Analyzing Various Courses of Action

REQUIREMENT #1: Running Estimate (10 Points. Three to four double-spaced pages)

You are the S-3 of the 6th Ranger Battalion conducting mission analysis on 27 January 1945 at the Ranger base camp at Calasiao on the Lingayen Gulf. Provide a complete movement estimate that LTC Mucci and his staff would use to develop plans and analyze various courses of action. Although you have the benefit of hindsight, write your running estimate as you would have on 27 Jan (in the present or future tense) rather than as an AAR in the past tense. Although there are some guides and formats to a generic estimate, as well as a sample medical estimate included with this examination, you can modify those formats or develop one to help you present your analysis to LTC Mucci. Your movement estimate should include, but is not limited to:

• Time available to conduct the operation before the Japanese decide to move or murder the POWs, and how much time to allocate to planning, preparation and execution.
• Maintaining secrecy in varied terrain during day and night operations.
• The appropriate balance of speed and security.
• The best time of day to initiate actions on the objective.
• The anticipated distances covered by, time required to, and rates of movement for:
o the Ranger advance to the POW Camp
o actions on the objective
o the movement of Rangers & former POWs and 6th Army to a link-up point
o Japanese counterattacks.
• How Filipino civilians and guerrillas, as well as the US Army Air Corps can help expedite friendly forces or impede enemy forces.

Essentially, your estimate should explain to LTC Mucci how the Rangers can get to the compound before the Japanese make the fatal decision, and how the task force and former POWs can link up with 6th Army before the Japanese catch that vulnerable group. The goal of the estimate is to help LTC Mucci plan for this mission by providing him specific information he probably doesn’t know, rather than general ideas which he probably does know. For example, stating that the POWs will move slowly is not helpful to LTC Mucci, while ESTIMATING that the POWs could move at one mile per hour for three hours before needing two hours for food and rest could be helpful to LTC Mucci and his staff.

REQUIREMENT #2: The Problem (10 Points. Approximately one-half of a double-spaced page)

Using previous course material, the Military Review article, and the student aid, articulate LTC Mucci’s problem including at least ONE critical element for each mission variable (METT-TC).

REQUIREMENT #3: The Mission (10 Points. Approximately one double-spaced page)

While developing his commander’s estimate, LTC Mucci brainstormed three different words to use for his ESSENTIAL TASK in the mission statement: Liberate, Raid, Secure. Citing your references, (a) provide a current US Army doctrinal definition for EACH of the three words (or dictionary definition if no doctrinal definition exists), and then (b) select and justify which one to include as the essential task in the Rangers mission statement. Note: You are not required to write a mission statement—only to select and justify which one word LTC Mucci should use as the essential task in his mission statement.

Mission Analysis: Through mission analysis, the commander and staff should understand the problem and the resources available to solve that problem. Each staff member is responsible for conducting his or her own running (staff) estimate that provides very detailed information within his or her area of responsibility. The staff then analyzes that information and synthesizes (packages) it into the mission analysis brief. The essence of staff work involves distilling mountains of information into nuggets of knowledge. One method through which staff officers do this is to process the facts (or WHAT) into information (by asking SO WHAT?), analyze the information to increase knowledge (by asking WHICH MEANS?), and apply judgment to gain an understanding (by asking THEREFORE?)

REQUIREMENT #4: Purpose and Task (30 Points total. 6 Points each. One to two double-spaced pages. See example response. You must write in sentences rather than bulletized form.)

SELECT FIVE OF THE EIGHT ELEMENTS FROM THE LIST BELOW.
• The Filipino Guerrillas
• The Alamo Scouts
• 1st Platoon Charlie Company
• 2nd Platoon Charlie Company
• 2nd Platoon Foxtrot Company
• The Filipino Civilians
• The Radio Team in Guimba
• The 6th US Army

For each element selected, (a) list the most important contribution (TASK) that it made during the operation, (b) explain why that contribution was needed (PURPOSE), and (c) explain how that contribution was synchronized with at least ONE other action that preceded, followed or occurred concurrent with it. When possible, use a tactical mission task from current US Army doctrine, even if the author did not use a proper task.
Example Response for the US Army Air Force: The American airplane disrupted (Task) the Japanese Guards so that the Rangers could crawl close to the POW camp undetected (Purpose). The Black Widow flew over the camp “at 1840, three-quarters of an hour before the attack was to begin,” (King p 64) while the Rangers were crossing the open field outside of the POW Camp.

REQUIREMENT #5: Commander’s Critical Information Requirements (CCIRs)
(10 Points. Approximately one-half of a double-spaced page)

Construct a logical IF, AND/OR, THEN sequence justifying LTC Mucci’s decision to assault on 30 January. You are not required to include OR in your response, but should include elements related to the enemy, your own multinational force, the POWs, and local support. (Keep in mind that a decision to delay on 29 January does not justify an assault on the 30th, because conditions could have been worse.)

View this related post: The Use of Historical Evidence.

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