combined arms formations. The brigade commander determines the mix of companies in a task force.
Similarly, the task force commander's estimate may require cross-attaching platoons to form one or
more company teams for specific missions.
Heavy and Light Force Mix.
a. Heavy forces (armor and mechanized infantry) and light forces (infantry, light infantry,
airborne, and air assault units) can operate together effectively, provided the commander tailors his force
to the factors of METT-T. The employment of heavy-light forces permits the commander to maximize
his combat power by offsetting the inherent weaknesses of one type unit with the inherent strengths of
another type unit. In this sense, heavy-light operations are merely an extension of the combined arms
b. As you may know, not all situations are suitable for heavy-light operations. In fact,
organizing heavy and light force battalions into heavy-light or light-heavy task forces is by exception.
Why? Because each type of force (heavy or light) best operates in those environments which use their
strength, i.e., heavy units operate best where they can use their mobility and firepower unrestricted, and
light units operate best in restricted terrain, built up areas, or during hours of limited visibility where the
stealth qualities of individual soldiers can be exploited.
c. Heavy and light forces must not be considered interchangeable simply because they find
themselves on the same battlefield. The heavy-light force must be matched to the current METT-T
factors. The terrain and weather must be analyzed in terms of their effect on mobility and weapon
systems. In particular, the unique capabilities of the light force (s) should be exploited to accomplish
missions not suitable for heavy forces, and vice versa.
d. As you may recall, the maneuver brigade HQ is organized to provide the command and
control facilities necessary to employ attached and supporting units. Maneuver battalions and additional
units are placed in a command relationship by the brigade in order to accomplish the brigade mission in
an anticipated operational environment. A battalion task force (TF) is one of these command
relationships, which is a temporary grouping of battalion-sized units of the combat arms consisting of a
battalion control HQ, with at least one of its major subordinate elements (a company), and the
attachment of at least one company-sized element of another combat or combat support arm.
Heavy-Light Battalion Task Force.
a. A heavy-light task force is organized by combining armor or mechanized infantry battalions
(the heavy units) with a battalion from a light force (infantry, light infantry, airborne, or air assault
forces). Figure 1-11, page 1-16, depicts a heavy-light battalion task force comprised of an armor
battalion HQ and three of its four organic tank companies. In this example, an infantry company from
an infantry battalion is attached to the armor