Course of Action Statement/Sketch
The C634A2 course of action statement and sketch (COA S&S) is an individual assignment worth 20% of the overall C600 grade. All work must be your own. Do not discuss this assignment or your answers with anyone other than a Department of Distance Education (DDE) instructor or your academic advisor
The COA S&S includes a grading rubric, which begins on page five of this document. You do not have to submit a CGSC Form 1009W Writing Evaluation for this assignment.
A course of action statement normally does not exceed one page, with the accompanying sketch on a separate page. Your statement is limited to a total of four pages: • Your statement must be submitted as a Word document not to exceed three doublespaced pages. • You may draw your sketch on the attached graphic by hand, or you may use PowerPoint to make and place the symbols on the sketch. For this assignment, you may submit the sketch as a PDF, JPEG or PNG file.
The primary references for the COA S&S are: • FM 6-0 Commander and Staff Organizations and Operations (including Change 1, 2015) • ADRP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols (December 2015) • Chapter 6 “Cabanatuan” of Leavenworth Papers #11. Caution: The attached special situation modifies, simplifies and clarifies some of the information from the Leavenworth Papers. In instances where the Papers and overview differ (such as in unit designations and composition), use the information provided in the overview.
You should refer to FM 6-0, ADRP 1-02, and the online instruction on MDMP, especially the supplemental lesson called Course of Action Statement and Sketch, located in the C633 lesson folder in Blackboard. You should also refer to Leavenworth Paper #11 upon which the C634 MDMP Exam and this assignment are based. When using primary references (listed above) for format, definition, and symbology, there is no requirement to cite or footnote their use. Use of any other references and outside sources must be cited IAW ST 22-2. You may use parenthetical citations, endnotes, or footnotes.
Overview: In Leavenworth Papers #11 “Rangers: Selected Combat Operations in World War II,” Dr. Michael J. King notes that “The rescue of 511 American and Allied prisoners from a Japanese POW compound near Cabanatuan in the Philippines by elements of the 6th Ranger Battalion, reinforced by Alamo Scouts and Filipino guerrillas, was the most complex operation that Rangers conducted during World War II. It was also one of the most successful.”1 CPT Prince’s raid plan called for the Alamo Scouts to provide much needed information, for the Rangers to assault the camp to secure the POWs, and for the Filipino Guerillas to isolate the objective area from counterattacking Japanese.2 “ [The guerillas’] part of the plan was exceedingly risky, but [Captains] Pajota and Joson, working in tandem, had to seal off a solid mile of road and hold it long enough for the Rangers to attack the camp, remove the prisoners, and then cross back over, melting safely into the rice paddies in the deepening night. The two Filipino forces were to function as a synchronized pair of shutoff valves in a great water main, temporarily blocking the flow in both directions so the Rangers could go in and do their extraction work with little worry of a surprise surge in the pipe.” 3 Captain Eduardo Joson (future Governor of Nueva Ecija Province) was to prevent a Japanese counterattack from Cabanatuan City. CPT Juan Pajota (who suggested the 24-hour delay, the use of caraboa carts, and the Black Widow distraction) was to prevent a Japanese counterattack from Cabu.4 CPT Pajota’s 350-man guerilla force consisted of five ‘infantry squadrons’, one ‘weapons squadron’ (with three M1917 .30-caliber, water-cooled heavy machine guns and a Rangers bazooka team5), and one Alamo Scout Team capable of establishing three observation posts and controlling two available P-61 Black Widows (each armed with four 20mm cannons and four .50 caliber machine guns) . The guerillas also had a dozen antitank mines and one improvised explosive device with timer.6
1 King, Dr. Michael J, Leavenworth Papers #11 Rangers: Selected Combat Operations in World War II, CSI 1985 p55 2 Sides, Hampton, Ghost Soldiers, Doubleday 2001 p176-7 3 Ibid, p177 4 Ibid, p128, 130, 179, 333 5 http://olive-drab.com/od_other_firearms_mg_m1917.php lists the effective range of the M1917A1 machine gun at 2500 yards. War Dept TM 9-294 gives the bazooka an effective range of 300 yards 6 Johnson, Forrest Bryant, Hour of Redemption, Warner 2002, p186-8, 194-7 (squadron sizes estimated)
Special Situation: Consider the guerillas as a battalion-sized force (as depicted in figure 1), each squadron as a light infantry company comprised of light infantry ‘platoons’ (with 25-30 guerillas in each platoon), with machine gun crews depicted in squadrons 201 and 201A (each carrying 1,000 rounds of ammunition), and the bazooka team (with 20 rounds of ammunition) depicted in Squadron 201A. Again, this special situation modifies, simplifies and clarifies some of the information from the Leavenworth Papers. In instances where the Papers and overview differ (such as in unit designations and composition) use the information provided in the overview.
Pajota’s Guerillas were tasked to block the Japanese Imperial Army’s Dokuho 359, an 800-man infantry battalion augmented by six Type 97 medium tanks.7 Although most Japanese were retreating northeast, General Tomoyuki Yamashita ordered Commander Oyabu’s Dokuho 359 forward to strengthen his defenses at Cabanatuan City. Dokuho 359 bivouacked east of Cabu Creek on 29 and 30 January and had orders to begin its advance to Cabanatuan City at midnight on the 30th. To do so, they would cross the new 75 feet long, 21 feet wide heavy timber bridge at Cabu, which replaced the bridge the guerillas had destroyed in 1944.8 The composition of Dokuho 359 is depicted in Figure 2 while its disposition is illustrated on the enemy course of action and on the sketch.9 Dokuho 359 does not have any mortars or artillery.
7 Ibid, p165 8 Ibid, p96 9 Ibid, based on CPT Pajotas’ Cabu Bridge Battle Plan, pii
Enemy Most Likely Course of Action
Mission: On order, Dokuho 359 destroys allied forces in the vicinity of the Pangatian Camp to prevent them from securing the allied POWs. Commander’s Intent: The purpose of the operation is to demonstrate Japanese resolve. In order to do so, the battalion must cross the Cabu Creek, quickly penetrate allied security forces, destroy the allied assault force, pursue escaping allies and secure the camp and POWs until relieved. At end state, the allied forces are destroyed, the POWs detained, conspiring civilians punished, the battalion controls the camp and is prepared to reinforce the Japanese defense of Cabanatuan City. Decisive Operation: D Company (armor) counterattacks west along the Cabanatuan-Cabu Highway and destroys the allied assault force to prevent the escape of the POWs. Shaping Operations: B Company secures the Cabu bridge in order to facilitate D Company’s counterattack, and then follows D Company as the battalion reserve with priority of commitment to D, A and C Companies. A Company fords the Cabu Creek and destroys allied forces north of the highway to prevent them from engaging D company. C Company fords the Cabu Creek and destroys allied forces south and east of the camp to prevent them from engaging D company. Fires: Artillery at Cabanatuan City is prepared to destroy the camp and its occupants to prevent the escape of a single allied POW. Information Collection operations focus on: 1) detecting allied forces within our area of operations; 2) disposition of the Cabu bridge; 3) location of escaped allies; and 4) civilian conspirators. Sustainment Operations: immediate resupply of Class III and Class V at the POW camp for follow on operations. Tactical Risk is assumed by advancing the armor along the Cabanatuan-Cabu highway to rapidly overwhelm the Rangers and the POWs. The infantry will mitigate this risk by destroying any ambush positions between Cabu Creek and the camp.
Requirement: Develop a doctrinal course of action statement and sketch for Pajota’s Guerillas. Remember, this Special Situation is different from the one which the guerillas actually faced in the Leavenworth Papers. This assignment requires you to create a unique solution to the problem in the special situation rather than attempting to recreate CPT Pajota’s solution. Although some situations and examples have phased operations with shifting main efforts and more than one decisive operation, try to make your COA relatively simple by identifying one decisive point, one decisive operation at that point, and one squadron to conduct that decisive operation This grading rubric follows the Figure 9-5 sample from FM 6-0.
(60 points total) COURSE OF ACTION STATEMENT Your answers to the questions must be typed and double-spaced throughout, and must use Times New Roman 12-pitch font and one-inch margins.
(5 pts) Write a mission statement for Pajota’s Guerillas. Pay special attention to the time and task in this mission. The time must be synchronized with the Rangers assault (do not use ‘on order’ or ‘be prepared’). Although history records that Pajota’s Guerillas virtually destroyed Dokuho 359, doing so was not required. Remember, the task in the mission should accomplish as little as needed to fulfill the purpose, rather than as much as possible—since the difference is often measured in lives.
(10 pts) Develop a Commander’s Intent. Remember, the purpose here should be ‘broader’ than the one in your mission, that Key Tasks normally become the focus of Decisive and Shaping Operations, and that the end-state must include Friendly, Enemy, Terrain and Civil components.
(10 pts) Decisive Operation (DO). Consider the following questions, and then write a mission statement for the squadron conducting the DO. What single task is most decisive (if you could do just one task, what would it be? How does that task contribute to the end-state for Pajota’s Guerillas?) Why? Where? When should it begin? Which squadron do you envision conducting this operation?
(15 pts) Shaping Operations (SO). Write a mission statement for each of the five squadrons which shapes the decisive operation by accomplishing a key task, sets conditions for the decisive operation, or serves as a reserve. In each case, the purpose of the squadron’s operation must logically connect to the decisive operation as well as the overall mission of Pajota’s Guerillas.
(5 pts) Fires. Write a mission statement for the pair of Black Widows which have very limited ammunition, but can make a significant contribution. This force should have a very specific task against a very specific target.
(5 pts) Intelligence. List specific priority information requirements (PIRs) needed for Pajota to make the two anticipated decisions: (1) commit the reserve and (2) commit the Black Widows. The Alamo Scouts should be positioned to collect and report this information
(5 pts) Sustaining. Provide a brief description of your sustaining operations including casualty operations.
(5 pts) Risk. Address the most significant risk as well as measures to mitigate it.
(40 points total) COURSE OF ACTION SKETCH The sketch follows on the next page.
(20 pts) Depict each squadron with the proper task organization composition symbol (see Fig 10-1 of ADRP 1-02) and doctrinal tactical mission task symbol (see Chapter 9 of ADRP 1-02). • Keep in mind that you may want to change the task organization of some squadrons by moving platoons and/or weapons teams to another squadron, and that the number of platoons and special weapons (machine guns and bazookas) should be based on the task and purpose of the squadron, as well as the enemy the squadron is responsible for and the terrain that squadron is operating in. • Remember that you must depict six ‘squadrons’ which collectively have 12 infantry platoons, 4 machine gun teams, and 1 bazooka team. Although task organization is often required, refrain from disbanding or merging two or more squadrons such that a squadron commander works for another or has no men or mission.
(10 pts) Doctrinal unit boundaries clearly delineate each squadron’s area of operation as well as the boundaries for Pajota’s Guerilla Battalion
(5 pts) Doctrinal control measures (such as battle positions, objectives, engagement areas, axes, target reference points (TRPs) and checkpoints) to help connect the COA statement to the sketch.
(5 pts) Command post and observation posts doctrinally depicted
Course of Action Statement/Sketch
Course of Action Statement/Sketch
Pajota’s querillas will focus on ensuring the success of the 6th Ranger Battalion operation by preventing counter-attack by the Japanese infantry. The guerrillas will also enhance the efficiency of the operation by offering reinforcements to the Battalion if need. The different guerrilla infantries will work together with the Alamo Scouts and the Rangers to ensure the safe rescue of the US prisoners of war without unnecessary engagement.
The coordinated operation will extract the POWs, destabilize the enemy infantries in and around the camp, and bring the POWs to safety with as little impact to innocent civilians as possible. The coordination of the Rangers, the Alamo Scouts, and the Pajota guerrillas will ascertain the success of the operation. The Rangers will successfully rescue the POWs with sufficient knowledge of the terrain as ensured by Captain Pajota and the guerrillas. Additionally, reinforcements and holding approaching enemy troops until the success of the Rangers in rescuing the POWs will guarantee the operation’s success.
Two guerrilla squadrons will ensure the success of the Rangers in rescuing the POWs by holding and preventing Japanese squadrons from crossing Cabu River and reinforcing their team in the camp during the operation. The squadrons aim to destroy the bridge using explosives and prevent the Japanese tanks and infantries from crossing to the camp. Other two squadrons will observe, pass intelligence, and react to any oncoming enemy squadrons from different directions while the last team of Pajota and Alamo Scouts’ guerrillas will be on stand-by to assist rescued POWs to safety.
The operation includes five squadrons and the Rangers. Team A and B will prevent the reinforcement of the Japanese military in the camp during the operation by securing and holding them at Cabu River. Team C and D will enhance efficiency of the operation through observation posts, while the E will assist the rescued POWs to safety.
Team E will control and operate the pair of Black Widows and secure the POWs to safety in coordination with the Rangers and Teams C and D.
The observation teams C and D are stationed to collect intel on the Rangers operation and any oncoming enemy infantries. The teams will need to report the Rangers’ operation to determine if the team needs reinforcement or whether the mission is completed successfully to fall back. Additionally, the observation teams need to report to Team E of any threats in getting the POWs to safety.
The efficiency of the operation depends of the squadrons’ ability to secure Cabu River, hold possible Japanese reinforcement, and offer any required reinforcement to the Rangers in the Camp. The coordination of the different teams will ensure efficiency in all processes.
A possible risk is finding more well-prepared and coordinated enemy military at the camp than anticipated. However, in case of such a scenario the squadrons are ready for instantaneous supply of reinforcement.
Explanation of the Sketch
Guerrilla teams A and B, composed of six squadrons strategically situated across river Cabu are equipped with combined arms to hold and prevent the Japanese infantries from reinforcing their team in the camp. Two squadrons offer coordinated supporting attack to the Rangers to disempower the Japanese team at the observation tower and the armory. Teams C and D, made of two squadrons each observe and communicate intelligence to the Rangers and the other squadrons in case support is required. Further, C and D are equipped with combined arms to counterattack in case of unforeseen attacks.
The Rangers are
divided into four teams that attack the camp (with combined arms) from four strategic
positions destabilizing the Japanese teams there and rescuing the POWs. Rangers
A approaches the camp from the right corner near the holding cells, B attacks
the enemy observation tower at the top left corner, while C and D (with the
Bazooka team) attack the other observation tower and the armory respectively. All
the Rangers teams meet with guerilla Team E (with the Black Widows) and get the
POWs to safety.
King, Michael J. Rescue at Cabanatuan. 2016. http://www.4point2.org/cabanatuan.htm (accessed March 11, 2017).
Menter, John M. The sustainment battle staff & military decision making process (MDMP) guide : for Brigade Support Battalions (BSB), Sustainment Brigades (Sus Bdes), and Combat Sustainment Support Battalions (CSSB). Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2009.