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Posted on Aug 11, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 018 – River Crossing Operations

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

PHASE 3 Advance from the Exit Bank – The task of this phase is to seize the exit bank objectives and then maneuver to seize the intermediate objectives prior to the bridgehead objective. This is usually executed by your bridgehead force.

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CONTRIBUTION OF THE BATTLEFIELD OPERATING SYSTEMS DURING PHASE 3 – ADVANCE FROM EXIT BANK

Intelligence

• Locate potential enemy counterattack forces

Maneuver

• Seize exit bank and intermediate objectives
• Eliminate direct fire and observed indirect fire on crossing sites
• Follow-on forces begin moving from staging areas to attack positions on the near shore.
• Once exit banks are secured begin moving cavalry vehicles across river

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Fire Support

• Continue obscuration and counterfire operations
• Utilize indirect fires to attrite any enemy counterattack forces

Mobility/Counter-Mobility/Survivability

• Upgrade crossing sites
• Upgrade far shore banks

Air Defense

• Expand air defense umbrella past bridgehead objectives

Combat Service Support

• Push supplies across the river to support maneuver to bridgehead and beyond

Command and Control

• Continue controlling maneuver of units

Other Forces:

Military Police – Continue route security and assist in movement control
Chemical – Continue smoke operations

PHASE 4 Secure Bridgehead Line – The task of this phase is to seize the final objectives of the crossing – the bridgehead objectives. This is accomplished by the bridgehead forces. The bridgehead force must quickly establish a hasty defense to prevent enemy counterattack forces from hindering subsequent operations. This enables the entire unit to gain extra time and maneuver space to build up forces for the attack to the ultimate objective.

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CONTRIBUTION OF THE BATTLEFIELD OPERATING SYSTEMS DURING PHASE 4– SECURE THE BRIDGEHEAD

Intelligence

• Continue collection operations past bridgehead objectives to final objective
• Paint picture for units on the final objective
• Continue locating artillery that can hinder units still crossing river

Maneuver

• Seize bridgehead objectives
• Clear area around bridgehead (bridgehead line) thus providing maneuver space for follow-on forces to occupy
• Set conditions for the breakout force to pass through bridgehead objectives and continue the attack
• Prepare to destroy any bypassed enemy forces as required

Fire Support

• Focus efforts on destroying enemy artillery capable of ranging bridgehead objectives
• Continue obscuration and counterfire operations
• Utilize indirect fires to attrite any enemy counterattack forces

Mobility/Counter-Mobility/Survivability

• Maintain bridging operations at crossing sites
• Continue route maintenance

Air Defense

• Continue expanding air defense umbrella

Combat Service Support

• Continue resupply operations in preparation for attack out of bridgehead
• Conduct maintenance and evacuation operations as required

Command and Control

• Prepare to conduct attack out of bridgehead

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