METT-TC: Enemy Analysis | DOCTEMP & SITEMP | Doctrinal Template & Situational Template | Army Flashcards Troop Leading Procedure Series

Welcome back to the Army Flashcards Troop Leading Procedures Series. This particular post we're going to be discussing enemy analysis. So for enemy analysis, there are five things in particular that we analyze: composition, disposition, strength, capabilities, and then the most likely and most dangerous courses of action.

So when we analyze the enemy's composition, what we're doing is we're taking what we get from the S2 and from higher orders and we apply what we understand about the enemies doctrinal roles, composition, or their task organization. So basically when we look at the enemy composition, we're going to create a line wire diagram for the enemy, or in other terms, their task organization. So their parent unit is up top and then little line wire to each of their sub-elements. You always want to do this for the level enemy that you are personally fighting as a platoon, a company, et cetera. So for this composition piece and with this task org, we include with it an analysis of the enemy's capabilities and the strength for the enemy, and then we call this single product the DOCTEMP, or doctrinal template. It shows us generally how the enemy is going to fight.

So building this DOCTEMP, or the enemy task org, it may seem easy and intuitive but people tend to mess this up quite a bit. So again, we want the parent unit who is your equivalent. So if you're a platoon, and you're fighting a squad that's what you need on the top. All right? Then you get your sub-elements and this is where we run into problems sometimes. So your battalion S2 or your higher is not always going to tell you exactly how your enemy is going to task organize their force. But you've got to take an educated guess, you can't plan effectively if you are just planning against that one squad that your higher said would be there, right? You've got to break them into teams because that squad is going to fight in different ways similar to how your platoon is going to fight different ways with your squads.

I will come back to this more here in a second. So beyond just breaking the enemy down into smaller sub-elements, you want to give a task and a purpose to each of them. That way you have a general idea going into your planning what each one is going to be trying to accomplish. And then on top of all that, usually in the top right of the doc temp, so above and to the right of your line wire diagram, write out the enemy's mission statement. This helps you remember what they're trying to achieve. After that, write the strength over on the top left or right. Remember, strength is just a percentage, 100%, 90%, etc.

I know I keep saying this but, sorry, I can't emphasize this enough. People always mess up this DOCTEMP, this line wire diagram because you don't put enough thought into what the lower elements are going to do. It's too easy to take what S2 tells you or take your baseline understanding of the enemy and then just regurgitate it in your OPORDs. But put some critical thought into it! If you were the enemy, and you were about to face a platoon of Americans, how would you fight? How would you use your elements to accomplish different tasks and purposes?

So that covers the DOCTEMP, which should depict your composition, strength, and then capabilities. So we haven't talked much about capabilities. Let's move into that real quick. When we analyze the capabilities, this is also part of the DOCTEMP. Usually, that goes into a table. Some people might call this a red checkbook, others call it a warfighting functions (WFF) table. So what I recommend is do analyze capabilities like this. So for each of the enemy's direct fire weapon systems and indirect fire weapons systems, you build a table that has their type, or name, in one column, their ranges, their U.S equivalents, their capabilities, all in separate columns. This helps you account for each of them and then compare them to your own assets and all that. So that's pretty easy. Kind of just analyze your direct fire and indirect weapon systems. But then you should go into warfighting functions. Even at the platoon level, briefly go into warfighting functions. As a reminder, there are eight warfighting functions: movement and maneuver, intelligence, fires, sustainment, mission command, and protection. So for example, the intelligence warfighting function, the enemy has UAV assets, they have a HUMINT team. Or maybe they have some kind of a recon or counter recon force providing them their intelligence. For protection,  maybe they have some engineer assets that are available for them to build fighting positions and battle positions. So just go into some detail on that. At the platoon level, it is not as important as doing a really good job on your line wire diagram and fleshing out what the enemy's going to look like.

So this leaves us disposition and most likely course of action/most dangerous course of action. We show this on a Situational Template, or SITEMP.  All right, so for the SITEMP, you want this to be graphically depicted. So you want to put this on a map and overlay or a hand-drawn depiction of the terrain or satellite imagery. So once you have that setup, you want to take the sub-elements from DOCTEMP, from your line wire diagram, you need to put each of them where you think they're going to be on the terrain, out in your AO, on your objective area, wherever you think they may be.

Once you've done this, it shows you the enemy disposition. However, you also want to add the tactical tasks that they're trying to achieve. So if they're, doing an offense or you know, they're conducting some kind of movement, you're going to want axis of advance on there from where their ORP might be. You really want to show how this element's going to be fighting on this SITEMP because later on when you make your own plan, you'll be able to plan better and create a better version of your plan if you've really thought out the enemy. So the SITEMP will naturally show you the enemy disposition, but in trying to depict the most likely course of action, that's where we get into all those details.

The thing I see people mess up most on their SITEMP is that they take just the higher-level units like the squad and they'll just put the one squad symbol and they'll put it in the middle of a village or something where the enemy is. And then that's all they have to plan against. Like, that's not the way it's gonna go. If an enemy, let's say an enemy is retaining a village, they've got a mission command team, and let's say it's a squad. So one team is probably going to be around the perimeter securing the whole compound. Another team may be running a TCP. So just thinking about it, one or two guys walking around, maybe one or two guys on TCP or then you're probably on another team actually like retaining it. So maybe they're in the buildings or they're on the rest cycle. They're helping out with the radios, something like that. 

That's honestly it. Enemy Analysis is pretty straight forward. It's just, again, I cannot emphasize enough, you gotta put some good thought into what the enemy is going to do.

I'll help you out a little bit here with some common operational scenarios. So we'll go through some common types of operations that we run. So let's say you're a platoon, you're conducting a raid on an objective. So our raid has a limited objective, and you have a planned withdrawal in general. If we're conducting a raid, you can expect the enemy to not be doing a defense and to not be expecting you. So things that an enemy might be doing is just regular patrolling around their perimeter. So two or three people kind of walking around and checking things and keeping the rest of the enemy force safe. If it's like in a village or some kind of compound being used by the enemy, there's probably going to be some kind of TCP. So someone controlling traffic in and out and then you're going to have a part of that element conducting some kind of normal sustainment operations. So being on the rest cycle, either sleeping, eating chow, doing maintenance, things that are not combat-related.

That accounts for, you know, a pretty significant portion of the enemy. And then obviously you have your leaders and stuff and they, more or less, they're just doing sustainment operations to, so either they're on the radio or they're checking on their Soldiers. Think of it is more laid back op tempo from a defense. You cannot conduct a raid on an enemy that is expecting you or that is hardened or they're dug in deeply. For an enemy like that, we use a platoon attack. So again, it's a lot of people on raids they trip up and they think they enemy will all be sitting here in this village. I mean, yes, but you have to break out the elements and anticipate what different parts are going to do, even if it's as simple as they're going be walking around the perimeter or they're going to be in this building over watching this dead space or this field or something.

So for an ambush, a similar problem with a raid, people commonly put the whole squad or the two squads or even the platoon just in one spot on the road. But that whole element is not going to come strolling into the kill zone all at the same time. And for an ambush, we want to anticipate not just what they're going to look like, as in their disposition, but also the most likely course of action when they come into the kill zone, and specifically, how they're going to react to us. So a good friendly or enemy, if they're ambushed, like we have a react to contact drill, there's different elements that are going to do different things.  Let's go with the two squads again. So four teams total for an enemy and remember, they're not all going to come into your ambush kill zone all at once. How would you think of the way that these guys are gonna fight? So I'll tell you that most likely the enemy's probably going to have some kind of support element and an assault element, especially for a near ambush.

So some part of that element, and this is where you got to figure out like maybe one team, maybe two teams, they're going to return fire immediately and try to suppress the enemy that's attacking them. Then there's going to be another element, the assault element. So again, maybe a team, maybe two teams. It's going to be their job to try to either destroy with an attack by fire, which in a near ambush is going to be difficult, or they're going to have to try to maneuver. While the one element is supporting and suppressing and providing fires, they're going to try to maneuver and destroy the enemy that's attacking them. And you want to put some good thought into which element that's going to be. So let's say it's a mounted element that comes in. More than likely the three, four vehicles with gunners on top, that's going to be the support element.

When attacked, they're going to hold tight, they're going to suppress the enemy. Then the dismounts are going to be the ones that come around and assault. It's important to flesh this out because if you can anticipate that, hey, the vehicles are gonna suppress, then we're gonna have assault element, you can use the terrain and some of the things we talked about in other blogs posts, you can anticipate maybe where they're going to come assault through at and then you can put more friendly units there. You can put a crew serve weapon there or something to anticipate that and defeat their advantages.

The last kind of basic platoon operation we'll talk about is a platoon attack and a defense. All right, so they go kinda hand in hand and really you guys are playing opposite sides of the coin for this. So if your enemy is conducting the defense, the things you can anticipate them doing are one, having a security element that is in some kind of disruption zone out further past their defense. The security team is trying to make and maintain contact with whatever enemies are trying to attack them. They have to make and maintain contact, it is as mission-critical that they find whatever enemies trying to come attack them and then report back to give early warning to the people in the defense and also try to shape the battlefield by disrupting and forcing them into an ideal engagement area. So there's going to be a security element that's going to do that.

They're going to be out there looking for you. They're going to be aware of you, all right? Then you're going to have the main defense area, you're usually going to have some kind of fixing force and then your main body. So fixing forces are often times your crewserve weapons, they're going to obviously try to get as many kills as possible. Ultimately we're trying to fix the enemy in our engagement area so that we can ultimately destroy them. He also may have some flank security and you also have to anticipate some enemy reserves. At the platoon level that's probably not going to happen as much but should still be considered. Some other things you've got to consider for an enemy and the defense, they're likely going to be in battle positions. So they'll probably be dug in at least 18 inches if not more. Now they may have overhead cover, they may have sand bags, at least rocks and stuff.

They'll provide additional cover and concealment and I mean you could go on all day, they might have primary battle positions. They'll likely at least have supplementary battle positions so that if you come from a certain way and they don't expect that, then they can move. On the flip side, if you are conducting the defense and you are being attacked, say you're a platoon or you're being attacked by an enemy company, you've really got to break out the different elements that are going to be at play here. So again, they're going to have a security element that's out forward screening, conducting a recon on you. So you got anticipate that force. They're also going to have some kind of breach force that's gonna try to get through your obstacles and your engagement area.

You're going to have a main body, a decisive operation, etc. There's a lot to consider. We could go on, we'll do another later about specific operation types.

So, bottom line with enemy analysis, do not pigeonhole yourself by underestimating the enemy. Really put some thought into how that enemy is going to task organize themselves, how they're going to fight, and ultimately achieve their mission. I hope you enjoyed this. Check out our other posts and our videos on youtube!


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