APPENDIX A

Combat Orders

Combat orders are the means by which commanders receive and transmit information, from the earliest notification that an operation will occur through the final phases of execution. They are absolutely critical to mission success. In a tactical situation, the company team commander and his subordinate leaders work with these vital tools on a daily basis; obviously, they must have precise knowledge both of the formats of various types of orders and of procedures for developing effective orders. At the same time, they must ensure that every member of the company team understands how to receive and respond to each type of order.

The company team commander must be familiar with the formats of warning orders, OPORDs, and FRAGOs. He must be able to convert these into concise, yet thorough, orders for the teamís subordinate leaders. This appendix includes a sample company team OPORD format and discusses the related technique of using execution matrixes. Warning orders and FRAGOs vary in format depending on the purpose of the order and the information available in a given situation; these orders are covered in Chapter 2 of this manual.

 

CONTENTS

Section 1 Operation Orders
Section 2 Execution Matrix

SECTION 1 - OPERATION ORDERS

When sufficient time and information are available, the company team commander will normally issue a complete OPORD as part of troop-leading procedures. The OPORD provides subordinate leaders with the essential information required to conduct the operation and to carry out the commanderís intent.

Whenever possible, the OPORD is issued in writing and briefed orally in the five-paragraph format. This helps to ensure that required information is presented in a logical, organized manner. Although the five-paragraph format is straightforward, every commander will develop techniques that allow him to make a clearer, more concise OPORD presentation. Presentation and visualization techniques are discussed in Chapter 2 of this manual. Figure A-1 illustrates a sample company team OPORD format.

Figure A-1. Sample company team OPORD format.

PARAGRAPH 1 - SITUATION

a. Enemy forces (and battlefield conditions).

(1) Weather and light data.

  • Precipitation.

  • Temperature

  • Other weather conditions (such as wind, dust, or fog).

  • Light Data

    BMNT: ________    Sunrise: ________
    Sunset: _________    EENT: ________
    Moonrise: _______   Moonset: _______
    Percent Illumination: ________

(2) Terrain (factors of OCOKA).

  • Observation and fields of fire.

  • Cover and concealment.

  • Obstacles.

  • Key terrain.

  • Avenues of approach.

(3) Enemy forces.

  • Identification.

  • Composition/order of battle.

  • Recent activities.

  • Strength.

  • Current location.

  • Most probable course of action.

  • Most dangerous course of action.

  • Weaknesses.

b. Friendly forces.

  • Higher commander's concept of the operation.

  • Higher commander's mission.

  • Adjacent unit missions/locations.

  • Unit(s) providing fire support.

  • Other units supporting the task force.

c. Attachments and detachments.

  • Time(s) of attachment.

  • Time(s) of detachment.

  • Support relationship(s).
PARAGRAPH 2 - MISSION.

PARAGRAPH 3 - EXECUTION.

Commander's intent.

a. Concept of the operation.

(1) Scheme of maneuver.

  • Offensive operations

    - Passage of lines.

    - Axis or route

    - Movement formations.

    - Movement techniques.

    - Actions on contact (prior to objective).

    - Actions at obstacles.

    - Aactions on the objective (decisive point).

    - Consolidation and reorganization.

    - On-order and be-prepared missions.

  • Defensive operations.

    - Security operations.

    - Passage of lines of forward forces.

    - Battle handover.

    - Defense of initial and successive BPs.

    - Displacement.

    - Counterattack.

    - Consolidation and reorganizartion.

(2) Fires.

  • Purpose of indirect fires.

  • Priority of fires.

  • Allocation.

  • Triggers.

  • Restrictions/coordinating instructions

  • Allocation and use of special fires (such as smoke, illumination, or CAS).

(3) Reconnaissance and surveillance.

(4) Intelligence.

(5) Engineer support.

  • Purpose of engineer effort.

  • Priority of engineer effort.

  • Priority of engineer support.

  • Obstacle overlay.

  • Obstacle list.

  • Restrictions/coordinating instructions.

(6) Air Defense.

(7) Information operations.

b. Tasks to maneuver units.

  • Task and purpose.

  • On-order missions.

  • Specific instructions.

c. Tasks to CS units.

  • Task and purpose.

  • On-order missions.

  • Specific instructions

d. Coordinating instructions.

  • Time or condition when a plan or order becomes effective.

  • Commander's critical information requirements (CCIR).

  • Risk reduction control measures.

  • ROE and/or ROI.

  • Environmental considerations and control measures,

  • Force protection control measures.
PARAGRAPH 4 - SERVICE SUPPORT.

a. Concept of support.

  • Organization of company team trains.

  • Location of company team trains (in each phase of the operation).

  • Current location of task force combat and field trains.

  • Current location of task force UMCP.

  • Current location of task force aid station(s).

  • Current and future designated MSRs and LZs.

b. Material and service.

(1) Supply

  • Class I.

  • Class III.

  • Class V.

  • Class IX.

(2) Transportation.

  • Location of task force supply route.

  • Location of LRPs and collection points.

  • Priority of movement on task force MSR.

(3) Service.

  • Location of mortuary services.

  • Procedures for evacuation of KIA personnel.

(4) Maintenance.

  • Location of maintenance collection points (in each phase of the operation).

  • Location of UMCP during the battle.

  • Method of marking damaged vehicles.

  • Task force recovery plan.

c. Medical evacuation and hospitalization.

  • Location of casualty collection points (in each phase of the operation).

  • Location of task force aid station(s) during the battle.

  • Method of marking vehicles with wounded/KIA.

  • Procedures for evacuation of wounded.

d. Personnel.

  • Procedures for handling EPWs and location of company team EPW collection points.

  • Location of task force EPW collection points.

  • Personnel replacement.

e. Civil/military cooperation.

  • Civil affairs assets and POCs.

  • Mission of civil affairs elements.

  • Curfews.

  • Collateral damage restrictions.

  • Additional ROE/ROI considerations.
PARAGRAPH 5 - COMMAND AND CONTROL

a. Command.

  • Location of company team commander and XO.

  • Location of task force commander and XO.

  • Location of task force main CP.

  • Succession of command.

b. Signal.

  • SOI in effect.

  • Radio communications restrictions.

    - Radio listening silence and the time it is effect.

    - Alternate frequencies and time or condition for changing frequencies.

  • Visual and pyrotechnic signals.

    - During passage of lines.

    - During movement.

    - During breaching operations.

    - On the objective.

    - During defensive operations.

    - Emergency signals.

  • Code words and reports specific to the operations.

  • COMSEC guidelines and procedures.

SECTION 2 - EXECUTION MATRIX

The execution matrix, a tool that can help the commander to complete and execute the plan, shows the most critical tasks or events of the operation in a matrix format. The commander can use it to supplement his formal OPORD as well as to assist him during the conduct of a mission. The matrix can also help to enhance subordinate leadersí understanding of the mission.

To construct a basic execution matrix for any operation, the commander lists his subordinate elements along one axis of the matrix and the events or phases of the operation along the other axis. In the corresponding boxes, he fills in the information that tells his subordinate leaders what each element is doing during each step of the operation.

Information in these blocks may include movement instructions (including order of march, movement technique, and movement formation); information on direct fire or observation responsibilities (such as TRPs or sectors); locations of indirect fire targets, triggers, and decision points; and virtually anything else the commander considers critical to the execution of the mission. Figure A-2 shows an example of a basic execution matrix.

ELEMENT

EVENT

COM-
MANDER
FSO/
ENGINEER
1ST
PLATOON
2D
PLATOON
BFV
INFANTRY
SQUADS
3D
PLATOON
CSS XO

CRP REACHES TRP 2

Order unit to respond

Secure
BP 21; observe
OP 20 area

Hide

OP 20 and BFVs destroy CRP before it reaches the bridge; displace to BP 21

Hide

Hide

CP 4

Secure
BP 32; send SITREP to task force

FSE REACHES TRP 2

Order all platoons to occupy positions, with OPs recovered

 

BP 11

Hide

Hide

Hide

CP 4

Send SITREP to task force

FSE (MRC+) CROSSES TRIGGER LINE

Order 1st Platoon to fire

 

BP 11

Hide

Hide

Hide

CP 4

Send SITREP to task force

AGMB REACHES
TRP 2

 

Call AB4006; O/O call AB4003

BP 11

Near
half

BP 21

Far
right

Hide

BP 31

Far
left

CP 4

Observe OP 30 area

AGMB(-) REACHES
TRP 4

Order 1st and 3d Platoons to displace

Fire
FPF 4001

Displace
to BP
32

Near
half

BP 21

Far
right

BP 21

Protect
flank

Displace
to BP
12

Far
left

Displace to CP 5

Displace to protect trains; report to task force

CONPLAN 1

               

CONPLAN 2

               

Figure A-2. Sample execution matrix.