CHAPTER 2

 

THE DISCOM

 

2-1. DISCOM LOGISTIC ORGANIZATION

 

a. General. The heavy division usually consists of seven major subordinate commands (MSCs),an aviation brigade, an engineer brigade, a division artillery, a DISCOM, and three maneuver brigades. To accomplish the logistic and CHS missions, DISCOM units deploy throughout the division AO.

 

b. DISCOM HHC. The DISCOM HQ commands and controls its organic and attached units. It supervises and controls all division-level logistic and CHS operations. It also advises the division commander and staff concerning supply, maintenance, medical, transportation, and field services functions throughout the division. The HQ company provides all necessary administrative, supply, maintenance, and field feeding support for the company and the division materiel management center (DMMC). The division rear CP and the DISCOM CP are normally collocated. The DISCOM provides supply, maintenance, and field service support to division rear CP personnel.

 

c. DMMC. The DMMC is the primary materiel-managing element in the division. The center receives policy and operational guidance from the DISCOM commander and advises him on materiel (supply and maintenance, less medical) management. Activities include,

 

! Determining supply requirements.

! Ordering and directing the distribution of supplies the division receives (except class VIII).

! Developing and supervising the division ASLs and PLLs.

! Maintaining the division property book and Army equipment status reporting data.

! Operating all integrated division maintenance management information programs. The DMMC maintains maintenance status, including problems, maintenance requirements, and unit materiel readiness in the division.

! Providing a weapon system manager (WSM) to maximize the number of operational weapon systems available to the fighting forces.

 

d. Division aviation support battalion (ASB). The ASB is organic to the heavy division DISCOM. The battalion provides aviation maintenance and division-level logistics, less CHS, to the heavy division aviation brigade. A detailed description of the division ASB mission, organization, and functions can be found in FM 63-23.

 

e. MSB. The MSB is organic to the DISCOM. The battalion provides division-level logistics and CHS to division units located in the division rear. It also provides reinforcing support to the FSBs. A detailed description of the MSB's mission, organization, and functions is in FM 63-21.

 

f. FSBs. The FSBs are organic to the DISCOM. These units provide division-level logistics and CHS to the brigades and other division units located in the brigade areas. A detailed description of the FSB's mission, organization, and functions is in FM 63-20.

 

2-2. DISCOM LOGISTIC MISSION

 

The DISCOM provides division-level logistics and CHS to all organic and attached division elements. The COSCOM's corps support battalion (CSB) operating in the division area will provide CSS to the nondivision units in the division area. The DISCOM commander is the principal division logistic operator. He exercises full command authority over all support command organic units. The division G4 has coordinating staff responsi-bility for logistic planning. He develops division-level plans, policies, and priorities. The relationship between the division G4 and the DISCOM commander must be extremely close because of the similarities of interests. The DISCOM support operations section and the DMMC plan and coordinate to ensure logistic support for all division and attached units.

 

The DISCOM provides the following CSS:

 

! Support of class I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX supplies.

! Water purification and limited water distribution.

! Operates ammunition transfer points (ATPs) within the division. [Under the maneuver-oriented ammunition distribution system,palletized loading system (MOADS/PLS), the corps DS ammunition company operates the division rear ATP.] The DISCOM FSBs operate the BSA ATPs.

! Operates mortuary affairs collection points located in the BSAs and in the division support area (DSA). When augmented by COSCOM, it helps receive and identify remains and helps arrange for evacuation to a mortuary affairs collection point.

! DSM and reinforcing unit maintenance support for all common and missile materiel organic to the division and aviation intermediate maintenance (AVIM) for all aviation materiel.

! Materiel (supply and maintenance) management for the division.

! Transport for personnel, supplies, and equipment to accomplish division logistic and administrative missions. Also provides supplemental ground transportation to support emergency requirements.

! Supervises and coordinates DISCOM transportation operations.

! Automatic data processing (ADP) system software support for division logistic activities.

! Materiel salvage facilities.

! A limited capability to carry reserve supplies.

! Logistic information and advice to the division commander and his staff except for construction.

! Echelon I and II CHS to units assigned and attached to the division. This includes emergency medical care, advanced trauma management, and sick call. It also provides intradivision ground evacuation, emergency dental care, and optometry support. In addition, DSM and unit-level medical maintenance are provided as well as coordinating echelon III (corps) CHS.

! Plans, coordinates, and conducts rear operations within its assigned area of responsibility (AOR).

! Receives, stores, and distributes unclassified maps.

 

The DISCOM depends on the following:

 

! Corps transportation to bring supplies forward to the DSA and BSAs (classes IV and V and limited class III).

! The division aviation brigade or corps medium helicopter units for airlift needed to support logistic requirements.

! Additional water support distribution.

! Nondivisional field service units for laundry, bath, clothing exchange, and mortuary affairs services (only when there are no authorized organic augmentations).

! Appropriate corps elements for financial, legal, personnel, and administrative services.

! Corps aeromedical evacuation units for aeromedical evacuation support.

 

2-3. DISCOM DEPLOYMENT

 

a. General. The mission is the basic consideration in locating CSS units and their facilities. Maintenance, supply, and medical companies and other DISCOM units must be far enough forward to be appropriately responsive to the supported units' requirements. Maintenance, for instance, takes place not only in the BSA but also wherever the weapon system is located, if at all possible. Mechanics and mobile equipment must be there to fix or replace weapon system components. Additional considerations are enemy capability and his proximity to support activities and other potential targets. Figures 2-1 and 2-2 show the deployment of DISCOM units as they may be throughout the DSA and BSAs. BSAs and the DSA normally locate toward the rear of the units they support.

 

b. BSA. The BSA is that portion of the brigade rear occupied by the FSB, the brigade rear CP, and other units shown in figure 2-1. In those instances where the maneuver battalion trains are echeloned, the battalion field trains are included. The BSA is normally between the DSA and the battalion areas. The BSA is approximately 25 to 30 kilometers behind the forward line of own troops (FLOT). This provides protection against enemy indirect-fire weapons. Figure 2-1 also depicts units normally found in the BSA. Both division and corps units may locate within the BSA. The BSA, interfacing with the brigade S1, the S4, and the FSB, coordinates personnel and logistic support for the brigade. There is direct coordination because the brigade rear CP collocates with the FSB tactical operations center.

 

Figure 2-1. Sample BSA layout (division elements).

The FSB commander is the BSA commander. He must balance the need for security against the need for dispersion. Specific missions, condition of road nets, and disposition of other troops in the area influence the distance between troop units. It may be necessary, because of terrain restrictions or a guerrilla threat, to limit dispersion of logistic facilities even when there is a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) threat. Ideally, logistic activities disperse far enough to avoid the destruction of more than one unit. However, too much dispersion tends to reduce operational efficiency. It also increases the vulnerability of logistic units to sabotage, pilferage, guerrilla attack, and enemy conventional attack. Defense measures should be taken to ensure the least interruption in support operations.

 

c. DSA. The DSA is that portion of the division rear occupied by the DISCOM and division rear CPs and many of the units organic and attached to the DISCOM (see figure 2-2). This area normally contains combat support units and COSCOM elements that support the division. The DISCOM commander is the DSA commander. The division rear CP normally collocates with the DISCOM CP. This helps with coordination, shares area communication assets, and draws life support and security.

 

Figure 2-2. Sample DSA layout (division elements).

 

The DSA is normally between the division rear boundary and the BSAs, next to air-landing facilities, and near at least one main supply route (MSR). The DSA's precise location is contingent on a number of factors. Some of the major factors are the tactical plans and the location of COSCOM units and the MSRs. The terrain in the AO, security, and access to lines of communication (LOCs) must also be considered. Like units in the BSA, elements within a DSA are dispersed, and each element must be prepared to provide its own protection. Employing passive defense measures, such as dispersion, movement, concealment, cover, camouflage, and deception, reduces detection. Unit SOPs should prescribe active and passive defense measures for personnel, materiel, and installations. DISCOM units in the DSA displace only as necessary to maintain continuous support to the division and for security reasons. If a move is necessary, the DISCOM commander recommends the new location. This is done in close coordination with the division rear CP operations cell.

 

2-4. THE FORWARD SUPPORT BATTALION

 

This battalion has an HHD, a supply company, maintenance company, and medical company. As part of the maintenance company, the FSB is assigned tank, mechanized infantry, and artillery system support teams (SSTs). The FSB maintenance company has one team to support each maneuver battalion assigned to the supported brigade as well as the DS artillery battalion. The FSB's primary role is to provide DS to the brigade and division slice units operating in the brigade area. This role entails a dual requirement. First, the FSB must plan to support future operations. It must anticipate requirements and incorporate planning guidance.

 

In addition, the FSB must support current operations and monitor the support plan's implementation. This requirement involves continuous coordination. The FSB must actively monitor all support operations in conjunction with the brigade S4. It makes adjustments as required to ensure support requirements are met. For example, it is not enough for the FSB to plan when supported task force heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks (HEMTTs) should pick up fuel. If the HEMTTs do not show up, the FSB must know about it and coordinate with the brigade S4 to find out what the problem is and what it needs to do to resolve it.

 

The FSB also provides limited support to nondivisional units, such as corps artillery and engineer battalions, located in the brigade AO. The FSB is the single point of contact for support in the brigade AO. However, to support nondivisional units, corps logistic task force elements operating in the division area must augment the FSB. In addition, the FSB is responsible for base cluster defense of the BSA and operates under brigade command for this mission. Figure 2-1 shows the FSB layout.

 

The FSB performs its mission if it supports the brigade's course of action and meets the commander's guidance. Specifically, it supports the brigade and reinforcing/supporting units by providing or coordinating to provide all classes of supply, as well as maintenance, medical, field services, and transportation support, in the amounts and at the times specified in the brigade service support annex and the FSB SOP. It must replenish its supported units' basic loads of all supplies except repair parts. It must also replenish prescribed loads of maintenance-significant class II and IV items and repair parts. Equipment must be maintained to meet prescribed operational levels. Class VII items are distributed in accordance with (IAW) the brigade commander's priorities. The FSB coordinates transportation requirements with the DISCOM's movement control officer (MCO) to meet the brigade's needs. Finally, medical evacuation and treatment operations and field services activities must be coordinated between the brigade and FSB to ensure brigade needs are met. Specific information on the FSB elements appears in FM 63-20, chapters 6 through 9.

 

2-5. THE MAIN SUPPORT BATTALION

 

The MSB is the main logistic and medical operator in the division rear. It supports units in the division rear and provides designated and reinforcing support to the FSBs. The battalion provides DSM, supply, transportation, and medical support to units for a variety of missions. When the battalion is augmented, it also provides field services. Under MOADS/PLS, the MSB does not provide class V support to the division. The MSB effectively manages subordinate units. It also directs and coordinates security for these units.

 

One MSB is organic to the DISCOM. The command element supervises, directs, and coordinates assigned and attached units that run the support operations in and around the DSA. Figure 2-2 shows the MSB layout within the DSA. The MSB has the following units:

 

! HHD.

! S&S company.

! Transportation motor transport (TMT) company.

! Light and heavy maintenance companies.

! Missile support company.

! Medical company.

 

Commanding, controlling, and coordinating the many MSB elements with their diverse missions present a challenge for the MSB commander and staff. They must perform the logistic tasks of fueling, fixing, moving, and sustaining the soldier. They must integrate these tasks into a comprehensive battle support plan. The thrust is to push CSS as far forward as possible.

 

Division logistic and medical elements are integrated into the MSB's C2 system. This allows the division to shift its support effort to the critical place and time to influence the battle. For example, MSB elements can and do routinely operate outside of the DSA. Some elements habitually support specific division units. Others may be ad hoc formations to reinforce a main effort sector or an FSB. The DISCOM HQ coordinates support, organizes for combat, assigns locations, and specifies command relationships after thorough consultation with the MSB, DMMC, FSBs, division ASB, and supported units.

 

The MSB performs its mission if it supports the division's course of action and meets the DISCOM commander's guidance. Specifically, it supports the division rear and reinforces units by providing or coordinating to provide all classes of supply, as well as maintenance, medical, field services, and transportation support, in the amounts and at the times specified in the MSB SOP. It must replenish its supported units' basic loads of all supplies, including repair parts. It must also replenish prescribed loads of maintenance-significant class II and IV items and maintain equipment to meet prescribed operational levels. It distributes class VII items IAW the division commander's priorities. The MSB coordinates transportation requirements with the MCO to meet the division's needs. Finally, it coordinates medical evacuation and treatment operations and field services activities with the DISCOM support operations branch to meet division rear needs. For specific information on the MSB, see FM 63-21, chapters 5 through 10.

 

2-6. THE DIVISION AVIATION SUPPORT BATTALION

 

The division ASB has a headquarters and supply company, a ground maintenance company, and an AVIM company. The battalion provides dedicated CSS to the heavy division aviation brigade. During combat operations, the ASB normally is collocated with the aviation brigade. Like the FSB, the ASB must anticipate requirements and incorporate planning guidance to successfully accomplish its mission. Unlike the FSB, the ASB has no medical capability. The aviation brigade and division ASB (normally located in the vicinity of the DSA) receive area medical support from the MSB medical company. Division cavalry ground units receive area medical support from the nearest FSB medical company. The division ASB units' missions follow:

 

a. The headquarters and supply company provides the aviation brigade with classes I, II, III (for both ground and air), IV, and VII. The division ASB also operates a consolidated battalion mess. This company is not adequately equipped to support the division cavalry squadron's ground units during combat operations. The division cavalry ground units normally will get CSS from the nearest FSB. The division ASB will provide CSS to division cavalry aviation units.

 

b. The ground maintenance company provides the aviation brigade with ground vehicle maintenance, consolidated class IX for air and ground repair parts, an MST for the division cavalry squadron, backup ground vehicle recovery and evacuation, and consolidated unit maintenance for the division ASB.

 

c. The AVIM company consists of a helicopter systems repair platoon, an aircraft maintenance repair platoon, an aircraft services/fuel section, an armament/avionics repair platoon, production and quality control sections, and a maintenance test flight section. The aircraft maintenance company provides the aviation brigade with AVIM support, aircraft recovery, and backup aviation unit maintenance (AVUM) support.