Infantry Drills

2-230: Command Element

Previous: 2-229: Organization Of Forces For A Cordon And Search

2-230. The command element is the headquarters executing mission command for cordon and search. There may be several combat multipliers attached. Frequently, the leader is given a variety of assets to assist him in accomplishing his mission. Ideally, the leader task-organizes his assets in order to maintain control of three to five elements.

2-231. The location of the command element provides the ability to control the
subordinate teams and supporting assets of cordon and search mission. The ability to observe the search element generally causes the command element to collocate with the inner cordon. Visibility and communication capability are deciding factors in identifying the best location for the command element during the actual mission.

2-232. The composition of the command element may be as small as the leader and an RTO, or may include security vehicles, interpreters, host-nation officials and local authorities. The command element remains mobile and able to move to all points within the cordon and search operation, ensuring coordination of all elements and supporting assets. When host-nation forces or authorities are involved in the mission, the command element coordinates with them and integrates them as identified during the planning phase of the operation. Operation and communication security are guiding principles when conducting integrated operations with host-nation forces.

2-233. The command element is the single point of coordination for supporting assets and status reporting to higher headquarters. As a critical component of cordon and search operations, the command element designates a backup team in the event it becomes combat ineffective. It ensures all actions are documented as required, and rules of evidence are followed where necessary. In the event a person is detained, the command element monitors the documentation, security, and transport of detainees. It also ensures damage caused during the cordon and search is documented to identify legitimate future claims by the occupants of the target.

Next: 2-234: Security Element

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