09-37: Small Unit Operations in Afghanistan Handbook by Brice Johnson

This handbook will assist Soldiers and small-unit leaders in preparing for the difficulties and challenges they will face when deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The handbook specifically addresses the unique geographic and cultural aspects small units can expect to encounter in the Afghan theater of operations. While current U.S. formations have been successfully conducting counterinsurgency operations in Iraq, the infrastructure, terrain, culture, and enemy are very different in OEF. Operations in many parts of the Afghan theater are still heavily weighted in favor of direct lethal engagements against a hardened and determined enemy force.

The average enemy fighter in Afghanistan has been fighting continuously for the last 30 years. As a nation, the people of Afghanistan have been fighting for thousands of years. It should come as no surprise that the enemy has developed very effective tactics, techniques, and procedures to combat a technologically superior enemy that relies heavily on vehicles for transport and supply. This enemy has repeatedly demonstrated an advanced understanding of U.S. tactics and will exploit any mistake with catastrophic results.

Key concepts covered in this publication include:
  • Command and control
  • Soldier stamina and fitness
  • Marksmanship
  • Medical and casualty evacuation
  • Mounted and dismounted battle drills
  • Protection
  • Interpreters