Section 6-1 Introduction
Section 6-2 Developmental Guidelines
Section 6-3 Sources of Information for Developing the Concept of Support
Section 6-4 Areas or Items to Consider Under Each Logistics Function
Section 6-5 Concept of Support Format
Section 6-6 Briefing the Concept of Support
Section 6-7 The CSS Overlay
Section 6-8 Using and Completing the Concept of Support Overview Matrix


After the commander selects a specific COA, the staff communicates this decision by

publishing the operation plan/operation order (OPLAN/OPORD). The G4, with input from the other

logistic staff elements (G1, G5, surgeon, finance and personnel officers, and the support

command), will prepare paragraph 4 of the plan. This paragraph contains CSS information

as follows:

a. Paragraph 4a is the support concept. This concise, but comprehensive, paragraph tells the maneuver commander and his primary staff those critical or unusual logistic actions that will occur before, during, and after the battle to support the concept of the operation.

b. Additional subparagraphs can be used to provide more detailed CSS information by functional area. Usually, however, these subparagraphs are omitted, and this detailed information is published as part of the service support annex to the plan. The G4 prepares this order with input from the other logistic staff elements.

The G4 also can prepare a CSS overlay to show supported units' supply route locations and supporting logistic organizations. Finally, routine, doctrinal, or constant information is incorporated into the unit tactical standing operating procedures (TSOP) to avoid repetition.


a. General rules for paragraph 4a.

(1) Use language that is clear, concise, and comprehensive. Avoid technical terminology.

(2) Focus on what the non-CSS commander needs to know about how the operation will be sustained. This makes paragraph 4a the logistic equivalent to the concept of the operation.

(3) Consider the tactical logistic functions in the context of actions accomplished before, during, and after the operation. The operative term is consider. The intent is not to address each function unless it is critical or unusual. If the operation is phased, then the logistic support for the during portion of the concept of support should also be structured by phase.

(4) The concept of support establishes priorities of support for before, during, and after the operation. The commander at each level establishes these priorities in his intent statement (e.g., main effort) and in the concept of the operation (paragraph 3). This could include prioritizing such things as personnel replacements; maintenance and evacuation, by unit and by system (aviation and surface systems would be given separate priorities); fuel and/or ammunition; road network use by unit and/or commodity; and any resource subject to competing demands or constraints.

(5) Synchronize the concept of support with the concept of the operation.

(6) Formations comprised of units that are not part of the same organization or, as a minimum, don't have habitual relationships may not share a common TSOP and may require a more lengthy concept of support. Conversely, the more comprehensive the TSOP, the briefer the concept of support.

(7) The more complex the operation (a multiphased operation or operations larger formations conduct), the more critical the CSS synchronization.

(8) Routine, doctrinal, or constant information is not included in the concept of support. It is incorporated into the unit TSOP.

(9) Detailed and numerical data relevant to the operation, and of primary interest to unit logistic personnel, may be in another subparagraph of 4 or in the service support annex.

(10) It is important to understand the next higher commander's support priorities and where your particular unit fits into those priorities.

b. CSS planners need to review the concept of support and ensure it meets the commander's needs. There are several basic questions the CSS planner should ask.

(1) Is the concept of support easily understood, and is it comprehensive and concise?

(2) Does it provide a visualization (word picture) of the overall concept of support?

(3) Is the concept of support synchronized with and does it support the concept of the operation (paragraph 3)?

(4) Does it consider, and address as required, the logistic functions in the context of before, during, and after (or by phase for phased operations)?

(5) Does it establish priorities of support for before, during, and after the operation, and do these priorities correlate with the priorities established in the commander's intent, paragraph 3, and other directives from higher?

(6) It is written for the non-CSS commanders and their primary staffs and focused for supported units?

(7) Does it address all critical, non-SOP, or unusual aspects of support?

(8) Does it apply to FM 100-5 logistic characteristics?


a. The logistician actively participating in the tactical decisionmaking process facilitates the development of the concept of support. Specifically, during mission analysis, the CSS planner determines the units' current materiel and personnel posture before the operation begins. This, with the commander's priorities, determines which units and items of equipment should receive priority before the operation.

b. The wargaming and quantitative analysis portions of COA analysis highlight critical and/or unusual logistic requirements and determine support priorities for during and after the operation. By its very nature, wargaming facilitates logistic synchronization with the concept of the operation.

c. There are numerous other information sources for the concept of support. These include--

(1) Commander's guidance and intent.

(2) Concept of the operation.

(3) Higher headquarters concept of support, service support order or plan (if applicable), and CSS overlay.

(4) Maneuver control system screens and/or other locally generated status charts.

(5) Lessons learned data and historical perspectives to see how others successfully, or unsuccessfully, supported other similar operations.

(6) The unit's battle book.


The areas of consideration listed below are not intended as an all-encompassing checklist and may not always be applicable. They are intended, rather, as a point of departure for CSS planners developing a concept of support. Although the items are considered, they are not necessarily addressed in the concept of support unless they are critical, non-SOP, or unusual.

a. Items for overall consideration.

(1) Support boundaries, support areas, and support relationships.

(2) Priorities of routes/events (timing).

(3) Support of attached or detached forces [cavalry, light infantry, covering force units, out-of-sector support, heavy/light force mixes, etc. (if required)].

(4) CSS actions in assembly areas, staging areas, and attack positions (if any).

(5) Programmed locations and projected displacements of logistic support units and areas.

(6) Support provided by/to higher or adjacent units or other unusual support arrangements; e.g., refuel on the move (ROM), caches, Army Special Operations Forces-unique requirements, etc.

(7) CSS actions in support of security and/or deception plans and/or operations.

(8) Foreign nation support and/or host nation support arrangements.

(9) CSS task organization (CSS units' capability versus supported units' requirements).

(10) Unusual and/or critical impact of weather, terrain, and security on CSS operations.

(11) Reconstitution of units.

(12) Special considerations for joint (sister service) or combined (allied) CSS operations.

b. Items to consider before, during, and after.

(1) Manning:

Personnel status and replacement operations; e.g., weapon system replacement operations (WSRO).
Projected casualties and their effect on combat readiness.
Significant risks.

(2) Sustaining Soldiers and Their Systems:

Personnel services.
Establishing or adjusting personnel and medical support priorities.
Locations of medical treatment facilities.
Evacuation procedures for killed in action (KIA)/WIA.
EPW procedures.
Friendly confinement requirements/procedures.
Finance services.
Field services.
Classes of supply I, II, IV, VI, and VIII.
Supply point or unit distribution methods.
Support from other sources.
Quality of life of the soldier and his family.
Significant risks.

(3) Arming:

Basic load status.
Operational loads.
RSR versus controlled supply rate (CSR).
Forecasted requirements and ammunition prestocking arrangements.
CSR suballocation.
ATP, ASP, and CSA locations (only general locations, grids on the CSS overlay).
Distribution methods.
Combat-configured loads (CCLs).
Emergency resupply procedures.
Expenditure restrictions (e.g., no more than what percent of the CSR may be expended to support the covering force?).
Monitoring and reporting requirements.
EOD Suport, field storage requirements, and missile maintenance.
Significant risks.

(4) Fueling:

Current status (in vehicles and bulk carriers/storage).
Anticipated requirements.
En route requirements/operations.
Bulk refueling procedures.
FARP operations.
Refuel assets.
Systems capabilities.
Distribution plan and methods.
Fuel allocations.
Displacement of fuel/refueling assets.
Significant risks.

(5) Fixing:

Maintenance priorities (air, ground).
Anticipated work load (battle damage and maintenance failure rates/projections).
BDAR procedures.
Maintenance repair time lines.
Controlled substitution or cannibalization procedures.
MST employment.
Locations/displacements of maintenance/repair part supply units.
Support from other sources.
WSRO procedures.
Distribution methods for classes VII and IX.
Evacuation procedures (could, in some cases, also include recovery procedures).
Significant risks.

(6) Moving:

Transportation requirements (logistic versus tactical).
Movement and route use priorities (units and/or commodities).
Traffic control requirements.
Transportation unit/asset displacements.
Throughput operations.
Trailer transfer arrangements or cargo transfer/terminal operations.
Alternate modes of transportation; e.g., rail, foreign nation support.
LOC security.
Supply routes.
Route maintenance requirements (effects of weather, enemy, and engineer support).
Mode selection, HET priorities, and backhaul priorities.
Support from sister services.
Significant risks.


a. The concept of support's intent is not to "boilerplate" unnecessary information. It is to think through specifically applying logistics to the concept of the operation and crafting a word picture that non-CSS commanders and their primary staffs can easily understand.

b. While each of the logistic functions are listed under before, during, and after the operation, each should be considered and then addressed only if the support arrangement is critical, non-SOP, or unusual. Additional CSS information--manning (personnel service support), sustaining the soldier (personnel services, CHS, quality of life, general supply support, and field services), arming, fueling, fixing, and moving--may be in subparagraphs or in a separate service support annex.

c. Example support concepts for brigade, division, and corps are provided at appendixes B, C, and D. These are not related to any specific concept of operation but are provided to illustrate format and to provide a feel for the content of concepts of support at various levels.

* * * * *


a. Support Concept. This paragraph will provide an overall visualization of the concept of support. Its intent is to provide the non-CSS commanders and their primary staffs a visualization, or word picture, of how the operation will be logistically supported. If the information pertains to the entire operation, include it in this subparagraph. If it pertains to more than one unit, address it here and change it in the ensuing subparagraphs when needed. This could include--

(1) Before.

--By unit. --For personnel replacements. --Maintenance and/or recovery and evacuation priorities (by unit and equipment type).

(2) During. If there are any differences or changes, state them in this paragraph. (The during period of the support concept would also be phased if the concept of the operation is phased.)

--By unit.
--For personnel replacements.
--Maintenance and/or recovery and evacuation priorities (by unit and equipment type).

(3) After. If there are any differences or changes from the before and during period, state them here. --By unit.
--For personnel replacements.
--Maintenance and/or recovery and evacuation priorities (by unit and equipment type).

* * * * *


a. The logistician's role in the overall OPLAN/OPORD briefing is to brief the concept of support, but he must first understand the general concept of the operation and the commander's intent. This briefing facilitates communicating the concept of support to the commander and the subordinate commanders. The concept of support briefing should address the critical, non-SOP, or unusual aspects of logistic support in the context of before, during, and after and the critical aspects of the logistic functions. Doctrinal, usual, or SOP matters should not be addressed unless there is a deviation in support relationships or normal methods. The CSS planner briefs the concept of support, working through the operation from before or after. This briefing should go into greater detail than is laid out in the written support concept.

b. Some rules of thumb for the concept of support briefing are--

(1) Tell commanders what they can expect from CSS and how many days or hours they can operate based on materiel readiness, quantities of supplies on hand, etc. Use common terms such as DOS or other terms that are meaningful to the commander. Avoid using technical terminology or SOP information.

(2) Address the "culminating point" from a logistic perspective.

(3) Avoid briefing the results of extensive number-crunching that is associated with the CSS estimate process.

(4) The briefer should not read some written product. Rather, using the CSS overlay (see appendix E) and appropriate visual aids, such as a concept of support overview matrix (see appendix H), he should show the commander how the concept of support is synchronized with and supports the concept of the operation.

(5) The briefing should include locations of critical logistic assets, headquarters, and events.

(6) Address priorities, shifts in priorities, problem areas and solutions, and critical events.

(7) Bottom line: The logistician must tell the commander what he needs to know.

NOTE: Instructions for using the concept of support overview matrix and developing the CSS overlay are included in the following paragraphs.

c. Concept of support briefing.

(1) Introduction (overview of the concept of support and orientation to the map, if required). Orientation to the map is not required if done previously by another briefer. Do not assume the commander totally knows the terrain. Focus on locating critical CSS nodes, MSRs, etc.

(2) Brief the concept of support starting with critical actions that must be accomplished before the operation and concluding with critical actions to be accomplished after the operation/preparation for future operations for each of the logistic functions (manning, sustaining the soldier, arming, fueling, fixing, and moving).

(3) Identify which units have priorities for each function (this should correlate with the commander's priorities; e.g., main effort).

(4) Identify the next higher echelon unit providing support and/or backup support.

(5) Identify any critical shortages/problem areas for each function and solution. For example, this can be supported, but . . . , or it can be done but not without risk in. . . .

(6) Identify any other CSS problem areas, arrangements, special requirements, or any other critical aspects addressed elsewhere in the briefing.


a. The CSS overlay is a graphic representation of the tactical array of logistic support areas (LSAs) and units. Ideally, it accompanies copies of the OPLAN/OPORD distributed to subordinate headquarters and is used as a graphic backdrop to the concept of support briefing.

b. The CSS overlay should include (as a minimum)--

c. The CSS overlay will not only depict the tactical array of CSS units/nodes, but it is also an integral part of the overall OPLAN/OPORD graphics and must be synchronized with the operations overlays.

(1) A brigade CSS overlay would include (as a minimum)--

A sample brigade CSS overlay is at appendix E.

(2) A division CSS overlay would include (as a minimum)--

A sample division CSS overlay is at appendix F.

(3) A corps CSS overlay may have to encompass the entire corps area of operations as well as a part of the COMMZ and, as a minimum, would depict--

A sample corps CSS overlay is at appendix G.


a. The oral concept of support briefing will allow the commander and his subordinates to visualize how the operation will be logistically sustained. The CSS planners' oral briefing, using the CSS overlay, is useful in communicating the concept of support to the commander. In addition, a concept of support matrix (see appendix H) can be used to make complex logistic concepts more easily understood. The matrix can complement the briefing. Appendix I is an example of a completed concept of support matrix.

b. The matrix's design is aligned with the concept of support format. The logistic functions are in the context of before, during, and after. For phased operations, the during portion of the matrix can be modified to reflect phases. The matrix will highlight those critical aspects of each logistic function. It can also depict other critical information such as priorities, shifts in priorities, problem areas, critical events, and other critical action. Again, the matrix is not intended to stand alone or to replace the concept of support briefing. It should complement and supplement the concept of support briefing.