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97-6 SECTION II: TA. 2 Fire Support BOS

SECTION II

TA. 4 COMMAND AND CONTROL BOS


Positive Performance

4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status

* Maintain Communications - CSS: FSBs use redundant means of communications (PRC-127s, switchboards, FM, etc.) within the brigade support area to communicate with subordinate units.

4.1.1 Communicate Information

* Use of Mobile Subscriber Radio Terminals (MSRTs).

  1. Units rely heavily on the MSRTs for commander's and staff coordination and synchronization of task force operations.

  2. Some units attach speakers (MSRTs and DNVTS).

    - use MSE telephones to conduct conference calls
    - commander's and staff updates
    - supplement Commander's battlefield circulation.

4.1.1.2 Receive and Transmit Enemy Information

* Minefield tracking: Unit reporting and battle tracking of enemy minefields is improving. Battle tracking charts are consistently used in brigade TOCs.

4.1.2 Manage Means of Communication

* Coordination between Bde Signal Officers and MSE Co Commanders: The coordination between the brigade and the MSE company supporting the brigade has been outstanding.

  1. Units have made great improvements integrating the divisional MSE assets into the brigade slice elements.

  2. Habitual relationships (small extension node (SEN) Team Chiefs, force entry switch (FES) Platoon Leaders, and MSE Company Commander's) greatly enhance the success of the signal units as well as the supported units.

* Aviation staffs: Staffs are sufficiently knowledgeable in the installation, operation and maintenance of their communication systems. This allows them to maintain multiple redundant secure means of communications to higher and subordinate units. The use of SINCGARS in the frequency hopping secure mode and TACSAT has been outstanding.

* Signal support operations - early arrival of C2 platforms: Commanders recognize the extended communications range that vehicular mounted radios provide and ensure that this equipment arrives with the first maneuver elements. Vehicle crews bring OE-254 antennas to increase range of vehicle radio systems.

4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status

* The Battalion Commander's Critical Information Requirements (CCIR): When Battalion Commanders formally stated CCIR, they were well defined across the battlefield operating systems and provided the detail necessary to facilitate battle staff planning and tracking of operations. Trends show that Commanders and units that identify and track relevant CCIR throughout a rotation, are more situationally aware and maintain a higher state of visibility on information that relates to current and future operations.

4.3 Determine Actions

* Commander/FSO integration: The habitual relationship of commanders and fire support officers is working well. Brigade through company commanders and their fire support officers understand the concepts of integrating and synchronizing fires to support the scheme of maneuver. Commanders and their fire supporters are doing an excellent job of determining when fires are critical, where fires must be placed and understanding the restrictions for fires to ensure they do not interfere with the scheme of maneuver.

4.3.1 Issue Planning Guidance

* Obstacle intent development: Brigade commanders and brigade engineers are improving their development of feasible, doctrinal obstacle intents and scheme of obstacles overlays.

* Commander's Planning Guidance. Commanders generally issue clear and concise guidance that assists the staff in developing courses of action during the tactical decision making process. Most commanders issue guidance to each BOS member after mission analysis and prior to course of action development.

4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinates

* Battlefield circulation: Commanders, accompanied by select staff officers, are increasing the frequency of battlefield circulation. Daily visits to units throughout the brigade area of operations significantly increase command group situational awareness and allows for the personal interaction between brigade commanders and their subordinates. Movement through the brigade sector gives the command group a better feeling of how operations are progressing on the ground. Command Sergeants Major that accompany their brigade commanders add significantly to the command group's presence in front of soldiers.

* NCO Use: The utilization and integration of TOC NCOs into TOC operations is continuing to improve. Although some units do not maximize the NCOs potential in managing information, the NCOs initiative, drive and involvement are an integral part of successful TOC operations. Units that send their TOC NCOs to the Battle Staff course and then let them apply the techniques they learn, get very positive results.

4.4.4 Maintain Unit Discipline

* Soldier motivation and aggressiveness: Soldiers are physically fit, motivated and disciplined. They maintain their spirits under harsh weather conditions and punishing enemy contact. Their aggressiveness is the key to many successful engagements against the enemy.

4.4.5 Synchronize Tactical Operations

* Task Force TACSOP: Units have developed outstanding task force oriented TACSOPs. These TACSOPs address a broad spectrum of tasks including attack, cavalry and assault tactics techniques and procedures.

Procedure:

The next step to a complete task force TACSOP is to include employment of other items that may appear in the task organization, such as infantry and mechanized elements, COLT teams, and various intelligence assets (REMBASS, LLVI, and GSR).

Needs Emphasis

4.1.2 Manage Means of Communicating Information

* Communications equipment user/operator skills:

PROBLEMS:
  1. Many commanders and Battle Staff cannot perform such basic tasks as install, operate, and maintain tactical FAXs, SINCGARS FM, SINCGARS remotes, and MSRTs/DNVTs.

  2. These tasks and the rerouting of information over alternative means of communications are often delegated to the brigade signal officer and communications section.

RESULT: Disruption of priority of work, planning, and crew tasks of the signal officer and his personnel.

Techniques:

1. Conduct Home station user/operator training and certification to improve and sustain individual skills consistent with current doctrine.

2. Make sure that TOC/TAC communications battle drills include at least the installation of Combat Net Radio (CNR) assets, MSE user equipment and how to use redundant/backup communications means (i.e., "what to do when primary communications fails").

3. The command and staff must "familiarize, zero, and qualify" with their assigned individual communications equipment in order to effectively master the art of staff coordination, information management, and overall brigade task force command and control.

4. Doctrinal references:

- FM 7-30, The Infantry Brigade
- FM 24-1, Signal Support in the AirLand Battle

4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status

* Intelligence information flow: Aviation task forces fail to systematically pass intelligence to the companies.

PROBLEM: Companies seldom develop a system to pull the intelligence from the task force S-2.

RESULTS: Failing to have current enemy troop and AD locations.

Procedures:

  1. S-2 provide companies an intelligence update twice daily.
  2. S-2 brief aircrews prior to each mission.

* Battle Tracking and Situational Awareness - AD: Air defense fire units continue to suffer substantial casualties which are primarily caused by a lack of battle tracking and situational awareness.

PROBLEMS:
  1. Inaccurate information concerning air defense team locations

  2. Actual team locations differ from those posted on the ADOs' maps despite clearance of fires battle drills conducted at brigade and battalion level,

  3. Current minefield tracking charts, usually available at brigade and battalion TOCs, are not considered when planning Stinger and Avenger moves

RESULTS:
  1. Fratricides caused by friendly indirect fire systems.

  2. Stinger and Avenger teams suffer an inordinate amount of casualties from known friendly and enemy minefields.

Techniques:

1. ADOs at brigade and battalion level must ensure that their battle tracking is current and accurate.

2. Use communications procedures, status charts and tracking tools effectively to keep the ADO situationally aware of the entire battlefield.

* (Signal Operations Planning) battle tracking:

PROBLEMS:
  1. Too many signal units do not maintain the status of communications.
  2. Failure to routinely report status to higher headquarters.
  3. Too many signal leaders do not track the status of expendable supplies (batteries) or Class IX repair parts.

RESULTS: Battalion signal sections too often do not know the locations of their supporting signal assets to include RAUs and retrans teams.

Procedures:

  1. Consolidate and submit reports daily.
  2. Track, disseminate, and update locations of supporting signal assets.
  3. Develop a standard battle tracking report that includes all equipment and expendables.

* Information Flow Between Task Force Signaleers: Signal operations within the brigade task force often become desynchronized:

PROBLEM: Little or no cross talk between signaleers.

RESULT: After insertion into the brigade AO, the task force signaleers often completely lose track of each other.

Techniques:

1. Develop and implement system for subordinate signaleers to pass information..

2. Conduct daily meetings while still at the ISB and a method to communicate in the field (MSE conference calls, separate commo net, tactical LAN/WAN, meeting at TOCs, etc.) that implements a daily report to higher (FAX or data) and a voice connection to discuss areas of concern (conference call or FM net).

* Information management - CCIR: Staffs rarely track CCIRs or understand their use in decision making on the battlefield even though units usually post CCIRs in the TOC. Battle tracking in the various command posts is poor. Friendly unit locations are not always posted on graphics or disseminated to subordinate units.

PROBLEMS:
  1. Frequently commanders do not provide clear (CCIR)
  2. Inconsistent tracking of critical events.
  3. Poor battle/minefiled tracking.
  4. Failure to post/disseminate unit locations.
  5. Staff sections also fail to notify the rest of the staff when a critical event has happened in their area.

RESULTS:
  1. Units routinely drive through minefields that have been reported but not posted.
  2. Repeatedly, critical information is filed away without dissemination or analysis.

Techniques:

1. Maintain a set battle rhythm for the staff.
2. Conduct staff updates/staff huddles.
3. Conduct commander's conference calls with staff in attendance.
4. Standardize staff journals.

Procedures:

  1. Develop a tracking system for managing incoming message traffic:

    - CCIR
    - combat power
    - planning guidance
    - significant activities

  2. Analyze all information received from subordinate and higher units for completeness.

  3. Track follow-up RFIs to complete outstanding actions.

  4. Enforce existing unit tactical standard operating procedures (TACSOPs).

* Information Management - Bn CPs:

PROBLEM: Battalion command posts have difficulty receiving, analyzing, and disseminating information.

RESULT: Battle staffs are unable to provide the information which the commander needs to see the battlefield (both the enemy and his own unit).

Techniques:

1. The commander can keep his staff focused by carefully developing and updating all three components of his CCIR (PIR, EEFI, FFIR).

2. Develop a method to ensure that the three command posts (Main CP, Combat Trains CP, and Field Trains CP)receive and share critical battlefield information.

4.2 Assess Situation

* Synchronization/Targeting Meetings and Drills. Units are improving in this area, largely due to training at the CTC Leader Training Programs.

PROBLEM: The process is still widely misunderstood and incorrectly applied.

RESULT: "911" calls because they are not integrated into the brigade's fight.

Techniques:

1. The commander's PIR, HPTs, and HVTs are be the foundation for the targeting process.

2. The intel staff must capture the results of the meeting in a revised R+S matrix.

3. Focus on what the enemy is going to do next, not the current fight.

4. The synch meeting is not a substitute for the orders process for combat operations.

5. ALL slice elements and staff officers MUST attend.

6. The purpose of this process is:

- to get inside the decision cycle of the enemy
- predict his next move
- maximize the effects of the Brigade Combat Team's combat power at the decisive point of time and place.

7. The process serves to "re-synch" the brigade -- reviewing each asset's task and purpose.

8. The results of the meeting must get to battalion in time for proper planning and execution.

9. Conduct targeting meetings during the subordinate battalion's "down time."

10. The brigade should create a targeting TACSOP and implement a drill that integrates the entire brigade combat team.

- The drill must be frequent to synchronize the fight and maintain the maximum amount of combat power at the decisive point of the battle.

- Teach the drill in OPDs and practice it during all Staffex's and FTXs.

- Keep participants focused. Target key PIR but include a collection plan against all PIR.

- Integrate all of the brigade task force elements. Make sure they all attend.

- Include the resynchronization of all BOS's/functional areas, even if they do not directly contribute to the priority targets.

- Create and maintain a battle rhythm that provides the results of the meeting to the execute level in a timely manner.

4.2.2 Project Future Requirements

* Future Planning - Fire Support: Battalion staffs are having difficulties planning for future operations while executing current operations.

PROBLEM: FA battalion staffs are not routinely integrated into a disciplined, structured planning process.

RESULT: The S-3 fails to maximize specific functional area expertise and the plan is rarely synchronized.

Techniques:

1. Develop and practice using SOPs for the planning process.

- Address the roles and responsibilities for each of individual involved in the process.

2. Facilitate a more coordinated and synchronized parallel planning process.

- Prepare a list of FA questions for a member of the battalion staff who participates in the brigade planning process.

3. Post timelines and adhere to them.


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