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Organized by BOS, these narratives amplify the bullet listings in Section I. As appropriate and/or available, they provide doctrinal references and techniques and procedures for the needed training emphasis. These narratives are labeled IAW the Blueprint of the Battlefield system for reference and long-term trend development.


Positive Performance

1.1.1 Position/reposition forces

* Firing battery movement order: The use of the movement order by the battery leadership is being briefed IAW with the XO's Handbook, addressing specific and implied tasks.


1. Battery leaders brief movement routes, start points, check points and release points.

2. When higher HQs does not specify control measures such as start points, check points and release points, the battery leadership identifies their own to facilitate movement command and control. Prepare For Movement

* Soldiers' load: Leaders continue to do an outstanding job of managing soldier loads. They establish and enforce combat and sustainment loads within their units. Leaders cross-level critical squad supplies and consolidate cold weather gear to minimize the weight soldiers carry. They do an outstanding job of establishing fighting loads (rucks) and approach march loads (assault and butt packs) during contact. Because soldiers are not hindered by heavy loads in contact, they are better able to quickly maneuver against an enemy force.


  1. Establish and then enforce combat and sustainment loads.
  2. Cross-level critical squad supplies.
  3. Consolidate cold weather gear to minimize soldier carried weight.
  4. Establish fighting loads (rucks) and approach march loads (assault and butt packs) for use during contact.


1. Cache rucks in patrol bases.

2. Use butt packs or assault packs for fighting loads.

3. Pack one ruck per squad with essential cold weather gear for the squad.

4. Conduct leader Pre-combat inspections (PCI) to enforce load discipline.

5. Push forward duffel bags from the field trains during extended lulls in contact to allow soldiers to cross-level clothing and equipment.

6. Doctrinal references: FM 7-10 (chapter 8, section III) and FM 21-18 contain detailed discussion on load planning, calculating and management.

1.1.2 Negotiate terrain

* Use of Night Vision Devices (NVDs): Leaders and soldiers are properly wearing NVDs on head/ helmet harness and properly mounting night sights on weapon systems during limited visibility operations. This greatly facilitates movement and security at night. Additionally, soldiers are using their AN/PAQ-4s in conjunction with their NVDs during night engagements to assist in target acquisition.


1. Key leaders and selected individuals should wear NVDs during night movement.

2. Soldiers not wearing NVDs should use the off-center scanning technique during movement at night.

3. Begin wearing NVDs before EENT to assist in the transition during twilight when it is too light to use NVDs but too dark to see without them.

4. Remember that it takes about two minutes to completely adapt to the dark after removal of the NVDs

5. Using NVDs inhibits the ability to hear, smell and feel because of the concentration required to use the NVDs effectively.

6. Integrate NVDs into sector sketches and coverage plans; plan for overlapping NVD coverage at night.

7. Ensure proper use head/ helmet harnesses; this prevents soldiers having to use their hands to hold NVDs during movement.

8. Do not wear PVS-7 flush against face with head harness; off-set about 1/4 inch from face to retain peripheral vision at night.

9. Leaders must enforce AN/PAQ-4 discipline during night movements; AN/PAQ-4s indiscriminately turned on will give away the unit's position to a NVD-equipped enemy.

1.1.3 Navigate

* Individual and crew aviator skills: Aviation crews have little difficulty operating their aircraft in all flight conditions. Night vision goggle and Night vision system flights are second nature to the majority of crews.

Needs Emphasis

1.2 Engage Enemy

* Search and attack operations: Aviation commanders struggle with tactics, techniques and procedures for search and attack operations. This is due in part to an absence of aviation doctrine on the subject.


1. Review draft editions of FM 1-114, 1-112, and 1-100 if available.

2. Until the new aviation manuals are approved and published, aviation commanders must read and understand FM 7-10, FM 7-20 and FM 7-30. Enhanced understanding of the infantry doctrinal manuals will improve aviation integration and coordination.

1.2.2 Conduct Close Combat

* Actions on the objective:

PROBLEM: Most unit plans do not include details about actions on the objective, the most crucial part of the mission.

RESULT: While sufficiently planning and executing maneuver from the line of departure to the probable line of deployment, most attacks culminate in failure because of an uncoordinated assault and poorly synchronized direct and indirect fires.


1. Use the backward planning technique to plan all attacks. Plan actions on the objective first and then plan back in reverse sequence all other actions.

2. Begin rehearsals with actions on the objective.

3. Time is critical. Because actions on the objective are conducted by teams, squads and platoons, specific generic attack battle drills (Drills 1, 1A, 2, 5, 7, and 8) should be rehearsed after the company warning order and before the company operation order.

4. Non-habitually associated slice elements must be introduced to the offensive planning early; aggressively seek them out and integrate them into your unit quickly.

5. Conduct aggressive reconnaissance early to confirm or deny the plan. Do not be reluctant to change the plan based on reconnaissance (fight the enemy, not the plan).

6. Plan and rehearse branches and sequels to actions on the objective to build flexibility into the plan.

7. Doctrinal references: FM 7-8, pp. 2-58, 4-4; FM 7-10, pp. 4-23 thru 4-25; FM 7-20, pp. 3-32 thru 3-34.

* Fratricide prevention: Aviation units commit fratricides on an average of three incidents per rotation.

  1. Lack of an effective friendly recognition signal
  2. Lack of a clear understanding of the rules of engagement
  3. Failure to properly identify friendly vehicles.


1. Units must take every precaution and develop effective plans to reduce the risk of fratricide.

2. References:

- CALL Newsletter 92-4, "Fratricide: Reducing Self-Inflicted Losses"

-- a good reference for developing fratricide prevention SOPs.

- JRTC video: Air/Ground Coordination.

1.2.3 Integrate Direct Fire with Maneuver

* Direct Fire Planning:

  1. Improper terrain analysis
  2. Inadequate understanding of how the enemy fights
  3. No synchronization of direct, indirect and obstacle plans in the defense
  4. Fire control discipline needs improvement.

RESULT: Units are not positioning weapons to effectively engage and destroy targets.


1. Leaders at the platoon and company-level must conduct their own IPB to determine where to kill the enemy before they position their weapons.

2. They must understand the terrain and anticipate the enemy's most probable course of action.

3. Develop and sustain the basic skills essential to direct fire planning (aiming stakes, range cards, sector sketches, and basic fire control measures (TRPs, maximum engagement lines, trigger lines and fire commands).

4. Rehearsals are key to synchronizing fires with the obstacle plan.

5. CALFEXs build soldier confidence in his weapon and provide real-time feed back on the integration of direct and indirect fires on a target.

6. References: FM 7-8, FM 101-5-1, FM 7-10, and FM 7-20.

* Range cards: Units do not prepare range cards to standard. Most range cards are missing critical information: FPL, dead space, TRP, direction & elevation information, etc.

RESULT: Poor interlocking fires between positions and gaps in defensive sectors. .


1. Leaders must enforce use of range cards in all defensive and security positions.
2. Use a standardized acetate-covered range card format for every weapon in the platoon.
3. References: STP 7-11BCHM task #071-312-3307, p. 3-260; FM 7-8, chapter 2, pp. 2-76 to 2-78.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias