movement of resupply vehicles in and out of the position.
The battalion's execution of occupation actions is similar to the brigade's except for the following.
The scout platoon, if not already positioned after serving as the battalion reconnaissance party, clears the RP and moves rapidly to its OP positions and begins operations in accordance with the battalion R&S plan.
The battalion heavy mortar platoon will clear the RP and move rapidly under the instructions of its guide to tiring positions. At these positions, the mortar platoon will orient on the battalion's most dangerous or likely contingency and begin laying the mortars while simultaneously establishing local security and camouflage as required. The mortar platoon will establish communications with the battalion TOC/FSO and lay wire to all guns.
Combat Service Support
When operating with echeloned trains, the battalion field trains move and occupy their positions in the BSA under the control of the FSB commander.
Command and control. The combat trains CP and the TOC will habitually establish wire communications between themselves. FM RETRANS will rarely be necessary in the battalion AA because of its fairly small size. However, if required due to terrain masking or unusually great dispersion, the battalion CESO and communications platoon leader will set up and check the RETRANS site.
Planning considerations for the company's occupation of the AA are similar to those of the battalion except for the following.
Based on information gained through map reconnaissance and from the S2, the company commander will determine the tentative platoon locations. His decisions are based on the platoons' weapons characteristics, mobility, and future missions. The commander will also assign security missions to the platoons, such as infantry patrols. PEWS emplacement, or OPs/LPs. He must also begin planning for any reconnaissance and surveillance tasks assigned to the company by the battalion.
The commander begins planning for occupation of the AA by analyzing the future mission of the company, enemy threat, terrain, and task organization of the company. Using the results of this analysis, a method of organizing the company AA will be selected. The ability of the company to move smoothly into the new AA and to execute its assigned anticipated future mission are the overriding considerations in AA planning
Air defense units are virtually never assigned to the company. Rather, company units receive protection through incidental coverage and the battalion commander's priority of protection, which usually includes maneuver companies in the assets to be protected.
The preparation of the company for occupation of the AA mirrors the preparation of the battalion except for the following.
Combat Service Support
The 1SG must ensure that the area selected for the trains provides adequate cover and concealment to protect the trains and sufficient mobility to allow for the rapid movement of resupply vehicles in and out of the position. The 1SG will confirm the locations of battalion LRPs with unit CSS personnel, including platoon sergeants.
Command and Control
The platoon representatives in the quartering party will select locations for the commander's and XO's vehicles and the FISTV if they will be located within their platoon position.
The execution of the company's occupation of the AA is similar to the battalion's except for the following.
If available, PEWS are emplaced and activated and LPs/OPs are manned. The company will initiate reconnaissance and surveillance tasks in accordance with the R&S plan, observing its sector of responsibility and reporting PIR as they are collected. The company will maintain absolute noise and light discipline.
The FISTV with the FIST team chief will move rapidly from the RP into its designated position. The FIST chief will ensure that he can overwatch the most dangerous or likely enemy avenue of approach from his primary position. He will also ensure that he can observe the FS targets for which his supported company is responsible from either his primary or alternate position. He will make FS communications checks.
All actions in the AA are focused on preparing the unit for future operations. Actions most commonly associated with AA activities include resupply, personnel replacement, maintenance, reorganization, rest, and planning future operations.
Administrative actions are initiated in the AA. These actions may include formalizing the reallocation of key personnel, promotions, legal actions, postal activities, and processing recommendations for awards and decorations. Religious services, especially memorial services for deceased personnel, are also conducted.
Maintenance activities will concentrate on deadline faults and those that degrade the equipment's ability to shoot, move, and communicate. Special attention should be paid to those maintenance tasks which are too time-consuming or difficult to perform during combat operations. Scheduled services may be executed. When time is short, critical repair and BDAR repair techniques may be employed.
Resupply actions are conducted in the AA to replenish items used in previous operations, assemble stocks for future operations, and replace damaged/contaminated supplies as required. When a unit moves into an AA after combat operations, it will require resupply of almost all classes, especially Classes III, V, VIII, and IX. When the unit moves to an AA prior to combat, Class III may be the only item which requires resupply. In this case. Class III resupply may be provided short of the AA during the road march or after closing the AA. Refueling during the move to the AA is easier and faster than refueling after arrival in the AA. Specific procedures for refueling are in Chapter 8, Combat Service Support and Appendix A, Movement.
Planning and preparing for future operations are conducted simultaneously with maintenance and administrative activities. Planning includes development and issuance of combat orders and coordination with higher, lower, and adjacent units. Preparation habitually includes backbriefs and rehearsals. Preparation may also include individual or small unit training and weapons zeroing and calibration. Training will be required if the unit is issued new or modified equipment while in the AA. Small unit training will be necessary if large numbers of replacement personnel are introduced into the unit, especially when significant numbers of key leaders are replaced. Such training will probably center on mastering drills and SOPs used by the unit. If the unit has just left combat, AARs are conducted to verify or refine unit SOPs. AARs may also capture, record, and disseminate hard-learned lessons from combat in an effort to institutionalize successful techniques throughout the command.
Throughout unit AA procedures, the XO performs an absolutely vital role in preparing the unit for combat. As the 2IC of the unit and chief of staff, he serves as a link between the commander and staff, ensuring that orders, requests, and priorities of the commander are acted on promptly and completely. Together with the primary staff and the CSM, he aggressively reduces bottlenecks and expedites actions in the AA. His unique position as 2IC and chief of staff makes him the focal point of operational planning and preparation for combat. The XO's specific duties and responsibilities are determined by the commander. A review of his CSS responsibilities is in Chapter 8. His other staff responsibilities are addressed in Chapter 1, Command, Control, and Communication.
Brigade Actions in the Assembly Area
Planning for intelligence actions in the AA begins with the S2's identification of the information requirements of the brigade. This needed information may be grouped into two categories: information needed to provide security for the command while in the AA, and information required to initiate staff planning and troop-leading procedures for the brigade's next mission.
The S2 will gather and update all needed information throughout the brigade's deployment. However, some information may only be available or obtainable after the unit arrives in the AA. To obtain this information, the S2 will develop a collection plan to be implemented after the occupation of the AA. This plan will incorporate intelligence assets which are retained under brigade control, liaison with adjacent units, information from higher and lower units, and reconnaissance and surveillance tasks assigned to subordinate units. In operations where friendly units are already in contact with the enemy near the brigade's area of interest, the brigade S2 may coordinate the inclusion of his PIR in the collection plan of the units in contact.
The brigade commander must prioritize the actions to be taken by subordinate units in the AA and allocate scarce resources to accomplish those tasks. Only resources which are limited are prioritized by the commander. The commander assigns priorities based on his estimate of the situation, which is summed up in the factors of METT-T. Since occupation of the AA is done in preparation for future combat, the commander's METT-T analysis must consider not only the current and projected status of the unit but also the anticipated combat mission of the brigade.
The commander will receive reports and information concerning the status of various elements of the brigade from subunit commanders and his own staff. This input assists him in determining what must be done to preserve and enhance the combat power of the brigade. His assessment of the brigade's mission points out how much and what types of combat power are required for the successful accomplishment of the brigade's mission. After completing this assessment of the difference between the brigade's present combat power and the combat power required to accomplish the brigade's future mission, the commander can begin to allocate resources within the brigade. Time as a resource is usually very limited and therefore often dictates which actions are possible and which are impossible to accomplish between occupation of the AA and the commitment of the brigade to combat. The commander must understand that most CSS decisions and assigned priorities have little immediate impact on the brigade's status. Rather, the impact of CSS decisions is felt some 8 to 10 hours later. The commander considers what the brigade needs now as well as what the brigade will need tomorrow. With these considerations in mind, the commander decides what will be done, when, and in what priority. His decision will typically embrace all types of CSS activity, reconnaissance and security operations, subunit combat preparations, and administrative activities. These decisions by the commander become the outline plan for actions in the AA.
Once he has decided which actions will be accomplished, the commander must determine how these actions will be checked and expedited. Most subunit actions will be subjected to informal inspections by the commander of that unit. However, the brigade commander may choose to inspect those areas or units of particular concern to him. Alternatively, he may designate one or more staff members to check actions within their area of expertise.
These informal checks serve several purposes. First, they obviously allow the brigade commander personally, or through his staff, to check to ensure that actions are being taken in accordance with his decisions and applicable SOPs or standards. Also, they allow the brigade commander the opportunity to physically determine the readiness of the brigade from a subjective view point. The brigade commander's knowledge of and experience with soldiers allows him to accurately assess the intangible elements of combat power, such as cohesion, morale, and esprit, that are not reflected in formatted reports and briefings. This process of checking also enables the commander to exercise personal leadership, something which he cannot easily or normally do when the brigade is in combat and dispersed over a wide area. Personal leadership here means showing the flag, talking with soldiers, and demonstrating a sincere and lasting concern for the welfare of the men under his command. The presence of the commander and his staff at the site where AA activities are taking place allows them to take positive action to expedite actions and fix problems.
The commander and his staff must also anticipate the need to conduct personal reconnaissance for the brigade's next mission after the occupation of the AA. Initial guidance concerning the restrictions on leaders' reconnaissance parties may be included in the higher headquarters WO to the brigade. If such guidance is not contained in the warning order, the brigade will determine what restrictions, if any, exist by coordination with units currently operating in the area the brigade wishes to reconnoiter. The control of staff reconnaissance efforts and the systematic collection of the information gained through reconnaissance will usually be specified in unit SOPs. Based on these restrictions and applicable unit SOPs the brigade staff and commander will develop a reconnaissance plan.
The summation of what will be done and how it will be checked is incorporated into the brigade order, which moves the unit into the new AA. Decisions concerning the reconnaissance effort by the commander and staff will be briefed informally to the staff.
The brigade commander/S3 must also develop ground combat contingency plans for the brigade based on the S2's estimate of the likelihood of significant enemy contact in the AA. Depending on the time available for planning, resources available, and the relative threat to the brigade, these plans may be developed in great detail. Contingency plans typically include FS and alternate AAs or rally point if the brigade or one of its subordinate units are forced out of the initial AA. Special attention must be given to the defense of vital CSS and CS assets which are difficult to replace. While in the AA, the brigade may be assigned a role in the higher headquarters rear area defense plan. The brigade's role may, for example, include dismounted infantry airmobile operations or the commitment of battalion-or company-size maneuver forces. If the brigade has rear area missions assigned to it by its higher headquarters, brigade contingency planning must fully support such missions. All contingency plans are incorporated in the brigade's OPORD or movement order.
FS units located with the brigade may be called on to support brigade contingency plans or to support another unit's rear battle contingency plan. The requirement to support another unit's rear battle plan will be directed by the force artillery headquarters and included in the division or corps FS annex. The required FS planning and coordination will be done by FS personnel from the other supported unit. The FA supporting the brigade must plan to occupy firing positions in the brigade AA to support the other unit's FS plan.
FA with the brigade will initially plan to support the brigade's contingency plans. After coordination with the commander/S3 and FSCOORD, the brigade FSO will develop an FS plan to provide close support to the brigade for all contingency plans. FS targeting will concentrate on mounted/dismounted avenues of approach and LZs/DZs near the AA. Fires may also be planned to support the brigade's next movement away from the AA. FS plans should be developed early to allow all FS agencies time to prepare and rehears their portions. The FSO's approved FS plan is incorporated in the brigade OPORD or movement order. In top-down FS planning, this brigade FS plan becomes the basis for all subordinate unit FS planning. During the planning phase, the brigade FSCOORD/FSO also acts as focal point for subordinate unit requests for changes, additions, and deletions from the brigade FS plan. The FSCOORD/FSO receives requests, consolidates them, eliminates conflicts between them, approves or denies targets based on guidance and authority of the brigade commander, and refers other targets to the brigade S3/commander for decision. The FSCOORD informs requesting units of the results of this staff action; any changes to the brigade FS plan are transmitted to all subordinate units.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
After they accomplish those tasks directly related to mobility support of the actual occupation of the AA, it is unlikely that the subunits of the brigade will require MCS support. Instead, the focus of MCS planning is on support of brigade contingency operations. The brigade engineer will coordinate with the commander/S3 to determine the type and quantity of support required to support the various brigade contingency plans. Shortfalls between requirements and assets on hand will be turned into requests for additional support from the brigade's higher headquarters.
The majority of MCS tasks in support of brigade contingencies will be countermobility. Obstacles will rarely be emplaced before an actual threat to the brigade materializes. This is because the physical emplacement of obstacles is time- and material-intensive. Moreover, while an engineer unit is emplacing an obstacle system, it cannot effectively prepare for the next mission of the brigade. The typical obstacle plan for the AA includes dynamic obstacles such as GEMSS, VOLCANO, or FASCAM.
If the brigade will use GEMSS in support of contingency plans, the engineer unit commander will be briefed by the brigade engineer, who will outline the requirements for support. Coordination will also be made with the unit which will overwatch and/or call for the obstacle to be emplaced The brigade engineer must ensure that the engineer unit's position in the AA allows rapid movement of the GEMSS vehicles to the obstacle sites. Use of FASCAM will be coordinated with the brigade FSO, the FA unit commander, and the unit which will call for and overwatch the obstacle. The result of all this coordination and planning will be included in the brigade OPORD or movement order.
Air defense planning for actions in the AA is identical to air defense planning during occupation of the AA. The only planning the air defense unit commander needs to accomplish is matting to known or expected changes in the task organization of the ADA assets or in the commander's priority of protection. In either case, the air defense commander plans to redistribute air defense assets to achieve coverage of the brigade in accordance with the commander's priority of protection.
Combat Service Support
CSS operations in the AA are critical to sustaining the combat power of the brigade. CSS planning is centered around the commander's decision concerning which CSS actions wilt be accomplished in the AA and the relative priority/sequencing of those actions. The commander's decision is based primarily on the information and recommendations provided to him by the S4. The S4 communicates the commander's decision to the FSB commander who will execute the CSS actions dictated by that decision. The FSB commander's planning to execute the brigade commander's support concept is the heart of brigade CSS planning in the AA. The S4 continues to update the brigade and FSB commanders throughout the staff planning process. His staff coordination brings together the needs of the brigade and the resources of the FSB. The staff coordination, reporting, and support decisions are all reflected in the brigade OFORD or movement order.
Command and Control
C2 actions in the AA consist of the initiation/continuation of staff planning and troop-leading procedures focused on the brigade's next mission. The brigade commander and staff must simultaneously conclude the brigade's assembly at its new location and develop coordinated plans and orders for the execution of the brigade's next mission.
The ultimate action of the S2 in the AA is the production and dissemination of intelligence products to support the brigade's next mission. After initiating the collection plan developed during his intial planning, he will begin work on the future operation's situation and event templates. information from his collection plan as well as templates supplied from higher headquarters are combined to produce usable intelligence products for the brigade. Most of these intermediate products, as well as the decision support template, will be constantly refined and updated. All intelligence changes, refinements, and updates are passed to units higher, lower, and adjacent. As these products are refined, the S2 must reevaluate his collection plan and the commander's PIR for the next mission. In many cases, the collection plan will need to be altered to focus on changed PIRs as the intelligence process continues to confirm or deny enemy courses of action. Simultaneously, the brigade S2 must continue to monitor the security of the brigade and enemy events in the local area.
Actions to be taken in the AA are either identified in the brigade order, orally briefed to subordinate leaders, or left as implied tasks for subordinate units to accomplish. Under unusual circumstances, the brigade commander may wish to rehearse these actions. More commonly, he may conduct a talk-through with subunit commanders. These actions will probably include brigade-specific contingency plans and whatever higher headquarters rear battle responsibilities the brigade may have.
If the commander elects to conduct personal or leaders' reconnaissance, arrangements are finalized for transportation, communications, and establishing contact with units already in the reconnaissance area. Such arrangements are usually coordinated by the brigade XO. Before departing the brigade AA, the commander briefs the XO on his itinerary, personnel who will accompany him, actions to be completed during his absence, and actions to be taken if he does not return.
The staff maybe tasked to assist the commander in performing informal checks on actions executed in the AA. If so, the brigade XO coordinates and controls the flow of staff members in and out of the CPs to ensure that staff planning and coordination are not impaired.
FS preparation for actions in the AA parallels the FS preparation for occupation of the AA. The FSO may participate in reconnaissance of FASCAM target locations and FA targets on other obstacle locations with the brigade engineer or engineer unit commander. Firing batteries may rehearse movement to alternate firing positions, particularly those in support of brigade and rear battle contingency plans. The FSO/FSCOORD will conduct liaison with other FS agencies adjacent to the AA to exchange FS and signal information. Targets are typically established as known points through multiple polar plots of target locations from GLDs or FISTVs. In rare cases, targets may be registered with live ammunition. If FPFs are allocated, they are registered unless the tactical situation dictates otherwise. Illumination targets will be registered and adjusted. The FSO will receive and maintain subordinate battalion mortar platoon targeting information.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
Engineer units in the AA will prepare to execute MCS tasks assigned by the brigade commander. Nearly all engineer work will be associated with brigade contingencies. Engineer tasks not associated with contingency missions will be prioritized by the brigade engineer in accordance with the brigade commander's guidance and intent. These noncontingency tasks will be done as engineer assets become available. Engineer support of contingency missions will typically be rehearsed with the unit which will control the placement of and provide overwatch for the obstacle. Engineer units will practice movement to obstacle work sites in all conditions of visibility and MOPP to determine appropriate timings for inclusion in the commander's decision support template. Signal coordination with supported units involved in brigade contingencies will be made. Engineers routinely accomplish reconnaissance of obstacle sites with the brigade FSO.
Air defense preparation for actions in the AA mirrors actions accomplished by ADA units for the occupation of the AA. Air defense units continuously monitor their assigned sectors of responsibility. The air defense unit leader must pay special attention to potential crew inattention caused by boredom by rotating crews or platoons as frequently as the tactical situation allows. Constant communications are maintained with the higher headquarters ADA unit and the brigade CPs. In any case, the ADA unit commander must ensure the brigade is protected in accordance with the commander's priorities of protection and that SHORAD elements are allotted enough time to prepare for the next mission.
Combat Service Support
The brigade S4 will continue to monitor subunit status and update the commander with significant changes as they occur. The S4 will coordinate with subunit S4s and the FSB commander to ensure that all parties understand the support concept and that all sustainment tasks identified by the brigade commander can be accomplished. FSB units will take all actions necessary to establish required points for supply point distribution to brigade subunit field trains. If throughput supply is required, the FSB will coordinate the movement, pickup/dropoff, and return of the supply convoys from higher headquarters.
Command and Control
The brigade XO will ensure that the appropriate staff officers are available for staff planning in spite of other demands on their time in the AA. Communications with higher, lower, and adjacent units will be maintained. Contingency plans are reviewed and changed, if necessary, as subunits and brigade staff members conduct reconnaissance of contingency areas and rehearse contingency plans. All changes and accompanying graphic control measures are provided to all units. Contact and coordination points are established between units.
Intelligence units continue to execute their portion of the brigade collection plan. All intelligence information assembled by the S2 from his own collection plan and from subordinate, higher, and adjacent units is analyzed and evaluated. Pertinent intelligence information is transmitted to higher, lower, and adjacent units. Once the decision support template is disseminated, the S2 continues to update and refine the template. Simultaneously, the S2 will begin the IPB process for areas beyond the brigade's current area of interest based on his own intuition and whatever guidance he may receive from the commander/S3. The S2 wilt continue to monitor the intelligence activities of brigade units, especially those of intelligence assets under brigade control. All intelligence units execute actions in preparation for the next mission.
On order, the brigade may execute its own contingency plans or its portion of the contingency plans of higher headquarters. This execution is the same as for any other similar mission. After execution of such contingency missions, the brigade resumes preparation for its next mission as quickly as possible. Any changes to the brigade's plans dictated by the result of the execution of the contingency mission are incorporated into the current plan, briefed, and rehearsed, as required. In extraordinary circumstances, the brigade may receive a mission change from its higher headquarters after the completion of a contingency mission. In this case, the brigade will begin staff planning and troop-leading procedure for its new mission immediately.
If the brigade commander has elected to conduct a personal or leaders' reconnaissance, he will brief the brigade XO. This briefing will include estimated departure and return times, who is going to accompany the commander, reconnaissance itinerary, how to contact the commander, what to accomplish while the commander is absent, and what actions to take if the commander does not return by a specified time. The commander will maintain communications with the brigade if possible and establish contact with units he passes through or stops at. After his return, he shares his observations with the staff and issues any additional guidance based on the results of his reconnaissance. This information and guidance is included in the brigade plans, and any changes to the current plan are communicated to the brigade's subunits.
The staff and commander visit units and make informal checks on the progress of the brigade toward preparing for the next mission. Immediate action is taken to expedite the preparation of units consistent with the commander's priorities and intent.
FA units of the brigade fire as requested in support of the brigade. After firing, units may need to reposition to escape counterbattery tires. The brigade S3 must anticipate this requirement and establish alternate AAs for FA units or initially assign them a large enough area that batteries may be repositioned without moving the unit AA. The commander may consider changing ammunition resupply priorities for the FA if it has expended a significant number of rounds on contingency missions. All FS units execute actions to prepare for the next mission.
Mobility, Countermobility, and Survivability
Engineer units in the brigade execute MCS missions in support of brigade contingencies on order. After execution of such missions, the commander should consider placing the engineer units in a higher priority for resupply. If engineer units are not called on to support contingency operations, they will continue to execute MCS missions in the AA while simultaneously preparing for the next mission.
Air defense units continue to cover assigned sectors of responsibility to provide air defense protection coverage to the brigade in accordance with the commander's priority of protection. If air defense units engage targets, the commander may consider increasing the priority of resupply for the air defense assets. In any case, air defense units continue to prepare for the next mission.
Combat Service Support
The FSB will execute the coordinated resupply, maintenance, and medical plan developed by the brigade. The brigade S4 will monitor the status of brigade units and the actions of the FSB to ensure the commander's decisions are being implemented and expedited. As problems or slowdowns arise that he cannot overcome, the S4 alerts the commander and makes appropriate recommendations concerning unit and activity priorities. The S1 monitors the status of personnel fill and evacuation within the brigade. He exercises staff supervision over personnel and administrative actions. Personnel problems that he cannot overcome are brought to the attention of the commander with the S1's recommendations. The brigade XO supervises both the S1 and S4 in the execution of their responsibilities.
Although CSS units and personnel will be pushed to the limit to meet the requirements of the brigade, they must be allocated enough time to prepare themselves for the next mission. Logistics vehicles will require maintenance, and support personnel will need rest.
Command and Control
The brigade commander and staff execute staff planning and troop-leading procedures to prepare the brigade for its next mission and to produce and disseminate a feasible, coherent tactical plan which will accomplish the brigade's mission within the framework of the higher commander's intent. Communications and liaison with higher, tower, and adjacent units are maintained. Additional planning and coordination for contingency plans may be conducted. Brigade CP elements are afforded time and resources to prepare for the next mission.
Battalion Actions in the Assembly Area
The general considerations for battalion actions in the AA are similar to those at brigade level.
Planning for battalion actions in the AA is identical to brigade planning except for the following.
Usually, the FA with the brigade will initially plan to support brigade and battalion contingency plans. After coordination with the commander/S3 and the brigade FSO, the battalion FSO will review the battalion's support requirements and compare them with the brigade FS plan. He will also review all company team requests for additional FS. The FSO consolidates these requests, eliminates duplication, and fills what requests he can. Target requests he cannot fulfill are passed to the battalion commander/S3 for decision. The FSO will request any additional targets needed by the battalion through the brigade FSO. FA fires may be augmented by mortar fires. If requested FA targets are denied, mortars may be assigned these targets in lieu of FA within the limits of the mortars' range. Illumination missions are typically planned for mortar firing because of the 4.2-inch mortar's superior illumination capability. The FSO keeps the commander and S3 informed of the status of all aspects of the brigade FS plan, especially changes resulting from their requests or the requests of other units in the brigade.
Combat Service Support
The commander's decisions concerning CSS actions in the AA are based primarily on the information and recommendations provided to him by the S4. The S4 then coordinates with the HHC commander in the field trains and the BMO in the combat trains to execute the CSS actions dictated by that decision. The S4's planning and coordination to execute the battalion commander's support concept is the heart of battalion CSS planning in the AA. The S4 continues to update the battalion commander and staff throughout the planning process. His staff coordination brings together the needs of the battalion with the resources of the battalion trains and the FSB.
The battalion's preparation for actions in the AA mirror those of the brigade except for the following.
The FSO may participate in reconnaissance of FASCAM target locations and FA targets on other obstacle locations with the battalion's engineer unit commander. 'he battalion heavy mortar platoon may rehearse movement to alternate firing positions, particularly those in support of battalion contingency plans.
Combat Service Support
The S4 will continue to monitor subunit statuses and update the commander with significant changes as they occur. The S4 will coordinate with subunits to ensure all parties understand the support concept and that all sustainment tasks identified by the battalion commander can be accomplished. HHC will take all actions necessary to establish required points for supply point distribution to battalion subunits. If throughput supply is required, the S4/support platoon leader will coordinate the movement, pickup/dropoff, and return of the supply convoys with the field trains.
The battalion's execution of actions in the AA is identical to that of the brigade except for FS. FA fires and mortar fires are requested as needed by battalion units. Mortar tires are executed as for any other mission. The commander may consider changing ammunition resupply priorities for the mortar platoon if they have expended a significant number of rounds on contingency missions.
Company Actions in the Assembly Area
Company planning for actions in the AA mirrors planning at battalion level except for intelligence. The company commander's information requirements are passed to the battalion S2, who consolidates all requests and incorporates them into the battalion R&S plan and staff coordination with other units. This plan provides a degree of security to the company since it is designed to enhance the security of the battalion through systematic surveillance. The R&S plan may require the company to perform certain reconnaissance or surveillance tasks. Even if not tasked to do so by the R&S plan, the company habitually employs LPs/OPs for local security.
Company preparation for actions in the AA is similar to battalion preparation except for intelligence. The company may be tasked to execute R&S tasks within the battalion R&S plan. The company commander briefs the company's portion of the R&S plan to the unit. In some cases, he may wish to rehearse the unit in some collection tasks, especially if they involve enemy contact. He wilt also direct platoons to establish local security. Platoons will usually backbrief their security plans.
The company's execution of actions in the AA is similar to the battalion's execution except for the following.
Combat service support
The XO, 1SG, and platoon leaders will execute the coordinated resupply, maintenance, and administrative support plan developed by the commander. The XO and 1SG will monitor the status of the platoons and the actions of the CSS assets supporting the company to ensure the commander's decisions are being implemented and expedited. As problems or slowdowns arise that cannot be overcome, the XO or 1SG alerts the commander and makes appropriate recommendations concerning unit and activity priorities. The 1SG monitors the status of personnel actions within the company. He coordinates personnel and administrative actions with the S1 and PSNCO. Problems in personnel actions which the 1SG cannot remedy are brought to the attention of the commander together with the 1SG's recommendations.
Command and control
The company commander will execute troop-leading procedures to prepare the unit for its next mission and to produce and disseminate a feasible, coherent tactical plan which will accomplish the company's mission within the framework of the battalion commander's intent.
A PCI is conducted by a unit commander or leader to determine the force's readiness to execute its assigned tactical missions. These inspections may be formal or informal and may be announced or unannounced. Formal inspections are always announced. All leaders and commanders make some type of PCI of their unit.
Formal PCIs are the meticulous inspection by the commander of all areas within the unit. Formal inspections consume an extraordinary amount of time and preclude working inspections since troops are standing down waiting to be inspected after all combat preparations are complete. Units in combat will rarely have the luxury of time required for a formal precombat inspection. During these preparations, tank commanders, squad leaders, platoon leaders, and platoon sergeants will routinely make the same exacting, rigorous inspections of their men and equipment that would be repeated by the commander. Therefore, formal PCIs are seldom conducted during combat operations, including during AA occupation.
Informal PCIs are the commander's inspection of particular areas, activities, or units of special interest or concern to him. The informal PCI resembles a series of deliberate spot checks of key items. The areas inspected and the method and depth of the inspection may vary from unit to unit or even from vehicle to vehicle at the commander's discretion. The commander's experience, in-depth knowledge of his unit and its equipment and estimation of the current status of the subelements under his command will dictate the particular details of the inspection. For example, the commander may spend more time and look in greater depth at units newly task organized into his command or units whose officer replacements are new to combat. Units which experience habitual shortcomings will deserve more of his time. He may designate one or more staff members or the XO to check certain items. At company level, the commander may use the XO, 1SG, or master gunner for this purpose.
The informal PCI serves several purposes. First, it allows the commander to ensure either personally, or through his subordinates, that actions are being taken in accordance with his decisions and applicable TSOPs or standards. Also, it allows the commander to physically determine the readiness of the unit from a subjective viewpoint. The commander's personal knowledge and experience with soldiers allows him to accurately assess the intangible elements of combat power such as cohesion, morale, and esprit that are not reflected in formatted reports and briefings. This process of checking also enables the commander to exercise personal leadership, something he cannot easily or normally do when the unit is in combat and dispersed over a wide area. Personal leadership here means showing the flag, talking with soldiers, demonstrating a sincere and lasting concern for the welfare of the men under his command, and infusing his confidence and spirit into the unit. Finally, in the informal PCI, the commander and his staff or other subordinates are physically at the site where AA activities are taking place- it is a working inspection. This allows them to take positive action to expedite actions, fix problems, and set standards as the need arises, not after the fact.
To be most efficient and effective, PCIs must be planned. Planning the PCI does not imply formal inspections or rigid adherence to schedules. PCI planning is the summation of the commander's estimate and decision concerning what will be checked, who will check it, when it will be checked, and in what sequence it will be checked.
Generally, the PCI will cover those points that could mean the difference between mission success or failure and those points that serve as indicators of maintenance, readiness, or morale trends within the unit. Ideally, given enough time, everything in the unit would be checked. However, with the general scarcity of time in combat and the other competing demands on leaders' time during combat preparation, the commander must prioritize what will be checked.
The number and competence of subordinate leaders or staff members available to assist the commander in his inspections also influence what will be checked. Obviously, with more individuals to do the checking, more can be checked. Lacking sufficient time and without the same level of expertise in certain technical matters as subordinates or staff members, the commander will habitually delegate some checks to his subordinates. Such delegation ensures adequate coverage of key items and aligns the experts with their specialties. It also frees the commander to devote his time to inspecting vital areas, to spend more time with soldiers, to become more fully involved in mop-leading procedures, or to conduct personal reconnaissance and coordination. The delegation and execution of PCI tasks must not interfere with troop-leading procedures by removing too many subordinate leaders and staff members from tactical planning. Brigade and battalion commanders should avoid allowing subordinate leaders from trailing behind them in ever-growing numbers during the inspection, as is common in peacetime.
When, and in what sequence specific items will be checked, is keyed to both what is being checked and who is checking. The sequence and duration of AA activities is typically known to the command. Ideally, subordinate units should be inspected when they are relatively inactive or stationary. For example, an inspection of company B which coincides with the company's Level III rehearsal may not yield the results the battalion commander desires. On the other hand, some inspections are oriented on activities, not units. For example, if the battalion S4 wants to ensure that the battalion maintenance platoon is providing adequate support to the mechanized infantry company, he must arrive for his spot check while the maintenance platoon is working with the unit. However, when time is truly short, leaders and staff members must inspect as the opportunity arises, even if it is not the best time to do so. The execution of combat preparations must never be delayed or artificially sequenced to fit the PCI time planning. The surest way to avoid this is to make all PCIs unannounced.
Brigade Precombat Inspection
The brigade commander is limited in his ability to inspect the brigade due to lack of time and lack of detailed technical knowledge concerning all units and activities within the brigade. Time is probably the most limiting aspect of these restrictions. The physical dispersion of the units within the brigade magnifies the criticality of time since movement between units consumes much of what little time is available to the commander. The brigade commander must overcome these limitations by prioritizing his inspections and making full use of his staff.
In prioritizing what to inspect, the brigade commander focuses on units, not equipment, The brigade staff may be assigned inspection of units or activities within their respective areas of expertise. The brigade XO, as 2IC, may assist the commander in inspecting units, but he will probably be required to devote his entire efforts to staff coordination and planning, especially when time is scarce. In selecting units for his own inspection, the brigade commander is guided by his knowledge of the brigade's units, judgment, experience, and time available. He may invest more time and effort in those units whose combat performance is key to the upcoming operation or those which will constitute the brigade's main effort.
Although the brigade commander can inspect anything in the brigade that he wants to, his visits to the battalion TOCs will probably be his most useful and illuminating inspections. At the TOC, the brigade commander can observe the battalion's staff planning and coordination and speak with staff members. His impression of the efficiency, cohesion, and competence of the staff is probably indicative of the battalion as a whole. This is because the planning and preparation for tactical operations is a clear predictor of battlefield success. Moreover, a visit to the TOC allows the brigade commander to determine whether or not his instructions, intent, and priorities are being carried out. To and from the battalion TOC, the commander should make a sincere effort to meet and talk with soldiers. This too is an inspection; together with his impression of the TOC, it allows the commander to assess the battalion's intangible elements of combat power.
Battalion Precombat Inspection
Like the brigade commander, the battalion commander is restricted in what he can inspect. However, the battalion commander has less travel time between units and has fewer different types of units and equipment to contend with. The battalion commander has a distinct advantage in that most companies in the battalion are usually those assigned to his battalion. The constant relationship between the battalion commander and the companies and platoons under his command allows him to make more rapid assessments of unit strengths and weaknesses. This more detailed knowledge, coupled with his constant personal contact with officers and enlisted soldiers, permits the battalion commander to quickly determine what to inspect. Like the brigade commander, he frequently delegates inspection tasks to his staff, XO, or SGM.
The battalion commander's inspection is a balance between units, equipment, and men. He inspects the companies and platoons under his command by inspecting personnel and equipment and observing AA activities, including rehearsals. The battalion commander physically spot checks selected equipment and vehicles in the battalion. Because soldiers are directly connected to these pieces of equipment and vehicles, this is also a personnel inspection. Like the brigade commander, the battalion commander concentrates on those units and officers that warrant the time and effort invested. The battalion commander should attempt to inspect each company and special platoon in the battalion, including attachments. The battalion commander must also inspect his combat vehicle. The battalion commander should make a special effort to inspect, visit, and rehearse with the company he will maneuver with in combat.
Company Precombat Inspection
Ideally, the company commander inspects every vehicle, major weapon system, and soldier in his unit, including attachments and CS assets that will maneuver with the company. His inspection is as thorough and painstaking as time allows. Lack of time may force the commander to inspect fewer items than he would like. The XO, 1SG, and master gunner may assist the commander in checking those items which he does not have the time to adequately inspect himself. Subordinate leaders will also inspect their areas of responsibility. However, no matter what other inspections take place or who conducts them, the commander will still inspect each vehicle and soldier in the unit. Regardless of time available, his inspection must be a hands-on physical inspection. A cursory troop-the-line cheerleading approach to this inspection is totally unsatisfactory: it will neither set the proper tone nor adequately prepare the unit for the experience of combat. The commander's intimate knowledge of the men and individual vehicles and equipment under his command allows him to zero in on specific leaders and pieces of equipment whose strengths and weaknesses he knows in detail.
The company commander should inspect by platoons, one vehicle at a time, with the platoon leader. He inspects his own, the XO's, and the 1SG's vehicles. He may inspect a certain item on each vehicle, such as boresight or fluid levels, and/or he may vary inspected items and check two or three items from each category of drivetrain, track/suspension weapons, communications, and NBC. The commander must also inspect individual equipment and weapons. Deficiencies are corrected immediately.
The commander must set and enforce the standards of the company. The commander employs every leadership tool at his disposal to encourage and invigorate the spirit, morale, and confidence of the men under his command. Without the company commander's personal direction and leadership, the standards of performance and professionalism would otherwise be set by inexperienced junior officers.
Security comprises measures taken by a military unit to protect itself against surprise, observation, detection, interference, espionage, sabotage, or annoyance which may impair its effectiveness. It is also the condition that exists from establishment and effective maintenance of these measures Security enhances freedom of action by reducing friendly vulnerability to hostile acts, interference, or surprise. Security is essential to the protection and conservation of combat power. Security may be achieved through the establishment and maintenance of protective measures or through deception operations designed to confuse and dissipate enemy attempts to interfere with the force being secured. Effective security prevents the enemy from gaining an unexpected advantage over friendly forces.
Forces in administrative AAs are provided a degree of security through their distance from the line of contact and having other friendly units between them and the enemy. Host nation security forces and COMMZ rear battle contingency plans may also provide protection or security to the force. Air defense is provided by US and host nation HIMAD assets positioned in the COMMZ and corps rear as well as SHORAD/HIMAD coverage of air avenues of approach closer to the line of contact. Units occupying administrative AAs conduct physical security activities such as guarding supplies and equipment and controlling access to unit areas. Units in administrative AAs do not routinely employ other security measures such as OPs/LPs, patrols, radar surveillance, or active employment of unit air defense assets. However, if the rear area threat is Level II or III, the unit may be required to employ these additional security measures. Levels of rear area threat are discussed in Appendix D, Rear Operations.
Forces in tactical AAs are provided a degree of security by their separation from the line of contact and by the presence of other units between them and the enemy. In corps and division rear areas, security may be provided through rear battle contingency plans. If the AA is well forward, security maybe provided through the proximity to other combat or CS units. Air defense of units in tactical AAs is provided by SHORAD ADA assets allocated to the force and through incidental coverage provided by adjacent SHORAD assets. Depending on the location of the AA, HIMAD air defense assets located in the corps rear or forward in the division area may provide additional air defense protection. In keeping with their mission and the tactical situation, units in tactical AAs employ active security measures, including reconnaissance and patrolling, visual and electronic surveillance of ground and air avenues of approach, and establishment of OPs/LPs. Units in tactical AAs must be prepared to defend themselves against ground and air attacks.
Regardless of the security that may be provided by other units or agencies, the commander takes whatever actions or precautions he deems necessary to secure his command.
Brigade Assembly Area Security
Security for the brigade, in addition to the general provisions noted above, is provided by the positioning of subordinate units, OPSEC, and the effective execution of the brigade R&S plan.
Combat battalions are ideally positioned to provide them observation or interdiction of major routes and avenues of approach into the brigade area. Positioning of these units with respect to one another should allow them to tie in their fires, observation, and patrolling with one another. When some routes or avenues of approach cannot be observed from battalion AAs, the battalions maintain surveillance of these areas through electronic means, patrolling, positioning of battalion scout platoons, or outposting of subordinate companies. The brigade develops an FS plan which targets routes and avenues into the AA and key terrain which may offer enemy units observation or tires into the AA.
OPSEC includes active and passive measures which attempt to deny the enemy information about friendly forces. Units within the brigade practice noise and light discipline, employ effective camouflage, and eliminate or reduce radio traffic. Other electronic transmissions such as jammers and radar are also restricted. Units may construct and employ unidirectional antennas. Movement of civilians and refugees near AAs is strictly controlled to prevent enemy sympathizers or covert agents from obtaining information about the brigade. Unit markings and uniform patches may be removed in some cases to retain unit anonymity. Unit rehearsals are conducted in areas which are not subject to enemy observation if possible. Extensive movements and resupply are conducted under limited visibility when possible. OPSEC measures may be varied because of higher headquarters deception efforts. For example, noise and light discipline maybe deliberately violated and false radio transmissions broadcast indiscriminately to act as a display of a different unit at that location.
The brigade R&S plan directs the employment of intelligence collection assets under brigade control and assigns intelligence and security tasks to subordinate units. The brigade prepares an R&S plan in support of AA occupation. Whatever intelligence assets remain under brigade control will be assigned intelligence collection tasks.
Battalion Assembly Area Security
Security for the battalion is achieved in much the same way as for the brigade-through the positioning of subordinate units, OPSEC, and the effective execution of the R&S plan.
The battalion positions companies with respect to avenues of approach and access routes as the brigade positions battalions. Companies tie in their fires, observation, and patrolling with one another. This is much simpler for the battalion because the companies typically occupy a portion of a battalion perimeter and are immediately adjacent to another company. Companies exchange sector sketches, fire plans, and patrolling plans with adjacent units. The battalion scout platoon may be positioned in three ways. It may be placed in a screen astride the most likely or dangerous avenue of approach. It may be required to establish several temporary LPs/OPs and conduct patrols between them to provide a thin screen line which surrounds the entire AA. It may also be positioned to observe an area that cannot be seen by other units within the AA. Companies may also be repositioned to observe these areas. GSRs allocated from brigade may either be retained under battalion control or, more typically, attached to the scout platoon.
The battalion practices the same OPSEC measures as does the brigade. Additionally, the battalion relies heavily on messenger and land-line telephone communications within the AA.
The battalion R&S plan directs the employment of intelligence assets under battalion control and assigns intelligence and security tasks to subordinate units. Companies typically provide security patrols to their front and establish LPs/OPs in accordance with the R&S plan. The battalion scout platoon conducts reconnaissance and security tasks under the R&S plan. Patrols may be established to maintain contact between units when companies occupy separate AAs.
Company Assembly Area Security
Security for the company is achieved through the positioning of subordinate units, OPSEC, and local security measures. The effective execution of the battalion R&S plan also provides a degree of security for the company.
The company positions platoons with respect to avenues of approach and access routes as the battalion positions companies. Platoons prepare sector sketches and range cards which are consolidated at company level. The commander prepares the company's fire plan from the platoon sector sketches. This ties in the platoons' fires. The company and its leftmost and rightmost platoons will tie in their fires and observation with their sister units to the right and left. Companies exchange sector sketches, fire plans, and patrolling plans with adjacent units. It is imperative that the company commander personally verify the information contained on the platoon sketches and range cards. The commander personally inspects and approves or changes the positioning and fields of fire of each combat vehicle, weapon system, and dismounted fighting positions. He may invest more time and effort in those units whose combat performance is key to the upcoming operation or those that will constitute the brigade's main effort.
Platoons will rarely be able to establish LPs/OPs in addition to those directed by the company commander. Company LPs/OPs are typically positioned to observe avenues of approach which cannot be seen by platoons in the AA. For example, an LP/OP positioned in rugged, heavily wooded terrain to the unit's flank is more likely to provide additional information to the commander than would an LP/OP located in fairly flat, open terrain in front of a platoon. Platoons may employ PEWS to augment LPs/OPs. Patrolling is usually not conducted except as directed by the battalion R&S plan because it detracts from combat preparation. The company practices the same OPSEC measures as does the battalion.
Additionally, the company habitually hot-loops platoons and, typically, the company as well. Radio communications within the company in the AA are avoided.
The planning considerations for occupying the AA are based largely on the anticipated future missions of units. Units are positioned in the AA so they can depart the AA en route to their assigned tactical missions without countermarching or moving through another unit. For example, suppose the battalion staff knows that team A will lead the battalion's movement to the LD. Team A would ideally be positioned near the SP with routes that lead straight to it and without another unit between it and the SP.
Sometimes the future employment of subunits will not be accurately known when the occupation of the AA is planned. In this case, units may be poorly positioned to lead the parent unit to the SP. Rather than sending this unit through other formations or allowing it to maneuver at its own discretion to the SP, the higher headquarters assigns the unit a separate route to the SP which takes it away from and around other units.
Units departing the AA must hit the SP at the correct interval and speed. To achieve this, the SP must be placed sufficiently far from the AA to allow units to maneuver out of their positions and configure themselves for the road march prior to reaching the SP. The SP for a battalion movement should be 2 to 3 km from the AA to permit companies to attain proper speed and interval before crossing it. Ideally, the lead march unit can visually identify the SP from the AA. Establishing correct march order, interval, and speed must be done en route to the SP because units which line up in preparing to move often block the maneuver of other units. Moreover, with only one unit moving at a time, the chance of units intermingling and becoming lost and confused is near zero.
Unit by unit movement from the AA without lining up is extremely difficult, especially under limited visibility and radio listening silence. Contact between departing units is maintained by LOS who return to their parent units to initiate movement at the correct time. At battalion level, the LO comes from the S3 section and uses a utility vehicle for movement to and from the leading battalion on which his parent battalion is keying its movement. At company level, the LO may be either mounted in a company HMMWV or on foot. Ideally, he would come from the platoon which will lead the company and returns to initiate the company's movement.
A rehearsal is the act or process of practicing an action in preparation for the actual performance of that action. Rehearsing key combat actions allows participants to become familiar with the operation and to translate the relatively dry recitation of the tactical plan into visual impression. This visual impression assists them in orienting themselves to both their environment and to other units during the execution of the operation. Moreover, the repetition of combat tasks during the rehearsal leaves a lasting mental picture of the sequence of key actions within the operation. Rehearsals also provide a forum for subordinate units and leaders to analyze the tactical plan to ascertain its feasibility, common sense, and the adequacy of its C2 measures before it is too late. To be effectively and efficiently employed in combat, rehearsals need to become habitual in training. All units at every level should routinely train and practice a variety of rehearsal techniques. Local SOPs should identify appropriate rehearsal techniques and standards for their execution.
Time is probably the most precious resource available to commanders and units. Rehearsals take time. The time required for rehearsal varies with the complexity of the task to be rehearsed, the type of rehearsal, and the level of participation. For this reason, the emphasis on rehearsals should be at the lowest level possible, using the most thorough technique possible given the time available.
Types of Rehearsals
Rehearsals may be classed by the technique employed and by who participates. One convention is to identify techniques with numbers and participation with letters. The following describes use of this convention.
Level III. Level III includes full-scale dress rehearsals involving the use of real time mounted and dismounted maneuver over actual or similar terrain. Level III rehearsals are obviously the most resource-intensive and potentially remove key leaders from their units for extended periods of time. Level III rehearsals are desirable but rarely feasible at brigade or battalion level.
Level II. Level II includes scaled rehearsals using selected personnel, usually key leaders, mounted in wheeled or tracked vehicles over similar terrain. Level H rehearsals cover less area and are less resource-intensive than Level III rehearsals. Level II rehearsals are possible at all levels of command but may not cover the entire operation. They would instead focus on just a few key actions such as hasty river crossing or linkup operations. A scale of 100 meters equals 1 kilometer is recommended.
Level I. Level I includes very small-scale rehearsals that do not involve mounted or dismounted maneuver. Examples of Level I rehearsals include map war-gaming, sand table talk-throughs, and local area scale-model walk-throughs. Level I rehearsals may cover the entire operation or may center on key actions. A walkthrough scale of 2 meters equals 1 kilometer is recommended. Level I walk-throughs of the entire operation often follow subordinate units' Level II or III rehearsals of critical actions. All levels of command routinely use Level I rehearsals.
The following lists the four types of personnel participation at battalion level. Participation at brigade and company levels are similar, but not identical. Table 2-2 shows the combinations of personnel participation at each level of command.
Type A. Type A rehearsals include the commander, S3, S2, FSO/FIST, ALO, XO, primary staff, BMO, subordinate commanders with their FSO/FIST, specialty platoon leaders, and CS unit commanders. Type A rehearsals are not usually conducted at brigade level because the size of the group is too cumbersome for anything other than Level III rehearsals.
Type B. Type B rehearsals include the commander, XO, S3, S2, FSO/FIST, ALO, subordinate commanders with their FSOs/FISTs, mortar and scout platoon leaders, and CS unit commanders.
Type C. Type C rehearsals include the commander, S3, S2, FSO/FIST, ALO, subordinate commanders, mortar and scout platoon leaders, and CS unit commanders, as required by the mission. For example, if the mission involves deliberate breach of a complex obstacle, the engineer unit commander would be present, but the ADA unit commander might not.
Type D. Type D rehearsals include the commander, S3, S2, FSO/FIST, ALO, and subordinate commanders.
Any combination of number/letter codes may be used to tell subordinates which type of rehearsal will be conducted and who will attend. Portions of the operation may receive more detailed rehearsal with more players, while the rehearsal of other portions is less involved. This information may be included in the coordinating instructions portion of the OPORD or briefed orally at the conclusion of the orders briefing. (For example, the order may specify "River crossing rehearsal type II-B, at 1245 hours vicinity TOC. Entire operation rehearsal type I-C walk-through at 1330 hours, vicinity EF 45332345.") Note that the more general rehearsal comes after the rehearsal and subsequent tine tuning of the critical action of the river crossing. This prioritizes the river crossing in the event that time runs out and allows for the inclusion of whatever changes occur as a result of the river crossing rehearsal.
Although this technique may be used at any level from company to brigade, it is generally not employed at company level. At company level, the number of participants is typically so small that the company commander can often simply tell his subordinates who should be where, when to be there, with what equipment, and with what assignments.
Although the majority of rehearsals planned and conducted by maneuver units are rehearsals of combat actions by subordinate maneuver units, rehearsals of special tasks or special functional groups are sometimes desirable.
Some examples of special rehearsals include command group, TOC shift, decontamination, R&S plan, and engineer reserve demolition target turnover, The decision concerning which special rehearsals to conduct, if any, is the commanders. Special rehearsals may be as formal or informal as necessity dictates and time allows.
Special rehearsals do not fit neatly into the type and level classifications presented above. How extensive the rehearsal should be and who should participate are dependent on time available, task complexity, and unit training. (For example, the TOC shift rehearsal is probably nothing more than a talk-through of key information and actions likely to be executed by the TOC, set against the framework of the S2's event template.) Rehearsing decontamination may be a Level III, full-scale, type A rehearsal on actual terrain when a certain unit must cross a known contaminated area. The battalion S2 may conduct a Level II, type D rehearsal of the patrolling portion of the battalion R&S plan with the scout platoon.
Special rehearsals do not replace other rehearsals. Rather, they augment, supplement, or reinforce other maneuver rehearsals. Special rehearsals can be conducted at any time during the troop-leading procedures, just like any other rehearsal.
Conduct of Rehearsals
Rehearsal planning consists primarily of decision making concerning what to rehearse, how to rehearse, whom to rehearse, and when to rehearse. These decisions are based on time available, training status of troops, complexity of the operation, and unit familiarity with rehearsal techniques and TSOPs.
Ideally, the entire operation is rehearsed from start to finish. This is seldom possible due to time constraints, nor is it necessary if units rue reasonably competent in most battle tasks. Instead, rehearsals focus on selected critical tasks necessary for mission accomplishment. Critical tasks identified by the S3/commander during troop-leading procedures are a good point to start selecting tasks to be rehearsed. The commander/S3 prioritizes these tasks based on criticality, complexity, and relative troop training status. Obviously, tasks that are vital to the mission, very complicated, and with which the troops are totally unfamiliar would receive top priority for rehearsal. If the prioritized list of tasks is very long, the commander/S3 may subjectively eliminate certain lower priority tasks from further consideration for rehearsal. This subjective determination of what to include or exclude is based primarily on time available for rehearsals.
For example, suppose a battalion TF will conduct movement from an AA, forward passage of lines, and a deliberate attack against a dug-in MRC. The battalion commander and S3 may identify the passage of lines, breach of the initial obstacle belt, defeat of the combat security outpost, seizure of the initial company objective, capture of the enemy position, and defeat of the MRR counterattack as critical tasks. Optimally each of these would be rehearsed. However, the commander must prioritize these actions based on time available (for example, eight hours), training status of subordinate units (uniformly good, but have not breached an obstacle in two years), commander's intent (the battalion must be in a position to defeat the MRR counterattack), and task complexity (forward passage of lines at night with 0 percent probability of incapacitation through an allied unit with no clear obstacle plan and guides who cannot speak English). In this example, he might prioritize them in order as: frost, passage of lines second, obstacle breach; and third, defeat of the counterattack. If time remains, he might rehearse other tasks that did not initially receive highest priority.
Although only a small number of tactical events may be actually rehearsed, these rehearsals are generally followed by a Level I rehearsal of the entire operation. This later Level I rehearsal allows participants of the other single task rehearsals to place their rehearsals within the context of the operation as a whole.
The determination of which rehearsal technique to employ to rehearse selected tasks is extremely important. Each level of rehearsal has an associated cost in terms of time and resources. Time is by far the greatest consideration. The rehearsal will take time, as will preparation and multiple iterations. As units are rehearsed in given tasks, they will require several runs to develop proficiency. Coupled with AARs after each run and possible adjustments to the plan, the rehearsal of even the most straightforward combat tasks becomes very time-and resource-intensive. Level I rehearsals are the norm at brigade, while subordinate battalions and companies execute more detailed rehearsals This is because the units which will actually execute the critical tasks in question are the companies and platoons.
The decisions concerning which tasks to rehearse and which rehearsal technique to use leads to considerations of who should participate. Certain degrees of participation are more appropriate to certain levels of rehearsals than others. Types B and C participation is most appropriate to Level I rehearsals. Type A participation is most commonly associated with Level III rehearsals. Participation should be closely matched to the level of rehearsal to ensure maximum benefit is gained from the rehearsal. Too many idle people watching instead of participating or lack of participation by key personnel detracts from the quality and benefits of the rehearsal.
Rehearsals must be executed at the right time and in the right sequence to maximize their potential value. Ideally, subordinate units should have developed at least a tentative plan prior to their participation in a rehearsal of their higher headquarters operation Without a tentative plan, feedback on the higher headquarters plan is very limited and the actions rehearsed may not resemble the final plan of the subordinate unit. A rehearsal at brigade and battalion is actually the rehearsal of actions by subordinate units. If the subordinate units do not have a tactical plan, there is very little to rehearse.
Depending on the level of rehearsal conducted, time must be allocated for preparation. A good rule of thumb is to conduct rehearsals along the lines of the one-third/two-thirds rule. Rehearsals should be scheduled for when the subordinate units are prepared to conduct rehearsals of their own. Rehearsal sequencing has two considerations: the crawl-walk-run approach to rehearsals and the nesting of simultaneous complementary tasks. In the crawl-walk-run approach, units conduct less intense, small-scale, or half-speed rehearsals to prepare for subsequent iterations that are closer to full dress rehearsal. Similarly, units may execute Level III rehearsals of small-unit tasks in preparation for a Level I walk rehearsal conducted by their higher headquarters. Nesting of simultaneous complementary tasks involves breaking down highly complex tasks into subtasks which are rehearsed separately, then later combined into a rehearsal of the entire complex task. For example, a unit with engineer support will execute a deliberate breach of a complex obstacle. With nesting, the maneuver unit might conduct a Level II rehearsal of its assault force and support force while the engineer unit does the same for its breaching force. Later, these three forces would conduct a Level III rehearsal of the entire breaching operation.
All of these various rehearsals must be synchronized to produce the optimum effect on unit execution. Rehearsal requirements at different levels of command must not be so numerous nor so closely spaced together that subordinate units are not afforded time for their rehearsals nor require their commanders to be in two different places at the same time. Movement time between rehearsal sites and available hours of daylight must also be considered.
Rehearsals will typically be confined to a small, select number of combat tasks. The most realistic and demanding rehearsals will be executed at the lowest levels of command. Lack of time will frequently preclude rehearsals at brigade and battalion level, but the brigade or battalion commander may direct subordinate commanders to conduct rehearsals of specific events and to report any modifications to the plan based on rehearsal results.
The commander's decisions concerning rehearsals are included in the OPORD, briefed at the conclusion of the order, and/or included in the WO. Extremely detailed and complicated rehearsal schemes, such as night Level III-A, might require a separate annex within the OPORD.
General. Regardless of which method or level of rehearsal is to be conducted, a single person or staff section must be responsible for the manual preparation of the site, supporting overlay, and other materials. Typically, the S3 section at battalion and brigade levels has this responsibility. At company level, the CO or XO will usually be responsible for rehearsal preparation.
Levels II and III. Preparation for Level II and Level III rehearsals consists of selecting a suitable piece of terrain, preparing overlays, and establishing provisions for necessary CSS.
Rehearsal terrain is selected for use based on map and ground reconnaissance. The selected terrain must match as closely as possible the actual terrain found in the AO and be available for the units' use. Usage is not a problem if the terrain is within the unit AO, but coordination will be required for use of terrain outside that assigned to the rehearsing unit. Terrain management is a significant handicap to large-scale, realistic rehearsals, especially in a combat environment. The density of units on the battlefield will make finding adequate pieces of terrain for Level III rehearsals almost impossible for offensive operations. Defensive operations present no obstacle to terrain management since the rehearsing unit is maneuvering within its AO. Obviously, the larger the rehearsing unit and the larger the state of the rehearsal, the more difficult it is to locate and use suitable pieces of terrain. Whatever terrain is finally decided on must simulate as nearly as possible the actual terrain that will be used during the operation. Key elements of similarity should include vegetation, visibility, and prominent terrain features. Optimally, the full-scale rehearsal terrain is the actual AO, but this is possible only for defensive and retrograde operations.
Scaled Level II rehearsals will also require the production of scaled overlays for use by participants. This overlay aligns with a 1:50,000 map but shows scaled-down graphic control measures for use during the rehearsal. Scaled overlays also indicate the rehearsal identity of certain key terrain features. For example, the rehearsal overlay may identify Highway 261 on the map as the Donau River for purposes of the rehearsal. Once a suitable piece of terrain is selected, it may still require minor modification to more accurately portray the actual AO. For example, a shallow cut with an engineer dozer blade may simulate a river, or a pile of empty ammo crates can be a town. Throw a tarp over the crates and they become a hill. Camouflage nets may be used as forests. The difficulty of these additions to the existing terrain is influenced by the scale selected for the rehearsal. The smaller the scale, the easier the adjustments. Selection of terrain features to portray or highlight might be influenced by the visibility conditions which will be present during the operation. For example, if the operation will take place at night, close-in, highly visible terrain features should be portrayed rather than more prominent but more distant features that will not be visible during the operation.
Full-scale Level III rehearsals require CSS and extensive planning to be executed correctly. In many ways, the depth and detail of this planning and CSS coordination will mirror the depth and detail devoted to peacetime FTXs. Depending on the size of the unit rehearsing and the proximity of the rehearsal terrain, units may need to plan and execute tactical road marches to move to the rehearsal site. Coordination must be made for food, water, pyrotechnic devices, and medical support for participants. Illumination devices or chemical lights may be required for night rehearsals. The headquarters conducting the rehearsal will routinely provide these items and make necessary coordination. If participants must supply some item on their own, this witl be highlighted in the briefing/annex which explains the rehearsal.
Level I. Level I rehearsals, other than map or terrain sketch talk-throughs, generally require as much preparation time as Level II or Level III rehearsals. This is because the extensive use of field expedient materials and training aids will usually be required to build a reasonable facsimile of the AO on what is really a small piece of fairly uniform terrain. Almost anything can be used to build the terrain model-rocks, brush, empty cans, and crates. The only limiting factors in material selection and construction are time, scale, and imagination. Again, scale has a great deal of impact on the difficulties involved in building the model. Operational graphics may be overlaid on the model using engineer tape, branches, lumber, and so forth. Walk-throughs may be accompanied by painted, color-coded 5-gallon cans to represent other units, both friendly and enemy.
Terrain models. Given sufficient predeployment preparation time, units may assemble sand-table kits containing various materials for the building of small state terrain models. TSC armor vehicle identification kit models or commercially available replicas may be included in these kits. Narrow engineer tape, various sizes and shapes of wooden blocks, spray paint, and sandbags may also be included. Sandbags may be crumpled to simulate vegetation or filled with dirt and rocks to portray terrain features. This kit is typically carried in the TOC, where one individual maintains it and is responsible for the construction of the terrain model. At company level, it might be carried in the combat trains. or a less elaborate version may be carried in the commander's vehicle. In lieu of a kit, the steel side-skirts of the M1, M2, or M3 can be used with colored chalk drawings of terrain features and small-state vehicle models or unit symbols glued to magnets.
Before rehearsal. Once the personnel specified in the rehearsal instructions are assembled at the rehearsal site, the commander or S3 will brief the participants and afterward lead the rehearsal. This briefing will include the following points.
Introduction. The rehearsal leader will introduce himself and all other key participants as appropriate.
Overview. The rehearsal leader will brief the participants about his briefing topics, what is going to be rehearsed, and in what sequence. He will brief a general time line and a fixed not-later-than ending time. He will explain how, by whom, and when AARs will take place and how changes will be incorporated into the existing plan. He will explain in detail any restrictions such as use of pyrotechnics, light discipline, weapons firing, or radio transmissions. He will ensure that all participants understand whatever safety precautions are in force. Last, he will emphasize what the expected results of the rehearsal are and what standards of task execution will be achieved. He gives subordinate leaders a chance to share the results of tactical planning or rehearsals they may have already conducted. If the subordinate unit recommends a change to the existing plan, the commander/S3 acts on the recommendation prior to beginning the rehearsal.
Orientation. The rehearsal leader orients the participants to the terrain or scale model being used. He ensures scaled overlays are distributed, if appropriate. The rehearsal leader identifies north on the terrain model or scaled terrain. He points out objects and terrain features that represent actual terrain features. For example, he may say, "The large tarp-covered pile of crates at 2 o'clock at about 75 meters represents Hill 624. The red 5-gallon cans near the military crest simulate the three motorized rifle platoon positions located there." He explains whatever graphic control symbols, obstacles, or FS targets are represented. For example: "The 7.62-mm ammunition cans with the white crosses represent coordination points between units. The 120-mm tank gun round bases represent the GEMSS minefield. The crosses of engineer tape spray-painted red are artillery and mortar targets." He will always conclude the orientation with a call for questions.
During rehearsal. After the briefing, the rehearsal begins in accordance with the rehearsal plan briefed by the rehearsal leader. The commander or S3 observes and critiques all portions of the rehearsal. Critiques will center on meeting the commander's intent and coordination between units. The internal execution of tasks within the rehearsal are frequently left to the judgment and discretion of the subordinate unit commander. Periodic AARs are conducted by leaders at all levels to ensure tasks are rehearsed to acceptable levels of competence and that substandard performance is not reinforced. AARs also provide an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned into the existing plan or into subsequent rehearsals. The rehearsal leader must emphasize integration of FS, events which trigger different contingency actions, and actions on contact. If units in reserve are rehearsed, those units should rehearse all of their most likely contingencies. Rehearsals continue until units are competent or maximum time available is expired. The commander may extend the allocated time but should refrain from shortening it. Succeeding iterations of the rehearsal may employ additional complexity and realism as the commander sees fit.
After rehearsal. At the conclusion of the rehearsal, the commander will reassemble the participants to review the lessons learned during the rehearsal and any modifications to the existing plan. This meeting also allows the commander to issue any last-minute instructions or reminders and to reiterate his intent. Any changes made to the existing plan are incorporated in subordinate unit orders and plans. Such changes are also briefed to any key leader or unit which did not originally participate in the rehearsal.
Deception consists of actions undertaken to mislead enemy forces and cause them to do something counter to their best interests. Deception includes manipulating, distorting, or falsifying information available to the enemy to ensure the security of real friendly plans, operations, and activities. Used correctly, deception is a powerful combat multiplier which causes the enemy to mass forces and fires at indecisive places and times. This creates vulnerabilities elsewhere that can be exploited by friendly units. Consideration of the employment of deception operations is an integral part of tactical planning at all levels of command.
Units may participate in deception operations of a higher headquarters or may conduct their own deception actions. As an actor in a higher headquarters' deception plan, units may be directed to engage in any type of battlefield activity consistent with the deception story. Units acting in the higher headquarters deception story will not usually conduct their own independent deception activities. Independent deception operations are not typically conducted at brigade level and below because these echelons generally lack the resources necessary to support both an effective separate deception action and a real mission simultaneously. However, in some situations, brigade and lower units may plan and execute such deception operations.
These lower echelon deception actions are characterized by the minimum expenditure of resources, limited duration, simplicity, and immediate tactical effect on the enemy's actions. The lower the echelon of command, however, the less resources can be brought to bear on the deception effort and the less effective the deception will be. In all cases, deception operations are coordinated with higher, lower, and adjacent units to ensure that deception actions by one unit will not negate or expose those of another unit. Uncoordinated deception activities can inadvertently reveal actual operations or destroy the effectiveness of elaborate, resource-intensive deception operations of a higher headquarters.
The decision on whether or not to execute deception operations is the commander's, based on his command estimate. When making his estimate, the commander considers the enemy's susceptibility to deception, the existence of an opportunity to deceive, resources and time available for deception, and the cost and risks associated with specific deception actions. The commander will also consider whatever deception plan is being executed by his higher headquarters to ensure his actions are complementary to this effort and not contradictory. Deception operations will not be conducted if they do not directly contribute to the success of the main effort or if they dilute the main effort to the point of placing it in jeopardy by diverting resources to the deception.
At brigade and battalion levels, the S2 will make the staff estimate of the enemy's susceptibility to deception based on his knowledge of the enemy intelligence collectors arrayed against the unit. The S2 will also consider the success of past deception operations against the enemy and the nature of the enemy's tactical reaction to that deception. A key consideration is how quickly the enemy reacted to the deception. The success of the deception will rely on the enemy's ability to detect the deception story indicators, coupled with his inability to perceive the real operation the deception is attempting to conceal. Selective counterreconnaissance operations may be required to deny enemy intelligence information concerning real activities.
An opportunity to deceive exists when more than one tactically sound and feasible course of action is open to accomplish the unit's mission. These other courses of action must be apparent to the enemy so they will be incoprated into the enemy's estimate process. This lays the groundwork for weaving a deception story that attempts to portray a course of action that was not adopted as the friendly unit's chosen course of action. For example, a friendly unit will attack using an avenue of approach along its eastern boundary. If an equally viable course of action used an avenue of approach in the center of the unit's zone, the opportunity exists to employ deception to portray this center avenue as the one to be used by the unit.
There is an associated cost in time and resources with any deception operation. The longer, more realistic, and more elaborate the deception, the greater the cost. Tactical deception often requires the diversion of combat power from the main effort. Time is a critical consideration. Sufficient time must be allotted not only to prepare the deception, but also to allow the deception indicators to be observed, reported, and acted on by the enemy unit that is the target of the deception. The lower the target audience, the easier and cheaper it is to deceive; lower echelons have shorter decision cycles and lack the sophisticated multispectral intelligence-gathering capability found at higher echelons of command. Convincing an enemy battalion commander that your attack is coming from the west might involve nothing more than a few rounds of artillery and a smoke screen. Convincing an enemy division commander of the same idea is an entirely different matter.
Cost and Risk
Any expenditure of resources on deception denies the main effort the added combat power it might gain from those same resources. The commander must carefully weigh the resource cost of deception against the surprise and security gained for the main effort. At brigade level and below, the amount and types of resources required to achieve the deception desired can seldom be spared from the main effort. A second risk is that of inadvertently revealing the real operation through the enemy's penetration of the deception story with aggressive reconnaissance. While shorter periods of deception make discovery less likely, the commander still runs the risk of premature disclosure of the main effort. Perhaps the greatest risk in deception operations is they may fail to produce the desired action or inaction on the part of the enemy. A deception operation may be well planned and flawlessly executed, but the enemy commander may stubbornly refuse to be fooled. He may feel the deception to be false, or he may believe the deception to be "real" but see no need to alter his plans to account for it. This failure to produce desired results may be mitigated through contingency planning that anticipates the failure of the deception effort. If the commander decides to deceive the enemy, he must identify the deception objective, the intended audience of the deception, and the deception story.
The deception objective is the desired outcome of the deception effort. It is typically expressed in terms of enemy action or inaction by a specific enemy unit at a specific time and place. In friendly offensive operations, the objective is typically the commitment of the reserve in an area other than the main effort or the failure to commit the reserve at a decisive time and place. In defensive operations, the objective is usually to force the enemy to commit his second echelon against friendly strength and lure the enemy into a position of disadvantage.
The deception objective is clearly limited by the resources available and the commander's willingness to expend them. Objective must be tempered with capability. For example, suppose the deception objective is to cause the enemy regiment to incorrectly employ its reserve against the brigade's supporting attack. This would probably require the enemy regimental and division commanders to concur that the brigade supporting attack was both the friendly main effort and in danger of overrunning the defending regiment's first defensive echelon. The latter condition would require the brigade supporting attack to destroy a defending enemy battalion. However, it would consume the entire resources of the brigade to destroy one battalion. Obviously, the brigade, if it lacks significant augmentation or combat multipliers, is incapable of achieving this deception objective with a supporting attack. In this case, the brigade commander must opt for a less ambitious deception objective if his deception effort is to succeed.
Brigade and lower deception objectives are frequently limited to causing the enemy to delay or incorrectly identify the friendly main effort or to delay the enemy commander's decisions during the battle by presenting him with an ambiguous tactical situation. The delay thus imposed on enemy action can be decisive in favor of the friendly unit.
Once the commander has selected an achievable deception objective that supports the unit's operation, he consults with the S2 to determine which enemy commander would typically be the decision maker for the objective action or failure to act. This enemy commander then becomes the target audience whom the deception effort is designed to influence.
Enemy commanders receive information during battle much the same way ours would, depending on the echelon of command in question. The S2 will identify the intelligence collectors available to the target audience so that appropriate, observable indicators can be selected for the deception effort. The deception techniques chosen for employment are linked to the collection capabilities of the target audience. Over the brief course of an operation at brigade level or below, the enemy commander likely to be selected as the target audience obtains virtually all of his information through the visual observation and reporting of units in contact. Therefore, deception efforts focus on creating a false visual impression of the battlefield and allowing this false impression to be reported.
The deception story is the sum total of the false information presented to the enemy commander which will lead him to make an erroneous estimate of the situation. The story must portray a believable and tactically feasible intent or capability that aligns with a possible, but not selected, friendly course of action. The deception story must be plausible and capable of causing the enemy to select the course of action reflected in the deception objective.
Because the deception techniques typically employed below division level are visual, the deception story for these echelons of command usually centers around friendly dispositions and current activities. However, any information visually acquired by the enemy may be woven into the deception story.
Once the commander has decided to execute deception operations. he assigns deception tasks to subordinate units in accordance with his decisions and estimates of the deception objective, target audience, resources available for deception, and risks involved. Deception tasks include feints, displays, ruses, and demonstrations.
A feint is a limited objective attack which gains contact with the enemy to give the appearance of the main attack. Feints are the most common deception operation. Feints may vary in size from raids to supporting attacks. Regardless of size, the feint must contribute to the success of the main attack and also deceive the enemy. Not all supporting attacks are feints. A supporting attack is a feint when it is presented to the enemy as the main attack. Because a feint entails the actual engagement of combat units and the expenditure of other resources, especially FA ammunition, units below division level are generally incapable of conducting a feint which is not the actual supporting attack. Company level units are seldom capable of conducting both an actual attack and a feint. They either attack or feint at the direction of their parent battalion.
Feints may be conducted before, during, or after the main attack. Conducted before the main attack they may cause the enemy to reveal his dispositions and intentions by the movement of his reserves and the firing of primary direct and indirect weapon systems. Information gained from the enemy's reaction is used to focus the main attack against weaknesses created or discovered in enemy dispositions and to provide more precise targeting for FA preparation and counterbattery fires. The timing of feints before the main attack is critical. For example, suppose the deception objective is displacement of the enemy reserve. In this case, the feint must take place well ahead of the main attack to allow the enemy enough time to decide to move the reserve and then to physically move it. However, if the feint is executed too much ahead of the main attack the enemy reserve may crush the feint or gain sufficient time to resume its original positions for use against the main attack.
Feints conducted simultaneously with the main attack cause the enemy to fight in two directions and prevent early identification of the main effort. Ideally, the enemy will perceive the feint as the main attack and employ his reserves and the bulk of his FS assets against it. This dilution of the enemy's combat power against the main attack ensures additional success for the main attack. At the least, a feint conducted during the main attack will delay the enemy's identification of the main attack and the subsequent employment of his reserves until it is too late to seriously damage the main attack.
Feints conducted after the main attack may serve to fix the enemy's uncommitted reserves by creating uncertainty in the mind of the enemy commander as to which attack is truly the main attack. While the enemy waits for additional information, the main attack consolidates and reorganizes on its objectives.
The location of the feint is as important as its timing. The area selected for the feint must be sufficiently far from the area of the main effort that it does not interfere with the main attack. Enemy reaction to the feint must not inadvertently improve his position with respect to the main attack. For example, suppose the deception objective of the feint was to force the shifting of the enemy reserve. If the enemy reserve shifts to counter the feint and positions itself astride the main attack's avenue of approach, the feint fails to support the main attack.
In some situations, the employment of a series of feints is more useful than a single deception event. Recurring feints in one area may establish a pattern of friendly activity that lulls the enemy into underestimating a main attack launched later in the same area. Several small-scale raids against enemy combat security outposts may convince the enemy that the area of increased activity will be the location of the main attack, causing him to redeploy accordingly.
Feints and demonstrations in support of one unit's main attack may be made by another unit after coordination between the two units. These deception actions by the unit already in contact on the LD/LC is especially useful to the unit making the main attack because it does not divert resources from the attacking unit. This support is either directed by the common superior commander or coordinated between the two units.
A display is a static presentation intended for observation by enemy collection systems, including radar, photography, IR imaging, and the human eye. Displays may be used to simulate weapons and installations, to disguise the characteristic appearance of a military object, to portray the existence of a unit that does not really exist, or to indicate a different type or size of unit than which actually exists at a given battlefield location. Displays are most commonly associated with the deception efforts of echelons above division because of the time and resources required for the construction and maintenance of effective multispectral displays. However, simple displays of limited duration may be used effectively by brigade and lower units. The planning and execution of displays are limited only by the time and resources the commander is willing to expend and by his imagination.
Vehicle dust and movement, false radio transmissions, and apparent breaches in light discipline may be used behind the LD/LC to give the appearance of units massing for offensive operations in an area away from the main attack's avenue of approach. When used in conjunction with false artillery preparations, increased patrolling activity, or obscuration smoke, such displays are even mom effective. Such activity lends additional credibility to a feint or demonstration conducted later in the same area. Units may simulate defensive preparations by hammering pickets into the ground, operating engineer earthmoving equipment, and shoveling sand and dirt.
Preparation of dummy fighting positions and obstacles, deceptive radio traffic, and rehearsal of false plans may be used to present an erroneous picture of unit dispositions and plans. These deception efforts are especially effective when coupled with good camouflage of actual positions and obstacles, sound radio discipline, selective counterreconnaissance, and careful use of multispectral decoys.
A ruse is the deliberate placement of false information into the hands of the enemy. It is simple trickery, Ruses are commonly associated with the operational and strategic levels of war and the employment of "James Bond" covert agents. However, limited opportunities exist for the tactical employment of ruses.
In employing ruses, extreme care must be taken to ensure that actual information is not somehow compromised by the false information provided to the enemy while at the same time appearing to be genuine. The manner in which the false information falls into the enemy's hands must be plausible. Because of their extreme potential for inadvertently revealing actual friendly plans, ruses are always coordinated with the next higher headquarters. Company level units seldom employ ruses.
False information which would require translation by the enemy into its own language, such as an OPORD, is unsuitable as a ruse below division level. The time necessary for forwarding this type of false information up the chain of command, translating it, and transmitting it back down to the enemy unit that obtained the information, precludes any near-term advantage to the friendly unit. The operation the false information was designed to support is over before the enemy can even read it.
Ruses at brigade level and below are probably limited to little more than planting false maps and overlays where the enemy can find them. As pictures of the operation or friendly dispositions, they need no interpretation. In offensive operations, these could be dropped during enemy contact by a reconnaissance or combat patrol. In defensive or retrograde operations, they might be dropped near an abandoned command vehicle.
A demonstration is a show of force intended to deceive the enemy in an area where a decision is not sought. In most respects, the demonstration is similar to a feint. Unlike a feint, the demonstration avoids enemy contact. Without enemy contact, the demonstration cannot act as a supporting attack and lacks the realism of the feint. Demonstrations are also similar to displays in that they are intended for enemy observation. Unlike displays, demonstrations will employ some actual tactical units.
Demonstrations have two major advantages as deception operations. Units which participate in a demonstration are available for subsequent employment without the degradation of combat power which normally results from contact during a feint. Displays and demonstrations can be used simultaneously to complement one another. Demonstrating units can use decoys, false radio transmissions, and wide lateral dispersion to portray a larger, more heavily supported unit than is actually present.
The realism and effectiveness of demonstrations are proportional to the amount of resources invested in the demonstration. The most effective demonstrations are nearly as resource-intensive as feints. Demonstrations can consume significant resources yet do not contribute directly to the near-term success of the brigade's mission. Therefore, demonstrations are not usually executed at brigade level except as part of a higher headquarters deception plan.
The brigade can effectively employ the demonstration in some circumstances. This impossible when time and distance factors allow the demonstration force to deceive the enemy for an extended period and the lack of contact with the enemy is realistic. For example, in a brigade movement to contact, the brigade may wish to move with three battalions in column. The brigade commander wishes to deceive the enemy concerning the disposition of the brigade. In this case, the brigade may conduct a demonstration with a reinforced company team on a separate parallel axis to portray two battalions abreast leading the brigade. Until physical enemy contact is made, this demonstration may deceive the enemy as to brigade deployment. In the defense, the brigade may deploy two company teams forward to build false defensive positions to portray either a misleading FEBA trace or a different defensive course of action. These teams would withdraw under cover of darkness or upon contact with enemy units. In the deliberate attack, when enemy units are templated at some distance from the LD, the brigade may maneuver one or more companies along a separate axis from the main effort to portray an attacking battalion.
Reconnaissance and surveillance is any mission undertaken to obtain information by visual observation or other detection methods about the activities and resources of an enemy or about the physical characteristics of a particular area. Successful R&S is the collection of timely, accurate information about the enemy and the terrain in the AO; it is essential to mission accomplishment. Without effective R&S, the unit blunders into defending enemy units or is surprised by an attacker. Either situation makes battlefield success unlikely.
Although the divisional heavy brigade has no dedicated organic reconnaissance unit, many intelligence resources are available to the brigade. The brigade gains most of its intelligence information from reports and information from higher and lower units. The brigade's higher headquarters will pass processed intelligence information of all types to the brigade S2. Some information concerning enemy FS activities and units is passed separately to the brigade FSO. The brigade ALO may receive in-flight reports from CAS mission pilots about enemy activities near the CAS target area, especially enemy ADA. If flying in support of the brigade, Army aviation units will also report intelligence information to the brigade. The subordinate units of the brigade send intelligence to the brigade S2 via the brigade OI net. This information consists of processed spot reports from units in contact. Any brigade subunit may be tasked to perform an R&S mission and report its findings directly to the brigade.
The division's task organization may allocate MI units to the brigade to collect signals intelligence in support of the brigade. If GSRs are part of the MI unit, they are typically suballocated to subordinate maneuver battalions. However, GSRs may sometimes be retained under brigade control. In very rare cases, the MI unit task organization may include interrogation assets, which would allow the brigade to gain information from questioning EPWs.
Tactical air reconnaissance missions may be requested by the brigade. However, these assets will typically be employed by the division or corps well beyond the brigade's area of interest.
If higher headquarters reconnaissance units are operating near the brigade, the brigade may eavesdrop on their nets to collect information. The brigade may also eavesdrop on units in contact with the enemy or those moving through an area to be traversed by the brigade. The brigade may dispatch LOs to these or other units to collect information in addition to their other duties.
In some circumstances, the brigade may be able to coordinate the inclusion of its intelligence requirements with the R&S activities of another unit, such as a unit on the LD/LC which the brigade will pass through to conduct offensive operations.
Prior to commitment to combat, the brigade commander or staff members may conduct a personal reconnaissance of the brigade's AO. Such reconnaissance may include key subordinate leaders.
In some situations, local inhabitants in the area of interest may provide information. Naturally, accuracy, completeness, and reliability of such information may be questionable. Enemy information may be wildly inaccurate or so general as to be useless. Excellent terrain information is frequently available from local residents and is especially useful when maps are out of date or when weather conditions may have influenced soil conditions and mobility.
Actions to gain intelligence information in support of the brigade's operations begin with the deployment of the brigade and never stop. Even when the brigade is deployed in an inactive area or positioned in the rear, the S2 constantly obtains, interprets, and disseminates intelligence information. Throughout this process, the S2 essentially answers three questions: "What do I know?"; "What more do I need to know?"; and "How will I find out what I need to know?"
This intelligence activity is reflected in the IPB process. As the S2 follows the IPB process, he assembles information that he does know and identifies pertinent information about the enemy or terrain that he does not know. Known information initially comes primarily from the brigade's higher headquarters. Depending on the courses of action developed by the staff within the context of the operation as a whole.
The determination of which rehearsal technique to employ to rehearse selected tasks is extremely important. Each level of rehearsal has an associated cost in terms of time and resources. Time is by far the greatest consideration. The rehearsal itself takes time, as do preparation and multiple iterations. Units are rehearsed to proficiency in given tasks and the development of proficiency will probably take several iterations observed by the brigade's subunits. The S2 submits this consolidated list to the brigade commander as the recommended PIR for the brigade. The brigade commander may accept, add, change, or delete whatever he wishes from this list. Once it is approved, answering the questions posed by the PIR becomes the focus of the brigade S2's intelligence-gathering activity. However, the S2 will simultaneously continue to gather information in an effort to confirm or deny information in the IPB products he develops. Pertinent missing information not included in the approved PIR list is classed as OIR.
Simply stated, PIR are those missing pieces of information that the commander needs to make coherent, timely decisions during the course of the battle. The selection and structure of PIR are extremely important because the commander needs exactly the right information to make his decisions and the reconnaissance activities of subordinate units are driven largely by PIR. The selected PIR must be absolutely relevant to the brigade's operations and the commander's decisions, The brigade's PIR will also include indicators which support the division's PIR. For example, if the division PIR was, "Will the enemy commit the ITB?" and the ITB was the only enemy unit equipped with T-80 tanks, the brigade version of PIR might include, "Has the enemy used T-80 tanks? If so, where, when, and in what strength?" PIR include the brigade commander's requirements and division PIR indicators; they must be oriented on something that the brigade's subordinate units can actually observe and report. Along these lines, brigade-to-battalion PIR that ask "When and where will the enemy commit the second echelon division?" are absolutely useless. PIR like this one come from passing the buck of the higher PIR directly to the lower echelon without trying to identify observable indicators. Subordinate battalions receiving this sort of PIR have no choice but to ignore them or focus on their own indicators.
The PIR have answered the question: "What more do I need to know?" Now the S2 must determine how best to obtain this information. The S2 compares the information requirements with the capabilities and limitations of the resources available. This comparison assists him in matching collection tasks with an appropriate collector. To do this correctly, the S2 must know what to look for, when to look for it, and where to look for it. Information requirements generally fall into three categories: those the S2 can fill on his own with brigade assets, those which can best be filled by a higher or adjacent unit, and those delegated for collection by the subordinate units of the brigade.
Required information which can be collected by assets under brigade control are translated into orders for those assets. These orders may direct a specific effort or may be couched in more general terms of priorities for collection and reporting. Collection tasks may change over the course of an operation, by phase, for example. If brigade assets must collocate with another unit to execute their mission, the requirements for coordination are also specified in the brigade's orders.
Information selected for collection by another unit is easier to collect based either on relative proximity to where the information will be collected or on availability of suitable equipment with another unit. This needed information is drafted as a request and forwarded to the appropriate unit. For example, information about the location and movements of an enemy unit 20 km beyond the FLOT may be impossible for the brigade to obtain but may be easily collected by the division's MI battalion. Likewise information about enemy units moving against the brigade's flanks is most easily collected by friendly units already positioned to the flank of the brigade.
Brigade subunits may be tasked to collect information in two ways. The first is indirect collection. Units will routinely receive the brigade PIR in the coordinating instructions of the brigade OPORD. This PIR list may be translated into implied tasks during mission analysis, but this is no guarantee that the subordinate unit will deliberately set out to obtain this information. For example, the brigade PIR for an offensive mission includes: "Are permanent bridges intact over the Flossen River?" If a maneuver battalion's AO includes two possible bridge sites, but its tactical plan takes the battalion near only one of them, the battalion will probably not observe the second site. A second very effective technique is to direct a unit to execute an R&S operation to collect needed information. Such a directive would commonly appear in the brigade's OPORD as tasks to maneuver units. Using the example above, the battalion may be directed, "Phase I: Execute area reconnaissance of CP 5 and CP 6 to determine whether bridges are intact. Classify intact bridges. Report intact bridges as PIR. This second technique will clearly obtain the needed information for the brigade, when and how the brigade desires it.
A technique similar to delegation of specific R&S tasks is employment of entire units in reconnaissance roles. In this case, the reconnaissance mission is the primary effort of the unit, not a secondary task. This technique is not usually employed. Assigning an entire battalion to a reconnaissance mission is typically too great an effort to support the brigade. The use of a company under brigade control makes both logistics and C2 difficult.
Resources and procedures for battalion intelligence activities are parallel to those at brigade level, except that the battalion has an organic scout platoon as an additional reconnaissance resource.
The battalion scout platoon is the battalion commander's best reconnaissance asset. However, to be used to maximum advantage and survive its first mission, the scout platoon requires some specific guidance and support that only the battalion commander can supply.
First, the scout platoon needs a detailed list of exactly what it is being tasked to find out and a clear priority for its collection. The battalion PIR alone will not suffice. This prioritized list is most commonly associated with the IPB process and answers the question, "If the scout platoon can find and report only one piece of information, what do I want it to be?" The successive answers to this question are reflected in the instructions to the scouts. These instructions are specific tasks. Telling the scout platoon leader, "Execute zone reconnaissance forward of the TF beginning at 0435 hours," is clearly inferior to, "Execute zone reconnaissance forward of the TF beginning at 0435 hours. Collect and report the following in priority. Phase I: Number 1, confirm or deny enemy AT minefield at FT 456239; Number 2, determine enemy unit type and dispositions on hill 413, including tank positions...." This allows the scout platoon leader to collect vital information first and focuses his efforts.
Next the scout platoon must be given enough time to get the job done right. If sufficient time is not allocated to its reconnaissance, the scout platoon is forced to conduct an entirely mounted reconnaissance at fairly high speed. In this situation, the scout platoon usually gains contact by being shot off the road. Good reconnaissance techniques include mounted movement and dismounted reconnaissance. It takes a long time to drive through an area using maximum cover and concealment and stopping frequently either to listen or to get down and walk to vantage points to look around. Darkness, fear, and an occasional detour around enemy outposts make the time even longer. Moreover, information gained by reconnaissance is supposed to be used in the planning process, or at least during the operation, to choose between courses of action; therefore, the scout platoon must be sent out on the reconnaissance mission early enough in the planning process that the commander can react to the information provided.
Finally, the scout platoon must be allocated other resources to conduct effective reconnaissance. Operating separately from the TF, the scout platoon may be given a medical vehicle, Stinger system, or tow bars for self-recovery. The scout platoon needs an FS plan specifically designed for its reconnaissance mission, generally not the same one for the battalion's mission. If the scouts will remain forward of the TF before an offensive operation. they can adjust the FA preparation but should be encircled by FS no-fire areas. Engineer NCOs or an engineer squad will typically accompany the scout platoon to evaluate bridges and roadways and to reconnoiter enemy obstacles to devise effective mobility operations.
Although the company does not have a dedicated reconnaissance asset like the battalion scout platoon, many other intelligence resources are available to the company. Regardless of the resource employed, the objective of company reconnaissance is to collect the information (PIR) needed by the commander during the operation.
The company gains most of its intelligence from reports and information from subordinate units and from the battalion S2. The battalion S2 will pass processed intelligence information of all types to the company. The company commander can gain additional information by monitoring the battalion command net, since unit spot reports are sent on that net. The commander also gains information from his own observation of the battlefield and his leaders' reconnaissance
In some situations, the battalion may collocate GSRs with the company. Hasty face-to-face coordination with the GSR operator will allow the company to receive his observations simultaneously with the S2.
If other units are operating near the company, the commander, XO, or 1SG may eavesdrop on their nets to collect information. The company may also eavesdrop on units in contact with the enemy or those moving through an area to be traversed by the company.
Any company maneuver subunit may be tasked to perform separate reconnaissance missions. Mechanized infantry is commonly used for this purpose when the intelligence needs of the company cannot be met by simple observation or through information passed from battalion to company. An infantry patrol is a highly effective, but seldom used, reconnaissance asset in the company team.
The company can collect information from its platoons in essentially two ways: as an aside during the course of any operation, or deliberately when tasked to perform a reconnaissance mission. A second possible technique is to direct a platoon to execute a reconnaissance operation to collect needed information. Such a directive may appear as tasks to maneuver units in the OPORD or, more commonly, as a FRAGO during an operation. However, the company commander is usually in the business of obtaining his own information through personal observation In this case, the PIR act as a supplement to the commander's reconnaissance, ensuring vital information is not neglected simply because the commander himself did not observe it.
Counterreconnaissance is any operation undertaken to deny the enemy intelligence information concerning friendly units through the active attack and defeat of enemy reconnaissance and EW units. It is the sum of actions taken at all echelons to counter enemy reconnaissance and surveillance efforts throughout the depth of the AO. It contains both active and passive elements and includes combat action to destroy or repel enemy reconnaissance units. Counterreconnaissance is one aspect of security.
The enemy will conduct vigorous, thorough, and vigilant reconnaissance throughout the friendly AO. Enemy efforts will include dedicated reconnaissance units, EW assets, FA target locating radar, and ad hoc temporary reconnaissance groupings of maneuver units. While air reconnaissance assets are available to the enemy, air reconnaissance is typically directed against friendly units and assets many kilometers from the FLOT.
The destruction or defeat of the enemy's reconnaissance efforts provides security for friendly forces and surprises the enemy once contact is made with the main body. Stripping away enemy ground reconnaissance and denying the enemy information through other collection systems allows friendly commanders to operate inside the decision cycle of an enemy who is then operating blindly. The enemy commander's inability to see the battlefield will eventually desynchronize his actions and render his command vulnerable to resolute, aggressive action by friendly forces.
The brigade identifies, locates, and defeats enemy reconnaissance efforts through a combination of EW, FS, and the actions of its assigned ground combat units.
The brigade does not plan and execute counterreconnaissance as a unit. Rather, the brigade provides the information and resources necessary for its subordinate battalions to plan and execute counterreconnaissance operations. In unusual circumstances, the brigade commander may wish to exercise a degree of C2 over the battalions' counterreconnaissance efforts.
The first task of counterreconnaissance is to identify the reconnaissance threat facing the brigade and predict its employment. This prediction relies on information from higher headquarters, analysis of enemy doctrine, and the possible influence of higher headquarters' and adjacent units' operations on the enemy reconnaissance threat. This analysis by the S2 paints a picture of the enemy's reconnaissance course of action. Many times, the S2 will be unable to determine anything more than the type and quantity of reconnaissance assets likely to be deployed against the brigade.
The second task of counterreconnaissance is to identify assets available to the brigade to conduct and support counterreconnaissance. The brigade will be unable to actively conduct counterreconnaissance against enemy resources arrayed in depth, such as radars or EW units, unless the division task organization has allocated appropriate MI units to the brigade. Acquisition assets available to the brigade will be GSRs and IEW support teams. GSRs may be retained at brigade or, more commonly, suballocated to maneuver battalions. Without significant acquisition means, the brigade's counterreconnaissance assets are reduced to simply the assigned maneuver battalions.
The battalion commander designates and controls the battalion's counterreconnaissance battle in accordance with his METT-T analysis. Generally, the battalion counterreconnaissance fight is conducted by the scout platoon augmented with GSRs and maneuver units. The battalion plans and conducts counterreconnaissance as a unit. The brigade provides the information and CS resources necessary for the battalion to plan and execute counterreconnaissance operations.
The first task of counterreconnaissance is to identify the reconnaissance threat facing the battalion and predict its employment. This prediction relies on information from the brigade, analysis of enemy doctrine, and the possible influence of the brigade's and adjacent units' operations on the enemy reconnaissance threat. This analysis by the S2 paints a picture of the enemy's reconnaissance course of action. Many times, the S2 will be unable to determine anything more than the type and quantity of reconnaissance assets likely to be deployed against the battalion.
The second task of counterreconnaissance is to identify assets available to the battalion to conduct and support counterreconnaissance. The battalion will be unable to actively conduct counterreconnaissance against enemy resources arrayed in depth, such as radars or EW units. Instead, the battalion focuses its counterreconnaissance efforts against enemy ground reconnaissance units. The battalion has its organic mortar and scout platoons, maneuver companies, and possibly CS assets allocated by the brigade. CS assets useful in counterreconnaissance include FA and FA priority targets, combat engineers, and GSRs.
The last counterreconnaissance task is to identify, locate, and destroy enemy ground reconnaissance. The TF will generally deploy two elements forward of the TF under one commander to execute counterreconnaissance. One element establishes a thin two-layered screen line forward of the battalion to identify, locate, and shadow the enemy reconnaissance vehicles. The second element performs a guard mission and accomplishes the destruction of enemy reconnaissance units acquired by the screen line through a combination of hasty attacks and ambushes. The scout platoon is typically the screening force. Depending on the size of the overall counterreconnaissance effort, anything from a platoon to a company may be employed as the guard force. The magnitude of the counterreconnaissance force will indicate the appropriate grade for its commander. The company commander of the guard force is the usual commander for the counterreconnaissance battle.
Both the screen and guard forces may employ obstacles and indirect fires in support of counterreconnaissance. Camouflaged, low-density nuisance minefields are highly effective in the counterreconnaissance fight. Such minefield maximize surprise, have minimum impact on MBA obstacle preparation, confuse the enemy, and provide early warning and identification of enemy approach. Off-road AT mines and dummy minefields may also be used. Either a FIST-V attached to the scouts or a COLT team deployed nearer the FEBA can employ Copperhead FA munitions to selectively and surreptitiously destroy enemy reconnaissance vehicles. These vehicles can naturally employ other FA munitions with more precision, a requirement when indirect fires will impact near friendly forces. In cases where FA is not readily available to the TF for counterreconnaissance, the battalion heavy mortar platoon may deploy forward to support the screen and guard forces. GSRs maybe deployed either with the scouts, to enable them to pickup enemy reconnaissance farther out, or deeper in the counterreconnaissance sector, almost at the FEBA, to maintain contact with enemy vehicles. Positioning GSRs near the FEBA also allows the GSRs to vector guard force units onto enemy contacts under limited visibility or if contact is lost by the screen line. Locating the GSRs depends largely on ten-sin since they are a line-of-sight system.
The commander's decisions on the size and deployment of the counterreconnaissance force is dependent on METT-T and the counterreconnaissance efforts of units farther forward, such as the division reconnaissance squadron.
Companies do not normally execute independent counterreconnaissance operations. Rather, they act as the guard force in the battalion counterreconnaissance battle. The company commander, tasked to provide the guard force and/or C2 for the counterreconnaissance fight, plans and executes this mission as he would any other. Rehearsals of movement front small tactical AAs and hide positions to ambush and BPs are a necessity. These rehearsals typically include the scout platoon and whatever FS assets are being employed.
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