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Military

TA.1 MANEUVER BOS


(Trends are numbered sequentially for cross-reference and are not in any priority order.)

Positive Performance

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Move tactically

OBSERVATION (DIV LF): Leaders are conducting adequate planning for movement based on their estimate of the situation.

DISCUSSION: Leaders are specifying movement formations and techniques, control measures, and placement of key weapon systems.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Continue to ensure the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) is followed.

(TA.1.1 Move)


TREND 2
SUBJECT: Movement techniques and formations

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Platoon and squad leaders are selecting movement techniques "based on likelihood of enemy contact and the need for speed."

DISCUSSION: Units are implementing fire team, squad, and platoon movement formations based on METT-T, and not always using the file formation.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Reference Chapter 2, FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.

(TA.1.1.1.2.2 Move While Dismounted)


TREND 3
SUBJECT: Soldiers' load

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Unit leaders are considering load planning during the estimate of the situation.

DISCUSSION: Leaders are using transportation assets, consolidating items, and distributing loads. As an example, companies are leaving rucksacks in the unit field trains, downloading mission essential equipment into assault packs, and then having the rucksacks brought forward when time and situation allows.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Unit leaders are planning by using the load echelon diagram in Chapter 8, FM 7-10, The Infantry Rifle Company, and by establishing combat loads (fighting and approach march load) and sustainment loads.

2. Commanders and leaders are also using load management techniques outlined in Chapter 5, FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad; Chapter 8, FM 7-10, The Infantry Rifle Company; and Chapter 5, FM 21-18, Foot Marches.

(TA.1.1.1.2.2 Move While Dismounted)


TREND 4
SUBJECT: Terrain flight techniques

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Aircrews are using traveling overwatch and bounding overwatch techniques during their reconnaissance missions.

DISCUSSION: During the search and attack phase, when contact with enemy forces is possible, the overwatch element is to key its movement off both the overwatch wingman and terrain as much as possible. Mutual support is readily available for teams conducting the missions. The "team concept" or "wingman concept" is being properly executed for the most part. On occasions, team members do become separated by a distance that does not lend itself to immediate support if an aircraft is engaged.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Leaders decide, based on the enemy situation, to "accept risk" by separating a team.

(TA.1.1.1.3 Move Through the Air)


Needs Emphasis

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Moving mounted vs dismounted

OBSERVATION (DIV LF): A common mistake made by commanders and platoon leaders in planning is identifying when to dismount and lead with infantry or remount and lead with heavy elements.

DISCUSSION: Two of the live fires incorporate both light and heavy forces. Attention to the IPB answers these questions. By identifying templated enemy positions, lines of sight from these positions, and ranges of weapons employed by the enemy, a commander or platoon leader knows when to remount or dismount and when to lead with infantry or heavy forces.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. FM 7-7J, Mechanized Infantry Platoon and Squad (Bradley), states that dismounts should lead in dangerous areas or restricted terrain. Roads and trails and forested terrain at JRTC obviously count as dangerous and restricted terrain.

2. Commanders and platoon leaders must identify probable enemy positions and lines of sight and dismount outside this distance. They then maneuver the dismounts to a position from which to assault or clear prior to advancing the heavy weapons of tanks or BFVs to a overwatch/support position.

(TA.1.1.1.2.1 Move While Mounted)


TREND 2
SUBJECT: Integration of indirect fire assets

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Infantry platoon leaders and forward observers often fail to employ indirect fires during chance contacts.

DISCUSSION: Platoon leaders maneuver their squads into their own indirect fire or cancel the mission prior to it being fired. Squad leaders and platoon leaders are not aware or comfortable with call-for-fire and its employment. As a result, subordinate units fail to integrate indirect fires into contacts, thus reducing the combat power ratio. This allows the enemy to break contact on their own terms.

1. Units are not trained or aware of the forward observer react-to-contact battle drill.

2. Poor situational awareness by maneuver units causes slow clearance of fires in the company sector.

3. Mortar sections are not ready to fire in a timely manner because they have been lulled into complacency from inactivity.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Cross-train leaders at TSFO and during 60mm mortar live fires.

2. Develop a "plugger" battle drill.

3. Incorporate indirect fire into all training. (Do not always task the mortar section to be OPFOR during Home Station training.)

4. Educate leaders on the use of minimum safe distances and clearance of fires while conducting tactical movements.

5. Use 60mm mortars to cover the direction OPFOR is most likely to break contact.

6. Focus leader training on:
  • employment of indirect fires in offense and defense.
  • relationship of platoon leader and forward observer.
  • capabilities of the FIST team.
  • integration of indirect fires into all maneuver planning.

(TA.1.2 Engage Enemy)


TREND 3
SUBJECT: Actions on contact

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Units continue to perform poorly during the first moments of contact with enemy units. Battle drills are not automatic reactions and often result in indiscriminate fire and movement by individuals.

DISCUSSION: Problems include an initial hesitation to react, lack of knowledge of battle drills at squad and platoon levels, and collective tasks. There is a failure to establish a base of fire sufficient to prevent the enemy from maneuvering to a flank or breaking contact, and a failure to include indirect fire assets in the fire. The majority of platoon actions on contact result in the enemy escaping with few casualties and friendly forces sustaining several casualties.

1. Leaders are hesitant to re-position soldiers to improve the effectiveness of their weapons or to seek better cover and concealment.

2. Units fail to plan for or rehearse actions-on-contact prior to mission execution.

3. Soldiers' aggressiveness and marksmanship, although usually done without any regard to battle drills or doctrine, sometimes wins the day in the close fight.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Review ARTEP 7-8, Drill, Nov 93.

2. Review FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.

3. Reference CALL NTC Trends Compendium No. 97-17, Sep 97, "Actions on Contact."

(TA.1.2 Engage Enemy)


TREND 4
SUBJECT: Battle drills

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Units continue to perform poorly during the first moments of contact with enemy units. Battle drills are not automatic reactions and often result in indiscriminate fire and movement by individuals.

DISCUSSION: Observations include an initial hesitation to react, lack of knowledge of battle drills at squad and platoon levels, and collective tasks. There is also a failure to establish a base of fire sufficient to prevent the enemy from maneuvering to a flank or breaking contact, and failure to include indirect fire assets in the fight. The majority of a platoon's actions on contact result in the enemy escaping with few casualties and friendly forces sustaining several casualties.

1. Leaders are hesitant to re-position soldiers to improve the effectiveness of their weapons or to seek better cover and concealment.

2. Units fail to plan for or rehearse actions-on-contact prior to mission execution.

3. Soldiers' aggressiveness and marksmanship, although usually done without any regard to battle drills or doctrine, sometimes wins the day in the close fight.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Review ARTEP 7-8, Drill, Nov 93.

2. Review FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.

3. Reference CALL NTC Trends Compendium No. 97-17, Sep 97, "Actions on Contact."

4. Focus leader training on:

  • OPD/NCODPs on the movement-to-contact, attack, rehearsals, IPB, task and purpose, defense, combined arms, and OPORDS.
  • Tactical Exercise Without Troops (TWET).
  • Sand table exercises.
  • "What Now?" leader exercises.

(TA.1.2 Engage Enemy)


TREND 5
SUBJECT: Fire control and distribution

OBSERVATION (DIV LF): Leaders, from team to company, do not understand the basic principles of direct fire control.

DISCUSSION: Leaders nearly always fail to develop a direct fire plan that includes graphic control measures, rules of engagement, ample marking and signals, and engagement priorities. Their shortsightedness results in poor placement of weapons, poor distribution of fires, firing excessive ammunition, and poor targeting effects prior to completing the mission. Leaders should develop a direct fire plan based on the enemy situation. The plan should include fire control measures expressed as graphic measures and provide detailed engagement criteria (by weapon and target). The plan should be rehearsed. It is imperative that team and squad leaders understand how to use fire commands to direct and control fires within and between elements of their platoon or company. This is a weakness observed in most units and is attributed to a lack of training.
Sustaining fires is another area that requires more emphasis. Platoon leaders and commanders fail to recognize the time required to breach or other similar tasks, e.g., knock out a bunker, which requires up to 50 minutes of sustained suppression from supporting weapons.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Commanders and platoon leaders can resolve this recurring deficiency by ensuring that a detailed analysis of the event vs. ammunition required is conducted during planning and is rehearsed (rates and distribution of fires) prior to execution. Finally, the support-by-fire (SBF) element needs to be aware of the progress of the breach or assault elements to adjust rates of fire accordingly.

(TA.1.2.1 Employ Direct-fire)


TREND 6
SUBJECT: Mutual support

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Units routinely fail to achieve mutual support within the company in both offensive and defensive operations.

DISCUSSION: The failure of mutual support at the company level allows the enemy to mass at their decisive point with a superior force to achieve their task.

1. Company commanders often fail to do their own IPB.

2. Company commanders often do not internalize the orders process, which hampers development of a quality operations order. Commanders routinely fail to determine a decisive point, develop an intent, "nest" platoon tasks and purposes, or develop sufficient maneuver graphics. The result is that platoons are deployed without a clear vision of what they should achieve and how that relates to the company.

  • Lack of mutual support during offensive operations prevents the company from fixing and destroying the enemy once in contact.
  • Lack of mutual support during the defense prevents the company from destroying enemy reconnaissance elements and achieving its purpose for the main battle area fight.
  • Companies often fail to conduct any type of rehearsal prior to execution. Those that are conducted are usually ineffective.
  • Leaders do not know the capabilities and limitations of their organic and attached weapons systems.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Leaders at the company and platoon level must do their own IPB.

2. Leaders and soldiers must understand their element's task and purpose and how it relates to other friendly units.

3. Rehearsals are key to synchronizing the plan (at company, platoon, and squad). This can also be done at Home Station in the form of Tactical Exercise Without Troops (TEWTs) or other exercises to gain an appreciation of what "right" looks like prior to execution in an intensive, time-constrained environment such as the JRTC.

4. Review:

  • Chapters 4 and 5 of FM 7-10, Infantry Rifle Company, Dec 90.
  • Appendix H of FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations, May 97.
  • FM 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Graphics, Sep 97, page 1-107.
  • CALL Newsletter No. 97-8, Search and Attack! Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, Feb 97.
  • CALL CTC Quarterly Bulletin No. 95-4, Mar 95, "Rehearsals: A Key to Success."

5. Focus leader training on:

  • OPD/NCODPs on the movement to contact, rehearsals, IPB, task and purpose, defense, modern weapons and their capabilities, and OPORDS.
  • Tactical exercise without troops (TEWT).
  • Sand table exercises.
  • "What Now?" leader exercises.

(TA.1.2.2 Conduct Close Combat)


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