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(Tactical Operations Center)
(H-17 Hours)

Everyone stood up as LTC Bryant walked into the TOC. Looking around, he noticed CPT Crafton from Team BAYONET was not there. Crafton, who was already at the TOC talking to the S-4 and Maintenance Officer about problems in one of the platoons, had sent his XO.

Bryant, a bit annoyed, made a mental note to talk to Crafton later about the importance of being there. It was all right to bring the XO along, but he was the commander and needed to know what was going on.

Crafton's XO, LT Paulson, told Bryant that his CO was tied up with the engineers trying to get some obstacles put in, and he would update his boss as soon as he got back to the battle position. Bryant hoped it would be before the battle started.

LT Flynn and MAJ Daniels provided a situation update to everyone. LT Jacobson, the Scout Platoon Leader, had confirmed the third route and had also found another route the enemy could use into BP DAUNTLESS. Bolten smiled to himself. It was the same route he had called Flynn about earlier. The same route he had found during his analysis. Bolten told LTC Bryant he had already put LT Gregg from First Platoon on it.

POINT: Confirm the IPB. The IPB paints a picture of the battlefield. It provides confirmation of enemy intentions and what the force looks like that you will face.

Daniels said, "Things are running behind schedule. Because of this, we will only be able to have a COMMEX for the rehearsal. It has been rescheduled for 1745 hours."

"So much for dinner," Bolten thought as he rolled his eyes up. Bolten looked at Bryant, who was obviously agitated at his S-3, Operations Officer. Daniels told everyone the updated Overlay and Target List for the Task Force was not finished; however, everyone would receive a copy as soon as it was completed. Bryant bit down and shook his head from side to side. He was not a happy man. He recognized he had a problem with his S-3; a solution would have to wait until after the battle. He knew he needed to be in the TOC during the battle.

Bolten raised his hand and asked Daniels, "Sir, what's the signal you'll give me to execute my counterattack?"

Daniels replied, "I'll call you on the Task Force Command Net and let you know where to go."

Unsatisfied with the answer he received, Bolten pressed the S-3 again, asking, "What if that frequency doesn't work or one of our radios is out? Who or what will let me know to start the counterattack if you can't reach me?"

The S-3 glared at Bolten and snorted, "We'll solve that problem later."

Bryant realized Bolten needed an answer. He turned to Daniels. "Bolten has a good point. If we can't get you by voice, we'll use wire."

Turning around to the audience, Bryant ordered, "I want each team to run a wire line.

"CESO, I need a complete plan before we leave here. Understand?"

"Yes, sir. I'll have one in a few minutes," replied CPT Jackson, the Communication/ Electronics Officer for the task force.

LTC Bryant spoke up. "CESO, that's great. Make sure you have the Commo Platoon run a backup line to Bolten's position. Make sure they lay it along a different route."

Bryant spoke up again. "Tom, I want you to move a vehicle up to observe the Engagement Area. Make sure they can see the team battle positions. You might have to dismount an observer to do that. If they see an enemy company minus penetrate anywhere and you have not heard anything, assume both wire or radios are out and launch your counterattack. When you do, come up on the task force command net and announce 'Thunder.' Do you understand my intent?"

"Yes, Sir. If my observers report any penetration of a force larger than a company minus, I will counterattack. I will make a blind call on the command net if I don't hear anything from the TOC to let everyone know we're moving. The code word is 'Thunder.' Hopefully, no one except the enemy will be surprised."

POINT: Plan for contingencies. Have redundant systems in place and rehearse their use before the battle starts. If you are not prepared, you are doomed to fail.

The Commander of TM MUSKET asked CPT McBride, the Task Force FSO, if there was a chance for them to get a PADS team from the Direct Support artillery battalion to come in and survey the battle positions, obstacles, and especially the OPs were they had Forward Observers and Combat Observation Lasing Teams located.

McBride replied, "I'll try. The PADS teams are pretty busy trying to get the artillery batteries and radars into position. We might be able to at least get them to survey the locations of the COLT teams. If we can get that, we can use the G VLLD of the COLT teams to conduct a hasty survey for us. I am also trying to get them to survey the engagement area for us. I know my artillery battalion has requested an additional PADS team from DIVARTY to help us out."

Bryant stood up, gave everyone a quick word of encouragement, and dismissed them to go take care of business. He told MAJ Daniels he wanted to talk to him in private. He wanted to find out why things were going so slowly. Bryant felt he "owed" it to the teams to give them as much time as he could to get ready.

Bolten headed out to do his leader's reconnaissance and then back to the position as quickly as he could. He called to let the XO know he needed to update everybody as soon as he got back.

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