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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Operational Planning: The Patrol Order is continuing on with Urban Survival Operational Planning with the Patrol Order. The post the day before this post, outlined conceptual planning or developing the Concept of Operations (CONOPS). Which essential is a concept briefed to Survival Group members so their input can modify and refine that concept. Once that is completed, the mission planner plans the operation in detail and this results in the Patrol Order.

The Patrol Order is where details and contingencies are articulated. Remember PACE (Primary, Alternate Contingency and Emergency. The more procedures are standardized into a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) the less time it takes to plan and formulate a Patrol Order.

The Patrol Order format can look something like this:

Task Organization. Who is participating on the operation and how the unit is organized to complete the mission.

Situation.What is the general situation in the immediate area and expanded area. Consider the effects of weather and terrain also.

Mission. What are you going to be accomplishing (considering the 5 W’s).

This is the detailed flow of the operation. Specific routes, actions and contingencies are planned for and briefed. This covers from launch from the Survival Base Camp through the mission and return.

Service and Supply. Equipment Common to All. Special Equipment and who will carry it.

Command and Signal. Chain of Command. The Communications plan, including lost or no communications plan. Verbal Passwords, authentications and visual signals are planned for as well.

Again, a sand table (terrain model), sketches and/or maps should be used to articulate the operational plan. This facilitates everyone’s understanding of the operation.

After the Patrol Order is briefed and understood, the Mission Leader may give the Patrol members some time to finish and finalize preparations, then conduct an inspection of the Patrol members to ensure everyone has the required equipment, and has minimized light and noise makers on their kit.

Rehearsals should be considered for any critical part of the operation.

The same Urban Survival Group from the post on CONOPS has already briefed the CONOPS, refined and modified the conceptual plan and is now ready to brief the Patrol Order.

Again, Jim is the mission planner and patrol leader for this patrol). Other members of this Survival Group include: Bob, John, Larry, Steve, Laura, Teresa and Sally.

Jim: “Okay everyone, this is the Patrol Order for tomorrow’s security patrol. “

“The Task Organization for this patrol is myself as Patrol Leader, Larry as second in command and Sally as patrol member and also serving as the patrol medic. Base Camp Organization is the five remaining Survival Group members, under John in command, with Steve as second in Command. Along with Teresa, Laura and Bob, this group will maintain security and conduct normal daily Survival Base Camp functions. While the patrol is out of the base camp, John will maintain two personnel on security manning the NORTH and SOUTH Observation Posts. “

“The Situation is that since we have come together here in my home for our Urban Survival Base Camp three weeks ago, we have ventured out in the neighborhood to see what the situation is. We have seen most of our neighbors pack up and leave. In fact, we have helped ourselves to the gasoline in the vehicles they left behind, as well some of the food they also left behind. We have heard sporadic gunfire, nothing to indicate pitched battles, but we just don’t know the extent of the situation. If there are alike organized pockets of survivors,…anyone who is need of medical assistance or even food. “

“Our Mission is to conduct a foot patrol around the neighborhood, beginning tomorrow morning at 0730 hours, following the route I have drew on the map, in order to: determine extent of remaining population; determine presence of criminal or threat elements based or operating nearby, if any; determine presence and/or make contact with any alike organized Survival Group; offer assistance to selected personnel in need; and, catalog any material, equipment or supplies that may be of use to us."

“OK, Execution of the Operation follows. The Patrol will depart here tomorrow at 0730 hrs, moving in a three person column formation. Larry on point, followed by me, then Sally as tail gunner. Interval will be 15 yards between Patrol Members in the suburbs; once we get into the woods along the power lines, I want to close up the interval to 10 yards. Standard Arm and Hand signals in effect”.

“We will move NORTH up Cedar Street then EAST on Oak Street, then parallel the State highway SOUTH to the power line, then parallel the power lines WEST to Jackson Blvd. We’ll established an Objective Rally Point (ORP) here one block away from Jackson Blvd, determine through observation and listening any activity on Jackson Blvd. From here we’ll determine the best route to approach Jackson Blvd. If it doesn’t seem safe enough, then we will observe activity on Jackson Blvd., at a distance from concealed positions. I really want to determine the status of the Dollar store one block NORTH of where the power lines cross Jackson, and, the Auto Zone store three blocks NORTH of that. “

“We then follow Jackson Blvd NORTH to Peterson Street, then EAST on Oak Street and come back into our base, no earlier than late afternoon and no later than sunset. Total distance is 8 miles and at no time should we be more than 1 mile away from the base."

Bob: “Jim, are you going to go into the Dollar Store or the Auto Zone, if it appears to be safe enough?

Jim: “No. Once we return and have a after operations brief on our Patrol, if it seems another Patrol specifically to enter and recover material from the Dollar Store or Auto Zone is in order, then we’ll plan a separate Patrol and most likely it would require five people so we could keep at least three outside in a security and observation role. Again, we will not be entering any store, that would require crossing Jackson as they are on the WEST side of the Blvd and pose too big of danger for only a three person Patrol.”

“If run into an significant threat element, we will break contact and return back to base attempting not to come straight back, but to break line of sight contact with any threat. If we find a residence that we think maybe occupied, we will hail the house from a covered position. We will be prepared to provide people with a radio FRS channel so they can talk to us on the radio, if they have one, rather than them or us exposing ourselves without any assurances someone will not shoot.”

“If we find someone who needs help and if it seems safe enough, Sally and myself will approach so Sally can determine needs and provide some medical treatment with me as near security. Larry will remain outside any structure or otherwise in a location to provide far security, early warning and covering fire.”

“We will be prepared to hole up if the threat situation requires it, but considering that then we will have our force split, so we won’t make this decision lightly. If possible and necessary we would move in darkness back to base.”

“Service and Supply. All three of us on this Patrol will carry rifle and handgun, at least 60 rounds for the rifles and three re-loads for the handgun; Basic Bug Out Bag to include individual medical kit, three days worth of meals in case we have to hole up someplace; Motorola Radio; and, six quarts of water. For Special Equipment: I'll carry a pair of the larger binoculars, Steve carry a smaller pair. I'll carry the small tool kit with screwdrivers, large and small crescent wrenches; Sally will carry the larger patrol first aid kit, with extra bandages, small one time use anti-biotic tubes and aspirin. We’ll all carry notebooks and pencils, but Sally will be the recorder for when we conduct observation from a static position."

“I have already briefed the Chain of Command for the Patrol as remaining here at Base. Again, we will communicate primarily using the Motorola FRS radios on Channel 4 with the alternate channel being Channel 12. All of us will have our radios turned on as we move. We will attempt to communicate with the base, every hour on the hour, once we depart the Base. If we haven’t made contact within 3 hours, then we’ll attempt to minimize any line of sight issues, gain some high ground and re-try communications. However, if the operation is unfolding well, no threat and such, then I will not abort the Patrol due to no communications, unless we hear gunfire from around the Base or we see any element, Threat or Non-Threat, moving towards the Base.”

“Our standard signals will be effect. Approaching the base at night or dusk using one person and three one-second blinks using a red lens flashlight every thirty seconds, until within verbal range, then we’ll go to challenge and password, which for tomorrow and until the Patrol returns will be the: Challenge - Disco Light and the Password – Helen of Troy.”

“In the event we are being chased back to Base, the running password will be Helen. In the event we are captured and forced to approach Base, under threat of death, the duress code will be the word ‘radio’ built into a phrase, other wise if we need to articulate or communicate the word radio, we use the word Motorola instead.“

“Any questions? No? Good. The Patrol will meet here tomorrow at 0630 hours for a quick breakfast and an inspection of gear and equipment, prior to the Patrol moving out at 0730 hrs. This concludes the Patrol Order.”

What occurred in the dialogue above was a Jim taking the CONOPS from earlier, developing a more detailed plan, then briefing it to the Patrol and rest of the Survival Group. Everytime this is done, it helps train the other members of the Survival Group in planning.

Read it again and see if Jim planned and briefed in all areas of the Patrol Order: Task Organization, Situation, Mission, Execution, Service and Supply, and Command and Signal. What do you think he missed?

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