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TACTICAL OPERATIONS

To introduce SOBC students to the Army's basic operational concept of offensive and defensive operations

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TACTICAL OPERATIONS

Marshall A. McKay

Captain, Armor


Purpose...


To introduce SOBC students to the Army's basic operational concept of offensive and defensive operations.

Quote...

"The primary reason it is so difficult to conduct combat operations against the Americans is that they feel no obligation to follow their own doctrine..."

Unknown German General, W.W.II

OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS

Purpose of the Offense:

PRIMARY: DESTROY/ "KILL" the enemy.

SECONDARY:

To secure key or decisive terrain

To deprive the enemy of key resources

To gain information/time

To deceive or divert the enemy

To fix (hold) the enemy in position.

Characteristics of the Offense

SURPRISE

CONCENTRATION

TEMPO

AUDACITY

CONSIDERATIONS OF THE OFFENSE

See the battlefield

Concentrate overwhelming combat power

Suppress enemy defensive fires

Shock, overwhelm and destroy the enemy

Attack deep into enemy zone to destroy his system of defense and reinforcements

Provide continuous mobile support (cs,css)

4 FORMS OF TACTICAL OFFENSE

Movement to contact

Attack

Exploitation

Pursuit

MOVEMENT TO CONTACT

Approach March:

Enemy location is relatively certain

Enemy Forces at a great distance

Rapid Movement ("traveling")

Meeting Engagement

Both friendly and enemy forces are moving, contact expected/location uncertain.

TYPES OF ATTACK!
"TORA! TORA! TORA!"

Hasty Attack (as a result of a mvt to contact/mtg engagement)

Deliberate Attack (fully sync. with all combat mult; TIME)

Spoiling Attack (from def. Posture; "Offensive Spirit in Def Op's)

Raid (specific purpose other than terrain; commando operation)

Feint/Demonstration (Diversion operations)

Counter Attack (usually the reserve, force enemy to reveal his main effort.)

EXPLOITATION

The attacker extends the destruction of the defending force by maintaining offensive pressure.

Compound disorganization, erode will to resist.

If not... Enemy regroups/reorganize

PURSUIT

Part of the exploitation phase

Follows a successful attack; you are "force" oriented not "terrain" oriented.

Direct, Parallel, Envelop/Dbl Envel.

FORMS OF MANEUVER

Frontal Attack

Envelopment

Penetration

Infiltration

Turning Movement

Frontal Attack

Penetration

Infiltration

Turning Movement

TASK ORGANIZATION

Temporary grouping based on a situational need/Mission

Includes Combat Support and Service Support (Signal)

Attached, Assigned/Organic, OPCON, etc...

Task Org. Cont...

ARMOR HEAVY

+Wide Ranging, Rapid Maneuver

+Abundance of enemy automatic weapons and massed indirect fires.

+Strong enemy armor opposition

+Great observation and fields of fire

Question: What is a good OPORD for Tankers?

Task Org. Cont...

INFANTRY HEAVY

Close/detailed terrain (Urban, Mountain, Jungle, Swamp)

Strong Enemy Anti-Tank Defenses/Obstacles

Mech Heavy, Heavy-Light...

Task Org. Cont...

BALANCED

Enemy Situation Vague

Movement to Contact

Equal requirements for Tanks and Infantry

Or... When in doubt...

DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS

Purpose: The primary purpose of defensive operations is to cause the enemy attack to fail.

Less decisive form of war...

May be stronger than offense

Only used until strong enough to attack

Offensive Spirit

PURPOSE OF THE DEFENSE

Cause the enemy attack to FAIL!!!

Gain time

Concentrate forces elsewhere

Wear down enemy forces prior to friendly offensive operations

Retain Tactical, Strategic or Political Objectives.

AREAS OF THE DEFENSE

DEEP BATTLE AREA

MAIN BATTLE AREA

REAR AREA

or... CLOSE-DEEP-REAR OPERATIONS

DEEP BATTLE AREA

Disrupt enemy movement in depth/C3

Destroy "High Value" targets...

Command and Control

ADA

Artillery

Logistic's

Other (tanks? Cdr sets target priority)

MAIN BATTLE AREA

Fights the decisive battle to defeat enemy

Security Fight to include recon assets

Defend in Depth

Reserves in the MBA...

Block/Destroy Penetrations

Re-establish the the def. Position

Regain the initiative

REAR AREA

Forward limit is the BDE rear Boundary

Area which supply and maintenance is projected forward

Location of admin and communication centers

Oh by the way...PRIMARY TARGET for ENEMY SOF FORCES!

CHARACTERISTICS DEFENSIVE PATTERNS

Two types of Defenses

MOBILE Defense: Force Oriented

AREA Defense: Terrain Oriented

Defensive Patterns Cont...

Mobile Defense

Orients on enemy forces

Mobility > to enemy forces!

Defend with minimum force

Fire and Maneuver (hammer/anvil)

Max. Cbt. Power with striking force

Defensive Patterns Cont...

Area Defense

Traditional defense, fixed

Deny enemy access to designated terrain for a specified time

Mutual supporting positions in depth, max force with interlocking fires

Smaller reserves

Defender has the advantage... (why?)

Considerations of the Defense

Understand the enemy

See the battlefield

Exploit the advantages of the Defender

Concentrate Cbt. Power at Critical Time and Place!

Fight at Combined Arms Team

Characteristics of the Defense

Preparation

Disruption

Concentration

Flexibility

Security

Advantages of the Defender

Review...

Knows ground (Realistic?)

Occupies it first

Gains strength as time passes (interior lines)

Massed on best terrain

Retrograde Operations

Planned move away from enemy forces

Delay: Time for Space (cav) Gain time for friendly forces to re-establish the defense.

Withdrawal: to assume new mission

Retirement: Admin Move (no contact)

METT-T "C"

Mission

Enemy Forces

Terrain and Weather

Troop Available

Time

Civilians on the battlefield

COMMAND RELATIONSHIPS

ASSIGNED

ATTACHED

OPERATIONAL CONTROL
(OPCON)

SUPPORT RELATIONSHIPS

DIRECT SUPPORT

GENERAL SUPPORT

REINFORCING

GENERAL SUPPORT-REINFORCING

DIRECT SUPPORT (DS)

GENERAL SUPPORT

REINFORCING (R)

GENERAL SUPPORT-REINFORCING

QUESTIONS?

CONCLUSION

It is important you understand the concepts of offensive and defensive operations so that you have the basic knowledge to plan, prepare and execute the Signal Support to the Maneuver gods!