Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Combat Tactical Challenge - Roving security to a warehouse

The Centre for Army Lessons in the Australian Army publishes a series of Combat Tactical Challenges.

More details in the link below.

opswarfare hopes to keep an archive of the scenarios presented.


Background. You are the SECT COMD tasked to provide roving security to a warehouse within Al Nearhere, currently being used by several non-government organisations (NGOs) to store humanitarian aid. Your platoon has the wider task of providing convoy escort security to the regular aid convoys moving from the warehouse to the outlying areas.

Your section was taken off convoy duties to provide security within the compound due to a recent rise in civil disturbances. These disturbances have primarily been youths trying to break into the warehouse and throwing stones at the convoys as they leave the compound. It is assessed that the motivation for the youths is dissatisfaction with the Government, boredom, and annoyance that the aid is not being distributed within their neighbourhoods.

You have your complete section and 1 x PMV (for comms and mobility) parked in the compound ready to move out. You have a fire team manning the front entrance and the remainder of the section conducting random two-soldier patrols around the perimeter. There are two NGO warehouse supervisors and their four locally employed civilians (LEC) within the main warehouse building.

The next convoy is expected in 20 minutes and will take approximately 90 minutes to load before leaving.

There is a makeshift police vehicle check point (VCP) 400 m to the South. The VCP consist of five police and a Hilux.

Physical Terrain. In accordance with the imagery provided below, you are in a mid-high density built-up urban area. Houses are basic single brick with corrugated iron roofing structures. Your location has a mudbrick outer compound wall (razor wire on north side only) as indicated by the yellow perimeter line and two large swing gates on the north side which the PMVs and trucks fit through. Due to the small compound, trucks often have to wait on the road out the front while the others load.

Human Terrain. The population within your area are accepting of your presence, but not overtly supportive. There have been frequent insurgent attacks within the urban area in the past 3 weeks - predominantly IED attacks on coalition convoys and local police vehicles and kidnappings of key local leaders that are supportive of the coalition. As already indicated, the youth are the main antagonists and obstructionists to the convoys and could be easily paid and motivated by the insurgents.


Your PL COMD last reported 5 minutes ago over the radio that the convoy was 15 minutes out from the compound. His report was given ‘blind' so that he did not have to switch off his electronic counter measure.

As you begin to issue final orders over your personal role radio to the section, there is a loud explosion to the south, which thumps through the compound driving your body armour into your chest and raising a cloud of dust off nearly every object in the immediate vicinity. Your two-soldier team completing a check of the perimeter reports that there has been some sort of explosive device detonated on the south-eastern corner of the compound wall, and a section of about 2.5m has collapsed. They report that they are okay, but they can observe a group of about 10 youths approximately 150m east of the breach, who are cheering and chanting towards the compound.

Moments later, your 2IC who is on the front gate reports that he can observe a group numbering at least 20 moving down the main road from the east towards the front gate – now at a range of about 300m. They too are cheering and chanting and some appear to be carrying what looks to be poles or bars and have their faces and heads covered.

The time is now 1535 hrs.

What Would You Do?
Detail to your section what your immediate reaction/response is to them with regards to further observation and dealing with the breach and forming crowds.

Take a few minutes to think through your options for containing the situation and how you are going to deal with the arrival of the convoy. Consider the need to secure the perimeter, disperse the crowds, protect the stationary convoy, protect the warehouse and the NGO/LEC personnel and enable the convoy to load and depart.

What is the priority of tasks?
At what stage would you raise the PL COMD? What could be a TTP for getting messages through as they get closer to arriving?
What is your assessed reason for the detonation on the compound wall?
What consideration was made in the use of the local police?
What would be the impact of doing nothing about the crowds?
Do you have any other considerations or comments on this challenge?

It is not the intent of the Combat Tactical Challenge to provide all the specific information necessary for a ‘DS solution'. As such, write down any assumptions you may have made and then come up with a solution.

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