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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP)
in Support of Operations Other Than War

TOPIC: Checkpoints.

DISCUSSION: Checkpoints are often scenes of violence or have the threat of violence. Leaders must take into consideration those instructions given to personnel who man these points. Rules of engagement must be clear, but flexible to accommodate rapid changes in any situation that may develop. During Operation PROVIDE COMFORT, one technique used was called a "flying checkpoint. " Mobile units, usually consisting of mounted infantry, combat engineers, and TOW vehicles overwatched by attack helicopters, moved forward to key intersections in areas where armed Iraqi or guerrilla fighters were known to operate and set up hasty roadblocks to disrupt unauthorized or unwanted military activity. This mission always required designating soldiers to detain and search intruders, a sizeable element to overwatch the checkpoint, air cover on station, mobile mortar support, and a quick reinforcement force of TOW and infantry carriers that could extract or reinforce the flying checkpoint. Leaders should also ensure that checkpoints are designed so that only the minimum number of soldiers are exposed at any given time and that they are covered by automatic weapons when they are exposed.

LESSON(S): It is imperative that reinforcement and counterattack plans be made and rehearsed. Units, during other operations, have developed situational exercises to train soldiers on checkpoint procedures. Included are a few examples of these situational exercises:

Receive Sniper FireTake cover: employ smoke, protect wounded; identify location of sniper; REPORT; respond IAW ROE.
Projectiles ThrownREPORT; protect self/others; do not throw objects back.
Imminent HarmProtect yourself/others; use force IAW ROE; REPORT.
Civilian CasualtyREPORT; provide first aid.
Drive-By ShootingTake cover; REPORT; respond with force IAW ROE.
NOTE: Execute response IAW the JTF ROE.

TOPIC: Checkpoint Tactics.

DISCUSSION: A high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic can be expected to pass through a checkpoint. The normal congestion at checkpoints can be compounded by undiscipline driving habits of local people and by a shortage of soldiers able to speak the local language. Combatants usually develop techniques and ruses to get weapons and explosives through checkpoints.


  • Expect the unexpected at checkpoints.
  • Develop and rehearse drills to prepare soldiers for all possible situations at checkpoints.
  • Some belligerent techniques and suggested responses are:

Action: Place guns or explosives in vehicle fuel tanks or inside of component parts of vehicles.
Counter-Action: Rehearse vehicle search techniques. Develop a checklist for soldiers to use and obtain the proper equipment to conduct a search of vehicles (large mirrors to inspect the under-carriage of vehicles, bolt cutters to cut locks). Don't rush the search, just because traffic backs up.

Action: Weapons, explosives, and combatants can be concealed in hearses and ambulances instead of on bodies or wounded civilians.
Counter-Action: Treat these vehicles with respect, but develop drills for searching vehicles or verifying wounds.

Action: Create a diversion to sneak or rush through a checkpoint. Commonly used techniques are: a sniper attack; an ambulance arriving at the checkpoint with sirens blaring; staging fights or riots near the checkpoint; and staging a vehicle accident or starting a fire.
Counter-Action: Develop drills and techniques to rapidly emplace barricades to stop both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Establish signals or code words to initiate closure operations. Use a quick-reaction team at each roadblock to handle unexpected situations so checkpoint personnel do not have to leave their post.

Action: Using females to smuggle weapons and explosives.
Counter-Action: Develop techniques to search females. Male soldiers should not physically touch females. Use female soldiers to search female civilians. Use metal detectors or mine detectors to scan individuals for weapons. The detectors may not detect explosives.

TOPIC: Checkpoint Guidelines.

DISCUSSION: The following "DOs" and "DON'Ts" can assist in training soldiers for checkpoint duty.



  • Smile when approaching a vehicle and talking to the driver.
  • Speak to the driver and let him speak to the passengers.
  • Ask the driver politely to do what you want him to do.
  • Speak naturally and no louder than needed.
  • When searching a person, be courteous. Use scanners and metal detectors whenever possible.
  • Whatever happens at the checkpoint, stay calm, and make a special effort to be polite, regardless of your feelings.
  • Always maintain a high standard of dress and military bearing.


  • Be disrespectful or give any hint of dislike.
  • Put your head or arm in through the side window or open the door without permission.
  • Shout or show impatience.
  • Frisk women or tell them to put their hands up. Do not point a weapon directly at a women unless essential for security reasons.
  • Become involved in a heated argument. Do not use force unless force is used against you and then use only the minimum necessary. Do not hesitate to call your checkpoint commander whenever the need arises.
  • Become careless or sloppy in appearance. If you look smart and professional, people are more likely to accept your authority and be willing to cooperate.

TOPIC: Situational Training Considerations.

DISCUSSION: Units will encounter situations for which they normally do not train. These situations will present challenges to the leaders and generate confusion and stress which soldiers have to deal with. Each unit should develop a training program to familiarize soldiers with anticipated problems they might encounter. These situational exercises can easily turn into battle drills for each unit. Some examples are:

  • Receive appeal for medical assistance.
  • Civilian criminal is apprehended.
  • Crowd mobs food distribution truck/center.
  • Land mine is discovered.
  • Dead body is found.
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) individual asks for medical treatment.
  • NGO individual asks for transportation on military vehicle.

LESSON(S): Develop situational training exercises to prepare soldiers for unexpected problems/dilemmas. The unit commander must prepare the proper responses for their soldiers. These responses are a method to express the commander's intent for the operation. Turn the responses into battle drills so that unexpected situations become routine operations for the soldier.

TOPIC:Rules of Engagement (ROE).

DISCUSSION: ROE lessons are useful to leaders at all levels who are planning other-than-war operations or who are preparing units for peacekeeping or peace enforcement missions. The lessons focus on, and amplify, key aspects of ROE. Tactical leaders should consider these lessons and incorporate them into unit training and operations.

PURPOSE: ROE must preclude indiscriminate use of deadly force while simultaneously allowing soldiers sufficient latitude to defend themselves. The fundamental premise of self-defense must be sustained. Soldiers must believe they can survive within the rules; ROE must meet their hierarchy of needs. Viewed in this context, ROE are soldier support factors as well as operational or tactical parameters.

DEVELOPMENT: ROE must be skillfully integrated into a combination of peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and humanitarian support operations, carefully tailored to comply with operational and political concerns.

MEASURED RESPONSE: ROE must incorporate criteria which clearly outline the application of a graduated use of force to provide the balance needed to defuse, escalate, or otherwise resolve and confrontation. The degree of force used to neutralize a threat should conform to the circumstances of the incident. Defining ROE in terms of graduated levels of response enables tactical elements to apply the force necessary to meet varying levels of violence which characterize peacekeeping and peace enforcement environments-while minimizing collateral damage.

DISSEMINATION: ROE must be published in writing, disseminated within the command, and thoroughly understood by all leaders and soldiers.

DISSEMINATION OF CHANGES: Changes to ROE must also be made in writing and quickly disseminated within the command. ROE are so important that command emphasis is needed to ensure that prompt, written dissemination of changes is carried out by staff and subordinate commanders.

FOCUSED TRAINING: In an environment where random shooting and sniping are prevalent or possible, only trained, disciplined soldiers are likely to exhibit the degree of restraint needed in operations other than war. Vignettes and situational training exercises, specifically focusing on ROE and led by NCOs, are essential in developing soldiers' skills on how to respond to a variety of situations, when to use deadly force, and when and how to apply nondeadly force.

FRONTLINE LEADERSHIP: When ROE are applied in actual situations, NCO leadership, experience, and maturity are always key factors in determining the appropriate response for the circumstances. Our experience in Somalia, Los Angeles, and Macedonia reaffirms the perennial lesson that good NCOs come from good soldiers, and good soldiers come from good recruiting.

STANDARDIZATION WITHIN A COALITION: When a command is made up of coalition forces application of ROE may vary based on the degree of emphasis placed on it by different coalition force commanders, variance in training among coalition forces, varying levels of experience by coalition forces in interacting with the local people, and differing interpretations of criteria outlining the graduated use of force. Senior coalition commanders must make a concerted effort to standardize interpretation and application of common ROE by all forces in the coalition.

LESSON(S): Soldiers must know and clearly understand the ROE.

TOPIC: Soldier Discipline.

DISCUSSION: The nature of the peacekeeping mission demands a high standard of discipline and, in particular, self-discipline. Commanders at all levels must be conscious of this and must give special attention to leading and supervising their soldiers.


  • A peacekeeping mission is meant to be visible to all concerned.
  • The force will be scrutinized by the locals, by possible belligerent forces, and international media.
  • The units must reflect vigilance, readiness, and competence in their duties.
  • Individuals in isolated observation posts and checkpoints may become bored with the daily routine.
  • Innovative leadership and motivation are required to keep up morale, maintain high standards of discipline, and avert boredom during operations.
  • Properly and continually brief all personnel to ensure everyone understands the mission, situation, and train on ROE.
  • Issue clear, concise, and simple orders.
  • Maintain high standards of cleanliness, care, and maintenance of all weapons, equipment, and uniforms.
  • Develop and enforce combat standards which address proper uniform, alcohol consumption, and force protection early in the operation.

TOPIC: Dos and Don'ts.

DISCUSSION: As a member of an organization which represents the United States and, possibly, the United Nations, your conduct, self-discipline and bearing will have a great influence on the success of the mission.



  • Be impartial.
  • Be tactful; use common sense and discretion.
  • Be inquisitive and observant.
  • Maintain a high standard of military bearing.
  • Make efforts to identify the local customs and obey all local laws.
  • Know the ROE.


  • Discuss operations, plans, intentions, or techniques in the presence of unauthorized personnel.
  • Discuss or comment on the opposing forces except in the performance of duty.
  • Discuss religion or politics.
  • Discuss the composition, role, and employment of friendly forces.
  • Have commercial dealings with local forces.

TOPIC: Vehicular Survival.

DISCUSSION: Recent peace operations conducted by U.S. forces have shown that vehicular survival is a cause for concern. Leaders must ensure that all vehicles carry the equipment needed for recovery. Soldiers that ride in vehicles also need their personal equipment in case of a breakdown. Below is a suggested list of items that should be on each vehicle.


Vehicles should be equipped with the following:

  • OVE, to include a small general tool kit.
  • Flashlight.
  • Compass, binoculars and maps.
  • Communications equipment.
  • Tow rope/cable (at least 25 feet long).
  • Five gallons of water per vehicle.
  • Personal food, clothing, and equipment.
  • Siphoning hose (1/2 inch outside diameter by 6 feet) and funnel.
  • Slave cables (one for each group of vehicles).
  • Jack support plate (one foot by one foot piece of metal).
  • Consumables, to include oil, radiator hoses, fan belts, heavy duty tape, air and fuel filters.
  • Spare tire for HMMWVs.
  • Pepper Spray and CS to control small, unruly crowds.
  • Enough concertina to surround vehicle in case of a breakdown.
  • Layer sandbags in troop-carrying compartments of vehicles to protect personnel from landmines.
  • Rules for Travel: travel in pairs, file a movement plan and monitor times of arrival and departure.

TOPIC: Installation Security.

DISCUSSION: As commanders establish base camp areas and move into work facilities, they must balance their security measures with the type and level of threat posed by the groups in their area. This will apply both in the relative security of forward operating bases and at assigned facilities within cities. Further information is available in FM 100-37, Terrorism Counteraction, FM 90-12, Base Defense, and Joint Pub 3-07.2, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Anti-terrorism.

Security problems and shortfalls contributed to the failure of force protection programs during terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East since the 1983 Beirut Bombings. Operations in Somalia also pointed out that quality plans are not developed by base commanders to defend installations. A copy of a suggested checklist for use in developing defensive plans can be found in Appendix A.


  • Build bases where they can be defended, not where they are convenient
  • Barrier systems were unreliable; vehicle access controls were inadequate. Use additional security measures, such as vehicles to block high speed avenues of approach.
  • Do not use solely host-nation personnel to provide perimeter security of any facility.
  • Make critical physical security improvements by installing additional barriers to screen high risk targets.
  • Ensure that the ROE does not limit the ability of the soldier to defend himself or the facilities.
  • Sensitive work areas must not be located in portions of buildings vulnerable to explosives.
  • Maintain the highest level of security procedures possible; trust your own judgement when it comes to security.
  • Request military working dogs for explosive detection.

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