- Combat Support Company
A Combat Support Company is a company-echelon unit which provides combat service support to a battalion. Combat Service Support (CSS) tasks are to man, arm, fuel, fix, and move the force. These tasks are generally categorized into logistics support, personnel service support, and health services support.
- Logistics support - this task includes supply, transportation, maintenance, and field services. Personnel service support includes functions that provide soldiers to the command as well as contribute to their welfare and morale.
- Personnel service support - functions of personnel service support include personnel and administration services, including strength and personnel accounting, casualty reporting, replacement operations, awards, and personnel management. Chaplain operations and enemy prisoner of war (EPW) operations fall under this CSS task.
- Health services support includes medical treatment and evacuation of casualties, preventive medicine, and medical supply operations.
Sources of Combat Support
While the composition of a Combat Support Company can vary wildly depending on the unit being served, most infantry battalions will include, at a minimum, an S1 (personnel) section, an S4 (operations) section, a medical platoon, a support platoon, and a maintenance platoon or section. In many units these services are provided by the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC). The following is derived from FM 7-20 (Infantry Battalion Operations), Chapter 8.
- S1 Section - consists of the S1 and the PAC. As the personnel staff officer, the S1 exercises the coordinating staff responsibility for personnel service support matters. He is aided by the PAC supervisor and by the personnel staff NCO (PSNCO). The S1, PSNCO, and two administrative specialists collocate with the S4 at the combat trains CP; the PAC is located in the field trains. The S1 takes part in the full range of staff officer functions. These include taking part in the OPORD process; developing personnel estimates, loss rate estimates, and portions of the CSS annex; and recommending replacement priorities. He coordinates his areas fully with other staff officers.
- S4 Section - this section assumes responsibility for supply, transportation, maintenance, and field service functions. It coordinates the requisition and distribution of supplies to companies. The S4 section also turns in captured supplies and equipment as directed. Personnel in the S4 section are located in the field and combat trains CPs. They are cross trained with soldiers of the S1 section in critical tasks to permit continuous operations. Aided by the battalion supply sergeant, the S4 supervises the S4 section.
The S4 concentrates on water and seven classes of supply in combat: Classes I through V, VII, and IX. The support platoon leader working with the S4 and HHC commander coordinates the requisition, receipt, preparation, and delivery of water and Classes I, III, and V. The S4 section coordinates the requisition, receipt, and delivery of Classes II, IV, and VII (as well as Class IX in the light infantry). If the battalion has a maintenance platoon/section, the battalion maintenance technician (BMT) requests, receives, and delivers Class IX items.
- Medical Platoon - provides unit-level medical support for the battalion. It collects, triages, and treats patients, then either evacuates them or returns them to duty. The medical platoon establishes and applies preventive medicine programs aimed at preventing disease and illness.
- Support Platoon - has a headquarters, a transportation section (with a decontamination specialist in H-edition infantry and airborne/air assault battalions) and a mess section (less the light infantry battalion).
- Maintenance Platoon - provides maintenance for unit vehicles. Unit-level maintenance is consolidated at brigade level for the light infantry battalion. Maintenance teams of two to four men maybe formed to support maneuver battalions. They will work from their battalions' field trains. They carry with them stocks of assemblies and other high-demand repair parts. Procedures are established for repair parts delivery from the brigade consolidated PLL section. The battalion team is responsible for repairing deadlined equipment that can be repaired in time to return it to the current battle. If the item is badly damaged, the team arranges for its evacuation.
- ^ "FM 7-20 Table of Contents". Department of the Army. 6 April 1992. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/7-20/index.html. Retrieved 8/07/2008. FM 7-20 - Infantry Battalion.
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