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    Commander's Intent

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    Part A: Commander's Intent: Expanded Purpose, Key Tasks, End State

    Part B: Movement and Maneuver Guidance :Course of action development guidance, Number of courses of action to consider or not to consider, critical events, Task organization, Task and purpose of subordinate units, forms of maneuvers, Reserve composition, mission, priorities, and control measures, Security and counter reconnaissance, Friendly decision points, Reconnaissance and Surveillance integration. Military Deception, Risk to friendly forces, Collateral damage or civilian casualties, Any condition that affects achievement of end state, Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Knowledge gaps, Enemy courses of action, High-value targets, Terrain and weather factors, Local environment and civil considerations, Counterintelligence, Intelligence support requests, Intelligence focus during phased operations, Desired enemy perception of friendly forces.

    Part C: Intelligence Guidance (5 items)

    1. The two primary doctrinal references for this assignment are−
    ADRP 5-0 The Operations Process (May 2012) Chapter 2: Planning.
    ATTP 5-0.1 Command and Staff Officer Guide (September 2011) Chapter 4: The Military Decision-making Process.


    You are the commander for 2/33 HBCT attached to a joint task force (JTF). You are operating in a coastal desert that offers excellent mobility for mechanized and motorized forces, except for the ridgelines and a river/wadi system which runs through the center of your area of operations. Terrain west of the rail line is highly restrictive, virtually impassible by vehicles. The JTF has been conducting offensive operations to the north of DAWSON for the last week, and 2/33 HBCT has been the reserve. LANIER is key terrain because it is the JTF's aerial port of debarkation (APOD) and sea port of debarkation (SPOD). DAWSON is key terrain because it is a logistics node.

    Your main command post, special troops battalion (STB), and brigade support battalion (BSB) are located vicinity of DAWSON.

    Initially, there was no enemy activity in what is now your area of operations. However, there was minor activity by lightly equipped irregular forces operating out of the barren desert to the west. These forces periodically try to cut the DAWSON railroad line - an important line of communication.

    Seventy-two hours ago, the J-2 reported a buildup of mechanized forces from a previously neutral country south of the JTF's AO. The J-2 assesses that forces from the south are preparing for an attack to seize LANIER in order to disrupt the JTF's attack to the north. The enemy is expected to attack with two mechanized brigades. Air parity exists.

    The JTF commander has tasked 2/33 HBCT to defeat the enemy attack in order to protect the JTF's SPOD/APOD at LANIER.

    Develop the following products to communicate your vision to the 2/33 HBCT staff:

    Part A: Commander's Intent

    You must write a commander's intent

    1. For a review of commander's intent, refer to page 2-19 in ADRP 5-0.
    2. A commander's intent must include a purpose, key tasks, and an end state.
    3. "The commander's intent must be easy to remember and clearly understood by leaders and Soldiers two echelons lower in the chain of command. The shorter the commander's intent, the better it serves these purposes" (ADRP 5-0, para. 2-93).
    4. Therefore, your commander's intent will NOT exceed one-half typed page.

    Part B: Movement and maneuver (M2) warfighting function (WfF) planning guidance

    You must address seven (7) elements of Movement and Maneuver planning guidance. The seven elements you must address are:
    Critical events
    Forms of maneuver
    Reserve composition, mission, priorities, and control measures
    Security and counter-reconnaissance
    Reconnaissance and surveillance integration
    Risk to friendly forces
    Collateral damage or civilian casualties

    Part C: Intelligence warfighting function (WfF) planning guidance

    You must address five (5) of the elements of Intelligence planning guidance. The five elements you must address are:
    Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
    Terrain and weather factors
    Local environment and civil considerations
    Desired enemy perception of friendly forces

    While your commander's intent is limited to one-half page, your overall response (to include commander's intent, M2 planning guidance, and Intelligence planning guidance) will be three (3) - to- five (5) typed pages.

    There is no set length for the elements of your planning guidance. For some elements, two to three sentences may be appropriate. For others, a complete paragraph may be more appropriate. Your response should be accurate and concise.
    Note: the elements of planning guidance you must address are highlighted in the charts in yellow. You do not have to address all the elements; only those highlighted in yellow (same as those specified
    above; seven for movement & maneuver; five for intelligence). EXCEPTION: All standards for the commander's intent apply.

    Note: You will find a complete list of all the elements for all the warfighting functions in Table 4-1, Commander's planning guidance by warfighting function, in ATTP 5-0.1 on page 4-15.

    Final note: Citing doctrine is NOT enough to get credit for this assignment. You must read the situation carefully, and then apply principles of doctrine. After you have analyzed the situation, write a meaningful response for your commander's intent and planning guidance. THE ATTACHMENT was deleted I DO NOT WHY but here is in case needed
    Commander's Intent and Planning Guidance Student Aid

    As a result of mission analysis, the commander must understand the problem and the resources available for him to solve it. Next, the commander must visualize the operation and describe that vision to his staff so that they can develop and analyze courses of action. Doctrinally, the commander describes his vision to the staff through his commander's intent and planning guidance.

    The Commander's Intent
    According to ADRP 5-0 paragraph 2-92, "the commander's intent succinctly describes what constitutes success for the operation. It includes the operation's purpose, key tasks, and the conditions that define the end state. It links the mission, concept of operations, and tasks to subordinate units. A clear commander's intent facilitates a shared understanding and focuses on the overall conditions that represent mission accomplishment. During execution, the commander's intent spurs disciplined initiative." This is the essence of mission command!
    The general template for a commander's intent includes the purpose, key tasks and end state.
    Remember, the purpose is the reason why you are conducting the operation. It may be to enable another force, to set conditions for a subsequent action, to protect friendly assets, or to prevent the enemy from doing something.

    Do not confuse purpose and task. Many tactical tasks are included in your Operational Terms and Graphics manual. Block, fix, destroy, secure and clear are all tasks. Each has a corresponding graphic symbol. There are no graphics to illustrate purpose. Commander's intents that have "The purpose of this operation is to..." followed by a task, often confuse the staff. For example, an intent that begins with "the purpose of this operation is to destroy the enemy" is not as clear, and does not foster subordinate initiative as well as "the purpose of our operation is to prevent the enemy from destroying the bridge." (Now the subordinate can conduct his own mission analysis, and develop his own COA to secure the bridge (a terrain oriented objective) or block, or defeat, or destroy the enemy.

    In most instances, the commander has from three to five key tasks which his unit must accomplish in order to be successful. Too few tasks often results in something like "In order to protect the bridge we must destroy the enemy", while too many often cause subordinates to guess the relative priority. In most operations, if you can accomplish the top three to five priority (key) tasks, you will succeed; if you can't you will fail.

    According to ADRP 5-0 paragraph 2-96: "The end state is a set of desired future conditions the commander wants to exist when an operation is concluded. Commanders describe the operation's end state by stating the desired conditions of the friendly force in relationship to desired conditions of the enemy, terrain, and civil considerations. A clearly defined end state promotes unity of effort among the force and with unified action partners."

    The Commander's Planning Guidance
    Paragraph 4-73 of ATTP 5-0.1 (2011) states "Commanders provide planning guidance along with their initial commander's intent. Planning guidance conveys the essence of the commander's visualization. Guidance may be broad or detailed, depending on the situation. The initial planning guidance outlines an operational approach—a broad conceptualization of the general actions that will produce the conditions that define the desired end state (FM 5-0). The guidance outlines specific COAs the commander desires the staff to look at as well as rules out any COAs the commander will not accept. That clear guidance allows the staff to develop several COAs without wasting effort on things that the commander will not consider. It reflects how the commander sees the operation unfolding. It broadly describes when, where, and how the commander intends to employ combat power to accomplish the mission within the higher commander's intent."

    4-74 continues, "Commanders use their experience and judgment to add depth and clarity to their planning guidance. They ensure staffs understand the broad outline of their visualization while allowing the latitude necessary to explore different options. This guidance provides the basis for a detailed concept of operations without dictating the specifics of the final plan. As with their intent, commanders may modify planning guidance based on staff and subordinate input and changing conditions."

    Doctrine does not provide a template for the commander's planning guidance, but Table 4-1 of ATTP 5-0.1 does list items, grouped by warfighting function, for commanders to consider when formulating guidance. However, as parents and children, teachers and students, coaches and players, each of us have heard both bad and good guidance. Bad guidance reiterates the doctrine and information from the mission analysis brief, rather than applying each to the specific situation; micromanages and limits the staff's initiative and abilities, or adds to the fog of war through vague terms or conflicting guidance. "Just hit the ball," and "We must retain the key terrain while avoiding civilian casualties" are rarely helpful guidance.

    Useful guidance focuses the staff without undo restraint, establishes priorities and acceptable risk, and applies doctrine, SOP and mission analysis information to a unique situation. Commanders can usually best describe their vision to their staff using doctrinal terms, clear purpose and tasks, delineated priorities and named terrain features.

    Here is a fabricated example of the commander's intent and planning guidance that General Eisenhower could have given to the SHAEF staff after the Combined Chiefs of Staff directed him to conduct Operation Overlord. It is based on the Center for Military History's Cross-Channel Attack. The quotations in the following commander's intent are from the directive Eisenhower received from the Combined Chiefs of Staff (Cross-Channel Attack p 457) This example includes a commander's intent as well as movement and maneuver guidance for (a simplified) first phase of Overlord. Although doctrine and your assignment provide a checklist that suggests discussing various components individually, the commander's description of any portion of the operation may relate to several of those checklist items. For example, the reserve is usually a shaping effort and its commitment is the result of a commander's decision, informed by CCIR, collected through ISR, by Soldiers placed at risk. In this example, checklist item heading are underlined or included in parenthesis adjacent to each item.

    The Purpose of Operation Overlord is to provide the Allies a base of operations on "the continent of Europe" from which to conduct subsequent operations "aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her armed forces." Success depends upon securing the Port of Cherbourg intact, operating where we have air cover and the Germans do not, securing a relatively undefended beach and massing there faster than the Germans. At the end of Operation Overlord, the Cotentin Peninsula will be clear of German forces; the port of Cherbourg, auxiliary ports and airfields, and all required roads and bridges will be repaired and satisfactorily operational; the build-up of men and material will be sufficiently complete and Allied Forces will be prepared to attack "the heart of Germany."

    Planning Guidance: I envision conducting Overlord in two phases, focusing on our decisive operations to secure first a beachhead and then Cherbourg Port.

    Phase I
    (Critical Events) In Phase I our decisive operation must secure a beachhead on the north shore of the Cotentin Peninsula, while air, sea, and (if needed) airborne forces prevent the Germans from destroying the Cherbourg Port (Shaping). In order for the decisive operation to succeed, we must employ air and sea forces to protect and sustain ground forces; and we must use deception, interdiction and counter-mobility to defeat German counterattacks (Shaping). Phase I is a race to get men and equipment on the beach faster than the Germans (Timing & Sequence). Therefore, 21st Army Group must secure a beachhead on D-Day (Decisive) with needed ammunition (Sustaining) while airborne divisions protect our flank (Shaping). Although this force is strong enough and fast enough to secure a toe-hold, we must reinforce

    it with one armored division (Shaping) with needed ammunition and fuel (Sustaining) each day for a week. The first armored division must be ashore on NLT D+1. Positioned near Bayeux as our reserve (Shaping), its priorities, in order of commitment are to defeat and penetrations of our bridgehead by a German regiment or division vicinity Caen, St. Lo, or Carentan. I'll accept some risk to win this race: aside from ammunition and fuel, movement of reinforcements forward and casualties to safety are priority for the first week (Sustaining). You must find all other logistics ashore until we win the race (Sustaining). At that point, providing supplies to our forces in the beachhead will be more important that placing additional soldiers ashore (Sustaining/Risk).

    We will secure the beach using a frontal attack (Form of Maneuver), along a wide front protected by the Orne River on our on our left (east) flank, and by the Vire on our right. This wide front will give me the flexibility to deliver subsequent waves to various beaches as we learn more about the terrain and the German defenders (CCIR/ISR). Our airborne divisions will secure the bridges along the protecting rivers at Caen and St. Mere Eglise (Shaping/Protection). If possible, they will retain those bridges for our subsequent use. However, each bridge will be prepared for demolition, and disabled "in as repairable manner as possible" if any soldier senses it may fall into enemy hands. Protected by the rivers, the airborne, our air cover and naval gunfire, I accept the risk our forces are exposed to. Even so, we must destroy the 21st Panzer Division positioned inside our protecting rivers (Shaping); and must deceive, delay and destroy the German threat from outside those rivers (Shaping). The 21st is my immediate concern (HPT), so I want to always have an air corps bomber group or naval bombardment group dedicated to its destruction (Shaping). In addition to the status of our air and naval groups and required ordinance (FFIR) and favorable weather (PIR), the air corps must always know the Panzer location, roads and routes the Panzers may take, and the best choke points and obstacles at which we should destroy those Panzers (PIR). Armored and mobile German units outside of our protective rivers are a larger concern (HPT). For those enemy forces east of our landings, I want a deception plan built on the story that our Normandy landings are a feint and that our main attack, led by Patton, will take place next week at the Pas de Calais. As a result of this deception, Hitler must refuse to send any divisions into the peninsula for three days, and thereafter introduce no more than two divisions per day for the remainder of the week (Desired perception and action by the enemy). Air Corps observers, ship-board radars, and Army signals intelligence must provide accurate reports of any German reinforcements (CCIR/ISR), and a bomber wing and naval task force are responsible for destroying any such counter-attacks (Shaping). Finally, in Phase I, we must prevent the German Static Infantry Divisions from securing or damaging our Phase 2 objective: Cherbourg (This Shapes or sets the conditions for Phase II). While it is unlikely that large numbers of static infantry will be able to get to Cherbourg without transport, they know how much the port is worth to us (Risk). Therefore, I again expect an air corps bomber group and naval bombardment group dedicated to its destruction (Shaping). As importantly, I expect our best intelligence operatives and French Resistance Freedom Fighters to locate every German within artillery range of that port (CCIR/ISR). Due to the importance of securing Cherbourg intact, I want to a regiment to secure the port (Shaping) (likely using an airborne or amphibious assault) as soon as the 21st Panzer is preoccupied with our amphibious landings (CCIR/ISR).

    Phase II
    In Phase II our decisive operation must secure the Port of Cherbourg, while our shaping operations clear all German forces from the Contentin Peninsula and build/repair bridges, roads and airfields, so that our sustainment forces can build-up and position the resources we'll need for our subsequent attack.

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    Solution Preview

    I got the gist. What i did is break it down into its components, and then brought in several additional publications concerning communications and the full capacities of the HBCT. I also use Israel's victory in the Six-Day war as a template. I think it works.

    Commander's Intent:

    Dealing with the mobilization of mechanized forces from a formerly neutral state (Country X) to the south of the Joint Task Force. These are regular soldiers, not irregular guerrillas.

    The critical mission is to maintain access to both ports. This is the main purpose. This means that both LANIER and DAWSON are considered nearly equal in importance, but DAWSON is a slightly higher priority due to its access to the sea. Above all, we cannot permit the guerrillas to join with the regular forces. This occurred in Vietnam between the VC irregulars and the North Vietnam forces. The main phase and the primary task is to hit country X rapidly before buildup is complete. We assume that they are no longer neutral and have declared war (in one form or another) on the JTF.

    Our HBCT has substantial reconnaissance abilities and therefore, we need to discover if foreign nationals are assisting or advising country X. This increases the risk, but does not alter the overall plan. The assault task is to use HIMARS and MLRS batteries will be along with air power. Depending on the size of the buildup, that might be sufficient to eliminate or retard their mobilization.

    We can assume two mechanized brigades will contain possibly 8,000 infantry at a maximum, and we assume further that mobilization is not complete. We will target armor primarily, and concern ourselves with personnel afterwards. Whether or not we will directly face these two brigades is another matter. Our accuracy from HIMARS batteries might do enough damage to their armor to permanently harm their approach. Helicopters are also to be employed, targeting the heavier weapon first. The Navy might be able to supply accompanying heavy fire into the vicinity of their buildup.

    The end state is to secure both ports, eliminate (for the time being) any attack from the two brigades in the process of mobilization, and keep the rest of the JTF to continue the mission and deal with ...

    Solution Summary

    The expanded purpose, key tasks and end states are given.