READINESS TRAINING CENTER
Senior Observer Controllers, JRTC
section provides an update on the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), some
new initiatives at the center, but most importantly, training trends and observations
over the last six months. a.
The recent four-star CTC Review with the Army's leadership reaffirmed our charter.
It is to provide the most demanding "warfighting" scenarios that require units
to fight the full spectrum of their systems in a synchronized manner to achieve
success. The two maneuver battalion rotations, the addition of the Armor and
Mechanized Company Team and the integration of Air Base Ground Defense (ABGD)
units greatly enhanced the training experience for the Brigade Task Force.
Other recent operational initiatives are the addition of a small Aviation Brigade
Headquarters as a "white cell" planning headquarters and Special Operations
Forces (SOF) port and off-shore targets for special reconnaissance and direct
action missions. To improve the training environment, JRTC routinely employs
the Tactical Radar Threat Generator (TRTG) to simulate radar signatures from
SA4, SA6, SA8 and ZSU23-4 systems, threat aircraft (MI24, MI2, MI8 and AN2)
for reconnaissance, air assault, attack and chemical spray missions. Civilians
on the battlefield (COB) positions have been upgraded with permanent role players.
We upgraded our battlefield effects program to include safer special effects
for demolitions and secondary explosions using naphthalene and the Demolition
Effects Simulator and added MILES fire-back capability to our live-fire targets
to improve live-fire realism. The Leader Training Program (LTP) has been reformatted
to better enhance the brigade and battalion staff training experience and replicate
the TCDC experience. We recently installed a JANUS computer simulation to allow
the brigade and battalion staffs to fight their plans on the system. We began
an SOF LTP at the unit's home station to aid forward operating bases (FOBs)
in the development of supporting plans to the Joint Special Operations Task
Force OPLAN. Our new SOF command post exercise (CPX) challenges the FOB and
adds more realistic demands on the FOB staff. b.
move to Fort Polk, LA:
All is on schedule for the JRTC's move to Fort Polk. The JRTC headquarters
accepted command of Fort Polk on 12 Mar 93. The move to Fort Polk will be completed
after Rotation 93-7 in May 93. The first rotation at Fort Polk will be in Sep
93. The consolidation of the training center in one permanent location will
enhance our ability to achieve the Army leadership's vision for JRTC. c.
The paragraphs that follow cover a great deal of information on what JRTC Observer/
Controllers (O/Cs) saw as training trends during the last six months. Within
all these observations, there were two common themes: the
need to emphasize staff training and squad and platoon training. Brigade
and Battalion staffs need a good practiced SOP. Without it, commanders will
never get the necessary products from the command estimate process to synchronize
the TF fight. The SOP should lay out who is responsible for what product, when
it is done and who reviews it. At squad and platoon levels, unit training should
focus on the close-in (direct fire) fight. Junior NCOs and officers must train
their units to execute precise battle drills and soldiers must hit their targets,
whether stationary or moving. Junior leaders must also train to integrate combat
multipliers into the close-in fight: indirect fire with maneuver, engineers
breaching with infantry support and danger close indirect fire techniques.
Hopefully, this information will assist leaders in the force to focus their
training at home station.
BRIGADE TASK FORCE (TF) OBSERVATIONS.
Brigade staffs continue to improve on time management and tactical operations
center (TOC) operations. Brigades manage the time schedule during the command
and staff sequence of actions which allows most brigades to allocate three
fourths of the planning time to subordinate units. Units now realize the importance
of TOC staff drills and daily synchronization updates to manage the current
battle. Commanders are spending more time on their intent and planning guidance
and executive officers now take a more active role in time management and staff
Although units plan and brief night operations as a part of the scheme of maneuver,
they rarely execute them to standard or IAW commander's intent. This allows
the OPFOR to conduct operations freely at night. Many units lack basic night-fighting
skills and do not employ all available night-vision equipment effectively.
Brigades are not very proficient in achieving TOC survivability. Obstacles
and barriers are seldom used, and an integrated defensive plan is usually a
Executive officers and staffs are not practiced on the doctrinal steps of the
Command Estimate Process and do not understand the expected product at the
end of each step. Course-of-action (COA) development and wargaming are fragmented
and not robust enough to lead to a good decision. e.
Integration and synchronization are not successfully done in deliberate planning.
Synchronization matrices are misunderstood and often considered not worth the
investment of time by the staff. This results in disjointed plans and uncoordinated
execution. Synchronization matrices are usually the first step deleted during
abbreviated planning processes. As a result, units do not gain the full potential
of all available combat multipliers. This leads to piecemeal commitment of
combat power and extensive friendly casualties. A synchronization matrix can
be done in 10 minutes if mission, enemy, terrain, troops and time available
(METT-T) dictates. f.
Rehearsals are traditionally detailed backbriefs. Units concentrate on the
terrain model and not on the meat of the rehearsal. Commanders and staffs do
not prepare properly for the rehearsal. Rehearsals below battalion level are
seldom observed. g.
Maneuver commanders and staffs do not demonstrate a good understanding of air
assault planning or the air mission briefing (AMB). Air assault planning is
normally done by aviators and S3 Airs with little or no input from commanders
and the remainder of the staff. AMB attendees are normally aviators and S3
Airs. Results are poor air assault executions across the force. h.
With the recent fielding of mobile subscriber equipment (MSE) to the Light
Infantry units, secure telephone and data and facsimile capability are quickly
available to the brigade commander and his staff. Brigade and Battalion staffs
need more training on MSE terminal devices, that are user-owned and -operated,
to fully maximize the capabilities offered. When integrated early into the
plan, redundancy and a robust communications network is created.
BATTALION TF OBSERVATIONS.a.
and Control (C2)Observations.
Battalions continue to emphasize briefbacks and rehearsals and to improve communications.
When they conduct effective briefbacks and rehearsals, commanders ensure that
subordinates understand the mission and their intent. They also improve unity
of effort and identify problem areas. After the initial 48 hours, battalions
communicate well and are able to control subordinate units. (2)
Units do not effectively develop, update and use synchronization tools to assist
in fighting the battle. When prepared, they are often not updated nor used
to track the battle. This deficiency is also closely linked to how effectively
the unit integrates its staff. The direct result is often an unsynchronized
fight of the battlefield operating systems (BOSs). The staff must focus its
efforts on synchronizing available combat power on the decisive point and ensure
all efforts support the main effort. (3)
During mission analysis, commanders and staff must clearly define the critical
tasks that the unit must accomplish. The commander's guidance and intent must
reflect this focus. This enables the staff to define and clearly identify the
decisive point, which becomes the main effort, and provides the focus for all
planning, preparation, and execution. All staff sections and LOs must participate
in the process. The analysis should produce a task and purpose mission statement
that supports the task force's single focus and a commander's intent which
focuses on the decisive point. (4)
Staff integration in planning, preparation, and execution of missions continues
to be a challenge. Each staff member must actively participate in mission analysis,
COA development, analysis and comparison, wargaming and orders production.
Each staff officer and LO must properly advise the staff to ensure the proper
employment of his assets as well as the focusing of combat power. Units should
establish planning and TOC operational procedures that promote staff cross-talk.
Information sharing must occur during the execution phase to ensure accurate
battle tracking. Staff members need to work together to analyze information
and provide updated estimates to the staff and commander to support the current
battle and plan for future operations. Every staff member should continuously
assist the S2 with the intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB). b.
Casualty treatment at the company level is a significant strength observed
during recent rotations. Company-level leadership maximizes the use of combat
lifesavers and company medics. Company casualty collection points are generally
well organized and secured. However, died of wound rates remain at 25 percent.
Battalions must coordinate for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) aircraft or ground
evacuation security. Evacuation contingencies must be planned and rehearsed.
Battalions must fight as a task force. Piecemeal commitment of the force normally
results from poor planning. The battalion commander must first determine the
task and purpose, then determine a main effort and supporting effort(s) focused
on achieving that task. Battalions must synchronize and integrate combat support
(CS) and combat service support (CSS) throughout the BOS. (3)
Units are making more effective use of night observation devices (NODs), but,
overall, night operations remain a challenge. Units are hesitant to conduct
operations during limited visibility. Commanders at all levels must determine
what they want to accomplish at night, develop simple plans with good control
measures and then rehearse them. All leaders must understand realistic time
estimates and make allowances for movement and linkups. Leaders should position
themselves well forward during night operations for positive control. Units
should make maximum use of the night for ambushes, reconnaissance, movement,
and denial of lines of communication (LOCs). (4)
Battle drill execution continues as a weakness, particularly leader control
during contact. Battle drills are not automatic reactions and often result
in indiscriminate fire and maneuver by individuals and crews. Units must practice
battle drills under varied conditions and emphasize leader control. Execute
battle drills at night as well as during the day. Use FM
7-8, The Infantry Platoon and Squad (Infantry, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger).
The most critical part of the fight is actions on the objective. Units continue
to lose the fight through piecemeal commitment of assets on the objective.
Battalion commanders must assess the required combat power for success and
focus planning and preparation on maximizing that power on the objective. Units
must have detailed plans with established control measures. Units should rehearse
these actions as the number one priority. Backbriefs are a step in the right
direction but alone do not guarantee success. Backbriefs
focused more on the planning process, while rehearsals
focused on the execution.
must conduct a thorough objective reconnaissance and modify the plan accordingly.
positive intelligence trends are staff integration during the IPB process,
S2 reporting, battle tracking, and QUICKFIX and Low-Level Voice Intercept (LLVI)
intercepts and reporting. Areas in need of emphasis are collection management
and reconnaissance and surveillance (R& planning, LLVI direction-finding (DF)
operations, Ground Surveillance System (GSS) operations, and line unit enemy
prisoner of war (EPW) tagging. The recommendations to improve these areas are:
Management and R& Planning.
planning must occur early, answer special information requirements, and be
supported by, and integrated into, the maneuver plan. Additionally, commanders
must integrate military intelligence (MI) assets into the R& plan through the
MI company commander in coordination with the brigade staff. Early R& planning
facilitates coordination, tasking and allocation of real estate within the
area of operations (AO). (2)
and execute a good DF baseline; use Terra Base products during planning and
analysis. Concentrate on acquiring line of bearings, cuts, and fixes. Ensure
that preventive maintenance checks and services are conducted on equipment.
Deploy well forward or on flanks for early warning. Do not place in high traffic
rear areas where clearance of fires is difficult. Most units have good SOPs.
Leaders (NCOs) must enforce SOPs to improve mission analysis, team-level planning,
rehearsals, coordination with line units, and mission execution. Consider REMBASS
for target acquisition. (4)
and IPW personnel must exploit every home-station training opportunity to satellite
off, or integrate with, line units to teach proper EPW handling and emphasize
tagging procedures. All leaders must enforce proper procedures.
FIRE SUPPORT OBSERVATIONS.
Field artillery battalions continue to improve their clearance of fire procedures
and to demonstrate technical skill proficiency. Battalion fire direction centers
(FDCs) are involved now in managing positive clearance of fires. Firing batteries
continue to effectively operate their automated gunnery systems and conduct
howitzer crew drills to standard. b.
Doctrinal relationships between the Army, Air Force, and Close Air Support
(CAS) need to be reviewed. Doctrinally, the S3 (Air) submits preplanned CAS
requests after fire support officer (FSO)/air liaison officer (ALO) coordination.
In successful units, FSOs submit the requests to allow the S3 (Air) to focus
on strategic and tactical air movement and aerial resupply. Maneuver commanders
need to force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) integration into the FSC, and
make the ALO subordinate to the FSO for matters of fire support coordination.
Some new ALOs confuse issues of commander-special staff officer relationships,
and issues of tactical operations and fire support coordination. Finally, units
must train and authorize 13Fs to conduct CAS terminal strike control. TACPs
often cannot get from the tactical operations center (TOC) to the target area
to control the strike. Currently, soldiers only control CAS under wartime emergency
conditions which severely degrades their preparedness to control CAS strikes
when necessary. c.
Firing batteries need to train more on ground combatives and survivability
skills. They either do not understand, or adhere to, guidelines in Appendix
H, FM 6-50, The
Field Artillery Cannon Battery. Batteries
do not carry sufficient class IV in their unit basic load (UBL). Construction
of fighting positions is often inadequate. Perimeter defenses are rarely coordinated
or integrated and reaction to attack is not well planned or rehearsed. The
batteries do not analyze the threat and apply it to their defensive preparations.
Batteries usually conduct successful counter-reconnaissance patrols. d.
At brigade and battalion levels, many units do not completely understand or
implement the targeting process to develop an attack guidance matrix. Brigade
and battalion commanders and their key staff members must get personally involved
and support the process. Key personnel should religiously attend and actively
participate in targeting meetings. This process leads to fire support synchronization
by attacking the right targets with the right assets at the right times. The
commander's intent for fires must specify what is to be done to the enemy.
Targeting meetings determine "how."
AIR DEFENSE OBSERVATIONS.
Aerial IPB is an essential tool for the air defense officer (ADO). It allows
him to visualize the battle and to position air defense fire units to kill
enemy aircraft. When ADOs conduct effective Air IPB, they interdict enemy air
operations. ADOs frequently fail to update the initial aerial IPB based on
SALUTE reports. ADOs must plot and analyze hostile aircraft tracks to validate
the initial aerial IPB and serve as the basis for future mission planning.
Non-air defense units are unaware or untrained on the proper methods for engaging
hostile aircraft. FM
Unit Self-Defense Against Air Attack,
procedures and techniques which, if followed, will succeed against hostile
MOBILITY, SURVIVABILITY, AND NBC OBSERVATIONS.
Three of the most significant trends involving engineers are in mobility, force
protection and combined arms breaching operations. In mobility operations,
the OPFOR usually takes the initiative from the unit by controlling the main
supply routes (MSRs) via point minefields. Commanders must treat convoys as
combat operations and maneuver forces must understand route clearance operations.
In Force Protection, the commander, S2 and engineer must discuss the level
of survivability protection required against the threat. Maneuver units must
integrate their engineers into combined arms breaching operations, IAW
FM 90-13-1, Combined
Arms Breaching Operations.
Several nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) trends are of major concern. Chemical
sections must conduct good quality staff IPBs. Mission-oriented protective
posture (MOPP) analysis is conducted without a detailed terrain vulnerability
analysis. The staff IPBs are not a continual process. Chemical sections do
not receive the commander's intent for the use of chemical assets. Chemical
units usually arrive in country without specified or implied doctrinal tasks.
Brigade S3s and chemical sections usually attach the platoon to the FSB. The
FSB gives the platoon the nondoctrinal mission of convoy security and the brigade
TF loses this combat multiplier early. Unit leaders must review and inspect
(NBC) defense equipment prior to deployment to ensure all modified table of
organization and equipment (MTOE) and consolidated table of allowances (CTA)
NBC defense equipment is purchased. c.
Passive air defense measures are frequently ignored. Units usually use camouflage
nets but fail to effectively cover vehicle windshields, mirrors and headlamps.
Position improvement routinely does not include such measures as camouflaging
displaced earth and obscuring vehicle tracks. During convoy movements, vehicles
frequently bunch up and fail to herringbone during stops which results in a
lucrative air target.
COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS) OBSERVATIONS.
CSS units continue to demonstrate strengths in the areas of the technical MOS
skills of their soldiers, a significant improvement in the performance of DZSTL
operations for aerial resupply operations, and in applying the FSB concept
within light infantry divisions. b.
Units need to improve in the areas of staff operations, casualty evacuation
and air item recovery for Container Delivery System (CDS) operations. The commander
must integrate the brigade S1, S4 and FSB Support Operations personnel into
the brigade staff's planning process. Logistics estimates are incomplete and
result in a CSS plan not synchronized with the tactical plan. Casualty evacuation
as a system requires improvement. Units must develop and train on SOPs for
evacuation starting at the squad level up through the division level. The establishment
of casualty collection points (CCPs) should be planned and rehearsed for every
operation based on METT-T. Units need to resolve, between the aviation and
medical communities, who controls aero-medical evacuation assets in brigade
and division areas. Units need to recover air items from CDS operations. Habitually,
CDS parachutes are left on the DZ for three to four days, or in trees until
after the exercise. CSS units need to obtain the necessary equipment required
to support parachute recovery. Units are wasting training dollars paying for
Pre-mission planning has been a significant strength of Aviation Battalion/Squadron
Task Forces. Companies and troops have excelled in planning and preparing for
assigned missions. They were able to safely and successfully execute extremely
short-notice missions and still consider flight planning, mission briefings,
pre-flight checks, risk assessments, and crew endurance management. b.
Dramatic improvements in Downed Aircraft Recovery Team (DART) operations have
occurred across the board. Home-station pre-deployment preparation and training
is paying significant dividends to the Aviation TF in the rapid recovery of
helicopter assets. c.
Battle-tracking procedures remain the most significant deterrent to the TF's
ability to develop and execute swift, decisive tactical operations. The staff
must provide the commander timely, accurate information during mission execution.
Mission failures, aborts, and fratricides result from poor information flow.
Aviation TOCs need to maintain accurate friendly or enemy situation maps during
the battle. Maneuver, FS, engineer, CS and A2C2 overlays are not received in
a timely manner and are not displayed for quick and easy access for aircrews
during their pre-mission planning. Battalion S2s must effectively analyze the
battle to accomplish this task. Current information must be posted on the enemy
situation map. This facilitates aircrew briefs prior to mission execution.
Air Routes in and out of the Aviation TF Assembly Area (AA) need to be well
planned. TFs do not develop and rehearse detailed occupation plans and traffic
patterns. Aircrews continually expose their aircraft for extended periods looking
for a parking area, instead of arriving at a pre-designated and marked area.
Traffic patterns must be established before occupation. Failure to do this
causes aircrews to select their own routes, independent of other unit's aircrews.
Aviation TF Flight Operations Sections must track aircraft arrival and departure
in the AA and current aircraft mission status. Aircrews must contact flight
operations when departing or arriving. e.
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) planning and execution is a weakness
in the force. Attack helicopters must integrate into air assault or air movement
operations during the low-intensity conflict (LIC) phase when unobserved indirect
fires are unlikely to be approved. When fire support is available, the plan
must be well-integrated and executed. When SEAD was well planned, it was well
executed. However, it was used only for the first flight into sector and not
for flights out and subsequent flights in or out of sector. f.
The Aviation TF commander is the best liaison officer with higher headquarters.
Aviation TF commanders or the S-3 should move to the brigade TOC or TAC during
critical planning and execution phases. It is imperative they influence how,
when and where their aviation assets are used. Leaving this responsibility
to the LO does not produce a successful product or a credible reputation for
Army Aviation. The more proactive the Cdr and S-3 are in the planning process
at the brigade TF level, the better the final product.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES OBSERVATIONS.
Psychological operations (PSYOP) units must understand their role in the command
estimate process. Mission planning to support the conventional unit's scheme
of maneuver is a weakness. The documents necessary to accomplish the analysis
are available but are rarely pieced together into a plan to support the objectives
of the brigade. Deficiencies in mission planning contribute to Brigade PSYOP
Support Element (BPSE) difficulties in the preparation of the PSYOP annex.
Units must realize the importance of the annex. It must be a detailed plan
tailored to the Brigade TF. PSYOP missions are often proposed well after the
brigade operation order (OPORD) is issued and are reactive in nature. The BPSE
must provide lead time for loudspeaker teams (LSTs) to conduct mission planning.
Coordination and rehearsals are required for satisfactory mission results.
BPSEs must integrate into brigade TOCs. The operations tempo of the TOC often
overwhelms the BPSE, causing frustration and lack of PSYOP integration into
brigade operations. Unit LSTs are usually retained at brigade level with the
BPSE serving as the section headquarters. BPSEs are not able to provide the
detailed planning necessary for successful execution of LST missions. BPSEs
must inform LSTs retained at brigade of current and future tactical PSYOP situations.
One of the principal unit actions required by the initial CA mission tasking
is the development of a Civil Military Operations (CMO) estimate of the situation.
The CMO estimate analyzes information pertaining to the mission and area of
operations. The CMO estimate must be detailed to Brigade TF level. Instead
of focusing on the brigade or division AO, infrastructure information tends
to copy the area study and address the entire country. The time is available
for direct support teams (DSTMs) to review the mission, conduct mission planning
and examine the available documentation and information provided. Any additional
information should be requested through the supported unit in the form of a
request for information (RFI). Some of the required data may be at the brigade,
and RFIs will alert the brigade they have a DSTM actively preparing for the
mission. Two important factors in the CMO estimate are the restated mission
and the CMO course of action (COA) process. As the brigade mission changes,
the DSTM restated mission will change and so will many of the factors affecting
COA development. A written CMO estimate must be prepared for every phase of
the brigade operation. The CMO estimate becomes the base document for preparing
CMO annexes to OPLANs and OPORDs.
Training Center (NTC)
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list