Risk is the chance of injury or death for individuals and damage to or loss of vehicles and equipment. Risks, and/or the potential for risks, are always present in every combat and training situation the scout platoon faces. Risk management must take place at all levels of the chain of command during each phase of every operation; it is an integral part of all tactical planning. The scout platoon leader, his NCOs, and all other platoon soldiers must know how to use risk management, coupled with fratricide reduction measures, to ensure that the mission is executed in the safest possible environment within mission constraints.
The primary objective of risk management is to help units protect their combat power through accident prevention, enabling them to win the battle quickly and decisively, with minimum losses. This appendix outlines the process that leaders can use to identify hazards and implement a plan to address each identified hazard. It also includes a detailed discussion of the responsibilities of the platoonís leaders and individual soldiers in implementing a sound risk management program. For additional information on risk management, refer to FM 100-14.
|SECTION 1 RISK MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES|
This section outlines the five steps of risk management. Leaders of the scout platoon must always remember that the effectiveness of the process depends on situational awareness. They should never approach risk management with "one size fits all" solutions to the hazards the platoon will face. Rather, in performing the steps, they must keep in mind the essential tactical and operational factors that make each situation unique.
A hazard is a source of danger. It is any existing or potential condition that could entail injury, illness, or death of personnel; damage to or loss of equipment and property; or some other sort of mission degradation. Tactical and training operations pose many types of hazards.
The scout platoon leader must identify the hazards associated with all aspects and phases of the platoonís mission, paying particular attention to the factors of METT-TC. Risk management must never be an afterthought; leaders must begin the process during their troop-leading procedures and continue it throughout the operation.
Figure F-1 lists possible sources of risk that the scout platoon might face during a typical tactical operation. The list is organized according to the factors of METT-TC.
|SOURCES OF BATTLEFIELD RISK|
TERRAIN AND WEATHER
Figure F-1. Examples of potential hazards.
Hazard assessment is the process of determining the direct impact of each hazard on an operation (in the form of hazardous incidents). Use the following steps:
|RISK LEVEL||MISSION EFFECTS|
|Extremely high (E)||Mission failure if hazardous incidents occur in execution.|
|High (H)||Significantly degraded mission capabilities in terms of required mission standards. Not accomplishing all parts of the mission or not completing the mission to standard (if hazards occur during mission).|
|Moderate (M)||Expected degraded mission capabilities in terms of required mission standards. Reduced mission capability (if hazards occur during the mission).|
|Low (L)||Expected losses have little or no impact on mission success.|
Figure F-2. Risk levels and impact on mission execution.
|A through E||These blocks are self-explanatory.|
|1 (identify hazards)||Review the applicable METT-TC factors for the mission or task. Leaders should use all available resources in making the identification, including historical lessons learned, intuitive analysis, experience, and judgment.|
|2 (assess hazards)||Determine the initial risk level for each hazard, applying criteria outlined in Figure F-2.|
|3 (develop controls)||For each hazard, develop one or more controls that will either eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk (probability and/or severity) of a hazardous incident.|
|Determine the residual risk for each hazard based on the initial risk level and the controls developed for each hazard (listed in Block 3)|
|5 (implement controls)||Determine how each control will be put into effect or communicated to personnel/unit who will make it happen. Methods may include using written or oral instructions; tactical, safety, or garrison SOPs; and/or rehearsals.|
|Select the highest residual risk level in Block 4 and circle it in this block; this is the overall mission or task risk level. The applicable commander decides whether or not the controls developed for the risk are sufficient and whether to accept the level of residual risk. He must measure the residual risk against mission expectations. If the risk is too great to continue the mission or task, the commander must develop additional controls or modify or reject the designated COA for the mission or task.|
|Supervise and evaluate||The last step of the risk management process, though not listed on the worksheet, is nonetheless critical. Plan how each control will be monitored for implementation (such as through continuous supervision and/or spot checks). Determine whether the controls are working and how they can be improved. Pass on lessons learned to the unit and higher.|
Figure F-3. Instructions for risk management worksheet.
A. Mission or task
Conduct a hasty attack
B. Date/time group
Begin: 031035R NOV 98
End: 030600R NOV 98
C. Date prepared:
29 OCT 98
|D. Prepared by (rank, last name, duty position):
|E. Task: Conduct obstacle breaching operations
1 - Identify
2 - Assess
3 - Develop
IR markers on
4 - Residual
5 - Implement
Per FM 90-6
F. Overall risk level (after controls are implemented; circle one)
LOW (L) MODERATE (M) HIGH (H) EXTREMELY HIGH (E)
Figure F-4. Example risk management worksheet.
After assessing each hazard, develop one or more controls that will either eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk (probability and/or severity) of potential hazardous incidents. When developing controls, consider the reason for the hazard, not just the hazard by itself.
Making risk decisions
A key element in the process of making a risk decision is determining whether accepting the risk is justified or, conversely, is unnecessary. The decision-maker (the scout platoon leader, if applicable) must compare and balance the risk against mission expectations. He alone decides if the controls are sufficient and acceptable and whether to accept the resulting residual risk. If he determines the risk is unnecessary, he directs the development of additional controls or alternative controls; as another option, he can modify, change, or reject the selected COA for the operation.
Controls are the procedures and considerations the unit uses to eliminate hazards or reduce their risk. Implementing controls is the most important part of the risk management process; this is the chain of commandís contribution to the safety of the unit. Implementing controls includes coordination and communication with appropriate superior, adjacent, and subordinate units and with individuals executing the mission. The scout platoon leader must ensure that specific controls are integrated into OPLANs, OPORDs, SOPs, and rehearsals. The critical check for this step is to ensure that controls are converted into clear, simple execution orders understood by all levels.
If the leaders have conducted a thoughtful risk assessment, the controls will be easy to implement, enforce, and follow. Examples of risk management controls include the following:
During mission execution, it is imperative for leaders to ensure that risk management controls are properly understood and executed. Leaders must continuously evaluate the unitís effectiveness in managing risks to gain insight into areas that need improvement.
Leadership and unit discipline are the keys to ensuring that effective risk management controls are implemented. All leaders are responsible for supervising mission rehearsals and execution to ensure standards and controls are enforced. In particular, NCOs must enforce established safety policies as well as controls developed for a specific operation or task. Techniques include spot checks, inspections, SITREPs, confirmation briefs, buddy checks, and close supervision.
During mission execution, leaders must continuously monitor risk management controls, both to determine whether they are effective and to modify them as necessary. Leaders must also anticipate, identify, and assess new hazards. They ensure that imminent danger issues are addressed on the spot and that ongoing planning and execution reflect changes in hazard conditions.
Whenever possible, the risk management process should also include an after-action review (AAR) to assess unit performance in identifying risks and preventing hazardous situations. Leaders should then incorporate lessons learned from the process into unit SOPs and plans for future missions.
|SECTION 2 IMPLEMENTATION RESPONSIBILITIES|
Leaders and individuals at all levels are responsible and accountable for managing risk. They must ensure that hazards and associated risks are identified and controlled during planning, preparation, and execution of operations. The scout platoon leader and his senior NCOs must look at both tactical risks and accident risks. The same risk management process is used to manage both types. The scout platoon leader alone determines how and where he is willing to take tactical risks. With the assistance of his PSG, NCOs, and individual soldiers, the platoon leader manages accident risks.
Sometimes, despite the need to advise higher headquarters of a risk taken or about to be assumed, the risk management process may break down. Such a failure can be the result of several factors; most often, it can be attributed to the following:
The scout platoon leader gives the platoon direction, sets priorities, and establishes the command climate (values, attitudes, and beliefs). Successful preservation of combat power requires him to embed risk management into individual behavior. To fulfill this commitment, the platoon leader must exercise creative leadership, innovative planning, and careful management. Most important, he must demonstrate support for the risk management process. The scout platoon leader and others in the platoon chain of command can establish a command climate favorable to risk management integration by taking the following actions:
For the platoon leader, his subordinate leaders, and individual soldiers alike, responsibilities in managing risk include the following: