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SECTION IV - NEEDS EMPHASIS TRENDS


MOBILITY/SURVIVABILITY/NBC BOS (TA.6)

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Force Protection and Survivability

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
22126

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: CSS companies rarely set up and build defenses adequately. (TA.6.3.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Leaders and soldiers do not know how to construct hasty and deliberate fighting positions to standard.

2. Units never have at least one position (hasty, deliberate, or survivability) for each soldier assigned or attached. Units incur a high number of casualties from indirect fire.

3. Leaders do not know how to lay in crew-served fighting positions and properly assign individual sectors of fire. Soldiers and junior leaders do not ever see what "right" should look like, which institutionalizes the problem.

4. Sector sketches are rarely constructed properly and often lack the detail needed to be effective.

5. Soldiers and the unit leadership frequently neglect weapons maintenance. Weapons frequently will not operate upon enemy contact.

6. Obstacle plans, if ever planned for, are usually not employed or emplaced in an efficient manner.

7. Defense rehearsals are never conducted from company down to the soldier level. Soldiers are confused on what to do and where to go during different types of enemy contact.

8. The perimeter security plan is rarely enforced. Opposing forces (OPFOR) usually penetrate and exit the perimeter with ease.

9. Actions-on-enemy-contact drills are not practiced enough and are executed haphazardly. Units lose high numbers of direct support (DS) assets, supplies, and personnel when engaged by the OPFOR.

10. Fratricide control measures are frequently non-existent. Incidents of possible fratricide occur nearly every rotation in the brigade support area (BSA).

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Light engineer platoon leaders are not conducting survivability plans to standard. (TA.6.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Light engineer platoon leaders are not conducting survivability estimates based on assets available, time available, and the task force (TF) commander's priority of work for each unit and weapon system. This lack of preparation leads to inefficient operations that are not reported or tracked in the TF TOC.

2. Light engineer platoon leaders are not preparing a matrix for inclusion in the TF OPORD to show all TF leaders how many of each type of weapon system per unit are planned to be dug IAW the TF commander's guidance.

3. Most engineer annexes do not contain a plan for C3 of heavy equipment, a Class III resupply plan, maintenance support, or a rest plan for operators in the form of a timeline.

4. Light engineer platoon leaders do not leave a cartoon sketch of where and how many of each weapon systems per unit are planned to be dug in the TF TOC for the battle captain to update as he receives survivability work reports. Because the TF TOC does not battle track the survivability effort during the defensive preparation phase, the TF commander is never kept informed on a regular basis on the survivability work status.

OBSERVATION 2: Unit leaders do not ensure that soldiers maintain the proper level of MOPP as ordered by higher headquarters. (TA.6.3.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. The battledress overgament (BDO) was developed as a permeable suit to provide protection against chemical agent vapors, liquid droplets, biological agents, toxins, and radioactive alpha and beta particles for a minimum of 30 days with no exposure to liquid or vapor chemical agent, and a maximum of 24 hours once contaminated.

2. Leaders do not maintain or adjust the MOPP levels based on MOPP analysis, risk mitigation during force protection analysis, and risk management implementation.

3. Supplies and equipment are left out in the open unprotected with no barrier to prevent contamination.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Units do not construct vehicle fighting positions to standard. (TA.6.3)

DISCUSSION: Most combat support equipment (CSE) platoons and combat heavy (CH) platoons continually struggle with the execution of vehicle survivability positions, particularly M1, M2, FISTV, and Q-36 radar positions. Standards are not clearly understood by engineer equipment operators or their maneuver counterparts. As a result, vehicle positions are generally too narrow, too shallow, too short, or not adequately camouflaged by removing soil.

OBSERVATION 2: Rotational units are consistently unprepared to engage and destroy the enemy. (TA.6.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Units are not adequately trained on close combat operations. Rehearsals, if conducted, seldom address how the enemy can influence maneuver and how the unit should react to those actions.

2. React-to-contact drills are usually inadequate in combat engineer units and are often regarded as unimportant by small unit leaders.

3. Breach rehearsals generally do not include a rehearsal of local suppression by the engineers and attached maneuver elements. Breach rehearsals usually involve just the engineers, rather than conducting a combined arms rehearsal.

OBSERVATION 3: The combat trains (CAT) does not demonstrate the skills necessary to establish a perimeter defense. (TA.6.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. There is a lack of knowledge on proper construction techniques and emplacement of fighting positions, especially positions with overhead cover.

2. Hasty fighting positions are not constructed in sufficient numbers and are constructed too short and shallow to provide adequate protection.

3. The CAT defense diagram does not evolve into a graphic representation of the battery defense.

a. Sectors of fire are not properly marked or interlocked at section level.

b. Listening/observation posts (LPs/OPs) are not established.

c. Terrain reference points (TRP) for both ground and air defense are not always established.

d. Special teams are not rehearsed regularly to ensure a capable response.

4. There is a need for continued focus and training on NBC defense measures to increase force protection capabilities. The lack of knowledge in NBC skill Levels 1 and 2 tasks result in over 50 percent casualties at the CAT during chemical attacks. The casualties were the direct result of:

a. Lack of M8 alarms.

b. NAAK kits not distributed.

c. Inability to conduct both the MK256 kit and unmasking procedures to standard

d. Poor MOPP discipline.

e. Improper pre-combat checks/pre-combat inspections (PCCs/PCIs) of NBC equipment.

OBSERVATION 4: Unit Ministry Team (UMT) battlefield survivability skills are not adequate. (TA.6.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Chaplain assistants do a great job of protecting their chaplains; however, they are not active in the planning and preparation phases of the battle and do not prepare the entire UMT for battlefield survival while conducting battlefield ministry.

2. Chaplain assistants are not given enough opportunity to design and brief a concept of support or brief the commander in the chaplains' absence. These opportunities would enhance their abilities and increase the effectiveness of the UMT.

OBSERVATION 5: Soldiers are not proficient in nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) common tasks. (TA.6.3.1.1)

DISCUSSION: Soldiers are not adequately trained in NBC common tasks prior to deployment to the NTC. This includes wear of MOPP gear, reaction to chemical attack, use of M8 and M9 paper, use of the NBC Warning and Reporting System (NBCWRS), treating chemical casualties, and conducting immediate decon.

OBSERVATION 6: Platoons routinely do not employ chemical alarms in their assembly areas (AAs). (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION: None.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Force Protection and Survivability

CSS UNIT PROTECTION

1. Train at Home Station. Focus the long-range training plan toward basic defense skills.

2. Train leaders on what "right" looks like.

3. Ensure leaders enforce standards and spot-check frequently.

4. Use simple SOPs and drill them frequently in garrison.

5. In the field use stand-to or stand-down times as training opportunities.

6. Conduct a defense set up and execution in detail with key leaders prior to any field exercise.

7. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

ENGINEER PLATOON SURVIVABILITY

1. Light engineer platoon leaders must conduct an estimate of how many of each type of weapon system per unit can be dug in based on A&B platoon productivity estimates, time available, equipment available, light and weather conditions, and the TF commander's priority of work.

2. Light engineer platoon leaders must communicate the TF's survivability plan in a survivability matrix IAW FM 5-71-2, Armored Task Force Engineer Combat Operations, as an appendix of the engineer annex.

3. Light engineer platoon leaders must write the C2, Class III resupply, maintenance support, and rest plan at the bottom of the survivability matrix with a timeline.

4. Light engineer platoon leaders must leave in the TF TOC a cartoon sketch of the survivability plan with which the battle captain can update and easily brief the TF commander on the current status of the survivability effort.

CONTAMINATION PREVENTION

1. Refer to:

a. STP 21-1-SMCT, page 343, Task Number: 031-503-1008 (Protect Yourself From Chemical And Biological Injury/Contamination While Eliminating Body Waste When Wearing MOPP 4).

b. STP 21-1-SMCT, page 376, Task Number: 031-503-1015 (Protect Yourself From Injury/Contamination With Mission Oriented Protective Posture).

c. STP 21-24-SMCT, page 5-46, Task Number: 031-503-3008 (Implement Mission Oriented Protective Posture).

d. FM 3-4, NBC Protection, page 1-0 (Protective Ensemble) and page 2-2 (Standard Mission-Oriented Protective Posture).

2. Soldiers must assume the proper MOPP level based on performance measures outlined in STP 21-1-SMCT. Training on this task can be incorporated into daily activities within the battalion at Home Station or during deployment.

3. Leaders must implement and ensure soldiers are in the proper directed MOPP level based on performance measures outlined in STP 21-1-SMCT and STP 21-24-SMCT. "Implement MOPP" is a semiannual training requirement based on STP 21-24-SMCT, page 2-6, and can be incorporated into daily activities within the battalion at Home Station or during deployment.

4. In the tactical SOP (TACSOP), outline pre-combat inspections (PCIs) that must be conducted by the battalion chemical NCO prior to deployment, identifying no-later-than times this must be accomplished. This will ensure that all soldiers have their full IPE, and soldiers can be questioned on their knowledge of MOPP.

5. Establish procedures that will enable MOPP flexibility to subordinate units while not going below the directed MOPP level set by higher headquarters. Ensure that barrier equipment is utilized and outlined in the unit TACSOP to ensure needed supplies are not contaminated.

6. Soldiers must be able to conduct NBC common tasks to survive a chemical attack and carry on with their mission. Units should train their soldiers to conduct NBC common tasks proficiently prior to the rotation.

7. Train to standard not to time.

8. The scout platoon needs to identify an "NBC track" and enforce the emplacement of the M8A1 alarm.

VEHICLE FIGHTING POSITIONS

1. Equipment operators and maneuver unit leaders and soldiers should receive periodic Home Station training on the proper construction of vehicle fighting positions. This means adequate "stick time" for operators to ensure they are proficient, and combined arms training to ensure the equipment operator, vehicle driver, and vehicle commander can readily identify a position constructed to standard.

2. Units should paint depth markers on digging vehicles and publish standards using these markers in tactical SOPs (TACSOPs) and locally produced "smart cards."

SURVIVABILITY IN CLOSE COMBAT

1. Engineers need to receive instruction in the battle focused training methodology at all levels of schoolhouse training, as appropriate for the given audience.

2. Unit Home Station training should focus on combat tasks, to include standard small unit combat tasks such as react-to-contact.

3. Training on engineer-specific tasks should take place in a combined arms environment whenever possible.

4. Units that choose to incorporate battle drills into their tactical SOP (TACSOP) should consider including react to contact drills.

DEFENSE OF COMBAT TRAINS

1. The commander and 1SG must inspect and correct deficiencies within the unit's perimeter and enforce the standard.

2. FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, and GTA 7-6-1 are good sources for identifying techniques and standards for construction and employment of fighting positions.

3. FM 6-50, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Field Artillery Cannon Battery, covers proper range card techniques and standards.

4. All required NBC defense skills are listed in the Skill Level 1, Common Task Manual, and should be integrated into "Monthly Drills" to ensure each soldier's proficiency.

5. Establish a standard perimeter defense layout, orientation and placement of fighting positions, individual fighting position standards, section chief responsibilities, and a PCC/PCI checklist in a tactical SOP (TACSOP).

UNIT MINISTRY TEAM SURVIVABILITY

1. The unit must strive to have the chaplain assistants receive training as a 71M.

2. Chaplains and senior NCO chaplain assistants need to plan to use chaplain assistants in a greater role on the battlefield. Training should focus on their combatant duties, to include time management, weapons bore-sighting, commo checks, pre-combat checks/pre-combat inspections (PCC/PCIs), load plans, and the use of the unit and UMT tactical SOP (TACSOP).

TREND 2
SUBJECT: Obstacles Coordination and Integration

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
12035

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Engineer companies have difficulty planning and executing situational obstacles. (TA.6.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. If situational obstacles are planned, the planning is primarily done at the engineer battalion level based on the brigade plan. This typically results in critical countermobility assets, such as the ground Volcano, being taken away from the engineer company and frequently consolidated into an ad hoc platoon under the control of varying leaders (from the S3 to an excess lieutenant) in the engineer battalion.

2. Situational obstacles are not integrated into the task force (TF) plan or battle space and are less responsive to the needs of the TF commander.

3. The obstacles are frequently not tied to TF triggers, and often are employed at a time and place inside the TF sector that does not support the scheme of maneuver. This situation frequently leads to an increase of minefield fratricides and to greater restriction of the commander, rather than providing him freedom of maneuver.

OBSERVATION 2: Most brigades and task forces (TFs) have difficulty synchronizing the execution of scatterable mines (SCATMINEs) as situational obstacles integrated with the scheme of maneuver. (TA.6.2.2)

DISCUSSION:

1. Due to a lack of a detailed observer-trigger plan, many brigades employ SCATMINEs using friendly or time-based triggers rather than using enemy based triggers. As a result, the brigade is often unable to effectively influence the enemy's maneuver or limit, modify, or encourage an enemy COA. This is largely due to the limited situational obstacle planning conducted by the brigade staff during the Military Decision-Making Process and causes the majority of situational obstacle planning to be conducted by the assistant brigade engineer (ABE) and subordinate TF engineers after the brigade planning process is complete.

2. The ABE has difficulty developing an adequate situational obstacle matrix as part of the brigade OPORD and often struggles to refine the plan prior to the mission.

3. The lack of a detailed observer/trigger plan typically results in the early execution of situational obstacles and often results in SCATMINEs self-destructing during the fight.

4. Late dissemination of the SCATMINE plan across the brigade and a lack of situational awareness among units are the primary causes of minefield fratricide incidents during the campaign.

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of 1-2Q99 Observation 1)

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Brigade situational obstacle planning is inadequate. (TA.6.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Engineers often conduct the planning for situational obstacles in a vacuum. As a result, units normally lack the synchronization necessary to influence the enemy's scheme of maneuver.

2. Units do not know the location of planned targets.

3. Dissemination of SCATMINE warnings is incomplete.

4. Situations for fratricide incidents increase.

OBSERVATION 2: Employment of situation obstacles is often ineffective. (TA.6.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Situational obstacles are not arrayed against multiple enemy courses of action (COAs), and execution is not tied to decision points.

2. Criteria for execution are not defined.

3. Triggers are not tied to the reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) plan.

4. Obstacle intent is not identified (target, trigger, desired obstacle effect).

5. Obstacles are normally executed based on time, and not on an event identified in the decision support matrix (DSM) or template (DST).

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

OBSERVATION 4: Obstacle groups are seldom integrated with fires to achieve a desired obstacle effect on enemy maneuver. (TA.6.2.2)

DISCUSSION:

1. Obstacle groups lack intent (target, location, obstacle effect).

2. Obstacle group design is insufficient to achieve desired effect.

3. Fires are not integrated to achieve desired obstacle effect.

4. Obstacles are not sighted by maneuver company/team commanders.

5. Lanes are not planned.

6. Brigade-directed obstacles are not refined at task force level.

7. Obstacle plans and graphics are not disseminated, often leading to fratricide.

OBSERVATION 5: Situational obstacle planning at the brigade and task force level is inadequate. (TA.6.2.2)

DISCUSSION:

1. Most brigades and battalion task forces have difficulty planning and synchronizing the execution of scatterable munitions as situational obstacles to support their scheme of maneuver and attack the enemy's maneuver. This is primarily due to the lack of a detailed observer-trigger plan.

2. Often, brigades employ scatterable munitions using friendly or time-based triggers rather than using enemy-based triggers. As a result, the brigade is often unable to effectively influence the enemy's maneuver and is ultimately ineffective in influencing the enemy's course of action (COA).

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Obstacles Coordination and Integration

SITUATIONAL OBSTACLES

1. Situational obstacles such as ground Volcano or MOPMS should be planned at TF level.

2. If the assistant brigade engineer (ABE) identifies critical situational obstacles in the brigade scheme of maneuver, the obstacles should be listed in tasks to subordinate units. This allows the TF engineer to plan the command and control, movement, force protection, and integration into the TF plan.

3. Frequently the engineer company assault and obstacle (A&O) platoon leader should command and control the situational obstacles assets. He is familiar with the TF plan and is able to position himself to best accomplish the mission. The unit can then attack enemy maneuver using a target (specific organization, not just "enemy"), location, and effect while maintaining its freedom to maneuver. This is synchronized by a set of triggers based on friendly and enemy actions. The final result is a situational obstacle plan that accomplishes mission essential tasks and remains responsive to the TF commander.

4. The brigade staff should focus training on integrating situational obstacle planning during course of action development to improve synchronization with the brigade's scheme of maneuver. This technique will also improve integration of situational obstacles with fires needed to effectively influence the enemy's maneuver. The brigade staff, not just the engineer, should develop a situational obstacle trigger and observer plan linked to decision points in the DST.

5. To improve situational obstacle planning at the brigade or TF level, recommend that the assistant brigade engineer (ABE) or assistant TF engineer is included as an integral part of the targeting process and participates in the targeting meeting.

6. Engineers should consider applying "Targeting Methodology" as found in FM 6-20-10, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Targeting Process, to situational obstacles planning. This technique would include developing Essential Situational Obstacle Tasks (ESOT) similar to Essential Fire Support Tasks (EFST). An ESOT could then be defined as a combined arms task to emplace and overwatch a situational obstacle that is required to achieve an intended obstacle effect on the enemy's maneuver. Engineer, field artillery, and/or aviation units would have to emplace the situational obstacle to provide the time needed to acquire and destroy the enemy with direct fires, indirect fires, and/or close air support (CAS). An ESOT would have to be accomplished to set the conditions for mission success of a combined arms operation or else the commander may be required to alter his tactical or operational plan.

7. The following technique is based on combining aspects of situational obstacle planning as shown in FM 90-7, Combined Arms Obstacle Integration, with targeting methodology shown in FM 6-20-10:

a. Determine the FOCUS OF OBSTACLES. Determine WHAT you want situational obstacles and fires to do to the enemy.

b. IDENTIFY THE TARGET. Specify WHO you want situational obstacles to affect, and establish initial battlefield criteria (enemy and/or friendly) for employment.

c. Identify the TARGETED AOI. Specify WHEN and WHERE you want situational obstacles and fires to influence the enemy's maneuver. Refine using terrain analysis products.

d. INTEGRATE obstacles and direct/indirect fires into the scheme of maneuver. Develop essential situational obstacle tasks to specify the task, purpose, method, and endstate for situational obstacle employment. Allocate and prioritize emplacement assets.

Task: Specify enemy formation, function of that formation to influence, and the intended obstacle effect on the enemy's maneuver (disrupt, fix, turn, block).

Purpose: Focus on friendly maneuver purpose and how integration of obstacles, fires, and maneuver will achieve a unified effect (delay, disrupt, limit, destroy).

Method: Obstacle emplacement asset and direct/indirect fires required to achieve those results.

End state: Quantifiable terms to determine technical parameters that will achieve the stated task and purpose.

e. TIME/DISTANCE ANALYSIS. Perform rough battle calculus to maximize the effects of obstacles and fires. Consider time requirements for situational obstacles: (T) enemy movement from NAI to TAI (M) commit asset (E) emplacement time (A) arming time (C) integration of fires. Using enemy movement rates from the NAI to the TAI, reverse-plan the time to execute and overwatch the obstacle from the TAI.

f. Develop OBSERVER/TRIGGER PLAN. Identify and position observers to link NAIs and decision points with triggers. Synchronize obstacle execution and overwatch in DST/execution matrix during the wargame.

g. Develop and disseminate a SKETCH to VISUALIZE THE SCHEME OF OBSTACLES. Include the target, task/purpose, method, observers, emplacing asset positions, and trigger to link the NAI/DP with the TAI and overwatch element positions.

h. Establish OWNERSHIP of obstacles in the sub-unit instructions of the OPORD in order to specify responsibility for obstacle emplacement and overwatch. Use top-down planning and bottom-up refinement. Use obstacle control graphics to allow subordinate units the flexibility to refine the plan within the higher commander's intent and the overall scheme of maneuver.

i. REFINE AND DISSEMINATE. Apply targeting methodology to refine the situational obstacle plan as part of the TARGETING MEETING. Disseminate the refined plan across the unit to reduce risk of minefield fratricide.

Visualization of the scheme of obstacles

Decide: Verifies or updates the scatterable mine execution matrix with the current focus of situational obstacles.

Detect: Verifies, updates, re-tasks available collection assets to accomplish the observer/trigger plan.

Deliver: Allocates/reallocates/repositions emplacement assets to execute situational obstacles.

Overwatch: Confirms the element tasked to overwatch the obstacles with direct or indirect fires/CAS needed to achieve the intended obstacle effects on the enemy's maneuver.

j. REHEARSE. Include situational obstacle triggers/execution/overwatch as part of the combined arms rehearsal.

8. Improve ownership of situational obstacles by including execution and overwatch as specified tasks to subordinate units in the brigade OPORD. The ABE must include an initial brigade situational obstacle matrix as part of the brigade OPORD and disseminate a refined situational obstacle plan and consolidated obstacle overlay prior to the brigade rehearsal in order to improve synchronization and situational awareness. The brigade must ensure that all units disseminate the SCATMINE warnings across command nets to improve situational awareness and reduce minefield fratricides.

9. Engineers should influence situational obstacle planning during the brigade mission analysis briefing.

10. The assistant brigade engineer (ABE) should examine potential target areas of interest (TAI), examine obstacle requirements, and establish situational priorities.

11. The ABE should recommend situational obstacle targets that the staff can integrate with direct or indirect fires throughout the width and depth of the battlefield for each enemy or friendly course of action (COA).

12. Use the seven steps of defense for each situational obstacle, even in offense.

13. Perform time/distance analysis between named area of interest (NAI) and target area of interest (TAI).

14. Integrate fires.

15. Control execution with DSM/DST for triggers.

16. Assign intent during COA development to determine feasibility and triggers.

17. The assistant brigade engineer (ABE) and brigade staff should focus on integrating situational obstacle planning during COA development to improve synchronization with the brigade's scheme of maneuver. This technique will also improve integration of situational obstacles with fires needed to effectively influence the enemy's maneuver.

18. The brigade staff, not just the engineer, should help in the development of situational obstacle triggers and the observer plan linked to decision points in the decision support template (DST).

19. To improve situational obstacle planning at both the brigade and task force level, recommend that the ABE or assistant task force engineer be included as an integral part of the targeting process and participate in the targeting meeting.

OBSTACLE GROUPS

1. Engineers should not execute without company/team participation, to include siting.

2. Task force commander must give clear guidance.

3. Employ doctrinal densities to create obstacle groups.

4. Refine brigade-directed obstacles; use a liaison with general support (GS) assets working in sector.

5. Tactical operations center (TOC) must track obstacles and disseminate obstacle graphics.

TREND 3
SUBJECT: Use of Chemical Detection Equipment

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00241

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Engineer unit use of the M8A1 Automated Chemical Agent Alarm (ACAA) is not to standard. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION:

1. Units frequently do not emplace the M8A1 alarm into operation upon arrival in an area they plan to occupy.

2. Units that do set up the M8A1 alarm do not emplace it correctly and do not have trained operators.

OBSERVATION 2: Engineer units do not use M9 chemical detector paper to standard. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION:

1. Procedures for using M9 chemical detector paper are not often addressed in unit SOPs.

2. Unit personnel frequently do not know the full capability of the M9 paper or how to attach it to equipment and personnel.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Scout platoons routinely do not employ chemical alarms in their assembly areas (AAs). (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION:None.

OBSERVATION 2: Leaders do not ensure that all soldiers have M9 paper attached to their MOPP suits, vehicles, and equipment. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION: M9 paper is used to confirm or deny the presence of a liquid chemical agent on MOPP suits vehicles, and equipment. It also allows individual leaders and personnel the flexibility to upgrade to a higher level of protection and identify personnel, vehicles, and equipment that may be contaminated. It can also be a tool used by the commander to mitigate risks during force protection analysis and risk management procedures.

OBSERVATION 3: When tested on the use of the M256A1 detector kit, most soldiers make minor mistakes. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION: The M256A1 chemical agent detector kit is issued at squad level so that every squad has the capability of detecting and classifying chemical agents. Solders' inability to properly use the detector kit reflects mostly on the training that they received prior to deployment. Many soldiers only have the sampler detector ticket and are unfamiliar with the complete M256A1 chemical agent detector kit.

OBSERVATION 4: Units are not employing the M8A1 Automated Chemical Agent Alarm (ACAA) to standard, if at all. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION: Units do not ensure that all M8A1 ACAA systems are emplaced correctly, do not correct deficiencies that are noted, and do not ensure that they deploy with the required amount of batteries and maintenance for the M8A1 ACAA. As a result, units are not alerted that a chemical agent is about to drift over their position.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Units too often deploy to the NTC without the necessary chemical defense equipment (CDE) to protect the force in an NBC environment. (TA.6.3.1.1.4)

DISCUSSION:

1. Many units are unaware that they are critically short items of CDE until after they arrive at the NTC.

2. Some chemical personnel do not know what CDE their units are authorized in MTOE or CTA items.

3. Units cannot possibly know their CDE status and order equipment until they have established what they are authorized.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Use of Chemical Detection Equipment

USE OF THE M8A1 AUTOMATED CHEMICAL AGENT ALARM (ACAA)

1. At Home Station and during reception, staging, onward movement and integration (RSO&I), conduct training on tactical assembly area (TAA) procedures, with one task focusing on the emplacement of the M8A1 ACAA. As a minimum, unit personnel should know that:

a. Detectors are placed upwind from the unit, no more than 150 meters from the farthest upwind position of the unit.

b. Detectors should never be placed more than 400 meters from the alarm.

c. The optimum spacing between detectors is 300 meters.

d. All M8A1 alarms should be emplaced, not just one.

2. Annotate the M8A1 alarm locations on the sector sketch.

3. Ensure operational maintenance is performed.

4. Have a trained operator.

5. The scout platoon must identify an "NBC track" and enforce the proper emplacement of the M8A1 automatic chemical agent alarm.

6. Refer to:

a. STP 21-24-SMCT, page 5-51, Task Number: 031-504-3001 (Supervise Positioning of The Chemical Agent Alarm)

b. TM 3-6665-312-12 &P (Operator's And Unit Maintenance Manual For The M8A1 Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm)

c. FM 3-3, Chemical and Biological Contamination Avoidance, page 3-1 (Detection and Identification).

7. Unit leaders must supervise the positioning of the chemical agent alarm. It is the chemical NCO's responsibility to advise the commander on actual positions for the M8A1s and ensure that they are employing them doctrinally as outlined in FM 3-3.

8. Technical manuals must be made available for the M8A1 so that operators are capable of understanding how the system works, performing PMCS, connecting commo wires to standard, and ensuring the M8A1s are configured correctly.

9. The tactical SOP (TACSOP) must address the employment of the M8A1 once the unit occupies a new assembly area. This procedure should be practiced until it is automatic. A technique is to have the quartering party doing this task in case of a chemical attack during occupation.

10. Train on the equipment at Home Station.

USE OF M9 CHEMICAL DETECTOR PAPER

1. Standardize procedures for attaching M9 paper to like items of equipment so that all personnel know where it goes.

2. Ensure personnel are aware that M9 paper must be removed during decontamination operations.

3. Ensure soldiers perform buddy-buddy checks on MOPP gear after donning, ensuring M9 paper is attached correctly.

4. Include the procedures for using, attaching and removing M9 paper in unit SOPs.

5. Refer to:

a. TM 3-6665-311-10, Operators Manual For M9 Chemical Agent Detector Paper.

b. STP 21-1-SMCT, page 395, Task Number: 031-503-1020 (Detect Chemical Agents Using M9 Detector Paper).

c. FM 3-4, NBC Protection, page 1-11 (Chemical Agent Detector Paper).

d. FM 3-3, Chemical and Biological Contamination Avoidance, page 1-5 (Chemical Vulnerability Analysis).

6. Mark all vehicles, equipment, and supplies with M9 paper at locations where the driver, vehicle commander, or ground sentry can see it.

7. Identify areas where M9 paper can be attached on like types of equipment. For example, on the M998: 12-inch piece centered on front and rear of vehicle, 6-inch piece attached to the passenger and driver mirror frames, 6-inch piece placed on the front and rear sides of the vehicle, two 4-inch pieces placed on outside top of hood, and one 4-inch piece placed on the top of the antennae. This method would also provide a method of estimating how much M9 paper is required for the unit.

8. Set up quality control (QC) checks at the entrance and exit to the unit perimeter. This ensures that all vehicles entering and exiting the perimeter are marked properly with M9 paper, identifies vehicles that may be contaminated, and prevents the spread of contamination.

9. Ensure the unit tactical SOP (TACSOP) addresses the marking procedure in detail, providing graphic representation of vehicles with properly marked areas of all assigned equipment and supplies.

USE OF THE M256A1 DETECTOR KIT

1. Refer to:

a. STP 21-24-SMCT, page 4-82, Task Number: 031-503-2001 (Use M256A1 Chemical Agent Detector Kit).

b. TM 3-6665-307-10, Operator's Manual For Chemical Agent Detector Kit M256A1.

c. FM 3-4, NBC Protection, page 1-12 (M256 Series Chemical Agent Detector Kit).

d. FM 3-3, Chemical and Biological Contamination Avoidance, page 3-5 (M256 Series Chemical Agent Detector Kit).

2. The use of the M256A1 chemical agent detector kit is required training at the unit level at quarterly intervals as outlined in STP 21-24-SMCT. This training may be accomplished in any type of training environment and should be incorporated into all training that is conducted. Units should retain or try to obtain the carrying cases for the M256A1.

3. Once the M256A1 kit expires, it is taken out of the case and turned in, leaving the carrying case available for use in training (have your chemical NCO check the DRMO).

4. Ensure all soldiers are familiar with the operation of the M256A1 under all weather and environmental conditions as outlined in TM 3-6665-307-10.

5. In the tactical SOP (TACSOP), address pre-combat check/pre-combat inspection (PCC/PCI) procedures to be conducted at different levels of command to ensure M256A1s are serviceable and that the required quantities are on hand.

CHEMICAL DEFENSE EQUIPMENT (CDE)

1. All units assigned and attached to the brigade should check their MTOE and CTA to learn what they are authorized in CDE. Conduct thorough CDE inventories several months prior to deployment to NTC.

2. The brigade should invest dollars in critically short items. If the unit does not have funds available to fill all shortages, request additional funds from higher headquarters, or cross-level with units that are not deploying to NTC.

3. Division chemical sections should provide assistance to deploying brigades to ensure units have the CDE necessary for NBC operations during the rotation.

TREND 4
SUBJECT: Breaching Operations

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00233

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: During offensive operations, the maneuver brigade staff seldom includes the breach as a significant phase of the operation. (TA.6.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. The breach plan rarely addresses the brigade's responsibilities for a task force breach or specifies how the brigade intends to synchronize suppression, obscuration, security, and reduction (SOSR) missions.

2. While the assistant brigade engineer (ABE) understands how to use reverse breach planning, the brigade staff does not use the reverse planning process to develop the brigade scheme of maneuver.

3. Often the brigade's main effort is not weighted with additional mobility assets to provide the required redundancy at the breach.

4. There is seldom a plan included in the brigade's fragmentary orders (FRAGOs) to shift or reallocate mobility assets should a task force (TF) become combat ineffective.

5. During the fight, the brigade struggles with isolating the point of penetration and massing sufficient combat power at the decisive point on the battlefield. As a result, the brigade is unable to set the conditions prior to committing to the breach and is rapidly destroyed by the defending enemy.

OBSERVATION 2: Units are having difficulty identifying lane and bypass markers at the breached site. (TA.6.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Many training units at the NTC use VS-17 panels to mark breached lanes. This is an approved marking method per Chapter 3 of FM 90-13-1, Combined Arms Breaching Operations. However, the VS-17 panel is also used to mark CASEVAC routes and as a fratricide marking system on all combat vehicles. Because of the many VS-17 panels in the area, soldiers become confused as to what the markers are indicating. When the soldiers are buttoned up in their vehicles, they have a difficult time identifying and visualizing the lane entrance and exit markers. They often miss the lane altogether.

2. The majority of lane marking done at the NTC is in accordance with Figure 3-6, page 3-17, FM 90-13-1. Very little attention, however, is being paid to the visibility guidelines listed in Table 3-2, page 3-16. Most VS-17 panels do not include directional arrows indicating the entrance or bypass lane boundaries.

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: During offensive operations, the brigade plan does not adequately address the brigade's responsibilities for task force (TF) level breaching operations. (TA.6.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION: Brigades are having difficulty synchronizing combat multipliers needed to isolate the point of penetration and to achieve the suppress, obscure, secure, reduce (SOSR) breach fundamentals. While the assistant brigade engineer (ABE) uses reverse breach planning to task organize mobility assets and provide the required redundancy at the breach, the brigade staff does not adequately use the reverse planning process to determine the brigade's actions at the breach or bypass. As a result, many brigades are unable to set conditions for the fight prior to committing to the breach and are rapidly destroyed by the defending enemy.

OBSERVATION 2: Light, airborne, air assault platoons do not adequately mark breach lanes and opposing forces (OPFOR) FASCAM bypass lanes for forward passage of lines (FPOL) with heavy task forces (TFs). (TA.6.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Light platoons are not resourced with enough marking material to adequately emplace an initial lane marking system in restricted terrain for the forward passage of lines with a heavy TF.

2. Because light engineer platoons do not mark FPOL lanes for heavy TFs to standard, significant mechanized TF combat power is lost as units run into OPFOR minefields that the light engineer platoon had earlier identified or breached.

3. There is a lack of light/heavy integration and no exchange of brigade combat team (BCT) and TF tactical SOPs (TACSOPs) which show the initial lane marking SOP.

OBSERVATION 3: Light engineers are often using inappropriate minefield breaching techniques. (TA.6.1.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. During recent light rotations, dismounted engineer platoons have chosen to "lasso" mines as their primary method of breach. This technique is essentially an inappropriate use of the airfield clearing TTP. While the light engineer company MTP (ARTEP 5-025-31-MTP) does not specify the method for breaching, Task 05-2-0111, "Conduct minefield clearing operations," clearly specifies detonation by explosives as the primary method.

2. The lasso technique developed for airfield clearing is too slow to be adequate for maintaining maneuver momentum as part of a combined arms breach, and light platoons generally do not carry adequate materials to use this technique on an obstacle of substantial depth.

3. Current threat mines are often magnetically or seismically triggered. SAPPERS moving through the minefield placing grappling ropes with heavy, metallic hooks around the mines are at high risk of causing premature detonation.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 3-4QFY98 Observation 1)

OBSERVATION 2: Lane marking procedures used by units are often inadequate. (TA.6.1.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Recent rotations have indicated a need to reevaluate doctrinal lane and bypass marking procedures, to include entrance, exit, final approach, far recognition markers, and marking materials.

2. Many units use VS-17 panels, which is a doctrinally approved method of marking. However, recent trends indicate problems with identifying the VS-17 panels at the breach site. This is because the VS-17 panel is also commonly used as a CASEVAC and fratricide marking system on combat vehicles. With so many VS-17 panels in the area, soldiers often experience difficulties identifying the marking system, resulting in the unit missing the lane entrance.

3. Many units using VS-17 panels do not include directional arrows indicating the entrance or bypass lane boundaries.

4. Variations in marking standards between units often results in confusion due to varied task organizations, especially during heavy/light operations.

5. The spacing of the funnel markers is often so great that a vehicle approaching from an angle will drive in between funnel markers and into the obstacle.

OBSERVATION 3: Combined arms breaching operations are not coordinated or synchronized. (TA.6.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Units are not incorporating breach tenets into the planning process.

2. Units are not:

a. Developing OBSTINTEL collection plan.

b. Synchronizing "breach fundamentals."

c. Using reverse breach planning to develop task organization.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Breaching Operations

BREACH PLANNING AND OPERATIONS

1. Breach planning at the brigade level should focus on five areas:

  • Engineer Integration in the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB).
  • Breach Organization and Mass.
  • Reverse Planning Process.
  • Actions at the Breach.
  • Brigade Responsibilities at the Breach.

2. Engineer Integration in the IPB.

a. Effective breach planning must begin during the threat integration portion of the IPB.

b. The assistant battalion engineer (ABE) and engineer battalion S2 must develop and use the engineer battlefield assessment (EBA) to provide the brigade commander and staff a common vision of how the enemy engineer and terrain will shape the battlefield.

c. To better focus the planning process, ensure that all possible enemy tactical and situational obstacles (MOD, UMZ, and MRL-delivered SCATMINEs) are templated throughout the width and depth of the battlefield based on each enemy COA, and are included in the brigade situation template along with expected enemy overwatch. This will focus the reverse planning process, task organization, and reconnaissance planning early in the brigade MDMP.

3. Breach Organization and Mass.

a. The size of enemy force in overwatch also drives the type of breach the brigade conducts (brigade versus TF). The brigade scheme of maneuver must mass sufficient combat power at the decisive point on the battlefield. FM 71-3, The Armored and Mechanized Infantry Brigade, states:

"Massed combat power is directed against an enemy weakness. The location selected for breaching depends largely on a weakness in the enemy defense where its covering fires are minimized. If the attacker cannot find a natural weakness, he creates one by fixing the majority of the defending force and isolating a small portion of it for attack. The need to generate enough mass strongly influences which echelon can conduct a breaching operation....A TF has sufficient combat power to attack an obstacle defended by a company."

b. The success of a TF breach is dependent on the brigade's ability to isolate that portion of the enemy defense that the lead TF has the ability to penetrate. Otherwise, the brigade must organize for a brigade-level breach operation. A brigade with one armor and one infantry TF can designate one as the support force and the other as the assault force, and can organize the engineer battalion (with a security and reduction element) as the breach force. By organizing for a brigade-level breach, the brigade can mass the combat power and mobility assets needed to successfully isolate and penetrate an MRB defense.

4. Reverse Planning Process. The reverse planning process is an essential tool in building an effective plan. The endstate is not the breach; rather it is getting the assault force onto the objective to destroy the enemy. By starting at actions on the objective and working back to the LD, the staff can allocate combat power, mobility assets, and indirect fires (suppression/smoke). FM 90-13-1, Combined Arms Breaching Operations, outlines the technique:

  • Actions on the objective drive the size/composition of the assault force, assault force objective, and the point of penetration (POP).

  • Size of the assault force and location of the POP determines the quantity/location of lanes.

  • Lane requirements, type of obstacles, and type of terrain/soil drives the amount/type of mobility assets (size/composition of the reduction element) task organized to the breach force.

  • The size/composition of the security element in the breach force is based on the enemy's ability to interfere with the reduction of the obstacle.

  • The amount of suppression and size/composition/location of the support force is driven by the enemy's ability to mass fires and interfere with the breach at the reduction site.

Figure of reverse planning process

5. Actions at the Breach.

a. The brigade OPORD must specify the brigade's actions at the breach required to achieve SOSR for either a brigade or a TF level breach:

  • Reconnaissance identifies the reduction site.
  • Support force occupies positions and begins suppressive and obscuration fires.
  • Breach force establishes near-side security at the reduction site.
  • Breach force reduces the obstacle.
  • Breach force proofs/marks lanes and establishes far-side security.
  • Assault force assaults and secures the objective.

b. An effective technique is to sketch the actions at each expected breach site based on the templated obstacle, specific terrain, and enemy overwatch. Develop a timeline for actions at the breach to ensure that the brigade maintains momentum. Specify the task and purpose of each element of the breach organization needed to achieve SOSR. The staff should also develop and track criteria for achieving SOSR to assist the commander in determining whether breach conditions have been set. Below is a method for establishing criteria: (NOTE: This criteria is not all-inclusive.)

DECISIONSCRITERIA
Decide Point of Penetration / Reduction Site- Recon identifies Obstacles / enemy positions
Commence Suppression / Obscuration fires- Observers in position
- SPT Force crosses Phase Line
Support Force Occupies SBF- CFZ in place over SBF
- Obscuration to screen SPT Force movement
- Support Force maintains > 70% combat power
Commit the Breach Force- Suppression / Obscuration adjusted and effective
- CFZ in place over reduction site
- Engineer preparations complete
- Fire Control Measures in effect
Commit the Reduction Element- Breach Force near-side security in position
- Security element controls reduction site by fires or occupation
Commit the Assault Force- Lane reduced / proofed / marked
- Far-side security in position

(1) Obscuration Plan: Timeline critical actions at the breach for both support force and breach force as constrained by available smoke. Specify task and purpose of both projected and generated smoke. Allocate or task organize smoke assets to the support force and the breach force based on those requirements. Develop solid triggers to employ obscuration and specify who controls obscuration. Ensure that the support force commander controls/shifts artillery projected smoke needed to obscure his movement into the support by fire as well as set conditions for the breach.

(2) Fire Control Plan: Identify fire control measures in the brigade graphics such as support-by-fire positions, coordinated fire lines (CFL) or restricted fire lines (RFL), and no-fire areas (NFA). All elements of the breach organization must specify and discuss direct fire control measures such as TRPs, phase lines, and signals, to initiate, lift, shift, and cease fires.

6. Brigade Responsibilities at the Breach. Engineers must ensure that the brigade's breach plan defines the brigade responsibilites during a brigade or TF breach:

a. Obstacle Intelligence: Current and accurate OBSTINTEL is necessary to confirm or deny the SITEMP. It allows the commander to refine the plan and set conditions for a successful combined arms fight, maneuver rapidly to the objective, and exploit the opportunities offered by obstacles, terrain, and the enemy. The engineer battalion S2 and ABE must assist in developing the brigade reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) plan. TF scouts and the brigade reconnaissance troop (BRT) must be trained to collect detailed obstacle intelligence. Any effort to conduct engineer-specific reconnaissance must be integrated with the brigade R&S plan. Both maneuver scouts and engineer reconnaissance teams (ERT) are given parts of the same task to accomplish; both must maneuver through and occupy the same area during recon missions; and both must be able to communicate using retrans, relay, or TACSAT. Integration provides close cooperation and mutual support, decreases reconnaissance overlap, and reduces risk of fratricide.

b. Isolating the Point of Penetration: The brigade plan must synchronize combat multipliers to isolate the point of penetration. The brigade staff must use CAS, artillery, aviation, IEW, SCATMINEs, ADA, obscuration, and deception to set conditions for the fight. Additionally, the brigade must continue to fight deep to stop the enemy from repositioning or counterattacking.

c. Traffic Control at the Breach: The brigade must task the military police to provide maneuver mobility support to control traffic at the lanes, especially if the scheme of maneuver involves a passage of lines. The brigade breach plan should also specify a lane numbering system, identify traffic control points (TCPs), and state which lanes will support reverse-flow traffic to evacuate casualties.

7. Brigades can improve breach operations by conducting combined arms breach planning as part of the brigade Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). The brigade staff should use the reverse planning process to allocate combat power, fires, and mobility assets from the objective back to the line of departure based on the templated enemy obstacles and expected enemy overwatch positions.

8. The staff should understand that a breach or bypass operation is always deliberate for the unit (company/team, TF, brigade) conducting and applying the breach tenets. The size of the enemy force over-watching an obstacle should drive the type of breach organization that should be used at that particular level.

9. Ensure that the brigade staff also considers transition to a brigade-level breach organization should the TF-level breach fail.

10. Improve the brigade breach plan by defining the breach organization in the brigade OPORD and specifying the brigade's actions at the breach required to achieve SOSR in a concept sketch showing the enemy, terrain, and obstacle. Discuss the brigade or TF actions at the breach as part of the brigade scheme of maneuver, not just as part of the engineer annex:

a. Brigade or TF initiates suppression/obscuration to set conditions.

b. Support force occupies support-by-fire position and provides direct fire suppression.

c. Breach force establishes near-side security.

d. Breach force reduces, proofs, and marks the lanes.

e. Breach force establishes far-side security.

f. Assault force conducts the assault and secures the objective.

11. Brigades, TFs, and company/teams should address their responsibilities to set conditions for a subordinate unit breach or bypass operation. The brigade staff should use the wargame to synchronize combat multipliers across the brigade to set the conditions for TF level breaches or bypasses. The breach plan should synchronize combat multipliers, such as artillery, CAS, air defense, electronic warfare, SCATMINEs, smoke, and deception, to isolate the part of the enemy defense that a subordinate unit has the ability to penetrate.

12. Include a brigade plan for traffic control at the breach lanes or the forward passage of lines (FPOL) to employ military police for maneuver mobility support to maintain the brigade's momentum during the attack.

13. Responsibilities by BOS:

  • Artillery: isolate breach site and suppress enemy; CFZ management.

  • CAS: isolate and suppress enemy, disrupt counterattack.

  • AHs: isolate and suppress enemy, disrupt counterattack.

  • IEW: identify directional find and jam MRB and overwatching MRC at the point of breach (POB).

  • Obscuration (projected and generated): isolate the POB.

  • SCATMINEs: prevent repositioning of enemy forces without hindering friendly actions on the objective; disrupt counterattack.

  • ADA: isolate and cover the POB.

  • MP: provide maneuver mobility support for FPOL, establish traffic control points, route marking.

  • Chemical reconnaissance: force protection at the point of penetration (POP) and POB.

14. Both brigade and TF staffs should focus the synchronization of these combat multipliers during the wargame and rehearsal to assist in setting conditions for subordinate unit breach operations. Include breaches or bypasses as a significant event in the synchronization matrix.

15. TF plans should also address TF responsibilities to synchronize their own combat multipliers and set SOSR conditions for a company/team level breach or bypass operation. Synchronize execution by including the breach at the brigade, TF, and company/team rehearsals, conducting both walk-through and mounted rehearsals.

BYPASS AND LANE MARKING

1. Unit leaders must ensure that steps are taken to rectify the inconsistency in the use of the VS-17 panel on the battlefield. Using the VS-17 panel to mark everything is not

productive and should be managed rigorously by all leaders. Several units have developed their own nonstandard marking devices to eliminate any confusion with the VS-17 panel.

2. Problems observed during recent rotations indicate a need to reevaluate Chapter 3, Lane and Bypass Marking Procedures, of FM 90-13-1--specifically entrance, exit, final approach, and far-recognition markers. Recommend that references made to the VS-17 panel in figure 3-6, page 3-17, be removed and replaced with the following:

Images of a guide marker, far recognition marker, entrance and exit markers, and bypass marker

3. When marking a lane through a complex obstacle, units should have a well-defined marking system to eliminate any confusion approaching and passing through the obstacle. The VS-17 panel has historically been the solution for all marking needs on the battlefield. Combat engineer units should reevaluate their TACSOPs and ensure there is no inconsistency with lane and bypass marking systems.

4. During RSO&I week, the BCT must designate the standard for breach lane marking and bypass lane marking material and layout for mechanized traffic. Copies of the lane marking SOP must be published in a BCT FRAGO during RSO&I.

5. The heavy engineer battalion must cross-level additional marking material to the light engineer platoon during RSO&I. Light engineer platoons must bring to heavy/light operations additional lane marking material.

6. The engineer platoon must rehearse emplacement of marking material for breach lanes and OPFOR FASCAM bypass marking during RSO&I.

7. The engineer platoon must plan to push forward additional marking material on trucks or by sling load after they have secured restricted terrain while dismounted (i.e., AASLT operation followed by dismounted assault on restricted terrain objective) so they can upgrade lane marking and far recognition markers for heavy TF traffic.

8. Refer to FM 90-13-1, Combined Arms Breaching Operations. Marking a breach lane or bypass is a critical sub-component of obstacle reduction. Effective and timely marking of a breached lane allows the tactical commander to project his forces through the obstacle quickly and safely, with his combat power intact.

9. Units should consider the guidelines listed in FM 90-13-1, Table 3-2, page 3-16, "Guidelines for Lane-Marking Devices" which discuss visibility requirements.

a. Marking devices need to be visible under a variety of conditions, including night operations, inclement weather, obscurants, and when buttoned up in tracked vehicles. Using the VS-17 panel to mark everything is not productive and should be managed rigorously by all leaders.

b. Units should develop nonstandard marking devices that are easily distinguishable from VS-17 panels. When marking a lane through a complex obstacle, units should have a well-defined marking system to eliminate confusion when approaching and passing through the obstacle.

10. The Army should consider readdressing the need for a standardized marking system that is available through the logistics system, highly visible at great distances, easily transportable, and distributed Army-wide for use by the entire combined arms team.

MINEFIELD BREACHING:

1. Light engineers should follow procedures outlined in ARTEP 5-025-31-MTP, FM 5-34, Engineer Field Data, and FM 20-32, Mine/Countermine Operations, for obstacle reduction.

2. The lasso technique for clearing airfields, which is designed to remove the mine without damaging the airfield surface, should be reexamined given the technologies employed in current threat mines.

COMBINED ARMS BREACHING

1. Develop an aggressive reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) plan to collect OBSTINTEL.

2. Develop a flexible plan to react to results of OBSTINTEL.

3. Conduct mounted rehearsals.

4. Include details of actions at the breach in the OPORD.

5. Employ reverse breach planning to drive task organization of reduction assets and composition of breach, support, and assault forces.

TREND 5
SUBJECT: Reaction to Chemical Attack

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00011

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Task forces are not prepared to operate in a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) environment. (TA.6.3.1.2)

DISCUSSION:

1. Most NBC staffs and task forces have a written NBC TACSOP; however, in most cases, the SOPs were not previously implemented or used at Home Station. As the task forces plan NBC operations, smoke operations, and respond to chemical attacks, there is minimal emphasis placed on NBC training at Home Station.

2. Companies do not consistently send up NBC 1 Reports to the TOC after entering the contaminated area and do not use their M8/M9 paper or M256 kits in known or suspected contaminated areas.

3. There are often critical chemical defense equipment (CDE) shortages, such as M8 alarm batteries, MOPP suits, and M9 paper. The battalion NBC staffs often do not cross-level or order critical CDE even after they discover the shortages.

4. Task forces deploy without 54B NBC NCOs in many of their companies.

5. Most soldiers adopt the "run away" technique and become chemical casualties because they enter contaminated areas and do not don their protective gear.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Reaction to Chemical Attack

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

Task forces must train using standard procedures:

a. For NBC avoidance refer to FM 3-3, Chemical/Biological Contamination Avoidance.

b. For NBC protection refer to FM 3-4, NBC Protection.

c. For NBC decontamination refer to FM 3-5, NBC Decontamination.

d. For NBC defense refer to FM 3-100, NBC Defense, Chemical Warfare, Smoke and Flame Operations.

2. Task forces must staff their companies with NBC NCOs.

3. Units must conduct individual soldier-level NBC training at company/platoon level at Home Station to enable task forces to operate in a contaminated environment.

4. Produce and implement a workable NBC TACSOP at Home Station. Integrate the approved NBC TACSOP into all Home Station training events so that units are familiar with the procedures and are able to understand the role of the smoke platoon, decontamination platoon, and chemical reconnaissance section. Units must also be able to react to an NBC threat IAW their NBC TACSOP without losing personnel, equipment, or the main objective.

TREND 6
SUBJECT: Decontaminated Unit Operations

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00012

1-2QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Brigades and task forces do not adequately plan for patient decontamination sites (PDS). (TA.6.3.1.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Often, task forces rely solely on the brigade concept of support for all aspects of chemical decontamination, despite organic capabilities.

2. Chemical strikes are often predicted accurately and templated accordingly; however, graphic control measures, proposed sites, or pre-positioned assets are not established within the brigade combat team (BCT) or task force.

3. Triggers to establish the sites are not defined.

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Units do not adequately plan and prepare for decontamination operations. (TA.6.3.1.2.1)

DISCUSSION:

1. Brigade staffs do not plan and coordinate support requirements for decontamination operations.

2. Brigade orders do not task units to provide support, and little coordination is done to ensure support is effectively executed.

OBSERVATION 2: (Repeat of 1-2QFY99 Observation 1)

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Decontaminated Unit Operations

1. Establish and publish graphic control measures and triggers for PDS in the task force OPORD.

2. Divide chemical patient decontamination and treatment sets, kits, and outfits (SKOs) between battalion aid station/advanced trauma life support (BAS/ATLS) teams to allow greater flexibility and continuity of support.

3. Commitment of water assets to chemical decontamination sites is imperative for responsive PDS setup.

4. SOPs must include augmentees with responsive transportation to active PDS. Sole reliance on brigade support for chemical decontamination is impractical due to time-distance factors.

5. Update/validate TACSOPs with inclusive Home Station training.

6. Brigades should conduct decontamination training that integrates all support requirements during their train-up prior to deployment. Thorough decontamination support requirements include water, engineer, traffic control, security, PDS, CASEVAC, augmentees, and ADA coverage.

7. Units should be tasked in the brigade OPORD to provide all the support necessary to conduct successful decontamination operations. After the order is published, the brigade staff should continue to conduct coordination to ensure that units understand their tasks and are prepared to execute the mission.

TREND 7
SUBJECT: Smoke Missions

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
00002

3-4QFY99

OBSERVATION 1: Brigades do not adequately employ mechanical smoke. (TA.6.3.2.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Brigade staffs do not adequately plan the use of mechanical smoke to support the brigade combat team (BCT) fight.

2. Smoke assets are often task organized under maneuver task forces with no clear task and purpose. Task force staffs are left to conduct their own smoke plans.

3. There is no mechanism in place to ensure that task force smoke supports the brigade commander's intent. As a result, rotational brigades do not have generated smoke on the battlefield when and where the BCT commander wants it.

OBSERVATION 2: Smoke assets are not adequately integrated into the scheme of fires. (TA.6.3.2.2.3)

DISCUSSION:

1. Units have a good understanding of capabilities of smoke assets such as artillery, generated, and pots, but exhibit a poor effort in identifying potential uses for smoke assets, fully developing a smoke plan, and smoke triggers.

2. Commanders give good guidance for potential missions, but none specifically directed at smoke assets.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Smoke Missions

1. Give more attention to smoke planning during the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP).

2. Produce a smoke overlay for each brigade course of action (COA), and ensure smoke support meets the BCT commander's intent.

3. Provide a task and purpose for smoke in the brigade OPORD.

4. Consider using smoke in some form during all phases of operations.

5. Integrate the smoke platoon leader and platoon sergeant into the planning process early.

6. Develop a concept sketch and assign a task and purpose.

7. Integrate and synchronize the plan during the wargame, OPORD brief, and rehearsal.

TREND 8
SUBJECT: Security Operations

Observation frequency:3-4QFY971-2QFY983-4QFY981-2QFY993-4QFY99
30101

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Soldiers and NCOs are not meeting cargo security standards. (TA.6.3.2.1.1.1)

DISCUSSION: Units do not properly secure cargo and equipment or use approved cargo tie-down straps and tie-down points. This is an indication of improper training and lack of supervision, and results in injured soldiers and lost or damaged equipment.

3-4QFY98

OBSERVATION 1: Performance of local security practices is not consistent. (TA.6.3.2)

DISCUSSION: Gunners are often not in the turrets of their vehicle. At times, squads and teams execute a 100 percent sleep plan when conducting security operations.

RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES
for Security Operations

1. Commanders and leaders must ensure that approved procedures for cargo tie-down are followed, particularly when working with live ammunition items. The safety of soldiers and accountability of live munitions must be paramount concerns.

2. Units should become educated in the approved methods of securing cargo and ensure that soldiers are properly following standards.

a. Conduct training at Home Station.

b. Inspect for proper tie-down straps and anchor points.

3. Gunners must be in the turrets when conducting missions. Security duties must be integrated into sleep plans. Soldiers and leaders must understand that security is the first priority of work.


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