Fratricide is defined as the employment of friendly weapons that results in the unforeseen and unintentional death or injury of friendly personnel or damage to friendly equipment. Fratricide prevention is the commanderís responsibility. He is assisted by all leaders across all operating systems in accomplishing this mission. This appendix focuses on actions the scout platoon leader and his subordinate leaders can take with current resources to reduce the risk of fratricide.
More than any other maneuver element, scouts are at risk of being victims of fratricide. The scout platoon is particularly vulnerable because it often maneuvers in dispersed elements forward and to the flanks of other friendly combat forces. In a battalion, company teams often do not keep up with the plan or with the disposition of the scouts. For these reasons, situational awareness on the part of all scout leaders, particularly the platoon leader, is critical not only to mission success but also to survival.
In any tactical situation, it is critical that scouts know where other friendly elements are operating. With this knowledge, they must anticipate dangerous conditions and take steps to either avoid or mitigate them. The platoon leader must always be vigilant of changes and developments in the situation that may place his elements in danger. He must also ensure that all scout section or squad positions are constantly reported to higher headquarters so that all other friendly elements are aware of where the scouts are and what they are doing. At troop and battalion level, no-fire areas can be designated to control friendly direct and indirect fire into areas in which scouts are or will be operating. When the platoon leader perceives a potential fratricide situation, he must personally use the higher net to coordinate directly with the friendly element involved.
|SECTION 1 THE ROLE OF TRAINING|
The underlying principle of fratricide prevention is simple: Leaders who know where their soldiers are, and where they want them to fire, can keep those soldiers alive to kill the enemy. At the same time, leaders must avoid at all costs any reluctance to employ, integrate, and synchronize all required operating systems at the critical time and place. They must avoid becoming tentative out of fear of fratricide; rather, they strive to eliminate fratricide risk through tough, realistic, combined arms training in which each soldier and unit achieves the established standard.
Training allows units and soldiers to make mistakes, with the goal of reducing or eliminating the risk of errors occurring in combat. A key role of the scout platoon training program is to teach vehicle crews what targets to engage and when to engage them. Just as important, crews must learn and practice restraint in what and when to engage; for example, every vehicle commander must know that he must confirm the target as hostile before issuing and executing any fire command.
Eliminating the risk of fratricide is no less critical as a training standard than are other mission requirements. All leaders must know all aspects of the applicable training standard, including fratricide prevention, and then ensure that their soldiers train to that standard.
|SECTION 2 EFFECTS OF FRATICIDE|
Fratricide results in unacceptable losses and increases the risk of mission failure; it almost always affects the unitís ability to survive and function. Units experiencing fratricide suffer these consequences:
|SECTION 3 CAUSES OF FRATRICIDE|
The following paragraphs discuss the primary causes of fratricide. Leaders must identify any of the factors that may affect their units and then strive to eliminate or correct them.
These occur when units do not develop effective fire control plans, particularly in the offense. Units may fail to designate target engagement areas or adhere to target priorities, or they may position their weapons incorrectly. Under such conditions, fire discipline often breaks down upon contact.
The scout platoon can use a number of techniques and procedures to help prevent such incidents. An example is "staking in" vehicle and individual positions in the defense, using pickets to indicate the left and right limits of each position. An area of particular concern is the additional planning that must go into operations requiring close coordination between mounted elements and infantry squads. For example, because of the danger posed by discarding petals, sabot rounds should be fired over friendly infantry elements only in extreme emergencies.
Units often stray out of assigned sectors, report wrong locations, and become disoriented. Much less frequently, they employ fire support weapons from the wrong locations. In either type of situation, units that unexpectedly encounter an errant unit may fire their weapons at the friendly force.
Vehicle commanders and gunners cannot accurately identify thermal or optical signatures near the maximum range of their systems. In limited visibility, units within that range may mistake one another for the enemy.
Units may fail to disseminate the minimum necessary maneuver fire control measures and fire support coordination measures; they may also fail to tie control measures to recognizable terrain or events. As the battle develops, the plan then cannot address obvious branches and sequels as they occur. When this happens, synchronization fails.
Units at all levels may fail to generate timely, accurate, and complete reports as locations and tactical situations change. This distorts the tactical "picture" available at each level and can lead to erroneous clearance of supporting fires.
Lapses in individual discipline can result in fratricide. These incidents include charge errors, accidental discharges, mistakes with explosives and hand grenades, and use of incorrect gun data.
A variety of explosive devices and materiel may create danger on the battlefield: unexploded ordnance; unmarked or unrecorded minefields, including scatterable mines; booby traps. Failure to mark, record, remove, or otherwise anticipate these threats will lead to casualties.
|SECTION 4 FRATRICIDE RISK ASSESSMENT|
Figure G-1 is a worksheet for evaluating fratricide risk in the context of mission requirements. The worksheet lists six mission-accomplishment factors that affect the risk of fratricide, along with related considerations for each factor. Leaders should assess the potential risk in each area (low, medium, or high) and assign a point value to each (one point for low risk, two for medium risk, three for high risk). They then add the point values to calculate the overall fratricide assessment score.
Figure G-1. Fratricide risk assessment worksheet.
The resulting score is used only as a guide, however. The leaderís final assessment must be based both on observable risk factors, such as those listed on the worksheet, and on his "feel" for the intangible factors affecting the operation. Note that descriptive terms are listed only in the low- and high-risk columns of the worksheet. The assessment of each factor will determine whether the risk matches one of these extremes or lies somewhere between them as a medium risk.
|SECTION 5 FRATICIDE PREVENTION MEASURES|
The measures outlined in this section, including those listed in the special note above, provide the platoon with a guide to actions it can take to reduce and/or prevent fratricide risk. These guidelines are not directive in nature, nor are they intended to restrict initiative. Commanders and leaders must learn to apply them as appropriate based on the specific situation and METT-TC factors. At the heart of fratricide reduction and prevention are five key principles:
Additional guidelines and considerations fratricide reduction and prevention include the following:
|SECTION 6 STOPPING A FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT|
The scout platoon may become involved in a friendly fire incident in one of several ways: as the victim of the fire; as the firing element; or as an observer intervening in an attack of one friendly element on another. This section covers actions that leaders and crewmen must be prepared to take when they encounter such situations.
The following are recommended actions at crew and leader level in the event the crew falls victim to friendly fires:
The following are recommended actions at crew and leader level when the crew has engaged friendly forces:
The following are recommended actions at crew and leader level in the event the crew observes a friendly fire incident:
In all situations involving the risk of fratricide and friendly fire, leaders must be prepared to take immediate actions to prevent casualties as well as equipment damage or destruction. Recommended actions in fratricide situations include the following: