What’s Your Next Move?: Showdown in the Central Corridor



You are the commander of Company A, 1-8 Cavalry. Your infantry company team consists of one tank and two mechanized platoons; you have an attached engineer platoon and mortar section following in support. Your company has priority of fires. The terrain is mostly open desert flanked by mountains, with some high terrain in the center of the zone. We are attempting to deny enemy advancement into the country’s capital.

You are first in the order of march for the battalion as it conducts a movement-to-contact. The battalion’s purpose is to find, fix and destroy the advance guard of a brigade tactical group (BTG) moving east, allowing your brigade to destroy the main body with enough combat power left to block a second-echelon detachment.

Task and purpose

2/1 Cavalry:
Task: Destroy the BTG.
Purpose: Prevent the motorized rifle division from crossing east of the international border.

1-8 Cavalry:
Task: Destroy the BTG’s advance guard.
Purpose: Enable 2/1 Cav to destroy the main body.

Company A, 1-8 Cav:
Task: Fix and destroy the forward reconnaissance detachments.
Purpose: Enable 1-8 Cav to destroy the advance guard.


As you reach Checkpoint (CP) 2, based on his decision support criteria, your battalion commander decides to move your company south toward CP 8 to gain contact with the reconnaissance detachments, suspected to be at CP 8. As you approach the intersection at CP 6, your trail platoon reports about 20 vehicles in formation, moving east and starting to deploy north of CP 3. A moment later, you notice a Blue Force Tracker (BFT) icon appear from brigade reconnaissance assets reporting some 35 vehicles north of Hill 560 moving east toward CP 4. You assume that the element identified by 1st Platoon must be the reconnaissance detachment and that it is probably deploying to engage the battalion from Hill 110 (vicinity CP 9), and you are unsure of the element identified on BFT.

You attempt to contact the battalion commander or S-3 on the command net but receive no response. BFT has the battalion frontline trace about 15 minutes out from CP 2. Based on the brigade spot report, you estimate that the advance guard is at least 20 minutes from CP 4. It will take you about the same amount of time to move northeast to engage the reconnaissance detachment or northwest to intercept the unidentified element on BFT.

In two minutes or less, make your decision and issue your fragmentary order and any other reports you would submit.