Training for the Future:
Operations Other Than War
by First Lieutenant Carolyn F. Belveal
The possibility of a massive ground war in Europe
declined significantly with the collapse of communism in Europe and
the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. This change did not, however,
reduce the potential for conflict in the region. New threats and
missions continue to challenge the soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe
(USAREUR) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Now,
USAREUR is not only training its units to perform conventional
ground combat operations for war but also to conduct operations
other than war (OOTW). This article describes how the Combat
Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) trains commanders and military
intelligence (MI) professionals to adapt to the new missions and
dynamic situations of OOTW.
Combat Maneuver Training Center
OOTW is now a significant part of training at the CMTC near
Hohenfels, Germany. The CMTC has designed new scenarios that
replicate the real-world experiences and missions of USAREUR. A
battalion task force now spends the first four days of its ten-day
exercise in an OOTW environment. On the fourth day, the battalion
task force transitions to conventional combat operations. The CMTC
training prepares the task force for many of the situations it
could face in Macedonia or Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Task Force Operations
In the CMTC OOTW scenario, a battalion task force must clear and
occupy a zone of separation between two hostile countries. It must--
OOTW consists of small unit actions that depend upon company grade
officers and noncommissioned officers to accomplish the mission.
OOTW puts first-line supervisors in the spotlight because they must
understand how to handle searches, random encounters with military
factions, and deal with the press. The soldiers on the ground are
responsible for reporting information while the S2 and his
intelligence analysts summarize the information and look for
emerging patterns. The task force uses this information in area
assessments for the United Nations. (See Figure 1.)
- Construct and occupy observation posts and check points.
- Aid the local population.
- Interpret the rules of engagement for various incidents.
The battalion task force commander assigns each subordinate company
an area of operations within the zone of separation. The company
commanders establish checkpoints and observation posts within the
zone. They use checkpoints along the major routes to stop and
question anyone traveling across the zone. Often soldiers at the
checkpoints must detain vehicles carrying contraband and decide how
to deal with the smugglers. Observation posts allow the commanders
to monitor and record the activity within the sector. Even if the
activity seems routine, the soldier must record the event and
report the information to the next higher echelon--change in routine
is sometimes more important than new activity.
The task force commander is responsible for liaison with the
villagers within his area of the zone. Each village usually
includes a leader or mayor and a religious figure. Common
complaints from the villages include lack of food and potable
water, military vehicles speeding through villages, and threats
from faction groups. How the task force and company commanders deal
with a village's requests directly relates to how the village views
U.S. military intervention. The task force commander may direct
that a platoon or squad escort food and supply convoys to the
population centers to ensure they arrive safely.
In addition to coping with the population, the task force deals
with incidents instigated by one of the many factions operating
within the zone of separation. Car bombings, mine fields, weapons
caches, distribution of propaganda, sniping, ambushes on convoys,
and mortar fire are some of the incidents that occur. Determining
which faction is responsible for the incident enables the commander
to warn his soldiers about hostile groups and actions.
Coordinating Civil-Military Operations
The brigade staff synchronizes daily events through a nightly
civil-military humanitarian assistance and operational support
(CHAOS) meeting. Held in the brigade tactical operations center,
the CHAOS meeting brings together key brigade staff personnel and
task force representatives to discuss issues and concerns. The
brigade S2, S3, and chaplain are members of CHAOS. Representatives
from civil affairs, judge advocate general, military police, and
the direct support MI company are also present at the CHAOS
On the final day of the OOTW scenario, a Civil-Military Working
Group meets to discuss pressing issues. The working group's meeting
is the culmination point of the OOTW phase of the CMTC exercise.
Similar to the brigade CHAOS meeting, this meeting includes brigade
and task force commanders, village mayors, and faction leaders.
Chaired by the battalion task force commander, the working group's
agenda covers U.S. military operations, faction activity, and
civilian humanitarian needs within the zone of separation. The task
force commander listens to everyone's concerns and acts as the
mediator. The Civil-Military Working Group meeting is a success if
all parties agree to abide by the rules for the zone of separation.
Brigade Intelligence Support
The brigade S2 compiles incident reports, faction recognition
guides, and capabilities assessments. These products help the task
force soldiers understand the threat and the area of operations.
The S2 also publishes various checklists that standardize reporting
procedures. (See Figure 2.) These assist the soldier in providing
complete and accurate reports. From these reports, the S2 more
easily pieces together emerging patterns. In OOTW, accuracy is
often more critical then the timeliness of reports.
By implementing a sound collection and dissemination plan, the
brigade S2 can help the task force succeed in OOTW. The S2 can
employ a number of organic and supporting assets to collect
information. The counterintelligence and interrogation teams from
the direct support MI company are collectors that can visit the
villages, talk with the local civilians, and gather information.
Monitoring activity in the villages and the mood of the local
populace allows the S2 to piece together single events that alone
may seem insignificant but together may reveal a threat to the task
force. The CHAOS meetings also provide an excellent forum for
revealing emerging patterns and tasking assets to answer the
commander's priority intelligence requirements. Observation posts,
checkpoints, and patrol reports, particularly those following
checklist formats, are another source of valuable information.
Tailored Intelligence Products
OOTW requires the S2 to apply standard techniques and processes to
produce tailored intelligence products. For example, the S2 should
still develop a modified combined obstacles overlay (MCOO). The S2
must, however, tailor the observation and fields of fire, cover and
concealment, obstacles, key terrain, and avenues of approach
factors to the OOTW situation. One product taken from the basic
MCOO is a lines of communication overlay. This overlay helps the
commander visualize the network of trails within the zone of
separation that refugees may travel or smugglers may use to
infiltrate the zone. It also helps the commander determine where to
establish his checkpoints and observation posts to cover the most
The All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) remote workstation is an
extremely helpful tool for developing tailored products. The
workstation enables the analyst to automate the daily journal,
correlate information to find patterns, perform terrain analysis,
and disseminate intelligence. The S2 analyst can sort the system's
database by factions to determine which faction has a history of
repeated smuggling activity. Lastly, the analyst can program the
workstation to alert upon the arrival of reports containing
critical intelligence or specific information.
One of the most useful ASAS remote workstation products is the
line-of-sight overlay. Figure 3 is an example of a line-of-sight
overlay. The overlay helps the S2 develop his reconnaissance and
surveillance plans by identifying potential observation post
locations and deadspace. This helps the S2 determine which
observation posts and checkpoints must be relocated or replaced by
patrols. Since the workstation software takes into account only
elevation, not vegetation. It is important that the commander
controlling that checkpoint or observation post verifies the
Training soldiers in OOTW is critical and more relevant in today's
world. Exposing our soldiers to nontraditional operations in
training better prepares them for future OOTW missions. The CMTC at
Hohenfels, Germany, is working diligently with USAREUR units like
the 3d Infantry Division and our NATO partners to develop realistic
training that ensures U.S. Forces are prepared to meet the new
challenges of OOTW.
First Lieutenant Belveal is currently the Assistant
S2, 3d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany. She is a
1993 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.