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forces and the territory concerned. It is designed to  accomplish  several  tasks,  including  the following: Embarkation  by  combat  loading  methods Movement   to   the   amphibious   objective area,  including  defense  against  air,  sub- marine,  and  surface  attack Preassault operations (preparation of the objective  area),  which  include  gaining and  maintaining  local  air  superiority; destruction  of  enemy  forces  and  installa- tions  by  naval  aircraft,  shipboard  guns, and missiles; clearance of mines and under- water  obstacles;  reconnaissance  of  beaches by  underwater  demolition  groups;  deter- mination  of  exits  inland;  and  isolation  of the  objective  area Ship-to-shore  movement  by  which  troops and their weapons, vehicles, and supplies are   moved   ashore   by   helicopters   and landing  craft,  or  both Clearance  of  beach  obstacles  and  move- ment inland with tank, artillery, and light and heavy vehicles Naval  gunfire,  missile,  and  air  bombard- ment  in  support  of  the  assault  and  the movement  inland Landing  of  supplies  and  logistic  support buildup Although  this  list  of  tasks  is  incomplete,  it illustrates the many requirements that must be considered and resolved. An amphibious assault can  succeed  only  if  it  is  carefully  planned, organized, and timed. Planning is the responsibility of  the  commander  and  an  assigned  staff.  It demands  a  complete  knowledge  of  the  various combat   arms   employed   and   the   numerous problems  unique  to  an  amphibious  operation. EMBARKATION In a major amphibious operation, troops are assembled at various ports with their equipment and vehicles. Consistent with extremely detailed loading  plans  formulated  during  the  planning phase,  designated at specified times, forces. ships  arrive  in  these  ports ready  to  embark  the  landing Each  item  of  equipment  is  loaded  aboard  in reverse order of the priority in which it is desired on  the  hostile  beach.  The  combat  cargo  officer of  the  ship  and  the  commander  of  the  landing force  unit  to  be  embarked  in  that  ship  prepare individual  loading  plans  for  each  ship.  The commanding  officer  of  the  ship  reviews  and approves  the  loading  plan. As  soon  as  the  ship  is  moored,  it  is  in  all respects ready for loading. All landing craft have been  off-loaded,  and  appropriate  cargo-handling gear has been placed in readiness. All cargo booms have  been  rigged  as  necessary  to  handle  the material to be stowed in each hold. The advance party of troops boards the ship at the embarkation port and proceeds immediately with the details of loading. When all cargo is aboard, the remainder of troops embark. The ship then leaves its berth and  proceeds  to  an  anchorage  to  await  the forming of the convoy. In crowded ports with few facilities, the ship may be loaded while at anchor by a procedure similar to that for ships which are moored. The only difference is that all cargo and equipment  must  be  moved  out  to  the  ship  by boats,  barges,  or  other  lighterage. REHEARSALS The  schedule  for  an  amphibious  operation usually allows for one or more rehearsals carried out under conditions approximating those of the anticipated  operation.  All  units  that  will  take  part in the actual operation should participate in the rehearsal.  Rehearsals  test  the  adequacy  of  the plans for the operation as well as the familiarity of  all  echelons  with  the  plans.  They  also  test the  timing  of  detailed  operations,  the  combat readiness   of   participating   forces,   and   the effectiveness  of  communications.  If  practicable, rehearsals include naval gunfire and air support with  live  ammunition.  Unloading  is  carried  out as  determined  during  planning  to  the  degree needed  for  planners  to  effectively  test  tactical  and logistic  plans.  Unloading  tests  the  operation  of the ship-to-shore movement control organization and  the  functioning  of  the  shore  party  and  all naval components. Following each rehearsal, all levels   of   command   critique   the   exercise   to emphasize lessons learned and to correct mistakes. MOVEMENT  TO  THE  OBJECTIVE Every stage of movement of the amphibious task force to the objective area must be planned. That  includes  departure  of  participating  ships 12-16

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