As you may have learned through the preceding information on this site, the TTOS Apex Combat Tracker programs have evolved from the old style of basic combat tracking, where one just follows tracks on the ground. Following evidence on the ground, in pursuit of the enemy, must incorporate modern day intelligence collection assets, and targeting systems of find, fix, finish, exploit and disseminate (F3EAD). Merely teaching tracking is insufficient, although it begins there. The TTOS Apex Doctrine demands a more fluid system, linked in a “chain” to support the advanced tactics and their outcomes; since Combat Tracking is, at its core, a coordinated targeting system. Anything less than TTOS Apex Combat Tracking tactics, techniques and procedures are wholly inadequate for today’s and tomorrow’s tasks. We have evolved and significantly changed our tactics and strategy at the core of the course instruction, creating the TTOS Apex model, for good reason. We put Combat Tracking in context, and train it in that manner.
Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage, and Assess (F2T2EA)
The target cycle exists in six stages – Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage, and Assess (F2T2EA) – a “kill chain” applied to field systems and techniques (like Combat Tracking). The goal under this system is to cut the time in each of the six stages; and in the points between each stage. This system provides greater operational fluidity and situational awareness and interoperability, through the merging of Combat Tracking tactics and advanced battlefield technical solutions; and the availability of data linked intelligence (C2). Training is geared towards enabling the soldier to see how the sensors, precision weapons, data links and command and control systems are connected together for maximum effectiveness against time-sensitive targets.
By merging ancient hunting and combat tactics with 21st Century technologies, techniques, tactics, and procedures, TTOS has created one the most innovative and effective methods for network defeat and manhunting to date. The TTOS Combat Tracker Program has been identified by the military as advanced counterinsurgency training. Combined with Pressure, Pursuit, Positive Identification and Interdiction Operations (P3I), and COIN Tactics. These tactics enable ground force commanders to transition fluidly from responding to enemy action, into offensive operations – with greatly enhanced situational awareness – which pursues the enemy to its base of operations and positively identifies the target for direct or indirect/lethal or non-lethal action.
The Combat Tracker Course
Combat tracking is designed to train ground force personnel’s visual perception, cognitive and deductive/inductive reasoning abilities to detect, analyze, collect and follow visual cues created by the passage or movement of personnel, vehicles, or animals through an area, battlefield or any tactical environment.
The Combat Tracker will use visual and technical tracking to close the time-distance gap with combatants to the point of positive identification by:
- Detecting and positively identifying tracks, prints and impressions*
- Conclusively linking observations made to enemy combatants or agents – targeting
- Analyzing and following the chain of evidence between the tracking team and the combatants
- Collecting intelligence and information left by combatants to develop a chase profile
- Conduct predictive analyses based on the combatants, TTP’s, movements, terrain and direction of travel – Tracking is about where they are going, not only about where they have been
- Provide time sensitive intelligence, facilitating integrated targeting, coordination of supporting forces and interdiction (or apprehension) efforts.
- Identify and confirm, enemy network infrastructures i.e., TTPs’, lines of communications, safe houses, sources of supply, link-up points and coordination forums in support of future operations to come.
The most important aspect relevant to the quality of the end-product is the process by which it takes shape. That is an age-old truism. Everything Combat Tracking, as you’ve probably learned up to this point, involves processes that are used in a mutually understood and systematic in their manner (common operational picture).
The complete Combat Tracking system integrates find, fix, track, target, engage and assess, with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (or just recce), find, fix, finish, exploit, analyze and disseminate (F3EAD), target footprint and gait analysis, spoor and sign visual indicators, assessing the age of spoor, footwear and tire impressions and pursuit operations and P3I; among various other topics covered within the program. This is why Combat Tracking is a “point of fusion” for so many individual skill sets, supporting a multitude of combat and clandestine operations.
Combat Tracker Course (Apex CTC)
TTOS Combat Tracker: Is a 5, 10, or 15 day course consisting of four key training modules: Visual/ Tehcnical Tracking; Site Exploitation and Collection; Targeting Effectiveness; and P3I Operations. The POI is designed to train personnel and units on how to detect, identify, collect, and analyze visual intelligence and physical evidence for:
- Operational Environment Mapping – Long Range Patrol/Scouting
- Mission Variable(s) Identification – Long Range Patrol/Scouting
- Information and Intelligence Collection – Evidence, Biometrics and Intel fusion
- COIN Operations – Specific and Targeted, “Separating the Fish from the Water”
- C-IED Operations – Network Defeat
- Targeting Operations – Combatants or HVT interdiction or apprehension (kill or capture)
- Trans-national border interdiction Operations – Counter Proliferation
- Pressure, Pursuit, Positive Identification and Interdiction (P3I) Operations – Pursuit Ops
- Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage and Assess – Combining P3I with Increased Operational Tempo
- Evaluate, Assess (collectively) and Disseminate – Planning for Operations to Come
The TTOS Combat Tracker Course trains and certifies US Army Combat Trackers.
Purpose: To train selected military personnel in visual and technical tracking skills, techniques, tactics and operational procedures for a variety of mission sets; (1) mapping the Operational Environment; (2) pursuit operations and target acquisition – F3EAD; (3) support to warrant based targeting; (4) personnel recovery techniques. Trained personnel will increase F3EAD effectiveness, and capable of utilizing these skills, techniques and tactics to conduct Pressure, Pursuit, Positive Identification and Interdiction Operations (P3I) of enemy forces.
Scope of Training: To provide students with skills, techniques and tactics to conduct combat tracking operations in; Manhunting and Targeting Operations – F3EAD; Pressure Pursuit, PID and Interdiction (P3I) Operations; Special Reconnaissance; Counter-Insurgency Operations; Attack the Network Operations; Counter IED Operations; Trans National Border Interdiction; and Unconventional Warfare. It is also the purpose of this course to provide military personnel; with the skills and techniques to identify and collect forensic evidence and intelligence for targeting; and enable personnel to evade enemy tracking teams. Trained combat tracker personnel will be capable of conducting a multitude of combat operations worldwide.
*On D-Day, after scaling the cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion found that the artillery pieces that they were tasked with destroying were gone. Finding fresh tracks, they followed them and located the artillery one click away and destroyed them, thus completing their vital task. This was one of many instances of Combat Tracking playing a decisive role in a decisive battle.