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SUBJECT: Reconnaissance and Surveillance Plan Development and Execution

Observation frequency:1-2QFY963-4QFY961-2QFY973-4QFY971-2QFY98


OBSERVATION 1: Task Force (TF) S2s and assistant S2s continue their role as the only planners in the R&S effort. (TA.5.1)


1. Leaving the TF S2 to develop the R&S plan by himself results in a product that lacks integration and synchronization.

2. Fire integration, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and task and purpose are often left out.

3. NAIs are often not prioritized; infiltration routes and OP repositioning plans are not addressed.

4. Weak PIRs are not linked to NAIs.

5. Scouts are often sent out late without an enemy SITEMP. Most TFs only provide the scouts with an R&S matrix, frequently giving inaccurate start and stop times.

OBSERVATION 2: Task forces often task only scout platoon assets for R&S execution. (TA.5.1)


1. As the rotation progresses, the scout platoon is tasked to conduct either reconnaissance or surveillance on a constant basis.

2. Some missions may require a larger number of assets to cover NAIs than the scout platoon can provide.

3. Little consideration is given to allowing time to rest, conduct rehearsals, or perform maintenance.

4. No other elements are tasked to replace or augment the scout platoon mission.

5. METT-T is not taken into consideration when executing the R&S plan.

6. The scout platoon is over-tasked and unable to maintain the level of readiness required to achieve the R&S mission.

OBSERVATION 3: Brigade staffs rarely think of R&S as a continuous process. (TA.5.1)


1. When brigade staffs plan the R&S effort in support of a mission, they rarely identify R&S as a continuous process.

2. Once R&S assets are in place, the staff rarely follows-up to ensure collectors provide the information that they were tasked to provide.

3. When the brigade issues the R&S order, subordinate units are rarely tasked to provide their plans back to the brigade to be deconflicted.

4. Major issues such as terrain management, identification of gaps or conflicts in collection tasks, and verification of surveillance coverage are not readily identified or resolved prior to R&S execution.

OBSERVATION 4: Although reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) planning is fundamentally sound at the task force (TF) level, TFs do not follow-up with the brigade on many R&S issues during the later stages of R&S planning and preparation. (TA.5.1)


1. TFs seldom plan for air movement for the COLTs that were OPCON to them.

2. TFs seldom plan for the employment of ground surveillance radar (GSR) in their zone.

3. TFs still have difficulty with terrain management in their area of operation (AO). They often do not verify exact locations of brigade assets in their AOs.

OBSERVATION 5: Engineer efforts in support of R&S are normally inadequate. (TA.5.1)


1. The engineer battalion rarely plays a major part in the brigade's R&S planning.

2. Proposed locations for the assets going forward, i.e., COLTs, scouts, C2, ADA, IEW etc., are not addressed by the engineers.

3. A relationship between the assistant battalion engineer (ABE) and the R&S planning cell is rarely established.

4. When engineers accompany task force (TF) scouts or COLTs on a collection mission, they normally cross the forward line of own troops (FLOT) with minimal guidance.

OBSERVATION 6: Situation Templates (SITEMPs) are often not available for use in R&S Planning. (TA.5.3.4)


1. Task forces (TFs) are not able to distinguish between possible infiltration and required infiltration, the latter being necessary to achieve the reconnaissance objective.

2. TFs repeatedly underestimate the enemy's commitment to counter-reconnaissance.

3. There is a lack of understanding of planning factors for reconnaissance, resulting in unrealistic expectations.

4. HMMWV scouts frequently select or are given routes right through enemy security zone positions.


OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of Observation 1, 3-4QFY97)

OBSERVATION 2: Task force and squadron S2s, S3s, and commanders continue to have difficulty planning and supervising R&S operations. (TA.5.1)


1. Task force staffs tend to lack an appreciation for the technical abilities of the unit's assets and the force protection and sustainment requirements for R&S operations.

2. Units over-task by superimposing repetitive and redundant collection requirements.

3. The S2's R&S efforts are not coordinated with the staff, to include adjacent and higher headquarters. This lack of coordination often leads to the loss of lives and poorly executed or unsuccessful plans.

4. Although task force S2s adequately identify intelligence requirements, the staffs are unable to identify and manage all available assets.

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of Observation 4, 3-4Q97)

OBSERVATION 4: (Repeat of Observation 5, 3-4Q97)

for R&S Plan Development and Execution

1. TFs should think of R&S as a combat operation and produce their plan with the same detail as an OPORD, written by the S3 with input from all staff elements.

2. The S2 should include the enemy SITEMP in the R&S order for timely receipt of this information by the scouts.

3. Train other infantry platoon elements to augment or replace the scout platoon according to METT-T. All mechanized infantry squads, sections, or platoons should be capable of such a mission.

4. Assess the scout platoon readiness level when developing the R&S plan.

a. If the organic scout platoon is not at a readiness level to complete the mission, then additional trained assets should be tasked for the mission.

b. If the NAI coverage requirements for a particular mission exceed the scout platoon's capabilities, task other assets to augment the reconnaissance force.

5. The brigade must address R&S as a continuous operation for all phases of the mission.

6. The brigade must deconflict and integrate R&S plans into a finished brigade product; therefore, they must task subordinate units to submit their plans to the brigade.

7. The brigade must supervise the subordinate units' assigned tasks. Brigade XOs, Battle Captains, staff members, and command post (CP) personnel must be trained to support and supervise the R&S operation.

8. TFs should plan R&S operations as they would a combat operation with continuous refinement during planning, preparation, and execution.

9. The ABE should assertively participate as a key player during R&S planning.

10. Engineer terrain products that support the R&S plan should be produced, and when engineers are to accompany TF scouts or COLTs on a collection mission, engineer-specific NAIs should be developed and refined.

11. Consider using dismounted scouts when infiltration is required to achieve the reconnaissance objective. Because the scope and sustainability of dismounted operations are limited, OPFOR security forces should be identified and destroyed before conducting a dismounted infiltration. This will open a lane for the reconnaissance force to penetrate the enemy's security zone.

12. Bradley-equipped scouts are better suited for the reconnaissance mission. Scouts should be carried by Bradleys or escorted in their HMMWVs by Bradleys to a dismount point in order to be in position to observe the enemy's defensive preparation.

13. Integrate mission analysis products into R&S planning to allow battlefield calculus to determine the required composition of the reconnaissance force.

14. Task force commanders and S3s must recognize their role in R&S planning and supervision. This will allow task force and squadron S2s time to analyze reconnaissance data and recommend redirection of collection efforts.

15. If task force S2s are on the "blame line" for planning and supervising R&S operations, it is essential that they receive all required protection and sustainment support, and have full authority to execute fire missions, etc., required for success.


SUBJECT: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) Process and Application

Observation frequency:1-2QFY963-4QFY961-2QFY973-4QFY971-2QFY98


OBSERVATION 1: Task force (TF) staffs routinely omit or do not integrate the air portion of the IPB during the TF planning process. (TA.5.2.1)


1. Most S2s integrate air avenues in the SITEMP, but few conduct a detailed air threat analysis.

2. The most likely COA for enemy air is rarely identified. As a result, the TF commander, staff, and company commanders gain little appreciation for the enemy air threat and capabilities.

3. Air defense plans are oriented on unit movement instead of concentrating available assets to defeat the air threat.

4. The TF commander's guidance to the air defense officers (ADOs) is ambiguous and unfocused (for example, "ADA: protect the force").

OBSERVATION 2: Air Defense Officers (ADO) have a tendency to wait until the brigade receives the formal order from Division before they begin the aerial IPB process. (TA.5.2.1)


1. ADOs rarely develop an aerial IPB based on the initial warning order (WARNO), and for this reason, the brigade ADO's aerial portion of the IPB is rarely developed prior to mission analysis.

2. The ADA BOS rarely incorporates the ADA third dimension analysis into the maneuver S2's IPB prior to COA development.


OBSERVATION 1: (Repeat of Observation 1, 3-4QFY97)

OBSERVATION 2: Engineer battalions seldom define the battlefield environment in the brigade intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB). (TA.5.2.1)


1. Engineer battalions rarely conduct an engineer terrain analysis during IPB.

2. An inability to "see" the terrain severely restricts the brigade's ability to understand the battlefield situation.

OBSERVATION 3: (Repeat of Observation 2, 3-4QFY97)

OBSERVATION 4: Mechanized task force staffs are not developing IPBs with sufficient detail. (TA.5.3)


1. IPB products do not provide the task force commander with sufficient information about the terrain and use of the terrain by friendly and enemy forces.

2. Little emphasis is placed on developing a viable IPB prior to mission analysis. The result is a flawed commander's guidance that puts little emphasis on the terrain in the area of operations and no emphasis on the terrain in the area of interest.

3. Task force XOs and S3s do not require that each staff member participate in the IPB process. Instead, the entire IPB mission is normally given to the most inexperienced member of the staff.the S2. Even if the S2 understands OPFOR tactics and techniques, he has neither the time nor resources to produce all the required products.

4. The fire support officers are seldom involved in the IPB; the targeting process is usually not included.

5. Staffs do not analyze weather. Weather conditions are usually given in the mission analysis brief as a "weather forecast."

6. Staffs do not analyze terrain; state whether each terrain feature has a positive or negative effect on the mission, or develop threat models based upon the terrain.

7. Staffs do not come to LTP or the NTC with the products to complete a good assessment of the threat.

a. Few staffs create and bring with them different threat models based upon terrain and missions.

b. Few staffs identify high value targets (HVTs) and where/when they will appear on the battlefield.

c. Few staffs develop possible enemy COAs based upon the terrain and OPFOR doctrine, or SITEMPs for those COAs, prior to arrival at NTC.

d. Units do not develop operational control graphics until late in the planning process. Operational graphics usually do not support flexibility and simplicity based upon possible enemy actions, reactions, or counteractions.

8. Commander's guidance is normally weak and very general. Few understand the tactical necessity of a thorough IPB, and base their guidance on a faulty mission analysis brief that is lacking in a detailed analysis of the enemy and terrain.

for Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) Process and Application

1. The S2 should draw on the ADO for expertise on enemy air threat capabilities. Begin by referring to FM 34-130, Appendix C, reference the three dimensional IPB.

2. The air associated IPB cannot be treated separately. It must be used to show the synergy of air and ground threats.

3. During the mission analysis, the air threat must be briefed to the TF commander up front. This allows the commander to "see" critical points on the battlefield where the unit is most vulnerable to air attack. The commander can then prioritize ADA coverage IAW the threat and his intent/maneuver scheme. ADA assets will be positioned to defeat the air threat while the force postures to take active or passive air defense measures.

4. A standard 1:250,000 map should be used to conduct a detailed analysis of the terrain and refined using a 1:50,000 map.

5. The air IPB should include:

a. Key Terrain:
- Airfields
- LAS and DZ
- Choke Points

b. Air Avenues:
- Type of Aircraft
- Max Ceiling
- Attack Profile
- Weapon Systems
- Target to be Attacked

c. Weather:
- Visibility
- Wind Speed and Direction
- Precipitation
- Cloud Cover
- Temperature

d. Threat Evaluation:
- Enemy Aircraft/Missile
- Air Order of Battle
- Aircraft Capabilities
- Ordnance
- Tactical Flight Doctrine
- Priorities of Attack
- Command and Control

e. Threat Integration:
- Air Avenues of Approach
- Determine best use terrain given aircrafts' own capabilities and attack profile.

f. Event Template:
- Aerial NAIs
- Terrain constraints on air avenue to potential target
- Decision Support Template

g. Decision Support Template:
- Air Avenues
- Airborne and Air Assault Objectives
- LZs and DZs
- Ranges of enemy systems
- Aerial TAIs
- Decision points

6. References: FM 34-130, IPB, Appendix C; FM 44-43, BSFV Platoon and Squad Operations; FM 44-64, FAAD Battalion and Battery Operations; TRADOC PAM 350-16, Heavy OPFOR Doctrine.

7. The aerial IPB results in a predictive analysis of when and where the brigade will most likely see enemy air. Appendix A of FM 44-100, Air Defense Operations, specifically addresses the aerial IPB process. It emphasizes that the aerial IPB is a time consuming process that is an integral part of the IPB process.

8. The ADO's development of the aerial portion of the IPB must begin immediately following receipt of the division's warning order (WARNO).

9. The air (aerial) IPB must be a part of the brigade combat team's (BCT's) enemy situational template (SITEMP).

10. The brigade S2, battalion S2 and assistant battalion engineer (ABE) should begin the IPB process prior to deployment to the theater. Develop the following items prior to deployment:

a. Modified combined obstacle overlay (MCOO).

b. Analysis of time and distance in mobility corridors.

c. Engineer threat model, to include threat mines.

11. Further refine the initial IPB estimates that were developed at Home Station during reception, staging, and onward movement, and integration (RSO&I) and combat operations.

12. Task force staffs must prepare for their NTC rotation at Home Station. This includes developing threat templates/models and doing a thorough terrain analysis of each corridor.

a. A simple MCOO does not provide the necessary detail.

b. The terrain at the NTC is not going to change, and the way the enemy fights will change very little. The missions will remain somewhat similar to those in the past. With the advent of terrain analysis computer programs, units can assemble a detailed library of the NTC terrain.

13. The complete staff can accomplish a large portion of any mission analysis prior to their arrival at NTC. Staffs have access to factual information and they certainly have the ability to make assumptions. Some suggested techniques follow:

a. Task force engineers should accomplish a detailed terrain analysis of each NTC corridor using computer programs. Early identification of advantageous terrain is critical. This procedure must include identification of inter-visibility lines that can provide a platoon fire and maneuver advantage. The same procedure can be used to develop observation plans and enhance the effects of all BOS.

b. S2s should develop threat models based upon the different missions that occur at the NTC. Those models must be related to the terrain in the different corridors. The models could then be transferred to templates, which could provide staffs with enemy COAs and lessen the time required to produce a good SITEMP.

c. Task force S3s can develop flexible but simple operational control graphics. Each unit can tailor those graphics to fit a specific mission. It would also provide a common base from which other graphics could be tailored to the scenario.

d. Air defense officers (ADOs) can easily identify air corridors by doing a Home Station terrain analysis of each corridor.

e. High-value target (HVT) lists can be produced at Home Station and incorporated into threat models. Planned position areas (PAs) can be templated based upon the existing models.

f. Task force commanders should develop a detailed commander's guidance checklist. The commander cannot expect to provide precise guidance based upon a 30-minute mission analysis brief. He must have assistance in this endeavor. A good checklist can provide that assistance.

g. S2s must understand the effects of weather in relation to the terrain, enemy, and mission. The effects of the sun, wind, inversion times, etc., are critical at certain times and in certain locations. The S2 must explain the advantages and disadvantages of the predicted conditions.
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