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Course of Action Statement and Sketch

Course of Action Statement and Sketch

Your statement must be submitted as a word document not to exceed three double-spaced pages.
The primary references for the COA S&S are:
• FM 6-0 Commander and Staff Organizations and Operations (Apr 2016, w/ Change 2)
• Errata for FM 6-0 Figure 9-5 COA Statement and Sketch (posted to the lesson material)
• ADRP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols (Nov 2016)
• 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 Leavenworth Paper and this assignment differ (such as in unit designations and composition) use the information provided in this assignment.

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.

 

Course of Action Statement and Sketch

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.”

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. 1F2

“ [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.” 2F3

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.3F4

CPT Pajota’s 350-man guerilla force consisted of five ‘infantry squadrons’, one ‘weapons squadron’ (with three 1917 .30-caliber, water-cooled heavy machine guns and a Rangers bazooka team4F5 ), 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) . [Other P-61s support Captains Prince and Joson] The guerillas also had a dozen antitank mines and one improvised explosive device with timer.5F6

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 and one medic 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 Leavenworth Paper and this assignment differ (such as in unit designations and composition) use the information provided in the assignment.

Figure 1

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.6F7

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 the Cabu River 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 1944.7F8

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.8F9

Dokuho 359 does not have any mortars, artillery, or air support.

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 River, 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 River and destroys allied forces north of the highway to prevent them from engaging D company.
C Company fords the Cabu River and destroys allied forces south and east of the camp to prevent them from engaging D company.
Fires: Dohuko 359 has no indirect fires capability or dedicated air support. 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. Casualties requiring Role 1 care will be treated at the battalion aid station; Role II and higher will be stabilized and evacuated to the regimental medical company.
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 River and the camp.

Requirement: As the S-3 of Pajota’s Guerillas located at a clandestine patrol base near Platero on 28 January 1945, 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.

Since this scenario is different from the one CPT Pajota faced, do not try to replicate the COA he used. For example, placing guerillas near Manacnac to help prevent Dohuko 359 from crossing the Cabu River may accept significant risks for little benefit.

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.