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Chapter 3

Patriot Battalion Planning

This chapter describes air and missile defense planning as a top-down, interactive process that involves joint and Army units operating within a theater. It summarizes the planning performed at each echelon, then describes the Patriot battalion planning process and TF planning for the Patriot and TF operations, including the use of automated planning in development of the defense design.


3-1. AMD planning involves joint, multinational, and Army units including the joint forces command, service or functional component commands, Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), the corps, the ADA brigades, the Patriot battalions, and batteries. At each level of command, planning begins with the receipt of a mission from higher headquarters and culminates in the issuance of an operations plan, which provides planning direction to subordinate commands. The designation "plan" is usually used instead of "order" in preparing for operations well in advance. An operation plan may be put into effect at a prescribed time, or on signal, it then becomes the operation order.

3-2. AMD planning is performed concurrently at all echelons, a process known as "parallel planning." Figure 3-1 shows the planning process performed at each echelon as well as the planning products exchanged between echelons. This planning is summarized in the paragraphs below.

Figure 3-1. AMD Planning Process

Figure 3-1. AMD Planning Process

Figure 3-1. AMD Planning Process (Continued)

Figure 3-1. AMD Planning Process (Continued)


3-3. The joint forces commander (JFC) is responsible for providing the guidance, priorities, tasking, and concept of operations to subordinate commanders. The JFC and his staff develop an OPLAN that describes the mission, situation (including IPB), concept of operations, and tasks that must be accomplished to effectively execute defensive counterair operations. After the OPLAN has been issued, an operational order is then developed. The OPORD is a directive issued by a commander to subordinate commanders for the purpose of effecting the coordinated execution of an operation. The OPORD identifies critical assets that must be protected and levels of protection required. These assets are identified in the defended asset list (DAL), a prioritized listing of assets by operational phase. The OPORD also describes command and support relationships and provides coordinating instructions and rules of engagement for both TMs and hostile aircraft.

3-4. DAL development is an interactive process that involves subordinate commands. After reviewing the initial DAL, subordinate commanders and their staffs may nominate additional assets for inclusion in the DAL. The JFC and his staff may incorporate one or more nominees and issue an updated (re-prioritized) DAL, which then becomes the basis for AMD planning and defense design.

3-5. Other critical planning guidance provided by joint force planners includes the airspace control order (ACO) and the air tasking order (ATO). The ACO implements the airspace control plan, and provides the details of the approved request for airspace control measures. The ATO provides alert states, and the rules of engagement (ROE) for all air defense units. The ATO also provides specific instructions for tasking forces/capabilities/sorties to specific missions and targets. The ATO normally addresses the alert states. The ACO is part of the ATO, although it may be transmitted separately. Both are provided to all subordinate echelons of command. All components of the ACO and the ATO should be included in the planning process to give commanders and staff a complete understanding of the air battle.


3-6. The service and functional component commander (for example, Army Forces Commander [ARFOR] or Joint Forces Land Component Commander [JFLCC] or the Joint Forces Air Component Commander [JFACC]) reviews the JFC's OPORD, including the mission, situation, concept of operation, tasks, DAL, and other pertinent information. The JFC will normally task the JFACC and AADC to develop the DAL with input from all components. Part of the planning process along with the DAL will contain the levels of engagement effectiveness needed to protect defended assets. See Chapter 5 for a description of each level of defense. The role of the JFACC and AADC is to provide centralized direction, coordination, and integration for counterair operation capabilities.

3-7. The JFC defines the JFACC's authority and responsibilities, which may include, but are not limited to, planning, coordinating, allocating, and tasking for joint civil affairs operations based on the JFC's concept of operations and air apportionment decisions.

3-8. JFACC or AADC staff planners develop and distribute a rough first-order air defense plan (ADP) to the components. The role of the AADC is synchronizing land-based air and missile operations. With input from other components, the staff then produces an operation's plan or OPORD conveying the JFC's strategic and operational objectives but focusing on the service and functional component area of operations. The threat composition must be evaluated in the planning process to determine the objective. The OPORD is then sent to subordinate commands, which include the AAMDC and corps.


3-9. The AAMDC has overall responsibility for planning Army AMD operations in support of the ARFOR commander or JFLCC. Planners review the assigned mission, critical assets to be protected, the enemy situation, and the composition and disposition of AMD resources available to protect critical assets against the known threat. This is based on the IPB process. They then perform a top-level defense laydown to estimate if available AMD resources can adequately protect critical assets. If required, levels of protection cannot be achieved; additional resources are requested from the service or functional component commander (or the commander is advised of the risk to forces or assets). See Figure 3-1 for responsibilities of each echelon.

3-10. Based on this planning, the AAMDC task organizes the subordinate EAC brigade(s) and assigns missions to the brigade(s). If the AAMDC is not present in theater, the responsibility for this planning falls to an EAC ADA brigade. To ensure the overall Army AMD effort within the theater is coordinated and synchronized, the AAMDC must coordinate planning with the corps and corps ADA brigades.


3-11. Corps planners perform essentially the same planning functions and produce the same planning products as the AAMDC planners, except the focus is on protecting maneuver forces and critical assets within the corps AO. Because the corps lacks robust automated AMD planning capabilities, it relies upon the subordinate ADA brigade to perform most of the AMD planning, including development of the AMD annex to the corps operations plan. In developing the AMD annex, the brigade uses its organic planning capabilities and may leverage those of subordinate Patriot battalions as well.

3-12. Based on this planning, the corps task organizes the subordinate ADA brigade and assigns the mission to the brigade. It also coordinates with the AAMDC to ensure the corps effort is integrated and synchronized with the theater Army's AMD effort.


3-13. The brigade commander and his staff review the OPORD received from higher headquarters, including the mission, situation, concept of operation, tasks, AD priorities and other information. He and his staff then produce an operations plan that describes how tactical operations in the brigade AO will be carried out. This plan includes the restated mission, tasks to be performed, resources to be allocated, assets to be protected, number of FUs needed to protect assets, and coordination and control measures to be followed.

3-14. The number of fire units needed to defend an asset can be determined by using the DAL and the levels of engagement effectiveness prescribed by the JFC. Critical assets are posted to a database/overlay, and provided to subordinate battalions along with the OPORD.


3-15. The focus of battalion planning is to produce a detailed defense design that protects forces and critical assets with required levels of protection. The battalion planning process is depicted in Figure 3-2. The diagram shows how the TCS is part of the MDMP. The defense design is accomplished using automated planning capabilities resident in the TCS. The TCS provides the battalion commander and staff with organized workspace to support defense planning with automated decision aids, real-time situation awareness, and initialization of the battalions' weapon systems.

Figure 3-2. Patriot Battalion Planning Process

Figure 3-2. Patriot Battalion Planning Process

3-16. For each step, battalion planners require specific information inputs to accomplish the planning function(s). These inputs are listed on the left side of the figure. As each step is completed, specific planning products are produced. These products, or outputs, are listed on the right side of the figure. The steps must be performed in sequence to produce an accomplished mission with a defense design plan that adequately protects forces and assets. A description of the planning process highlighting principal planning functions for each step is provided in the paragraphs to follow.


3-17. After the mission is received over the TCS from brigade, the battalion commander directs his staff to begin gathering mission essential tasks, facts, estimates, situation templates, weapon's status, availability of support, and possible obstacles needed to discuss the mission in depth. The battalion commander makes rapid assessment and gives the staff a restated mission and sufficient guidance needed to begin the planning process. Based on the commander's guidance, the staff develops a warning order designed to notify subordinate units of the impending mission. After information is gathered, the staff conducts an initial METT-TC analysis using the TCS. This analysis determines—

  • The mission (task and purpose).

  • The enemy (unit, size, and type).

  • The area of operations (required movement, and starting time).

  • The attachments and detachments (who, and when).

  • The time available (time for further planning and when to issue the warning order, FRAGO, or OPORD).

Warning Order #1

3-18. The warning order (WARNO) identifies the type of AMD operation, its general location, the associated time lines, and any movement, deployment, or reconnaissance that must be initiated. Upon the commander's approval, the WARNO is sent to subordinate units and mission analysis begins with an initial restated mission.


3-19. The battalion commander and staff, read and analyze the OPORD so that they completely understand the brigade commander's intent. The staff uses the TCS to conduct an intelligence preparation of the battlefield to determine and evaluate friendly and enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities, and possible course of actions. A detailed description of the Patriot IPB process is provided in Appendix D.


3-20. The staff also determines the specified, implied, and essential tasks required to accomplish the mission. Specified tasks are delineated in the OPORD. Implied tasks are tasks that must be performed in order to accomplish the specified tasks, but are not stated in the brigade or higher headquarter's order. Essential tasks are those tasks that must be executed in order to accomplish the mission. The essential tasks are derived from the list of specified and implied tasks.

Commander's Initial Assessment

3-21. The commander's initial assessment of tactical risk not only has importance in COA development, but also can affect the constraints and the accidental risk to soldiers and equipment. Such areas as movement procedures, timelines, air defense primary target lines, and missile distribution will ultimately be addressed when comparing tactical risk between COAs. An initial assessment of these areas at this point will provide the staff with insight during COA development and comparison.

3-22. Acting upon initial guidance, the staff carefully reviews available AMD assets. The staff can use the TCS to review the current number and type of fire units, the battalion's maintenance posture, the personnel/critical MOS shortages, and any supply issues that may require additional resources for mission success. Although largely derived from staff estimates and current unit reporting, the commander and staff analyze the assets and the list of tasks to ensure the battalion can conduct all specified and implied tasks. Any limitations are immediately brought to the commander's attention.

3-23. The staff next determines constraints on the commander's freedom to maneuver, and identifies critical facts and assumptions pertinent to the overall operation. The commander and staff should be aware of any assumptions that the ADA brigade has made in developing the order that the battalion has received. The staff also conducts a risk assessment.

Critical Information Requirements

3-24. The staff determines the commander's critical information requirements. Initial CCIRs during mission analysis are those things that help support the commander's initial decision on which course of action to choose. Additional information requirements (IRs) support the commander's battlefield visualization and set a baseline for reporting from subordinate units. These include priority intelligence requirements (PIRs), friendly force information requirements (FFIRs), and essential elements of friendly information (EEFI). The PIRs include critical information that must be known about the enemy. The FFIRs include critical information that must be known about friendly forces. The EEFIs include critical information about friendly forces that must be withheld from the enemy. These CCIRs will have to be refined once a COA is decided on to support the decision points identified in the COA. The number of CCIRs should not be extraordinarily high. Selected CCIRs should be carefully chosen so that every leader in the battalion will know and act upon them expeditiously.

3-25. The staff also develops the initial reconnaissance annex. Unlike maneuver units, Patriot battalions do not maintain organic reconnaissance units. Instead, the S2 must rely on higher intelligence sections such as AAMDC G2 and corps reconnaissance assets that are searching for enemy air and missile threats. However, the S2 must still develop named areas of interest (NAIs) and compare information with higher intelligence—especially if those NAIs are designated by higher intelligence and impact upon the battalion's operation.

Battalion Timeline

3-26. During mission analysis, the commander and staff update the battalion timeline, reexamining all aspects of time in terms of what is required to accomplish the essential tasks. The most critical aspect of the timeline is getting orders to subordinate units to give them the maximum time for execution. The staff compares the battalion's timeline with that of the ADA brigade, and considers parallel planning and its impact upon the battalion staff, and subordinate units. The battalion XO and the S3 works together to ensure the battalion timeline do not disrupt the flow of current operations. More importantly, the battalion S3 and S2 compare the battalion timeline with possible enemy timelines (from the developing situational template narratives). This is required to ensure that the intelligence and operational timelines match the same definition of H-hour. Finally, the battalion S3 staff writes down critical battle times and critical events (to include staff times, briefs, rehearsals, etcetera), and disseminates this information (preferably in warning order #2), transferred digitally down to the battery level to the BCP.

3-27. The battalion S3 then reviews the essential tasks and prepares the restated mission. The revised mission statement indicates the purpose of the mission and identifies the force structure that will be used to conduct the mission (example, a task force or battalion minus, etcetera). It also specifies the type of action to be undertaken (example, TBM, aircraft, or mixed defense); the area of operations, and the time the operation is expected to begin.

Mission Analysis Briefing

3-28. The staff then conducts a mission analysis briefing to the commander that summarizes the results of the mission analysis. This briefing includes a review of the higher echelon unit's mission statements and the battalion commander's initial guidance. It summarizes the initial IPB products, specified, implied, and essential tasks, operational constraints, forces available, hazards and risks, recommended initial CCIRs, recommended timelines, CVRT matrix, and the recommended restated mission. The TCS is used to deliver this information to the commander.

3-29. Upon conclusion of the briefing, the commander may approve the restated mission. He can modify or choose a mission statement that he has developed. Once approved, the restated mission is the battalion's mission.

Commander's Intent

3-30. The commander then prepares his intent statement, which states the key tasks the battalion must accomplish in order to successfully complete the mission. Examples of key tasks are: the operation's tempo, duration, effect on the enemy, and the degree to which assets will be defended.

3-31. The commander issues guidance that focuses on the essential tasks supporting the mission. The staff in turn, uses this guidance in developing possible COAs. The commander may also begin to identify decisive points and the amount of combat power whether in terms of FUs, control, or missile usage against the enemy air threat at specified times. The commander's guidance usually addresses—

  • Specific COAs, both friendly and enemy (for example, most likely and most dangerous).

  • CCIRs.

  • Reconnaissance/RSOP.

  • Risk guidance.

  • Deception guidance.

  • Battlefield specific guidance.

  • Force protection guidance.

  • Priorities for maintenance and support operations.

  • Time plan changes.

  • Orders guidance.

  • Rehearsal guidance.

Warning Order #2

3-32. The staff then issues the second warning order, which contains—

  • Restated mission.

  • Commander's intent.

  • AO (sketch, overlay, and other description).

  • CCIRs.

  • S2 templates,narratives, and other IPB products as necessary.

  • Risk guidance.

  • Reconnaissance/RSOP guidance.

  • Force protection guidance.

  • Deception guidance.

  • Specific priorities.

  • Timelines (to include battle and events).

  • Rehearsal guidance.


3-33. Upon completion of the mission analysis, the staff begins developing COAs. Courses of action are developed using the TCS located in the battalion TOC. COAs include support requirements, type of support used, and designation of the main attack, supporting attack and reserve forces. The TCS has the capability to plan and analyze defense design for, TBM defense, aircraft defense, and communication. After these COAs are made, they provide essential elements for the overall analysis of the defense design. Acceptable COAs not only provide coverage for all assets, but they also are flexible enough to allow the battalion and batteries to execute quick responses and adjust coverages in the event of equipment outages or enemy activities. COA development involves analyzing relative combat power, generating options, arraying initial forces, developing the scheme of maneuver, assigning headquarters, and preparing COA statements and sketches. When developing COAs the following criteria should be examined:

  • Suitability.

  • Feasibility.

  • Acceptability.

  • Distinguishability.

  • Completeness.

3-34. Patriot battalions must first correlate their forces against enemy capabilities. Information about the enemy is input into the tactical planner workstation (TPW). This is used to develop the defense design plan. Note: There are two consoles within the TCS, the tactical planner workstation and the air and missile defense workstation (AMDWS).

COA Options

3-35. Because there is usually insufficient time to examine every possible enemy COA, the commander normally limits COA development to the most likely COA that the S2 has templated. The commander's guidance may require the staff to develop options based upon certain aspects of the S2's most effective COA, and incorporate those options into one or all friendly COAs.

3-36. In order to develop the COA sketch, the staff must visually determine the decisive point in the AMD operation. For Patriot battalions, the decisive point is when and where the battalion will provide air defense coverage to designated assets in relation to enemy air and missile attacks. The decisive point is also related to the commander's endstate, or desired outcome of his intent.

3-37. To determine the distribution of FUs and lay the foundation of the air defense scheme at the decisive point, the battalion staff reviews the restated mission, the higher commander's intent and guidance; the AAAs and TBM launch locations, and the enemy COAs (sit temps/narratives, including the most dangerous COAs if time permits).

3-38. The staff then considers the type of missions for FUs, and in the case of force projection, the minimum number of engagement packages needed. The staff uses CVRT and the TCS to determine exactly what assets are affected and when and how much combat power each must have for protection. This initial array identifies the total number of FUs needed, as well as possible critical resource requirements such as missile types, numbers, and distribution. If the number of FUs arranged at the decisive point is greater than the number available or able to arrive in theater, the shortfall is identified as a possible requirement for additional resources such as MEPs or Patriot missile types. See Appendix F for a description of the basic MEP.

Scheme of Maneuver

3-39. The staff then develops the scheme of maneuver, which describes how arrayed FUs will accomplish the commander's intent. The scheme of maneuver is the central expression of the commander's concept for operations and governs the design of supporting plans or annexes. For the Patriot battalion, it is the concept for the defense design, and will become the COA statement. The scheme of maneuver addresses—

  • Purpose of the operation.

  • Where the commander will accept tactical risk.

  • Identification of critical events and phases of the operation.

  • Task and purpose (priority of engagement [PE] and priority of protection [PP]).

  • Maintenance and support operations.

  • Movement reconnaissance.

  • Force protection operations.

  • Command and control.

Layout of Fire Units

3-40. The staff next assigns the headquarters' element to the groupings of FUs. Although this sounds relatively simple, the battalion may deploy over wide distances, where two groupings of C2 are required. In addition, a grouping of FUs may have to conduct fire unit to fire unit operations under a master battery. FUs may act autonomously or independently during the decisive point. The Patriot battalion may even act as a task force, incorporating such units as THAAD, Avenger/Stinger, and force protection slices from infantry, military police, or host nation security elements.

Sketches and Statements

3-41. The staff now completes a sketch and statement for each COA under the supervision of the battalion S3. Each COA sketch/statement should clearly portray how the battalion will accomplish the mission and explain the air defense scheme of maneuver. The TCS helps develop the COA sketch. The sketch should include—

  • Maneuver unit boundaries (exactly who "owns" the land Patriot forces will be moving and operating from).

  • Forward edge of the battle area (FEBA), LD/LC, and any phase lines.

  • TBM brigades, battalions, or launch locations.

  • AAAs, to include air bases if available.

  • Known or suspected enemy SOF/terrorist locations.

  • Maneuver graphics that might affect the conduct of Patriot operations (such as assembly areas, battle positions, strong points, engagement areas, and objectives).

  • FUs, MEPs, maintenance, and C2 units.

  • TBM range fans to include secondary target line (STL) coverage and tailored search.

  • CSS graphics to include MSRs, movement control measures, etcetera.

  • Assets to be defended.

  • Significant terrain or identifying features.


3-42. Defense design is accomplished using automated capabilities resident in the TCS. Defense design planning is done with the COA development. It involves planning TBM and aircraft defense, and then analyzing these initial defense designs to determine if they provide adequate levels of protection against expected threat scenarios. Communications planning is also performed as part of the defense design process.

3-43. In developing a defense design, planners use information from the initial IPB, risk analysis, battlefield framework, sketches, COA statements, intelligence, and any other sources as needed. The Patriot battalion via the AMDWS and other interfaces in the TCS receives the OPORD and intelligence information. This information includes—

  • Assets to be defended.

  • Expected enemies TBM launch points.

  • Friendly order of battle.

  • Enemy OB.

  • ACOs.

  • Geographic AO.

  • Digital terrain and elevation data.

3-44. Planners load digital terrain and elevation data for the AO into the tactical planner workstation, then create friendly and threat overlays based on information from the OPORD and other sources. These overlays show the location of protected assets, friendly units, threat forces, and expected TBM launch points. They also show airspace control boundaries and volumes derived from the ACO.


3-45. In planning TBM defenses, planners first display the terrain and overlays for the AO, then with the aid of the software, determine the optimum FU locations, taking into consideration the assets to be defended, expected threat launch points, and geographical constraints. They place the FUs and launching station symbols at the software-recommended locations, then choose appropriate TBM footprints (from the TCS database) based on the expected threat. The displayed footprints are based on TBM type, TBM range, Patriot missile type, minimum probability of kill (Pk) necessary to achieve a required defended area footprint, and the keep-out altitude. If the Patriot units have extended remote launch capability (that is, PDB-5 software with configuration 3 (CE3) and PAC-3 missiles), planners may place an enhanced CRG or ECS to operate as a launcher control station (LCS) for RL-3 launchers at selected locations to improve coverage of defended assets.

3-46. Using automated capabilities, planners next tailor the radar search based on the geometric relationship between defended assets and the projected threat launch points. If Patriot is operating as part of an AMD task force, planners also designate the lower tier defended assets.

3-47. The completed initial TBM defense design shows the location of defended assets, the location of Patriot FUs, RL-3 communication links, the threat azimuth(s), and the TBM footprints.


3-48. Defense planning can be conducted in parallel with TBM defense planning or as a separate activity. As in TBM defense planning, a variety of data must be loaded into the TPW, including the defended assets, threat information, and terrain data. Using the color-coded elevation display, planners can view the geographic AO as color contours, with colors keyed to elevation. This allows planners to visualize ridges and valleys, which define the most likely air avenues of approach.

3-49. Using the tactical planner workstation (TPW), planners determine the optimum FU locations based on geographical constraints, assets to be defended, and threat AAAs. They place FU and LS symbols at selected locations and determine radar sector coverage. This is accomplished by the software, which computes and displays radar coverage for each FU. The result is a four-color map showing radar coverage for four operator selected elevations. When viewed in combination with the color-coded elevation, a comprehensive display of air defense coverage and gaps in coverage are shown. The use of ABT includes FW, RW, UAVs, and cruise missiles. The Patriot system and the TCS classify these threats as ABTs when dealing with software.

3-50. When the air defense design is completed, it shows the location of the defended assets, the location of Patriot FUs, the threat AAAs, and the radar coverages and gaps.


3-51. Communications planning begins with the FU locations selected in the defense design overlay. The TPW software creates and displays communications links between each unit, ICC, CRG, and LCS. Planners can analyze each link to assess its condition. The links are color-coded as follows: If a link is red or yellow, planners can relocate the CRG symbol or adjust the antenna's height and/or frequency until the communications are green.

  • Red = no communications.

  • Yellow = line-of-sight only, possibly degraded communications.

  • Green = good communications.

3-52. This communications analysis encompasses not only Patriot battalion and battery communications, but also communications links between the ICC and higher echelon units (HEU), task force units and the Air Force control and reporting center (CRC), and adjacent units.

3-53. After completing the above analysis, planners can automatically create a pictorial representation of the communication's plan ("bubble chart") showing the locations and elevations of the communications nodes, the azimuths of the links, the ranges between nodes, and the communication frequencies. A detailed discussion of communications planning is presented in Appendix C, Communications. Once defense design is complete, the COAs are compared and a tactical risk is added to each statement.

Air Defense Scheme

3-54. The COA statement (air defense scheme) should include—

  • Restated mission. This includes who, what, when, where, why and how, based on the mission analysis.

  • Each FU's task and purpose (PE, PP, PTL/STL, air breathing threat, TF, TBM threat, and defended assets)

  • Endstate. Commander's hope, what he wants to accomplish in the end.

  • Tactical risk. Within the course of the mission, the possible risks that could occur to the soldiers or the equipment should be considered.

3-55. After the COAs have been developed, and the defense design plan has been established the COAs are briefed to the commander for review. If the commander is unavailable, the battalion XO or S3 should review the work of the staff. The COA briefing should include—

  • Updated IPB products (to include event templates/matrices) using the TCS.

  • Restated mission, commander's intent (battalion, 1 & 2 levels up).

  • COA sketches and statements (to include rationale).

  • Updated facts and assumptions.

3-56. After the briefings, the commander may give additional guidance. This guidance is used to fine-tune the COA. If he rejects all COAs, the staff must begin again. If he accepts one or more of the COAs, the staff begins the war-gaming process.


3-57. The staff analyzes the COAs that have been developed. To conduct this analysis, the staff uses the TCS and takes into consideration friendly forces available, known critical events, decision points, and other factors. The staff develops the evaluation criteria that are used to compare COAs. Examples of AMD criteria include early warning, passive air defense, command and control, force protection, active air defense, communications, and sustainability.

3-58. The TCS is used to analyze and war-game all possible COAs. The estimate of the situation is an integral part of the decision making process. It incorporates analysis factors of METT-TC and defense design COAs developed by the TCS into a process that allows the commander to select the best course of action as the basis for the plan. One way to evaluate courses of action is to war-game them against likely enemy courses of action. Beginning with the most probable COA, IPB plays an important part in COA analysis. The IPB develops a clear picture of the battlefield that includes the enemies' actions and possible movement plans.

3-59. The staff then selects the war-gaming method to be used. There are three war-gaming techniques that are described in detail in FM 101-5, the belt, avenue-in-depth, and the box technique. Because of the nature of air defense operations, battalion staffs should consider using the belt or avenue-in-depth war-gaming techniques.

Belt Technique

3-60. When using the belt technique, Patriot battalion staffs analyze the battlefield by dividing it into belts. This is most effective when the staff phases the battlefield and considers the movement of the enemy air and TBM forces, as well as the movement of Patriot units, across time and space. This technique is most effective when significant movement of forces is required.

Avenue in depth

3-61. When using the avenue-in-depth, Patriot battalion staffs analyze the battlefield by focusing on one AAA or TBM NAI at a time. The advantage of this technique is the in-depth analysis of the enemy air and missile force in relation to each defended asset.

3-62. The staff then records and displays the results of war-gaming. The recording of the war game is critical not only for the comparison of the COAs, but also the development of the required information necessary for the decision support template (DST) as well as the subsequent battalion order. There are two methods of recording—the synchronization matrix, and the sketch note method, which are discussed in Appendix D.

Actions Cycle

3-63. During war-gaming, the staff uses an action-reaction-counteraction cycle with applications specific to Patriot operations. Actions are those events initiated by the side with the initiative (for example, the enemy air and missile forces execute actions along AAAs and TBM launch points). Reactions are the ways in which the opposing side might respond (for example, FU engagements or coverage adjustments such as slewing to an STL, etcetera.). Counteractions are simply the response to that reaction (for example, the enemy air force may reposition ARM carriers to another airbase/AAA).

3-64. The commander and staff may modify the COA based upon the outcome of the war game, as well as current updates on the situation. In addition, war-gaming allows the development of branches and sequels from the COA. Essentially, war-gaming refines the COAs into viable and usable proposals for an air defense plan.

3-65. If time permits, the battalion XO will review the results of the war-gaming prior to moving on to defense design assessment, and COA comparison. The war game brief will consist of—

  • Higher headquarters mission/intent, and deception plan (if any).

  • Updated IPB.

  • Enemy COAs and friendly COAs war-gamed.

  • Assumptions.

  • War game technique/recording method used.


3-66. After the initial defense designs are completed, planners can use the TCS to analyze the COAs and display the results in terms of targets detected, engaged, and killed. To accomplish this, planners need to:

  • Input the defense design based on the anticipated mission threat COA. Inputs include threat origin, velocity, altitude, TM/ARM/CM type, aircraft type, intended target, and approximate arrival time of the enemy.

  • Run the TPW so that it executes the defense design and displays the threat targets in ICC symbology. The system generates and displays detection, missile fly-out, and engagement information. Results are then saved to the hard drive.

  • Display the results on the monitor (or hard copy printout). The results are expressed in terms of targets detected, targets engaged, and targets killed (by FU and battalion totals). Also shown are TBMs engaged above the established keep-out altitude.

3-67. Planners can use the TCS to assess TBM and air defense designs against a variety of threat COAs, or assess a variety of TBM or air defense designs against a given threat COA. After all defense designs are completed, a fragmentation order may need to be issued to cover new information that has been gathered.


3-68. The staff compares the results of war-gaming using criteria from step 3 and step 4 against established criteria to determine the preferred COA. The TCS is used for analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each COA. This comparison is often made with the aid of a decision matrix, which uses evaluation criteria to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of each COA. The staff identifies the preferred COA and recommends that COA to the commander. If the staff cannot decide, then the battalion XO chooses the COA to recommend at the briefing. The commander's decision briefing includes—

  • Intent of higher headquarters (1 and 2 levels up).

  • Restated mission and status of own forces.

  • Updated IPB.

  • Each COA and war game result (to include assumptions, results, advantages, disadvantages, and the decision matrix) ran by the TCS.

  • Recommended COA.


3-69. Based on the TCS data, staff recommendations, and his own knowledge and experience, the commander decides on a COA. Once the commander approves the recommended COA, the staff immediately begins processing the 3rd warning order. This warning order may be verbal or digitally transferred to the batteries depending on the situation and amount of time. The warning order includes the information necessary to refine the FUs plans as METT-TC dependent. It is important to note that all Patriot batteries must develop and process their own operations orders (parallel planning). As much information should be given so that the batteries identify their missions and refine their troop leading procedures as needed for additional planning. If the battalion commander rejects all developed COAs, the staff will have to start the process all over again. The staff immediately completes the plan and operations order. The COA statement, if approved by the commander, becomes the concept of the operation and foundation for the air and missile defense design.


3-70. Using the latest reconnaissance and intelligence information, the staff finalizes the concept of operation, adds details, and prepares orders using the AMDWS. It refines and incorporates it into OPLAN/OPORD, the final task organization and plans for fire control, CSS, security, surveillance, communication, command and control measures, and lateral or flank coordination. The staff determines requirements for additional support and requests it from higher headquarters. It also coordinates with adjacent, supporting, and higher headquarters. The staff also develops contingency plans. After the OPLAN/OPORD has been put together, the commander may decide to make final adjustments. When the commanders' intent has been reached, final orders are approved.

3-71. The battalion commander issues the OPLAN/OPORD to all subordinate commanders and sections. The TCS is the preferred method to disseminate all necessary information to the BCP and subordinate units. As battery commanders develop their plans, minor changes may be needed to implement the commanders' intent. Any change to the plan must be coordinated with the battalion commander. The battery commander should use any aids, such as a sketch or a sand table, to help his soldiers visualize the terrain. He can require subordinates to backbrief him on their unit's role to ensure they understand their instructions and his intent. This can be done after the orders briefing.

3-72. After the orders have been issued, the TCS downloads all the tactical information data down to the BCP. This information may include routes, engagement zones, defended assets, avenues of approach, and corridors along with other needed information at the battery level.

3-73. The commander and his staff supervise and refine the plan based on the ability to accomplish the overall mission. Such preparations include coordination, reorganization, fire support, engineer activities, maintenance, resupply, movement, missile reload, and rehearsals. Rehearsals are conducted to reinforce both the scheme of maneuver and defense design.

3-74. When possible, conduct rehearsals under limited visibility or simulated NBC conditions and over similar terrain. Considerations should also be considered for engagement operations at the ICC and FU level. Key staff and subordinate commanders should take part in rehearsals. They can identify problem areas and contingency actions, determine movement and reaction times, help coordination, and refine the plan.

3-75. Rehearsals and backbriefs should identify key events and critical tasks, which subordinates must address to the commander's satisfaction. Whenever a significant change in the factors of METT-TC occurs the OIC must ensure that the battalion commander, staff, and subordinate unit commanders know it. Before the start time of the operation, the S2/S3 should update any changes to the known enemy situation. Refinement of the plan is a continual process using the TCS to analyze effectiveness. Throughout the fight, the commander monitors the progress of the battle. He does not hesitate to adjust or modify his original plan when METT-TC requires a significant change in the development factors of the battle.

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