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Military

CHAPTER VI

FORCE PROTECTION


The ultimate objective of all commanders is to accomplish the mission with minimal loss of personnel, equipment, and supplies. Force protection functions affect every aspect of peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. In peacekeeping, the principal source of force protection is its legitimacy as a disinterested party facilitating the intentions of the belligerent parties. It must protect that legitimacy by maintaining both the fact and appearance of neutrality. In peace enforcement, legitimacy is maintained by enforcing the policies of the sponsoring international organization with an even hand. UN peace agreements offer little protection from renewed factional fighting, random acts of violence, lawlessness, or terrorism. In peacekeeping situations, soldiers man positions, patrol lines of communication and frequently venture into dangerous urban terrain harboring unseen enemies. Soldiers face the prospect of confronting armed belligerents who only respond to the threat of, or use of, force. Soldiers need access to armored protection and secure living and fighting positions. It is wrong to equate peacekeeping with peace. The constant threat of violence demands necessary countermeasures to protect the force. Terrorism is a constant threat. It is one of the major threats to a peacekeeping force and also threatens peace enforcers. For many reasons, factions will oppose the peace process. Terrorist attacks is one of their most effective means to sabotage it. Some key force protection functions are:
  • Survivability of personnel and equipment
  • Battlefield hazard protection
  • Identification, friend or foe (IFF)
  • Operations Security (OPSEC)
  • Physical Security
  • Evacuation Plans
  • Safety
  • Health Services (Personal Hygiene)
  • Intelligence Reporting and Dissemination
  • ROE

TOPIC: Security of the Force

DISCUSSION: Given the ultimate objective of restoring the situation to its original, pre-conflict condition, U.S. forces can expect to be exposed to a belligerent force in a hostile environment during a peace enforcement role. As a result, force protection for a deployed peace enforcement force must be a high priority and requires similar considerations to those same threats posed to traditional combat operations. In this volatile, dynamic environment, security requirements will need continuous refinement or modification to adapt to the changing situation.

LESSON(S): Security procedures should be established and then reviewed on a regular basis. Maintain the highest level of security procedures possible even if the UN requirements are much lower or easier to maintain.

TOPIC: Evacuation Plan

DISCUSSION: The peacekeeping force may need to be evacuated in the event war breaks out or if the host nation withdraws its consent to the mandate. The senior U.S. commander is responsible for planning the evacuation of all U.S. forces. The UN force headquarters will develop a plan to evacuate all peacekeeping forces.

LESSON(S):

  • The evacuation plan should include appropriate routes for ground, sea, or air evacuation to the nearest neutral country.

  • All units should rehearse their evacuation plan.

  • Units should develop contingency plans that cover tasks such as breakout of an encirclement, and fight a delaying action.

TOPIC: Personal Awareness

DISCUSSION: The single, most proactive antiterrorism measure is individual awareness -- by soldiers on guard, while moving individually near or within the cantonment area, and while operating as a unit. When combined with appropriate physical security measures, individual awareness and actions will defeat the terrorist plans.

LESSON(S): The following procedures have proven effective in operations other than war where a significant terrorist threat exists:

  • Soldiers must look for things out of place; for example, packages left unattended, the same car parked near the front gate for an extended period of time, or the same person standing on a street corner daily.

  • Reinforce individual security awareness by reminding soldiers to report suspicious activities and out-of-place objects.

  • Use tactical versus an administrative posture when moving off post as a unit or during individual travel.

  • Limit the access to information about planned events, to include personnel movements and recreational activities.

  • Employ security measures in unpredictable, random fashion, including security checks outside perimeters.

  • Maintain an adequate rapid response force.

  • Ensure soldiers understand the ROE.

  • Commanders must promote ROE awareness.

  • Impose substantial limitations on off-post travel.

  • Employ helicopters during hours of darkness, to conduct random patrols along perimeters.

  • Ensure soldiers remain alert, do not establish a routine, and keep a low profile.

20 Aug 92: A Ukrainian UN soldier was killed by a sniper in Croatia.

TOPIC: Sniper Threat

DISCUSSION: Whether manning an observation post, conducting a patrol, or simply crossing an exposed area, a great threat to a soldier's personal safety is the sniper whose harassment of the intervening force is a routine fact of daily life. Sniper fire accounts for many of the casualties during peacekeeping operations. The bullet from a sniper's high-power rifle passes easily through lumber and concrete blocks.

LESSON(S):

  • Units must take precautions to minimize the threat of snipers.

  • Develop a response technique for soldiers to use against snipers.

  • Designate specific weapon systems or soldiers to constantly scan for snipers.

  • Clear or occupy all buildings around checkpoints and OPs to eliminate potential sniper positions.

  • Adequate barriers and shields must be constructed around checkpoints and OPs to protect soldiers.

  • Shields and screens can be used in cantonment areas to block a sniper's vision as he scans for targets.

  • Individuals should stay away from windows or hang blankets over them to protect individuals inside.

  • The ROE needs to give specific instructions on how to react to sniper fire. They should address any restrictions on weapons used to engage snipers.

  • Units can use specific weapons and teams, such as sniper teams, to eliminate the sniper and minimize collateral damage of civilian casualties.

TOPIC: Defensive Positions

DISCUSSION: Both peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations require a substantial effort to construct adequate defensive positions and protective shelters. Shelters should be provided for all soldiers. Positions must be reconnoitered, prepared for occupation, and covered by obstacles. They must include shelters to protect troops from artillery, mortar, and rocket fire when the situation warrants it. Every soldier must have a safe place to go when the UN force receives artillery fire. Units must practice alert procedures and develop drills to rapidly occupy positions when attacked.

All UN peacekeeping installations, observation posts, checkpoints, and positions must be highly visible. They are usually painted white, have the UN flag flying, and have the UN insignia painted prominently on the walls and roof. All should be properly illuminated at night.

When conducting peace enforcement operations, units should maintain proper camouflage and concealment IAW tactical SOPs. Units should review the following publications for information on defensive positions:

  • FM 5-103, Survivability
  • FM 5-114, Engineer Operations Short of War
  • TM 5-585, Weapons Effects in World War II
  • FM 90-10, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain

LESSON(S):

  • Units should construct protective shelters and defensive positions for both peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations.

  • Commanders should consider METT-T when deciding how to mark and illuminate unit perimeters and checkpoints IAW the UN mandate and letter of instruction.

  • Deploy a robust engineer force to provide adequate construction equipment support to the deployed force.

  • Consider modifying existing structures to meet survivability needs.

TOPIC: Filling Sandbags

DISCUSSION: Often, the requirement for filled sandbags far exceeds the capabilities of soldiers using only shovels. If the bags are filled from a stockpile, the job is performed easier and faster by using a lumber or steel funnel as shown in the figure below.

Expedient Funnel for Filling Sandbags

Figure VI-1. Expedient Funnel for Filling Sandbags

LESSON(S): Use an expedient funnel to fill large quantities of sandbags. Review FM 5-103, Survivability, for instructions on construction of protective shelters and fighting positions.

TOPIC: Installation Security

DISCUSSION: Security problems and shortfalls have contributed to the failure of force protection programs during terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East since the 1983 Beirut Bombings. As commanders establish base camps and move into work facilities, the must balance their security measures with the type and level of threat posed by the belligerent groups in their area. This applies both in the relative security of forward operating bases and at assigned facilities within cities.

LESSON(S): Suggestions to improve installation security are:

  • Use barrier systems to control how and where vehicles may be driven and parked.

  • Block high-speed avenues of approach.

  • Keep vehicles as far from facilities as practical.

  • Minimize vehicle access points.

  • Force vehicles to negotiate a series of obstacles to limit vehicle speed.

  • Separate vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

  • Do not use exclusively host-nation personnel to provide perimeter security for any facility.

  • Make critical physical security improvements by installing additional barriers to protect high- risk targets.

  • Ensure that the ROE do not limit the ability of the soldier to defend himself or the facilities.

  • Locate sensitive work areas away from the exterior of the building to protect against antitank weapons and mortars.

  • Employ sacrificial barriers in building foyers by constructing additional walls and arranging furniture.

  • Use reflective film on existing windows to conceal the interior during daylight.

  • Provide drapes or blinds to obscure vision through the windows at night when the reflective film is ineffective.

  • Use predetonation screens (wood fences, chain-link fencing, expanded metal mesh) to protect facilities from attacks by standoff weapons such as antitank weapons and mortars.

  • Use screens, fencing, walls, tree lines, tents, or earth berms to prevent observation of key U.S. facilities.

  • Reinforce existing roofs or construct a sacrificial roof to detonate mortar rounds. This prevents a projectile from penetrating the structure and provides a standoff distance between the explosion and the occupied floor below.

TOPIC: Security Risks to Peacekeepers

DISCUSSION: Security is just as important during peacekeeping as it is in normal military operations. Peacekeeping implies neutrality. If one side suspects that the peacekeeping force, either deliberately or inadvertently, is giving information to the other, it will be accused of espionage and one or both parties to the dispute may become so uncooperative as to jeopardize the success of the operation. Because telephone lines and radio sets can be monitored by belligerents' sides, users must be careful of what they say during conversations.

A peacekeeping force is vulnerable to security risks in the following three areas:

a. Local Employees. Peacekeeping forces have no means of conducting a background check of local employees. Guard against the possibility that their governments, illegal organizations or foreign intelligence agents may bribe or pressure them to obtain information on sensitive matters. Great care must be taken when discussing peacekeeping force operations and handling documents in the presence of local staff.

b. Key Peacekeeping Personnel. Officers, secretaries, signallers and other key personnel are in possession of a great deal of sensitive information about the local political situation, host-nation deployments, commercial contracts and financial matters. These people are known to the host governments and to terrorists, who may attempt to compromise them to obtain information.

c. Regular Visitors from the Force to the Host Countries. Those who routinely visit the host country on duty, such as bus drivers, logistics staff who deal with contractors, and civilians who commute, may be targets for both intelligence services and criminals smuggling drugs and other contraband. Officers and NCOs must know who is at risk and should both brief them and keep them under discreet surveillance.

LESSON(S):

  • Units must maintain security at all times during peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. Do not allow soldiers to become complacent about security as they develop daily routines.

  • To prevent charges of espionage, photography is strictly controlled during peacekeeping operations. No pictures are to be taken of either side's positions and cameras must not bed isplayed near them. Visitors to the area must be warned and watched to make sure that they do not unintentionally infringe on the rules.

  • The same concern for the security of arms and ammunition must be shown as is normally exercised on other types of operations. Unofficial armed groups are always on the lookout for carelessly guarded weapons.

  • The same precautions should be taken to protect positions, headquarters, and accommodations as in counter-insurgency warfare. Care should be taken to guard against spectacular attacks with mines, car bombs, and mortars. If possible, buildings that are easy to approach undetected should not be used, and the number of soldiers billeted in any one building should not present an attractive target to terrorists.

  • The neutrality and even-handedness of a UN force ensures that it does not become a target for needless hostility. This in itself affords a measure of protection. However, a force must always remain on its guard against the possibility of attack by extremist fringe groups.

TOPIC: Airfield Security Checklist

DISCUSSION: The airfield security checklist below was developed during Operation RESTORE HOPE to standardize the intelligence collection effort for operations other than war.

Will belligerents attempt to gain unauthorized entry onto a U.S. base? If so, when, where, how, and for what purpose? The following list presents some possible indicators of belligerent activity:

  • Hostile or uncooperative behavior toward U.S. forces.
  • Stealing or destroying U.S. equipment or property.
  • Presence of enemy weapons and supply caches.
  • Increased attacks on U.S. forces.

LESSON(S):

  • The use of a standardized checklist can greatly enhance the intelligence collection effort and minimize trainup time.

  • Units presented with nontraditional intelligence requirements should develop detailed checklists to ensure the following items or events are reported.

  • Items to include in a checklist are:

    • Unauthorized civilians on the airfield complex.
    • The establishment of road blocks or control points by belligerents.
    • Attempts to impede or disrupt U.S. operations.
    • Losses of equipment and supplies.
    • Possession of U.S. equipment or property by belligerents.
    • All weapons (type, quantity, condition) and supply caches found.
    • Attacks (direct fire, indirect fire and rock throwing, etc.) on U.S. forces.
    • Sightings of any armed forces (vehicles and dismounted groups).
    • Sightings of weapons systems to include APCs, tanks, artillery, mortars, ADA guns, and AT guns.
    • Locations of booby traps.
    • Civilian vehicles (type vehicle, cargo, number of personnel, weapons).

TOPIC: Search of UN Vehicles

DISCUSSION: During UN peacekeeping operations, the host-nation authorities are allowed to stop peacekeeping force vehicles to establish the identity of the occupants, but are not permitted to search them. Should the host nation's police or army insist on searching a vehicle or individual, protest, but do not resist forcefully. Contact headquarters and ask for help from the UN force military police. Should the authorities still insist on a search, the individual should request that the UN force military police carry it out, witnessed by the host-nation authority.

In some peacekeeping forces, their own vehicles and personnel are searched on entry and exit from the buffer zone (BZ) to deter smuggling of arms, contraband, and drugs. The aim is as much to convince the host country that the force is observing its laws as to catch or deter criminal activity among its members.

LESSON(S):

  • Expect belligerents to stop UN vehicles for harassment purposes.

  • Ensure that all graphics (map symbols, unit locations, etc.) are removed from peacekeeper's maps.

  • Expect signal operating instructions (SOIs) to be compromised often. Use fixed frequencies and call signs. Zero-secure devices before being stopped.


Chapter V: Training
Chapter VII: Intelligence



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