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Posted on Mar 4, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 013. Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (Pt. 2)

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

Doctrinal Template – After obtaining and updating the order of battle, you want to retrieve or create doctrinal templates on how your enemy (as depicted in your order of battle) wants to fight in a certain operation under normal conditions. Again, harkening back to a simpler time, we used to carry dozens of ‘onion skin’ doctrinal templates on how the Soviets (at levels from the platoon to army) would attack, defend etc. It was hard work just carrying the templates. However, they served their purpose and were a tremendous time saver. Below you will find some examples of doctrinal templates (sorry no onion skin!) showing an enemy at different levels and different periods of the fight at normal conditions.




Description of Preferred Tactics and Options – After we gather the doctrinal templates, we begin to look at the enemies preferred tactics and options. Again, we are looking at normal conditions. We want to know how the enemy would fight this particular mission. How would he maneuver? How would he utilize his operating systems? What are his success options? What are his failure options? We jot the answers down for use in the future.


Identification of High Value Targets – As a review, a high value target is an asset or system that the enemy commander needs to successfully complete his mission. During a particular operation, your foe will have many high value targets (some may be more critical than others, but all are critical non-the-less). Obviously, the earlier you can identify these, the better for targeting purposes. Of course, these may change as you get more intelligence. For example, if your enemy must cross a large river during an offensive operation; a high value target could be a particular type of bridging asset. During this part of the process, you will identify these by utilizing your data base, doctrinal templates, his preferred tactics and options, and your own expertise. For clarity, you want to divide your high value targets into different categories. Since you are the commander, it is your personal preference on what categories you use. If you do not have a system, may we suggest: Command and Control, Fire Support, Maneuver, Air Defense, Engineer, Recon/intel/surveillance/target acquisition (RISTA), NBC, Electronic Warfare, Bulk Fuel, Ammo, Maintenance, Lift, and Lines of Communication.

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