Command and Control
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
- A principal requirement of success against terrorists is the ability to
coordinate the actions of all the civil and military forces of the
government. An adequate system is required to achieve concerted action. No
standard Organization would be suitable for all situations. Any system of
command and control must take into account the constitution of the country,
the personalities of its leaders, the size and effectiveness of its security
forces and many other factors. The system should ensure:
- That a common aim is determined and adhered to.
- That timely and accurate intelligence is produced on which sound
decisions can be taken.
- That mutual consultations and sound planning occur among those
concerned at all levels and at all times to effectively counter enemy
action in all areas.
- That the economic life of the country continues.
SECTION 2: COMMAND
- Command is defined as the authority vested in an individual of the armed
forces for the direction, coordination and control of military forces.
- The general principles of command and control are applicable to the
conduct of ATOPS but the application thereof must be adjusted to suit
different circumstances and situations.
- The most important aspects, however, regarding command during ATOPS are
leadership, good discipline and the maintenance of control to ensure that
all planned action is accomplished in order to achieve a given mission.
- The responsibilities of commanders and their immediate associates and the
relationship between senior commanders and their subordinates remain the
same, whether conventional or anti-terrorist operations are conducted.
However, during ATOPS the following are important:
- Detailed planning of tactical operations at a low level and where
possible decentralized to compianders/units actually involved, including
the deployment of reserves.
- Detailed coordination in the effort to obtain information.
- Detailed planning and coordination of all activities related to the
- Integration of psychosocial activities into operational planning.
- Detailed planning and coordination of all logistic support in
accordance with the tactical plan. This is to include air supply.
- Very careful and continual attention to standards and condition of
men, equipment and weapons.
- To further ensure that command is exercised efficiently at all levels and
with the minimum delay the following are also necessary requirements:
- Good channels of command, good liaison and good communications. This
implies that provision must be made for first class telecommunications
and, if possible, for rapid air, road or rail movement.
- Good standard operational procedures at all levels.
- Good cooperation between military forces and between military forces
and civil organizations and representatives.
- A high standard of leadership with command being decentralized,
therefore allowing maximum flexibility and initiative.
- A good Organization and balanced forces for the conduct of ATOPS.
- The selection and careful allocation of areas of tactical
responsibility to units and commanders.
- The maintenance of high morale.
- The issuance of clear, concise and unambiguous orders.
- In the event of military elements from one national force participating
directly in the operations of another nation, or operating in concert
therewith although remaining in their own country, this military involvement
will take one or more of the following forms:
- Coordinated operations. No combined command
and control Organization will be required since national forces will
operate independently under their own organizations.
- Supported operations. The supporting forces
will remain under the command of their own national commanders, but be
under the operational control of the commander being supported.
- Combined operations. For combined
operations, a Combined Forces Commander (CFC) will be appointed and will
be provided with a staff for a Combined HQ. The CFC will have
operational command of all forces allocated to the operation, and may be
assisted by a Combined Air Forces Commander (CAFC).
SECTION 3: LEADERSHIP AND DISCIPLINE
- Because of the very nature of ATOPS and because of the many problems
peculiar to these types of operations, very much more is expected from the
junior leader than during conventional operations.
- The enemy very seldom presents a good target to the military forces
because he avoids contact but strikes violently, unexpectedly and at a time
and place of his own choice.
- To seek out and destroy this elusive enemy, the conduct of ATOPS is based
on a pattern of small units or elements, i.e., patrols, who have the task of
locating and subsequently eliminating the enemy. This results in the major
share of operations being conducted and led by junior leaders.
- Frequently these small elements or patrols are required to operate on
their own away from their main bases for long periods, or to man isolated
lookouts or observation posts. This means that these junior leaders very
often have to make rapid decisions, on-the-spot planning, and execute the
task with whatever is available in the way of men, weapons and material.
- Because of the nature of operations as described above, it frequently
happens that the junior commander is the only authority representing the
military forces in a large area. Thus the junior leader is not only a
commander, but may also, because of his position, liaise with civil
authorities, local population, etc. This is an additional responsibility and
calls for a high standard of tact, understanding, diplomacy and sound judgment
on the part of the junior leader.
- For these junior leaders to be successful and to be able to successfully
lead their men under these very trying conditions, the following are
essential for good leaders and leadership:
- A very high standard of training and self-confidence.
- Rapid acclimatization to local conditions and circumstances.
- A high sense of responsibility and the ability to cooperate and
communicate with other services, arms and civil authorities.
- The ability to think clearly and logically and a sound knowledge of
procedures and battle drills at the appropriate level.
- The ability to instill confidence in subordinates.
- Sound initiative and flexible mind which will stand them in good stead
under all conditions.
- The ability to maintain a high standard of discipline and morale at all
times under all conditions.
- This is an important aspect and must at all times be given very careful
consideration. Because of the nature of ATOPS and because, very often, the
military forces may operate under extreme provocation, a very high degree of
self-discipline is essential at all levels. If of a high standard, it will
guarantee the correct relationship between commanders and their subordinates
and between the military forces and the population.
- A high degree of discipline must also be exercised in respect to the
- Security. This includes the safeguarding of
plans, orders, maps, future intentions, the correct use of radio,
telephone and other means of telecommunications.
- Movement. Classification of roads, protection
of military as well as civilian convoys and of airfields, railways, harbors
and docks, etc.
- Operational discipline. Correct drills and
procedures regarding men and commanders being adhered to in operational
areas, i.e., during patrolling or ambushing or in tile temporary or
patrol base, etc. All personnel must be armed at all times and good
spoor (track) discipline must be enforced.
SECTION 4: LOGISTICS IN ATOPS
- Sound logistics are vital for the successful conduct of any operation.
Effective logistical planning can only be achieved if the logistic staffs
have an intimate knowledge of operational thinking. Therefore, continuous
and close liaison between operational and logistic staffs is essential.
- This section of the ATOPS Manual is designed to give unit and sub-unit
commanders a general understanding of some aspects of logistics in ATOPS
operations, and to list responsibilities. The aspects covered are:
- Supply, which includes all commodities required by a unit to live and
fight while deployed on ATOPS operations (rations, ammunition, POL,
- Maintenance and recovery.
- Casualty evacuation and hospitalization.
- ATOPS operations demand flexibility in logistics as well as a clear
delegation of responsibilities because of:
- The wider dispersion of units and sub-units, which results in greater
responsibilities being placed on commanders.
- The increased vulnerability of logistical units and lines of
communication, which creates a need for stronger security measures.
- The high cost of supplying widely dispersed units, which creates the
need to exploit local resources.
- The unsuitability of a system which provides supplies on a single
commodity basis, and thus the need for a method which employs the
principle of composite supplies.
- The vulnerability of and limitations to ground movement, which could
result in the increased use of air transportation.
- The lack of immediate medical facilities for casualties, which could
result in the increased use of air evacuation.
- The difficulties in replacement of defective items, which demand the
meticulous maintenance of all stores and equipment.
- The mobile nature of ATOPS operations, which creates the need for
elements to be self-sufficient for longer periods.
- Unit and sub-unit commanders will be advised of logistics arrangements by
means of administrative orders. During ATOPS operations units and sub-units
will have logistics elements attached for immediate support, where such
attachment is considered necessary.
- A clear division of responsibilities is important if supply in the field
is to function effectively.
- The logistic staffs are responsible for determining:
- The means of distributing unit requirements.
- The frequency of resupply.
- The level of reserves to be held.
- The location and type of storage, including the establishment of dumps
- The degree of local purchase possible or necessary.
- The source from which stocks are to be acquired.
- The unit or sub-unit commander is responsible for ensuring that:
- He understands where and from whom the unit or sub-unit will be
- His unit or sub-unit holds sufficient reserves, bearing in mind the
frequency of resupply. He provides adequate protected storage facilities
to prevent loss of or
- Damage to supplies.
- He determines the extent to which local resources can be utilized.
- Resupply during ATOPS operations may become difficult, therefore the
maximum conservation of all supplies must be exercised.
Maintenance and Recovery
- Maintenance in the field includes both preventive measures against damage,
and the repair of all unit and personal equipment. Due to replacement
difficulties in ATOPS operations, every effort must be made to prevent
damage and deterioration of equipment. Furthermore, defective vehicles and
equipment should be repaired in situations wherever possible.
- Recovery is the term applied to the back loading of defective vehicles and
equipment which cannot be repaired "in situ." In certain cases
where recovery is not practicable, consideration should be given to cannibalization
and destruction so as to deny the enemy use of any abandoned
material. An effort should be made to leave the "battlefield"
clean, as damaged components may be of use to the enemy, even to the extent
of gaining a psychological advantage from the knowledge of his own successes
and also to deny public knowledge through the press media.
- In addition to the foregoing, the logistic staffs are responsible for:
- Sending repair teams forward if first line resources are not capable
of rectifying the defective items.
- The recovery of all vehicles and equipment that cannot be repaired
- The back loading of unserviceable vehicles and equipment to the nearest
- In addition to the general responsibilities outlined, the unit or sub-unit
commanders are to:
- Ensure that they are aware of the various repair channels and agencies
available, including civilian contractors, and the procedures to be
- Provide protection for repair and recovery teams when necessary.
Casualty Evacuation and Hospitalization
- In ATOPS operations the wide dispersion of units and sub-units will make
the immediate treatment of casualties difficult. It will be rarely possible
to decentralize available medical personnel to provide the requisite staff
at sub-unit level..
- The logistic staffs are responsible for:
- The general medical policy.
- The designation of evacuation routes and means.
- Unit or sub-unit commanders are to be fully conversant with:
- The procedure for the evacuation of casualties both by air and ground.
- The procedure for the resupply of medical stores.
- The replacement of transport during ATOPS operations may be a difficult as
well as time-consuming process and one which may affect operational
planning. The efficient maintenance of all modes of transport is therefore
essential for ensuring maximum availability and efficiency.
- It must be borne in mind that route classification and enemy obstacles may
limit the use of road transport.
- Where practicable, consideration is to be given to the use of inland
waterways. This method of transport may, at times, be more economical and
- Logistic staffs are responsible for determining and providing transport
requirements which units and sub-units need over and above their normal
establishment. This could include:
- Road and rail transport.
- Air transport, including the necessary ground facilities.
- Sea and inland water transport.
- Unit and sub-unit commanders are responsible for:
- The efficient maintenance of all modes of transport at their disposal.
- Understanding the procedures for requisitioning/hiring non-military
- Providing route clearing and escort parties for the protection of
- Understanding the procedure for requesting all forms of air transport.
This includes being conversant with the preparation of landing zones (LZs),
dropping zones (DZs) and airstrips. Further information is contained in
SECTION 5: CONCLUSION
During all ATOPS, the junior leader plays a very important role. The success
of all ATOPS depends upon a high standard of leadership and a very efficient
command and control system. Commanders at all levels carry heavy
responsibilities, especially at the lower levels. Consequently, commanders and
leaders must be specialists in their own right and must be very carefully