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Positive Performance

6.2.2 Emplace Obstacles

* Staff coordination and synchronization of FASCAM: Engineer staffs successfully apply the basic staff coordination and synchronization of tasks required for FASCAM obstacles. The following techniques and procedures have been successfully employed:


1. Planning of numerous/contingency targets throughout the sector/zone to allow the commander situationally based execution options.
2. Coordination with the brigade FSO for the planning of the targets and the development of the technical data required.
3. Coordination with the brigade S3 for integration with the BDE/TF maneuver plan.
4. Dissemination of FASCAM minefield data over the brigade command net to increase situational awareness.


1. Submission of target requests to division for planning approval.
2. Tracking of approval status.
3. Submission of execution requests (SCATMINWARNS)
4. Battle map updating of targets executed with proper symbology safety zones and self-destruct date-time groups.

FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS could be achieved if units employed these techniques and procedures.


1. Planning of target/obstacle triggers based on enemy events with NAIs, decision points and an R & S plan with assigned observers, rather than time driven execution criteria.

2. Coordination for integrated/supporting field artillery targets adjacent to FASCAM obstacles.

3. Coordination of CAS targets to support/exploit FASCAM targets.

4. Dissemination of FASCAM minefield data (to include safety zone limits) across all brigade nets (command, O/I, A/L) as FLASH traffic.

Procedure: Submit SCATMINREPs to higher headquarters as a DA 1355 minefield record.

Need Emphasis

6.1 Provide Mobility

* TF level breaching operations: Maneuver task forces demonstrate a lack of understanding about the requirement differences between in-stride and deliberate breaching operations.

PROBLEMS: TF staffs do not provide Co/TMs with adequate support and/or planning in the following areas --

  • Breach rehearsal sites
  • Indirect fire planning
  • Co/TM task and purpose
  • Task organization of breaching assets
  • "Reverse" planning to wargame the type of breach necessary
  • Determine assault force size/composition
  • Number of breach lanes required
  • Support force size/composition needed to achieve mass.
  • TF level rehearsals (During this quarter no TF mounted breach rehearsals were conducted.)

RESULT: Co/TM commanders do not know what conditions and triggers must be developed to achieve the synchronization necessary to accomplish the breach.

Techniques: Home Station Training

1. OPD instruction for TF leaders focused on how to synchronize the elements conducting a deliberate breach.

2. Co/TM lanes to reinforce company level tasks and responsibilities.

3. Bn/TF breach training; whenever a company/team is breaching, the breach is a task force level operation. Breaching should be incorporated into every field training exercise.

* TF and Co/TM level mobility operations: TF staffs demonstrate an inadequate application of the tasks associated with mobility operations and the principles of SUPPRESS-OBSCURE-SECURE-REDUCE (SOSR).


1. TF mobility plans not well developed or integrated, ie. maneuver with direct and indirect fires, and engineer support.

2. TFs often give Co/TMs responsibility for mobility operations, without providing staff supervision or triggers signalling the transition from Co/TM responsibility to TF responsibility as the situation may dictate. (SEE TF level breaching operations above)

RESULTS: poorly planned and executed mobility operations

Techniques: Home Station Training

1. TF staffs must practice mobility operation planning and supervision.
2. Rehearse how to rehearse both Co/TM and TF level breaching operations.
3. Train mobility operations during FTXs to ensure integration into TF scheme of maneuver and fires.
4. Training exercises will help practice the transition between Co/TM and TF-level mobility responsibilities. Breach Minefields

* Operation of mine clearing line charge (MICLIC): Units deploying to the NTC with their MICLIC trailers have had continual maintenance problems. Placing the system into operation is not understood at the user or leader level. Units do not routinely train with the system, so they really do not understand it.

Procedure: Most of the maintenance related problems would be solved if unit would use the operator manual and perform PMCS.

Technique: Test electrical cables with a multimeter prior to operation. This is not addressed in the operator manual.

6.2.1 Secure/Select Location of Obstacles

* Obstacle siting at Co/TM level:


1. Supporting engineers typically site in tactical obstacles without prior coordination with the Co/TM commanders responsible for covering the obstacles with fires.

2. Tactical obstacles are sited/emplaced before engagement area reconnaissance is completed and the commander decides how and where he wants to kill the enemy.


1. Tactical obstacles are rarely depicted on sector sketches or platoon/company fire plans.
2. Obstacle effects are not integrated into the Co/TM fires, which negatively impacts on triggers for example.

Techniques: Home Station Training

1. Use battle drills to ensure obstacles are synchronized with maneuver and fires; emplaced obstacles should not dictate the maneuver plan, but support the maneuver plan.

2. See FM 20-32, Chapter 4, Mini Rehearsals for a good example of a battle drill that CO/TMs with their supporting engineers can conduct close to motor pool facilities at very low cost. This type exercise can be a one day event that trains and proofs battle drills walked through first in garrison. As proficiency is gained, then incorporate the drills as "full up" operations during field training exercises.

6.3.1 Provide Battlefield Hazard Protection

* Use of M8A1 chemical agent alarm:


1. Units fail to perform pre-combat checks on alarms prior to deployment.

2. Many units fail to properly employ the alarms:

  • Alarms not connected to the battery
  • Alarms not positioned upwind
  • Alarms not connected to the M42
  • Omission of other critical steps, etc.

3. Many units simply fail to emplace the alarm at all.

RESULT: Too many units receive no warning about enemy employment of chemical agents

* Reaction to chemical attack: Soldiers often fail to properly react to chemical attack. Soldiers fail to properly assume the appropriate MOPP level IAW FM 21-1-1-SMCT and as specified in unit SOP. Soldiers fail to put on boots, gloves and often fail to have the MOPP gear immediately available, IAW FM 3-4 or as specified in the unit SOP or the OPORD. SEE ABOVE: Use of M8A1 chemical agent alarm for similar problems.

* Use of M-9 paper: Units consistently fail to properly utilize the M-9 paper on MOPP suits and vehicles IAW FM 3-4, NBC Protection. Units often attempt to simulate M-9 paper with green tape, rather than conduct realistic training. Leaders fail to conduct Pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections to correct M-9 paper deficiencies.

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