The following is the submission of “Timbersour” for my recent TDG series in which students planned recon of an objective, received results of their reconnaissance, and drafted a final assault plan. More of these will follow in the coming days. Feel free to comment and discuss his answers.
I’m going to have 3 teams conduct reconnaissance. Team 1 will consist of a a team leader and rifleman, Team 2’s me, and Team 3’s another team leader.
Team 1 will set up an OP within sight of the road to Oreokastro. Their job is to find out “Are reinforcements coming from Oreokastro” and if so, to provide a SALT report.
Team 2 will conduct the recon of the fuel dump. Most of my questions are about this, which is why I’d go myself. I want to know
-What is the layout of the fuel dump,
-How many enemies are there, what is their equipment, and where are their positions.
-Where are the fuel supplies we intend to destroy and how might we destroy them.
Based on your feedback from last week, I’ll also add:
-Are there enemy observation points; what is their field of view and what optical equipment do they have
-Will the ridge line, running from hill 219 to hill 239 provide concealment from observation while approaching the dump
-Are there any other obstacles/dead space/foliage that may help or impede the attack, particularly around hill 240
Team 3’s job is more open ended – I want to find out more about this civilian gas station
-Does it have fuel the Russians could use (ie, do they have diesel to begin with, is it in stock, do the pumps have power, etc) and if so;
-How can we deny it to the Russians
-Can we contact the owner
Team 1 will have a radio (I assume I’ve at least got 2, if I have a dedicated radio operator), NVG, and observation equipment. Team 2 will have NVG and observation equipment, perhaps a radio if I’ve got extras. Team 3 gets equipment as requested.
Team 1 and 2 will leave camp and travel on the western military crest of the ridgeline until reaching hill 219. Team 1 will break west, continuing through the draw south of 247 towards the direction of hill 318. Tentatively, I want the OP 200 yds NE of 318, but I’ll give the leader latitude to move it for better observation, so long as he remains in that grid and south of the road. Team 2 will continue north from hill 219, cross the road , and continue to follow the ridgeline as it turns east until I reach hill 240. I’ll make my observation from the NE slope of the hill. Team 3 will its own beast; it’s unlikely that a traditional approach will get the information I need, so I want him to contact locals and see what he can find. Assuming my soldiers are from the local area, he can start with them, and then begin trying to contact locals in the area.
I hope that all makes some kinda sense – thanks for doing these TDGs, by the way, it’s made me look forward to Tuesdays and you seem to have really outdone yourself with this latest one.
Recon Results from Mike
What’s up dude!
Team 1 sets up their OP at the military crest of hill 318 on the NE side. Team 2 crosses the road en route to their OP, and note that they momentarily hear the sound of a diesel engine idling to the West, but it stops after 2 minutes.
Upon reaching hill 240, you realize that your view of the enemy position is blocked by trees. However, you can see the civilian gas station, barely lit up through your binoculars:
Luckily, one of your squad members has an ACOG on his rifle, which is night vision compatible. You hold your NVG in front of it and observe the below image:
There appears to be several wrecked civilian vehicles present, no movement that you can see. You note that while hill 240 itself is very exposed, the woods East and NE of the hill provide excellent cover and concealment leading up to about 100m of the objective.
Since you can’t observe anything further from this OP, you head directly back to the patrol base to minimize the risk of a friendly fire incident from making unplanned additional movements in the dark near your other teams. On your way back, you note that the draw NW of hill 243 is almost completely exposed up to the road, but the terrain and trees at hill 238 create sufficient cover/concealment.
Team 3 conducts a house call at the farm next to your patrol base. The farmer says that he’s been hunkered down since the invasion and hasn’t been out and about. However, he says that he heard a nasty explosion in the direction of the gas station on the first day of fighting during the air bombardment.
Team 3’s TL makes a decision to get eyes on the gas station from a distance, and proceeds to move toward Hill 243. However, the treeline stops abruptly and prevents this, but they do have clear line of sight to the objective, which turns out to be 50m West of the gas station (and the symbol marked on the map). Below is what team 3 sees through night vision, binoculars, and nvg + ACOG:
Team three notes that there is a 2-man detail walking around the objective in full battle rattle. Team three also notes that they hear a diesel engine start and run for about 10 minutes every hour.
At 0334 a 6-vehicle convoy of thin-skinned UAZs and Ural trucks is observed by teams 3 and 1 passing through, but not stopping at, the depot heading West towards Oreokastro. During a brief flash of the headlights from the convoy, team three reports that the sandbagged position at the West edge of the objective appears to be a PK series light machine gun. All other information about the position you will have to gain from looking at the images above.
Team 1 reports no evidence of enemy reinforcement from Oreokastro.
– It is prudent to plan backup OPs in case your map recon fails you and your primary OP turns out to be a bust. Fortunately for you, team 3 happened to gather the intel you wanted team 2 to gather.
– Movements at night are risky ventures, they’re even more risky when you have multiple groups moving simultaneously due to the risk of friendly fire. You were clear in communicating routes to all teams except team 3, which I assume you gave a radio to coordinate all planned movements. Still, even with radio communication I would personally have only sent one small team out with multiple OPs and objectives to minimize this risk.
– Good job keeping the teams small. Other students sent out mini squads to do their recon, which would probably get them detected. By sending out 2-3 at a time you hit the sweet spot for a covert recon team operating out of a patrol base.
Keep these results in mind when you plan your assault next week.
Dang, seems team 3 really saved my butt! Thanks for the feedback, I’ve definitely got some stuff to work on. Here’s my wag at the mission order – thanks again for doing this, I know it has to be a lot of work!
The objective is a Russian fuel dump, located along a main LOC, south of a forested hill. There is a civilian gas station 50m east of the objective, based on reconnaissance I assess it was destroyed by airstrike and is no-factor to the mission. Known enemy forces at the objective consist of at least 1 2-man fire team, machine gun emplacement, 1 utility vehicle, and 2 fuel trucks. The nearest red garrison is north in Oreokastro, the main force is well south. Most likely COA is a red QRF from Oreokastro, Most deadly COA is an early arrival of the main red force from the South. Blue forces consist of us, and the NATO lodgment to the north. We do not expect support from NATO att.
The mission is to deny the fuel supplies at the objective to the Russian forces.
The unit will be broken up into 3 teams; fire team 3 will split into buddy teams to provide observation north and south of the objective along the LOC, looking for incoming Russian reinforcements. The remaining members will assault the objective through the woods east of hill 240. North security team will use the route used by recon team 1. South security team will take proceed south of hill 218 to hill 239, and take positions in the woods on the NE slope, moving as necessary to maintain observation of the LOC. Once the N and S teams are in position, the main team will proceed, using a similar route as recon team 2, crossing the road at hill 238 per the recon recommendations. Once at hill 240, the main team will advance towards the objective thru the woods. Fire team 1, the squad leader, and radio operator will be the base of fire and will take up positions north of the objective to have a clear line of sight, unimpeded by the fence line on the west. Fire team 2 will be the maneuver element and will assault from the west towards the fence. Once FTs are positioned, I want the best marksman from team 1 to take an aimed shot on the machinegun position. This will be the signal for the rest of team 1 to open fire and for team 2 to advance towards the fence line. From the fence line to the woods will be a no-fire area for team 1. Once team 2 reaches the fence line, I want a signal from team 2(either radio or visual). This will cause team 1 to hold fire and advance while team 2 begins their attack onto the objective. Once the area is cleared, team 2 will set up security while team 1 preps the fuel trucks for burning and searches the area for supplies or items with intelligence value, and collects any casualties from the squad. Once the trucks are lit, the team will RTB south through the woods where the recon team made their observations of the objective. Once they have returned, the north and south teams will make their return.
1 NVG will go to each security team. FT 2 leader will keep his, and squad leader will borrow FT 1 leader’s as necessary. Assuming a similar number of radios as NVGs – 1 radio to each security team, 1 to FTL 2, and 1 with the radio operator. All squad members will be appropriately camouflaged and reminded about light/noise discipline. Only a fighting load will be carried, sustainment gear stays at the camp.
VHF primary, UHF backup. 2 flashes from a light as contingency, 3 slow gunshots as emergency. Number of the day is 9 for challenge/response.
Notes from Mike
That’s a good looking 5-paragraph order! Just a couple notes:
-Your mission statement should include the phrase “in order to” to provide your subordinates a sense of purpose for the mission. In this case, you could have added this phrase to the end of your mission statement: “in order to delay the arrival of enemy armored forces reinforcing Oreokastro and buy NATO some time.” This keeps your men informed about why they are risking their lives in this attack.
-Your situation paragraph lists the enemy strength as what you observed during recon. Keep in mind, soldiers can’t stand watch 24/7, they need rest. You should assume that for every enemy soldier standing guard there is at least one more sleeping nearby (unless they’re on elevated alert).
-Good geometries of fire planning. However, by placing your support by fire position on a location you have not reconnoitered, you take the risk of not actually having line of sight to the objective. It would be prudent to use a location you already know has clear LOS, such as the one your Team 3 used for their recon.
-Based on your response, I think you plan to attack at night. Always include a timeline in your plan to avoid this confusion.
-If you do plan to attack at night, how will your men aim their weapons when only one man per team has night vision? Or do you plan to infiltrate to attack positions at night and wait until dawn to attack?
-Consider adding a casualty handling plan and an enemy prisoner handling plan to the Admin & Logistics paragraph.