The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW





4. Command and Control BOS

* Unit SOPs: Units have greatly improved their tactical SOPs. Techniques:

  1. Do not publish a new SOP within 60 days of a CTC rotation.
  2. Do not attempt to create a "Beat the OPFOR" SOP; concentrate on developing a warfighting SOP that functions regardless of the situation.

4.1.1 Communicate Information

* Communications, FM radio: Battalion TOC/TACs generally have effective FM radio communications because aggressive battalion signal officers work to "troubleshoot" all problems immediately upon receipt.

RESULT: functional communication systems.

* Employment, installation, operation, and maintenance of C3 assets: Brigade and battalion signal officers, communication sections, and the divisional signal units display strong motivation and the ability to sustain individual and collective task proficiency despite the rapid pace of operations and the demands of the task force.

* Communications, Intelligence personnel: Intelligence personnel are trained in the use of their organic communications systems. Employed communications systems had a high operational readiness rate.

RESULT: intelligence sections have the capability to pass information in a timely manner, keeping the S2 and the commander informed of the current enemy situation.

* Digital communications: Units demonstrate great skill in establishing and maintaining digital tactical and technical communications. SINCGARS proficiency and routine Home Station LTACFIRE training are producing effective results.

Technique: Continue to reinforce routine Home Station training involving digital communications between Fire Finder Radar (Q36), FA battalion FDC (LTACFIRE), Brigade FSO (LTACFIRE), DIVARTY (LTACFIRE), Bn FSO (FED) and Firing Battery (BCS). Analyze Mission

* Mission analysis: Battalion commanders and staff consistently do a mission analysis when they receive a new mission from higher headquarters.

4.3 Determine Actions

* Abbreviated planning process: Brigade commanders and staffs have incorporated procedures into their SOPs which facilitate staff planning and orders production on a compressed time schedule.


  1. Frequently commanders are directing the staff to proceed with work on a single course of action, thus ensuring that more time is spent on the planning and less on the deciding. This technique relies heavily on early and aggressive, quality METT-T mission analysis driven by an IPB that reflects a total staff effort.
  2. Multiple warning orders are used during parallel planning.
  3. Issue orders within the "1/3 - 2/3" time framework.
  4. Issue a warning order following the course of action decision brief; this gives subordinate commanders closer to 4/5 planning time.

4.4 Direct and Lead Subordinate Forces

* Junior leader initiative: Platoon and section level leader initiative has improved in the last two quarters. Decentralized missions and a rapidly changing battlefield situation causes junior leaders to execute missions based on a mission statement, commander's intent and little else. Platoon and section leaders have, with little or no guidance, coordinated with battalion commander's for passage of lines, conducted casualty evacuation, and conducted multiple unassisted vehicle recovery missions. Cross-talk between platoon leaders has also improved.

4.4.3 Provide Command Presence

* Battlefield circulation: Brigade commanders are conducting extensive battlefield circulation, thus greatly enhancing their ability to understand subordinate unit actions on the battlefield.

Techniques: designed to make results of battlefield circulation more timely and effective

  1. Devise a way to capture, then disseminate, the decisions made during the commander's trips and the discussions with subordinates in the battle area. The staff must be kept "in the loop" and advised of the commander's changing vision of the battlefield. Recommend using an alert recorder (assistant S3, CHEMO) to accompany the commander and to capture his evolving vision.
  2. Conduct a SYNCHEX: periodic rewargaming of the brigade plan by key staff and possibly subordinate unit representatives as a technique to ensure that all BOS are integrated and that timing issues are addressed based on the more detailed knowledge of terrain and battle space.
  3. Following the SYNCHEX, issue a FRAGO which succinctly captures refinements made to the original OPORD.

4.4.5 Synchronize Tactical Operations

* Unity of effort in signal plans: Collectively, brigade and battalion signal officers, as well as the divisional slice (company) understand their mission and coordinate closely to ensure a unity of effort in there signal plans.

Needs Emphasis

4.1 Acquire and Communicate Information and Maintain Status

* Information management: At brigade level, staff members are not collecting, processing, analyzing, disseminating and safeguarding information.

  1. Standardized tools have not been developed or are not being used to assist the staff in managing the immense amount of information that flows through the brigade command post.
  2. The Commander's Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) are not understood or updated by the battle staff, and therefore are not properly tracked and disseminated to subordinates.
  3. Staff update briefings take too much time because they have too much to put out, and as a result the briefings do not help focus the staff.
  4. Staff "huddles" are not structured or are not conducted in order to facilitate the timely exchange of information.


  1. At Home Station, exercise the battle staff at every opportunity.
  2. Limit the amount of time the staff members have to brief the commander. This forces them to provide only critical information.
  3. Practice conducting staff huddles to facilitate the timely exchange of critical information. This will also improve shift changes and commander updates.
  4. Develop and then use standardized tools to assist the battle staff in information management.
NOTE. refer to CALL Newsletter 95-7. Tactical Operations Center, May 95 for valuable techniques and examples of standardized information management products.

* TOC operations: Battalion TOCs are not organized and controlled to facilitate the exchange and analysis of information.

  1. TOC personnel do not enforce the duties and responsibilities listed in unit TACSOPs.
    RESULT: Routine tasks, such as map board posting, radio checks, and basic information flow are not always conducted and supervised.
  2. RTOS are frequently used to do other tasks.
    RESULT: The operations sergeant becomes an RTO and the battle captain has to do the ops sergeant's job, as well as his own.
  3. TOC standards are not enforced, ie. unnecessary equipment in the TOC; weapons and LBE placed any place available; sleeping in the TOC.
  4. TOCs frequently become too loud to work in effectively. Unnecessary personnel are in the TOC and are not controlled. TOC personnel feel the need to raise their voices to be heard.


  1. Use dedicated RTOs.
  2. Enforce TOC standards.
  3. Post information as it is received.
  4. Make sure charts display essential information in an easy to see/read format (particularly combat power).
  5. Have personnel perform the TACSOP duties as listed.
  6. Conduct CPXs, TOCEXs, etc. at Home Station to train TOC personnel and to exercise the C2 systems.
  7. Conduct AARs after each training exercise to learn from the mistakes made.

* Late arrival of C3 assets: Brigade C3 vehicles and divisional C3 assets in support of the brigade and its battalions are needed early on the battlefield. However, the combat operation expands more quickly than the communications assets will support. Unit C3 vehicles, FM retrans and MSE signal assets are normally planned for arrival within the first 18 to 24 hours. Actual arrival tends to be 32 to 72 hours after the initial introduction offorces (depending on prioriry and location of the equipment in the airflow).

RESULT: often signal integrity is lost, further depriving the commander of a robust, redundant, and survivable communications system.


  1. Cross load extended range antennas onto initial C3 vehicles.
  2. Advise the commander on where to integrate C3 assets into the airflow to match command and control requirements with force projection requirements.

Table of Contents
Section II: TA.3 Air Defense BOS Narratives
Section II: TA.4 Command and Control BOS Narratives, Part 2

Join the mailing list

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