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The Grizzly Observer/Controller Team is Army’s best O/C Team located at the Combat Maneuver Training Center at Hohenfels, Germany.   We are the Armor/Calvary Team that covers all Maneuver units within Europe.  We assist rotational units in meeting their training objectives with that overall goal of producing a more combat ready Task Force upon departure.  FOCUS on mission accomplishment through tailored After Action Reviews and effective coaching and mentoring techniques. – SGM Dan Feazelle

 

The Backbone of the Task Force

 

The

 

Command Sergeant Major

 

By

 

SGM Daniel W. Feazelle, Grizzly 04

                

 

Written with help from former Task Force Commanders and Task Force Command Sergeants Major.

                      

 

What makes the Task Force Command Sergeant Major successful on the battlefield and how do we measure that success?  The TF CSM is a very unique position and important one.  Where are the lines drawn and what is the TF CSMs lane. The best answer to this may be that the TF CSM has no lane and has no boundaries within the Task Force.  The TF CSM is as fluid and flexible as he needs to be, flexing when and where he and his Commander thinks his focus should be for the fight. 

 

Effective CSMs will sit down with the TF Commander prior to LD and determine critical points of the fight and where the CSM can most influence the mission accomplishment examples are:

  • Observe Company/ Team rehearsals.
  • PCI attached units.
  • CASEVAC Rehearsals.
  • Sensing from the CBT/Field Trains.
  • Check security in rear areas.
  • Keep a pulse on the TF for moral, safety, cold/hot weather injuries etc.
  • Is the unit meeting is training objectives.
  • NCO proficiency.

 

The TF CSM sets the pace for and mentors the NCOs of the TF.  The 1SGs and PSGs are within his sights and he has direct influence on these Sr NCOs at critical points

during the battle.   The TF CSM knows what questions to ask at what time to ask it to access the situation before making a harsh decision or recommendation to the Commander. This only comes with experience, time, technique and as understanding of the units mission and Commanders intent. 

 

Most TF CSMs will have a plan before coming to CMTC, this may be in the form of items to focus on and have the OC to look hard at during the rotation.  Every OC NCO will give the TC CSM feedback on those items and anything else I see that may need his attention during the rotation.   Here are some examples of what the TF CSM may want to focus on.

 

  • Troop Leading Procedures.
  • Pre Combat Inspections
  • Pre Combat Checks
  • CASEVAC
  • Field Sanitation
  • Soldiers Basic Knowledge of the Operation (do they really understand the CDRs intent)
  • Weapons Maintenance
  • Unit SOPs and TACSOP
  • Soldiers Basic Skills
  • Safety during Rotations

 

The TF CSM biggest challenge may be to get all his attachments elements in sink and make them feel like part of the team.  This is very difficult due to the distance some slice units are from the TF Headquarters and are not allowed the opportunity to train with the TF as much as they would like.  This is a relationship that must be built long before the TF rotation at CMTC.   Things that may help in building this team stronger before coming to CMTC may be to have NCODPs at home station where the slice element is invited to attend. TACSOPs are provided to each slice element and exercised before a rotation.  Any other team building idea that the TF can think off will really pay off during the rotation. 

 

The following TASKs are just some of the challenges that the Task Force will encounter during the rotation at CMTC.   Any prior training on these at home station will enhance the overall combat effectiveness of the Task Force.

 

ASSEMBLY AREA PROCEDURES:

TASK:  171-121-4038 Supervise Local Security

TASK:  171-123-4000 Plan The Occupation of an Assembly Area

TASK:  171-123-4005 Conduct the Occupation of an Assembly Area

TASK:  071-329-1030 Navigate from One Point on the Ground to Another Point, Mounted

 

LOGISTICS / RESUPPLY:

TASK:  171-091-1022  Conduct Platoon Rearm and Resupply

TASK:  551-721-1359  Drive Vehicle In a Convoy

TASK:  551-721-1408  Implement Defense Procedures when Under Enemy Attack or Ambush In a Truck Convoy.

TASK:  071-329-1030 Navigate from One Point on the Ground to Another Point, Mounted

 

TIME MANAGEMENT:

TASK:  071-326-5505 Issue an Oral Operations Order

TASK:  071-990-0004 Conduct Pre-Combat Checks

TASK:  071-326-3049 Conduct Troop-Leading for an Operation

 

CASUALTY EVACUATION:

TASK:  081-831-1000 Evacuates a Casualty

TASK:  081-831-1041 Transports a Casualty Using a Two-Man Carry on an Improvised Litter

TASK:  121-010-8001 Report Casualties

TASK:  081-831-0110 Request Medical Evacuates

 

PRE-COMBAT INSPECTIONS / PRE-COMBAT CHECKLIST:

TASK:  071-990-0004 Conduct Pre-Combat Checks

TASK:  071-328-5301 Inspect Personnel/Equipment

 

SITUATIONAL AWARENSS:

TASK:  093-401-5000 Identify Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Hazards, FM 21-16

TASK:  071-326-5775 Coordinates with an Adjacent Platoon

TASK:  878-920-1002 Recognize Friendly and Threat Armored Vehicles and Aircraft

TASK:  071-329-1030 Navigate from One Point on the Ground to Another Point, Mounted

TASK:  301-348-1050 Report Information of Potential Intelligence Value

TASK:  171-121-4038 Supervise Local Security

 

 

TLP/ REHEARSAL:

TASK:  071-326-5505 Issue an Oral Operations Order

TASK:  071-326-3049 Conduct Troop-Leading for an Operation

TASK:  154-385-6263 Conduct a Risk Assessment

 

REPORTING:

TASK:  301-371-1000 Report Intelligence Information

TASK:  031-503-3005 Submit NBC 1 Report

TASK:  121-010-8001 Report Casualties

TASK:  301-348-1050 Report Information of Potential Intelligence Value

 

FIRST AID:

TASK:  081-831-1005 Perform First Aid to Prevent or Control Shock

TASK:  081-831-1007 Perform First Aid for Burns

TASK:  081-831-1033 Perform First Aid for an Open Head Wound.

TASK:  071-329-1019 Uses a Map Overlay

 

FIELD SANITATION:

TASK:  071-331-0815 Practice Noise, Light, and Litter Discipline

TASK:  081-831-9000 Implement Preventive Medicine Measures

 

WEAPONS CARE:

TASK:  071-311-2025 Maintain an M16A1/M16A2 Rife

TASK:  071-312-4025 PMCS on an M249 Machine Gun

 

PERSONAL HYGIENE:

TASK:  081-831-9000 Implement Preventive Medicine

 

This is an excellent Pre-Combat Checks and Pre-Combat Inspections checklist that can be used as a guide and was provide by CSM (RET) James L. Cook, Wrangler 04, CSM Coach at National Training Center.

 

Pre-Combat Checks and Pre-Combat Inspections

 

Discussion:

  • Leaders unsure about whom should conduct the PCC, who should conduct the PCI.

 

  • Vehicle commanders find their crews executing the mission without being fully prepared…even when the Platoon SOP identifies items for a PCC or PCI.

 

Platoon Sergeant

  • Spot-check to insure PCCs are complete.

 

  • Cross-talk important issues with the Platoon Leader.
  • Assist the Platoon Leader for his portion of the PCI.

 

This allows the Platoon Leadership Team to identify critical items for upcoming mission in the event there is very little preparatory time remaining.

 

Fix or report problems identified by vehicle commanders.

Identify and fix platoon level problems…such as cross leveling of supply, equipment and personnel as necessary rather than waiting for an anticipated LOGPAC to fix the imbalance.

 

Identified deficiencies should be re-inspected.

 

Vehicle Commander

  • Ensure crew conducts PCCs IAW the Platoon SOP.
  • Fix problems at the crew level.  Tell PSG about problems that can't be fixed.
  • Do this as early as possible to allow the PSG time to fix it at his level or report higher.
  • If no Pre-combat checklist is in the platoon SOP.refer to relevant doctrine (Tank Platoon FM,Scout Platoon FM,) company SOP,and so on.

 

Anybody on a vehicle can conduct pre-combat checks, but it is the vehicle commander's responsibility to ensure they get done.

 

It is the Platoon Leader's responsibility to insure PCIs are done, but he may delegate someone else to actually conduct the PCI such as PSG or senior wingman.

 

Thoughts

 

PCIs don't have to be conducted with crews standing at parade rest in front of their vehicles waiting for inspector to come by…that is a technique but it has its limitation-remember theie are more ways than one way to conduct PCIs.

 

Try to save time by conducting PCIs to check several things simultaneously.

 

  • Morale
  • Hygiene
  • Load Plan
  • Weapon Check, Ammo Distribution

 

Examples of PCI/PCC

 

 

Pre-Combat Checks (PCC)

 

PCC's are conducted before stand-to, prior to commencing operations, or after an extended delay in an attack position (offense).

 

Endstate:  REDCON 1/Report PCC/Stand-to complete.

 

  • Individual preparation for combat.

 

  • Ensure soldiers alert, "battle-dressed."

 

  • Correct MOPP level, and at battle positions.

 

  • Vehicles.

 

  • PMCS completed.

 

  • Ensure equipment is stowed.

 

  • Short count, all vehicles running and FMC.

 

  • Armament systems.

 

  • Prep-to-fire checks complete.

 

  • Weapons loaded; ammunition properly stored.

 

  • Battlecarry per OPORD.

 

  • Battlesight indexed.

 

  • Miscellaneous equipment.

 

  • NVD's operational.

 

  • Accountability of sensitive items; Green 2 reported separately.

 

  • Prepared for night operations (if appropriate).

 

  • Communication equipment.

 

  • Conduct radio checks and vehicle intercomm checks.

 

  • Present alternate nets.

 

  • Command and control.

 

  • Maps and report format prepared.

 

  • Signal devices prepared.

 

  • NBC equipment.

 

  • M8A1 alarms deployed, M9 paper attached, and M256 kits readily available.

 

  • Monitoring teams prepared to execute.

 

  • Confirm/report log status

 

 

Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI)

 

Leaders conduct PCI's to determine full preparation for tactical operations.  They are conducted in assembly area, prior to movements, and in rear areas when crews are preparing to move out or link-up with their unit.

 

Individual preparation for combat:

 

Uniform

Goggles

Nomex suit (mounted) / BDU's (dismounted)

Mopp suit marked

Flak vest (under/over)

Helmet with camouflage cover and band

Load bearing equipment complete

Assigned weapon with magazine/clips

First aid packet complete

ID tags/ID card

Canteen(s) full and serviceable

Current drivers license

Protective mask with components

Briefed on seasonal safety

M13 decon kit

Briefed on current mission/situation

M258A1 decon kit

Casualty feeder card

M8 detector paper

ROE card

Antifogging kit

Shot records by exception

Optical inserts (if applicable)

Risk management card

NAAK's

 

Vehicle commander:

 

Binoculars

Marking pens

GPS (when applicable)

Note books

Compass

Demo card

Map with current overlays

POW documents/tags

Enemy

Call for fire card

Maneuver

MEDEVAC card

Fire support

Rules of engagement

Obstacles

Battle rosters

CSS

Operations order

Current SOI and call-sign board

Map canister

Challenge/password

Rehearsal kit

TACSOP/leader notebook

MILES boresight kit

 

Vehicle preparation for combat (3-days of supply):

 

Load plan posted

Load plan complied with (equipment lashed down tightly) TA-50 stowed

Topped off

POL package products

Water cans full

MRE's stowed

Crew served weapons cleaning kits

Equipment manuals present

OVM stowed/cleaned/serviceable

Spare track/road wheel/tires

Vehicle first aid kits complete

Contraband check

Vehicle dispatched and logbook includes:

     DD Form 518

Cleaning equipment (rags, solvents, alcohol, paper, etc.)

     Standard Form 91

     DD Form 1970

     M110 report

     DA Form 5988E/2404

Vehicle equipment kits

SSSC items (rags, trash bags, etc.)

 

Automotive:

 

DA Form 5988E/2404 (verify PMCS daily before opns checks complete)

Fire extinguishers sealed/tagged/dated

Battery level correct/cables secure

Bilge pumps opertional

Cold start system operational

All access plates and seals installed

Interior policed

All interior items secured

 

Armament system (as applicable):

 

DA form 5988E/2404(PMCS-daily before ops checks complete)

Clean

Spare barrels, cleaning tools, bolts, and ruptured cartridge extractors present

M240/M60 barrel/receiver matched gauge present

Head space and timing set on M2, HB, gauges present (for tanks)

Machine guns properly mounted

Boresight/screen/zero data input day/night

- Sights/optical equipment fully operational

- Class IV/V ammunition per load plan and basic load requirements

Weapon cleaning kits w/class III package

 

Generators (includes (APU):

 

DA Form 5988E/2404 (PMCS-Daily before ops checks complete)

No fuel leaks

Services up to date

Oil levels correct

Grounding accessories present/serviceable

Slave cable serviceable (1 per PLT)

Generator charges to full voltage/amperage

 

Vehicle NBC equipment:

 

M11/M13 decon apparatus vertically mounted/serviceable

Vehicle overpressure works (if equipped)

Gas particulate unit/Hoses serviceable/operational

M8/M9 chem detection paper

 

NBC defense equipment:

 

1 - M256 chemical agent detector issued to each vehicle (wheeled or combat)

1 - IM-174 or AN/VDR-2 RADIAC meter issued per platoon

2 - IM-93 dosimeters per platoon

2 - NBC contamination marking kits per platoon

DS2 issued for M11 and M13 decon apparatuses

M8A1 chemical alarms issued and operational (one per platoon)

M273 refill kit issued for each alarm

 

Communications equipment:

 

Current SOI and call sign cards

Vehicle intercom fully operational

SINCGARS radios

     Operational

     Securely mounted

     Frequencies and fills set/hopset

     Connections clean

     Check antennas

     Hand mikes operational

CVC helmets serviceable

TA 312/TA-1 operational

AN/GRA-39

WD-1 spools complete (DR8/RL39)

OE-254 antennas complete and serviceable

MSRT operational

Protective mask intercom operational

Batteries stocked

 

 

Preparation for execution:

 

Prepare for displacement

Retrieve all equipment

Police area

Properly dispose of garbage

Safety brief

Sensitive items (account for personnel and sensitive items)

Troop leading procedures/rehearsals

Resupply complete (LOGSTAT green)

Rehearsals complete

 

Command and control prep for combat:

 

Copies of TACSOP available

Operations maps posted

Data boards posted per SOP

Current SOI/call sign board

Report formats present

Personnel/equipment/log status current and posted

TOC load plans/SSSC stocked

All secure equipment present and keyed

NCS TOC logs prepared for utilization

Basic load of maps available

Communications equipment available

 

Leader checks:

 

Familiarity w/plan

Plan briefed to soldier

PCI done on:

     - soldiers         - equipment

     - self             - vehicles

Safety risk assessment

All sensitive item serial numbers