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(Trends are numbered sequentially for cross-reference and are not in any priority order.)

Needs Emphasis

TREND 1: Command Post site location and displacement planning.

PROBLEM: Command post (CP) site location and displacement planning are not effectively integrated into the TF planning process


1. The TOC is not able to effectively command and control during critical points of the battle.

2. Command and control nodes are not able to support the TF, maintain situational awareness, effectively conduct predictive analysis nor make timely recommendations to the commander.


1. During the planning process, the staff must first identify where the critical points on the battlefield will be located. The staff then conducts backward planning to determine where the TOC must be located at that point to facilitate command and control.

2. Triggers/decision points must be developed to determine when the TOC moves to ensure that they are set during these critical points.

3. The TOC movement/displacement plan is not necessarily tied to the maneuver of the TF. EXAMPLE: The TOC does not have to move in the center of the TF formation; it may travel initially behind the lead company/team or along a route that was previously cleared by the scouts or other TF assets. The imperative is that it is set and ready to fight at these anticipated critical points.

(TA.4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status)

TREND 2: Non-mission capable (NMC) vehicle status reporting in the task force (TF).


1. There is inadequate communication between company maintenance teams chiefs and the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP)

2. There is seldom an established system or SOP to track vehicle damage during the battle and enforcement of the repair timeline for evacuation to the field trains.

RESULT: Confusion on status and location of non-mission capable (NMC) vehicles, which slows recovery and repair time.

Recommendation: Each TF must establish a reporting system to track vehicles damaged during the battle (see CALL Quarterly Bulletin 97-20, Battalion/TF Logistics).

(TA.4.1.2 Manage Means of Communicating Information)

TREND 3: Mechanized and armor company/team command information flow and battle tracking.


1. Mechanized and armor company/teams too often do not control the flow of information, process the information, and then apply the information to their upcoming fight.

2. The company/teams do not manage information received from higher headquarters and subordinate units. They frequently do not succeed when trying to use a "company CP":

  1. No single individual or shift coordinates actions in the CP.

  2. Communications with the task force (TF) are not maintained or rehearsed.

  3. Vital information is not processed.

  4. The commander does not identify his CCIR to enable collection of important information.

  5. SITMAP is not plotted and maintained with all pertinent data.

  6. The company preparation timeline is not tracked for adherence.

  7. Unit status of supply, personnel, and readiness (e.g., boresighting) are not tracked.


1. The company CP is now found in FM 71-1, Tank and Mechanized Infantry Company Team, on pages 2-53 and 2-54 (January 1998). Additional TTP for a company level CP or operations center are found in FM 17-97, Armored Cavalry Troop.

2. Company/teams can establish a CP of any configuration, but clear designation of what information needs to be tracked, and for what purpose, is critical.

3. Commanders should establish a timeline with their first WARNO. They must ensure that the TF timeline is adhered to and incorporated into the company timeline.

4. Unit SOPs should ensure that:

  1. all required steps to preparing for combat are listed.

  2. completion times are assigned.

  3. persons responsible for ensuring that each action is complete are identified.


1. CP personnel must maintain contact with subordinate elements and track progress of task completion.

2. The CP must track vital reports such as:

  1. enemy contact.

  2. current and proposed friendly locations of both adjacent units and subordinates elements.

  3. indirect fire requests and reports.

  4. strength reporting.

3. A tracking routine should be established.

  1. Shift supervisors must be able to routinely check the progress of battle tracking.

  2. The commander, XO, or 1SG must receive periodic updates on a situation map.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 4: Task force (TF) fire support element (FSE) situational awarenes.

PROBLEM: Units do not closely coordinate with adjacent units to exchange information on clearance of fires, transition of priority of fires (POF), or security/control measures.

RESULT: TF FSEs repeatedly experience difficulty maintaining situational awareness and conducting battle handover.


1. Close coordination between adjacent units is mandatory. This ensures that each unit fully understands how the other intends to operate. Coordination includes:

  1. Exchanging unit SOPs, target lists, and fire support plans.

  2. Exchanging front line trace and any control measures in effect.

  3. Coordinating recognition signals, security measures, and resolving any communications differences.

2. References: FM 6-20-30, FM 6-20-40, FM 71-3.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 5: Unit Maintenance Collection Point (UMCP) command post (CP) battle tracking.


1. UMCP CPs do not maintain current company/team positions on their tracking boards.

2. UMCP CPs do not update SITEMPs posted on their maps.


1. The UMCP CPs post current graphics/company positions and enemy situation on their map.

2. The CP NCOIC ensures that all recovery assets and personnel leaving the UMCP have the current graphic posted on a "take along" map.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 6: Field trains command post (FTCP) battle tracking.


1. The FTCP generally does not have an accurate and "up-to-date" picture of the task force (TF) mission and tactical situation.

2. Unit positions and status are not tracked in the FTCP during the battle.

3. The FTCP is unable to monitor the TF command net.

RESULT: The HHC commander is unable to anticipate logistical requirements based on the tactical situation.


1. The FTCP must receive and post TF operational and enemy situational overlays.

2. A method to track unit positions and status must be developed, posted, and updated as the battle progresses.

3. The FTCP must be able to monitor the TF command net through a retrans or relay element.

4. The HHC commander must anticipate logistical requirements (specifically Class III and V) and be prepared to provide these to the TF.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 7: Task force (TF) staffs and command posts (CPs) battle tracking. TF staffs/CPs do not effectively battle track during the planning and preparation phases of an operation.

PROBLEM: Task force (TF) tactical operations centers (TOCs) set up during planning and preparation for combat do not have a central nerve cell or an established tracking system to ensure critical tasks, events, or information are tracked.


1. Information is not shared, disseminated, and tracked by all the BOS elements.

2. Critical information concerning the R&S effort and "hard-intel" passed from brigade often never reach the S3, Battle Captain, or other BOS elements.

3. Commander's critical information requirements (CCIR) are not proactively tracked, inhibiting the staff's ability to accurately visualize the status of the TF to the commander in their preparation.


1. The chief of staff must identify what information he wants to track, establish how it will be tracked, and monitor his staff sections to ensure that it is tracked. End state: The commander can go to one source inside the TOC and quickly visualize the status of his TF in preparation for combat operations.

2. During planning and prep, TF TOCs should establish a central node similar to the one in place during the fight and track it with the same aggressiveness. This will enable the unit to prepare for combat and re-prioritize efforts (Battle Command-Seeing Ourselves).

3. Effective battle tracking begins with:

  1. the establishment of the TF timeline prior to mission analysis.

  2. the development of CCIR that must be tracked.

4. Units should develop SOPs for standardized missions at Home Station and implement or modify these tracking requirement based on METT-T.

5. CALL Newsletter 95-7 (Tactical Operations Center) provides some examples of standardized tracking methods and techniques.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 8: (LTP) Battalion Tactical Operation Center (TOC) dissemination of current enemy situation.

PROBLEM: S2 are tracking the battle at the battalion TOC; however, the current situation is not being disseminated down to the TAC CP and companies.

Technique: Place command emphasis in dissemination of current enemy situation to TAC CPs and line companies.

(TA.4.1.3 Maintain Information and Force Status)

TREND 9: (LTP) Risk management.

PROBLEM: Risk management is not occurring during the planning process. The task force (TF) is not identifying and assessing risks for an operation.

Technique: The TF commander and XO must emphasize risk management during the planning process.

(TA.4.2 Assess Situation)

TREND 10: (LTP) Company/team commanders' situational awareness.

PROBLEM: Company/team commanders often fail to develop the situation when they make contact. A lack of adequate reporting by subordinates negatively affects the company/team commander's situational awareness.


1. The company/team is unable to move in and out of contact.

2. The company/team cannot react to contact.

3. The company/team cannot clearly report what is happening to higher.


1. For the company/team commanders to make timely decisions on the battlefield, the subordinates must know how to completely and adequately report what is developing and make recommendations for the appropriate actions/reactions.

2. All members of a unit, including elements that are or can be attached, must be knowledgeable of and thoroughly trained in the proper reporting format (by SOP) and its contents, and have a basic understanding of the appropriate Army doctrine and how this is applied to the current situation.

3. The company/team commanders must train their platoons at Home Station on SOP reporting formats. At a minimum the platoons should know how to:

  1. Move tactically in and out of contact.

  2. React to contact.

  3. Assess the situation quickly.

  4. Make clearly understood recommendations to the commander in order to maintain the initiative and preserve freedom of action on the battlefield.

(TA.4.2 Assess Situation)

TREND 11: (LTP) Engineer Battlefield Assessment (EBA).

PROBLEM: Assistant Brigade Engineers (ABE) and engineer battalion S3s do not fully understand the Engineer Battlefield Assessment (EBA).

  1. The engineer battalion S3 and ABE rarely develop an engineer estimate/EBA that can be used in conjunction with the S2's Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) prior to mission analysis.

  2. Most ABE's simply assist with the development of the MCOO (Modified Combined Obstacle Overlay) and portions of the enemy and friendly situation.

Procedure: FM 5-71-3 (Brigade Engineer Combat Operations) (Armored) lays out specific requirements for the development of the EBA. Chapter two of the FM states that the EBA consists of three parts:

  1. terrain analysis.

  2. enemy mission and M/S capabilities.

  3. friendly mission and M/S capabilities.

All three must be analyzed. Therefore, the EBA process must begin immediately following the receipt of the Division's warning order (WARNO). The significance of a timely EBA cannot be overstated as it becomes a basis for the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield.

(TA.4.2.1 Review Current Situation )

TREND 12: Engineer force development of decision points for changing situations. Engineer commanders and staffs rarely develop decision points with supporting criteria that will ensure continued support to the brigade throughout fluid combat operations.

PROBLEM: Because brigade combat missions are dynamic, the engineer unit's task and purpose change constantly. Corresponding changes to task organization and/or priorities are often required. Commanders and staffs cannot anticipate all possible situations, but are often issuing incomplete and inadequately synchronized FRAGOs as a means of adapting their units to the changing combat situations.

RESULT: The FRAGO method usually results in a loss of momentum at the brigade level and creates difficulties in command, control, and support for the executing unit.

Technique: Commanders and staffs develop clear decision points with pre-established plans to accomplish the identified task as part of the brigade decision making process to allow subordinate units to plan, prepare, and execute the mission to standard.

(TA.4.2.3 Decide on Need for Action or Change)

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