Field Manual FM 3-90 Tactics July 2001

FM 3-0: Doctrine for a Transforming Force
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Field Manual FM The purpose of this manual is to provide tactics, techniques, and procedures TTP for corps artilleries The purpose of this manual is to provide tactics, techniques, and procedures TTP for corps artilleries corps artys , division artilleries div artys , and field artillery FA brigades. It is intended as a general how to guide to assist in force standardization Field manual FM provides doctrinal guidance and directions for conducting inform and influence activities Field manual FM provides doctrinal guidance and directions for conducting inform and influence activities IIA and discusses the importance of information in operational environments.

It describes the Army's view of how IIA aid the commander to gain an advantage This manual makes no distinction between Today, United States US forces are deployed on peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and humanitarian assistance operations worldwide. During these operations, US forces This manual is based on the premise that although the unit organization, weapons systems, and This manual is based on the premise that although the unit organization, weapons systems, and conditions have changed, platoon maneuver, fire, and movement have not changed.

FM Chapter 3 The division engineer ensures that enough vehicle swimming, assault boat, raft, and bridge sites are available within each assault brigade area. Generally, a main attack brigade requires two vehicle swim or assault boat for dismounted battalions sites and at least two raft or bridge sites. The brigade engineer, coordinating with the CAE, then analyzes each site to arrive at a rough crossing rate capability and the effort necessary to open the site.

Operational planners use this information to develop possible COAs. The division engineer, coordinating with the crossing area commander CAC , ensures that crossing requirements of the lead brigades and breakout force are adequately resourced to satisfy each COA. The BCT main command post CP evaluates the terrain along the gap in terms of observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key terrain, obstacles, and cover and concealment OAKOC. The intent is to understand the terrain along the gap and along selected approaches so that potential COAs can be devised with crossing objectives.

The operations planners combine this knowledge with the crossing site comparisons and enemy templates to develop possible COAs. COA Approval The engineer selects sites; determines vehicle swimming and Orders Production assault boat, rafting, and bridging configurations and bank preparation requirements; and task-organizes the engineers for each COA.

Looking two levels down, the division staff plans an assault crossing site vehicle fording or assault boat for each anticipated assault battalion in a brigade area. A brigade should also have two bridging or rafting sites within its boundaries as a norm. The discussion proceeds to the BCT gap crossing for this crossing.

Multiple brigade packages may be necessary for a division crossing. The brigade operations staff officer S-3 looks closely at the avenues leading to brigade mission objectives, particularly at crossing sites feeding the avenues. Developing practicable COAs is normally an iterative process. The division staff first develops a scheme of maneuver to take the final objective, and then verifies that the force buildup rate across the river is adequate for the scheme of maneuver.

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If so, the S-3 expands the COAs to include the tactics required for the crossing. The tactics required for the crossing are based on enemy defenses near the crossing sites, enemy reaction forces and earliest employment times, and crossing rates at each site. The COAs must include exit bank, intermediate, and bridgehead objectives.

The S-3, working with the brigade engineer and CAE, develops the control mechanisms, crossing graphics, crossing timeline, and crossing area overlay for each COA Figure and Figure , page This planning assists the division in their overall plan by providing the specifics necessary for their portion of the crossing. Chapter 3 Figure The staff at both the division and brigade levels war-game each COA against likely enemy reactions Table They then attempt to counter each enemy response.

The division staff examines each COA against both the immediate and follow-on missions Table The division is particularly concerned with the movement of reserve and support forces and compares COAs against these requirements. The brigade staff considers the ability of each COA to handle enemy responses, support follow-on missions, provide flexibility for the brigade, and allow for crossing redundancy. Simultaneously, the staff converts the selected COA into a plan with enough detail for synchronized execution Table The staff engineer conducts an extensive analysis to develop a unit-by-unit crossing plan and movement schedule in conjunction with the G-3, the Assistant Chief of Staff, Logistics G-4 , and the division transportation officer DTO.

Production As a result of this process, the engineer now refines and fully develops the crossing capability chart, the crossing timeline, the crossing site overlay, and the crossing synchronization matrix. Support is provided to the traffic control cell as they work out the traffic circulation plan to support the operation. While detailed planning is underway, the CAE initiates farside and nearside reconnaissance to develop enough detail for battalion-level planning. He converts this planning into a detailed engineer task list, and develops the engineer execution matrix to synchronize it see Appendix D for an example of an execution matrix.

Commanders maneuver their forces into positions of advantage over the enemy. Engineers analyze the terrain to determine the maneuver potential, ways to reduce natural and enemy obstacles, and how they can deny freedom of maneuver to the enemy by enhancing the inherent obstacle value of the terrain see FM Commanders and staffs develop running estimates before and during the MDMP. These estimates are updated throughout the operation as well. Terrain, enemy aspects, and water characteristics are key components of the estimate for gap-crossing operations and are applied during the planning process.

Much of this information directly applies to and must be included as a part of the IPB Table , page Although terrain characteristics have a strong influence, tactical requirements ultimately determine the location of the crossing site s. During a wet-gap crossing, water conditions must allow the proper employment of available crossing means and the tactics required for their operation.

The farside terrain must support mission accomplishment; otherwise, crossing the gap in that location serves little purpose. Crossing sites must also support the rapid movement of units to the farside, or the enemy can win the force buildup race. Commanders balance the tactical use of the farside terrain against technical crossing requirements at the gap to determine suitable crossing locations. Nearside terrain must support initial assault sites, rafting and bridging sites, and the assembly and staging areas used by the force.

Routes to and from the gap must support the quantity of traffic that is necessary for the operation and for the sustainment of the force in subsequent operations. Because the gap physically splits his force, he should execute his crossing operation where the enemy is most vulnerable or least able to react. This gives the commander time to mass his force on the farside before the enemy can concentrate against it.

The engineer is the terrain expert. He must work closely with the S-2 during the planning process to identify the advantages and disadvantages presented by the terrain for both friendly and enemy forces. Engineers have the primary responsibility of collecting the terrain information needed for wet-gap crossings. This is easiest if the nearside is under friendly control in adequate time to collect necessary information about the gap.

Engineers collect water, bank, and route information through the integration of geospatial means, engineer reconnaissance see FM Engineer diving teams may be available to provide farside, nearside, water bottom, and underwater-obstacle information see Appendix E and FM Local inhabitants can provide additional information about bridges, flow, bank stability, road networks, ford sites, and other gap conditions.

Aviation assets can provide aerial and video reconnaissance to greatly enhance the IPB for gap- crossing operations. Wet gaps requiring a deliberate crossing that confront a division or BCT are usually rivers. Rivers form unique obstacles. They are generally linear and extensive and normally cannot be bypassed. Meandering bends in rivers provide farside defenders with opportunities for flanking fires and observation of multiple crossing sites.

The combined arms team, as normally configured for combat, needs special preparation and equipment to carry it across river obstacles. After the attacking force crosses the river, it FM A formation cannot typically cross a river wet gap wherever desired as compared to the options available when crossing most dry gaps or breaching most field obstacles.

Potential crossing sites may be few, and they will be equally obvious to both the attacker and defender.

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These common defensive control measures are discussed in alphabetical order. Vehicles that will not be allowed to cross are removed so that they do not cause a traffic backup at the actual crossing site. Its primary purpose is to reduce obstacles undetected to facilitate the 1 July FM Bailey Bridge Restrictive Fire Area

A gap river provides excellent observation and fields of fire to both the attacker and defender. It exposes the force on the water and makes it vulnerable while entering and leaving the water. It is also an aerial avenue of approach, allowing enemy aircraft low-level access to crossing operations. Force buildup on the farside is a race between the defender and the attacker. The gap river can be an obstacle behind the initial assault force allowing the enemy to pin and defeat it in detail while preventing rapid reinforcement.

Terrain analysis for a wet-gap crossing includes the OAKOC aspects of terrain; however, many details are peculiar to river crossings. These details include the specific technical characteristics of the gap as an obstacle. Water current is a major limiting factor for wet-gap crossings. Current affects the distance that the floating equipment will drift downstream. Commanders must either select an offset starting point upstream to reach a desired point on the farside or take additional time to fight the current.

High current velocities make control of a heavy raft difficult; therefore, landings require skilled boat operators and raft commanders and more time. Current causes water pressure against floating bridges. MRBCs use boats or an anchorage system to resist this pressure. The higher the current, the more extensive the anchorage system must be. Higher currents provide velocity to floating objects, which can damage or swamp floating equipment. Current can be measured easily for example, by timing a floating stick but is normally not constant across the width of the river.

Generally, it is faster in the center than along the shore. It is also faster on the outside of a curve than on the inside. A factor of 1. The depth of the water influences all phases of a wet-gap crossing. If the water is shallow enough and the riverbed will support traffic, fording is possible. If the force uses assault boats and the water becomes shallow in the assault area, the force will have to wade and carry their equipment.

Shallow water may also cause difficulty for swimming vehicles, because the rapidly moving tracks can dig into a shallow bottom and ground the vehicle. The water must be deep enough to float bridge boats and loaded rafts on their crossing centerlines and deep enough in launch areas to launch boats and bridge bays.

The depth of the water is not normally constant across a wet gap. It is generally deeper in the center and in high velocity areas. Either a bottom reconnaissance with divers or sounding from a reconnaissance boat is necessary to verify the depth. The width of a wet gap is a critical dimension for bridges especially when it determines how much equipment is necessary and rafts.

The distance a raft or assault boat must travel determines its round-trip crossing time, which in turn determines the force buildup rate on the farside. A swell is the wave motion found in large bodies of water and near the mouths of rivers. It is caused by normal wave action in a larger body, from tidal action, or from wind forces across the water. A swell is a serious consideration for swimming armored vehicles, although it is of lesser importance for assault boats, heavy rafts, and bridges.

Hydrographic data and local residents are sources of information on swells. Direct observation has limited use, because a swell changes over time with changing tide and weather conditions. Tidal variation can cause significant problems. Tidal variation is not the same every day. It depends on lunar and solar positions and on the current's velocity. Planners need tide tables to determine the actual variation, but they are not always available for rivers.

Another tidal phenomenon found in some estuaries is the tidal bore, which is a dangerous wave that surges up the river as the tide enters. It seriously affects water operations. This reverse flow may require that float bridges be anchored on both sides. Wet gaps may be subject to sudden floods due to heavy rain or thawing upstream.

This will cause bank overflow, higher currents, deeper water, and significant floating debris. If the enemy possesses upstream flood control structures or dams, it can cause these conditions also. Dry gaps may also become wet gaps given certain weather conditions or as a result of the breaching of flood control devices or similar structures.

Most wet gaps contain sand or mud banks. They are characteristic of low current areas along the shore and on the inside of the curves of a river, but they can be anywhere. Since they cause problems for swimming vehicles, assault boats, outboard motors, bridge boats, and rafts, troops must find them through underwater reconnaissance or sounding. Rocks damage propellers, boats, floating bridges, and ground rafts. They cause swimming armored vehicles to swamp if the vehicle body or a track rides up on them high enough to cant the vehicle and allow water into a hatch or engine intake.

They can also cause a fording vehicle to throw a track. Rocks are found by underwater reconnaissance or sounding. These can range from sunken ships to wreckage and snags. The current in large waterways can carry significant floating debris, which can seriously damage boats and floating equipment. Usually, debris can be observed after flooding or rapidly rising waters. Performing underwater reconnaissance or using bottom-charting sonar is the only way to locate these obstructions.

Man-made underwater obstacles can be steel or concrete tetrahedrons or dragon's teeth, wood piles, or mines. The enemy places them to deny a crossing area and designs them to block or destroy boats and rafts. Performing underwater reconnaissance or using bottom- charting sonar can locate these obstacles.

Vegetation in the water can snag or choke propellers and ducted impellers on outboard motors and bridge boats. Normally, floating vegetation is not a significant problem. Thick vegetation beds that can cause equipment problems are found in shallow water and normally along the shore. Thick vegetation must extend to within 30 to 60 centimeters of the surface to hinder equipment, so it can normally be seen from the surface. Some water creatures may also conceivably become obstructions to crossing operations. Concealment is critical to the initial assault across the gap.

The assault force must have concealed access to the gap. It must also have concealed attack positions close to the gap from which to prepare assault boats. The overwatching unit prepares concealed positions along the friendly shore, taking full FM Planning Considerations advantage of vegetation and surface contours. Overwatching units must be in position to engage the most likely enemy position s on the enemy shore. Dominant terrain formed by hill masses or bluffs provides direct-fire overwatch positions.

If the dominant terrain is along the shore, it also covers attack positions, AAs, and staging areas. AMD sites should be located on terrain that dominates aerial AAs one of which is located along the gap. Dismounted forces must be able to carry assault boats to the water, and engineer troops must be able to construct and operate rafts with little bank preparation. These road networks must be well constructed to carry large amounts of heavy vehicle traffic. A river meanders and forms salients and reentrant angles along the shore. A salient on the enemy shore is desirable for the crossing area, because it allows friendly fires from a wide stretch of the nearside to concentrate against a small area on the farside and limits the length of enemy shore that must be cleared to eliminate direct fire and observation Figure Salients and Reentrants on the Enemy Shore Having dominant terrain on the enemy side of the gap is undesirable.

Any terrain that permits direct fires or observed indirect fires onto crossing sites is key terrain. Friendly forces must control it before beginning the rafting or bridging phases.

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Merely attempting to suppress this key terrain will probably not be effective. Natural obstacles must be minimal between the river and the bridgehead objectives. River valleys often have parallel canals, railroad embankments, flood control structures, swamps, and ridges that can impede more than the river itself. Obstacles perpendicular to the river can help isolate the bridgehead. Exits from the river must be reasonably good without preparation.

Initially, the bank should allow the assault force to land and dismount from the assault boats. This requires shallow banks with limited vegetation. The assault force also requires concealed dismounted avenues up from the river. Bank conditions must allow vehicles to debark from rafts and move up from the river. If banks require earthwork, at least one unimproved crossing site must allow the landing of earthmoving equipment. The most important far shore requirement is a road network to carry high volumes of heavy vehicle traffic.

Detailed knowledge of the gap and adjacent terrain is critical to both tactical planning and to engineer technical planning. The keys are early identification of intelligence requirements and an effective collection plan. Space- and aircraft-based imaging and weather systems can provide invaluable information to the terrain database.

Multispectral imagery MSI from satellites and aircraft can give the engineer terrain teams a bird's-eye view of the AO. Satellite images can be used to identify key terrain and provide crossing locations. These images can provide information concerning the depth and turbidity of the water and can be used to identify the line of site for weapons and communications systems. With MSI products, prospective construction materials, the locations of existing crossing sites, and nearside and farside road networks can be identified and exploited.

When the MSI is combined with satellite weather receivers, data processors, and the terrain database, it can be used to identify mobility corridors and establish floodplain trafficability. When these space systems are used together, the effects of the weather on terrain can be analyzed and used to develop decision support products for the commander.

The terrain database is the starting point for obtaining terrain information. Many of these studies have enough detail for identifying feasible crossing sites. Modern information collection and storage technology permits frequent revision of existing data. Engineer terrain teams maintain a terrain database and provide information in the form of topographic and other geospatial products.

These products are used with other tools, such as computers and photography, to develop terrain intelligence for staff planners. The planners, in turn, determine initial crossing requirements and estimated crossing rates from their terrain analyses. Early in the mission analysis, planners identify further terrain intelligence needs for the crossing. They provide this information to the G-2 for inclusion in the intelligence collection plan. The plan specifies that intelligence systems are used to gather essential terrain information for a more detailed analysis.

Information on specific gap segments and the surrounding terrain is obtained and verified by aerial and ground reconnaissance. Chapter 4 Gap Crossing in Support of Combat Maneuver "The passage of great rivers in the presence of the enemy is one of the most delicate operations in war. It includes both those operations conducted primarily at the BCT level and those conducted by the division or corps level organization.

Those gap crossings conducted as a reduction method within a combined arms breaching operation are also included in this, but since the primary focus of planning and preparation is on the breaching operation, they are typically discussed as a part of the breaching operation rather than as a separate gap-crossing operation in that context. While the fundamentals and requirements associated with gap crossings have not changed too much over the years, Army transformation has now provided more flexibility in terms of C2 elements within both the division and the brigade and structured forces so that a BCT may be able to execute hasty, deliberate, and covert crossings when provided with the necessary resources.

In most cases this begins with a task-organized engineer battalion HQ that includes subordinate engineer units and associated engineer gap-crossing means. The examples presented in this chapter will typically focus on a wet-gap crossing since these tend to be more complex and demanding than dry-gap crossings.

There are three types of gap crossings: deliberate, hasty, and covert. Each of these has a general list of conditions that help define their category. As with the categories of breaching operations, all other labels placed upon a crossing are a variation of a deliberate, hasty, or covert gap crossing. The planning requirements for each type of gap crossing are similar. However, the required degree of detail and necessary conditions for a high degree of success will vary based on the type and the unique features associated with a given crossing operation. Deliberate gap crossings are conducted as part of an offensive operation when a hasty crossing is not feasible or has failed.

The phases, echelons, organizations, and C2 of a division or BCT deliberate gap crossing are discussed in detail in this chapter. This type of crossing normally requires additional augmentation that is focused exclusively on facilitating the crossing. While a BCT is capable of making a deliberate crossing, this type of crossing normally requires a higher HQ to assist in the planning and C2 as it requires meticulous planning, preparation, and coordination; centralized control; and extensive rehearsals.

A gap of this length limits the effectiveness of tactical bridging assets and will typically require other bridging assets. To cross gaps of this magnitude, support bridging is normally required in the form of float bridging wet gap or other types of standard bridging. Chapter 4 A deliberate gap crossing is generally more costly than a hasty crossing in terms of manpower, equipment, and time.

It requires the concentration of combat power on a narrow front, capitalizing on the element of surprise whenever possible. Deliberate gap crossings are generally conducted in the same manner as hasty gap crossings and utilize the same basic terminology. Deliberate wet-gap crossing are usually more difficult in terms of complexity and amount and type s of specialized resources required. While they may be conducted by a BCT, deliberate gap crossings are normally conducted by a division.

Assault forces seize the farside objective to eliminate direct fire on the crossing sites. Bridgehead forces assault across a gap to secure the enemy side the bridgehead to allow the buildup and passage of a breakout force during river crossing operations. A retrograde gap crossing is not a fourth type of gap crossing. In reality it is merely a variation of a deliberate or hasty gap crossing and is typically performed as a deliberate gap crossing.

It may be performed with or without enemy pressure on the maneuver force. Clearly it is more difficult when performed under enemy pressure. For more information see Appendix F. Hasty gap crossings tend to be focused on a combined arms operation to project combat power across a terrain feature wet or dry that can be overcome by self-bridging assets within the BCT.

These assets may be organic, provided to the BCT as augmentation, or found as expedient crossing materials within the AO. They typically are, but are not limited to, gaps that are 20 meters or less in width. Most hasty gap crossings will be conducted using tactical bridging. They may also include support bridging and expedient bridging or gap crossing by other means. The gap-crossing fundamentals for a hasty crossing are the same as those discussed previously; however, there must be a particular emphasis on early task organization of bridging or other gap-crossing assets for it to be successful.

A hasty crossing is conducted to maintain the momentum of the maneuver force by quickly massing combat power on the far side of the gap with no intentional pause. Planned, organized, and executed much like a hasty breaching operation, the unit must consider the integration of the crossing assets in their movement formation; redundancy in crossing means; traffic flow across the gap; and the recovery of the crossing assets see FM Because a gap crossing constricts and splits the maneuver force at the crossing site, the plan must be flexible enough for the commander or his designated representative to be able to make execution decisions based on acceptable opportunity and threat variances.

The BCT TAC CP can assist the command group by controlling the execution of the crossing and maintaining a status of the location and operational readiness of the crossing assets. The BCT task-organizes in a manner that supports the overall mission and facilitates a successful gap crossing followed by a quick recovery. To do gap crossing efficiently, bridging assets should be located in a position within the maneuver formation where positive control can be maintained. This is an important consideration since all gap-crossing equipment does not have the necessary communications equipment to maneuver effectively as part of a BCT or combat maneuver battalion formation.

Additionally, some of the gap-crossing equipment is less maneuverable and slower than the other combat maneuver systems it supports and is also less survivable in some cases. This may slow down the speed of movement for the maneuver elements. In spite of these challenges, proper planning and C2 can minimize these negative impacts. Two other considerations are the desirability for redundancy of crossing equipment and the capability to rapidly recover the crossing means.

Tactical bridging is designed with these considerations in FM Gap Crossing in Support of Combat Maneuver mind. Commanders should plan on using multiple crossing means, depending on the criticality of the crossing and the time available. While the Wolverine can be launched in less than 5 minutes and recovered in less than 10 minutes, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that will dramatically increase the launch and recovery times. Terrain, transporter and bridge maintenance, and crew experience can all impact bridge launch and recovery.

As one of the most important considerations, the recovery of crossing assets and transition after the crossing is important to the BCT to sustain its momentum. Typically, BCTs will expect crossing assets to recover and join the maneuver force on the far side of the gap. For this to be successful, the BCT has at least two options. First, the BCT can halt movement on the far side of the gap and wait for the crossing asset to recover the bridge. Another option is for the BCT to continue movement and leave an adequate security force during the recovery, which can also assist the crossing asset in rejoining the maneuver force.

Whatever option is used, if the assets are intended to stay with the BCT, consideration must be given to follow-on support or LOC bridging assets to ensure support or follow-on forces can adequately continue to follow the maneuver force. The BCT may also be directed by division to keep its crossing assets in place for follow-on forces to use, but this will degrade or eliminate the ability of the BCT to cross any additional gaps unless they have been resourced by the division with enough tactical bridging to do this. If division intends for tactical bridging to remain in place, then the BCT must be augmented with enough assets to do this task while retaining enough tactical gap-crossing capability to facilitate continued movement and maneuver.

An in-stride gap crossing is a variant of the hasty gap crossing that consists of a rapid gap-crossing adaptation conducted by forces organic to or task-organized with the attacking force. An in-stride gap crossing takes advantage of surprise and momentum to bridge or defeat gaps and relies on good and timely reconnaissance for its success. The force uses in-stride gap crossings against either weak defenders or very simple gaps and executes the battle drill s on the move. Attacking maneuver forces generally move configured to be able to execute an in-stride gap crossing except when a deliberate gap crossing is planned.

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In-stride gap crossings may occur when a given gap is not the same as the unit planned to cross, or in some cases, where the unit is surprised by the gap obstacle. To conduct in-stride crossings, the unit must be task-organized with the necessary tactical bridging assets or capabilities and trained to perform such an operation.

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There are many similarities between an in-stride breach and an in-stride gap crossing. The primary difference between an in-stride breach and an in-stride gap crossing is the nature of the obstacle or obstacles. See FM The battalion is the principal unit to plan, coordinate, and control an in-stride gap crossing; but a company will normally conduct the actual crossing. The commander planning for an in-stride gap crossing must also plan for a transition to a deliberate gap crossing should an in-stride gap crossing be unsuccessful. An unclear situation both enemy and exact gap dimensions and conditions will make it necessary for several lead company-sized units to be capable of conducting independent gap-crossing operations.

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Accurate and timely reconnaissance of the gap obstacle and enemy force defending it sets the condition for properly focusing the location of the in-stride gap crossing. The third type of gap crossing is the covert gap crossing. The covert gap crossing is an operation used to overcome obstacles gaps without being detected by the enemy. It is used when surprise is essential to infiltrate over a gap, and when limited visibility and terrain present the opportunity to reduce or defeat the enemy obstacle gap without being seen.

Through surprise, the commander conceals his capabilities and intentions and creates the opportunity to position support and assault forces to strike the enemy unaware or unprepared. Like the covert breach, it is normally conducted by a battalion or smaller- sized unit.

A covert breach is defined as a breaching operation that is planned and intended to be executed without detection by opposing forces. Its primary purpose is to reduce obstacles undetected to facilitate the 1 July FM Chapter 4 passage of maneuver forces FM The primary difference between the covert breach and the gap crossing is the nature of the obstacle or obstacles.

The covert gap crossing applies the same gap-crossing fundamentals as the other gap-crossing types; however, it is focused on the crossing fundamental of surprise. Surprise is the primary element of the covert crossing. The requirement to execute the crossing without enemy detection is the element that distinguishes it from the other types of crossings. It can be used in a variety of situations to support various operations, but should be considered as opposed to deliberate or hasty only when there is a need or opportunity to cross a gap without being discovered.

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The battalion is usually the principal unit to conduct a covert breach. A covert breach requires a level of detailed planning, intelligence collection, and C2 that is normally beyond the capability of a company. A BCT is usually too large to maintain the level of stealth necessary to conduct a covert breach. A covert gap crossing is ideally suited for foot-mobile forces that are battalion-sized or smaller. A covert crossing can be used to cross forces that will support a follow-on crossing of a larger or similar-sized element; however, it is a separate operation and should be planned.

If conducted as an operation that does not involve crossing additional elements, planning and consideration should be given to the recovery of the crossing assets. If the crossing is a precursor to a larger, follow-on crossing, it may be considered that recovery of the crossing assets should be done as part of that follow-on operation.

If a covert gap crossing is being used as a precursor to a deliberate crossing and is compromised, higher HQ may need to re-evaluate other potential crossing sites before conducting the deliberate crossing. A contingency plan must always be included in the planning of a covert operation in the event that the operation is compromised. A major control mechanism category is graphic control measures. The commander uses graphic control measures to delineate areas of responsibility for subordinates and to ease traffic control.

Figure provides a simplistic illustration of the graphic control measures described in the following paragraphs. As used in gap-crossing operations, a release line RL is used to delineate the crossing area. RLs are located on both the farside and nearside and indicate a change in the HQ that is controlling movement. RLs are normally located within 3 to 4 kilometers of the gap and on easily identifiable terrain features, if possible. Typically, they are graphically identified as phase lines PLs. A crossing area is a controlled access area for a gap-crossing operation used to decrease traffic congestion at the river JP the definition was shortened, and the complete definition is printed in the glossary.

This permits swift movement of forces. Each lead brigade has a crossing area on both sides of the gap that is defined by brigade boundaries and RLs. Crossing areas normally extend 3 to 4 kilometers on each side of the gap, depending on the terrain and the anticipated battle.

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A waiting area is a location adjacent to the route or axis that may be used for the concealment of vehicles, troops, and equipment while an element is waiting to resume movement. Waiting areas are normally located on both banks or sides close to crossing areas. Staging Area A staging area is a battalion TF size waiting area outside the crossing area where forces wait to enter the crossing area. The crossing area commander CAC is the officer responsible for the control of all crossing units, assault units, and support forces while they are in the crossing area.

The CAC controls movement from the staging areas into the crossing areas. Military police operate traffic control posts TCPs at staging areas according to the crossing and traffic circulation plans. They emplace temporary signs along the route from the staging area through the crossing area to guide convoys. Units make crossing preparations and receive briefings on vehicle speed and spacing in the staging areas.

Holding Area A holding area is a waiting area that forces use during traffic interruptions. Units move into these areas when directed by TCP personnel and disperse rather than stay on the roads. Holding areas are battalion TF size outside of the crossing area and company size within it. Nearside holding areas are used to organize return traffic. Military police and engineers, if available, operate holding areas according to the crossing and traffic circulation plans. Call Forward Area A call forward area is a company-sized waiting area located within the crossing area.

Engineers use them to organize units into raft loads, or crews use them to make final vehicle swimming or other crossing preparations, depending on whether the crossing is a wet or dry gap. The CAC controls movement from the staging area to the call area. The crossing site commander CSC is the individual, normally an engineer company commander or a platoon leader, responsible for the crossing means and the crossing site.

He commands the engineers operating the crossing means and the engineer regulating points at the call forward areas and the staging areas for that site. As a minimum, each CSC operates his own call area. Attack Position An attack position is the last position occupied by the assault echelon before crossing the line of departure FM Within the bridgehead, the attack position is the last position before leaving the crossing area.

Assault Position An assault position is a covered and concealed position short of the objective, from which final preparations are made to assault the objective FM The USMC definition adds: That position between the line of departure and the objective in an attack from which forces assault the objective.

Ideally, it is the last covered and concealed position before reaching the objective primarily used by dismounted infantry. An assembly area is the area a unit occupies to prepare for an operation FM As such, it should have good road access, offer cover and concealment, and be positioned so that it supports follow-on tactical maneuver. An engineer equipment park EEP is an area located a convenient distance from crossing sites for assembling, preparing, and storing bridge or other crossing equipment and material.

It is at least 1 kilometer from the gap and holds spare equipment and empty trucks that are not required at the crossing sites. An EEP should be located where it does not interfere with the traffic to the crossing sites and where equipment can be concealed and dispersed. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details such as the timestamp may not fully reflect those of the original file. The timestamp is only as accurate as the clock in the camera, and it may be completely wrong.

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