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a mission formulated by the superior commander for units of various sizes involving achievement of a certain goal by a set time. The substance of the combat mission depends on the type of combat operations; possible enemy use of weapons of mass destruction; the forces, composition, and nature of enemy operations; the composition of one’s own forces and weapons and the combat capability of the unit (of whatever size); terrain conditions, state of the weather, and other factors. On the offensive, for example, the combat mission involves destroying enemy forces in a certain area to a determined depth and taking an appointed line or region; in defense, it is destroying the advancing enemy and holding certain strong points or areas of land.
The combat mission is delivered to those who are to perform it in a written or oral operation order, through a separate battle instruction, or by the delivery of order charts to the one who is to carry it out. In subunits the combat mission is announced orally, usually on the specific terrain, by the commander in person to his subordinates. The combat mission is the basis for determining the nature of and procedures for combat operations, for organizing cooperation, and for ensuring the control of troops in combat. After the commander receives the combat mission, he evaluates it so that he has a clear idea of the supreme commander’s intention and of the role which the unit or subunit is destined to play in achieving the goal of the forthcoming combat operations. Fulfillment of the combat mission is the primary criterion for evaluation of troop operations.
P. I. SIROTKIN