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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

CHAPTER TEN

SUSTAINMENT OPERATIONS

CONCEPT

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.

LOGISTIC CHARACTERISTICS

ANTICIPATION

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.

INTEGRATION

Integrate CSS into tactical and operational plans. The logistic capabilities of the force will affect the feasibility of a concept of operations.

CONTINUITY

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.

RESPONSIVENESS

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.

IMPROVISATION

Improvise to meet unforeseen emergencies. The success of the logistic system heavily influences the extent to which chemical units also must improvise.

SUPPORT FOR CHEMICAL UNITS

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.

ECHELONS

CSS organizations provide sustainment support to chemical units at each echelon.

Theater Army

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.

Corps

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.

Division

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.

Brigade

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.

SUPPORT FOR CHEMICAL SUPPORT OPERATIONS

DECONTAMINATION OPERATIONS

Decontamination operations require significant logistical support for both the decon and the contaminated unit(s), such as medical, engineer, MP, maintenance, quartermaster, and transportation.

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 haul capability.

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

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 unit.

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,

STAFF PLANNING, COORDINATION, AND SUPERVISION

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.

SUSTAINMENT OPERATIONS AT THE COMPANY LEVEL

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 position.

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.



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