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SECTION II: BOS NARRATIVES


Organized by BOS, these narratives amplify the bullet listings in Section I. As appropriate and/or available, they provide doctrinal references and techniques and procedures for the needed training emphasis. The narratives are labeled IAW the Blueprint of the Battlefield system for reference and long-term trend development.

TA.1 MANEUVER BOS

Positive Performance

1.1.1 Position/Reposition Forces (Units and Equipment)

* Scout infiltration supporting task force deliberate attack: Scout platoon survivability has improved during infiltration to conduct area reconnaissance and surveillance of NAIs.

Techniques:

1. Use of thermal sites during bounding and overwatch allows the scouts to spot the enemy. The scouts bypass the enemy, avoiding visual or direct contact. This technique is particularly effective for mounted movement, and with a thermal-equipped scout vehicle covering dismounted movement. This is the most successful infiltration technique.

2. While pure dismounted infiltration of up to 10 kms has been successfully executed, the speed with which the dismounted scouts can reposition, if necessary, is very limited.

3. Scouts use detailed terrain analysis and templating of likely enemy security force positions as important planning tools in establishing infiltration routes.

4. During nights with low illumination, scouts have successfully travelled on low, open terrain undetected. They use moon-light data in conjunction with probable enemy alertness levels in planning the timing of their infiltration.

5. Enemy use of flares and searchlights help scouts locate enemy positions.

Needs Emphasis

1.1 Move

* Movement formations and techniques:

PROBLEMS:

1. Task forces and company/teams do not use movement formations in conjunction with movement techniques.
2. Units only discuss the movement formation they will use while they are moving.

RESULT: too many elements make contact while using the traveling technique, often in a column formation.

Technique: Plan movement formations in conjunction with movement techniques. Transition to a more secure movement technique as the likelihood of enemy contact increases. Leader control of formations and the selection and execution of appropriate movement techniques should be the start point for maneuver training. FMs 7-7, 71-2 and 71-1 are clear on how to use movement formations and techniques. Units need to train and use the tactics and techniques discussed in these FMs.

1.1.1 Position/Reposition Forces (Units and Equipment)

* Task Force use of dismounted infantry in scheme of maneuver:

PROBLEMS:

1. Task forces do not effectively use their dismounted infantry.

2. Infantry soldiers are often not integrated into the scheme of maneuver.

3. Because of a lack of clear task and purpose, too often infantry soldiers are not used in conjunction with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV).

4. When soldiers do dismount from the Bradley, they are too often unprepared to accomplish their mission.

  • They leave essential equipment (radios, AT weapons, etc.) behind
  • They are unfamiliar with the tactical situation
  • They are unsure of what they are to accomplish

5. Most infantry squads are untrained and are unfamiliar with infantry drill, as specified in FM 7-7; they often fail to use even a movement formation or technique.

Technique: Units use every possible Home Station training opportunity to train dismounted infantry drills and train their infantry in conjunction with BFV, not as a separate unit. Use the techniques discussed in FM 7-7.

* Air Defense fire units site selection: Air defense fire units (Stingers, BSFVs, and Avengers) fail to select positions that can accomplish what the commander intended.

PROBLEM: Fire unit squad leaders and team chiefs tend to position themselves:

  • in locations with limited fields of fire and observation
  • on or near the asset they are protecting instead of on the air avenue of approach that leads to the asset.

RESULT: The fire unit becomes a "revenge" weapon instead of killing the aircraft prior to ordinance release.

Procedures: At Home Station, discuss ordnance release lines and how to integrate the aerial dimension of the IPB product into site selection.

1.1.1.4 Close into Tactical Position

* Control of attack formations at all levels:The commitment of follow-on forces from depths of a brigade formation is usually done without situational awareness of the on-going fight.

PROBLEMS:

1. Command Posts habitually are not monitoring the tactical situation in enough detail to assist in clarity throughout the formation.
2. Timing of commitment is usually late and any attempt to mass the effects of the brigade formation is destroyed.

RESULT: Units are pulled into an unknown enemy situation. Sets the stage for piecemealed destruction.

Techniques:

1. Increase FM cross-talk between commanders.

2. Integrate command posts. Command posts must monitor the tactical situation in enough detail to assist in clarity throughout the formation.

3. Extensively use FM FRAGOs.

4. Home Station training: Command Post Exercise with troops, down to platoon leader or company commander level. Ground maneuver brigades must train to fight subordinate formations in relation to one another.

1.2.1 Employ Direct-fire

* Integration of Anti-tank (TOW) platoon in the battalion direct fire plan:

PROBLEMS:

1. Light infantry battalions rarely use their organic anti-tank platoon to their fullest potential during defensive operations.

2. Battalions generally do not properly develop an engagement area that distributes and controls the long range fires of the anti-tank platoon.

RESULT: The anti-tank platoon's fires do not support the battalion's direct fire plan at the commander's decisive point on the battlefield.

Techniques:

1. Light infantry battalions need to review doctrinal methods:

  • Engagement area development
  • Principles of direct fire planning
  • Capabilities of their anti-tank platoon

2. Practice at integrating the platoon's fires into the battalion fire plan with the understanding that the platoon's standoff is its greatest advantage.

3. Task organize additional heavy assets to the battalion to increase the commander's/S-3's requirements to plan long-range direct fires.

* Fundamentals of direct fire planning: Company/teams generally lack understanding of the fundamentals of direct fire planning.

RESULTS:

1. Company/teams tend to develop a scheme of movement and not a scheme of fire and maneuver to find, fix, mass and distribute fires to kill the enemy.

2. There is often insufficient graphic control measure to allow the company/team to mass their fires or to cover the depth of the zone to allow for flexibility and contingency planning.

3. Engagements are normally individual vehicle versus platoon or company teams.

Technique: Home Station training must include the principals of direct fire planning and must be understood down to platoon level. Include direct fire planning in the TF OPD/NCOPD program. Reference guides include Armor Magazine article, "Direct Fire Planning", Nov 93 and Jan 94; FM 23-1, FM 7-7, FM 17-12-1-1, FM 17-15.

* Direct fire execution in offensive operations: Battalions routinely fail to achieve lethality in direct fires from the support by fire position, during the breach and during the assault of the objective.

PROBLEMS:

1. Units lack understanding of procedures governing

  • distribution
  • mass focus
  • shifting of fires

2. There is seldom an effective plan or SOP, understood at the crew level, by which leaders control fires.

3. Leaders fail to adequately address actions on the objective in their orders and rehearsals.

Techniques:

1. Incorporate direct fire planning into

  • Armor and Infantry basic and advanced course instruction
  • CSC tactics programs of instruction (POI)

2. Address direct fire planning in other sources and forums.

3. Stress direct fire planning as a focus point for NTC Operations Group trend reversal efforts.

4. Develop a TRADOC Direct Fire Planning FM in the short term.

1.2.1.1.1 Select Direct-fire Targets

* Preparation of range cards and sector sketches: Range cards and sector sketches are integral elements in the planning, preparation and execution of the Company/Team direct fire plan. Units do not complete cards and sector sketches to standard, if at all.

PROBLEM: Without range cards and sector sketches, the unit loses fire discipline, integration and effectiveness.

Technique: Platoon and section sergeants must ensure range cards and sector sketches are completed to standard IAW the applicable FM for the weapons system.

1.2.2 Conduct Close Combat

* Squad and platoon combat drills: Squad/platoon combat drills, such as react to contact, generally are not performed to standard nor rehearsed.

PROBLEMS:

1. Units vary in initial level of competency for executing the tasks. One unit may have a detailed knowledge of the drills, another may (usually due to personnel turbulence) have no foundation for execution within the platoons and squads.

2. During the preparation for combat and execution phases, units are slow to develop the skills as the training progresses.

3. Units fail to rehearse the skills prior to execution.

Techniques:

1. Units must dedicate Home Station training time to squad, then platoon tasks prior to progressing to a higher echelon.

2. At NTC rotation, time management during the preparation phase will allow for platoons to conduct squad and platoon action drill rehearsals.

* Actions on contact: Units do not plan for or rehearse actions on contact before crossing the LD.

PROBLEMS:

1. No execution of effective actions on contact to enemy combat multipliers.

2. Reaction to enemy contact often consists of halting in place and attempting to return fire, often at targets beyond maximum effect ranges.

RESULTS:

1. Units end up driving into enemy kill sacks.
2. Units are often destroyed in platoon or company "sets."

Techniques:

1. Action on contact drills are adequately discussed in the doctrinal manuals. Units need to practice the actions on contact at Home Station so that they become drills for the unit.

2. Company/Teams must understand how the enemy will employ his combat multipliers and then develop SOPs to focus their training on reactions to multiple forms of contact to maximize force protection.

1.3.1 Control Terrain through Fire or Fire Potential

* Light Infantry company level engagement area (EA) development and position preparation: Light Infantry units fail to establish and follow priorities of work to ensure critical tasks are accomplished prior to the beginning of construction of fighting positions. Units will often use valid techniques when establishing defensive positions up to the point of positioning crew served and Anti-Tank weapons. The rest of the occupation and preparation for other elements of the unit immediately focus on digging.

RESULTS:

1. Many positions will not be mutually supporting
2. Sectors of fire will be limited or non-existent
3. Positions will have to be moved and re-dug.

Techniques:

1. Increased level of supervision from first line supervisor up to the platoon leader and platoon sergeant (PL/PSG) will help to prevent the majority of the deficiencies. Use as a reference current manuals (e.g., FM 7-10 and 7-8) for priorities of work.

2. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants must become proficient in knowing how to estimate the time needed to complete defensive preparations and compare that time to the time available. This estimate should then focus the prioritization of tasks and the level of preparation. The skill to estimate task completion can only come from practice at Home Station.



TA.7 Combat Service Support BOS
TA.2 Fire Support BOS Narrative



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