The protection warfighting function is the related tasks and systems that preserve the force so that commanders can apply maximum combat power to accomplish the mission. Commanders incorporate protection when they understand and visualize capabilities available for protection.

The supporting tasks of the protection warfighting function are:

  • Conduct operational area security.
  • Employ safety techniques (including fratricide avoidance).
  • Implement operations security.
  • Provide intelligence support to protection.
  • Implement physical security procedures.
  • Apply antiterrorism measures.
  • Conduct law and order.
  • Conduct survivability operations.
  • Provide force health protection.
  • Conduct chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear operations.
  • Provide explosive ordnance disposal and protection support.
  • Coordinate air and missile defense.
  • Conduct personnel recovery operations.
  • Conduct internment and resettlement.

Protection is integrated throughout the operations process to provide a synchronization of efforts and an integration of capabilities. The protection warfighting function tasks are incorporated into the process in a layered and redundant approach to complement and reinforce actions to achieve force protection.

Protection Integration Into the Operations Process

Planning is the first step toward effective protection. Commanders consider the most likely threats and hazards and decide which personnel, physical assets, and information to protect.

Commanders and staffs apply protection considerations in relation to the mission and the operational environment throughout the operations process. They discern hazards that are preventable and divide threats into those that may be deterred and those that may require the application of security or defensive measures to achieve protection.

The protection cell/working group monitors and evaluates several critical ongoing functions associated with execution for operational actions or changes that impact protection cell proponents, which include:

  • Ensuring that the protection focus supports the commander’s intent and concept of the operation.
  • Reviewing and recommending adjustment to the commander’s critical information requirements and essential elements of friendly information derived from protection tasks.
  • Reviewing changes to graphic control measures and boundaries for the increased risk of fratricide.
  • Monitoring and evaluating personnel recovery operations.
  • Monitoring the employment of security forces for gaps in protection or unintended patterns.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of liaison personnel for protection activities.
  • Evaluating movement coordination and control to protect critical paths.
  • Monitoring adjacent unit coordination procedures for terrain management vulnerabilities.
  • Monitoring the readiness rates of response forces involved in fixed-site protection.
  • Monitoring force health protection.
  • Coordinating continuously with unified action partners.
  • Coordinating with the Mission Management Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, on personnel recovery operations.

Staffs monitor and evaluate variances in threats and hazards, vulnerabilities, capabilities, risks, and priorities. They also track the status of protection assets and evaluate the effectiveness of the protection systems as they are employed. If an action appears to be failing in its desired effect, it may be attributed to personnel or equipment system failure, insufficient resource allocation at vulnerable points, or a variance in anticipated threat combat power ratio.

For more information: ADP 3-37 Protection