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Thread: Owning Battlespace

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  1. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default From FM 3-0, Operations

    OPSEC guys, Ken White said it was OK to post it and I answer to that higher authority.

    "Assigning areas of operations to subordinate commanders maximizes decentralized execution by empowering those commanders to exercise initiative. Mission command gives commanders the authority to create any effects necessary to accomplish the mission (consistent with the rules of engagement) within their areas of operations. However, commanders cannot create effects outside their areas of operations without permission from the commander assigned the area of operations in which those effects will occur.
    Further, commanders must control all parts of their area of operations not assigned to subordinates. Assignment of an area of operations includes authority to perform the following:
    .. Terrain management.
    .. Intelligence collection.
    .. Civil affairs activities.
    .. Air and ground movement control.
    .. Clearance of fires.
    .. Security."

    Believe "battlespace" has been ruled a non-term in Army doctrine although the Marines still use it.

    My questions are many. Does a BCT or battalion's boundaries constitute its area of operations (AO)? If so, what of the larger area of influence for indirect fires? And if area of interest is even farther out, this quote seems to imply you are busting boundaries beyond your "intelligence collection" AO. BTW, Wilf believe AOR only applies to combatant command and other upper echelon units although you frequently see it used at lower level.

    Does it come down to a battalion having noncontiguous AO boundaries within a larger BCT AO so that the organic artillery battalion can shoot targets inside the battalion's area of influence but actually in the brigade AO? Likewise, does the Fires Brigade shoot targets in division unassigned areas that are the BCT's area of influence? Confused yet? There's more.

    I've been told in the past that units are allowed to employ direct fires across a boundary anytime if positive ID is established but not indirect fires without permission? Yet this quote seems to imply no "effects" outside your AO/boundaries??

    Finally, what happens if a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is located instead a battalion's AO? Can a Brigade Support Battalion have an AO?

    Cliff, I made the same comment to Ken in a PM about coordinating altitude being the cut-off for ground commander's air control. I only recently learned about blue (ground up) and purple (lower and higher altitude) kill boxes. Is anyone out there using the term Joint Fires Area in the real Army/Joint world? Is the Air Force allowing Kill Boxes to be split up to allow airspace users to share the same area by restricting themselves to just one Keypad within a Kill Box? Did that UH-60 in your video bust a Position Area for Artillery big time...or is that artillery unit never going to get resupplied by air again?
    Last edited by Cole; 01-25-2011 at 01:56 AM. Reason: Typo and spell-out of acronyms for clarity

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