Infantry Drills

4-102: Transfer of Authority

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4-102. Often during stability, a relief in place is referred to as a transfer of authority. In addition to the normal responsibilities of a relief, leaders and Soldiers also must deal with civilians or coalition partners. During stability, units generally know whether they will be relieved at the end of their tour. Planning for a transfer of authority begins as soon as the unit occupies the area of operation.

4-103. Before the transfer of authority, the departing unit develops a continuity book with the necessary information on the area of operation. The book should include lessons learned, details about the populace, village and patrol reports, updated maps, and photographs; anything helping the incoming unit master the outgoing unit’s operational environment. Computerized databases are suitable. Leaders should ensure these continuity books are updated during the unit’s tour of duty. This extensive effort reduces casualties and increase the current and succeeding units’ efficiency and knowledge of operations.

4-104. A consistent theme from recent operations is the importance of the transition training (right seat/left seat rides) with incoming Soldiers during a transfer of authority. A detailed and programmed transfer of authority allows Soldiers to learn the culture and work with host nation personnel during the deployment. Typical training during the relief includes:

  • Use of theater-unique equipment not available before the transfer of authority.
  • Enemy tactics, techniques and procedures for improvised explosive devices specific to the area of operations.
  • Personal meetings with nongovernmental organizations, contractors, interpreters, informants, and local police operating in the unit area of operations.
  • Negotiation techniques with local tribal, religious and government officials.
  • Operations and intelligence handover of databases, plans, products, and briefings.
  • Information collection procedures, processes and policies.

Next: 4-105: Transition to Civilian/Host-Nation Security Force Control

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