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FM 71-3
The Armored and Mechanized Infantry Brigade


The application of superior combat power at the decisive time and place determines the outcome of the battle. The brigade commander uses his CSS assets to enhance the abilities of his maneuver battalions and to weight the main effort within the brigade. The effects of CSS assets in support of the maneuver plan are increased by integrating CSS in the maneuver plan from the beginning of the planning process or COA development. This prevents CSS assets from becoming additives attached to a completed plan. This allows the CSS to act as true combat multipliers. Based on guidance and changing priorities, the brigade requests additional assets from division when necessary, and coordinates and integrates CSS assets. The CSS assets provide support to the brigade according to standard command and support relationships.

Section I. Command and Support Relationships
Section II. Combat Service Support Overview
Section III. Brigade Combat Service Support System
Section IV. Forward Support Battalion
Section V. Personnel Service Support
Section VI. Brigade Combat Service Support Planning
Section VII. Reconstitution
Section VIII. Weapon Systems Replacement Operations


Specific applications of the command and support relationships are in the discussion of CSS elements throughout this chapter. Table 8-1 illustrates the relationship between the brigade and CSS elements.

The leader of a CSS element that is attached, OPCON, or DS to the brigade also serves as a special staff officer to the brigade commander.

During planning, preparation, and execution of the brigade mission, the CSS element leader provides assistance, advice, and recommendations on employment of his unit to the brigade commander and staff. He employs his unit as directed by the brigade commander.

Table 8-1. Brigade command and support relationships.

Under Command/Control of... Brigade Cdr Brigade Cdr Parent Unit Parent Unit
Task Organized by... Brigade Unit Brigade Cdr**** Parent Unit Parent Unit
Receives Mission, Tasks,
and Priorities from...
Brigade Unit Brigade Unit Brigade Unit Parent Unit
Positioned by... Brigade Unit Brigade Unit* Parent Unit* Parent Unit
Maintains Communications
and Liaison with...
Brigade Unit Brigade and Parent Unit Brigade and Parent Unit Parent Unit
Receives CSS from... Brigade Unit*** Parent Unit** Parent Unit** Parent Unit
*With specific approval of the brigade commander if within the brigade AOs. (Any unit in the brigade area requires positioning approval.)
**The CSS requirements beyond the ability of the parent unit area provided by the brigade after a specific request for coordination between the parent unit and brigade headquarters has been made.
***Attached element brings an appropriate slice of CSS equipment and personnel to supplement the brigades assets.
****In NATO, OPCON does not include authority to assign separate employment of components of the units concerned.

Table 8-1. Brigade command and support relationships.



The functional areas of CSS cover six major areas: manning, arming, fueling, fixing, moving, and sustaining soldiers and their systems (PSS, HSS, field service support, and quality of life).


The brigade must be armed, fixed, fueled, manned, moved and its soldiers sustained to allow the brigade commander to take advantage of opportunities to achieve tactical advantage. This requires the S4/S1 and the FSB commander to incorporate the logistical characteristics in every action taken. The five logistical characteristics of anticipation, integration, continuity, responsiveness, and improvisation enable tactical success.


CSS leaders and staffs must anticipate CSS requirements. They do this by understanding the commanders intent and translating current developments into future requirements. The main purpose of anticipation is to help the brigade commander form a supportable plan. The FSB commander, brigade S1, and brigade S4 develop a close relationship between staffs. The FSB commander or his designated representative attends brigade staff meetings. He monitors the brigade command net to anticipate required changes to the FSB organization, employment, and operations.


A close relationship between the brigade staff and FSB support operations is required to ensure sustainment operations are integrated with operations of the maneuver force. The brigade commander and staff plan tactical and CSS operations concurrently. The FSB commander and staff provide the required input to the brigade planning process to ensure the scheme of maneuver and FS plan are supported logistically.


The brigade commander requires continuous support to retain the initiative and to ensure that the depth of the operations is not inhibited by breaks in support. This represents a considerable challenge for the FSB and other CSS elements in the brigade area. It requires CSS assets to provide continuous support while frequently relocating.


The CSS system must also be responsive. It must meet needs that change with little notice in environments of war and OOTW (conflicts). The brigade staff and FSB support operations must assume changes in priorities, support operations, and brigade task organizations. CSS assets must respond quickly and provide continuous support in joint and combined operations.


Sustainers must be prepared to improvise. The fluid nature of Army operations may quickly render routine support methods obsolete. Leaders and staffs must not interpret a guideline or technique as an absolute requirement. If it is not effective in maintaining maximum combat power and momentum, the brigade staff and FSB support operations personnel must not be afraid to discard it. Sustainers must be innovative.



A divisional brigade does not have any organic CSS units. Subordinate maneuver units have limited CSS elements within their headquarters companies. CSS is provided to the divisional brigade by the DISCOM and the corps support command (COSCOM). Normally, the majority of the brigade's logistical support is provided by the FSB. Separate brigades have an organic support battalion to provide most of their required CSS. A separate brigade support battalion is similar in organization and function to a divisional FSB.


The brigade commander plans his tactical and CSS operations concurrently. He ensures that his scheme of maneuver and FS plan are logistically supportable. If CSS planners identify constraints, the commander evaluates the risks and, if necessary, establishes new priorities or modifies his tactical plan to eliminate or reduce their effect. The personal involvement and on-the-scene appraisal of the situation by CSS personnel is as important to mission accomplishment as is personal involvement by combat leaders. CSS planners must

  • Understand the commander's intent and priorities.
  • Track/monitor the battle.
  • Anticipate requirements and use initiative to meet them.
  • Pre-position supplies and equipment.
  • Push support forward.
  • Seek windows of logistics opportunity.
  • Use established routines during lulls in battle to rearm, refuel, and repair.
  • Detect, fix, and destroy rear area threats within capabilities.

The key CSS personnel organic to the brigade staff are the brigade XO, S1, and S4. The FSB commander is in a DS relationship to the brigade commander. The FSB commander marshals and synchronizes the CSS assets required to support the brigade's tactical plan. While the FSB supports the ground maneuver brigade, they remain under the command of the DISCOM commander. The FSB normally positions the battalion units within the BSA in accordance with the brigade's tactical plan. The displacement of the BSA must be carefully coordinated with the tactical scheme of maneuver, location of the division support area (DSA) and MSRs, priorities of support, and time available for displacement.

Key duties and responsibilities of brigade logisticians are as follows:

  • Brigade XO coordinates the CSS effort of the brigade. He ensures that the brigade S1 and S4 have the CSS plan fully developed. He also coordinates with the FSB commander to ensure that the FSB can support the brigade during the operation. The brigade XO-
    • Directs the staff from the brigade main CP.
    • Ensures continuous CSS in the brigade.
    • Keeps the brigade commander informed on logistical issues.
    • -Is assisted by-
      • S4.
      • S1.
      • HHC commander.
      • Brigade surgeon.
      • FSB support operations element.
  • The brigade S4 is responsible for -
    • Operating the brigade rear CP (if tasked).
    • Coordinating support with the FSB commander.
    • Coordinating with the battalion task force S4s.
    • Coordinating support for attachments.
    • Keeping the brigade commander informed of logistics situation.
    • Maintaining supply status.
    • Planning and coordinating -
      • Maintenance.
      • Transportation.
      • Administrative moves.
      • Services.
      • Supplies.
    • Determining requirements for civilian labor.
    • Recommending MSR.
    • Preparing logistical plans, orders, overlays and estimates.
  • The brigade S1 is responsible for -
    • Preparing personnel estimates.
    • Coordinating PSS.
    • Monitoring unit strength, estimating losses, and reporting casualties.
    • Determining individual replacement requirements.
    • Evaluating and enhancing morale.
    • Coordinating -
      • Health services plan.
      • Religious services.
      • Legal services.
      • Postal services.
      • Finance services.
      • Public affairs services.
      • Law, order, and discipline.
      • Morale support activities.
    • Planning and supervising use of civilian labor.
    • Planning and supervising A/L support and guarding and evacuating EPWs.
    • Operating the brigade rear CP.
  • The FSB commander is responsible for -
    • Providing security and terrain management in the BSA.
    • Providing support to corps units operating in the brigade area (requires prior coordination between the parent corps units, the brigade HQ, and the DISCOM).
    • Advising the brigade commander on FSB support capabilities as required.


The BSA is the logistical, personnel, and administrative hub of the maneuver brigade. It normally consists of the brigade rear CP, the FSB, maneuver battalions and DS artillery and engineer battalion field trains, MP platoon assets, DS ADA battery, signal battalion elements, and service support augmentees from the DISCOM and COSCOM. Figure 8-1 depicts a possible layout of the BSA.

The general location of the BSA is determined by the brigade S3 in consonance with the brigade S4 and the FSB commander. The BSA should be located so as not to interfere with the tactical movement of the brigade units, or units that must pass through the brigade area, while still maintaining the support of the battle. A good BSA location includes the following characteristics:

  • Convenient to units served.
  • Situated away from the main enemy avenue of approach.
  • Beyond the range of threat cannon artillery (20 to 25 km for offense, 25 to 30 km for defense).
  • Sufficient space to allow dispersion of facilities.
  • Concealment from hostile ground and air observation.
  • Firm ground for support of all vehicular traffic.
  • Situated to avoid major obstacles or canalizing terrain.
  • Located near a water source.
  • Suitable helicopter landing site.
  • Access to a good road network to support extensive vehicle traffic.
  • Situated in built-up areas to harden CPs, improve work areas, and lessen visual and infrared signature.
  • Located to enhance defensive capabilities.

The lifelines that connect the BSA and the supported units within the brigade are the brigade supply routes. Supply routes are selected by the S4 in coordination with the S3 based upon the tactical plan. MPs regulate traffic using the supply route, and engineer units, if available, ensure it is in a high state of repair to speed delivery of needed supplies and personnel to forward units.


The brigade MSR is selected based primarily on the tactical situation and the brigade commanders scheme of maneuver.

The MSR must be well marked. It must also be included on the CSS overlay and have a sufficient number of traffic control points. Some route considerations are:

  • Is the route capable of handling the heaviest vehicle in the brigade?
  • What is the estimated number of refugees using the route?
  • Is it capable of sustained bidirectional traffic?
  • What are its vulnerabilities, such as bridges that can be destroyed?
  • Are there any choke/congestion points, such as towns and confusing intersections?
  • How many cross-over routes are possible from the MSR to the alternate supply route?
  • What is the primary threat to the MSR?
  • What is the enemy air threat?
  • Are there partisan activity or refugee movement conflicts?
  • Where does brigade responsibility end and battalion task force begin?
  • Who is responsible to defend the brigade portion?
  • Are there vulnerable places that must be continuously guarded?
  • Will the enemy use persistent chemical agents on the route?

The alternate supply route must meet the same considerations as the MSR. It may be identified as the "dirty" route for contaminated casualties.



The FSB commander is the brigade commander's chief logistician in the brigade area. Each FSB provides DS level logistical support for a specific maneuver brigade, units that are DS to the brigade, and selected corps units on an area support basis. It is organized with a headquarters and headquarters detachment (HHD), a supply company, a maintenance company with designated system support teams (which can be task organized into maintenance support teams [MST]), and a medical company (see Figure 8-2). FM 63-20 has a detailed layout of the FSB and its capabilities.

The FSB provides dedicated support to the same brigade on a habitual basis both in garrison and in tactical operations. The FSB's primary role is to provide DS to the brigade and division units operating in the brigade area. This role entails a dual requirement. First, the FSB must plan to support future operations. It must anticipate requirements and in-corporate planning guidance. In addition, the FSB must support current operations and monitor the implementation of the support plan. The FSB is also responsible for base cluster defense of the BSA and operates under the brigade command for this mission. See FM 63-20, Chapter 5, for a detailed discussion of BSA security and terrain management operations.

The two most important concepts in supporting the armored brigade are forward support and area support.

Forward Support

As the name of the FSB implies, the focus of the CSS structure is on providing support as far forward as practical. Supplies, weapon systems, and repair assets for easily repairable equipment should be provided by the corps, main support battalion, and FSB to the field trains or beyond whenever practical. Also, the FSB ensures damaged equipment not easily repairable is evacuated from as far forward as practical. Health service support (HSS) should also be focused on forward support.

Area Support

Because of the ever changing combination of division units operating in the brigade area, it would be almost impossible and certainly inefficient to dedicate CSS units to support strictly structured units. The DISCOM commander has to cross-level assets when substantial changes are made in the size and types of units supported by an FSB. However, sufficient flexibility has been put in the FSB to accommodate minor variations in supported units and still provide DS level logistics to all division and (with required augmentation) supporting corps units operating in the brigade area.


The overriding goal in FSB maintenance operations is to provide forward support to return combat systems to the battle as soon as possible. Repairing systems forward reduces transportation requirements and time. It maximizes the availability of equipment to the user. The FSB maintenance company has been given the capability to perform the mission operations well forward (see Figure 8-3 for maintenance company organization). Whenever possible, equipment is repaired on site. However, this is not always possible and practical. The tactical situation, extent of damage, or availability of people, parts, or tools may make recovery or evacuation more desirable.

Tailored tank or infantry MSTs normally operate forward to support subordinate armored or mechanized infantry battalion task forces. They provide on-site expertise on combat vehicles and are usually located at the battalion UMCP. The MST performs DS maintenance for automotive, turret, fire control, small arms, power generation, and communication equipment. Reinforcing support for these teams is provided by base shop maintenance sections of the maintenance company.

DS maintenance for CSS units supporting the brigade is provided by the maintenance company from the BSA. Augmentation from the main support battalion enables the FSB to service all brigade "divisional slice" assets to include missile and EW assets.


The forward support medical company plays a vital role in the manning task by providing division- and unit-level health service support to all units operating in the supported brigades area on an area support basis. As shown in Figure 8-4, the company consists of a company headquarters, treatment platoon, and an ambulance platoon.

The company performs the following functions:

  • Treatment of patients with minor diseases and illnesses, triage of mass casualties, initial resuscitation and stabilization, advanced trauma management, and preparation for further evacuation of patients incapable of returning to duty.
  • Ground evacuation of patients from battalion aid stations and designated collection points.
  • Emergency dental care.
  • Emergency medical resupply to units in the brigade area.
  • Medical laboratory and radiology services commensurate with division level treatment.
  • Outpatient consultation services for patients from unit level medical treatment facilities.
  • Patient holding for up to 40 patients able to return to duty within 72 hours.
  • Coordination with the UMT for required religious support.

The treatment element of the medical company operates from mobile medical treatment facilities. These mobile medical treatment facilities feature built-in equipment. They require minimum time, therefore, to become operational. This allows the treatment element to closely follow the maneuver brigades and to provide more responsive support.

The occurrence of mass casualties must be anticipated. Managing these situations will severely tax the entire HSS system. Internal brigade treatment/evacuation plans are reviewed by the brigade surgeon who submits recommendations for action. In such situations, the division, when possible, shifts its treatment and evacuation resources to meet the requirements. When required, additional evacuation resources and treatment elements may be requested from the corps medical brigade/group. The key to managing mass casualties is the use of on-site triage and emergency medical treatment teams. Other important areas include effective communications and skillful employment of evacuation vehicles (air and ground). The rapid buildup of evacuation assets at the mass casualty location eases the problem. Also, the prompt movement of patients to all available medical treatment facilities helps. This movement dissipates the medical workload by distributing casualties equitably among the medical treatment facilities. This is done based on the patient's condition and on the medical treatment facility's capabilities.


The supply company supports the arming system through its Class V operations, the fueling system through Class III operations, and the manning task through provision of rations, clothing, and individual equipment. Specifically, the company provides receipt, storage, and issue of Classes I, II, III, IV, and VII items. It also conducts Class V transloading operations at its ATP and operates a salvage point. The company consists of a company headquarters and a supply platoon and is organized as shown in Figure 8-5.

The company performs the following functions:

  • Receive and issue Classes I, II, packaged III, IV (limited), and VII supplies as well as unclassified maps. It also provides limited storage for these items. Authorized stockage list stocks are stored by the main support battalion supply and service company. The company does not receive, store, or issue classified maps, aircraft, airdrop equipment, communications security, or construction materiel.
  • Receive, store, and issue bulk petroleum using organic fuel transporters.
  • Transload Class V supplies from corps transportation assets to unit vehicles.
  • Operate a salvage point for all supplies except COSCOM supplies, toxic agents, aircraft, ammunition, explosives, and medical items.
  • Provide unit maintenance for organic vehicles and equipment as well as those of the HHD.

The FSB must be 100 percent mobile with organic equipment. To enhance mobility, the quantity and variety of supplies the supply company can have on hand at any given time are limited. As a result, the supply company has several supply principles available to cut down on the response time between initial request and subsequent issue to the brigade.

Push System

A push system is the initial go-to-war supply system in an undeveloped theater. Preplanned packages of selected supplies are sent forward to replenish expended supplies in anticipation of requirements of supported units. Initial quantities are based on strength data and historical demand. When the theater stabilizes, the supply system becomes a push system to the BSA for critical supplies based on personnel strengths and forecasted requirements. Other supplies are provided through a pull system based on actual demand. Supplies may still be pushed at the battalion and brigade level, especially during high intensity combat operations to heavily engaged units. Such units may be unable to ask for supplies because of gaps in the chain of command or intensive jamming on a fluid battlefield. Supplies may also be pushed to support a deep operation.

Throughput Distribution

Throughput distribution bypasses one or more echelons in the supply system to minimize handling and speed delivery forward. Supplies are often throughput to the FSB from the corps and, in the case of Class IV barrier materials and some Class VII major end items, may be throughput directly to the user in the forward area. When most of the load is for a specific unit, the transporter may deliver directly to the requesting unit .

Supply Point and Unit Distribution

In an effort to tailor supply distribution, the supply company uses a combination of supply point distribution and unit distribution to support the brigade. When supply point distribution is used, unit representatives come to the supply points in the BSA to pick up their supplies. Maneuver battalion task forces with field trains in the BSA have their own organic unit supply, fuel, and ammunition trucks assembled in the field trains along with repaired equipment, personnel replacements, and other assets. There they form a LOGPAC that goes forward to provide support to forward deployed elements. (LOGPAC operations are detailed in FM 71-2.) The supply company tries to cut down on the distances the forward units must travel by positioning supplies as far forward as possible. To provide a quick turnaround for forward units, the supply company also staggers the unit pickup times and sets up to provide a smooth traffic flow through the supply areas.

Due to limited transportation assets in the FSB, supply point distribution is normal for most classes of supply. Unit distribution by corps assets is used to deliver barrier materials to emplacement sites. Other classes of supply may be delivered using unit distribution when the tactical situation permits and transportation assets are available. Emergency resupply using unit distribution may be accomplished via motor or air transport.



PSS is an important component of CSS. At the brigade level, it encompasses many CSS functions that sustain the combat potential of the force and the morale and welfare of the soldier.

PSS activities are divided into two general categories - combat critical and sustainment. Other functions such as chaplain activities are considered essential and have a significant impact on the welfare of the force. The former category focuses on the function that must be performed regardless of the intensity of combat. The latter category deals with the functions that are temporarily controlled or suspended as combat intensity increases.

Initial PSS planning should focus on the combat critical tasks of personal services and health services. Once the planning for the critical functions is complete, attention is then focused on the other functions of PSS. The sustainment functions are not fixed and will vary depending upon the situation.


The brigade S1 section serves as a conduit between subordinate units and the G1/AG. Because of distances and communications capabilities, all reports are submitted through the brigade S1 for forwarding to the appropriate agency. Initial personnel data is submitted by subordinate and attached units of the brigade through the Tactical Army Combat Service Support Computer System (TACCS) device using battle rosters and by-name reports. The brigade S1 also provides information to subordinate units on status of evacuated/hospitalized personnel and adjusts personnel requirements accordingly.

Strength Accounting

Strength accounting is the process by which combat readiness (personnel status) is measured. It keeps track of the troops on hand, identifies those that have been lost, and identifies those that are needed.

Personnel Losses

A personnel loss is any reduction in the assigned strength of a unit. Losses are categorized as follows:

  • Battle Losses. Battle losses are losses incurred in action to include killed in action (KIA), wounded in action (WIA) or injured in action and evacuated from the unit, missing in action (MIA), and captured by the enemy.
  • Nonbattle Losses. Nonbattle losses are those not directly attributed to being in action, to include nonbattle dead, accident/injury, missing, sickness/disease, and stress.

Administrative Losses

Administrative losses are those due to transfers from the unit, absent without leave (AWOL), desertion, confinement, rotation, and discharges.

Casualty Reporting

The primary personnel accounting function on the battlefield is casualty reporting. On the battlefield, high-volume individual and mass casualties should be expected. Casualty information must be collected, recorded, and reported with 100 percent accuracy as rapidly as the situation permits. The casualty reporting system is a by-name personnel accounting system that begins at unit level with the person who knows that a casualty has occurred. Support casualty feeder and witness statements are forwarded as soon as possible. Reports are forwarded through the brigade S1 section to the division AG personnel accounting section. Patient evacuation and mortality reports and treatment and disposition logs are provided daily to the brigade S1 from the FSB medical company. Information is then provided to subordinate units to update personnel daily summary reports.

Replacement Operations

The brigade S1 is the brigade commander's principal staff officer for individual personnel replacement operations. FM 101-10-1/2 provides estimates for conventional battle and administrative losses. The rate of loss varies with a number of factors such as the theater or operations, climate, terrain, training and conditioning of troops, type of activity, and the enemy. The division AG provides replacement projections to the brigade S1. The S1 can then adjust projected assignments based upon impending tactical operations, brigade commander's priorities, and return to duty status of stragglers and treated casualties.

Health Services

Brigade health services were discussed earlier in this chapter.

Sustainment Personnel Services

The following personnel services are centralized and performed by division AG or corps personnel service company personnel. Whenever possible, procedures are kept informal to ensure responsiveness and to reduce the number of people required to process a given action. All documents must flow quickly to and through given units. Normally, the following services are initiated through subordinate battalion/separate company Personnel and Administrative Centers (PAC) and appropriate forms forwarded through the brigade S1 to G1/AG actions:

  • Personnel records maintenance.
  • Personnel action.
  • Awards.
  • Promotions/reductions.
  • Classifications/reclassification actions.


Technical assistance to the brigade staff elements and commander, and support to assigned and attached units for the following subfunctions of administrative services are normally provided by the corps personnel service company:

  • Classified document control.
  • Reports and forms control.
  • Publications supply.
  • Printing and reproduction.
  • Files and records management.

Internal correspondence management and distribution are administrative services that must be closely monitored and managed by the brigade S1 section. SOPs for distribution procedures and specific responsibilities must be developed to ensure the responsive flow of correspondence occurs.

Chaplain Activities

The brigade chaplain is the staff officer responsible for implementation of the unit religious program. Included in this program are worship opportunities, administration of sacraments, rites and ordinances, pastoral care and counseling, development and management of the UMT, advice to the commander and staff on matters of morals, morale as affected by religion, and ministry in support of combat shock casualty treatment. All elements enhance the total well being of the soldier and increase the cohesion of the brigade.

Postal Services

Mail is the soldier's link to family and friends. Inefficient distribution of mail can quickly undermine morale. In the early stages of conflict at the brigade level, postal services to individuals are usually restricted to personal mail that conforms to the free mailing privilege (first class letter mail, postal/post cards, and sound recordings). The brigade S1 establishes a daily mail schedule. Outgoing mail is consolidated at the brigade S1 section prior to being forwarded to the divisional postal element. Incoming mail is dropped at the brigade S1 section for pickup by battalion personnel.

Finance Services

The mission of finance support organizations during conflict is to provide high-priority support to the soldier on an area basis. This means the same finance unit supports all soldiers within a geographical locale, regardless of unit affiliation. During deployments, mobile pay teams from corps-level finance organizations provide support to the brigade. Individual soldiers are given the choice of receiving a specified amount of combat pay or cashing of personal check or other negotiable instruments for the same specified amount or less. The brigade S1 coordinates for support of the mobile pay team.

Legal Services

Legal service support is provided to the commander and soldier by personnel of the division staff judge advocate (SJA) section. This support is on an as-required basis coordinated by the brigade S1.


CSS planning is conducted to accommodate the requirements of the supported force during all phases of an operation. The brigade plan or concept of the operation is not finalized until CSS planners have determined the supportability of the proposed COAs. Once the supported force concept of operation is determined, detailed CSS planning can continue. Battlefield support must be planned to satisfy requirements during the following operational phases:

  • Prior to commitment (before).
  • Commitment to battle (during).
  • Future mission (after).

All areas of CSS (man, arm, fuel, fix, move, and sustain) must be considered during each operational phase to ensure an integrated responsive plan of support (see Figure 8-6). Support requirements must be projected and plans developed to satisfy these projected requirements. Supporting CSS plans should be as detailed as planning time permits.

The S4, S1, and FSB commander and his staff are the principal CSS planners in the brigade. The brigade XO, operating from the main CP, monitors CSS status and ensures appropriate brigade staff CSS interface. CSS commanders and planners must thoroughly know and understand the tactical mission and plans and the brigade commander's intent. They must know

  • What each of the supported elements is doing.
  • When, how, and where they will do it.
  • What the priority of support is.
  • What density of personnel/equipment is being supported.

After analyzing the concept of the operation, CSS commanders and planners must accurately predict support requirement. They must determine:

  • What type of support is required.
  • What quantities of support are required.
  • What are the operational commander's priorities by type and unit.

Using the support requirement of the tactical plan as a base, the support capabilities of the CSS structure are assessed. The FSB commander must determine:

  • What CSS resources are available (organic, lateral, and higher headquarters).
  • Where the CSS resources are.
  • When CSS resources are made available to the maneuver units.
  • How the FSB makes these resources available.

Based on this information, the S4 and the FSB commander must then develop support plans that apply resources against requirement in a manner that results in the most responsive support possible. Communication links must be established and maintained. The formation of the brigade rear CP, consisting of the collocated FSB CP and assets from the divisional brigade S1 and S4 sections, answers the requirement for continuous coordination and communications required for responsive, effective CSS. Orders that clearly describe tasks to be accomplished must be issued. Continuous follow-up must ensure tasks are being accomplished as planned.

CSS functions should be performed as far forward as the tactical situation and available resources permit. They should be performed at or close to the site where the weapon system is located in order to lessen evacuation requirements. Support must be continuous, using immediately available assets. This may involve bringing ammunition, fuels, parts, end items, maintenance personnel, and occasionally replacement crews or individuals to the forward elements such as battalion field trains, combat trains, and down-equipment sites. Planning and execution emphasize the concept of providing support to forces in the forward areas.

The FSB commander, in consonance with both the DISCOM and maneuver brigade commanders, may support the tactical plan using any of four operational techniques of the FSB.

  • Movement of FSB within the brigade formation.
  • Attachment of critical CSS assets to maneuver.
  • Support from BSA /displace as an entity.
  • BSA echelonment/displacement by bounds.


This technique is used when likelihood of enemy contact is minimal. Logistical demands on the FSB are expected to be light; subordinate battalions will use basic loads and organic recovery assets to satisfy initial demand. Sufficient time is anticipated to allow set-up of FSB supplies and services and resupply of battalion assets prior to mission execution. FSB elements are dispersed within brigade march columns and are provided security by other elements of the brigade. This technique provides timely movement and march security of the FSB, but precludes any meaningful support until movement ceases.


If operational distances are significant and secure ground lines of communication cannot be assured, as in cross-FLOT operations, selected CSS assets may be attached to combat elements of the brigade. Normally only critical classes of supply (Class III and Class V) and medical support augmentation would accompany the maneuver elements. The reserve battalion of the brigade may receive attachment of these elements and provide for their security during operations, or tailored packages may be attached directly to specific maneuver battalions as priorities dictate. While this method increases the maneuver unit's CSS capabilities, it also increases their vulnerability to enemy activity and reduces the maneuver force's mobility because of the absence of tracked CSS assets.


When brigade operations are conducted in clearly defined phases with identifiable windows between operations such as in river crossings, the FSB may support the brigade from a fully deployed BSA and then displace as an entity to the subsequent BSA location. This allows the FSB to maximize support from a mature logistical base that facilitates resupply and maintenance activities. This concept also enhances command and control of the FSB and simplifies actions for the supported force since a single point of contact is established for each service/facility of the BSA. It does, however, create a support "blackout" of up to 12 hours during BSA displacement and establishment of the new location.


When operations require continuous logistical support operating within a secure rear area, this operational technique is recommended. Critical CSS assets are divided and displace by successive bounds. Normally, the FSB commander moves with the forward element to ensure rapid set-up of the displacing echelon. This technique provides more responsive support by minimizing the distance subordinate battalions of the brigade must travel to obtain required support. It also enhances the survivability of logistical assets by positioning them in different areas. Because of echelonment, command and control of FSB operations is degraded. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of radios within the FSB TOE. Greater reliance on unit SOPs is required to ensure smooth displacement.

CSS planners must know priorities for support. This is necessary to ensure that units with the highest tactical priority receive required support first. The brigade commander and his staff provide mission directives, determine requirements, and establish priorities within the brigade for CSS.


The availability of adequate supplies and transportation to sustain the operation becomes more critical as the operation progresses. Supply lines and communications are strained, and requirements for repair and replacement of weapon systems mount. NBC contamination on the battlefield compounds these problems and degrades the performance of CSS units. CSS commanders and planners must anticipate these problems and ensure these considerations are included in their planning. During offensive planning, CSS considerations include:

  • Forward, coordinated positioning of essential CSS such as ammunition, POL, and maintenance, preferably at night.
  • Increased consumption of POL (terrain is a major factor).
  • Using preplanned and preconfigured push packages of essential items including water, Class III and Class V supplies, and decontamination and MOPP gear.
  • Using throughput distribution whenever feasible.
  • Attaching CSS elements to supported maneuver units; however, CSS elements should be as mobile as the units they support.
  • Echeloning support forward and initiating operations at the new site before ceasing operations at the old site.
  • Using captured enemy supplies and equipment, particularly vehicles and POL.
  • Planning communication support to cover the extended distances between combat and CSS units.
  • Preparing for increased casualties and requirements.
  • Uploading as much materiel as possible.
  • Ensuring CSS preparations for the attack do not give away tactical plans.
  • Coordinating real estate management to preclude attempted occupation by more than one unit.
  • Planning for transition to the defense.
  • Planning for EPW operations.


The aims of CSS activities in the defense are to support defensive battles and to facilitate rapid transition to the offense. Defensive operations take many forms. They range from absolutely static to disrupt and destroy the attacking force. CSS commanders must be involved early in defensive planning. This allows them to plan support for the defense and to anticipate changing priorities. To support the defense, the FSB should:

  • Consider stockpiling limited amounts of ammunition and POL in centrally located BPs that are likely to be occupied in the forward MBA.
  • Have the FSB TOC monitor and track the ongoing battle to anticipate CSS requirements.
  • Institute a command and control plan for CSS vehicles in the brigade area.
  • Send forward push packages of critically needed supplies on a scheduled basis. These regular shipments of ammunition, POL, and repair parts to the combat trains help eliminate the need to call for supplies repeatedly, and they reduce the chance that a lapse in communications will interrupt supply. Resupply continues until the receiving unit issues instructions to the contrary.
  • Resupply during periods of limited visibility to reduce the chances of enemy interference.
  • Dispatch MSTs far forward to reduce the need to evacuate equipment.
  • Consolidate different types of MSTs to maximize the use of available personnel and vehicles.
  • Consider providing the security force with pre-positioned stocks of critical supplies in subsequent defensive positions throughout the security force area. Air delivery of supplies should be routine to take advantage of the helicopter's lift capabilities and flexibility.
  • Push forward prepackaged Class IV and Class V in support of countermobility effort.
  • Plan for increased demand of decontaminants and MOPP gear.
  • Plan for high expenditures of ammunition.
  • Plan for decreased vehicle maintenance.
  • Plan for increased demand for obstacle and fortification materials. These materials should be pushed forward early based on preliminary estimates.
  • Establish AXPs for efficient use of ambulances.
  • Plan for ADA coverage consistent with air defense priorities, with emphasis on passive air defense measures.
  • Coordinate with CA personnel concerning refugee control and CSS requirements.


CSS for retrograde operations is particularly complex because many activities may be taking place concurrently. Maneuver units at any given time may be defending, delaying, attacking, or withdrawing. All must be supported under the overall retrograde operation. Since the retrograde is a movement away from the enemy, CSS personnel must:

  • Echelon in depth and rearward.
  • Limit the flow of supplies forward to only the most essential positions. All other supplies and equipment are evacuated early.
  • Evacuate supplies and equipment to planned fallback points along the withdrawal routes.
  • Keep supply and evacuation routes open and decontaminated.
  • Withdraw forward medical treatment units as early as possible.
  • Evacuate patients early, develop alternate means of evacuation, and augment field ambulance capabilities whenever possible.
  • Recover, evacuate, or destroy equipment rather than risk being overrun while repairing at forward sites. Recovery personnel can use tanks and other fighting vehicles in which weapon systems are inoperable to tow other vehicles with inoperable motor systems.
  • Move all nonessential CSS units and facilities to the rear as early as possible.
  • Supply and evacuate at night and during other periods of limited visibility.
  • Implement the division commander's policy on controlled exchange.
  • Maintain full knowledge of the current tactical situation.



Reconstitution is extraordinary action that commanders plan and implement to restore units to a desired level of combat readiness. It transcends normal daily force sustainment actions. However, it uses existing systems and units to do so. No resources exist solely to perform reconstitution. Reconstitution is a total process. Its major elements are reorganization, assessment, and regeneration.


Reconstitution decisions belong to the commander. The commander controlling assets to conduct a regeneration decides whether to use scarce resources to regenerate a unit or not. The commander of the attrited unit decides to reorganize when required. The unit commander begins the reconstitution process. He alone is in the best position, with staff support, to assess unit effectiveness. His unique perspective validates an assessment; he does not base his conclusions solely on facts, figures, and status reports from subordinate units and staff. His assessment relies also and probably more importantly on other factors. These include:

  • Knowledge of his soldiers.
  • Condition and effectiveness of subordinate commanders and leaders.
  • Previous, current, and anticipated situations and missions.

He considers all these factors in his continuing assessment. They form the basis of his reconstitution decisions and recommendations. Chapter 4 of FM 100-9 discusses assessment factors in more detail.


Reorganization is an action to shift internal resources within a degraded unit to increase its combat effectiveness. Commanders reorganize before considering regeneration. Reorganization may be immediate or deliberate.

Immediate Reorganization

Immediate reorganization is the quick and usually temporary restoring of degraded units to minimum levels of effectiveness. Normally the commander implements it in the combat position or as close to that position as possible to meet near term needs.

Deliberate Reorganization

Deliberate reorganization is conducted when more time and resources are available. It usually occurs farther to the rear than immediate reorganization. Procedures are similar to those of immediate reorganization. However, some replacement resources may be available. Also, equipment repair is more intensive, and more extensive cross-leveling is possible.


Assessment measures the unit's capability to perform a mission. It occurs in two phases. The unit commander conducts the first phase, an assessment of his unit before, during, and after operations. If he determines it is no longer mission capable even after reorganization, he notifies his commander. Higher headquarters either changes the mission of the unit to match its degraded capability, or removes it from combat. The second phase is to have external elements assess the unit after it disengages. These elements do a more thorough evaluation to determine regeneration needs. They also consider the resources available.


Regeneration involves the rebuilding of a unit through the large-scale replacement of personnel, equipment, and supplies; reestablishment of command and control; and mission essential training for the rebuilt unit. Because of the intensive nature of regeneration, it occurs at a regeneration site after the unit disengages. It also requires help from higher echelons.

A regeneration task force is a task organization formed by the commander directing a regeneration. The regeneration task force conducts the external assessment and executes the regeneration order (see FM 100-9 for more information).



The intensity of future battles will produce heavy losses of both men and materiel. It is imperative that weapon systems, complete with crews, be replaced quickly and efficiently. Weapon systems replacement operations (WSRO) set forth a method of supplying the commander with fully operational replacement weapon systems. The tasks associated with WSRO are no different than those presently used to get weapon systems to the combat commander. What is different is the method used in performing these tasks. WSRO require that the weapon system manager know the commander's priorities for issue of weapon systems assets, unit weapon system shortages, and the personnel and equipment assets available to fill unit shortages. The key to WSRO is the joint personnel and logistical managing, reporting, and monitoring of complete weapon systems at battalion, brigade, division, and corps. Three terms often used in describing WSRO are:

  • Ready-for-Issue Weapon. This weapon system has been removed from its previous condition of preservation for shipment or storage and made mechanically operable. All ancillary equipment (such as fire control, machine guns, radio mounts, and radios) are installed. The vehicle has been fully fueled and basic issue items are on board in boxes. There is no ammunition on board.
  • Ready-to-Fight Weapon. This is a crewed, ready-for-issue weapon with basic issue items and ammunition stored on board. The weapon system has been boresighted and verified.
  • Linkup. This is the process of joining a ready-for-issue weapon with a trained crew.


WSRO must be managed at each level of command to ensure maximum utilization of the major weapon systems. Management procedures for all critical weapon systems and their crews must be developed on an individual basis applicable to the division concerned. To manage weapon systems, a common weapon system manager is required. A weapon system manager is designated at each level of command and is charged with weapon system management. The weapon system managers mission is to maximize the number of operational weapon systems required in the battalions in accordance with the commander's or G3's/S3's fill priorities. Weapon system management at all levels is charged with quick-fix responsibility, matching serviceable vehicles, and surviving crews. At the brigade level, the XO normally coordinates the activities of the S1 and S4 to maximize the number of ready-to-fight weapon systems.

Brigade Management

Battalion weapon systems status reports are submitted to the brigade rear CP. The S1 and S4 personnel ensure that information submitted on recurring SOP personnel and logistical reports compare with the information submitted on the "weapons effect signature simulator report." The "weapons effect signature simulator" report provides the weapon system suppliers the necessary information to assemble the appropriate weapon system. The report is then submitted to the division materiel management center (DMMC) with an information copy provided the support operations section of the FSB. The brigade XO is kept informed of WSRO managed systems and ensures reports are processed and coordinated as required. The brigade S1 and S4 must closely coordinate the needs identified on battalion reports with up-to-date equipment repairs from the FSB, and personnel returned to duty from the brigade treatment station. At the brigade level, weapon systems normally managed by WSRO are:

  • Tanks with a four-man crew.
  • Mortars with a four-man crew.
  • BFVs with a three-man crew.
  • M113-series infantry carrier with a two-man crew.
  • ITV with a three-man crew.
  • CFV with a five-man crew.

Other replacements to man or support these systems are managed by individual replacement procedures. CSS WSRO are coordinated through the division major subordinate command or separate battalion that is equipped with the individual system.

Division Management

The division provides replacement weapon systems to battalions based on brigade priorities. Efficient allocation of limited resources is accomplished by managing weapon systems rather than focusing on personnel and equipment components separately. The DMMC and division AG coordinates the replacement of both vehicles and crews to maximize weapon systems on the battlefield.

Issuing Weapon Systems

For purpose of this discussion, tanks are used as the example WSRO in the following paragraphs.

Transportation of equipment from theater Army or corps to division is normally by rail or heavy equipment transport (HET). Personnel arrive in theater and are transported forward to the division by rail, air, or truck. Incoming tanks from CONUS are processed by the heavy materiel supply company (or its equivalent) in the theater Army area command or COSCOM. This processing includes the installation of fire control equipment, radios, machine guns and the filling of fuel tanks to capacity. Pre-positioned war reserve stock at corps must be at a low level of preservation so that it is made ready for issue within a matter of a few hours.

The primary division linkup point for weapon systems is at the main support battalion supply and service company in the DSA. As the tank arrives in a ready-for-issue state, the crew need only perform those tasks to make the tank ready to fight. Based on the number of weapon systems allocated to the division, the division commander determines the allocation to each brigade. The weapon system management officer contacts each brigade to determine the internal brigade allocation and assigns crews and weapon systems to specific battalions. Concurrently, the brigade S1 notifies subordinate battalions of projected gains and estimated time of arrival at the BSA for linkup.

The COSCOM or DISCOM must have facilities prepared to boresight and calibrate weapons. Complete weapon systems are transported from the DSA to the BSA by HET. If HETs are not available, the brigade dispatches an escort vehicle to the DSA to guide crews to the BSA. Upon arrival in the BSA, battalion guides meet assigned crews and weapon systems where they are led to the battalion field trains for fuel top-off and PAC in-processing. Weapons effect signature simulator reports are updated and the process begins again.

Forward to Appendix A.
Return to Chapter 7.
Return to the Table of Contents.

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