UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS
Corps are the largest tactical units in the US Army--the instruments by which higher echelons of command conduct maneuver at the operational level.
(1) Corps plan and conduct operations in consonance with other elements of the joint force to achieve campaign objectives.
(2) Corps integrate available Air Force, Navy, and Marine combat, combat support, and CSS forces into tactical operations. This includes joint efforts in intelligence, target acquisition, target attack, EW, and SEAD.
(3) Corps collect intelligence, anticipate enemy activities and intentions, and plan future operations a minimum of 72 hours out.
(4) Corps plan and conduct deep and rear operations to support close operations.
(5) Corps plan and conduct deception operations in consonance with the deception plan of the higher echelon.
(6) Corps plan and conduct operations other than war.
b. Operational Context. While a corps could deploy as an independent unit, such employment would be limited in both scope and duration. Normally, corps will function under the control of higher echelons (such as field armies and army groups in developed theaters), as land components of a unified or subunified command, or as the Army element of a JTF with the corps commander serving as the JTF commander. As such, corps play a key role in translating the broad strategic and operational objectives of higher echelons into the specific and detailed tactics used to achieve those objectives.
2. Corps Structure
The US Army tailors corps for the theater and mission for which they are deployed. There is no standard organizational structure of a corps. The following discussion highlights types of combat, combat support, and CSS organizations that may comprise a corps. Figure A-1 outlines a notional corps organization.
a. Divisions/Attached Maneuver Brigades. A corps normally fights from 2 to 5 divisions. Divisions are fixed-combined arms organizations capable of performing any tactical mission and are largely self-sustaining. The corps may also command and control 1 or more attached maneuver brigades (e.g., light infantry, air assault).
b. Armored Cavalry Regiment. The armored cavalry regiment (ACR) consists of organic air and armored cavalry units supported by organic field artillery, air defense, engineer, military intelligence, chemical, and CSS units. The ACR operates as combined arms teams over wide areas that perform reconnaissance, security, and economy of force operations for the corps. The ACR can also perform the range of combat operations ascribed to the DRB in this manual and may also be a force selected to operate under the command and control of a MEF. The TTP detailed for the DRB's integrated employment with the MEF apply mainly to the ACR as well; differences may be accommodated through liaison and staff coordination. Figure A-2 depicts heavy ACR's organization and major weapons systems.
c. Corps Aviation Brigade. The corps aviation brigade provides the corps commander with a significant capability for prosecuting air maneuver and deep operations. The brigade features a varying number of attack helicopter battalions (of 24 AH-64 Apaches each) that possess exceptional capabilities for night operations and a mix of assault, medium-lift, and observation helicopters. The brigade requires support from the corps support command for maintenance, ground transportation, and Classes III and V sustainment.
d. Corps Artillery. The corps artillery includes all the artillery cannon and MLRS/ATACMS battalions that are not organic to maneuver units. These battalions are normally configured into field artillery brigades allocated as needed to augment the fires of committed maneuver units or retained under corps control to provide general support fires. Artillery supports the corps fight throughout the depth of the battlefield by delivering ATACMS fires at operational depths, supporting corps deep operations with SEAD fires, fighting the counterfire battle, providing weight to the close fight when and where needed, and supporting rear operations as required.
e. Military Intelligence Brigade. The military intelligence brigade contains operations, tactical exploitation, and aerial exploitation battalions. The military intelligence brigade provides intelligence and operations security in general support of the corps and augments the intelligence capabilities of corps' subordinate units. The brigade collects and analyzes information from multiple sources, including signal, imagery, and human intelligence assets. The brigade's intelligence assets provide the corps with the ability to "see deep" into the enemy rear area and disrupt enemy command, control, and communications at critical times during the battle. The operations battalion provides an analysis and control element to the corps headquarters that assists the G2 in intelligence and counterintelligence planning, analysis, production, and dissemination. It also supports the G3 in electronic warfare, operations security, and deception planning.
f. Engineer Brigade. The engineer brigade controls engineer units of the corps that are not organic to the maneuver units. The brigade provides mobility, countermobility, survivability, and general engineering support to the corps and augments the engineer support of committed maneuver and other subordinate units. The brigade may contain combat engineer battalions, combat engineer battalions (heavy), combat support equipment companies, assault float bridge companies, and tactical bridge companies. The brigade may form engineer groups to command and control engineer units when the size of the brigade requires the use of intermediate headquarters. A topographic engineer company in direct support of the corps from the EAC topographic engineer battalion provides terrain analysis and develops, produces and disseminates special topographic products such as overprints of standard Defense Mapping Agency Mapping, charting, and geodesy products.
g. Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The air defense artillery brigade contains units with weapons systems designed to counter air threats from low, medium, and high altitudes. Subordinate battalions employ a combination of gun and missile systems. Corps air defense battalions usually conduct tactical operations in support of corps priorities but may be tasked to reinforce subordinate unit air defense units. Corps air defenses are synchronized with both subordinate and EAC units. These latter systems normally include aircraft involved in defensive counterair operations of US and allied air forces; long-range, high-altitude missile systems of theater surface-to-air missile units; and the supporting command and control network of the integrated theater air defense network.
h. Signal Brigade. The signal brigade provides the installation, operation, and maintenance of communications within and between the corps command and control facilities, as well as an extensive communications network that connects all elements of the corps. To accomplish this, the brigade uses radio and wire communications to transmit voice, digital data, and facsimile into an integrated tactical communications system.
i. Chemical Brigade. The chemical brigade commands, controls, and coordinates chemical support operations of attached chemical units and provides those units with administrative and logistical support. The brigade evaluates and determines decontamination, NBC reconnaissance, and smoke support requirements for the brigade; the brigade commander then recommends NBC mission priorities to the corps commander. Based on corps commander guidance, the brigade provides smoke generator, NBC reconnaissance, and NBC decontamination support within the corps areas. Chemical battalions within the brigade support corps units in specified command or support relationships.
j. MP Brigade. The MP brigade commands and controls several MP battalions that provide battlefield circulation control, area security, enemy prisoner of war and civilian internee operations, and law and order for the corps. It conducts reconnaissance and surveillance to ensure security of main supply routes and area reconnaissance of other key areas in the corps rear, The brigade normally provides response forces to counter threats to the rear area that exceed the organic capabilities of combat support and CSS units but do not require commitment of significant ground combat units. The brigade augments the organic MPs of committed maneuver units as required and may also operate in support of USAF units in air base ground defense operations. The brigade may conduct close liaison and mutually supporting operations with host-nation civil/military police to accomplish assigned missions.
k. Civil Affairs Brigade. The functional composition of civil affairs (CA) forces varies with the mission, availability, and qualification of CA personnel and supported command preferences. CA forces support JFC, service, or functional component commanders. US Army Reserve CA forces are separately organized into commands, brigades, and battalions. CA commands and brigades do not have organic subordinate units and battalions do not have subordinate companies. CA forces are attached to subordinate component commanders for employment at operational and tactical levels. The attached CA forces support the various commanders in accomplishing theater CMO objectives. Generally, CA units are regionally aligned, (i.e., CENTCOM, EUCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM, USACOM) with a CA (RC) brigade supporting a corps. There is only 1 active duty battalion with 5 companies each regionally aligned. It is a worldwide contingency unit.
l. Psychological Operations Battalion. Psychological operations (PSYOP) tactical support units (tactical support groups (TSG) (RC), tactical support battalions (TSB), and tactical support companies (TSC) are primarily responsible for support to corps and below maneuver units. These units may be task organized under a psychological operations task force (POTF) or joint psychological operations task force (JPOTF) when operation at the CINC or JTF level. Within the JTF the POTF/JPOTF is a separate functional command similar to a joint special operations task force. A corps not operating as a JTF is normally supported by a PSYOP regional support company and a PSYOP TSB with 3 companies (1 per division). They conduct loudspeaker operations and disseminate PSYOP materials developed by the PSYOP regional support units. In the course of conducting their primary missions, these units collect and report PSYOP relevant information. They have the capability to provide limited PSYOP material development, production, and dissemination. These activities are conducted on an "as-required" basis with the authorization of and under guidelines established by the headquarters of the PSYOP task organization. PSYOP regional and tactical support units are capable of supporting civil affairs units in accomplishing many of the corps' CMO objectives. Another PSYOP contribution to the support of corps operations is the PSYOP enemy prisoner of war (EPW) and civilian internee battalion (EPWB). This battalion with its 2 EPW/counterintelligence (CI) companies (EPWC) operates under the OPCON of the PSYOP tack organization headquarters and attached to the MP prisoner of war command (MPPWCOM). These PSYOP EPW/CI units support the PSYOP task organization by collecting and reporting PSYOP relevant information gathered by screening, interviewing, and surveying EPW/CI camp populations and recording EPW audio surrender appeals. They support MTTWCOM by performing PSYOP staff planning and conducting PSYOP in support of camp operations and augmenting MP forces responsible for processing, monitoring, and controlling the populations at EPW/CI camps established at corps.
m. Corps Support Command. The corps support command (COSCOM) serves as the locus for logistics activities in the corps. The COSCOM provides supply, field services, transportation (mode operations and movement control), maintenance, and medical support to the divisions and nondivisional units of the corps. The COSCOM contains a mix of subordinate units tailored to support the size and configuration of the corps. The COSCOM organizes tailored corps support groups to support the logistics requirements that exceed the organic capabilities of major subordinate units.
n. Finance Group. The finance group provides all finance support and exercises command and control over all finance units within the corps. No division-level finance units exist; a network of units provide military pay, disbursing, travel, and commercial vendor services on an area support basis.
o. Personnel Group. The personnel group serves as the command and control headquarters for all personnel service battalions and separate companies in the corps areas, as well as for replacement companies, postal companies, and bands. Personnel service companies furnish divisional and nondivisional units with strength management, personnel accountability, strength reconciliation, replacement distribution, casualty reporting, postal operations, and morale support.
3. Corps Operations
a. Corps Area of Operations. The echelon above corps normally designate the corps area of operations for both offensive and defensive operations. In addition to flank and rear boundaries, a corps forward boundary could be used to depict the geographic extent of its responsibilities. The corps normally divide its area of operations geographically into subareas to execute deep, close, and rear operations. The use of boundaries and other control measures in both linear and nonlinear environments facilitates both corps operational command and control and the delineation of responsibilities to corps subordinate elements.
b. Close Operations. Corps close operations encompass the current battles and engagements of its major maneuver elements, together with the combat support and combat service support activities currently supporting them. The corps close operations include the deep, close, and rear operations of its committed divisions; separate maneuver brigades; and/or armored cavalry regiment. Not all activities that are part of close operations are necessarily taking place near the line of contact. For example, counterfire directed against enemy artillery that support enemy regiments of divisions in contact comprise a component of close operations. Similarly, security operations, such as covering and screening forces, are part of close operations. Conversely, not all activities occurring near the line of contact are part of the close operations. Target acquisition assets, for instance, may locate in the areas where close operations are taking place but may be supporting deep operations. The outcome of the corps close fight will ultimately determine the success or failure of the corps battle. The corps deep and rear operations focus primarily on creating conditions favorable to the corps winning its close operations.
c. Deep Operations. Corps deep operations include those activities directed against enemy forces not currently engaged in close operations but capable of engaging in or influencing future close operations. Maneuver forces, fire support, and supporting C4I systems combine to plan and execute deep operations. Deep operations create leverage in the close fight. Corps planners project future operations and determine what conditions the corps can create and exploit to defeat the enemy to accomplish operational objectives. Deep operations depend on careful analysis of enemy capabilities to interfere with friendly operations and enemy vulnerability to attack. Those enemy forces--including related command and control systems--that can participate in time and space against projected operations provide relevant targets for attack. Based on the recommendations of the corps staff, the commander determines deep operations objectives and designs them to shape future close operations. Objectives in attacking enemy forces in depth designed to significantly alter the tempo of enemy operations. This reduced tempo isolates close operations on terms favorable to the corps. Attacks to disrupt commitment of follow-on enemy forces into battle, synchronized with attacks against command and control systems and other operationally significant targets, can produce decisive effects or create conditions for close operations to achieve decisive effects. To realize the maximum payoff from these attacks, deep operations are integrated within the overall concept of operation.
d. Rear Operations. Corps rear operations consist of those activities from the corps rear boundary forward to the rear boundaries of committed maneuver units. The corps conducts rear operations to the corps freedom of maneuver and continuity of operations, including logistics and command and control. Continuous reconnaissance and timely intelligence collection and dissemination are essential for successful rear operations. Rear operations must include clear command and control arrangements, dedicated fire support, and designated combat forces to respond to rear-area threats as appropriate.
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