Discussion in 'Infantry' started by antphilip, Apr 4, 2005.

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  1. With the new, to me, training element of OBUA coming this monthand the prospect of receiving a command appointment during it (Plt Commander, Plt Sgt, Section IC, 2ic) I was hoping that the vast experiance on Arrse might be able to help me.

    Wanting to make any effort as good as possible any tips, good drills, points to remember when in command, aide memoirs to create etc would be wonderful. I have a copy of the AFM Urban ops but doctrine can never replace the insights by those that have been there and done it.

    As always any help appreciated.
  2. What the dickens is OBUA?
  3. The word "operations" replaced the words "fighting in" some years ago.
    Probably the work of some pedant annoyingly pointing out that not all urban ops involve actual fighting...
  4. Believe it's gone back to FIBUA for the pointy end stuff.

    Advice, stay away from windows and make sure your link men are squared away.
  5. Antphilip

    There really is too much to post on here!

    Get hold of PAM 45. It's no longer doctrinally pure but it's better than the new pams in respect of teaching the basics.

    In 'what' to do in your command appt: Learn 'off by heart' the phases of the offensive battle and the zoning in the defensive battle and always apply them. For example for defensive zoning - i.e. perimeter force, disruption force, strong points etc - you'd be thinking OP or standing patrol, QRF or anti-personnel ambush, main defensive area (with your prinicples of defence you've already learnt) for the zones mentioned. If you're a commander at a level too low to task, then link in with those that cover that task.

    In 'how' to do it - always have limited objectives. C2 always goes to ratshite, so emphasise timely reports, linkmen, etc. Even if it's a command appointment, rehearse room clearances on the hoof, even if it's a quick talk through on the LD with your section/section commanders, whatever. Remember the three main principles of offence at your level - surprise, security, momentum. Given this is a command appointment, and the level you'll be commanding at, security (watch your flanks) and momentum are the big ones for you.

    Best of luck, and tell us all how it goes.
  6. Thanks for clearing that one up. It was FIBUA & DIBUA in my day. Good fun but hard work.

    Rule 1: call in an air strike.
    Rule 2: call in Arty barrage.
    Rule 3: If there's anything left, becareful.

    Remember Monte Cassino, when we made the ruins easier for the Hun to hide in! Seriously, in your orders, remember Refugees, CIVPOP, resupply is hard at low level, Blue on blue very likely, booby traps, nasty nail things inside windows, bangs in buildings are much louder, ...happy days.

    Good luck!
  7. Ammunition - you will never have enough.

    Casualties - you will have loads.

    Communications - won't work.

    Kit - carry as little as possible because you'll be carrying loads of other shite (ladders etc).

    Chaos - expect it. Keep your plan very simple, limit your objectives and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

    Stay low, move mast, only use hard cover and have a great looking corpse.
  8. As always re-supply is a bugger but even more so when everyone is spread out all over the shop and you are getting through the ammo V fast.

    Chalk is good for marking walls / on the hoof models etc.

    Don't forget your scaffolding pole for those first floor window entries.....
  9. My dears! The noise, the people!! We will not be taking the chidren there this year...
  10. Once when we were defending against a Company of Gurkhas, our plan went completely to ratsh*t when their Diversionary attack met limited resistance so by the time the main push started, they'd occupied most of the village, including the houses we were supposed to die gloriously in.

    So we used the tunnels to get into the top floor of the highest building that was available and barricaded ourselves in.

    Happily sniping at them and lobbing pyro as they cleared all other buildings in turn before a couple of them came up and took us out.

    Reality is we would have got more attention sooner, but it was a great laugh, plus good demo of how it's supposed to be done.

    At Endex, don't forget to sweep up and use light - it's amazing what you find when you are collecting brass, I was left with an American Right Angled torch once having reunited Mags etc with careless owners. Wow!

    btw, OBUA now renamed as FISH , or perhaps more accurately BUSH & DISH.
  11. Ant,

    Urban Ops are incredibly demanding, both physically and mentally. A discussion about the key components of Urban Ops could very well spawn a never-ending thread, but IMHO the critical component is Command and Control.

    I have also jotted down my thoughts on a number of other issues culled from my experince of OBUA (mostly from Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq - each very different).

    Urban Combat Movement Skills: Buildings, rubble and obstacles restrict movement in urban areas. The difficulties of observation and location of enemy positions and weapon systems further limit movement. In training for urban operations, individuals must focus on the 360 degree, three-dimensional threat.

    Preparation of Individual and Vehicle Fire Positions: A critical defensive task is the preparation of fighting positions. Positions are often constructed inside buildings and should be selected based on an analysis of the area in which the building is located and its individual characteristics.

    Urban Camouflage and Concealment: The changing patterns of terrain and characteristics of individual buildings make the task of blending with the urban terrain challenging. In training, soldiers should be given the opportunity to experiment with camouflage techniques and assess their effect. The most common failings include:

    1. Vehicle tracks or other signs of movement.
    2. Shine and shadows.
    3. Unnatural colours and textures.
    4. Muzzle flash, smoke or dust from weapons fire.
    5. Unnatural sounds and smells. (Human sh!t really REALLY stinks in an urban environment).
    6. Movement.
    7. Weapons Effects and Structures:

    Weapon Effects: While not unique to urban operations, there is a requirement for a basic understanding of the effects of modern weapons on construction materials. In particular, the brisance (or shattering) effect is markedly different in urban terrain, and can be utilised accordingly; to focus and re-channel the effect towards the enemy.

    Command and Control Measures: Urban operations are difficult to control. Dispersion and disruption can seldom be avoided in a mass of buildings and streets. The complexity of urban operations and the potential high casualty rate (30% per day), with commanders particularly vulnerable, demands simple, well rehearsed drills.

    Control is best exercised by dividing built-up areas into sectors using report lines and boundaries.

    1. Sectors should be clearly defined and recognisable by numbers or letters.
    2. Report Lines should be easily identifiable landmarks, normally selected streets or railway/tram lines at right angles to the axis of advance.
    3. Maximum use should be made of linkmen to relay information and facilitate control, particularly when communications are degraded.
    4. Boundaries should be identifiable but not obvious. To help avoid fratricide consideration should be given to utilising boundaries as restricted fire lines (RFLs).
    5. Collection Points should be established at sub-unit level. It is to, and from, these points that combat supplies are delivered and casualties and PWs collected.

    In conclusion (cos I'm getting carried away!):

    1. LINK MEN!!!
    2. Rehearsals.
    3. LINK MEN!!!
  12. Check your mission verbs. There is a clear difference between "Destroy" (the need to fix the enemy) and "Clear". This effects how you assault into buildings. (i.e. Bottom up or Top Down). In reality more than 90% of house clearing occurs Bottom Up (quicker entry, it FIXS the enemy).

    Avoid bunching, don't have whole sections rush across the street and hang around outside of the entry point, go over in pairs.
  13. msr

    msr LE


    I knew it as FISH (Fighting in Someone's House) and CHIPS (Creating Havoc in Peoples' Streets).

  14. IOW bloke, nothing wrong with your intent here - you are quite correct, however 'Destroy' and 'Fix' are quite separate mission verbs; which are again separate from the Core Functions in Combat. We 'Find, Fix, Strike and Exploit' relative to our enemy.

    It is theoretically possible to destroy an enemy without first fixing him (a nuclear weapon would do it quite nicely - or a rapid airstrike in the early hours onto an opportunity target).

    Anyway - you're right about bunching up when crossing the pavement, but the point you don't make about clearing 'bottom up' is that it denies the enemy an extraction route - this makes them fight harder. Believe me. :D

    We could discuss this all day... :D
  15. Blowing Up ... , Dying In ...

    I'm sure there's more :)