Troop Leading Procedures (TLP)
Troop leading procedures comprise the following steps. They are what a leader does to prepare his unit to accomplish a tactical mission. The TLP starts when the leader is alerted for a mission or receives a change or new mission. He can perform Steps 3 through 8 in any order, or at the same time. TLP is something that is applied from the top of the chain of command to the bottom, every leader from the top to the bottom must go through the TLP for a each mission. It is a way to mitigate micromanagement and enable optimal efficiency for mission planning. A platoon leader may plan which squads will assault through an objective, which will be support by fire and which squad is security while the squad leader chosen for assault will plan how his squad will assault through the objective.
1. Receive the mission.
2. Issue warning order.
3. Make a tentative plan.
4. Initiate Movement.
6. Complete the plan.
7. Issue full mission plan.
TLP Steps Explained
For the following explanations we will assume that the outfit consists of a single platoon with the following breakdowns:
Platoon Leader: Anski – In charge of all outfit operations and is the POC for the alliance
Ground Leader: Yuka – in charge of two infantry squads: Alpha and Bravo. Alpha and Bravo squad leaders report to Yuka and Yuka reports to Anski.
Alpha Squad Leader: Mel Mibson – in charge of a full squad of infantry.
Bravo Squad Leader: Sevrid – in charge of a full squad of infantry.
Charlie Squad Leader: Toka – in charge of all air operations to include dropships, gunships, fighter (A2A) and attack (A2G) aircraft.
NOTE: The explanation is long, however it can be done in a few minutes on the fly by a competent leader. I recommend that leaders and up-and-coming leaders print this off, keep it near their computer when they play and run through it when they are planning a mission. Eventually it will become instinct.
Step 1 – Receive the Mission
The leader receives the mission from higher. In the case of outfit commanders this is either received as a request from another outfit in the alliance or from taking the initiative based on the strategic situation.
Alliance requests that Vanu Rangers take Regent Rock Garrison. Anski receives the mission from Alliance via Alliance comms. He gathers any information they have about the mission to include intelligence on enemy composition, any friendly forces known to be in the area, and standards for the mission, if any. This stage is completed when Anski fully understands the mission.
Step 2 – Issue a warning order
The leader provides initial instructions in a warning order. The warning order
contains enough information to begin preparation as soon as possible. The warning order mirrors the five-paragraph OPORD
format. A warning order may include–
• The mission or nature of the operation (mission statement).
• Time and place for issuance of the operation (coordinating instructions).
• Who is participating in the operation (coordinating instructions).
• Time of the operation (timeline).
Anski tells Yuka and Toka that VR will be attacking Regent Rock Garrison in order to take control. He informs Yuka that both infantry squads will be needed and Toka that two galaxies will be needed as well as a full assortment of air support. He also informs his subordinate leaders that the mission launch will be in 5 minutes and that he will have more information in 2 minutes.
Yuka then tells his two squad leaders to redeploy to the warpgate and prepare for a raid on Regent Rock Garrison.
Toka tells his two designated galaxy pilots to each pull galaxies in the warpgate and sit tight. He requests all aircraft to return to the warpgate and standby. He informs his squad that we are to take Regent Rock Garrison.
Mel Mibson and Sevrid both tell their squads to redeploy to the warpgate and prepare for a raid on Regent Rock Garrison and to standby.
Step 3 – Make a Tentative Plan
The leader uses MET3 (Much like METT-TC in real life) to develop an estimate of the situation, which he will use as the basis for his tentative plan. This set of actions is referred to as the leader’s mission analysis:
(1) Conduct a detailed mission analysis.
(a) Concept and Intent. Higher commanders’ concept and intent.
(b) Unit Tasks. Tasks that are clearly stated in the order (Specified Tasks) or tasks that become apparent as the OPORD is analyzed (Implied Tasks).
(c) Unit Limitations. The leader next determines all control measures or instructions in the OPORD that restrict his freedom of action; these are called limitations. A limitation may be “Do not fire on enemy aircraft unless engaged” which may be due to intel gathered that the enemy aircraft in the area are part of a larger enemy force that is known to coordinate and may react in full force if their aircraft are unnecessarily alerted to our presence by a trigger-happy gunner.
(d) Mission-Essential Task(s). After reviewing all the above factors, the leader identifies his mission-essential task(s). Failure to accomplish a mission-essential task results in the unit’s failure to accomplish its primary purpose for that operation. An example would be: Destroy the enemy AMS Sunderer to the northwest before moving onto the capture point.
(e) Restated Mission. The restated mission statement becomes the focus for the remainder of the estimate process. This is a clear, concise statement of the mission essential task(s) to be accomplished by the unit and the purpose to be achieved. The mission statement will state WHO, WHAT (the task), WHEN (the critical time), WHERE (usually a grid coordinate), and WHY (the purpose the unit must achieve). Some examples of restated missions follow:
(WHO) Vanu Rangers attacks (WHAT) to seize (WHERE) Regent Rock Garrison (WHEN) in 10 minutes (WHY) to deny the enemy a hard respawn point and freedom of movement in defense of Peris Amp Station.(WHO) Alpha Squad (WHAT) establishes security (WHERE) on the northern approach (WHEN) immediately (WHY) to prevent enemy forces from attacking Bravo Squad while they provide surface-to-air defensive fire
(2) Analyze the situation and develop a Course Of Action. Each COA must be–suitable, acceptable, feasible, distinguishable, and complete.
(3) With the restated mission from Step 1 to provide focus, the leader continues the estimate process using the remaining
factors of MET3.
(a) What is known about the ENEMY?
(b) How will TERRAIN affect the operation? Analyze terrain using OCOKA.
(4) Analyze courses of action (war-game). This analysis is conducted by quickly and mentally war-gaming friendly courses of action against the enemy’s most probable courses of action. The leader can–and should- discuss war-game with his subordinates.
(5) Compare courses of action. The leader compares the COAs and selects the one that is most likely to accomplish the assigned mission. He considers the advantages and disadvantages for each COA. He also considers how the critical events impact on COAs.
(6) Make a decision. The leader selects the COA that he believes has the best chance of accomplishing the mission.
Essentially from the top down, leadership decides the HOW of the mission. For example:
Anski informs Yuka that his ground team will drop to the hill north of Regent Rock Garrison and move into position to assault the capture points. Toka’s air team will deliver the ground team while providing aerial suppression on the objective area and that aerial suppression will continue until the ground team is set in place to initiate the ground assault.
Yuka tells Mel that his squad will move from the Drop Zone to a point specified on the map in game via a waypoint to establish overwatch and a support by fire element that observes the entire area. Yuka informs Sevrid that his team will need to simultaneously hit the Alpha and Charlie points and then converge on the Alpha point.
Toka informs his air squad about the location of the drop zones and about the air superiority plan and aerial suppression plan and follow-on close air support plan.
Sevrid tells his squad that 1 through 5 will move from the release point (same position as the overwatch/support by fire team) to the Alpha point and 6 through 12 will hit the Charlie point. Once both points are secured, both teams will simultaneously converge on the tower and once the basement is clear move up the stairwell using team bounding to take the control point and then follow on to camp the upper and lower respawn exits.
Mel informs his squad that 1 through 8 will be on the support by fire position and will consist of 5 heavy assaults, 2 medics, and 1 engineer. 9 through 12 will be left and right flank security. They will provide suppression as the other squad moves to their targets.
Step 4 – Start Necessary Movement
The unit may need to begin movement while the leader is still planning or
forward reconnoitering. This step may occur anytime during the TLP. As we saw earlier, as soon as Yuka and Toka heard about the mission they recalled their elements back to the warpgate.
Step 5 – Reconnoiter
If time allows, the leader makes a personal reconnaissance. When time does not allow, the leader must make a map or aerial reconnaissance. Sometimes the leader must rely on others, such as scouts, to conduct the reconnaissance.
Anski requests that Toka dispatch aerial scouts to the objective to gather intelligence data. Toka then sends two A2A scythes to the objective to check for enemy activity. If time is short and situation permits, the two A2A scythes can begin achieving air superiority over the objective.
If time were to really be a luxury, a galaxy may drop a single infiltrator near the objective on a hilltop to provide up-to-the-minute intelligence data on the objective.
Step 6 – Complete the Plan
The leader completes his plan based on the reconnaissance and any changes in
Aerial scouts report that the enemy has a Sunderer parked along the road to the north east. Anski adjusts the plan and requests that Toka have his attack aircraft and gunships to engage the sunderer as a priority target the moment the attack is launched.
Step 7 – Issue the Complete Order
Platoon and squad leaders normally issue oral operations orders to aid
subordinates in understanding the concept of the mission. Leaders may require subordinates to repeat part of the order, demonstrate it on the ingame map using waypoints to bolster understanding of the operation. Leaders should also quiz their Rangers to ensure that all Rangers understand the mission.
Step 8 – Supervise and Refine
The leader supervises the unit’s preparation for combat by conducting rehearsals
and inspections. Leaders take notes and speak up when an improvement can be made on the spot. Anything that can’t be changed should be saved for the AAR for the improvement of future missions.