Tactical Planning Task: Problem #2 – Hasty Attack 1
March 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm #72369
Tactical Planning task: Problem #2 – Hasty Attack
Written by Max Velocity on his blog
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
◦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:
•Seize key terrain or targets vital to influencing perceptions.
•Achieve superiority of fires and other effects.
•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:
•Reaction to effective enemy fire
•Locate the enemy
•Win the fire fight
•The Attack, consisting of: ◦The approach
◦The fight through
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.
I will post any solutions that are sent in by readers. This is not a test or a competition and there is no deadline. A couple of days after I post it, 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.
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.
Above: Area Map
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.
◦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)
◦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.
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.
March 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm #72370
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #1 – Grenadier1
here is my hasty attack plan but first my reasoning behind it.
• Mission – in this case to close with and destroy the enemy
• Enemy/Terrain- suspect 6 personnel 200 meters south on elevated terrain. Draw to the right of the enemy position but very little concealment, Draw to left with ridges and covering / concealing terrain. Verges of our position offer good ballistic protection.
• Friendly Forces – 12 man squad, QRF with air support in range but no radio contact
• Locations for:
o Fire Support – Blue position on map
o Covered approach- Route for team 2 listed on map
o Location to launch the assault from –End point of team 2’s route on map.
• Look at approaches – The draw to the left offers the best approach due to the military crest of the ridgeline leading to it. The assault team can use the cover of the verges and concealment of the brush just East of the ambush location to reach the ridge line and make its way to an assault position.
Orders to teams
Team 1 will provide covering fire for team 3 and team 2 to move to the SBF position.
Team 3 displace left by buddy teams using the verges as cover. Establish SBF position in the brush and engage enemy with sustained fire.
Team 2 displace left by buddy teams using the verge as cover. Hold behind the SBF position for instructions.
Both teams pop white smoke to assist in concealing movement.
Team 1 will displace left once Team 3 begins firing and join the SBF position.
Team 2 will then move via the indicated route to the crest of the ridge behind the enemy position. Pop green flares to signal the shift and lift of the SBF fire and assault the enemy position.
Team 2 will signal with red smoke when they have consolidated on the objective.
March 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm #72371
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #2 – Easy
•Mission – Establish fire superiority en-route to destroying/capturing enemy.
•Enemy strength 6 men (you believe)
•alpha three: Yellow (saw gunner red)
•Alpha two: Orange
•Alpha one: Green
•Plan of attack ◦Two red, and two white smoke canisters disbursed immediately. (red and white dots on map)
◦Alpha three will move left (east) using the ditch on the south side of the road as cover, into the trees east of the ambush site while the Saw gunner uses the same cover to move, and to dig in behind the berm and lay down suppressing fire. The three remaining members of alpha three will lay down small bursts of fire from behind the cover of the trees, rapidly moving back and forth, firing from different locations to create the illusion of a larger force.
◦As alpha three is drawing fire from the enemy, alpha one, and alpha two will move right (weat) using the vegetation and run off wash as cover, moving as swiftly as possible.
◦At approximately 30 degrees off center front of enemy position, alpha one will break into two two man teams as alpha two moves further out, then back in using the vegetation and wash as cover to get into a postion at approximately 30 degrees off the rear of the enemy postion where they will then split into two two man teams.
◦After approximately three minutes in (time to allow alpha one and two to get into position) Alpha three will pop smoke close to or in the wash to the east of the enemy position to give the illusion that the main thrust of the attack will come from the east. As the smoke rises, alpha three will pop a pen flare to alert one and two that they have (hopefully) distracted the enemy.
◦Alpha one, and alpha two will then begin to move quickly in their two man teams, fire and move, fire and move, to draw the enemy’s attention back to the weat. This ought to (if pulled off properly) confuse the hell out of the enemy, creating chaos, and hopefully fear.
◦Immediately upon one and two’s engagement with enemy, alpha three will move up the wash to the east, as the SAW gunner takes a more direct approach up the hill using vegetation for cover. This will also provide a kill zone should the enemy decide to bug out down the hill towards the ambush site.
◦As alpha three gets close to the top of the hill, they will become a three man team, firing and moving, creating a “pinch” sort of flanking movement that will hopefully drive any surviving members of the enemy squad out and down the hill to be finished off by the saw gunner who lays in wait.
Fratricide- because the enemy is holding the highest point on the hill, as long none of the team members advance to the top of the hill, everyone should remain safe from being shot by the other teams.
•Alpha three will be lower on ammo because of their initial distraction, so they may have to play a support role to the main thrust of the attack coming from the east.
•Depending on the wind direction, the smoke may not be as effective as distraction/deception/subterfuge to establish surprise.
March 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm #72372
Hasty Attack Part 2: Solution #1 – Easy
Enemy: initially on the ropes, at least two members of their team out of action (severely injured or dead), and a new element made it’s way into the fight from the south. From what we can tell, there are only three new enemy personnel. This new element holds superior position, but have very little cover besides the vehicles they arrived in.
Friendlies: everyone still in one piece, no casualties, everyone can still fight. A1 is running low on ammo with only seven mags, handguns, and two smoke canisters left between the four. We have to end this fight right now.
Mission: destroy enemy personnel, get our guys home safely.
First priority: get A1-B out of danger. There is no cover from fire from the south, so they have to find a better position from which to fight. Pop smoke directly north, and directly northeast of new element.
Under cover of smoke, A1-B will head north, then circle back to the east and use the rocks for cover. A1-b will be fire support for the assault from the east which is now up to A2.
A1-A will retreat down the wash by 40 yards, and continue to engage the original enemy position.
A2 will split into two two man teams.
A2-A will move right, forming up just to the left (south east) of A1-B
A2-B will move south, then back west, and attempt enfilade fire from the east of the new element.
Our 6 on their three is pretty good odds, especially considering that we are better trained, more determined, and by now pissed as hell that these bastards continue to try to kill us. If we keep the pressure on with good supporting fire and movement, we should be able to overrun this new position in short order.
If we are able to fight through, and destroy this new element, we will reform, and engage the original position from the east/south east until they run, surrender, or die.
March 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm #72373
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #4 – Diz
Max Sends: Diz was almost written up in a 4856 counselling statement – “Attempting to post a solution in comments and failing to provide attached maps.”. However, he has been given a pass and push-ups due to the general Hollywood tone of his description. Good stuff. Where’s the fucking map?
This is awesome Max. Here’s what I’d do:
“There’s a bunch of assholes up there on that hill. We stay here or break contact, we’re gonna get chewed up. They’ll probably just stay in place and keep tuning us up.”
“We’re on our own, I can’t get radio contact.”
“We are going to assault up that hill and kill all those assholes.”
“We’ll lay down a base of fire right here. Once we have enough hate going out, we’re gonna to flank them on the right.
“Tm 1: you’re the assault group. Follow in trace of that draw to right. Get as close as you can to 90 deg from them. Signal when ready and assault through the position. Signal the rest up and consolidate.”
“Tm 2: Base for fire. Take the SAW and set up a PDF at 12 o-clock and keep those asshole’s heads down. Everyone else work the right side of the obj from 12 to 2 o’clock. On signal be ready to shift fires to the left of 11 o’clock. On signal, follow Tm 1 up the same trace to the right and consolidate on the objective.”
“Tm 3: Also base of fire. Lay in on the left of Tm 2 and cover the objective from 12 to 2. On signal be ready to shift fires to the left of 11 o’clock. On signal be ready to displace and follow Tm 2 up the same trace and consolidate on the objective.”
“When everybody’s ready, I’ll signal the attack.
Tm 1 get up that slope FAST. Tms 2 & 3 lay down some hate guys. On signal, Tms 2 & 3 displace fires to the LEFT of 11 o’ clock. On signal, Tms 2 & 3 get your asses up there FAST. Consolidate per SOP.”
Admin & Log:
“Leave rucks here. Ammo and water only.”
Command & Signal:
“I will lead the assault group. Mark (Tm 2) you’re in charge of the base of fire. If I get hit, John’s (Tm 1) in charge. Then Mark (Tm 2), and Ben (Tm 3).”
“The signal to attack will be white smoke. The signal to shift fire will be red smoke. The signal to consolidate will be green star flares.”
“Any questions? All right get ready.”
Mission: I’ve got to close with the enemy.
Enemy/Terrain: He’s got the high ground, I’m basically fucked if I stay were I’m at.
Friendlies: At least I have a squad of trained guys, with good firepower, but my position on the low ground sucks. That needs to change. With at least one SAW, that gives me a good chance to do just that.
Fire support: I need to get rounds going out NOW, so the base of fire starts right where we’re at. We have a straight PDF to rain down fire on the objective, so I see no reason to maneuver the gun.
Covered approach: The draw to the right looks like the best covered and concealed position to approach from.
Location to launch the assault from: Gonna have to cross that bridge when we get there. It looks like we’ll be able to get fairly close, due to the slope of the hill. My intent is to get as close as I can, at 90 deg to their position, get on line and assault through.
Look at approaches: Left looks “OK” but not as covered with veg as right. Up the middle looks pretty wide open.
A lot depends on team SOP, just like we drilled it. Base of fire, maneuver element. Kill enemy. Consolidate 360, redistribute ammo, water. Casualty collection and treatment.
Then retrieve rucks. Consolidate vehicles if possible. E & E out of contact zone. Re-establish coms with base. Report contact. Return to base. Unlock sphincter.
March 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm #72374
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #5 – CH
Mission: Close ranks with enemy and perform hasty attack.
Squads A2 & A3 will provide fire support for Assault Squad A1.
3 Possible routes for A1:
1-SE: A1 moves to a ravine to their left then works their way up the hillside using the terrain dead space for cover/concealment.
close to contact point
sun won’t be in A1’s eyes
– not much cover/concealment on way to ravine
-wire fence might slow movement
-ravine might not provide adequate cover/concealment
2-SW Close: A1 moves to the ravine to their right then works their way up the hillside using the terrain dead space for cover/concealment.
close to contact point
good cover/concealment on way to ravine
good dead space and cover/concealment in ravine
-wire fence might slow movement
-sun might be in A1’s eyes
-ravine might be too steep to get to LOD
3-SW Far: A1 moves to the far ravine to their right then work their way around the hillside to attack enemy from behind.
distance from contact point might provide good cover/concealment
sun won’t be in A1’s eyes
-far from contact point
-may take too long to get A1 to LOD
-chance of blue on blue as A1 gets to hilltop
I believe Route 2 is the best.
Squads A2 & A3 will use white smoke grenades to cover movements. A1 will make their move to Route 2 and A2 & A3 will provide fire support. While A1 is making their way to LOD, A2 & A3 perform F & M to their left & right flanks. When A1 is at LOD they will fire a flare and commence the attack. A2 & A3 will F & M up the hill. Once A1 overtake the enemy, cease fire, launch a flare and form a security perimeter on the hilltop. If things go bad for A1, they will use a red smoke grenade, withdraw to the ravine and try to link up with A3.
March 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm #72375
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #6 – J.A.R.G
Hasty Attack 1 Solution
Objective- Break out of ambush, and destroy the enemy.
Vehicles- Working, but bullet magnets, which means they won’t be working for long, and anyone attempting to board will likely be hit as enemy fire is accurate. RPGs- so far a miss, 1 overshoot, 1 short- either the enemy shooter sucks, or is attempting to bracket- subsequent rounds may be direct hits. Avoid use of vehicles.
Personnel- 11x Riflemen, 1x SAW gunner, nobody hit yet.
No reinforcements/ other assets available as comms are down.
Enemy-Not a superior numerical force, but a dominating position with a clear 180 degree LOS on the road or any flanking maneuvers, as well as height advantage allowing them to see/shoot into some areas of potential cover.
Overall assessment: No good options here- perform tactical coin flip. :P
Best option would have been to put the pedal down and drive through, however we can’t leave an enemy force behind us unchecked while we proceed to respond to the farm attack.
There are two possible approaches to this situation with three overall options:
There is a lot of open ground in this direction with the cover from the embankment both tapering off, and turning to present our flank to the enemy. There is also an approx. waist-high barbed wire fence and a gate obstructing our movement.
There is a potential covered position (See picture “RightFlanking_GroundPositions1”) marked as “Ditch” that could serve as fire support for the team advancing to the marked (See picture “RightFlanking_Movements1”) approach.
However, we would have to cross the obstructions in full view of the enemy with no cover. Per the “Enemy View” picture in the original “Problem” post, the enemy has clear LOS even into the ditch.
Additionally, the best we could hope for here is a supporting fire position, as the “ditch” being the only area of cover puts us no closer to any covered flanking approach, and would actually leave us with approx. 100 yards to run across open ground to the nearest covered approach, in full view of enemy.
Also, the ditch is not an ideal support fire position, as the angle of fire to the enemy position is potentially very narrow due to likely terrain obstructions- this would force the support fire team to use only the very beginning of the “ditch” where cover is most likely the shallowest, or risk a potential blue-on-blue as the Assaulting team would have to run in front of them to get to the near covered approach if they Support team moves any further back into the “ditch”. There is a second option for a covered approach here (See pink in “Movements”), but it seems to far to be useful.
The advantage here is that the “near” covered approach here would put the Assault team closest to the enemy position- almost behind them. If the enemy is effectively suppressed, they may be able to crawl partially up it before signaling to lift fire, and be on the enemy before they can react.
After exiting the vehicle and getting to initial cover, Team 3 will suppress the enemy position with the SAW. Teams 1 and 2 will begin moving right down the roadway, popping white smoke along the way into the field near the tree. Team 1 and 2 will then rush down the road, jump the gate, and get into cover in the “ditch”. Once there a 2-man element of Team 1 (SL 1x Rifleman) will provide fire support on the enemy position. The remaining 6 combined members of Team 1 and 2 will pop 2x more white smoke in the open area between the ditch and approach, and then dash across. Once at the approach they will continue up until at the rear flank of the enemy position, where they will move partially up the rear hill. Once there they will pop a green flare to signal lift fire. After cease fire Team 1-2 will immediately assault through the enemy position, and pop Red smoke when clear.
Determination: This *would* be the shortest and most advantageously covered approach, but has the most serious obstacles and the least cover. Standing around in the open trying to cut fence/jump gate while being shot at can’t be a good idea. Popping smoke as an obscurant seems likely to just draw even more unwanted attention. In addition, even if we get lucky with the fence/gate, moving to the “ditch” still leaves us with ~100 yards of open ground to cross, and a very limited fire support position.
Alternate Right Flank Assault
Send a 2-man SAW fire support team Left Flanking to covered “rock” position for second support fire angle. A 4-man rifle team continues to engage from ambush position , while a 6 man assault team pushes to the right flank , pops smoke, crosses/breaches fence, and moves to the “ditch”. They then pop smoke #2, rush to the covered right flank approach, and climb until it hooks around rear flank of enemy position. If the enemy is suppressed, or the team is undetected, climb/crawl partially up rear of hill to close proximity for immediately assault into/through the enemy position. They will then pop green flare for cease support fire. As soon as fire ceases assault enemy position.
Determination: I don’t see this working out well, for all the previous reasons. Between this and the original “Right Flanking” approach we may as well just charge straight up the hill…
There is much more cover and concealment in this direction. There also seems to be a nice location for a second supporting fire team at the “Rock Formation” (See picture “LeftFlanking_Ground1”). The accursed fence is still along the entire road, however within the vicinity of the “House” it changes from barbed wire to solid chain link, and appears short enough to jump over very easily. Additionally on the “X”, the barbed wire fence is partially down to the rear.
The big negative here is that the nearest covered approach is much further away- estimate with the route I have picked approx. 500 yards combined movement or more to assault range. The ground is also more flat and open on this side of the hill at the Assault point. It is going to take a long time to close with the enemy position, and leave any remaining personnel at the ambush site for longer. A second fire support positions *may* mitigate the possibility of any personnel at ambush point being completely pinned down.
(See picture “LeftFlanking_Movements1”)
After exiting the vehicles and getting to initial cover, Team 2 will suppress the enemy position.
Teams 1 and 3 will pop a couple white smokes both to obscure their movement and as a distraction.
They will then proceed to the left down the road. At the rock formation, Team 1’s Squad leader and Team 3’s SAW will take up a fire support position and suppress the enemy position.
Potentially Team 2 could move back across the road to the “Alternate” position if the combined fire of both support positions is not effective enough- this area might provide them slightly better cover from RPG hits.
The now combined 6-man Team 1-3 will continue down the road until behind the Blue House, jump the fence, and move around the house using it and the surrounding trees for concealment.
Team 1-3 will proceed up the first ravine, and as it seems the adjacent hill slopes down toward their position, hop across it into the closer approach ravine. Once in place, Team 1-3 will pop a green flare to signal cease/shift fire, and assault the enemy position, popping Red smoke when clear.
Side notes- The lightly colored blue lines at the team’s final position mark an area that seems a little shallow as far as available cover- I couldn’t zoom in far enough to really tell if it would be useful or not.
The black-lined yellow ‘arc of fire’ line for Team 1’s position shows where I think the SAW could fire in support of Team 1-3 if the enemy gets wise to their movements and tries to counter.
Alternatively, the enemy force on the hill fires additional RPG rounds at the road, destroying 1 vehicle, damaging the others, and causing a couple wounded/casualties. They fire a couple more rounds at the SAW position, but hit dirt. Out of ammo for the RPG, and bored of shooting at the same spot for the last fifteen minutes or so, they decide to quit while they’re ahead and withdraw. Potentially by this time Combined Team 1-3 is in place, and before they can assault the enemy position, sight the enemy withdrawing across the open ground to their vehicles on the dirt road, and finishes them off, then signals for cease fire as they clear the previously occupied enemy position.
Determination: Left Flanking offers the best chance of success, but it’s going to take for-ev-er.
Conclusion-Since there’s no really good obvious choice here, it all boils down to either a short-term assault which will result in immediate casualties, or a long-term assault which will still result in casualties and inoperable vehicles from sitting in one place for such a long time.
That being said, I would have to pick the long-term Left-flanking approach. The Right-flanking approach *would* be ideal, but it offers no real cover or concealment, and therefore no possibility of stealth or surprise in assaulting the enemy position- once we move to that area, our intentions will be plain for them to see, and put a quick stop to.
– I don’t like the idea of leaving a team on the “X”- aside from being in the planned killzone, they would also be subjected to the effects of vehicle and RPG explosions. Their cover here *may* be better than it first appears given how the hill seems to slope and drop off at the ambush point, unfortunately there’s really nowhere else left or right to move them, aside from the “rear” alternate position that was mentioned. I *could* move them out to the second support fire team’s positions after they are in place, but I’m hoping that using two support fire teams from two angles will provide more effective suppression, and help compensate for the issues here.
– I feel like using smoke in this situation is just a big “shoot over here!” sign for the enemy, for example with the “right flanking” approach. I did it anyway with the “left flanking” approach, as it’s in a position where they already know where we are and provides further concealment and a distraction, so what could it hurt?
– I chose to put the Squad Leader with each “close” support fire team, as it seemed like a good “in between” point where he could still observe both the Assault and Suppressing teams.
Also I went with 2-man secondary support fire squads as I wanted at least 6 on 6 when assaulting the enemy position- 4 or 5 seems a little light, and would put the success of the assault in danger if the assaulting team took any casualties. Next time maybe our comms will actually work so we can get some extra guys and air support….
March 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm #72376
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #7 – DClose
HASTY ASSAULT PROBLEM 1
D CLOSE SENDS
09 MARCH 2020
LOCATION: N32°38’46.12” W116°47’8.01
Route 94, San Diego County 5.5 miles N of Mexican border
OK, we stepped in it… We are out of the vehicles, facing enemy (EN) and starting to return fire. Battle Drill… “REACT TO AMBUSH!” “Machine gunner, target front, 200 meters, up slope, machine gun, suppressive fire! Squad, target front, 200 meters, up slope, RPG, suppressive fire!”
Twelve of us, four of them estimated. So far, no other contact. Looks like a FAR AMBUSH. Once we attain fire supremacy we roll right into HASTY ASSAULT.
I. Mission Analysis
Use Battle Drills and SOP to win the fire fight. This ambush may be intended to slow our movement to the farm objective.
Execute battle drills. Destroy EN position. Continue to primary objective.
We have a limited amount of firepower and no further reinforcements can be expected. We cannot allow heavy damage to the vehicles as we must maintain our ability to proceed to the primary objective. We must conserve as much ammo as possible to allow action on our primary objective.
II. Evaluate Factors
A. Enemy Force/Ground
Our squad appears to be facing enemy force of four to six personnel including a machine gunner and at least one RPG. They appear to be effective and well trained. They occupy a position 200 meters upslope and south from a road that runs east-west. There are scattered trees and scrub brush over the surrounding terrain providing some concealment. There are draws that allow approach to the EN position on either side of the slope facing us.
B. Possible Tasks
TASK COMBAT POWER REQ DEDUCTIONS
REACT TO AMBUSH ALL SQUAD MEMBERS BATTLE DRILL
HASTY ASSAULT FIRE TEAM A1, A3, LMG BATTLE DRILL
SUPPRESS EN MG AND RPG A2, A3 A3 BASE OF FIRE
MANUEVER TO FUP, ASSAULT OBJ. A1 ALT A2 FOR ASSAULT
EPW COLLECTION A1 CALL QRF
CASEVAC A3 STABILIZE, CALL FOR AIREVAC
Probable Enemy Course of Action
EN will probably attempt to inflict casualties and damage our vehicles and then withdraw. They probably have a secondary position to allow them to engage us further if we attempt to advance on their position or follow them.
Enemy Action Worst Case
If enemy is able to suppress our force with machine gun fire, he could destroy our vehicles and cause casualties. This would prevent our force from reaching the objective. Given the low number, it is unlikely they will attempt to maneuver against our position. It is possible there are additional EN in the area. EN could send one buddy pair to occupy an overwatch position to guard their flank and support a withdrawal if required.
We have three fire teams dismounted. We have a LMG in support for base of fire in A3. We have two smoke grenades per team. We have pen flares for signal. Radios are ineffective.
Surprise and Security
Using terrain and vegetation it should be possible to approach the EN from various angles. The use of smoke could be used to screen movement off of the X and advance one or more assault teams. Maneuvering to the flank or behind the hill where the EN is located would provide a level of surprise if the team were to remain unobserved.
The action is occurring in morning. We have our primary mission to aid and relieve a farm under attack. Undue delay will jeopardize accomplishing primary objective.
III. Courses of Action
COA One: While EN are suppressed, pop smoke and more at least one fire team to a draw SW of our current position assault uphill and occupy the enemy position by force using a flank attack. Have assault force signal ready with pen flare. Arm signal to support group to shift fire as assault group moves over the objective.
COA Two: Pop smoke and break contact, abandon vehicles and attempt to make radio contact with command for reinforcements and supporting fires. Use smoke to mark friendly position and let the flyboys clean ‘em out.
COA Three: Continue to suppress with machine gun and fire team. Pop smokes, and have two fire teams withdraw 100 yds to rear. Maneuver to engage enemy position from right and left flank (not directly opposite to avoid friendly fire!) Each group will use pen flare to signal ready. Fire team on right will assault through the objective and will signal both the left fire team and support team to shift fire to left of EN position during assault.
COA ADVANTAGE DISADVANTAGE
ONE ALLOWS MAXIMUM SUPPRESSIVE FIRE ON EN POSITION. LOWER RISK WITH MAJORITY OF SQUAD USING VEHICLES AND TERRAIN FOR COVER TO ATTAIN SUPREMACY ONLY FOUR MEMBERS IN ASSAULT GROUP. IF CASUALTIES THEN MOMENTUM MAY STALL. UNKNOWN IF OBSTICLES ARE LAID IN DRAW.
TWO WILL PRESERVE COMBAT POWER AND LEAST RISK TO PERSONNEL. TIME CONSUMING. NOT IN LINE WITH COMMANDER’S INTENT TO CONFRONT AND DESTROY EN FORCES IN AREA. ALLOWS EN CHANCE TO ESCAPE. UNKNOWN WHERE RADIOS WILL HAVE SUFFICIENT LOS.
THREE AGGRESSIVE MANUEVER THAT MAY CONFUSE EN AS THEY MAY ASSUME WE ARE BREAKING CONTACT. ALLOWS MULTIPRONGED ATTACK ON EN POSITION WITH NO LET UP IN MOMENTUM IF CASUALTIES ARE SUFFERED. DIFFICULT COORDINATION PROBLEM WITHOUT RADIOS. POSSIBLE FRATRICIDE. IF RIGHT ASSAULT TEAM GETS STALLED, DIFFICULT TO SIGNAL LEFT TEAM TO BECOME PRIMARY ASSAULT TEAM.
WE ARE IN AGRESSIVE POSTURE AND HAVE A NUMERICALLY SUPERIOR FORCE. WE ARE TOO FAR AWAY TO OBSCURE THEIR POSITION WITH SMOKE BUT WE CAN SCREEN OUR MOVEMENT AWAY FROM THE VEHICLES AND ASSAULT THE EN POSITION. BY USING ONE FIRE TEAM (A1) TO ASSAULT A SINGLE EN POSITION, WE KEEP THE COORDINATION RELATIVELY SIMPLE. OUR BASE OF FIRE IS POSTIONED NEAR THE VEHICLES, HOWEVER, WE SHOULD ATTEMPT TO KEEP A STEADY RATE OF FIRE ON EN POSITION TO MINIMIZE FURTHER VEHICLE DAMAGE AND SUPPRESS THE RPG AND MACHINE GUN. THIS WILL PREVENT THE EN FROM ENGAGING THE ASSAULT FORCE BEFORE THEY REACH THE FUP AND BEGIN THEIR ASSAULT. AS SOON AS THEY SIGNAL WITH FLARE THE REST OF THE SQUAD (A2, A3) WILL SUPPRESS THE EN WITH RAPID FIRE AND ON THE FIRE TEAM LEADER’S SIGNAL, SHIFT FIRE TO BLOCK EN RETREAT. ASSAULT TEAM A1 WILL USE TERRAIN AND VEGETATION TO MASK THEIR MOVEMENT TO THE FUP IN THE DRAW TO THE RIGHT OF OUR FRONT.
March 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm #72377
Hasty Attack 1: Solution #8 – Andy
March 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm #72378CorvetteParticipant
Do I need to downsize my images so they can be included?
March 26, 2014 at 7:31 am #72379DiznNCParticipant
MQ: Yeah just add them to “our” solution
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