FM 3-100.21: CONTRACTORS ON THE BATTLFIELD
Official US Army Field Manual in Acrobat PDF file format.
Contractors have always accompanied our armed forces. However, the increasingly hi-tech nature of our equipment and rapid deployment requirements have significantly increased the need to properly integrate contractor support into all military operations. Recent reductions in military structure, coupled with high mission requirements and the unlikely prospect of full mobilization, mean that to reach a minimum of required levels of support, deployed military forces will often have to be significantly augmented with contractor support. As these trends continue, the future battlefield will require ever increasing numbers of often critically important contractor employees. Accordingly, commanders, staffs, and soldiers must be more familiar with how to plan for and use contractors effectively. This manual, along with an established, formal training program, provides the foundation upon which the Army can promote contractors on the battlefield education.
Field Manual 3-100.21 (100-21) addresses the use of contractors as an added resource for the commander to consider when planning support for an operation. Its purpose is to define the role of contractors, describe their relationship to the combatant commanders and the Army service component commanders, and present their mission of augmenting operations and weapon systems support. This manual is intended for commanders and their staff at all echelons, program executive officers/program managers, and others involved in the planning, management, and use of contractors in an area of operations. It is also a guide for Army contracting professionals and contractors in implementing planning decisions and understanding how contractors will be managed and supported by the military forces they augment.
The prologue introduces contractor support through a notional narrative scenario that demonstrates the process of how contractors would realistically be planned for, supported, and used. Although many contractors support our armed forces, most commanders, staffs and soldiers do not fully understand the differences between contractor workforce, Department of the Army civilians, and military support units. Accordingly, the manual briefly describes a contract and a contractor, their effect on the Army support structure, and the distinctions between soldier support, Department of the Army civilian support, and contractor support. Additionally, it outlines the governing principles that support the use of contractors and addresses Army policy on contractors on the battlefield in an operational construct
Roles and responsibilities involved in planning contractor support, deploying and redeploying contractor personnel and equipment, and managing, supporting, and protecting contractors are discussed in the manual. It addresses the planning process and relates the planning for contractor support to the military decision-making process. It also addresses the need for a risk assessment that supports the decision process. Additionally, this field manual includes planning considerations unique to contractor support. A discussion on how contractor requirements are integrated into operational plans is also included.
Deployment and redeployment of contractors, including specific guidelines on predeployment processing, time-phased force deployment data development, and reception in the area of operations are presented in detail. Also covered is contractor management during operations, to include a discussion on contractor visibility and accountability and how they will be integrated into the operational support scheme. Included is the support contractors may require from the military in order to adequately perform their support mission, such as facilities, transportation, and life support. Finally, force protection and how contractors will be protected from potential enemy action are also discussed.
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