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Military

Chapter II

APPLYING DECISION-POINT TACTICS TO THE OFFENSE


MISSION: 32d Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment attacks from the march 090700XXX96 to penetrate defending enemy forces and secure MRR objective vic NK6011 to facilitate the passage of follow-on divisional forces. (The OPFOR will attack at a 1.1: 1 ratio (OPFOR:BLUFOR).)

TERRAIN ORIENTATION: Shown below are common NTC terrain feature names.

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COURSES OF ACTION (COAs)

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COA No. 1 (Base):

Task Force Destroyer LD's 081900XXX96 to seize Hill 899 (NK318088), Brigade Hill (NK353086) and Chod Hill (NK411104) to establish support by fire positions and facilitate passage of Advance Guard and Main Body forces.

Task Force Angel LZ vicinity John Wayne Foothills (NK481055), seizes Hill 824 (NK491093) and establishes support by fire positions oriented on Hill 760.

Advance Guard MRB attacks through Debnam Pass (NK302151) to the Peanut/Chod gap to destroy enemy forces, clear enemy obstacles, and seize Hill 780 (NK442118). Advance Guard MRB continues attacking east until combat ineffective.

Main Body MRB's attack abreast through Peanut/Chod gap and Peanut/Hill 876 gap, echelon right. Left side MRB (Supporting Effort) screens right side MRB (Main Effort) northern flank by seizing Hill 780 and Hill 760. Main effort MRB penetrates enemy forces along southern wall of central corridor and seizes MRR objective.

Anti-Tank Battalion (ATB) screens MRR northern flank.

2d Echelon MRB follows and assumes main effort or exploits main effort success.

Decision-Point Conditions to Execute COA No. 1:

  • No more than three company teams arrayed on the south wall of the central corridor.
  • John Wayne Pass held or blocked by enemy forces.
  • More than one company team that can influence Alpha and Bravo Passes in the northern corridor.

COA No. 2 (John Wayne Pass Option):

Task Force Destroyer same as COA No. 1

Task Force Angel same as COA No. 1

Advance Guard same as COA No. 1

Main Body, Left side/northern MRB (Secondary Effort) attacks to reinforce Advance Guard at Peanut/Chod gap and enhances deception operations indicating a main attack along the south wall. On order disengages and follows main effort MRB through Hidden Valley, John Wayne Pass and over Siberian Ridge. Main Body, right side/southern MRB (Main Effort) attacks through Hidden Valley, John Wayne Pass, and over Siberian Ridge to seize MRR objective.

ATB screens MRR northern flank.

2d Echelon follows and assumes main effort.

Decision-Point Conditions to Execute COA No. 2:

  • John Wayne Pass clear of enemy forces and obstacles.
  • Hidden Valley defended by less than one mechanized platoon.
  • Strong enemy forces around Hill 876, Peanut/Chod and Hill 780.

COA No. 3 (North Wall Option):

Task Force Destroyer attacks through the Goat Trail (NK363176) to secure Granite Pass and then continues the attack to destroy/fix enemy forces at the Iron Triangle (NK423162) and achieves the first point of penetration for the regiment.

Task Force Angel LZs vicinity the Worm Hole Pass at 081730XXX96 and establishes support by fire positions to fix/destroy enemy forces vicinity of the Artillery Piece and/or the Iron Triangle.

Advance Guard MRB attacks through Brown Pass (NK337162) to the Iron Triangle to destroy or fix enemy forces. Continues attack through the Artillery Piece (NK443173) and Racetrack (NK463141) and continues east until combat ineffective.

Main Body MRB's attack abreast through Brown Cut and Brown Pass, echelon left. Right side/south side MRB (Supporting Effort) screens left side/north side MRB (Main Effort) southern flank by seizing the Iron Triangle, Racetrack, and continues setting rolling firing lines to the east. Left side MRB (ME) penetrates high along the north wall of the central corridor and seizes the MRR objective.

ATB screens MRR southern flank.

2d Echelon follows and assumes main effort or exploits main effort success.

Decision-Point Conditions to Execute COA 3:

  • No more than one company team at Iron Triangle/Artillery Piece.
  • Brigade reserve south of Hill 720 or North of Range 23/Flagpole (NK598157).
  • Two or more company teams defending in Echo Valley.
  • Enemy forces strong (2-3 CO/TMs w/obstacles and prepared positions) around Hill 876, Peanut/Chod and Hill 780.

COA No. 4 (Echo Valley/Alpha and Bravo Passes Option):

Task Force Destroyer same as COA No. 3 except it also assists in deception operations portraying a North Wall attack option.

Task Force Angel LZs same as COA No. 3 except it also assists in deception operations portraying a North Wall attack option.

Advanced Guard MRB attacks through Brown Pass to the Iron Triangle to destroy or fix enemy forces. Establishes firing lines and secures Main Body's southern flank as it attacks through Granite Pass (NK407197) and penetrates through Alpha Pass. Reinforces deception effort to show a North Wall option.

Main Body MRB's attack abreast through the Brown Cut and Goat trail, echelon right. Right side/ Northern MRB (SE) leads through Granite Pass, attacks down Echo Valley, seizes firing lines to support by fire the assault through Alpha Pass by the ME MRB. If the pass is lightly or undefended, the lead MRB will penetrate and secure the eastern side to pass the ME MRB through to the MRR objective.

ATB initially screens MRR southern Flank. One ATC remains with Advance Guard, ATB (-) moves with Main Body and continues to screen its southern flank.

2d Echelon follows and assumes main effort or exploits main effort success.

Decision-Point Conditions for Executing COA No. 4.

  • No more than two company teams in northern corridor, including the Granite Pass area.
  • No more than one company team that can influence Alpha Pass.
  • Will accept light infantry battalion supported by no more than one tank platoon.

COA No. 5 (Echo Valley and K-Bar Pass (NK515196)):

Task Force Destroyer same as COA No. 3 except it also assists in deception operations portraying a North Wall attack option.

Task Force Angel LZs same as COA No. 3 except it also assists in deception operations portraying a North Wall attack option.

Advanced Guard MRB attacks through Brown Pass to the Iron Triangle to destroy or fix enemy forces. Establishes firing lines and secures Main Body's southern flank as it attacks through Granite Pass (NK407197) and continues to fix forces until MRR breaks out from K-Bar Pass. Reinforces deception effort to portray a North Wall option.

Main Body MRB's Attack abreast through the Brown Cut and Goat trail, echelon right. Right side/Northern MRB (SE) leads through Granite Pass, attacks down Echo Valley, detaches one MRC to fix forces in Alpha Pass and deceives enemy forces as to focus of attack. Lead MRB(-) continues over K-Bar pass and secures exit of K-Bar Pass. ME MRB follows and continues attack to MRR object down central corridor.

ATB initially screens MRR southern Flank. One ATC remains with Advance Guard, ATB (-) moves with Main Body and continues to screen its southern flank.

2d Echelon follows and assumes main effort or exploits main effort success.

Decision-Point Conditions for Executing COA No. 5.

  • K-Bar Pass (a single vehicle road) is not blocked nor its exit guarded.
  • No more than two company teams in northern corridor, including the Granite Pass area.
  • More than one company team repositions to block Alpha and Bravo Pass.

HOW DECISION-POINT TACTICS WERE EXECUTED

FIRST Decision Point: Division Reconnaissance reports during the defensive preparation indicated heavy defensive preparation along the southern wall vicinity of Hills 876, 780, 760. Reconnaissance identified seven of the eight company teams. Two teams in counter-reconnaissance positions east of Barstow road, four company teams working along the south wall and one company team working vicinity of the Iron Triangle. Hidden Valley and John Wayne Pass had a light infantry battalion preparing defenses in the area. Obstacles also blocked John Wayne Pass. There were no indications of work in the Echo Valley and only a tank platoon was identified behind Alpha and Bravo Passes. Based on this read, the commander eliminated COA No. 2 as a viable option. COA No. 1 was now an unlikely option; however, the final decision would rest on further enemy preparations and dispositions. The commander's first major decision point was now made to divert TF Angel to its northern LZ near the Worm Hole Pass and TF Destroyer was sent to secure Granite Pass and assist the Advance Guard at the Iron Triangle. Regimental Reconnaissance was then focused to confirm or deny northern option criteria.

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SECOND Decision Point (MRB Level): The first light read identified the light infantry battalion in a prepared defense in Hidden Valley and the Peanut/Chod gap. The infantry was backed up by a dug-in company team (TM 1) vicinity hill 780. Another company team (TM 2) was identified in defensive positions vicinity forward slope of hill 760. Two more company teams (TMs 3 and 4) were located behind hill 760. One company team was located at the Artillery Piece (TM 5) but TF Angel had been successful in inflicting about 50-percent losses to this unit. Another company team (TM 6) was positioned behind the Race Track. A tank team (TM 7) was located at the exit of the Passage to India (NK547165) on the north wall, but this was east of K-Bar pass. The brigade tank reserve (TM 8) was positioned center of sector behind hill 720. One tank platoon was still located behind Alpha and Bravo Passes. TF Destroy had also been successful in securing Granite Pass and was currently working its way around the Iron Triangle. At this point, the second commander's decision point was met. COA No. 1 was no longer an option. COA No. 3 was less likely given the three company teams along the north wall. However, the final decision on COA No. 3 would be made based on the enemy's reaction to the MRR's Advance Guard force.

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THIRD Decision Point: As the regiment was moving toward Brown Pass, TM 3 repositioned and eventually assumed defensive positions vicinity of the Race Track. Based on this move, the third commander's decision point was met, eliminating COA No. 3. The OPFOR executed COA No. 4, with the final decision being based on repositioning of enemy forces vicinity Alpha Pass.

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FOURTH AND FINAL Decision Point: As the Advance Guard began to destroy TM 5 and fix TMs 3 and 6, the main body committed through Granite Pass. In apparent reaction to this maneuver, TMs 4 and 8 were seen repositioning toward Alpha Pass. Their repositioning was being slowed by the persistent chemical dropped at the Flag Pole with the intent of separating the two corridors. At this point, the commander made the final decision to execute COA No. 5 and attack back over the Granite Mountains into the central corridor.

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MRB EXECUTION: At this point, the execution of the operation was turned over to the MRB commanders with the regimental CP supporting the operations with fires and other BOS systems. Endstate, the regiment successfully attacked over K-Bar pass, destroying TM 7 at the Passage to India, secured the objective, and destroyed repositioning units from behind Alpha Pass.

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SUMMARY: Decision-point tactics is neither unique nor new. From the OPFOR perspective, it is the primary means to achieve success on a rapidly changing battlefield. The essence of decision-point tactics is a flexible plan that focuses on enemy actions and reactions. There are four imperatives to the successful execute of decision-point tactics.

Imperative 1: A unit most have good battlefield vision to clearly identify the conditions necessary to execute a specific decision.

Imperative 2: A unit must have a successful reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance operation to determine if the conditions have been met and to deny its intentions to the enemy.

Imperative 3: A unit must have well-trained crews and platoons to conduct decentralized execution.

Imperative 4: A unit must execute effective deception operations to cause the enemy to waste time and resources. There are also inherent risks involved with executing decision-point tactics. The most critical factor is the enemy. Accomplishing these imperatives while minimizing the risks is essential to executing decision-point tactics.


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