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Military

TA.4 COMMAND AND CONTROL BOS


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

Positive Performance

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Company commander cross-talk

OBSERVATION (TF 3): The command climate that fosters innovation and battalion unity allows company commanders the ability to conduct operations in the absence of orders from higher headquarters.

DISCUSSION: A thorough knowledge of the commander's intent facilitates mission execution in a timely manner and ensures success for the battalion. Commanders that delay decision-making in order to get approval from higher headquarters often find themselves on the other end of the initiative.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Commanders that conduct cross-talks are often able to synchronize the fight at a tactical level and react rapidly against the enemy.

(TA.4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status)


TREND 2
SUBJECT: Reporting

OBSERVATION (FS DIV): Unit communications from the gates and towers to the base camp defense operations center (BDOC) remain strong.

DISCUSSION: Guards are reporting all activity at the gate and around the perimeter to the BDOC in a timely manner.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Units need to sustain guard and commander of the guard training to ensure unit security and to maintain the status of unit security for decision-makers.

(TA.4.1.1 Communicate Information)


TREND 3
SUBJECT: Prepare for combat

OBSERVATION (LF DIV): Most leaders develop and communicate a well-planned operations order.

DISCUSSION: Units normally adhere to the 1/3-2/3 rule, but leaders often fail to develop priority of work and a detailed timeline. This results in little or no rest time prior to execution. Units conduct adequate rehearsals.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: A good technique most units use is to start with a terrain model rehearsal with team leaders and above prior to full-force rehearsals. This allows leaders to synchronize their plans and allows the company commander or platoon leader to make any necessary adjustments.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 4
SUBJECT: Command and control

OBSERVATION (TF 3): Battalions have developed good standing operating procedures (SOPs) for transition of command and control from the tactical operations center (TOC) to the tactical command post (TAC).

DISCUSSION: Each operations center has their duties, responsibilities, and division of labor defined during the current fight.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Use of a well-developed, simple, and complete SOP is essential for success.

(TA.4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinate Forces)


TREND 5
SUBJECT: Mission planning

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Mission planning at the aviation company level is especially noteworthy.

DISCUSSION: Assault crews consistently show considerable determination toward in-depth planning and mission accomplishment regardless of limited information from higher headquarters and time available.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Continue to reinforce Home Station training in planning and in the Military Decision-Making Process.

2. Review CALL Newsletter No. 95-12, Military Decision Making: "Abbreviated Planning" Update, May 97.

(TA.4.4.1 Prepare Plans and Orders)


TREND 6
SUBJECT: Participation in company-level rehearsals

OBSERVATION (FS DIV): Company fire support officers (FSOs) are actively participating in the maneuver commander's rehearsal.

DISCUSSION: By integrating the fire support plan into the maneuver rehearsal, company FSOs are improving the responsiveness of fires in support of forces in contact, synchronization, and the ability to defeat high-payoff targets.

SUSTAINMENT TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: There is no substitute for a good unit rehearsal.

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans and Orders)


Needs Emphasis

TREND 1
SUBJECT: Cross-talk between brigade and battalion fire support officers (FSOs)

OBSERVATION (FS DIV): Brigade FSOs are not communicating with battalion FSOs on a regular (daily) basis to coordinate fire support to ensure synchronization within the fire support system.

DISCUSSION: Lack of communication between fire support echelons on a regular basis is contributing to battalion FSOs not fully understanding the brigade fire support plan or the brigade commander's intent. Additionally, FSOs are unable to provide commanders with adequate situational awareness information required for decision-making because of a lack of information flow between echelons.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Brigade FSOs should conduct, at a minimum, daily conference calls with battalion FSOs. Timed to allow discussion of information contained in brigade FRAGOs, the calls should focus on ensuring subordinates fully understand the commander's intent, requirements placed on subordinate fire support cells by brigade, and all other fire support products. Battle-tracking and situational awareness information should also be discussed. These calls would ensure that all activities are coordinated in time and space with the purpose to produce the most effective fires supporting the scheme of maneuver.

(TA.4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status)


TREND 2
SUBJECT: Helicopter safety considerations

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Squads are not knowledgeable on helicopter safety considerations.

DISCUSSION: Scout members are not proficient in using aircraft seatbelts, weapon orientation, "lock and load" procedures, and securing radio antennas.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Use planning guidelines and checklists found in FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad, and FM 90-4, Air Assault Operations.

2. Conduct static load training. If possible, plan transportation to the aviation assembly area to conduct rehearsals with the crew flying the mission.

(TA.4.1.1 Communicate Information)


TREND 3
SUBJECT: Aviation liaison team communication

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Internal communications via aviation liaison teams is usually poorly done.

DISCUSSION: Aviation liaison teams are usually not staffed for 24-hour operations.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. In the JRTC environment, in an infantry brigade task force the aviation LNO, at a minimum, should consist of a four-man team - two officers (commissioned or warrant) and two SPC/SGT, MOS 93P.

2. The liaison team should be equipped with a vehicle, dual-net SINCGARS, and UHF capability. The liaison team must have access to the TACLAN and, of course, a mobile subscriber equipment (MSE) phone.

3. This team would have the capability to function 24-hours-a-day, conduct split operations if the TAC deploys, and maintain the capability to conduct face-to-face coordination with the aviation task force and subordinate ground units when required.

(TA.4.1.2 Manage Means of Communicating Information)


TREND 4
SUBJECT: Brigade-level planning of aviation support for CSS operations

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): The principal CSS planner in the brigade task force is the brigade S-4, who too often fails to sufficiently coordinate with aviation LNOs.

DISCUSSION: The S-4 is usually assisted by the aviation LNO and the support operations officer (SPO) at the forward support battalion/main support battalion (FSB/MSB). At the JRTC, this entire responsibility is often delegated to the FSB/MSB commander and his SPO. Unfortunately in these cases, the loss in coordination and synchronization across all Battlefield Operating Systems (BOS) results in little CSS moved by air.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The S-4 should be the primary planner for support operations and should use LNOs to focus on using all air assets available in the resupply and support role.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 5
SUBJECT: MEDEVAC work cell

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): The forward support medical team (FSMT) is not fully integrated into planning, battle-tracking, and communications.

DISCUSSION: MEDEVAC units need to place an operational work cell in the aviation tactical operations center (TOC) when collocated with the aviation task force.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The forward support medical team (FSMT) work cell needs to track mission graphics, frequencies, aircraft status, and number of patients moved.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 6
SUBJECT: Logistical reporting

OBSERVATION (FS DIV): Reports submitted by battery operations centers (BOC) are not accurate.

DISCUSSION: The Administrative and Logistical Operations Center (ALOC) is not able to track or project the battalion's logistical needs.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Battery first sergeant approval of the LOGSTAT, prior to sending the report from the battery to the ALOC, will minimize inaccurate reports and allow the battery to receive proper supplies and repair parts in a timely manner, reducing the need for emergency resupply.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 7
SUBJECT: Information flow and management

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Battle-tracking in the various command posts is insufficient.

DISCUSSION: Friendly unit locations are not normally updated and disseminated to subordinate companies. Units habitually file critical information without any analysis or dissemination. Most often the reason for this is the lack of a tactical operations center standing operating procedure (TOCSOP) or the failure to follow an already existing SOP.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Units must develop a system for battle-tracking in the TOCSOP and properly train their battle captains and NCOs in using critical documents.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 8
SUBJECT: Information management

OBSERVATION (TF 3): Generally, battalions are challenged in information management.

DISCUSSION: Each staff section tends to not accurately depict or track critical, exceptional, or routine information. The TOC must develop the appropriate information to graphically display, at a minimum, critical or exceptional information. This is the crucial information that achieves situational awareness for battle captains, but most importantly allows battle-tracking, visual updates, and potential decision points for the battalion commander. BOS integration and COA synchronization, reporting and recording procedures, shift change and battlefield update briefs, periodic review and update of CCIR, battle-tracking procedures, and definition of duties and responsibilities for current operations and future operations within the TOC are a few examples of tools that need development within the TOC.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The commander should designate an information manager (battalion executive officer) to outline and monitor the staff's performance and responsibilities in processing information to support the operation and facilitate the commander's information requirements. Review Annex I of FM 101-5, Staff Organizations and Operations, and FM 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Graphics.

(TA.4.1.2.4 Manage Means of Communicating Information)


TREND 9
SUBJECT: Mission analysis

OBSERVATION (TF 1): The mission analysis process is only partially understood. As a result, most battle staffs only "list" specified tasks (with little analysis of the tasks) that are given to them from higher headquarters.

DISCUSSION: What results is a list of tasks rather than an analysis of those tasks that lead to further defined tasks or missions. For example, the number of rounds available or the CSR for a weapon system is usually quickly identified and listed on a chart. The impact of these facts on the mission is seldom given a second thought until too late in the planning process.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Commanders must do a better of job of time management or information management will fail.

2. Mission analysis must be more than a repetition of the brigade's specified task list.

3. The battalion commander's guidance must be strong and focused.

(TA.4.2.1.1 Analyze Mission)


TREND 10
SUBJECT: Aviation unit execution of the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP)

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Aviation staffs do not effectively execute the decision-making process.

DISCUSSION: Staffs do not have a clear understanding of the MDMP and the linkage between the steps. Often the commander is focused on other issues and the executive officer deals predominately with logistical matters.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Units must know FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations, and must understand how the separate staff sections participate in the planning process. Home Station training is crucial in becoming proficient in the decision-making process.

2. Review CALL Newsletter No. 95-12, Military Decision Making: "Abbreviated Planning," Update, May 97.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 11
SUBJECT: Aviation task force integration

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Maneuver task force battle staffs lack proficiency in planning for the doctrinal employment of aviation assets not assigned to the unit.

DISCUSSION: Attack battalions have difficulty in employing assault and heavy lift assets.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: A solution to this problem is Home Station training and the use of aviation LNOs. Commanders must ensure that their staff officers, including the LNOs, are intimately familiar with all aviation doctrinal references, not just attack, cavalry, or assault employment.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 12
SUBJECT: Use of aviation assets

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Due to the inexperience of the aviation liaison, many units do not properly use aviation assets.

DISCUSSION: The aviation LNO advises the brigade commander on the use of aviation assets within his task force (attack, assault, medium lift, and EW). Additionally, he coordinates for other aviation assets (external to the TF) and assists in integrating them into the fight. He typically manages A2C2 for the brigade and assists in the management of CASEVAC/MEDEVAC assets. He performs "911" liaison with the aviation task force when standby aircraft are needed, and assumes staff responsibility for aviation risk management.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The liaison must be prepared to advise the commander on interpretations of weather, fighter management, maintenance, and tactical employment of the aviation task force.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 13
SUBJECT: Aviation integration in mission planning

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Aviation assets must become involved early in the infantry battalion's planning process to affect a coordinated effort in search and attack.

DISCUSSION: The aviation unit can do several things to facilitate the planning effort. Establishing command relationships ("OPCONing") is one method which forces involvement in the infantry's planning process. Sending liaisons (LNOs) to the infantry tactical operations center (TOC) is another method. The bottom line is that aviation units need to have the ground scheme of maneuver and graphics to affect a coordinated search and attack. The brigade targeting process begins 48 hours out, with orders going to infantry battalions 24 hours out. The infantry battalions should have targets planned for execution 12 hours prior to execution. The brigade LNOs have the responsibility to pass information from the targeting meeting to the aviation task force for future planning. The 24-hour "window" is where aviation integration in the planning process needs to occur at the battalion level. Knowing when the infantry will start point (SP), their target, their composition, and their movement plan to the target are basic elements aircrews need.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. The aviation unit needs to mirror supporting graphics, frequencies, and rehearsed battle drills.

2. Once the aviation unit has this information, it can plan "zone reconnaissance" to coincide with the infantry movement.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 14
SUBJECT: Battle staff experience

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Typically, at least two (and usually more) primary staff positions are filled with first lieutenants, and leaders from attach elements may not be of the grade and experience required.

DISCUSSION: Most S-1s, S-4s, and assistant S-3s (as well as many of the personnel performing duties as battle captain, signal officer [SIGO] day battle captain, chemical officer [CHEMO] night) are not advanced course graduates. On the same note, TF engineers, air defense officers, and, to a lesser degree, fire support officers are trained to be leaders and not staff officers. These untrained but highly motivated staff officers generally lack the technical foundation to perform their duties to the highest standard.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. More experienced officers are needed on the battle staff.

2. Commanders need to make better use of their battle captains.

3. Battle staffs must do a better job of more detailed planning.

4. Refer to FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 15
SUBJECT: Use of combat multipliers

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Battalions, for the most part, aggressively use attack aviation, mechanized and armor assets, and indirect fire during all phases. However, this was a function of initiative and aggressive execution by commanders and forward observers at all levels, not as a result of detailed planning.

DISCUSSION: Because of this lack of detailed planning, the use of these combat multipliers was often delayed while fires were cleared, communications established, or appropriate fire control measures delineated.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: See TREND 14 above.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)


TREND 16
SUBJECT: Staff knowledge and experience level

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Even those staffs with a satisfactory understanding of the wargaming process usually fail, not for a lack of understanding, but because they are unprepared for the meeting itself.

1. Units suffer from a lack of staff knowledge, experience, and education level.

2. Units tend to wargame "best case" scenarios or the easy enemy.

3. The synchronization matrix goes unused.

DISCUSSION: "Gathering the tools" is usually understood as "bringing a blank chart to the meeting." Preparation of the staffs is usually nonexistent or overwhelmed by poor time management. In no area is this lack of expertise and preparation in the "science of war" more evident than in wargaming.
Synchronization lies in the ability to accurately reduce battlefield activities and their effects to specific time factors, and then successfully plan, schedule, and coordinate these activities to occur at the desired time and place. To do this the staff must specifically identify all critical battlefield activities across the BOS, estimate time and distance factors for execution, and understand the mutually supporting relationships among them. To effectively and efficiently execute this, each staff officer must be an expert in his branch/operating system and come to the targeting/wargaming session with a complete understanding of BOS capabilities/limitations and the proper tools to determine/calculate task planning factors. This is an extremely tall order for any staff; however, it becomes even more challenging when the staff's only foundation is their LTP experience.
Most units tend to underestimate the enemy's capabilities and often do not address them correctly during the wargame. Units usually recognize that their wargaming effort is poor; as a result, they end up disregarding the synchronization matrix which is produced during the wargame. Often this synchronization tool has valuable information that could be used to assist in writing the OPORD and in the actual execution later.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: See TREND 14 above.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 17
SUBJECT: Scout operations

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Scout operations are not fully integrated and synchronized when scouts depart on a mission.

DISCUSSION: Scouts are executing operations that lack sufficient integration and synchronization for successful mission accomplishment. Commonly neglected are detailed plans for movement, fire support, casualty evacuation, and resupply.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. The scout platoon leader must continually seek out the staff officer with scout platoon tasking authority (normally the S-3, sometimes the S-2) for a FRAGO or warning order. He must also continue coordination with the S-2 and S-3 as products developed during the MDMP (battalion commander's R/S guidance, R/S plan/matrix) affect the scout mission.

2. In making a tentative plan, the scout platoon leader can use the estimate of the situation process (found in FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad [Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infanty]) to decide on a course of action (COA) for the commander's approval. A useful tool to present the COA to the S-3/battalion commander is a concept sketch (see Chapter 2, FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, and Appendix G, FM 7-10, The Infantry Rifle Company) which includes the platoon's task and purpose, enemy situation, scheme of maneuver (with graphic control measures), fires, and other pertinent data. Once approved, this plan becomes the starting point for coordination, task organization, and movement instructions and will provide more time for remaining TLPs.

3. Scout leaders must know which staff officer with whom to coordinate support (rehearsal areas, intelligence, operations, movement [air, truck, boat], adjacent units, etc.). Platoon leaders can delegate coordination authority to subordinate leaders. Checklists in Appendix D, FM 7-92, or SH 21-76, Ranger Handbook, are good references for platoon leaders to use when gathering/providing information to/from the staff.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 18
SUBJECT: Battle rhythm

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Units do not establish a battle rhythm.

DISCUSSION: Units plan for the initial entry mission into the "box," then the tempo of the battle grinds to a halt. Companies and platoons have two to three days of inactivity.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Refer to "The Dying Art of Battle Rhythm" in CALL CTC Quarterly Bulletin No. 99-3, Jan 99.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 19
SUBJECT: Using the wargame to synchronize the fight

OBSERVATION ( TF 3): Battalions have a difficult time wargaming.

DISCUSSION: Many problems that a battalion experiences during current operations should be detected and planned for during a synchronized wargame. Staffs need to bring the right tools and products to the planning table. Named area of interest (NAIs), target areas of interest (TAI), and decision points (DP) need to be included in wargaming products.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. The intelligence officer must fight the combined arms fight and ensure that the S-3 integrates the maneuver plan to address the enemy's most probable course of action.

2. Combat multipliers, such as Army attack aviation, Air Force close air support, and the use of FASCAM, need to be included in the targeting process.

3. Only through a synchronized wargame will the battalion integrate and synchronize its operations in time and space with nested task and purpose to achieve the effects of combat power at the decisive time and place.

4. Review Chapter 5 of FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations.

(TA.4.3 Determine Actions)


TREND 20
SUBJECT: Course-of-action (COA) development

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Units seldom follow doctrinal sequence in developing a course of action (COA) and misuse targeting meetings.

DISCUSSION:

1. Commanders and S-3s tend to draw boundaries first, then slice up their task organization before determining the decisive point or the main effort. Hence, the COAs are not nested within the battalion or the brigade except when it comes to the one unit that is assigned the main effort. That unit's typical COA is verbatim of the higher headquarters order.

2. Tasks and purposes are assigned but often without regard to the main effort or decisive point. Although the main effort may appear to be supporting the higher commander's intent (and often is), supporting tasks and purposes are seldom tied to their own main efforts.

3. Units tend to replace the COA/MDMP process with the targeting meeting process. The targeting meeting was never intended to replace the MDMP but only supplement it. The D3A methodology is merely a useful paradigm that many units employ during the LIC phase to complement the MDMP.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. The staff should review Chapter 5 of FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations, to follow the correct sequencing for COA development in the MDMP.

2. Review CALL Newsletter No. 95-12, Military Decision Making "Abbreviated Process," Update, May 97.

3. The targeting process supports the commander's concept of the operation (including his scheme of maneuver and concept of fires) and requires an in-depth understanding of the mission, commander's intent, enemy, area of operations, and capabilities and limitations of sensors and attack systems. The targeting process is designed to answer the question, "How can we best use our combat multipliers in this operation?" Most units use it to ask the question, "What will our battalion do tomorrow?" Units that use the targeting process to answer the latter end up desynchronizing their efforts by creating separate fights and never identify the decisive point, main effort, and supporting efforts.

(TA.4.3.2 Develop Courses of Action)


TREND 21
SUBJECT: Troop-leading procedures (TLP)

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Scout leaders are not using troop-leading procedures as a method to receive, plan, and execute a mission.

DISCUSSION: Scout platoons are conducting sequential planning instead of parallel planning when waiting for a formal FRAGO or warning order which leaves insufficient time to execute TLPs. Scout platoon leaders are waiting for a completed plan from higher headquarters which results in insufficient time to execute other steps of TLPs. Lack of supervision is leading to missing mission essential equipment (i.e., field expedient antennas), unrehearsed actions (i.e., loading and unloading helicopters), and changes to initial coordination.

1. Scout platoon leaders are not being proactive in receiving the mission.

2. Platoon leaders are not making a tentative plan; instead they are waiting for a completed plan from higher headquarters (battalion or brigade staff).

3. Scout leaders are not conducting all of the necessary coordination with supporting agencies' higher headquarters or adjacent units when completing the plan.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad, states, "TLPs should be an instinctive and familiar way of thinking for a leader."

2. The scout platoon leader must continually seek out the staff officer with scout platoon tasking authority (normally the S-3, sometimes the S-2) for a FRAGO or warning order. He must also continue coordination with the S-2 and S-3 as products developed during the MDMP (battalion commander R/S guidance, R/S plan/matrix) affect the scout mission.

3. In making a tentative plan, the scout platoon leader can use the estimate of the situation process (found in FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad [Airborne, Air Assualt, Light Infantry]), to decide on a course of action (COA) for the commander's approval. A useful tool to present the COA to the S-3/battalion commander is a concept sketch (shown in Chapter 2, FM 7-8, Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, and Appendix G, FM 7-10, The Infantry Rifle Company) which includes the platoon's task and purpose, enemy situation, scheme of maneuver (with graphic control measures), fires, and other pertinent data. Once approved, this plan becomes the starting point for coordination, task organization, and movement instructions and will provide more time for remaining TLPs.

(TA.4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinate Forces)


TREND 22
SUBJECT: Battle staff planning and mission analysis

OBSERVATION ( TF 1): Units normally have a functional and published battle rhythm; unfortunately, most battalions do not effectively enforce it.

DISCUSSION: Without a well-understood and rigidily enforced time management system, orders are not developed and communicated to subordinate units in a timely manner or in sufficient detail. Scheduled staff and commander updates are often not consistent, resulting in confusion among the staff. The staff struggles to stay abreast of current operations and finds it difficult to synchronize future operations.

1. Poor time management.

2. Units slow to get on their battle rhythm.

3. Mission analysis is a regurgitation of the brigade's "specified" task list.

4. Battalion commander's guidance is stronger and more focused.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Battalion commanders, as a result of inexperienced staffs, have to produce a much more detailed and focused commander's guidance and course of action.

2. The staff should review Chapter 5 of FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations, to assist the battalion commander in mission analysis and in the further development of his plan.

3. Another good reference is CALL Newsletter No. 95-12, Military Decision Making "Abbreviated Process," Update, May 97.

(TA.4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinate Units)


TREND 23
SUBJECT: Pre-combat inspections

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Lack of supervision.

DISCUSSION: There is a lack of supervision leading to missing mission essential equipment (including field expedient antennas), unrehearsed actions (including loading and unloading helicopters), and changes to initial coordination.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The unit SOP should be detailed and thorough in dealing with required pre-combat inspections for any mission-specific items.

(TA.4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinate Forces)


TREND 24
SUBJECT: Developing plans for aircraft use

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Scout platoon leaders are not proficient at developing landing plans, air movement plans, loading plans, or staging plans.

DISCUSSION:

1. Scouts are passive passengers on aircraft. They are unaware of the aircraft approach and departure directions on the LZ; flight routes, location of checkpoints, SPs, and RPs; load procedures; or manifesting.

2. Scouts are not proficient in using aircraft seatbelts, weapon orientation, "lock and load" procedures, and securing radio antennas.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Use planning guidelines and checklists found in FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad (Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry), and FM 90-4, Air Assault Operations.

2. Conduct static load training. If possible, plan transportation to the aviation assembly area to conduct rehearsals with the crew flying the mission.

(TA.4.4.1 Prepare Plans or Orders)


TREND 25
SUBJECT: Platoon planning for actions on contact

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Enemy forces are consistently escaping with few casualties while friendly forces are sustaining casualties in a majority of platoon-level actions on contact.

DISCUSSION: Leaders are hesitant to re-position soldiers to improve the effectiveness of their weapons or to seek better cover and concealment. Units fail to plan for or rehearse actions on contact prior to mission execution.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Review ARTEP 7-8, Drill.

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

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

4. Conduct OPD/NCOPDs on movement-to-contact, attack, rehearsals, IPB, task and purpose, defense, combined arms, and OPORDs.

5. Use tactical exercises without troops (TWET), sand tables, and "What Now?" leader exercises.

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans or Orders)


TREND 26
SUBJECT: Planning

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Commanders do not have a clear understanding of the "aviation tasks" necessary to support a search and attack mission.

DISCUSSION: Often the mission translated at the troop level is to "conduct a search and attack," which does not equate in common terms that an aviator can understand. In other words, "conduct a zone reconnaissance from this PL to this PL oriented on finding the enemy" makes more sense to aircrews. More often than not, the aircrews launch with the following guidance: "Conduct search and attack vicinity the brigade TOC," or "Sweep the area around the BSA." This results in aircrews flying around an area with no methodical search techniques to ensure a systematic movement through a specified zone. Aircrews end up conducting "911" missions with no pre-planned integration with ground units.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Using aviation missions will facilitate the planning necessary for search and attack. Telling a crew to plan a zone reconnaissance within specified boundaries will force them to plan the aviation tasks necessary to recon the zone in a methodical method.

2. Aviation units can also expect to perform area reconnaissance and hasty attacks during search and attack operations.

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans or Orders)


TREND 27
SUBJECT: Rehearsals

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Most units tend to conduct "oversized" terrain model or rock drill backbriefs rather than rehearsals.

DISCUSSION:

1. Most units do not do very well on backbriefs and confirmation briefs at all levels. Unfortunately, this trend bleeds into "rehearsals" as well. When conducting rehearsals, most units do not show or capture the relationship between where one unit is on the ground to another in a given time or space. One unit simply backbriefs its plan and then another unit briefs, never truly showing the relationship between them.

2. Companies seldom conduct full-scale rehearsals. Often even "routine" activities, such as detrucking, will go unrehearsed at the company level and become a problem area for the unit during execution. Most full-scale rehearsals occur at the platoon level or lower. PCIs as well are seldom conducted above platoon level. This becomes apparent when breaching kits and marking equipment maintained at company level are not inspected, properly assigned, or available during execution.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Most units understand not to get "caught up in a wargame" during rehearsals, but they tend to gloss over templated or known enemy locations. Commanders and subordinates, therefore, are not prepared to make contact at given locations.

2. Full-scale rehearsals are essential in providing the commander and his subordinates with the opportunity to practice actions on contact and movement techniques, and allow commanders at all levels to understand their relationship to other units in the plan.

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans or Orders)


TREND 28
SUBJECT: Timely development and dissemination of fire support plans from brigade to battalions

OBSERVATION (FS DIV): Brigade fire support officers (FSOs) are failing to develop required fire support products and disseminate them to subordinates early enough to facilitate the synchronization of maneuver with fire support at the battalion level.

DISCUSSION: Battalion FSOs are forced to develop fire support plans without consideration of all vital sets of information required (commander's intent or scheme of maneuver, METT-T, and guidance from higher FA headquarters). Due to a lack of guidance from higher headquarters, battalions are unaware of the responsibilities that may have been assigned by brigade, and do not fully understand the commander's intent and concept of fires. The end product is a fire support plan that is not coordinated or integrated and results in an unsynchronized execution that fails to optimize combat power.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Ensure fire support products are developed in time to be included in the corresponding brigade fragmentary order (FRAGO).

2. Brigade fire support officers must fully understand fire support planning considerations as outlined in FM 6-20-40, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for Brigade Operations (Heavy), and FM 6-20-50, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Fire Support for Brigade Operations (Light).

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans or Orders)


TREND 29
SUBJECT: Feedback in planning

OBSERVATION (TF 2): Scout leaders are not using backbriefs, rehearsals, inspections, and continuous coordination to supervise and refine TLPs.

DISCUSSION: Scout platoon leaders are not being proactive in receiving the mission. Platoon leaders are not making a tentative plan; instead they are waiting for a completed plan from higher headquarters (battalion or brigade staff). Scout leaders are not conducting all of the necessary coordination with supporting agencies' higher headquarters or adjacent units when completing the plan.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Platoon leaders should delegate coordination authority to subordinate leaders. Checklists in Appendix D, FM 7-92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad (Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry), or SH 21-76, Ranger Handbook, are good references for platoon leaders to use when gathering/providing information from/to the staff.

2. Leaders must conduct a hands-on inspection of equipment.

3. Rehearsals (map, sand table, key leader, full force) must be conducted and tailored to the amount of time available. Because the scout platoon will normally be conducting parallel planning with the battalion's MDMP, there must be continuous coordination since changes will occur after the initial coordination.

(TA.4.4.1.1 Develop and Complete Plans or Orders)


TREND 30
SUBJECT: Unified maintenance

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Maintenance units have difficulty understanding the concept of maintenance in operations other than war.

DISCUSSION: One AVUM is assigned responsibility in the OPORD for task force maintenance for all attached assets. In a normal rotation, this generally will include three to four different types of airframes. Most AVUMs have difficulty unifying the maintenance effort, which results in poor status reporting to the task force commander and, in most instances, higher not mission capable maintenance (NMCM) and not mission capable supply (NMCS) rates.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: The task force commander should unify the maintenance effort by attaching maintenance test pilots, mechanics, and technical inspectors for each type of airframe to the AVUM. The AVUM is delegated the responsibility for maintenance operations IAW the TF OPORD.

(TA.4.4.1.2 Coordinate Support)


TREND 31
SUBJECT: Commanders' circulation of the battlefield (battalion and company)

OBSERVATION (TF 1): Commanders' circulation of the battlefield fluctuates from either very good to none at all, with the trend being towards the latter.

DISCUSSION: Many commanders do not plan or do not make time to circulate the battlefield. Some commanders overestimate the enemy's minefield capabilities. Company commanders often wait for the battalion commander to come down, or conduct troop of the line just before the commander arrives. Unit commanders seldom attend subordinate OPORDS or rehearsals.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: To be effective, commanders must be at critical places on the battlefield at critical times. Planning and coordination are crucial to mission success.

(TA.4.4.3 Provide Command Presence)


TREND 32
SUBJECT: Troop-leading procedures and battle rhythm

OBSERVATION (TF 3): Battalion staffs have difficulty developing a battle rhythm that is synchronized with both the brigade and their own maneuver companies.

DISCUSSION: Battalion staffs focus well on operations 24 hours out, but fail to continue troop-leading procedures after the I/O synchronization meeting. Commanders' backbriefs, if conducted at all, lack the attention to detail required to synchronize the battalion fight. Company commanders seldom bring the correct tools to the table and delay the backbrief process. This results in a de-synched course of action and failure by the commanders to gain a clear visualization of the battalion scheme of maneuver, task and purpose, and the enemy order of battle.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES: Staffs need to review Chapter 5 of FM 6-20-10, Techniques and Procedures for the Targeting Process.

(TA.4.4.4 Maintain Unit Discipline)


TREND 33
SUBJECT: Mission projection

OBSERVATION (AV DIV): Mission projection is difficult for units at company level.

DISCUSSION: Typical missions, such as CASEVAC and CSS, are often passed to assault companies within one hour of execution, which results in crews flying a mission without proper preparation. Normally crews sacrifice an update on the enemy and friendly situation to ensure they meet critical time requirements. Standby crews often fail to PCI aircraft or receive updates prior to assuming standby status.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Ensure that the proper level of command emphasizes to aircrews the importance of conducting preflight preparation, pre-combat inspections (PCI), and S-2/S-3 update briefings prior to assuming their shifts.

2. With minimal effort, commanders can adjust duty periods for crews which allow preflight preparation to occur and still remain within the fighter management cycle.

(TA.4.4.4 Maintain Unit Discipline)


TREND 34
SUBJECT: CSS synchronization

OBSERVATION (CSS DIV): Forward support battalions (FSB) continue to experience problems in CSS synchronization.

DISCUSSION: Battalions need to improve sustained logistical support to the brigade in the following areas: casualty evacuation planning and execution, logistical battle-tracking and synchronization, and force protection measures. Although the battalion's published battle rhythm included a daily logistical synchronization meeting, it rarely occurred and never involved all necessary players. As a result, CSS operations became reactive rather than proactive and focused on current operations rather than future operations.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. Each staff section must develop an internal SOP that includes a battle rhythm, shift considerations, reporting procedures, and detailed duties for each soldier.

2. Additionally, the use of maps with CSS and CHS overlays, as well as updated stock status and significant activities charts, will greatly improve the ability to focus on future operations.

(TA.4.4.5 Synchronize Tactical Operations)


TREND 35
SUBJECT: Mission Rehearsal Exercises (MRE)

OBSERVATION (TF 3): Overall, battalions execute tasks well at the individual and collective level. Battalion battle staffs should not overlook the use of doctrinal tools for coordination, integration, and synchronization.

DISCUSSION: Specifically, the processes and doctrinal tools normally used during conventional combat operations are not used. Whether it is developing the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IBP) (using FM 34-130, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, or FM 6-20-10, Information Operations/Targeting) or achieving synchronization (through FM 101-5, The Military Decision-Making Process). In general, battalion battle staffs need to possess a solid understanding of the Information Operations (IO) Targeting Process. The purpose of the IO meeting is the production of the IO/Targeting Synchronization Matrix. The battle staff then recommends high-payoff targets (HPT) for the commander's approval and receives his guidance. Following the commander's guidance, the staff conducts a synchronization wargame.

TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES:

1. The staff should review FM 34-130.

2. Reference Chapter 5 of FM 6-20-10.

3. Reference Chapter 5 of FM 101-5.

(TA.4.4.5 Synchronize Tactical Operations)


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