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Tactical Planning Task: Problem #1 – Squad Hasty Attack

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  • #29502
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Tactical Planning task: Problem #2 – Hasty Attack

    This scenario involves a squad hasty attack, and will require you to conduct a combat estimate, analyzing the relationship between your position, enemy forces, and the terrain.

    The combat estimate is given and explained in ‘Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post-Collapse Survival‘.

    For those with no experience at this, I also recommend the following blog post as background reading: ‘Tactical Use of Terrain.’

    This will be a mental combat estimate for a hasty attack. In the scenario, you are already under contact and need to work a solution and implement it as an effective plan. For this training exercise, first time, you have the luxury of being able to sit down and do a paper estimate, approaching it in slow time as a mental training exercise.

    What you are looking to do is analyse the factors, the mechanistic relationship between them, in order to produce a plan. The plan is a mechanistic sequence of actions/movement/applied firepower/terrain, that will allow you to achieve the mission, using the assets you have available.

    You will analyze:

    • Mission – in this case to close with and destroy the enemy
    • Enemy/Terrain and the relationship.
    • Friendly Forces – relative strengths and locations
    • Locations for:
      • Fire Support
      • Covered approach
      • Location to launch the assault from
    • Look at approaches – left, center and right. Advantages and disadvantages of each one as it relates to the approach itself and the relationship to the whole, in particular the relation of enemy/friendly positions and the impact on fire support and the assault.

    Although I want you to think this through, and there is no real *right* answer, there are the basic principles that will steer you. Here are some:

    The principles of attack are as follows:

    • Seek surprise.
    • Maintain security.
    • Seize key terrain or targets vital to influencing perceptions.
    • Achieve superiority of fires and other effects.
    • Exploit maneuver.
    • Concentrate the effects of force or the threat of force.
    • Plan to exploit success.
    • Keep it simple.

    That’s pretty highfalutin doctrine. The squad hasty attack battle drills are:

    • Preparation
    • Reaction to effective enemy fire
    • Locate the enemy
    • Win the fire fight
    • The Attack, consisting of:
      • The approach
      • The assault
      • The fight through
    • Reorganization 

    Just remember that although you have the time to analyse and plan this, in the scenario you are under contact and are limited in terms of intricate solutions. You are effectively going to be initiating a drill, by giving very brief QBOs (Quick Battle orders). There is no real time for a huddle and squad brief. The best you could do would be a huddle, in cover, of team leaders, to give QBOs. At their briefest, QBOs consist of a series of shouted commands: who is giving covering fire, who is moving, left or right flanking etc.

    I say the above to make the point that although I want you to sit down and work through a combat estimate to come up with a plan, it should not be too complex, nothing that could not be implemented on the fly, on the ground. You do, however, have the training and SOP battle drills of your squad to help you.

    Please post your solutions here. This is not a test or a competition and there is no deadline. Later, I will put up some example scheme of maneuvers in map/diagrammatic form, to show you some options that would be achievable.

    _______________________________

    Scenario – Convoy Ambush/Hasty Attack

    enemy view

    Above: Enemy View (vegetation flattened in Google Earth ground view)

    Location: 32°38’46.12″N 116°47’8.01″W. Route 94, San Diego County. 5.5 miles north of the Mexican border.

    Situation:

    General: Some time after the disintegration and Balkanization of the former United States of America, you are the leader of a volunteer border protection team, based in San Diego County. You are part of a larger volunteer force that acts as an auxiliary to the overwhelmed Southern California Border Patrol (SCBP). Your role is to protect the area from hostile incursions by Mexican  cartels, seeking to expand their influence into the area and destabilize. You are a paramilitary team, uniformed in OD Green BDUs, with distinctive VBP (Volunteer Border Patrol)  logos on the sides of your green SUV’s. Your team has received good training in light infantry tactics, which is vital because the current conflict has deteriorated to open cross border insurgency, small unit on small unit.

    Specific: It is 1000hrs on a clear day, good weather and blue skies. Responding to a call for assistance from a farm under attack, you and your team are driving east on Route 94, through the hills to the east of San Diego. You are a three vehicle convoy in unarmored SUVs, each vehicle containing one of your four-man teams. . You come under heavy small arms and RPG fire from a hilltop some 200 yards south of the road. Your posture and ROE are aggressive, and your team immediately stops, dismounts the vehicles, and begins to engage the enemy. At this point, none of your people are wounded, and none of your vehicles are destroyed. A couple of inbound RPGs miss their targets, one overshooting and another detonating short. Your vehicles stopped in the roadway are now ‘bullet-magnets’ and are taking multiple hits. Your team has exited the vehicles and is in cover along the roadside verge. Enemy fire is reasonably accurate and the first thing you must do is win the firefight to gain the initiative. You try to call in the contact via VHF radio to request QRF and air support, but there is no response. You are in a communications dead spot in the mountains – you are on your own. As the squad leader, you must make the next move.

    View of Enemy

    View from the contact point

    Enemy Forces: You estimate the enemy at around 6 personnel hidden in the rocks and scrub of the nearest hilltop. You have not observed fire from any other location and it appears to be an isolated group (see map). The enemy has at least one machine-gun. The usual profile of the cartels is to be equipped with similar weapons to the border patrol, and you suspect you are facing a SAW (5.56 belt fed automatic weapon), AR/M4’s, and at least one RPG launcher. The enemy are usually well equipped with adequate ammunition and military training.

    Friendly Forces: You are a 12 man squad, organized into three teams of 4 men, corresponding to the vehicle crews.

    • Team Alpha 1: Squad leader (You), 3 x riflemen.
    • Team Alpha 2: Team leader, 3 x riflemen.
    • Team Alpha 3: Team leader, 2 x riflemen, 1 x SAW gunner.

    Weapons: you have standard AR15 style 5.56mm semi-automatic battle rifles, firing M855 green tip, SCBP issued. Despite it being against regulations for VBP members to have automatic weapons, you have acquired a SAW from a cartel team you captured, and a blind eye has been turned towards your possession of this weapon.

    Smoke: you have 2 x signal smoke canisters per team, one white, one red.

    Pen flares: each team has a pack of green pen flares, which can be seen in daylight.

    Intra-Squad Radios: none.

    Panoramic

    Above: Area Map

    Mission: Conduct a hasty attack on the identified enemy position in order to kill or capture enemy cartel members.

    Tasks:

    1) Conduct a combat estimate in order to identify an assault plan.

    2) Identify:

    • Fire support location and asset(s) to be used.
    • Covered/concealed approach route – cover from view, cover from fire – advantages and disadvantages of the various options.
    • Any flank protection or additional fire support positions.
    • Forming up position (FUP)
    • Assault route.
    • Any sequencing you need to do to get your force onto the objective to destroy the enemy.

    Note: this exercise is about identifying routes/locations on the ground and sequencing the assault – teams to task. Do not over-complicate it, it is not a trick question. Note on vehicles: these are not really supposed to be used, it is just a scenario to get you on the ground, to do a dismounted hasty attack. However, if you want to use them, it is all learning. Remember: they are unarmored SUVs.

    Birds Eye

     Above: Birds Eye View

    Just remember, you will only be able to see what you can see from your position, and what you can infer from your map. When you are looking at this for this training purpose, you have the luxury of going into Google Earth, looking at aerial views, and even ‘running’ the ground in the ground view option (minus vegetation).

    Solutions will not be published in comments. Send me an email with a map and I will give it it’s own post, as per the Gweru Airfield planning problem. Questions and discussion are OK for comments, not full solutions. Thanks.

    Live Hard.

    Die Free.

    Max

     

    #29516
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    Max
    I’ll give it a shot. I am sure this is not in format you want but I hope this conveys my decision process.

    Tactical Planning task: Problem #2 – Hasty Attack

    Combat estimate- enemy on high ground to south. Some cover for all three teams on edge of road.
    1. First win the fight using all 3 teams. Enemy at 12 o’clock 200 yards rapid fire.
    2. Hasty flanking attack to the left (east). Alpha 1 & 3 will be fire support. Alpha 2 will flank attack on left using draw to the east. Why? Better cover for attacking team and they will be above or level with enemy when contact is made. The west ( right) draw is below the enemy and the attacking team will have to fight up the hill. Further the initial approach has very little cover on right.
    3. Alpha 2 will peel left behind dead ground (can use smoke if necessary) and make approach to line of departure at right angle with fire support. Will attack when in position.
    4. Alpha 1 & 3 will provide fire support. Once Alpha 2 is in view and closing on enemy. Alpha 1 & 3 will shift fire to right.
    5. Secondary communication for shift fire will be whistle blasts and or pen flare fired at enemy by Alpha 2 leader.
    6. Once Alpha 2 has secured the enemy position, squad leader will decide if additional maneuvering is warranted depending on known enemy and if additional enemy position is located. Assault cycle.
    7. If no additional enemy detected. Will send Alpha 3 to consolidate with Alpha 2 on objective. Alpha 1 will provide security at vehicles. Once Alpha 3 is on objective, 3 will provide over watch using SAW. Alpha 2 will search bodies and collect weapons and equipment.
    8. Alpha 2 & 3 will then move by bounding over watch back to vehicles for exfil.

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #29535
    Profile photo of Keeper aka "Sun Shine"
    Keeper
    Participant

    I have questions, if Alpha 1&3 are providing fire support are they bounding up the hill using what ever cover they can find while Alpha 2 is flanking left up the side of the hill until in position to engage the enemy? When Alpha 2 engages the enemy Alpha 1&3 shift right while Alpha 2 takes the hill correct? I was looking at the map and what if the enemy breaks and heads back over the crest to escape which Alpha would or could engage them?

    Alumni living in N.E Fla. for now. Going to retire in Iowa on the farm some day soon.

    #29536
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    Alpha 1 & 3 are behind cover on the road providing fire support. They are not bounding anywhere. The only team moving is Alpha 2. Once Alpha 2 assaults and is getting close to the fire of Alpha 1 & 3, Alpha 1 & 3 will shift fire to the right catching any enemy running from Alpha 2 (squirters).

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #29570
    Profile photo of Keeper aka "Sun Shine"
    Keeper
    Participant

    Ok I see now A1 & A3 are keeping them busy by staying under cover firing while A2 is is getting in to position to engage on the left plus any break and makes run back over the crest towards a getaway vehicle on the road to the rear on the map. Thanks..
    I learning

    Alumni living in N.E Fla. for now. Going to retire in Iowa on the farm some day soon.

    #29578
    Profile photo of Hello Kitty (Craig)
    hellokitty
    Participant

    @keeper
    Don’t memorize it just yet. Let’s wait til Max reviews it, he may shitcan the whole thing. I’m learning too.

    CTT 1502, NODF 1502, CP 1503, RC 002- Rifleman, FoF x 2, Run and Gun, RS/CTT, CLC, CQBC, Heat 1

    Craig S.

    #29617
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Spoiler Alert; Sample solutions below:

    #29618
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Example Solutions:

    I have put together four example solutions to the Hasty Attack tactical planning exercise. I am posting them below. Within these examples, there are multiple iterations and permutations, so don’t get all tied in a knot over it. Which leads me to this:

    Mission: Conduct a hasty attack on the identified enemy position in order to kill or capture enemy cartel members.

    Tasks:

    1) Conduct a combat estimate in order to identify an assault plan.

    2) Identify:

    • Fire support location and asset(s) to be used.
    • Covered/concealed approach route – cover from view, cover from fire – advantages and disadvantages of the various options.
    • Any flank protection or additional fire support positions.
    • Forming up position (FUP)
    • Assault route.
    • Any sequencing you need to do to get your force onto the objective to destroy the enemy.

    The purpose of the scenario is to to have you exercise your mind with a hasty attack, do a combat estimate, and look at how you might use the terrain.

    You can fight this, and tell me that in an SHTF scenario you would never attack, or you would not be there, or you would drive on past, or the ‘SCBP’ is working for the NWO, or whatever. Just surf on to the prepper supply web site and stack it deep in your bunker: you are not deriving training value if you either fight the scenario, or delve so deep into the navel gazing of it that you lose the point. What if the cartel members have nuclear weapons!? *sarcasm*

    The point here is that in the scenario you are already dismounted from the vehicles and you are under fire – ‘On the X.’ Your mission is to conduct a hasty attack. This is how hasty attacks work: you come under fire and and have to fire and maneuver to destroy the enemy. You are also told that your team is well trained in light infantry tactics, which means that you can assume that they can carry out the hasty attack drill.

    You are also given the squad hasty attack battle drills:

    • Preparation
    • Reaction to effective enemy fire
    • Locate the enemy
    • Win the fire fight
    • The Attack, consisting of:
      • The approach
      • The assault
      • The fight through
    • Reorganization

    In the scenario, you have already reacted to effective enemy fire and you have located the enemy. The vital point here is that you must win the firefight before you can move into the attack. So, for those naysayers who were worried about attacking against an unsuppressed enemy, for whatever reason, you won’t attack if you can’t gain fire superiority.  That’s the beauty of the drills. Similarly, if you did push to a flank and then come under fire from a depth/mutually supporting position, then that may change the game. If at any point you can’t gain fire superiority in order to suppress the  enemy enough to allow maneuver, then you may decide to break contact. That still means fighting off the X.

    That is why we have the drill. However, it is important to note that although the hasty attack drill is a ‘drill,’ it does not happen automatically. It requires leadership input, which is what we are simulating here. The squad won’t decide on its own to go left or right flanking, or how to sequence, or who is doing support by fire. So it is a drill in so far as everyone knows how it plays out and what to do when told to go left flanking etc., but it requires decision and direction to implement. That is why we are training this.

    In the reality of the scenario, there are rounds cracking by and you need to ACT. For the naysayers, when you decide to not play the scenario, that is like in the Dojo doing the whole “do that again, I wasn’t ready” thing. YOU ARE IN IT (if you decide to play with the exercise). To try and backtrack is a form of denial that I have written about in ‘Contact!’ Start by accepting the situation and then acting aggressively to solve it. In combat, you cannot go back. “If Bob hadn’t got out of the vehicle to go take a piss, and stand on that pressure plate, or get hit by that sniper, or if he had been one foot to the left of that IED….”…such is the way to mental paralysis.

    The point here, for the training benefit, was to give you time to work through this exercise to train up your thinking skills for such a situation. It gives you an opportunity to analyse terrain and the relationship with the enemy and assaulting/supporting elements. In actuality, on the ground, you would have to rapidly assess the situation and make a plan, implementing it aggressively. In such a situation, you need to decide on an approach, right or left. If it turns out to be less than optimal, that’s tough titty. The important thing is to make a decision and implement it: go left, go right, but make a decision. You can’t shilly shally about when you suddenly find  that your covered approach was not so covered, you have to move your people to safety, get the attack complete.

    That’s not to say that you are totally inflexible. If you came across a showstopper, than that may be a time to make a decision to break contact, or call for support. But not when you are sprinting across open ground with rounds striking around you! You also have to be careful in combat, when your people won’t know exactly what is going on – if you run about too much, or in the wrong direction, you may cause a panic. An example would be in an urban situation where you send runners back, but they are seen by friendly neighboring elements, rushing back out of the buildings. This could be taken as a running away, and cause a rout, a retreat, when one was not called for. You get the point.

    I think the last thing on this, for those of you who are not infantry trained and are probably struggling the most with this “close with and destroy the enemy” scenario: this is not a big deal, this is not suicide. That is why we train. You need to follow the drills: firstly, win the firefight, suppress the enemy as much as possible. Concurrently, the leader is making a plan. Your suppressing the enemy, along with the use of cover/concealment and potentially smoke, will allow you to maneuver.

    If you don’t train this sort of hasty attack drill, the best you can hope for is like the footage you see so often: guys behind walls firing at other guys behind walls. And you probably wont have the JDAM on the way, which is often why they stay behind the walls and do not attempt to close with the enemy.

    Now, often a hasty attack drill will be performed with a standard 9 man squad: squad leader and two four-man teams. I have given you a 12 man squad, three four-man teams, in line with my thinking on this matter. It is effectively a half-platoon, and allows for satellite patrolling. I have talked about this in the following posts:

    ‘The Squad – Size and Organization’

    More on The Squad & the Assault Cycle

    I also asked you to read this post in conjunction with the exercise:

    Tactical Use of Terrain

    The use of a three-team squad allows you flexibility to use the assault cycle of assault-fire support-reserve. You can decide, with the reserve team, if they will be used as additional fire support or flank protection/both, or you go ‘two-up’ in the attack. In an echelon style attack, most often one team would provide fire support (after all teams had been used to initially suppress the enemy and conduct any preparatory maneuver), one team would assault, and then the reserve team would be fired through to assault any depth objectives. But that is what the use of terrain/sequencing is all about.

    Example Solutions:

    Example 1 - Basic Solution

     

    Example 2 - Initial Move of SBF Position

     

    Example 3 - Basic Solution Left Flanking

     

    Example 4 - Far left option

    If you are looking for a detailed explanation on both the combat estimate (+format) and also how to do a squad attack, you will find it in: ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post-Collapse Survival’

    Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

    Live Hard.

    Die Free.

    Max

     

     

     

    #29619
    Profile photo of 12aklabs
    12aklabs
    Participant

    All of the directions (N, S, W, E, right, center, left) are from the viewpoint of the team leader in Alpha 1.

    Situation:
    Enemy ambush from the hilltop to the south of Hwy 94 at a distance of approx. 200 yards.
    Number of enemy estimated at 6.
    Weapons: RPG, SAW and small arms (AR/M4)
    Friendly forces: 12 man squad in 3 teams.
    Weapons of friendly forces: AR/M4, SAW, Smoke, Pen flares.
    Mission: Hasty attack to kill or capture enemy and weapons.
    Winning the fight: Alpha 1, 2 and 3 will disembark vehicles. Alpha 2 will take cover behind a group of trees to the right. Alpha 1 will take cover in the roadside ditch. Alpha 3 will take cover behind a group of trees to the left. All three teams will engage the enemy with rapid fire then switch to deliberate fire keeping the heads of the enemy down.
    After consulting the map, the team leader has decided on a hasty attack using cover and concealment and dead terrain to mask the approach.
    Looking East (to the left of the 3 teams) there are two draws/ravines.
    Advantages: The furthest ravine/draw has both cover and concealment (dead terrain). The closest (smaller) draw may have some dead terrain.
    Disadvantages: Both draws/ravines to the left have no cover or concealment from the FUP to the enemy position.
    Going up the center: No advantages
    Disadvantages: Has no cover or concealment.
    The ravine/draw to the right (west):
    Advantages: Has both cover and concealment (dead terrain) up to the FUP (forming up point) and up to the enemy position.
    Disadvantage: Dead terrain to the team leader. Also, this maybe a harder uphill climb as the ravine/draw maybe steeper then indicated. Getting into position may take longer.
    Approach: Alpha 1 and 3 (SAW) will remain in position to provide fire support to Alpha 2.
    Alpha 2 will move from its position in the trees on the left, using cover and concealment to the ravine/draw to the right. Alpha 2 will move up the ravine using dead terrain/ground to the forming up point just across to the right of the enemy position. Alpha 2 will shot off a green pen flare to signal Alpha 1 and 3 the start of their attack. Alpha 1 and three will then shift fire to the left as Alpha 2 fights through the enemy position. Once Alpha 2 has successfully fought through the enemy position go to ground and signal Alpha 1 and 3 the position is secure. Alpha 1 will then bound in pairs up to join Alpha 2. Once there the team leader will assess the situation, treat any casualties, redistribute ammo, search and clear both enemy dead and the objective. Alpha 3 will provide fire support if necessary and also security of the vehicles.
    Once the reorganization has been completed. Alpha 1 and 2 will by bounds move back down the hill to their vehicles. Once there they will exfil and continue patrol.

    Never give up. Never quit.

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