At sunrise elements of the Task Force take harassing fire from positions concealed in the mountains. Within a few minutes the Task Force CP, on the east side of the river, is taking effective sniper fire. Task Force elements on the east side determine that the sniper fire is coming from a building on the west side of the river in your battlespace. The Task Force commander has asked you and your platoon, 1/A/1-32 IN to locate and neutralize the sniper.
ENEMY COA 3
T: Destroy in EA 1
P: Reduce enemy combat power and prepare for follow on ops
P: Provide early warning to sniper
Based on a hasty terrain, enemy, and friendly analysis, you have an understanding of your mission. The next step is to determine your enemy’s most likely course of action. The enemy’s course of action will have a significant impact on your plan. Based on your analysis you have developed three potential enemy courses of action. Refer to the links above to review the enemy courses of action. Select the course of action you believe is most likely.
T: Fix in EA 2
P: Allow DO to destroy in EA 2
P: Allow other elements to retrograde
T: Neutralize CP
P: Limit effect of MTRs
P: Allow sniper to neutralize elements in the enemy CP
T: Suppress enemy CP
P: Limit effect of MTRs
T: Destroy in EA 2
P: Reduce enemy combat power and prepare for follow on ops
P: Provide early warning
ENEMY COA 1
T: Fix in EA 1
P: Allow DO to destroy in EA 1
ENEMY COA 2
FRIENDLY COA 1
FRIENDLY COA 2
In this course of action you decide to establish an overwatch as quickly as possible. By establishing a support by fire in the nearest position you can possibly suppress the enemy you hope to limit their ability to influence your movement through the rest of the town.
The support by fire will be able to overwatch each squad’s movement. Once the platoon has made it across this danger area you plan on deliberately clearing the buildings leading to the house identified as housing the sniper.
SELECT FRIENDLY COA
Though you’ve templated a spotter in the same location you’ve placed your support by fire you are willing to accept the risk of being compromised.
FRIENDLY COA 1
Once your support by fire is established you intend on moving directly to the objective by the fastest route possible. The fastest way is a path running through the village on the edge of one of the cornfields. Though, based on your enemy analysis, there is the chance that you may take contact in the open while moving through the cornfield, you hope to mitigate that risk by moving one squad at a time through the field as quickly as possible and gaining a foothold on the far side.
FRIENDLY COA 2
In this course of action you decide to make a bold flanking movement along the river, using the buildings and the high ground on your right to provide cover. Though the spotter will definitely see you during your movement you think your movement will be fast enough to allow you to get into the dense portion of the village before the enemy can react.
After you establish your support by fire overwatching a small courtyard the rest of the platoon will move quickly to deliberately clear the buildings leading up to the sniper’s position.
You will likely have to fight to seize your templated support by fire position, but you believe that with the amount of fire power you bring to bear that any resistance can be quickly overcome.
In this course of action you decide to avoid the enemy’s engagement area by moving through the orchard to the west of the village.
Once the support by fire is successfully emplaced you will bound through the cornfield and quickly gain a foothold in the cluster of buildings closest to the sniper. Once a foothold is established you will begin your deliberate clearance.
You plan on establishing your support by fire in a cluster of buildings just before the open danger area of the cornfield. From a somewhat elevated position your support by fire will be able to suppress any enemy who move from their original position to interdict your movement. There is a good chance that you will make contact with the nearest enemy team while emplacing, so you decide that the support by fire element will have to be supplemented by an additional fire team.
Once the support by fire is successfully emplaced you will make a bold flanking movement toward the western edge of the sniper’s cluster of buildings. By doing this you hope to avoid the potential close fight through the cornfield and the buildings near the objective. Instead you will risk moving through the opened, using speed to mitigate the risk, and assault the sniper’s position from an unexpected and potentially less contested route.
Obstacles: The river is too wide and deep to be crossed except at the bridge. Buildings in the village are made of mud, stone, and timber and they are constructed one on top of another. Buildings tend to have connected roofs or walls creating large blocks of structures which will be difficult to move through except on a small number of alleyways. Movement through the orchards and fields is unrestricted. Movement in the mountainous terrain outside the village is severely restricted due to the steepness of the terrain.
Observations & Fields of Fire: In the village observation and fields of fire may be a low as 2-3m when among buildings. Narrow alleys and tightly packed buildings limit were you can see and shoot. Due to the flat terrain in the western half of the village second and third story windows provide both observation and fields of fire out to around 200m. In the surrounding mountainous terrain observation and fields of fire are limited by vegetation and intervisibility lines, but extend out to about 500 – 600m.
Cover and Concealment: In the village cover and concealment are both significant. Buildings provide effective cover from small arms, machine guns, and many types of explosive munitions (AT-4s, hand grenades). Buildings are the primary means of concealment as well. Outside the village both cover and concealment are limited to vegetation and boulders which provide cover from most small arms and good concealment.
Avenues of Approach: Primary avenues of approach are the roads and alleys in the village as well as the orchards and fields to the west. These avenues will allow a squad to move in a file at a relatively high rate of speed.
Key Terrain: The cluster of buildings to the southwest are built on the highest ground in the village. They are also some of the tallest buildings and therefore have good cover, concealment, observations, and fields of fire. Whoever has this terrain will be able to observe movement and emplace fires nearly anywhere in the village from a well covered position.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TACTICAL SITUATION1LT Chapman, Micah
00:00—Planning and Preparation
00:21—Dangers of Village Center
01:14—The New Plan
02:46—Route and Formation
04:20—Ambush, SBF Neutralized
08:27—"The Grassy Knoll"
10:09—Clearing the Village
12:09—Fire in the Village
HOW THE FIGHT ACTUALLY HAPPENED1LT Chapman, Micah
What is your overall assessment of 1LT Chapman's attack? What could he have done better based on your understanding of offensive principles?
Why did 1LT Chapman choose the COA he did? How did you use the COA Development process?
In 1LT Chapman's chosen COA what principles of the offense did he maximize? What did you use to maximize them?
BASED ON 1LT CHAPMAN’S PLAN AND THE RESULT OF THAT PLAN:
RETURN TO START
What was the most difficult element of conducting the attack in this scenario? What does that difficulty tell us about tactical operations generally?
Did your COA effectively use the sequence of the offense and attack principles? Why or why not?
BASED ON THE RESULT OF YOUR CHOSEN COA:
How did the enemy's plan influence the way that your plan worked?
TRUE ENEMY COA & RESULT OF FRIENDLY COA
Your attack turns into a stalemate and you request aviation support. While waiting for support the enemy sniper and all other elements begin to break contact. They successful retrograde south.
Elements from the platoon move to the west in an attempt to reach the templated support by fire position, by they are quickly pinned down by fire from the enemy team to the south across the cornfield.
You begin to move south to establish your support by fire, but as you move through the more sparse buildings near the river you take harassing fire from the south. You establish a local support by fire and begin to suppress the enemy to your south.
Your assault begins. Using the buildings as cover move to edge of the courtyard. At this point the enemy sniper is no longer engaging the TF CP and the enemy positions to you west have slowed their rate of fire to almost nothing. You quickly move across the courtyard with little resistance and find that the sniper has retrograded to the south.
As you begin to establish your support by fire you see an enemy team retrograde to your south, but just as you are about to engage them your platoon takes fire from the west. You begin to suppress enemy positions to the west.
You move you platoon as quickly as possible through the open area near the river. As you reach the far side of the open area you take some sporadic fire, but it seems you may have surprised the enemy.
You continue along the river and then move into the buildings where you immediately take contact with an enemy team. You are able to quickly destroy that enemy team and move through a small alleyway to your support by fire position.
Your support by fire seems to be effectively suppressing the enemy so you attempt to assault again. Your platoon moves quickly through the field and takes some fire from the south, but it is inaccurate and sporadic. You successfully gain a foothold on the far side of the field.
Your platoon begins to move quickly through the cornfield, but first elements immediately take contact from the buildings to the south. Your lead team sustains one WIA who successful pull behind cover. The support by fire begins to suppress the buildings to the south.
As you are establishing your support by fire you take contact from the southwest. Your security elements return fire, but the enemy threat to your support position does not seem significant.
You use the cover of the buildings and the orchard to avoid the open area near the river and you successfully arrive at your support by fire position.
After seizing a foothold you quickly transition to clearing the buildings so that you can get to the sniper before he is able to retrograde. As you clear the buildings you don’t take any contact and it becomes clear that most, if not all of the enemy have retrograded. You reach the sniper position and find spent ammunition, but nothing else.
Your support by fire continues to suppress, but the enemy has brought up more firepower and your suppression is not as effective. You call for additional support from another platoon and request aviation support. While additional US forces are moving to help you, you take two more WIA.
Your platoon begins to swing wide around the cornfield, but first elements immediately take contact from the buildings to the south. Your lead team sustains two WIA. The support by fire begins to suppress the buildings to the south, but you are trapped in the open. You attempt to move the casualties from the field back toward the cover of the buildings, but enemy fire is making it difficult.
Support finally arrives and you are able to break contact.