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Military

CHAPTER VIII

CONDUCT OF OPERATIONS


TOPIC: Mission Focus

DISCUSSION: The severity of human suffering in Somalia caused commanders to try to alleviate the situation on their own. Units were deployed to the field to provide security for the humanitarian relief agency convoys of food. Upon seeing the appalling conditions, and realizing they were not tasked to give food or provide direct support to the population, local commanders took it upon themselves to try to arrange for or speed up relief supplies. While well-intentioned, this activity diverted the commanders' attention from their primary mission and tended to upset the Humanitarian Relief Organizations (HROs) planning the prioritizing and distributing of relief supplies.

LESSON(S):

  • While well-meaning, commanders must focus on the primary mission and not be distracted by missions that correctly belong to the HROs.

  • Assisting the HROs in their efforts, not usurping the HROs mission, is the best way commanders can perform their mission and assuage their conscience.

  • Remind soldiers of all ranks and responsibilities of their obligation to mission accomplishment, as well as the suffering population, and where the dividing line falls.

TOPIC: Peacekeeping Patrols

DISCUSSION: Units will have to conduct patrols during peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping patrols perform a dual mission of showing the UN flag and monitoring the ceasefire agreements. The patrols may move on foot, be mounted in vehicles or in light aircraft or utility helicopters. Peacekeeping patrols will normally be only overt and conducted during the day.

LESSON(S):

  • Peacekeeping patrols are totally different from normal combat patrols.

  • The mere presence of a peacekeeping patrol, or the likelihood that one may appear at any moment, deters potential violations of peace agreements.

  • The presence of peacekeeping troops in a tense situation may have a reassuring and calming effect in troubled areas. If it is necessary to operate at night, the patrol will use lights, carry an illuminated peacekeeping flag and move in as open a manner as possible.

  • Major considerations for peacekeeping patrols are:

    • All patrols must be easily recognizable by all belligerents.

    • Its members must wear the UN Forces distinctive blue headgear and its vehicles must be painted white with the UN Force's insignia prominently displayed.

    • The peacekeeping flag must be carried by all dismounted patrols and displayed on all vehicles used during mounted patrols.

    • Patrols should not deviate from the planned route without contacting higher headquarters.

    • Expect to be challenged by belligerent forces while on patrol. Rehearse proper responses to challenges.

    • Ensure that maps carried on patrol are unmarked. Memorize positions. Each patrol should always include a member who knows the area well.

    • Log all observations and events while on patrol. Memorize details for sketch maps. Do not mark on maps if there is the smallest chance of being stopped by one of the belligerents.

    • Do not surrender weapons, maps, logs, or radios without the permission of higher headquarters.

    • Upon return from patrol, immediately report any significant observations to the debriefing officer. Mark maps and draw sketches while the memory is fresh. These maps and logs provide the basis for the investigation of incidents and the lodgement of protest.

    • The unit S2 or intelligence officer must be intimately assimilated into the peacekeeping patrol process.

TOPIC: Peace Enforcement Patrols

DISCUSSION: Peace enforcement patrols can be either overt or covert. All the normal principles of combat patrolling apply to peace enforcement patrols. They can also serve the same purpose as peacekeeping patrols, but the soldiers are not hindered by the administrative restrictions on vehicle marking and weapons restrictions. Whether patrols conducted by peace enforcers should follow the overt methods of peacekeepers must be determined by the commander based on the situation. Given the peaceful intent of peace enforcers, patrols should operate as openly as the situation allows. Force protection, as always, is a major consideration. Units will have to conduct patrols for reconnaissance, surveillance, perimeter security, and to protect airfields. Units will have to conduct security patrols around airfields to keep SAMs out of range of arriving aircraft.

LESSON(S):

  • Use the normal combat patrolling techniques and procedures during peace enforcement operations.

  • Apply aggressive patrolling tactics to deter hostile acts by the belligerent forces.

TOPIC: Negotiation and Mediation

DISCUSSION: Peacekeeping officers may find themselves in the role of negotiator, mediator, and even arbitrator at the point of confrontation. If possible, negotiations on matters affecting both parties should be carried out jointly with the two sides. On occasion, relations between them may be so strained that the peacekeeper has to serve as an intermediary.

A peacekeeping negotiator must be firm, fair and polite if he is to gain and keep the trust of both parties. The qualities required of the negotiator are mastery of detail, tact, patience, a sense of proportion, resourcefulness, objectivity and impartiality. On matters of principle, he must be insistent without being belligerent. He must be careful not to pass the confidences of one side on to the other.

LESSON(S):

  • Negotiations are not always successful. Agreements of all parties may or may not occur.

  • Remember to remain neutral and do not allow yourself to be used by either belligerent.

  • Expect some of the belligerents to negotiate in bad faith. They may attempt to twist the issues to prolong negotiations while they continue to violate peace agreements.

  • Negotiations are time-consuming and often frustrating. However, negotiation reduces unnecessary loss of life and offers the best long-term prospects for a final peaceful settlement. It is vital to remain impartial and courteous at all times.

  • Some helpful hints for conducting negotiations are:

    • Familiarize yourself with the problem

      • Collect all available evidence.
      • Determine if the point of issue has been raised before.
      • Find out what agreements or understandings have a bearing on the problem.
      • Be certain of the peacekeeping force's policy on the problem.

    • Prepare for the negotiation

      • Select and prepare a meeting place acceptable to both parties.
      • Obtain adequate interpreters and communications assets.
      • Secure the meeting area and delegates from attack.
      • Ensure that a common map edition and scale are used by both sides and the peacekeeping force.
      • Keep your headquarters informed.

    • Conduct Negotiations

      • Remember to exchange customary salutations and courtesies.
      • Introduce yourself and any advisers. Make sure all the delegates are introduced by name.
      • Use some introductory small talk to make the delegates feel at ease and to assess their mood.
      • Allow each side to state his case without interruption and without making any premature judgements or concessions. Make a record of the issues presented by each side.
      • If one side makes a statement which is known to be incorrect, be prepared to produce evidence or proof to establish the facts.
      • If there is a peacekeeping force-preferred solution, present it and encourage both sides to accept it.
      • Be sure to close the meeting by explaining to both sides exactly what has been agreed upon and what action they are expected to take. Be prepared to present this in writing for signatures if necessary.

TOPIC: Fire Support Considerations

DISCUSSION: During peace enforcement operations, the primary fire support mission is counterfire operations. Counterfire in mountainous terrain has the same basic considerations as any other operation. There are some specific considerations because of the terrain and likely threat.

LESSON(S): Fire support considerations for peace enforcement operations are:

  • Select sites for the firefinder radars that are on prominent terrain. This is necessary to get the screening crest as low as possible. If the Q-36 radar needs to be placed in a city or town, it may have to be air-lifted onto the top of a building to gain coverage of the surrounding area.

  • Redundant overlap coverage of firefinder systems may be required. It is difficult to obtain a low and consistent screening crest in mountainous terrain. Too low of a screening crest drives the search beam into the ground. Too high of a screening crest allows the belligerents to fire under the beam and avoid detection. The Q-36 system will not accept more than a 30-mil variance in the screening crest. The Q-37 radar system will not accept more than a 54-mil variance.

  • Ensure that firefinder radars in the area do not face one another and radiate at the same time. This causes interference and emissions burnout resulting in equipment failure. If radars need to face one another to accomplish the mission, coordinate to ensure they do not radiate at the same time.

  • Use digital radar maps to minimize the time required for height correction of the weapon system. Digital maps allow the firefinder systems to initially locate weapon systems to within 250 meters. This allows the operator to make only two or three visual altitude adjustments to accurately locate the weapon system.

  • Mountainous areas have unique weather conditions that affect ballistics drastically. Wind speed and direction can vary considerably depending on datum plane and which side of the mountain you occupy. Frequent meteorological (MET) messages are essential, and the FDO should consider registering to improve accuracy.

  • Consider angle of fall in each fire mission to determine the best method of engagement and unit to fire. When firing against the opposite slope of a ridge or mountain, angle of fall can be critical to successful target engagement. When shooting, low-angle large-range probable errors may be caused by the terrain.

TOPIC: Suppression of Artillery

DISCUSSION: The suppression of artillery used to harass population centers and airfields will be a formidable task during peace enforcement operations. It cannot be suppressed by air power alone. When faced with an air threat and counter-battery threat, belligerents will seek to protect their artillery by exploiting its high mobility (especially the mortars) and using concealment offered by terrain. Weapons may be deployed individually, rather than in batteries. Weapons may re-deploy from one camouflaged position to another after firing a few rounds. Weapons may be located in populated areas such as near schools, hospitals or other restricted fire areas. This complicates the delivery of counter-battery fire through fear of inflicting civilian casualties and collateral damage. To deal with such an artillery threat, the UN force would be forced to deploy, not only artillery-locating radars and howitzers, but also artillery forward observers. These, in turn, will require considerable numbers of infantry to protect them. The forces required to achieve and maintain suppression of belligerent artillery to a distance of 20 km of their target areas could be very substantial, imposing a logistic burden which would threaten to swallow the resources needed for security of any humanitarian relief operations.

The Firefinder Radars (Q36/Q37) are effective in the detection of belligerent indirect fire units. They are positioned in a manner to ensure the immediate detection of units firing on critical facilities such as embassies, headquarters, airfields and hospitals. The radar's position requires careful coordination with coalition radars and any joint or combined targeting cells.

LESSON(S):

  • Use precision-guided munitions or attack helicopters to conduct counter-battery fire to reduce unnecessary collateral damage.

  • Deploy artillery with the peace enforcement force. Besides counter-battery fire, it can fire illumination and smoke rounds if needed.

  • Deploy firefinder radars to support suppression of combatant artillery and to document violations of cease fire agreements and fix blame for damage and civilian casualties. This information can be passed to the media (if approved by commander) to give an accurate portrayal of the situation to the world.

TOPIC: Protecting and Burying the AN/TPQ-36 Cables

DISCUSSION: The data cable is the most vulnerable component on the Q-36 system. This cable contains numerous data wires and three high frequency coax wires critical to the interface between the S-250 shelter and the radar antenna. A vehicle accidently driving over the cable or mortar shells landing in the radar position could easily damage an exposed cable. One broken or damaged wire in this cable can render the system useless.

LESSON(S):

  • The data and power cables should be buried at each position the radar occupies.

  • Separate trenches should be hand-dug to a depth of six inches.

  • All rocks and hard objects should be removed prior to placing a cable in the trench and covering it with dirt.

  • Ensure that no rocks or hard objects are in the covering dirt. In the event that the data or power cable crosses a road, the trench needs to be hand-dug to 12 inches.

  • Under no circumstances should engineer equipment, such as a Small Earth Excavator (SEE), be used to dig cable trenches or to cover the cables.

3 Sep 92: An Italian transport aircraft was shot down 22 miles west of Sarejevo. Two U.S. helicopters were fired at by Croatian troops.

TOPIC: Belligerent Air Defense Tactics

DISCUSSION: For the most part, the belligerents usually rely on passive measures to protect themselves from UN air attacks. They take advantage of the abundant concealment and camouflage available in forests and mountainous terrain. They do, however, have access to large numbers of handheld surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and light air defense artillery (ADA). As the war in Afghanistan showed, clever use of such assets in mountainous terrain can be very effective against a modern air force. ADA guns and SAMs can be deployed along likely avenues of approach to targets. Belligerent patrols with handheld SAMs often try to infiltrate close enough to operational airfields to engage aircraft on landing or during takeoff. The belligerents are often satisfied by causing the peacekeeping force to take a defensive reaction which commits large numbers of UN soldiers to forming an impenetrable cordon around the airfields.

LESSON(S):

  • The belligerents have, in the past, discounted the influence of modern air power to stop their operations.

  • The likely result, perfectly acceptable to the belligerents, is usually a serious curtailment of rotary and low-level fixed-wing operations. These operations are, of course, the most useful and needed by UN troops on the ground.

TOPIC: Aviation Support to UN Forces

DISCUSSION: Helicopters provide the UN force with flexible, versatile support. They perform such missions as assist command and control, transport relief supplies, escort UN convoys, and transport wounded or injured UN soldiers. They can also be used as a show of force and for surgical strikes to retaliate for attacks on UN forces.

LESSON(S):

  • The UN aviation LO should coordinate flight corridors between each cease-fire sector. Expect limitations on the use of flight corridors times such as from 0700 to 1900 each day. Coordination must be made with belligerent military forces and with normal civilian air traffic controllers. Consider linking the flight corridors to the UN convoy routes. They can be mutually supporting to peacekeeping operations.

  • Use the night ir searchlight mounted on a helicopter to enhance the visibility of soldiers with night-vision devices. The use of regular white-light searchlights can also enhance night operations depending on the ADA threat.

  • Navigation is crucial and often difficult. Expect existing navigational aids to be either turned off or destroyed. Fit all aircraft with GPS to assist with navigation.

  • Helicopters should have the usual IFF transponder codes for air defense and air traffic control. They will use UN codes and call signs at all times. One of the problems they have is that NOE flying could be construed by ground forces as aggressive. So they may have to fly high, out of range of small arms fire.

  • Upgrade C2 aircraft communications assets based on METT-T. Some systems may work better in mountainous terrain than in desert environments. Consider using INMARSAT, TACSAT, and HF radios.

TOPIC: Mine Warfare Operations

DISCUSSION: Operation RESTORE HOPE demonstrated the requirement for accurate prediction, detection, removal, proofing, cleared route marking, and area clearance of landmines during operations other than war. Whenever soldiers enter areas where others have fought, they will encounter large numbers of unexploded ordnance and inevitably operate in unmarked and uncleared mined areas. In Somalia, it was not unusual for children to bring unexploded ordnance to soldiers nor was it uncommon for patrols to find minefields or caches of ammunition.

LESSON(S):

  • Landmines will continue be a significant threat to future force projection operations and operations other than war. In every major peacekeeping arena from Cambodia to Bosnia, mines and fabricated explosives continue to take a toll on troops and civilians.

  • Units should train on detection, removal, cleared route marking, proofing and area clearance operations. Develop unit drills for dealing with mines and unexploded ordnance.

  • Heavy mine-clearing capability, such as mine plows and Mine-Clearing Line Charges (MICLICs), may not be appropriate during operations other than war, when MSR road surfaces should not be destroyed.

  • Exploitation of HUMINT is a good source of information of suspected minefield locations.

  • Look for signs of mining activities, which include dead animals, craters, blown vehicles, disturbed soil, etc.


Chapter VII: Intelligence
Chapter IX: Checkpoints



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