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Command and Control


  1. 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:
    1. That a common aim is determined and adhered to.
    2. That timely and accurate intelligence is produced on which sound decisions can be taken.
    3. 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.
    4. That the economic life of the country continues.


  1. Command is defined as the authority vested in an individual of the armed forces for the direction, coordination and control of military forces.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
    1. Detailed planning of tactical operations at a low level and where possible decentralized to compianders/units actually involved, including the deployment of reserves.
    2. Detailed coordination in the effort to obtain information.
    3. Detailed planning and coordination of all activities related to the civilian population.
    4. Integration of psychosocial activities into operational planning.
    5. Detailed planning and coordination of all logistic support in accordance with the tactical plan. This is to include air supply.
    6. Very careful and continual attention to standards and condition of men, equipment and weapons.
  5. To further ensure that command is exercised efficiently at all levels and with the minimum delay the following are also necessary requirements:
    1. 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.
    2. Good standard operational procedures at all levels.
    3. Good cooperation between military forces and between military forces and civil organizations and representatives.
    4. A high standard of leadership with command being decentralized, therefore allowing maximum flexibility and initiative.
    5. A good Organization and balanced forces for the conduct of ATOPS.
    6. The selection and careful allocation of areas of tactical responsibility to units and commanders.
    7. The maintenance of high morale.
    8. The issuance of clear, concise and unambiguous orders.
  6. 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:
    1. Coordinated operations. No combined command and control Organization will be required since national forces will operate independently under their own organizations.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).



  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:
    1. A very high standard of training and self-confidence.
    2. Rapid acclimatization to local conditions and circumstances.
    3. A high sense of responsibility and the ability to cooperate and communicate with other services, arms and civil authorities.
    4. The ability to think clearly and logically and a sound knowledge of procedures and battle drills at the appropriate level.
    5. The ability to instill confidence in subordinates.
    6. Sound initiative and flexible mind which will stand them in good stead under all conditions.
  7. The ability to maintain a high standard of discipline and morale at all times under all conditions.


  1. 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.
  2. A high degree of discipline must also be exercised in respect to the following:
    1. Security. This includes the safeguarding of plans, orders, maps, future intentions, the correct use of radio, telephone and other means of telecommunications.
    2. Movement. Classification of roads, protection of military as well as civilian convoys and of airfields, railways, harbors and docks, etc.
    3. 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.



  1. 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.
  2. 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:
    1. Supply, which includes all commodities required by a unit to live and fight while deployed on ATOPS operations (rations, ammunition, POL, etc.).
    2. Maintenance and recovery.
    3. Casualty evacuation and hospitalization.
    4. Transportation.
  3. ATOPS operations demand flexibility in logistics as well as a clear delegation of responsibilities because of:
    1. The wider dispersion of units and sub-units, which results in greater responsibilities being placed on commanders.
    2. The increased vulnerability of logistical units and lines of communication, which creates a need for stronger security measures.
    3. The high cost of supplying widely dispersed units, which creates the need to exploit local resources.
    4. 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.
    5. The vulnerability of and limitations to ground movement, which could result in the increased use of air transportation.
    6. The lack of immediate medical facilities for casualties, which could result in the increased use of air evacuation.
    7. The difficulties in replacement of defective items, which demand the meticulous maintenance of all stores and equipment.
    8. The mobile nature of ATOPS operations, which creates the need for elements to be self-sufficient for longer periods.
  4. 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.


  1. A clear division of responsibilities is important if supply in the field is to function effectively.
  2. The logistic staffs are responsible for determining:
    1. The means of distributing unit requirements.
    2. The frequency of resupply.
    3. The level of reserves to be held.
    4. The location and type of storage, including the establishment of dumps if required.
    5. The degree of local purchase possible or necessary.
    6. The source from which stocks are to be acquired.
  3. The unit or sub-unit commander is responsible for ensuring that:
    1. He understands where and from whom the unit or sub-unit will be supplied.
    2. 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
    3. Damage to supplies.
    4. He determines the extent to which local resources can be utilized.
  4. Resupply during ATOPS operations may become difficult, therefore the maximum conservation of all supplies must be exercised.

Maintenance and Recovery

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In addition to the foregoing, the logistic staffs are responsible for:
    1. Sending repair teams forward if first line resources are not capable of rectifying the defective items.
    2. The recovery of all vehicles and equipment that cannot be repaired "in situ."
    3. The back loading of unserviceable vehicles and equipment to the nearest repair agency.
  4. In addition to the general responsibilities outlined, the unit or sub-unit commanders are to:
    1. Ensure that they are aware of the various repair channels and agencies available, including civilian contractors, and the procedures to be followed.
    2. Provide protection for repair and recovery teams when necessary.

Casualty Evacuation and Hospitalization

  1. 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..
  2. The logistic staffs are responsible for:
    1. The general medical policy.
    2. The designation of evacuation routes and means.
    3. Hospitalization.
  3. Unit or sub-unit commanders are to be fully conversant with:
    1. The procedure for the evacuation of casualties both by air and ground.
    2. The procedure for the resupply of medical stores.


  1. 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.
  2. It must be borne in mind that route classification and enemy obstacles may limit the use of road transport.
  3. Where practicable, consideration is to be given to the use of inland waterways. This method of transport may, at times, be more economical and secure.
  4. 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:
    1. Road and rail transport.
    2. Air transport, including the necessary ground facilities.
    3. Sea and inland water transport.
  5. Unit and sub-unit commanders are responsible for:
    1. The efficient maintenance of all modes of transport at their disposal.
    2. Understanding the procedures for requisitioning/hiring non-military vehicles.
    3. Providing route clearing and escort parties for the protection of resupply convoys.
    4. 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 this manual.


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 prepared.






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