"The test of control is the ability of the leader to obtain the desired reaction from his command."
Infantry in Battle, 1939
Battle command is the art and science of battlefield decision making and leading soldiers and units to successfully accomplish the mission. Battle command includes visualizing the current state and the future state, then formulating concepts of operations to get from one state to the other at least cost. In addition to visualizing and formulating concepts, battle command encompasses assigning missions; prioritizing and allocating resources; selecting the critical time and place to act; and knowing how and when to make adjustments in the fight. The battle command system at the regimental level enables commanders to lead, prioritize, and allocate assets required to employ and sustain combat power. Cavalry commanders must observe, orient, decide, and act on their decisions quickly. Information is the key to the battle command process; therefore, the commander must have accurate and timely information upon which to base his decisions.
Battle command of cavalry units is typically decentralized due to the size of the area of operations, vagueness of the enemy situation, and lack of information about the terrain. This places the burden of sound, timely decision making at the lowest levels. Leaders must develop a keen sense of situational awareness and constantly track the actions of subordinate units as well as those to the front, flank, and rear.
Commanders use control to regulate forces and functions on the battlefield to execute the commander's intent. As such, control involves-
Control also has two vital components. First, control conforms to the principle of unity of command in which commanders typically control one echelon down and manage forces two echelons down. Second, control accounts for the dynamics of the battlefield. This part requires a reporting system to assess the situation routinely and frequently, thus enabling the commander to take action as appropriate.
The combination of command and control is referred to as the command and control system. The term system does not apply simply to the arrangement of equipment or use of equipment. It is an organized assembly of resources to aid planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling the organization in support of the mission. This process encompasses the personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures necessary to gather and analyze information, plan, and supervise the execution of operations.
The purpose of the command and control system is to implement the commander's will in pursuit of the objective. The system must be reliable, secure, fast, and durable. It must collect, analyze, and present information rapidly. It must communicate orders, coordinate support, and provide direction to the force. It must function despite the friction of battle-extraordinary stress, obscure situations, compressed time, competing demands, enemy interference, destruction of command posts, or loss and replacement of leaders.
Army doctrine places great demands on the command and control system. It must be responsive and flexible enough to facilitate freedom to operate, allow delegation of authority, and allow leadership to operate from any critical point on the battlefield.
Cavalry organizations are often required to begin their missions and to operate very soon after (or even before) the receipt of an operation order (OPORD). A command and control system permitting such flexibility and freedom to operate independently emphasizes certain specific operational techniques and command practices. First, it optimizes the use of time by routine use of warning orders, situation updates, and parallel/anticipatory planning. Second, it stresses standardized training in operations and staff practices to assure mutual understanding between leaders and units. Third, command and control eases execution of orders using standard language, symbols, and SOPs. Fourth, the system allows the commander to position himself wherever the situation calls for his personal presence without depriving him of the ability to respond to opportunities or changing situations.
The cavalry commander cannot expect constant or close supervision by his higher commander. Cavalry operations occur across wide areas and commanders normally operate with significant freedom of action. Close command direction is seldom possible, even when desired. Each commander in turn must provide his subordinates freedom of action for the same reason. Unity of effort is ensured by the intent of the commander assigning the mission. Each subordinate commander must understand the intent of the commander two levels above him and the concept of his immediate commander. They exercise initiative within the latitude permitted to achieve the intent as battlefield conditions develop.
The extent and variety of the tasks confronting a commander require the cooperative endeavors of many people, the integration of many complex equipment systems, and a sensible division of work. The battle command system accomplishes these tasks through three interrelated components:
Command is the authority that a commander lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources. It includes planning the employment, organization, direction, coordination, and control of the cavalry unit to accomplish assigned missions. It also includes the responsibility for health, welfare, morale, training, and discipline of the soldiers.
The commander is responsible for all that his unit does or fails to do. He cannot delegate this responsibility. The final decision and responsibility remain with the commander. Success, however, requires a commander who delegates authority and fosters an organizational climate of mutual trust, cooperation, and teamwork. He must also promote an understanding of procedures and a common basis for action.
The commander discharges his responsibilities through an established chain of command. He holds each subordinate commander responsible for the actions of his unit. When the commander assigns a mission to a subordinate, he also delegates the necessary authority and provides him with the resources, guidance, and support needed to accomplish the mission. The commander must allow the subordinate commander freedom of action. Combat does not provide the luxury of supervising subordinates in detail. The commander remains free to address the unit as a whole and to anticipate future actions. Subordinate commanders and leaders adhere to this philosophy.
The exercise of command is a reflection of the leadership style of the commander. Leadership is the process by which the commander influences others to accomplish the mission. Leadership provides purpose, direction, and motivation in combat. In peacetime training, the commander demonstrates his capability through frequent and personal contact with his subordinates. Once in combat, the commander's presence will often be felt over the radio. His personal presence is felt at the most critical location on the battlefield. At this point, his leadership is reinforced by the manner in which he controls the execution of the unit. How the commander uses this staff and the command and control system is a reflection of his leadership style.
The staff is organized specifically to be a single, cohesive unit. All staff members must know not only their own functions and roles, but also the functions of the other staff members. The staff establishes and maintains a high degree of coordination and cooperation internally and with staffs of higher, lower, and adjacent units. Staff efforts focus on supporting the commander in the exercise of command and on helping him support subordinate commanders in the execution of their mission.
Staff activities center on five common functions to assist the commander:
The commander analyzes and restates the mission, designs the concept of operations, organizes the forces, and provides support to subordinate units. He issues mission orders with sufficient details for his subordinate to plan and lead their units. He acknowledges the professional competence and expertise of his subordinate commanders and allows them flexibility to accomplish their mission. He relies on his staff and subordinate commanders for advice and assistance in planning and supervising operations. He must understand their capabilities and limitations. He must train them to achieve his intent during his absence, the failure of communications, or changes in the situation.
When not in battle, the commander operates from the vicinity of the tactical operations center (TOC). At the TOC, he conducts his planning, interfaces with the staff, and rests. He frequently departs the TOC to conduct reconnaissance, inspect, receive orders, brief subordinates, and visit soldiers.
During battle, the commander positions himself where he can best make decisions during critical points of the battle. He positions himself to follow and influence operations and maintains communications with higher, lower, and adjacent units. He reacts immediately to direction from the corps, division, or regimental commander. When his organization or mission changes, he reorganizes as needed. Teamwork, functional SOPs, and a clear understanding of the mission permit subordinates to quickly translate a mission order into action.
The commander must know the enemy; his organization, his weapon systems, and how he fights. He must know the terrain over which his unit will fight and the adjacent terrain the enemy may use to support or reinforce. The commander must be aware of the operational limitations of his unit. He ensures air and ground cavalry efforts are fully synchronized to accomplish the mission.
Once the operation starts, subsequent orders and quick responses are the norm. The orders must be simple and clear to enable swift execution upon receipt. The commander prepares to accept mission orders, and without further detailed instructions, takes action to execute the order within the intent of his commander. He limits the number of subordinates with whom he routinely deals. His staff refines raw data by filtering the information so the commander can focus on the combat critical information. The regimental commander fights squadrons and tracks troops. Squadron commanders fight troops and track platoons.
During combat, the troop and company commanders have the same command responsibilities as the squadron commander. They continuously coordinate with each other and integrate air and ground operations without constant direction from the squadron commander. They provide current combat information to the squadron commander and remain flexible to execute missions upon receipt to meet changing situations on the battlefield.
The staff consists of those officers and enlisted soldiers who assist the commander in planning and supervising tactical operations. The staff reduces the demands on the commander's time and assists him by providing information, making estimates and recommendations, preparing plans and orders, and supervising the execution of orders issued by the commander. The staff synchronizes combat support and combat service support operations to ensure total integration of support with the commander's concept. The staff also assists subordinate commanders by anticipating problems, providing informal staff responses when appropriate, and providing assistance in functional areas. The organization of a typical staff is depicted in Figure 2-1. SOP defines the responsibilities of key personnel to preclude overlaps and to make sure all functions are adequately supervised. Detailed discussions of staff officer and section responsibilities are in FM 101-5.
Figure 2-1. Typical staff.
Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
The CSM is the senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the regiment and the squadron. He acts in the name of the commander when dealing with the other NCOs in the unit and is the commander's primary advisor concerning the enlisted soldiers. He is not an administrator, but must understand the administrative/logistical and operational requirements of the squadron. He is the most experienced soldier in the squadron and keeps his finger on the pulse of the command. He focuses his attention on any function critical to the success of the operation. This requires that the CSM have mobility; he must be able to move where the commander needs him most. The commander establishes a close relationship with his CSM and defines his responsibilities and authority. The CSM assists the commander in the following ways:
The S1 has primary responsibility for all personnel matters. The S1 normally operates from the combat trains command post (CTCP) collocated with the S4. He moves as necessary to accomplish his mission. He shares supervisory responsibility for logistics with the S4. The S1 and S4 must cross-train to enable them to conduct continuous operations.
The regimental S1 is assisted by the HHT adjutant general (AG) platoon, which handles personnel services, postal services, morale support, and administrative services for the regiment. The AG platoon operates out of the regimental support area.
The squadron level personnel and administrative center (PAC) operates in the field trains under the supervision of the PAC supervisor. The PAC maintains contact with the S1 on the administrative/logistics net from the field trains command post. The S1 will take selected members of the section forward with him to assist in operating the CTCP.
Intelligence Officer (S2)
The S2 normally remains at the TOC where he has the communications assets to coordinate intelligence activities. He keeps the XO updated on the enemy situation and works closely with the fire support element and assistant S3 to ensure information is passed between the staff. The S2 is responsible for collecting and providing current information and analyzed intelligence of tactical value concerning terrain, weather, and enemy for all commanders and the remainder of the staff to facilitate planning and execution of combat operations. He is the expert on the enemy and understands in detail how he fights. He is closely involved in planning subsequent operations. The S2 converts the information requirements of the commander into priority intelligence requirements (PIR) and ensures they are provided in the unit plan. He is also the facilitator of the intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) process. Working with the commander, operations officer, and other staff officers, the S2 participates in the development of the decision support template.
The regimental S2 and the regimental S3 are assisted by the regimental analytical control element in analyzing and directing electronic warfare, intelligence, and OPSEC missions. The regimental TOC analytical control element is the nerve center of regimental intelligence and electronic warfare operations. The S2 staff section, regimental TOC analytical control element, and military intelligence (MI) company are the key elements of the regimental intelligence system.
Operations Officer (S3)
The S3 is the commander's principal assistant for matters pertaining to the organization, employment, training, and operations of the unit and supporting elements. He also has a special relationship with the commander and normally has direct access for functional area matters. He monitors the battle, ensures the necessary combat support assets are provided when and where required, and anticipates developing situations. The S3, assisted by his operations sergeant and assistant, maintains routine reporting, coordinates the activities of liaison personnel, and is always planning ahead. The S3 and S3 air/assistant S3 remain responsive to directives from higher headquarters, the commander or XO, as well as the needs of subordinate commanders and supporting organizations. The S3 ensures his soldiers and equipment are organized, trained, and maintained to support the XO in the TOC.
In battle, the S3 is normally in the command group or on a secondary avenue of approach, axis of advance, or with the supporting effort. If unit operations orient in several directions simultaneously, he may assume individual control of a part of the battlefield as directed by the commander. The S3 maintains close coordination with the S4 for combat service support status.
Supply Officer (S4)
The regimental S4 provides logistics information to the regimental commander and functions as the regiment's logistic planner. He coordinates with squadron XOs and S4s about the status of equipment and supplies. The regimental S4 has representatives in both the main and rear command posts. He personally participates in the planning process at the main command post. The regimental S4 coordinates with the regimental support squadron commander and his staff to ensure the regimental commander's logistics priorities are understood and supported.
Due to the unique environment of cavalry logistics, the squadron S4 is often employed differently from battalion S4s. Employment of the squadron S4 is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 10. The cavalry squadron S4 focuses on staff responsibilities that mirror the responsibilities of the regimental S4. He provides logistics information to the squadron commander. He functions as the squadron's logistics planner. He coordinates with troop first sergeants and XOs about status of equipment and supplies. He also coordinates with supporting units and higher headquarters staffs to ensure logistics support is continuous. The S4 is in charge of the CTCP.
Civil Affairs Officer (S5)
When authorized for the regiment, the S5 serves as the principal staff officer for the commander in all matters concerning the civilian impact on military operations and the political, economic, and social effects of military operations on civilian personnel. He has staff responsibility for those activities embracing the relationship among the military forces, the civil authorities, and people in the area of operations. The S5 has primary coordinating staff responsibility for the areas of civil affairs and civil-military operations. When the S5 is not authorized, the S3 usually assumes responsibility for these functions.
Air Defense Officer
The air defense officer (ADO) is the commander or leader of the organic, direct support, attached, or operationally controlled air defense artillery (ADA) unit providing support. In the regiment, he is the ADA battery commander. For regimental squadrons, he is the task organized platoon/section/team leader from the battery. In division cavalry, he normally comes from the division ADA battalion. The air defense officer is the commander's primary advisor on all air defense matters. The ADO, after coordinating with the S2 for the aerial portion of the IPB, provides the commander with recommended air defense priorities. He takes into account asset criticality, vulnerability, recoupability, and threat. The ADO works closely with the air liaison officer, fire support officer, and flight operations officer to coordinate A2C2 matters that have either direct or indirect impact on the regiment or squadron. Because of his duties, the ADO is not at the TOC continuously, but is present during planning and is part of the orders group. In the absence of an ADA unit, the unit S3 assumes responsibility for these functions.
Air Liaison Officer
The air liaison officer is an Air Force officer who is a member of the tactical air control party (TACP). The air liaison officer moves with the commander as part of the command group. He may serve as a forward air controller or have additional officers assigned to the TACP as forward air controllers. He advises the commander and staff on the employment of offensive air support, including close air support, battlefield air interdiction, joint suppression of enemy air defenses, aerial reconnaissance, and airlift.
In division cavalry, the AVUM troop commander is responsible for preventive maintenance, repair, and parts replacement for aircraft and aviation equipment. He is also responsible for evacuation of unserviceable modules, components, and end items. He coordinates closely with the S4.
The chaplain and chaplain assistant compose the unit ministry team (UMT). The UMT operates out of the combat trains. The chaplain is not restricted to a fixed location within the unit. He moves as necessary to perform his duties. He normally has direct access to the commander. The UMT provides pastoral care, counseling, and advice to the commander on matters of religion, morale, and morals.
The chemical officer advises the commander on NBC defensive operations. He is the commander's primary advisor for decontamination, smoke/obscurants, flame, and NBC reconnaissance operations. The regimental chemical officer, along with his staff section, is responsible for coordinating NBC tasks among supporting NBC assets, including the regimental chemical troop. The squadron chemical officer, assisted by an NCO, also serves as an assistant operations officer in addition to NBC duties. Both officers (regimental/squadron) work directly for the S3 and are responsible for integrating NBC defense into all aspects of unit training.
The signal officer is a signal corps officer. He normally works for the XO at regiment and at squadron. He operates from the TOC, advising the commander on all signal matters, including the location of command posts, signal facilities, best uses of signal assets, and the use of signal activities for deception. He monitors the maintenance status of organic signal equipment. Additionally, he coordinates the preparation and distribution of the signal operation instructions (SOI) and supervises the communications security accounting activities.
The regimental staff has an engineer officer and staff section. The engineer officer normally locates in the main command post under the direct supervision of the XO or he may be located in the regimental TOC. The regimental engineer advises and assists the regimental commander in all aspects of engineer planning, coordination, and execution. The regimental engineer is the terrain expert. He works closely with the S2 in the IPB process to develop an accurate detailed analysis of the effects of weather on terrain and how these effects impact on the mission. The regimental engineer determines the requirements for engineer support, to include recommending the support relationship. He is assisted by the assistant regimental engineer. The regimental engineer prepares engineer estimates and engineer portions of the plans and orders, to include the engineer annex. The engineer officer provides the commander and staff information on the enemy's engineer capabilities.
The squadron engineer is the commander or leader of the direct support, attached, or operationally controlled engineer unit supporting the squadron. For a regimental squadron, he comes from the regimental engineer company or a supporting corps engineer battalion. For division cavalry, he normally comes from the division engineer brigade. He is the commander's primary advisor on all engineer matters. Because of his duties, he cannot be at the squadron TOC continuously. He is in the TOC during planning and is part of the orders group. In the absence of an engineer unit, the S3 assumes responsibility for engineer functions.
Flight Operations Officer
In division cavalry, the flight operations officer is part of the S3 section and works in the TOC for the S3. He is assisted by an NCO and flight operations specialist. He is the operations expert on army aviation in the squadron. He assists in planning and managing the integration of air cavalry in the squadron's scheme of maneuver. Some of his responsibilities are listed below.
Fire Support Officer
The FSO is the commander's principal advisor and coordinator for fire support matters. His primary duty is to help the commander integrate all fires to support the scheme of maneuver. This includes planning, coordinating, and executing fire support. He is also responsible for coordinating with the S3 and the flight operations officer for required SEAD and J-SEAD fires. He frequently moves with the commander during tactical operations to expedite fire support. The FSO coordinates the efforts of subordinate FSOs and maintains digital and voice communications to supporting artillery. The fire support section (FSS) assists the FSO. In the armored cavalry regiment, the regimental and squadron FSO and FSS are organic at each level. Troop FSOs and fire support teams (FIST) are organic to squadron howitzer batteries. In division cavalry, the fire support elements and troop FISTs are dedicated assets from division artillery.
The regimental HHT commander serves as the headquarters commandant for the main command post and answers directly to the regimental XO. The HHT commander is responsible for the support, security, and movement of the main command post and for supporting all elements of the HHT. He normally delegates the function of maintenance support to the HHT XO and the function of supply to the HHT first sergeant. Although he is a unit commander, not a staff officer, the squadron HHT commander fulfills a unique role. Employment of the HHT commander and his relationship with the squadron S4 are discussed in Chapter 10.
Liaison officers are in the S3 section of the regiment and squadron. They represent the commander at the headquarters of another unit for effecting coordination and for promoting cooperation between the two units. Through personal contact, they facilitate the exchange of information and ensure mutual understanding and unity of purpose before, during, and after combat operations. Liaison officers operate from the TOC where they are normally briefed and debriefed by the XO or TOC shift leader.
Regimental Support Squadron Commander
The regimental support squadron commander is the regimental commander's main combat service support operator. He advises the regimental commander concerning supply, maintenance, field and health services, and implementation of the combat service support functions throughout the regiment. The regimental support squadron commander has operational control over all units and elements within the regimental support area for movement, security, terrain management, and synchronization of sustainment activities. He coordinates and implements plans for assigned rear operations responsibilities within the regimental support area. He usually works through the regimental XO and coordinates with the regimental S4. He is located in the rear command post.
Squadron Maintenance Officer (SMO)
The SMO is responsible for coordinating all activities including recovery, evacuation, repair, and replacement of combat equipment to sustain the operational readiness of the squadron. The SMO is responsible for all ground tactical equipment. The SMO coordinates and supervises the efforts of the squadron maintenance platoon and exercises staff supervision over unit maintenance in the troops. He also functions as the maintenance platoon leader. The maintenance warrant officer assists the SMO by providing technical assistance and supervision to the maintenance platoon. During combat, the SMO operates from the combat trains or a unit maintenance collecting point (UMCP). In the absence of the S4, he controls the combat trains.
The squadron surgeon advises and assists the commander on matters concerning the fighting strength of the command to include preventive, curative, and restorative care. He advises the commander on the combat health support of the command and of the medical threat present in the occupied or friendly territory within the commander's area of responsibility. He determines requirements for the requisition, procurement, storage, maintenance, distribution, management, and documentation of medical equipment and supplies. The regimental surgeon is normally located at the clearing station in the regimental support area. The squadron surgeon and the physician's assistant operate the squadron aid station located in the combat trains. The division cavalry surgeon is also a qualified flight surgeon.
TROOP AND COMPANY-LEVEL STAFF
The leaders at troop and company level perform functions similar to their squadron counterparts.
As second in command, the troop XO supervises operations from the troop command post. The XO is also assigned a combat vehicle so he can quickly assume command of the cavalry troop in case the commander becomes a casualty or if the mission requires his presence forward. He stays abreast of the tactical situation within the squadron and troop. He manages the flow of combat information between the troop and squadron. He advises the commander, represents him in his absence, and prepares to assume command. The XO ensures that organic and supporting combat support assets are continuously synchronized with the troop's scheme of maneuver. With assistance from the troop first sergeant, he plans and coordinates combat service support for the troop.
The troop first sergeant is primarily responsible for sustaining the troop's ability to fight. He supervises the procurement and distribution of fuel, ammunition, food, water, clothing, equipment, replacements, and repair parts. He receives personnel replacements and assigns them to subordinate elements as needed. He ensures soldiers wounded or killed in action are evacuated by directing the combat medic teams. He is also responsible for the evacuation and recovery of damaged combat equipment. He leads the troop combat trains. He supervises NCO development and soldier training. As a troubleshooter and advisor, he assists the commander in tactical operations as needed.
The platoon leader is responsible to the commander for the discipline, combat readiness, welfare, and training of the platoon as well as the maintenance of its equipment. He must be proficient in the tactical employment of the platoon. He must also know the capabilities and limitations of the platoon's personnel and equipment. The platoon leader's responsibility in combat is twofold:
The platoon sergeant leads elements of the platoon as directed by the platoon leader and assumes command of the platoon in the absence of the platoon leader. The platoon sergeant assists the platoon leader in maintaining discipline, training, and controlling the platoon in combat. He supervises the maintenance of equipment, supply, and other combat service support matters. He advises the platoon leader as required.
Mortar Section Sergeant
The mortar section sergeant is responsible for providing indirect fires to support the troop commander's concept of the operation. He trains, supervises, and maintains the mortar section and its equipment.
The supply sergeant requisitions, picks up, transports, and issues or stores supplies and equipment for the troop. He normally leads the LOGPAC (logistics package). He supervises the troop supply section. He works closely with the first sergeant to accomplish these tasks. He evacuates enemy prisoners of war and assists in evacuating KIA (killed in action) remains.
The maintenance sergeant supervises prompt recovery of damaged or inoperable equipment on the battlefield. He leads the troop maintenance section. He works closely with the first sergeant to accomplish these tasks.
The communications sergeant prepares the troop command post and its assigned crew for combat operations. He assists the XO in the troop command post during combat operations. Where no command post is authorized, he operates out of the combat trains. Within his capability, he repairs communications equipment of subordinate elements. He is responsible for distributing the unit SOI and COMSEC equipment.
The troop NBC NCO is responsible for troop NBC defense activities. He supervises radiological monitoring, chemical detection, and decontamination operations (less patient decontamination). He assists in maintaining NBC equipment and in training NBC equipment operators and decontamination teams.
Military decision making is both an art and a science. The commander and staff continually face situations that involve uncertainties, questionable or incomplete data, and several possible alternatives. They must not only decide what to do, but also recognize when a decision is necessary. A systematic approach to problem solving assists in accomplishing the task. How a commander or staff officer arrives at a decision is a matter of personal determination; however, sound conclusions, recommendations, and decisions result only from a thorough, clear, unemotional analysis of all facts and assumptions relating to the situation. Subordinate commanders must have sufficient time to plan and prepare. Subordinate units require at least two-thirds of the available time to develop their plans.
All unit commanders use troop-leading procedures to
prepare their unit for battle (see Figure 2-2).
Figure 2-2. Troop-leading procedures with staff input.
Receive and Analyze the Mission
Upon receipt of an order, the commander conducts a mission analysis. He may be assisted by the XO or the S3 in this step. The commander determines the who, what, when, where, and why elements of the mission. He ensures he understands the commander's intent two echelons higher. His analysis should spell out the following:
This step concludes with a restated mission statement.
Issue the Warning Order
The commander immediately issues a warning order after finishing the mission analysis. The warning order is a brief oral or written message that provides essential information to the staff and subordinates. This allows them to begin their planning and preparation to maximize the use of available time throughout the unit. A warning order is critical at troop level to initiate precombat checks and to prepare for movement. The commander may follow up this order with additional guidance.
Make a Tentative Plan
During this step, the commander and the S3 use the restated mission, commander's guidance, and higher commander's intent to develop several possible courses of action.
There are tools commanders may use to choose a plan. The commander selects the tool he will use based on the time available and the size of his staff.
The decision-making process is a systematic approach to decision making, which fosters effective analysis by enhancing application of professional knowledge, logic, and judgment. Decision making occurs within the context of the troop-leading procedures and encompasses the estimate of the situation (see Figure 2-3).
Figure 2-3. The military decision-making model.
This process consists of six broad steps, which are the
foundation of decision making:
1. Recognize and define the problem.
2. Gather facts and make assumptions.
3. Develop possible solutions.
4. Analyze each solution.
5. Compare the outcome of each solution.
6. Select the best solution available.
The military decision-making process revolves around an established, proven, analytical procedure (see Figure 2-4). It is a continuous and sequential process that allows the commander and his staff to examine the battlefield and reach logical decisions. The key elements of the process are as follows:
Figure 2-4. Decision-making process.
Both the commander and his staff prepare an estimate of the situation, although it lies first and foremost in the commander's mind. He prepares the commander's estimate (mentally or in writing) while continuing to collect information and analyze METT-T as well as other relevant factors that could affect the mission. He integrates his personal knowledge of the situation, his assessment of subordinate commanders, and any relevant details gained from his staff. Analysis and subsequent comparison of the developed courses of action help determine the best one to accomplish the
mission. Staff members help the commander by preparing their estimates. The different types of estimates are listed below.
While the military decision-making model is a deliberate analytical process, the commander has the option to modify this process based on his needs and experiences. METT-T and unforeseen circumstances may make it difficult if not impossible to follow a deliberate process. Therefore, the commander must abbreviate or accelerate the military decision-making model in order to arrive at a logical decision in the shortest amount of time.
The military decision-making model provides a firm foundation for decision making during continuous operations. It is extremely important that the commander thoroughly understand and use the decision-making model in training. This process helps the commander and his staff apply thoroughness, clarity, sound judgment, logic, and the use of professional knowledge to a mission requirement. Effective decision making by competent, experienced, and confident battle commanders is key to the process. For a detailed discussion on military decision making, see FM 101-5.
Initiate Necessary Movement
While preparing the tentative plan, or immediately following, the commander initiates necessary movement of key elements and units. This movement may include those elements that assist in command and control of the operation, conduct reconnaissance, pre-position combat service support assets, or conduct liaison. The entire unit may be required to displace over a long distance to a forward assembly area.
The commander conducts a physical reconnaissance of the area of operations, movement routes, forward assembly area, and line of departure if possible. This reconnaissance includes subordinate organic and attached leaders. Reconnaissance may be conducted on the ground or in the air. Engineer reconnaissance is an integral part of this effort. The IPB saves valuable time by providing detailed terrain analysis, allowing leader efforts to focus on critical items. Time or the situation may preclude a physical reconnaissance. In this case, a map reconnaissance is conducted. Again, the IPB is essential for a successful effort.
Complete the Plan
The commander uses information gained during the reconnaissance, new information from corps or division, and updated information from the staff to complete the plan. Changes to courses of action and completion of war gaming are conducted. The commander considers staff recommendations and makes his decision. At this point, the regimental/squadron commander delegates the authority for completion of the order to his staff, with the S3 or the XO having the ultimate responsibility to prepare the order for distribution. The commander may sign the finished order or delegate his S3 or XO to authenticate it in his name. Troop commanders normally prepare simple SOP-based oral orders.
Issue the Order
Ideally, the commander briefs the plan to the orders group on the ground chosen for the operation. Alternatively, the order can be briefed in the TOC or at a forward position. Overlays and copies of the order should be in the TOC or at a forward position and issued at the start so notes can be made on them during the briefing. When time is short, the order can be distributed by messenger or issued by radio. Methods of issuing the order include the written five paragraph order with overlays, overlay order, FRAGO, and oral FRAGO. The method selected reflects the amount of time available and the urgency of the mission.
Orders are communications-written, oral, or by signal-that convey instructions from a superior to a subordinate. The terms order, command, directive, and letter of instruction are synonymous for all practical purposes. Directive and letter of instruction normally apply to high levels of command and set broad goals, aims, or policies. An operation order implies discretion as to the details of execution whereas a command does not. Cavalry commanders use combat orders in issuing instructions. Combat orders have the following characteristics:
Figure 2-5 describes the type of combat orders that
cavalry commanders use. FM 101-5 and supporting manuals
discuss orders and formats.
|OPLAN||Prepared prior to hostilities: contingencies general defense plan. Covers single operation or a series of connected operations carried simultaneously or in succession. Becomes OPORD when implementing conditions occur. Result of deliberate planning.||Five-paragraph format
with all appropriate
|OPORD||Directive issued for effecting coordinated execution of an operation. Includes tactical movement orders. Result of deliberate planning.||Five-paragraph format with annexes.
|WO||Preliminary notice of an action or order to follow. Gives subordinates time to plan and prepare. Used for all operations/orders.||No fixed format.
Brief written/oral order.
|FRAGO||Abbreviated form of OPORD used to make changes in missions to units or inform them of changes in the tactical situation. Used for mission orders. Result of hasty planning.||Brief.
changes to five-
Use existing graphics
as much as possible.
Figure 2-5. Types of combat orders.
Immediately after the order is issued, the commander and staff answer questions from subordinate leaders. Once all questions have been answered, the commander gathers his subordinate leaders and conducts the confirmation brief. The confirmation brief is a tool the commander uses to ensure his subordinates understand the mission, his intent, and his guidance for the conduct of the operation. The confirmation brief adjourns when the commander is confident his subordinates understand their mission, his and the higher commander's intent, the concept of the operation, the scheme of maneuver, the timeline, and the type and location of the rehearsal.
Rehearsals are of paramount importance before executing any plan. Rehearsals help in the following ways:
Commanders/unit leaders conduct rehearsals at their appropriate levels. Rehearsals at all levels are key to ensuring understanding the concept of the operation, verifying specific responsibilities, timing actions, and identifying backup procedures to synchronize combat operations. Rehearsals should be as complete as time allows. In time-constrained situations, the rehearsal can be abbreviated to focus on the most critical events of the operation, as prioritized by the commander. Commanders should avoid a chronological mindset.
METT-T will determine the type or extent of the rehearsal. An accurate timeline issued in the warning order identifies and assists in the prioritization of tasks to be rehearsed. There are several techniques for rehearsing:
See Appendix A for more information on rehearsals.
Supervise and Refine
This step requires the collective efforts of the commander, staff, and subordinate commanders. Prior to execution, backbriefs by subordinate commanders or leaders ensure the intent is understood, problems corrected, and coordination refined. Units conduct rehearsals of movements, drills, fire commands, and formations whenever possible. The commander must rely on his staff and subordinate commanders for assistance and advice in supervising and refining the plan during execution.
Plans are the initial basis of action, but the commander must expect considerable variation from them during execution of operations. The command and control system must allow the tactical leaders freedom of action to position wherever the situation calls for their personal presence without depriving them of the ability to control subordinates. The commander must retain mental flexibility and agility to change the plan during execution and to rapidly perform the steps of the troop-leading procedures to arrive at a decision and issue a FRAGO. The staff and subordinate commanders must be equally adept at gathering information, making recommendations, and executing subsequent orders. They must do this continuously, rapidly, and with brevity.
Higher commands will often order cavalry units to perform missions immediately or with very little planning time. These orders, normally issued after commencement of an operation, will be issued in fragmentary form. A FRAGO is an abbreviated form of an operation order that contains information of immediate concern to subordinates. A FRAGO has no specified format; however, commanders should use the five-paragraph operation order, abbreviated to address changes and modifications in the existing order, thereby eliminating the need for restating information contained in the base order. The commander must ensure he includes enough information for his subordinates to clearly understand his intent. If time and the situation permit, the commander should issue the FRAGO face-to-face with his subordinates. Commanders issue orders over the radio when distance prevents issuing the order face-to-face and time does not allow for a written order. A radio order normally contains the following elements:
INTELLIGENCE PREPARATION OF THE BATTLEFIELD
IPB is the foundation of successful decision making. Each decision-making tool uses IPB, which is conducted continuously throughout the decision-making process. IPB develops intelligence about the enemy, weather, and terrain, which the commander and staff need to complete their planning. It enables the commander and staff to see, rather than visualize mentally, where both friendly and enemy forces can move, shoot, and communicate. It provides a graphic data base for comparing friendly and enemy courses of action. It serves as a graphic intelligence estimate. Weather and terrain overlays and enemy templates are the principal graphic products used to integrate the battlefield environment for the decision-making process. IPB is developed for both the area of operations and the area of interest. It is used in all operations. IPB is a continuous process consisting of four steps that are performed each time IPB is conducted:
IPB integrates enemy doctrine with the battlefield effects-weather and terrain-as they relate to the mission and to the specific battlefield environment. It provides a basis for determining and evaluating enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action. Terrain and weather analysis and threat evaluation may be performed simultaneously or in sequence. Determining the threat courses of action is performed last by integrating weather, terrain, enemy, and friendly forces. Threat integration determines their combined effects on friendly combat operations.
IPB production is labor intensive. During peacetime, the S2 builds an extensive data base for each potential area in which a unit will operate. Once hostilities begin and current data becomes available, the intelligence estimate becomes dynamic, changing as the situation changes on the battlefield.
The S2 defines the battlefield environment. IPB done before an operation shows gaps in the intelligence data base, establishes the limits of the area of interest and identifies characteristics of the battlefield that will affect both the threat and friendly forces. When possible, requirements are satisfied before the operation begins. Remaining gaps in information frequently become priority intelligence requirements. IPB provides the basis for a dynamic collection plan and a guide for the effective employment of collection, reconnaissance, and surveillance resources.
The S2 does not conduct IPB in a vacuum. He is assisted by other members of the staff. He has access to the detailed products produced at higher headquarters and can routinely request the products he needs. He normally has a direct link to the TOC analytical control element at the higher headquarters.
Threat evaluation consists of a detailed study of enemy forces, their composition and organization, tactical doctrine, weapons and equipment, and supporting battlefield functional systems. Threat evaluation determines enemy capabilities and how they operate relative to doctrine and training or how they would fight if not restricted by weather and terrain.
Threat evaluation also includes an evaluation of threat high-value targets, critical nodes, and doctrinal rates of movement. High-value targets and movement rates are reevaluated during threat integration within the constraints imposed by the terrain and weather.
The threat information is now integrated into the analysis of the terrain and weather. Determination of threat courses of action relates enemy doctrine to the terrain and weather to determine how the enemy might actually fight within the specified battlefield environment. This integration is sequentially accomplished through the development of doctrinal, situation, event, and decision support templates (see Figure 2-6).
Figure 2-6. Threat integration templates.
A template is a graphic illustration (normally drawn to scale) of enemy force structure, deployment, or capabilities. It provides a basis for seeing the battlefield and for command estimates and decisions affecting resource allocation. It is used as a comparative data base to integrate what is known about the enemy with a specific weather and terrain scenario. Templates enable the commander to visualize enemy capabilities, predict likely courses of action before combat, and confirm or refute them during combat. They provide a means for continuous identification and assessment of enemy capabilities and vulnerabilities.
Templates portray a variety of enemy characteristics such as disposition of forces, weapons, fortifications, and equipment. Battlefield functional systems, like artillery or engineers, may also be templated. Templates can be added to, changed, or deleted as the situation dictates.
Doctrinal templates are the primary products that result from threat evaluation. Doctrinal templates convert enemy order of battle data into graphic displays that model how the enemy might look according to doctrine and training without the effects of weather and terrain considered. They portray various enemy echelons and types of units for various capabilities and schemes of maneuver. Doctrinal templates are used to-
The situation template is basically a doctrinal template with the terrain and weather constraints applied. It shows how the threat forces might deviate from doctrinal dispositions, frontages, depths, and echelon spacing to account for the effects of the terrain and weather. These templates focus on specific mobility corridors. Situation templating is basically a visual technique. By placing a doctrinal template over a segment of a mobility corridor, the analyst adjusts units or equipment dispositions to depict where they might actually be deployed in the situation. Time and space analyses are important in developing situation templates. They are used to war-game the battlefield.
Situation templating is the basis for event templating. Event templating is the identification and analysis of significant battlefield events and enemy activities that provide indicators of the enemy course of action. By knowing what the enemy can do and comparing it with what he is doing, we can predict what he will do next. This is an important analysis factor in determining the enemy's posture and movement. Knowing when and where enemy activity is likely to occur on the battlefield provides indicators of enemy intentions, or verifies that projected events did or did not occur.
As the enemy force is visualized moving along a mobility corridor, critical areas become apparent. These areas are significant because they are where significant events and activities will occur. It is within these areas that targets may appear. These areas are designated as named areas of interest (NAI). An NAI is a point or area along a mobility corridor where enemy activity will confirm or deny a particular enemy course of action. The NAIs must be observed to be effective. Therefore, the number and location of designated NAIs are tied to the unit's ability to observe them.
The event template depicts NAIs along each mobility corridor and the relationship of events along all mobility corridors. It provides a means for analyzing the sequence of activities and events that should occur for each enemy course of action and how they relate to one another. The event template is developed by mentally war gaming each enemy course of action from a start point to potential enemy objectives.
Event templating is the basis for decision support templating. The decision support template is essentially the intelligence estimate in graphic form. It relates the detail of event templates to decision points that are of significance to the commander. It does not dictate decisions to the commander, but it does identify critical events and threat activities relative to time and location that may require tactical decisions. It provides a structured basis for using experience and judgment to reduce battlefield uncertainties.
Areas along each avenue of approach and mobility corridor where the commander can influence enemy action through successful interdiction are called target areas of interest (TAI). The TAIs are usually areas that were earlier identified as NAI. They are areas where units can delay, disrupt, destroy, or manipulate the enemy force. They are also areas suitable for attacking high-value targets.
A TAI is an engagement area or point, usually along a mobility corridor, where the interdiction of threat forces by maneuver, fires, or jamming will deprive or reduce a particular threat capability. It can also cause him to abandon a particular course of action or require the use of unusual support to continue the operation. In the latter option, TAIs must be terrain-dependent to inhibit or deny movement.
Example TAIs include the following:
Following the selection of TAIs, decision points are identified. The location of decision points is largely influenced by the availability and capability of friendly fire and maneuver systems; therefore, their selection is primarily an S3 function.
Decision points identify what battlefield events may require tactical decisions and when these decisions must be made so the commander can synchronize his forces. Decisions must be made early enough to ensure they can be implemented in time to achieve the desired effects. Decision points equate time to specific points on the battlefield. They are determined by comparing times required to implement decisions, enemy movement rates, and distances.
A detailed discussion of IPB is in FM 34-130 and example IPB procedures are in FM 17-97 and FM 17-98.
The commander organizes his staff to accomplish the mission. He develops an organization that is flexible enough to meet changing situations. The facilities from which the commander and his staff operate are closely aligned with the command and control organization. They provide processing and transmitting information and orders necessary for effective command and control. They sustain the operation through continuity, planning, and coordination of combat support and combat service support. The command and control facilities used in a tactical situation are listed below.
These facilities are not distinct groups, nor are they appropriate for all levels of command. Overlap does occur and redundancy is necessary to ensure adequacy and survivability of the command and control system. Most functions performed in a command post fall into one of three mutually supporting groups: those that directly relate to the control and direction of the on-going battle, those that support the force, and those that relate to planning future operations. Figure 2-7 illustrates the relationship between command post facilities, their functions, and the command and control organizations. FM 71-100 and FM 101-5 provide techniques for organizing these facilities.
|S3 (as required)
S2/S3 Staff Rep
|S3 (as required)
S2/S3 Staff Rep
Sections for S2,
S3, S5, FSE,
S2, S3, FSE, Engr,
TACP, Flt Ops,
|CTCP||S1, S4, Staff
|TAC CP, ALC,
Rear CP, Sqdn CP
|TAC CP, ALC,
|Rear CP||RSS TOC; RS1/
Figure 2-7. Command post echelons.
The following are some considerations that affect how the command and control facilities organize for combat operations:
Command posts and their supporting communication systems are high-priority targets. They present radio frequency, thermal, acoustic, visual, and moving target signatures that are easy to detect. They must be made less vulnerable or risk destruction or disruption by electronic means. Some protective measures for command posts are as follows:
Under most circumstances, survivability requires that a combination of techniques be employed. Survivability measures must also be balanced against the requirement for retaining effectiveness. While frequent displacement might reduce command post vulnerability, the command and control functions may be seriously degraded. This is particularly true if the enemy is capable of detecting and targeting a command post more rapidly than it can be set up.
The command group is located well forward, with appropriate communications means, to see and command the battle at the most critical point. The command group will generally consist of the following personnel:
The command group is not a permanent organization. It is organized and operated according to the commander and the needs of the current situation. It is highly mobile, displaces often, and may move continuously. Since cavalry frequently operates on wide frontages, the commander may place the S3 at a second critical location on the battlefield.
The command group fights the battle. It synchronizes the fight by arranging battlefield activities to achieve maximum effect on the enemy. It coordinates fires and movement in time and space to concentrate at the decisive point.
The commander positions himself so he can see the battle and issue appropriate orders at critical times. The air liaison officer either positions himself with the commander or locates where he can see the priority target area requiring close air support. The FSCOORD/FSO normally positions himself forward with the commander to facilitate synchronization of fires. The vehicle commander remains on the vehicle with the commander and the S3 and assists in operating radios, posting maps, repositioning, or freeing the commander and the S3 to concentrate on the battle.
TACTICAL COMMAND POST
Cavalry frequently operates over long distances, wide frontages, or extended depths. The commander maintains adequate internal communications over these distances as well as external links to the controlling headquarters. The TAC CP is the facility that supports this continuity of command and control. The TAC CP may serve as a long-term or temporary facility. The TAC CP, in some cases, may be viewed as a forward echelon of the TOC. Requirements for long-term operations dictate that the TAC CP cannot be formed at the expense of the TOC. The command group uses the TAC CP as a base. The regiment also operates a heliborne TAC CP as required. It is used by the commander or the S3 for fast-moving operations, extended frontages, or rapidly changing situations.
The S3 normally runs the TAC CP with the assistance of personnel from the S2 and S3 sections. Representatives of special staff officers may be present as required. The S3 positions the TAC CP well forward on the battlefield. It is highly mobile and relies on frequent displacement, small size, and comparatively low electronic signature to provide security. The TAC CP keeps a battle map the same as the TOC and provides the commander with a reasonably secure place to plan operations and issue orders.
The TAC CP controls the ongoing operation, provides the commander with critical combat information, and coordinates immediately available fire support. Additional functions of the TAC CP are as follows:
MAIN COMMAND POST
The main command post is composed of functional cells that serve as the control, coordination, and communications center for regiment/squadron combat operations. These functional cells include the headquarters cell, current operations cell, plans cell, intelligence cell, a fire support cell, and a combat service support cell. The corps normally provides the regiment with a variety of communications assets and intelligence system downlinks that become part of the main command post. Liaison officers from other headquarters report to and perform their duties at the main command post. The XO is responsible for operations at the main command post.
The location of the main command post varies according to the type of operation in which the unit is engaged. The primary considerations in positioning the command post are communications, accessibility, and survivability. The command post is arranged to facilitate work and security, to smooth traffic flow, to take advantage of cover, and to permit quick displacement. When possible, the command post is located in built-up areas using maintenance facilities, garages, or barns large enough to accommodate it. Support assets collocate at the command post; however, their vehicles and communications equipment are dispersed and camouflaged to reduce the electronic and visual signature. Where built-up areas cannot be used, the command post should be placed on a wooded reverse slope to provide cover and concealment from enemy observation and fires. Adequate road networks are needed to support command post traffic.
Detailed unit SOPs outline command post configurations and functions of individuals assigned. Configurations are flexible to accommodate terrain, the situation, and losses of equipment. Both hasty and long-term configurations are planned.
Tactical Operations Center
The TOC is the largest cell of the main command post. The TOC contains future, current, and close operations cells. The TOC is the principal planning organization for the unit. When the TAC CP is not deployed, the TOC controls close operations. Additionally, the TOC ensures combat service support operations remain integrated. The TOC provides information and assistance to the commander and his subordinate commanders. The TOC anticipates future combat support and combat service support requirements and pushes assets forward before needs are reported.
The TOC is responsive to requests and has a sense of urgency at all times. Other functions of the TOC are as follows:
The XO controls the TOC. It is composed of the S2 and S3 sections, the S1 and the S4 as appropriate, elements of the communications platoon, and the fire support element. It can also include engineer, air defense, and other representatives, depending on the mission of the unit. The nucleus of the TOC is the three functional areas of the S2, the S3, and the fire support element. Other elements are arranged around this nucleus. Standardizing TOC configurations facilitates rapid displacement, establishment, and efficient operations. Internal arrangements must facilitate staff coordination, provide adequate work space and communications assets, and reduce the number of personnel physically present inside the TOC.
Personnel in the TOC monitor operations on a 24-hour basis. They maintain communications with organic, higher, and adjacent units to stay abreast of the situation; post maps; maintain records; and send reports as required.
Available personnel are organized to provide effective, continuous operation of the TOC. Establishing shifts provides a sufficient quantity of personnel to operate the TOC and the required expertise to make decisions on major issues.
The standard shift evenly divides available personnel based on staff function and expertise. This method provides standardized teams, enhanced teamwork, and simplicity. Disadvantages include a break in the continuity of operations during shift change and possible absence of a key staff officer when needed. Adequate shift change procedures reduce continuity problems.
A variation of the standard shift is the heavy/light shift. This method places a majority of personnel on duty when significant activity is ongoing or anticipated. The light shift consists of fewer soldiers with those off duty remaining on call. This method provides flexibility based on mission requirements and the presence of key personnel when needed.
The staggered shift staggers the times that personnel come on and off duty. Each soldier works a shift length based on section and duty requirements. This method precludes a break in the continuity of operations but may be more complex to manage and support.
Regardless of the method used, several considerations apply. The XO is not placed on a duty shift since he is second in command and works as necessary. Personnel who do not work permanently in the TOC are not integral parts of a duty shift. This includes liaison officers and any attached special staff officers who are unit leaders or commanders. Additionally, members of the command group and TAC CP are not included. These personnel integrate into the existing manning schedules when present at the main command post for an extended period. The XO uses replacement or wounded officers and NCOs as augmentation. Using replacement leaders on the staff initially integrates them into the unit with minimum disruption. They may replace current staff officers who assume leadership roles in subordinate units. Any manning method used must retain flexibility to accommodate personnel departing from the TOC for specific duties and to adapt to changing situations and available personnel. Needlessly disrupting the rest of personnel rapidly degrades their effectiveness.
Figure 2-8 illustrates advantages and disadvantages of the different manning methods.
|Standard Shift||Simple||Lack flexibility|
|Standardized||Break in continuity|
|Balanced||Key personnel may be absent|
|Heavy/Light||Key personnel available||Disrupt sleep plans|
|Flexible schedule||Not balanced|
|Shift leaders||Break in continuity|
|Staggered Shift||Continuity of operations||More complex|
|Balanced||No fixed shift|
|Class I difficult|
The regimental command post may have a large support element consisting of organic and corps communications assets, the S2 regimental TOC analytical control element, intelligence and EW system downlinks, a security force, maintenance, and supporting or attached unit representatives. Combat support troops and companies of the regiment do not collocate their command posts at the regimental command post. Squadrons normally have a small support element for security and service support.
Service support of the command post is the responsibility of the HHT commander. He normally accomplishes this by delegating his authority to the HHT first sergeant. Support is provided to the main command post, TAC CP, and command group.
Command Post Security
The TOC is a lucrative target. The first line of security for the TOC is to prevent the compromise of its location through OPSEC and COMSEC measures. These measures include the following:
The actual defense of the command post is the XO's responsibility. The regimental XO delegates this responsibility to the HHT commander who serves as the headquarters commandant. The headquarters commandant's responsibilities include security, movement, service support, and maintenance. The squadron does not have an officer dedicated to this function. The squadron XO normally tasks a staff officer in the TOC to perform the duties of the headquarters commandant.
A perimeter defense is initially established around the TOC and manned by TOC and TOC support personnel. The perimeter includes fighting positions, antiarmor mines, anti-intrusion devices, and protective wire to supplement the fighting positions. For continuous operations, the sleep areas should be organized so that teams are near their positions on the perimeter.
Off-duty shift personnel from the TOC may be used for security duties along with other personnel working in the TOC area. The senior TOC NCO normally coordinates the security shift schedule. All personnel must understand their security duties. A high degree of security must be maintained during displacement. The priority of work for establishing security generally follows this order:
1 - Establish initial security.
2 - Position crew-served weapons and vehicles.
3 - Position remaining personnel.
4 - Clear fields of fire.
5 - Emplace obstacles.
6 - Prepare fighting positions.
7 - Establish wire communications systems.
8 - Prepare alternate and supplementary positions.
9 - Select and prepare routes for supply and evacuation.
The ground fires of ADA elements in the area may be integrated with the fire plan for the command post. The most important factors in defense of the command post are that all personnel know where their positions are and that positions are well prepared and tied into each other. An alarm to occupy fighting positions should be an SOP item and the occupation of these positions practiced. When attacked or threatened, security becomes the primary task of all personnel. TOC operations are degraded and continue at a minimum level until the command post is secured. The TAC CP or alternate command post assumes functions the TOC cannot perform.
When the command post moves, it can displace as a whole, by echelon, or by bounds. When the move allows continuous communications, the command post will displace as a whole. When moving a long distance, or when the move to the proposed location will not allow continuous communications, the command post displaces by echelon. The TAC CP can be used in this role. The larger main command post at regimental level frequently displaces by echelon as a security measure.
The XO designates the location of the command post site. If the site is significantly different from that previously determined by the S3 or if none has been designated, the XO coordinates the location with the S3. The first echelon of the TOC moves with the quartering party under control of the headquarters commandant. The quartering party performs a reconnaissance of the area, selects the exact location, and establishes communications. Once the first echelon is operational, and local security is established, the area is marked for occupation by other vehicles, and guides are posted. The off-duty shift may operate the first echelon. All personnel train to perform its functions. The signal officer is normally a member of the quartering party and selects the exact location for the TOC based on communications considerations. This is particularly important when considering line of sight requirements for area communications systems.
COMBAT TRAINS COMMAND POST
The CTCP is composed of portions of the S1 and S4 sections and is under the S4's control. Its primary functions are to plan logistics support and coordinate with subordinate units, higher headquarters, and the headquarters of the supporting logistics unit. It tracks the current logistics status of subordinate units. The regimental operations support section is located with the main command post. The squadron CTCP may be located with the TOC, combat trains, field trains, or unit trains. It serves as the field trains command post or the alternate command post.
Continuous communications are maintained with supporting and subordinate units. S1 and S4 personnel cross-train in duties and basic functions to provide continuous operations. An operations situation map is maintained to facilitate logistical planning and to back up tactical command and control.
ALTERNATE COMMAND POST
The alternate command post assumes the functions of the main command post if it (specifically the TOC) is destroyed or rendered ineffective. The alternate command post may be the TAC CP if it is deployed, a CTCP, a squadron command post (regiment level), or a troop command post (squadron level). During normal operations, the CTCP eavesdrops on the tactical net and is familiar with the situation. The alternate command post carries the same maps, charts, and SOPs as the TOC. It should also be capable of monitoring the key radio nets. The unit SOP provides for assignment of an alternate command post. The alternate command post normally cannot duplicate all the communications means or command and control functions of the main command post, so the SOP dictates the essential nets and activities that must remain operational. Standardized procedures facilitate rapid assumption of the command post functions by the alternate.
REAR COMMAND POST
The rear command post for the regiment is composed of the regimental support squadron command post and elements of the regimental S4 and S1 sections. The rear command post sustains current operations, forecasts future combat service support requirements, conducts detailed combat service support planning, and serves as an entry point for units entering the regimental support area. The regiment materiel management center is normally collocated with the rear command post. It coordinates with corps staff and COSCOM for logistics support. The regimental support squadron command post may serve as the regimental alternate command post.
In the squadron, the field trains command post performs the same function as a rear command post. Normally, the field trains command post is provided by the HHT. It is composed of elements of the S1 and S4 sections and the HHT. It controls all assets in the field trains, ensures sustainment activities are moving forward to the combat trains, and coordinates support requirements. When collocated with the regimental support squadron or a forward support battalion, the field trains command post and field trains are under operational control of the support unit commander for security, positioning, and movement. The field trains command post maintains landline communication with all elements in or collocated with the field trains. Communications are maintained with the CTCP and the combat trains to coordinate service support requirements. When the squadron is operating at an extended distance from the field trains, these communications may be routed through the support unit command post.
TROOP COMMAND POST
The troop command post is a lean facility. Controlled by the XO, it is manned by members of the troop headquarters. The troop command post essentially performs command and support functions for the on-going operation. Limited planning may be accomplished. The command post maintains communications with subordinate organic and supporting elements, squadron, and adjacent units and plays a key role in coordinating air and ground troop operations. The command post maintains close contact with the first sergeant in the troop combat trains to coordinate service support operations.
The air cavalry troop does not have a command post. Communications with the air cavalry are effected by talking to the commander or other officers in the aircraft, the troop first sergeant in his vehicle, or a nearby facility, such as the rear command post.
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