The ability to overcome challenges and accomplish any mission remains a hallmark of the American Soldier. To instill this mindset, Soldiers and leaders have streamlined processes to account for conditions associated with large-scale combat operations (LSCO). For the battalion S-1 section, this happens typically from the comfort of the office in the form of personnel actions, finance actions, customer service, strength management, etc., focusing on the shop and working close to counterparts. However, when operating in a combat environment, S-1 personnel are challenged to adapt their processes. To overcome these challenges, leaders should consider doctrine, integrate S-1 personnel into planning, thoughtfully position personnel and equipment to optimize operations, and properly integrate with other warfighting functions.
The primary responsibilities of S-1 personnel in a tactical environment are casualty operations and personnel accountability; these responsibilities are in addition to regular operations. A standard battalion modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE) usually authorizes a Combat Service Support Automated Information Systems Interface (CAISI) for the battalion S-1 personnel. Enabling the establishment of a Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) connection when linked to a very small aperture terminal (VSAT), allows them to accomplish these tasks. Field Manual (FM) 1-0, Human Resources Support, states that CAISI can be connected to either the brigade S-1 section’s VSAT, typically collocated with the field trains command post (FTCP), or to the one belonging to the forward support company at the unit maintenance command post, typically collocated with the combat trains command post (CTCP).1 The S-4 personnel are usually also authorized a CAISI on their MTOE and share command posts at both locations with the S-1 personnel. The presence of two CAISIs allows one for each location and enhances communication flow and reporting between nodes. The frequency of movement in the battalion’s scheme of maneuver informs the S-1 and S-4 sections how frequently they will need to disconnect and reconnect the CAISIs. This is why it is important to establish a fully developed primary, alternate, contingency, emergency (PACE) plan with a shared understanding of which communication platforms will be used to send and receive information while tearing down, while on the move, or during set up.
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