Adequate CSS is vital to any combat
operation. Sustainment operations must have the same emphasis
in planning, preparation, and execution as the operational aspects.
Chemical units at all levels require
extensive logistical support. Smoke and decontamination operations
are resource-intensive operations that require detailed logistical
planning and execution to ensure success.
When planning the employment of
chemical assets, the commander must balance the requirements against
limited resources. The challenge is to accomplish the mission
within resource constraints. Logistical considerations will have
as much impact on courses of actions as the enemy does.
Foresee future operations as accurately
as possible and accumulate assets needed to accommodate any likely
contingency. Chemical operations feature high consumption rates
of fuel, fog oil, decontaminants, and water. They require a commitment
of maintenance, transportation, food, and medical services.
Integrate CSS into tactical and
operational plans. The logistic capabilities of the force will
affect the feasibility of a concept of operations.
Maintain continuous supplies and
services. Chemical units are always committed to either the current
battle or preparing for the next. They need a constant flow of
supplies, personnel, and services to remain productive. Consider
how chemical units will receive their logistical support as they operate on the
battlefield. Recognize that sudden or rapid changes in task organizations will affect
the continuity of logistical support to them.
React rapidly to crises or fleeting
opportunities. The logistic system must keep pace with the shifting
of chemical units around the battlefield. The logistic system
must respond when chemical units are executing their support mission.
Thorough decontamination operations cannot be conducted unless
the logistic system provides support and assistance.
Improvise to meet unforeseen emergencies.
The success of the logistic system heavily influences the extent
to which chemical units also must improvise.
The manner in which the CSS system
supports a particular chemical unit depends upon that the unit's
parent organization, its location in the theater of operations,
and the command or support relationship under which it is operating.
The wide array of possibilities presents a considerable challenge
to the logistical planner responsible for that unit. Low density
and unique equipment and personnel increase this challenge. Meeting
this challenge ensures that the unit remains capable of performing
its mission. The 63-series FMs give the specific details of how
the organizations provide combat service support.
CSS organizations provide sustainment
support to chemical units at each echelon.
The theater army (TA) receives
and moves personnel, supplies, and equipment to the combat zone
and sustains its own units operating in the COMMZ. The theater
army area command (TAACOM) is the major logistical and support
organization in the TA. If the TA has a large geographical area
of responsibility, more than one TAACOM will be established. Within
the TAACOM, support is provided by area support groups (ASG).
Chemical units operating in the COMMZ will normally be subordinate
to the TAACOM and receive logistical support from an ASG. Logistical
support is coordinated through the TAACOM headquarters.
The COSCOM sustains the corps'
chemical units, including those deployed in the division areas.
However, when corps chemical units operate too far forward in
the division area for effective COSCOM support, the division must
assume responsibility. COSCOM units will habitually locate near
the division rear boundary and in the division area itself to
provide responsive support to those units operating in the division
rear. Corps support groups (CSG) provide maintenance, supply,
and field services on an area basis. Health service support is
provided by the corps medical brigade/group.
The DISCOM sustains the divisional
units through forward support battalions (FSB) in direct support
to each maneuver brigade and the main support battalion (MSB)
to units in the division rear. The division chemical company will
receive support from the closest DISCOM unit. The division chemical
officer will coordinate logistical support for the division chemical
company with the G4. When the division is supported by corps chemical
units, the DISCOM is augmented by the COSCOM.
The DISCOM provides CSS elements
in the brigade support area (BSA) to sustain the brigade. Divisional
chemical elements receive their support through the BSA, but must
coordinate for this support. Corps chemical units will not be
supported without prior coordination.
Decontamination operations require
significant logistical support for both the decon and the contaminated
unit(s), such as medical, engineer, MP, maintenance, quartermaster,
The decon unit requires engineer
support to prepare thorough decon sites. MPs are used for traffic
control and to a limited extent, security of the site. Supporting
logistic activities (FSB, MSB, CSG, or ASG) push water forward
if a local water source is not available. Additional decontaminants
may be required, depending on the type and amount of contaminated
vehicles/equipment. Decon platoons have limited water and cargo
The contaminated unit requires
extensive logistical support. A medical treatment capability supports
the decon site. Maintenance, quartermaster, and transportation
elements are positioned to assist the contaminated units to return
to fully mission capable.
Smoke operations require detailed
logistical planning. Planners determine the amount of fog oil
and POL necessary for the operation. Divisional smoke platoons
are unable to carry more than an operational load of fog oil.
Corps smoke companies have an organic fuel support platoon. Large
smoke operations over two hours or back-to-back smoke missions
will require logistical support beyond that organic to the chemical
There are several techniques to
provide continuous support. One technique is forward positioning
of supplies (fog oil, ammunition, and POL). A location for the
smoke forward fuel point (SFFP) is determined and supplies are
moved forward by transportation assets or the unit itself. The
smoke unit moves to the propositioned supplies as necessary. The
quantity of fog oil and other supplies stocked at the SFFP is
based on the amount needed to support the mission plus one basic
load for the smoke unit. This allows the smoke unit to be fully
mission capable after the operation. Another technique is to configure
push packages and position them at the nearest logistics support
activity (FSB, CSG, or ASG). This activity would push the package
forward to a predetermined point. If no transportation support
is available, decon units can transport supplies forward to the
smoke units. The supported unit may be able to provide POL support.
NBC RECONNAISSANCE OPERATIONS
NBC reconnaissance units do not
consume large amounts of supplies during their missions. However
because of the specialized nature of their equipment, particularly
the M93 NBCRS (Fox), consideration must be given to the maintanence
needs of the unit. Additionally, NBC recon units tend to operate
at the team and squad level thus requiring logistical support
from the supported unit.
NBC DEFENSE OPERATIONS
Chemical staffs must consider
the impact of NBC defense operations on logistics. The decision
to initiate MOPP creates a tremendous burden on the logistics
system to keep soldiers in serviceable MOPP gear. The chemical
staff must work closely with the G4/S4 to resolve any chemical
defense equipment critical shortfalls,
Planning for sustainment operations
begins with a warning order from higher headquarters. At this
point, logistical needs for the operation are determined. The
logistics planner develops an estimate of each unit's in as much
detail as possible, and provides that information to the G4/S4.
Once the planning is done, the
chemical unit logisticians coordinate the details needed to make
the logistics support effective.
As units execute the plan, the
logisticians track the status of their units and missions. They
solve CSS problems that threaten the successful completion of
missions and tasks. Combat losses and breakdowns continuously
force adjustments to the original plan.
The techniques of resupplying
subordinate platoons are situationally dependent. The command
or support relationship of the platoons also will dictate the
level of support required from the company.
The most efficient resupply technique
is by logistical packages (LOGPACs). The LOGPAC is organized by
the chemical company supply sergeant at the supporting logistics
activity under the supervision of the company first sergeant.
The LOGPAC moves from the logistical support activity to predetermined
points (logistic release points - LRPs). The platoons meet the
LOGPAC at their designated LRP and guides it to their platoon
Another technique is to cache
supplies on the battlefield and direct platoons to these supplies.
This technique is useful for propositioning fog oil. The main
disadvantage is that the supplies may be lost or overrun in a fluid tactical environment.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|