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Positive Performance

4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status

*Forward Support Battalion (FSB) TOC operations and battle tracking: Showed consistent improvement in its ability to function as the information "nerve center" for the Brigade Support Area (BSA).

  • Improvement was observed in the level of detail of FSB TOC battle tracking.
  • FSB's ability to see the enemy and use of battle graphics improved.

PROBLEM: BSA alternate TOC could not replicate the functions of the FSB TOC.

RESULT: There was no smooth continuity of command available if the FSB TOC was disabled.

Technique: Continue to train FSB TOC/ BSA alternate TOC operations and battle tracking functions.

4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status

*Rear Command Post (RCP) operations and battle tracking: Brigade S-1 and S-4 successfully integrated their respective sections into battle operations as RCP.


1. Units actively monitor brigade command net, administration/logistics net, and TF nets.

2. Units track friendly and enemy combat forces.

3. Integrate NCOs and enlisted members into RCP operations fully

  • They monitor radios and track battle
  • Officers analyze information and make CSS recommendations to Main CP and FSB TOC

4. Improve tracking of CSS units

5. CSS units submit graphic overlays to RCP with both current and proposed locations of CSS assets.

4.3 Determine Actions

*Synchronization of IEW with Brigade Combat Team (BCT) scheme of maneuver and fires: Military Intelligence (MI) direct support company commanders and Analysis Control Team (ACT) Officers-in-Charge (OICs) are developing sound IEW execution plans that support the BCT fight.

Technique: Continue Home Station training that includes development of EW execution plans during the BCT Deliberate Decision-Making Process (DDMP).

* Field Artillery technical rehearsal: Improvements have been made by units in the conduct of the Field Artillery technical rehearsal.

Technique: Units arrive with FSCOORD-approved rehearsal checklists. The checklist generally has all the required tasks identified to meet the minimum requirements for a successful rehearsal.

RESULT: These checklists have significantly improved the field artillery battalion's ability to provide responsive fires and accomplish the identified critical fire support tasks.

Needs Emphasis

4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain status

*Brigade staff information management: Brigade staffs often fail to manage information effectively.


1. They do not focus either in staff analysis or in reconnaissance efforts on critical information needed about the enemy.
2. They do not aggressively seek or effectively use key information about the status of friendly forces in command and control.


1. Brigade CPs become inundated with information which has little or no bearing on preparation.
2. Brigade staffs either miss or do not acquire critical information to planning and execution.


1. Use and enforce Commander's Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) process to focus information flow and acquisition.

  • Friendly Forces' Information Requirements (FFIR) for information about own forces
  • Priority Information Requirements (PIR) to manage information about enemy forces
  • Commander personally involved in determining CCIR

2. Brigade staff Battle Captains

  • Understand and enforce CCIR collection and information management
  • Ask pertinent questions about information relevance and reliability
  • Direct development and placement of reconnaissance assets

3. Streamline information flow into brigade C2 nodes

  • Gather, evaluate, and assimilate critical information

*Unit Cross Talk During Battle: Units at all levels fail to "cross-talk" adequately during battles.

PROBLEM: Units do not keep adjacent elements informed of their tactical situation during missions.


1. Increased probability of fratricide, maneuvering into enemy fire sacks, and overestimation of battle damage assessments (BDA).
2. Commanders do not receive clear picture of battle until after-action review (AAR).


1. Include "cross-talk" as sub-task for all missions in ARTEP 71-1-MTP.
2. Include techniques and guidelines for "cross-talk" in doctrinal literature.
3. Units practice and train information exchange during all training exercises.

4.1.1 Communicate Information

*Forward Support Battalion (FSB) soldiers situation awareness:

PROBLEMS: Some NCOs in FSB units apparently are not fulfilling their duties.

1. Soldiers under them are not informed about the tactical situation.
2. FSBs do not conduct Pre-Combat Inspections (PCIs) and battle drills regularly.
3. NCOs are not included in the planning process.


1. Emphasize keeping soldiers in FSBs informed about the tactical situation through the chain of command, including NCOs.
2. Increase emphasis on PCIs and battle drills, conducted by NCOs.
3. Increase NCO involvement in FSB planning process.

4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status

*Logistics Status (LOGSTAT) reporting:


1. Reports frequently are neither timely nor complete, even with a unit tactical standing operating procedure (TACSOP).
2. Units become so involved with planning or execution of operations that they do not complete LOGSTAT reports.
3. Units misunderstand reporting requirements under different command and support relationships.

RESULT: Unit resupply/replenishment delayed or delivered in incorrect quantities.


1. Train at Home Station on TACSOP:

  • Report necessity
  • Report contents and format
  • Submittal times and follow-up actions
  • LOGSTAT report implications and procedures for different command and support relationships.

2. Make non-submission of LOGSTAT reports a CCIR

3. Involve battalion XO, S-4, and S-1 with subordinate units on report submittal.

*Logistics requirements reporting: Most units experienced difficulty executing the timely development and reporting of future logistics requirements.


1. Timeliness of forecasts of requirements.
2. Included reporting of casualties, damaged or destroyed equipment, and daily LOGSTAT reports.

RESULT: Units cannot determine requirements for upcoming operations with sufficient accuracy or confidence.

Technique: Train and operate Home Station logistical requirements as closely as possible to field operating conditions.

4.2 Assess Situation

*Situation reporting by S-2 section to commander: S-2s often mix analytic products and current situation products to the commander and staff.


1. S-2s routinely use one map overlay for both "template" and situation map.
2. They do not routinely identify one source in brigade CP for current situation assessments.


1. Prevents rapid transmission of current assessments to commander and staff.
2. Unable to provide on-call up-to-the-minute updates.


1. Provide separate work areas for current and analytical work; use Analysis Control Team (ACT) for analytic product(s) and S-2 section for current assessments.

2. Specifically task one person or element to maintain the current situation.

*Situational awareness of follow-on forces committed from depth of brigade: Forces committed to action from the depth of a brigade formation usually lack situational awareness of the on-going fight.


1. Limited "cross-talk" on brigade net; CPs not habitually monitoring tactical situation in sufficient detail.
2. Brigade formations, i.e., column formation.
3. Operational graphics not prescriptive.
4. Unclear commitment orders.


1. Piecemeal defeat; brigade forces not massed for operation.
2. Units committed from depths without benefit of information available.
3. Timing of commitment from depths late or uncoordinated.
4. Lost opportunities for FRAGOs in tactical operations.


1. Train for brigade operations at Home Station, either command post exercises (CPXs) down to platoon level or simulations, with emphasis on using FRAGOs.

2. Exercise "cross-talk" on brigade net among commanders, with CPs monitoring.

3. Consider brigade formations other than column, depending on enemy situation and terrain.

*Radar Position Area (RPA) selection for Fire Finder radar: Seldom are RPAs selected or refined prior to or during the COA (artillery scheme of maneuver) or wargaming of the mission.


1. Staff coordination required to ensure RPAs support entire scheme of maneuver often not made.
2. Unclear command and control relationships and responsibilities for RPA selection.


1. Hasty selection of RPAs without analyzing terrain, enemy artillery positions, and adjacent unit security.
2. Commander's decision made without considering multiple RPAs.


1. Develop clear SOP for planning and executing this operation.

2. Direct support (DS) battalion S-2 and radar technician perform RPA selection as part of mission analysis:

  • Support entire scheme of maneuver
  • Provide flexibility as plan changes

3. Develop multiple RPAs to examine during COA development and wargaming.

4. Develop a checklist for RPA selection, eg:

  • Template threat artillery locations to regimental artillery group level: situation template
  • Objective areas (where enemy will focus indirect fires): operations map
  • Enemy avenues of approach and other known threat data: situation template
  • Main avenues of approach
  • Reconnaissance avenues of approach
  • Template chemical strikes, field artillery scatterable mines, obstacles
  • Terrain restrictions: MCOO
  • Movement/positioning terrain limitations:, ie, NO GO or SLOW GO terrain, slope and screening crest
  • Visibility problem areas, intervening crests, optimum aspect angle/range considerations
  • Communication considerations, range, retrans, reporting channels, data links
  • Survivability measures (adjacent unit coordination, ELINT considerations)

* C2 Nodes' responsibilities:


1. Brigades rarely effectively use their tactical command post (TAC CP) to help command and control operations

  • Roles and responsibilities not defined or rehearsed
  • Do not deploy until before battle
  • Not manned or supplied properly for role(s)

2. Main CPs do not effectively manage information or do predictive analysis for the commander.

  • Too passive; only track battle
  • Fail to do predictive analysis or anticipate commander, events, and adjustments to plan
  • Wait to act until too late to influence battle


1. TAC CP becomes forward message center

  • Lack knowledge of plan
  • Fail to develop effective means to track battle

2. Main CP never really understands what is happening in battle


1. Think through roles and responsibilities

  • Use FM 71-3, Chapter 2, as guide
  • Help fight close fight
  • Disseminate commander's decisions
  • Provide forward command and control for separate operations, e.g., reconnaissance, security, movements
  • Redundancy to Main CP

2. Main CP provide common accurate picture of enemy and vision of status of brigade.

  • Get information to decision makers in time to influence fight
  • Stay ahead of fight, anticipate actions, decisions, and changes
  • Synchronize BOSs in fight

4.2.1 Review Current Situation

*Integration of S-2 with Analysis Control Team (ACT): Brigade headquarters frequently prepare two pictures of the enemy:

  • One picture is from the ACT
  • The other picture is from the S-2 section

Technique: Prepare one common picture of the enemy under direction of the S-2, using the combined sources of S-2/ACT.

4.2.2 Project Future Requirements

*Battalion Maintenance Officer (BMO) estimate to battalion S-4: BMOs are generally weak in providing a maintenance estimate to the S-4.

RESULT: The S-4's estimates and planning for operations are generally not complete.


1. S-4 and BMO must train at receiving a timely, accurate maintenance estimate during planning.
2. If the TAC SOP does not provide for the procedure, then S-4 and BMO need to include it in the TAC SOP.

*S-1 casualty estimate: Not consistently made during planning process.


1. Train S-1s to make casualty estimates.
2. Rehearse S-1s in integrating casualty estimate into TF planning.

*Logistics estimates insufficiently detailed: Logistics estimates lacked detail to support planning.

Technique: Prepare logistics estimates which reflect status down to platoon level for TF planning.

4.2.3 Decide on Need for Action or Change

*Transition of S-2 Section operations from planned to current operations:


1. Although S-2 sections often create internal plans sections to work with S-3 planners, they have difficulty sharing information internally.

2. S-2 sections do not habitually use personnel resources efficiently, using a 12-hour on, 12-hour off shift schedule.


1. S-2 sections frequently fail to inform S-2 current operations personnel fully during transitions between missions.
2. S-2 personnel have more time off between shifts than they need.


1. Adopt another shift schedule which would promote continuity:

  • US Navy uses 6-hour-on, 6-hour-training/admin-duties, 6-hour-on, 6-hour-sleep schedule.

  • Soviet Army used a 16-hour-on, 8-hour-off shift schedule, with one-third of the section changing every 8 hours; therefore, one-half of each shift is up-to-date on current operations.

2. At completion of each step of the planning process or when the OPORD is completed, S-2 planners could brief the S-2 section on the next mission or operation.

3. S-2 section should conduct regular section "huddles"for all in order to share current enemy situation and status of planned operations.

4. Improve quality of shift change briefings:

  • Detailed update on enemy situation.
  • Status of intelligence gathering forces.
  • Planning for operations and status.

*Predictive analysis: The main CP often appears more concerned with reporting to higher headquarters than with tracking the battle and predictive analysis for the commander.

PROBLEMS: The main CP does not consistently:

1. Analyze information received.
2. Provide the commander with an estimate of what the enemy will do next.
3. Recommend future friendly actions.

RESULT: The commander does not receive predictive analysis from his CP.


1. TF XO, S-2, S-3 Air, and FSE need to track the battle at the main cp map board and "think one step ahead" of both enemy and friendly forces.

  • They need to delegate routine administrative duties to others in their sections as much as possible.
  • They should also eliminate unnecessary functions from their sections and even the CP itself.

2. Battle Staff regularly provide the commander with predictive analysis products and recommendation(s) based upon those products for future actions:

  • Event matrix
  • Updated situation template
  • Decision support matrix

TA.3 Air Defense BOS Narrative
TA.4 Command and Control BOS Narrative, Part 2

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias