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CALL Newsletter 04-13
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Chapter 2: Civil Military Operations - Civil Affairs
Topic A: Integration of the Task Force CMO Effort

Observation Synopsis

The common perception throughout the theater is that a roadmap for the rebuilding of Iraq does not exist. There is not a plan that outlines priorities with short, medium, and long-term objectives. If such a national plan exists with the CPA, it has not been communicated adequately to Coalition forces. Task force staffs at all levels of command have reiterated that there is no clear guidance coming from Baghdad.

The inability to develop or articulate a plan contributes to a lack of unity of effort between the Coalition and CPA. For the Soldier on the ground conducting CMO, the lack of higher guidance is believed to be an outcome of a lack of understanding of one another and a feeling of mutual unmet expectations between the two entities.

Coalition commanders and staff view the CPA as understaffed, sluggish, hesitant to make a decision, and often detached from the true situation on the ground. With CPA officials on 90-day rotations, much time is required for replacements to become knowledgeable with the specific issues and players they are facing. Nine months after the declared end to major military action, CPA staffs in the center portions of the country are estimated at 20% strength. Whether rooted in the lack of staffing or to security concerns, there appears to be an inability of CPA Headquarters (Baghdad) to get the needed "eyes on" what is happening. Subsequently, CPA directives appear to be out of synch with the current situation. In contrast, CPA views the military as unwilling to yield, impatient, and not willing to accept that diplomacy takes time.

The apparent lack of a unified rebuilding plan is as much a result of the military planning priorities as the lack of CPA direction. In preparation to deploy, maneuver units admittedly did not focus on CMO. The focus was on the war fight as opposed to Phase IV-type operations.

The major outcome of the lack of a Coalition plan is that each brigade combat team (BCT) outside of Baghdad is conducting its own CMO campaign. Many brigades and battalions did not develop CMO Annexes. Although CA units are credited with gravitating to what they believe needed to be done, the CMO effort could have been more effective: units conducted multiple, duplicative assessments and Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) monies were spent with no clear vision on how the projects would tie in to the CMO end state. Despite not knowing the Coalition's vision of the end state, BCT S5 organized the brigade-wide CMO effort through weekly meetings with battalion task force S5 and key members of the brigade staffs. This provided a forum for horizontal integration among the battalion task forces.

Another factor affecting integration was that command and support relationships between CA units and the task force were vague and inefficient. Both CA unit commanders and maneuver task force commanders state that the command relationship between CA elements and the supported units was unclear.

FM 41-10, Civil Affairs Operations, states, "Because CA units are neither organized nor equipped to provide unilateral C2 [command and control] of attached units, they are normally attached to higher commands." CA units were not attached to units below the division level. Many CA detachments and teams were either operational control (OPCON) to BCTs or remained attached to the division and placed in general support of a BCT. One CA battalion remained task organized to its CA brigade. Its detachments were in direct support of two separate BCTs. That CA brigade remained task organized to its CA command (CACOM). In this arrangement, the CACOM and CA brigade had to exercise C2 over subordinate units to include the issuance of orders. Many CA commanders and CA team leaders consider the CA brigade as not staffed, equipped, or trained to provide operational C2.

Maneuver unit commanders uniformly stated that they preferred to have the CA units, down to the smallest team element, attached to them to ensure unity of effort. Maneuver unit commanders believed that CA support at both the brigade and battalion level did not provide them effective control and influence of CMO. Only by being in the rating scheme does a maneuver commander consider his CA elements as responsive to his plan. Attachment provides the basis to build a habitual relationship. It also provides a greater sense of constancy that the commander has that combat multiplier when needed. For their part, through living and working with the supported unit, a CA element can better integrate as part of the task force. The BCT commanders also desired that each battalion task force commander who controls battlespace be provided his own dedicated CA Team. This did not occur.

Most CA battalion commanders preferred that their detachments and teams not be attached to maneuver units. These commanders stated that such an arrangement would remove their role in shaping CMO and subsequently they would serve little purpose. Likewise, CA detachment and CA company commanders' roles would be degraded if their subordinates were attached out to maneuver units.

CA teams struggled with the question of "For whom do I work?" while maneuver commanders struggled with the question of "For whom do they work?" The CA command/support relationship selected needs to be mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time, civilian (METT-TC) dependent. It needs to be an outcome of a true analysis. The supported unit commander, the CA commander, and CA team chiefs need to clearly outline the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties.

The question of "who works for whom?" has significance for staffing of units as well as functional area support. In Phase IV operations, BCTs have a major role to play in CMO, but, within the BCT, task force S5 staffs were often understaffed for the CMO effort. These staffs had to be augmented by the supporting CA unit, disrupting the CA force's task organization.

The typical maneuver division MTOE for the G5 section authorizes 1 x LTC(05) and 2 x SPC(E4). Combat brigades and battalions are not authorized an S5. At division level, a 3-Soldier G5 staff is wholly inadequate to execute the required staff functions as the CMO cell as described in FM 100-5, Staff Organization and Functions. Likewise, the need for brigade and battalion S5 officers and staff in the IOE is imperative. Some divisions and brigades obtained G5 and S5 personnel from the individual ready reserve. These augmentees' CA experience and knowledge varied. Some were not graduates of the CA course. Some had not been actively involved in CA activities in over eight years. For brigades that did not acquire an S5 prior to deployment, an available officer was designated the S5. Oftentimes the fire support officer assumed this additional duty. Despite no previous CA or CMO experience or training, some of these S5s adapted quickly to their new role.

As a result, maneuver divisions and brigades relied on the supporting CA units to augment their staffs. Specifically at the division level, a CMO planner proved essential. Without an S5 in peacetime, the brigades and battalions were mistakenly comfortable with not incorporating S5 input into the MDMP. However, CA battalions are not structured to provide staff augmentation cells. They had to pull individuals from teams, strip commanders from detachments, or reassign teams outright to provide the needed staff augmentation to the G5 and S5 staffs. All of these actions diverted assets that were needed in the field. The dual assignment of a CA detachment commander as the brigade S5 severely limited that individual's ability to circulate amongst his teams as he was often inundated with staff requirements. G5/S5 staff augmentation needs to be built into the battle roster for deployment if not built outright into the MTOE.

Regardless of the how the G5/S5 billet is filled, G5/S5 derive prestige and effectiveness based on their perceived connections to channels of command. Commanders should publicly praise their liaison staff with the host nation. Failure to do so will decrease overall effectiveness. Commanders should generally have their liaison personnel accompany them on all meetings with local nationals.

The role of the CA brigade headquarters was undefined and subsequently the headquarters was not effectively used. The CA brigade headquarters is doctrinally attached to units that are corps level and above. In anticipation of a humanitarian crisis resulting from ground combat operations, four CA brigades were mobilized and deployed even though only one corps headquarters was deployed.

No humanitarian crisis occurred and the CA brigade headquarters subsequently did not have a readily apparent mission. One CA brigade headquarters staffed and ran the Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC) in Kuwait and also provided a 26-Soldier operational planning team (OPT) to a division. Another operated the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC) in Baghdad and provided C2 responsibility over subordinate CA battalions and separate CA companies. However, due to its location inside the secured Green Zone, the HACC-Baghdad had limited local populace interaction. One CA brigade provided support to the corps support command (COSCOM). A fourth brigade was divided to support the HACC-Jordan, to support an area support group in Kuwait, and to support the Marine Force operating in Iraq. These CA brigade headquarters also filled billets in or directly supported by CPA.

Each of the CA brigades deployed with their staff sections. Outside of the one CA brigade providing C2, the staff elements (G1-G4) had no function. The one CA brigade affecting C2 had to do with only a 3-Soldier S3 cell. Additionally, the CA brigade was not outfitted with the necessary organic field communication equipment to communicate with subordinate units. Hampering the CA brigades even further was the fact that they did not have much in terms of organic mobility assets.

There were expectations of the CA brigades by the CA battalions that were unfulfilled. One unmet expectation was to capitalize on the CA brigades' functional specialists. There was minimal vertical integration of the functional specialties. In many cases, the endeavors of the CA brigade (e.g., conducting assessments) duplicated those of the CA battalion that was functioning in the same area. The CA battalions looked to the CA brigade to synchronize the CMO effort, which did not occur.

CA direct support detachments opined that the CMO effort would have benefited from more direct support teams as opposed to staffing the CA brigades. There were units (e.g. field artillery and engineers) controlling battlespace who could have greatly benefited from dedicated CA teams that were not available to them.

The CA command and brigades became a force provider to CPA and thereby reduced their unit effectiveness. The CPA actively sought staffing assistance due to its lack of personnel. Individuals from one CA brigade and CACOM filled critical positions. Although these CA personnel, both individually and collectively, made significant contributions to the overall national effort, their absence degraded the efforts of the teams from which they were drawn. These individuals were perceived as indispensable by CPA and, subsequently, efforts by the CA brigade and CACOM to reintegrate them into their original teams were met by resistance from CPA. In many cases, the rating scheme for these individuals fell within CPA channels. As a result, commanders were challenged to direct their own assigned personnel.

CA forces require support from maneuver units due to force protection requirements. The requirement level is dependent upon the division task force. One division task force's requirement for a convoy to leave the forward operating base (FOB) was a minimum of three vehicles, a minimum of three service members (SM) per vehicle, and two crew-served weapons. Most BCTs in this division granted an exception by allowing CA teams to depart with two vehicles for convoys within 10 km of the gate, during daylight hours only. A captain may approve a daylight movement, but a battalion commander must approve any night movement.

Many CA battalions operated under the MTOE of a six-Soldier direct support team (DST) with two high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs). One COA for DST to meet the force protection requirements was to combine teams, or at least provide each other half a team to meet the 9-Soldier, 3-vehicle rule. Another COA was to coordinate with a fellow "slice" element. Other non-organic units faced the same force protection challenge, thereby creating conditions for mutual support arrangements. A third COA was to request additional vehicular and personnel support from the supported maneuver unit.

The first two COAs required the establishment of informal relationships and a fair amount of bargaining. Due to the quid-pro-quo aspect of these COAs, a negative result was that CA teams did not depart the FOB on missions as often as they desired. The third COA, optimal for the CA team, was viewed negatively by some maneuver task forces. Some supported commanders did not favor having to provide support to a supporting unit. Other commanders, however, made CA force protection augmentation a top priority. These CA teams were better able to optimize their time and efforts.

An initial drawback to all CA forces in theater was the lack of crew-served weapons. In addition to personnel and vehicles, most CA elements had to rely on the maneuver unit to provide the crew-served weapons since the typical CA battalion possesses only four M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs). A plus-up of M249s to the CA forces in theater was provided later in their deployment.

Lessons Learned

  • CMO suffered from the lack of clear task and purposes nested in CMO annexes from the national level to the battalion task force.
  • Command and support relationships need to be clearly defined at the onset of an operation and refined continuously. The CA command relationship selected needs to be METT-TC dependent.
  • CA units and supported units need to address G5/S5 staff augmentation prior to deployment to minimize task organization disruption. A venue for clearly outlining the supported command's expectations is through the mission letter. An alternative recommendation is to staff division G5 sections with their "go-to-war" complement.
  • The CMO situation on the ground could have greatly profited from an increase in general purpose CA teams as opposed to CA brigade headquarters.
  • CA brigades and CA commands providing personnel support to U.S. government agencies should ensure that the task force and these agencies clearly understand the scope of the attachment and the conditions for the reintegration of these personnel with their assigned units.
  • Task force commanders who provided support to their CA teams enabled these teams to be more active within the area of operations (AO).

DOTMLPF Implications

Doctrine: Change the doctrinal field manuals to reflect that a CA battalion will provide a CA planner and augmentation to the G5 to support division (or equivalent) operations.

Organization: Division G5 section MTOE should increase their authorized and required strengths.

Organization: CA brigade MTOE should be modified to reflect an increase in the number of vehicles.

Organization: To support the G3 planner requirement, add to the CA battalion MTOE two positions to the battalion S3 section: One major and one captain with the title "Planning Team."

Organization: To support the G5 augmentation requirement, add to the CA battalion MTOE a G5 augmentation team to the functional specialty company.

Table of Supporting Observations

Observation Title CALLCOMS
File Number
No CMO Annexes developed 10000-03200
CPA - Military expectations 10001-01732
Describe coordination with the Coalition Provisional Authority 10002-03688
CPA direction slowed civil administration progress 10000-03026
CA command and support relationships 10000-43776
CDRs expectations for incoming CA forces 10000-13536
The doctrinal template of CA forces need to be revised based on METT-TC 10000-49086
Division G5 Section not fully staffed 10001-54627
S5s serving also as commander 10000-46552
Staff Augmentation to brigade Staff 10000-41328
CA brigades need to modify its current organization 10000-42682
Need for more CA Companies and Teams 10001-12837
CA brigade rank structure 10000-01824
CA as a force provider to CPA 10000-13682
CA Team Organization 10000-21427
Effects Coordination Cell (ECC) 10000-31620

Table of Contents
Chapter 2: Civil Military Operations - Civil Affairs
Chapter 2-Topic B: Transitioning to Civil Administration

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