Introduce Learning Objectives

g| TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE. In a summer mountainous environment and given a cliff face, conduct a cliff assault, in accordance with the references.


¡¡Without aid of the reference, list in writing the planning framework considerations when conducting a cliff assault, in accordance with the reference.

¡¡Without aid of the reference, list in writing the tactical considerations when conducting an amphibious cliff assault, in accordance with the reference.

Without aid of the references, list in writing the four different techniques that may be employed to move personnel/equipment conducting a cliff assault up the cliff face, in

accordance with the references.

^^Without the aid of references, describe in writing the five phases of a cliff assault, in accordance with the reference.

41 METHOD/MEDIA. The material in this lesson will be presented by lecture and demonstration. You will practice what you have learned in upcoming field training exercises. Those of you with IRF's please fill them out at the conclusion of this period of instruction.


a SML - You will be tested by a written examination and a performance evaluation.

g ACC - You will be tested by a written exam and a performance evaluation during your company's cliff assault.

d SMO - You will be evaluated by a performance evaluation as a company during the cliff assault.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the purpose, learning objectives, how the class will be taught or how you will be evaluated? This class will not just be in the classroom; you will also have the opportunity to practice it in the field, and perhaps someday in combat. With that in mind, let's look at the planning framework.

Q| (5 Min) PLANNING FRAMEWORK. A cliff assault is a thoroughly planned action on a known danger area. The unit's mission is the raid beyond the cliff, not climbing the cliff itself. Beware of losing focus on the end state. Once the commander decides to execute a cliff assault, his planning is framed by the following:

a Surprise is paramount and silence must be kept to attain surprise.

9 Speed is essential, and all ropes available must be used.

3 The cliff head must be well organized.

d Initially, the raiding party is very vulnerable.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the planning framework? Let us now discuss the reconnaissance considerations.

2 (5 Min) RECONNAISSANCE CONSIDERATIONS. Recon teams should take an experienced assault climber team with them on insertion to ensure that:

a Climbing points can be established on the vertical obstacles that are within the unit's ability.

9 Suitable top and bottom anchors.

Q Be able to direct assault climbers to specific routes upon arrival.

TRANSITION: Now that we have discussed the reconnaissance considerations, are there any questions? Let us now talk about the tactical considerations.

3| (5 Min) TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS. If an enemy objective is in close proximity to a cliff-head, it is possible that defensive forces consider the cliff an obstacle, thus focusing their security to other more vulnerable areas. However, if the objective is outside small arms range from the cliff, the enemy will likely defend it in a 360-degree fashion. If this is the case, you have fatigued the assault unit with the climb while not achieving the desired surprise. An objective that is near the cliff assault site offers these advantages:

An enemy could assume that the cliff is not crossable and therefore is a protected "wall" which he can put his back against. Therefore concentrating his defenses out board from the cliff toward more likely avenues of approach.

b| The cliff edge to the objective distance is within our mortar range. Thus the assault unit does not have to expend the time and energy to haul mortars, crews and ammunition up the cliff to ensure fire support for their attack. Without a suitable platform, this advantage is void.

Q The enemy security forces may not be comfortable looking over the edge of a cliff under less than ideal conditions, potentially creating a gap in security that the assault unit can exploit.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the tactical considerations? Let us now discuss the possibility of using deception.

(5 Min) DECEPTION PLAN. Use noise factors and diversionary attacks.

a. Rivers or ocean waves breaking at the base of cliffs are common and mask the noise of a cliff assault very well.

3 Weapons fire and impacts from supporting arms can also mask the noise of a cliff assault, but it can also put the enemy on alert.

d Shelling on or near enemy positions on a regular basis at the same time over a period of days may cause the enemy to become accustomed to the disturbance and be less vigilant during these times.

NOTE: Do not plan to use fires on or near the cliff heads because this can render the cliffs dangerous and unstable due to loose rocks and rock fall.

d Use diversionary attacks by ground, air or indirect fire from multiple directions.

9 The cliff assault itself can be used as the diversionary attack.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions about the considerations of a deception plan? If not, let's talk about the use of communications.

5| (5 Min) COMMUNICATIONS. Use wire as the primary mode and radio as the alternative means to minimize radio traffic and ensure good communications.

H When using intra squad radios, caution must be taken because they have no crypto capability although they operate on military band only.

3 A no Comm plan should be designed on standard signals as per the unit's SOP to include a few additional signals to deal specifically with the cliff assault.

3 Key personnel should have a radio operator and/or runner.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions over communications? Let us now discuss the Fire Support Plan.

6| (5 Min) FIRE SUPPORT PLAN. Develop the Fire Support Plan using traditional deliberate attack parameters. When preparing a plan, consider the following:

3 Use of the attacking unit's organic mortars first.

3 Use artillery, if in range of the cliff assault.

3 Use of the Forward Air Controller for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

a Naval Gun Fire can be utilized but be aware that it cannot cover reverse slopes.

TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the planning of fire support? There are numerous considerations to look at if the cliff assault is being conducted during an amphibious assault.

7 (5 Min) AMPHIBIOUS CONSIDERATIONS. The amphibious considerations are:

3 Advance force reconnaissance operations should be employed.

a Hydrographic surveys/confirmatory beach reports should be conducted.

3 All landing vehicles/crafts must be spread loaded.

d Debarkation must be done quickly.

TRANSITION: Now that we have discussed planning, are there any questions? Once reconnaissance has confirmed the route and the plan is moving along, the planner must turn to organizing his force.

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