Planning for the employment
of chemical units is a continuous process by both the supported
and supporting unit. Planners take the commander's intent and
guidance and develop the plans. Both current and future actions
should be considered.
Examine the mission. Plans
should cover ways to enhance the survivability and mobility of
friendly forces and assist in the regeneration of combat power.
Plans should include both the forward combat area and the rear
Plans should include--
- Organic chemical assets.
- Resources available from higher
- Materials and equipment available
from the host nation.
Chemical unit planning must
be coordinated with all staff elements, especially the operations
(G3/S3) and logistics (G4/S4) sections. Understanding the enemy
NBC threat is critical and requires close coordination with the
intelligence (G2/S2) section. Maneuver must not be restricted
by friendly smoke operations. The employment of NBC recon elements
should not duplicate the effort of conventional recon assets.
Decontamination operations are resource intensive and require
a large amount of coordination with the logistics staff sections.
Careful deployment and coordination with adjacent and supported
units and fire support elements will enhance chemical unit survivability.
Friendly units must know the location and intent of all chemical
units to avoid fratricide ("friendly fire"). Chemical
unit operations must be logistically supportable.
Planners should exclude unnecessary
elements and reduce essential elements to the simplest form. They
must eliminate all possibilities for misunderstanding.
Clearly define command and
support relationships and fix responsibilities.
Designate an alternate headquarters
to assume responsibility if the primary headquarters is out of
Chemical units must be able
to react to unexpected situations. To weight the offense or defense,
commanders must be prepared to shift chemical unit's from sector
to sector and provide chemical unit support throughout the depth
of the battlefield.
Chemical units will operate
away from their parent units. Electronic and NBC warfare, along
with the sheer size of the battlefield, will make communications
difficult. The plan must establish a command and control system
and provide specific measures to adopt in the absence of direct
communications links or control. The commander's intent must provide
the understanding necessary to continue actions in the absence
of other guidance.
Delegate authority, yet keep
necessary control. Within available time, planners must develop
the recommended chemical unit task organization, establish priorities,
determine specific task and area responsibilities, and coordinate
as necessary. Before implementation, chemical unit plans are coordinated
with the force staff and approved by the force commander.
The various command and support
relationships provide a wide range of options for task organizations.
To select the best relationship, commanders and staff planners
must study the situation and its requirements. The selected task
organization must provide the most responsive, effective chemical
support to facilitate future operations. When maximum control
is needed, attachment and operational control are the best. Attachment
and OPCON are best when situations are uncertain, communications
are unreliable, logistical support is required from the supported
unit, or a need exists to task organize at subordinate levels.
On the other hand, when the
senior commander needs flexibility in changing priorities or shifting
assets, general and direct support relationships are appropriate.
They are also appropriate for short-term, area, or rear area support.
In addition to the command
or support relationship selected, there are several other significant
considerations in allocating chemical resources. The apportionment
of chemical assets will be based on the mission, the enemy, the
terrain, and the chemical units, equipment, materials, and time
available. Because resources are limited, chemical assets will
often concentrate in vital areas rather than be distributed throughout
the force. This should be worked out by the chemical staff and
commander, based upon decisions and guidance of the force commander.
Plans are made for smoke and
NBC recon support to the reserve upon its commitment. These plans
should be made early enough for proper preparation. Although smoke
and NBC recon units are not normally held in reserve, commanders
must consider the survivability of the reserve forces when allocating
Chemical unit support of the
forward maneuver forces must be balanced with support of rear
area operations. Understanding enemy capabilities and intent of
NBC weapons use will be critical in determining the balance of
support to forward maneuver units and to rear areas.
Habitual relationships should
be considered when allocating chemical units. This means that
it is benifical to have the same chemical unit support a given
unit. By creating habitual relationships, mutual confidence and
respect are developed between the chemical unit and the supported
unit. This habitual relationship starts with peacetime training
to build confidence, develop mutual understanding and respect,
ease problems of coordination, and strengthen cohesiveness on
Commanders at all levels must
clearly specify priorities and taskings for chemical unit support.
Plans must consider the entire spectrum of chemical unit support.
This includes NBC recon, large-area smoke generation, decontamination,
and chemical staff support. Commanders also must consider the
resources needed to move the materials necessary for smoke and
decontamination operations. The responsibilities of each chemical
unit must be clearly established.
Chemical officers, commanders
and staff officers, at all levels are responsible for coordinating
chemical unit support. Request for support from subordinate units
are consolidated and implemented in a timely manner. If insufficient
chemical support is available at their level, requests for support
are forwarded to the next higher headquarters.
The chemical unit estimate
is an orderly step of the planning process in command and staff
actions. It is a realistic appraisal of the effort required to
support an operation. It serves as the basis for chemical unit
With the commander's mission
analysis and planning guidance, the chemical officer identifies
the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action. A recommendation
is developed from the best course of action. The chemical officers
base their estimate on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops,
and time available (METT-T).
The chemical officer must
consider the commander's mission analysis and guidance. He must
determine any stated and implied missions in the chemical area.
He must consider the type of units supported, their equipment,
and their status.
The chemical officer analyzes
the enemy, his likely courses of action, and NBC capabilities.
He must know the enemy's capability to attack, defend, delay,
or reinforce, and the type, range, and amount of NBC weapons available
to them. An understanding of the enemy's target acquisition systems
will determine the type and amount of smoke support needed. Understanding
where and when the enemy may employ NBC weapons will allow the
planner to focus the effort and allocation of NBC recon assets.
Additionally, decontamination needs can be determined by knowing
what units could become contaminated.
TERRAIN AND WEATHER
Terrain analysis will indicate
how the enemy may employ NBC weapons. Of greatest concern are
avenues of approach, existing obstacles such as gaps, difficult
terrain (such as wooded, mountainous, or urban areas), and defiles.
The effect of the terrain on smoke operations must be considered.
The effects of weather on NBC and smoke operations must be considered.
Additionally, the mobility of chemical units under adverse weather
conditions needs to be addressed. Weather also controls the duration
of chemical hazards.
The chemical officer considers
the type and number of available chemical units. The status and
capabilities of each chemical unit is also considered as well
as the availability of resources such as decontaminants and fog
Time is a major factor in
determining the amount of chemical support available. The time
required to move chemical units around the battlefield must be
considered when developing a plan. The time required by various
chemical units to perform selected missions also must be considered.
A decontamination platoon can only decontaminate a finite amount
equipment in a given period. This is also true for an NBC recon
unit. A recon platoon can only reconnoiter a given area of terrain
in a given time. The chemical officer must keep these factors
in mind throughout the estimating process.
DEVELOPING THE ESTIMATE
The chemical unit estimate
allows the chemical unit commander to quickly, thoroughly, and
logically conduct his analysis.
The chemical officer
restates the mission from the commander's mission analysis. All
assigned specific and implied tasks are considered.
Situation and Courses
The chemical officer determines
all facts or logical assumptions that influence the situation
and choice of a course of action. From the METT-T analysis, he
includes the terrain and weather characteristics and the enemy
and friendly situations.
The chemical officer lists
the tactical courses of action from the commander's guidance.
He may include additional courses of action, if appropriate. He
determines the chemical unit support required to support
each course of action. He considers contamination avoidance,
protection, decon, and large-area
smoke support requirements. The corps estimate focuses on the
requirements of the chemical battalions, the division estimate
for chemical companies, and the brigade for chemical platoons.
At this point the estimate is unconstrained by resources.
This technique allows the chemical officer to consider all
needs and advise the commander of the
support requirement for each level. It also enables the chemical
officer to respond quickly to changes in time and resources. He
then compares estimated resources to available resources. If significant
shortfalls exist, he evaluates the requirements by priority and
revise the estimate until the planned requirement matches resources
Analysis of Courses
The chemical officer in conjunction
with the remainder of the staff wargames each course of action
and determines the probable outcome. Enemy opposition is also
considered during the wargaming process. The advantages and disadvantages
of each course of action is determined.
Comparison of Courses
The chemical officer compares
the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action. He
decides which course of action will be most successful for the
mission. This can be accomplished through the use of a decision
In his recommendation, the
chemical officer addresses the allocation of chemical units: task
organization, command and support relationships, and priority
of support. Before presenting the estimate to the commander, the
chemical officer coordinates with key staff members. The chemical
officer then provides the commander a complete recommendation
telling who, what, when, where, why, and how. The estimate may
be written or oral. The chemical officer may give an oral briefing
separately or as part of the G3/S3 estimate.
Having heard the chemical
officer and other staff estimates, the force commander announces
his decision. With his chemical officer's advice, the commander
specifies his concept for the commander's decision. The staff
then prepares the orders.
Based on the force commander's
decision for chemical unit employment, the plans and orders are
prepared. The chemical unit either prepares or provides advice
for the preparation of the chemical unit portion. When a chemical
staff section is present on the force's staff (corps--corps chemical
section, division--division chemical section), this staff section
normally prepares the chemical portion of plans and orders. This
will be accomplished in close coordination with the chemical unit
S-3. Combat orders for chemical operations are issued from all
headquarters in the name of the commander.
At division and corps levels,
operations orders and administrative and logistics orders usually
contain separate chemical support annexes. At echelons below division,
orders are less formal and, on occasion, may be oral. A chemical
support combat order should be--
- Clear. All agencies must understand
- Complete. Required information
and instructions to coordinate and execute the operation.
- Brief. Unnecessary details
are avoided. However, clarity and completeness are not sacrificed
- As unrestrictive on subordinate
commanders as possible.
- Timely. Chemical support orders
must allow subordinate commanders adequate planning and preparation
Chemical units will prepare
orders for their subordinate element. At the chemical brigade
and battalion level, these orders are normally written products.
At the chemical company level, orders can be either written or
oral, depending on the amount of time available. If the company
prepares a written order, it is normally of a matrix format (see
Appendix F). Chemical staffs will prepare chemical support annexes
or include instructions in the basic orders outlining tasks and
responsibilities to supporting chemical units.
Fragmentary orders are issued
in lieu of a complete order in fast-paced combat situations. They
provide specific instructions to commanders or timely changes
to existing orders. Fragmentary orders do not have a specified
format. However, the five-paragraph combat order format is normally
used. It will include only necessary elements changed from the
original order. The fragmentary order may be issued orally. Generally,
the fragmentary order--
- Is addressed to each action
- Is provided for information
to higher and adjacent units for information, as applicable.
- Refers to a previous order.
- Includes changes in task organization,
situation, and mission.
- Clearly provides brief and
Following the commander's approval, the plan or order is published and the chemical unit staff begins action to ensure timely and proper execution- -a key element of the battle command.
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