Tactical Planning Task: Problem #1 – Example Solutions

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        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.


        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.





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