Infantry Drills

A-83: Analysis of Troops and Support Available

Previous: A-79: Information Requirements

A-83. Leaders study their task organization to determine the number, type, capabilities, and condition of available friendly troops and other support. Analysis of troops follows the same logic as analyzing the enemy by identifying capabilities, vulnerabilities and strengths. Leaders should know the disposition, composition, strength, and capabilities of their forces one and two levels down. This information can be maintained in a checkbook-style matrix for use during COA development (specifically array forces). They maintain understanding of subordinates’ readiness, including maintenance, training, strengths and weaknesses, leaders, and logistic status. Analysis of troops and support answers the question: What assets are available to accomplish the mission? Leaders also answer these questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of subordinate leaders?
  • What is the supply status of ammunition, water, fuel (if required), and other necessary items?
  • What is the present physical condition of Soldiers (morale, sleep)?
  • What is the condition of equipment?
  • What is the unit’s training status and experience relative to the mission?
  • What additional Soldiers or units will accompany?
  • What additional assets are required to accomplish the mission?

A-84. Perhaps the most critical aspect of mission analysis is determining the combat potential of one’s own force. The leader must realistically and unemotionally determine all available resources and new limitations based on level of training or recent fighting. This includes troops who are either attached to or in direct support of his unit. It also includes understanding the full array of assets in support of the unit. He must know, how much indirect fire, by type, is available and when it will become available.

A-85. Because of the uncertainty always present in operations at the small unit level, leaders cannot be expected to think of everything during their analysis. This fact forces leaders to determine how to get assistance when the situation exceeds their capabilities. Therefore, a secondary product of analysis of troops and support available should be an answer to the question, how do I get help?

Next: A-86: Analysis of Time Available

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad