Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70
Survival Movement In Hostile Areas
20-1. Preparation is a requirement for all missions. When planning, you must
consider how to avoid capture and return to your unit. Evasion plans must be
prepared in conjunction with unit standing operating procedures (SOPs) and
current joint doctrine. You must also consider any courses of action (COAs) that
you or your unit will take.
EVASION PLAN OF ACTION
20-2. Successful evasion is dependent on effective prior planning. The
responsibility ultimately rests on the individual concerned. Sound evasion
planning should incorporate intelligence briefings—selected areas for evasion;
area intelligence descriptions; E&R area studies; survival, evasion,
resistance, and escape (SERE) guides and bulletins; isolated personnel reports;
and an evasion plan of action (EPA).
20-3. The study and research needed to develop the EPA will make you aware of
the current situation in your mission area. Your EPA will let recovery forces
know your probable actions should you have to move to avoid capture.
20-4. You should start preparing even before premission planning. Portions of
the EPA are the unit SOP. Include the EPA in your training. Planning starts in
your daily training.
20-5. The EPA is your entire plan for your return to friendly control. It
consists of five paragraphs written in the operation order format. You can take
most of Paragraph I—Situation, with you on the mission. Appendix
I contains the EPA format and indicates what portion of the EPA you can take
on the mission.
20-6. A comprehensive EPA is a valuable asset to the soldier trapped behind
enemy lines attempting to avoid capture. To complete Paragraph I, know your
unit's assigned area or concentrate on potential mission areas of the world.
Many open or closed sources contain the information you need to complete an EPA.
Open sources may include newspapers, magazines, country or area handbooks, area
studies, television, radio, internet, persons familiar with the area, and
libraries. Use caution with open source information; it may be unreliable.
Closed sources may include area studies, area assessments, SERE contingency
guides, SECRET Internet Protocol Router Network, various classified field
manuals, and intelligence reports.
20-7. Prepare your EPA in three phases. During your normal training, prepare
Paragraph I—Situation. Prepare Paragraphs II, III, IV, and V during your
premission planning. After deployment into an area, continually update your EPA
based on situation or mission changes and intelligence updates.
20-8. The EPA is a guide. You may add or delete certain portions based on the
mission. The EPA may be a recovery force's only means of determining your
location and intentions after you start to evade. It is an essential tool for
your survival and return to friendly control.
STANDING OPERATING PROCEDURES
20-9. Your unit SOPs are valuable tools that will help you plan your EPA.
When faced with a dangerous situation requiring immediate action, it is not the
time to discuss options; it is the time to act. Many of the techniques used
during small unit movement can be carried over to fit requirements for moving
and returning to friendly control. Items from the SOP should include, but are
not limited to—
Movement team size (three to four persons per team).
Team communications (technical and nontechnical).
Actions at danger areas.
Immediate action drills.
Helicopter recovery devices and procedures.
Security procedures during movement and at hide sites.
20-10. Rehearsals work effectively for reinforcing these SOP skills and also
provide opportunities for evaluation and improvement.
NOTIFICATION TO MOVE AND AVOID CAPTURE
20-11. An isolated unit has several general COAs it can take to avoid the
capture of the group or individuals. These COAs are not courses the commander
can choose instead of his original mission. He cannot arbitrarily abandon the
assigned mission. Rather, he may adopt these COAs after completing his mission
when his unit cannot complete its assigned mission (because of combat power
losses) or when he receives orders to extract his unit from its current
position. If such actions are not possible, the commander may decide to have the
unit try to move to avoid capture and return to friendly control. In either
case, as long as there is communication with higher headquarters, that
headquarters will make the decision.
20-12. If the unit commander loses contact with higher headquarters, he must
make the decision to move or wait. He bases his decision on many factors,
including the mission, rations and ammunition on hand, casualties, the chance of
relief by friendly forces, and the tactical situation. The commander of an
isolated unit faces other questions. What COA will inflict maximum damage on the
enemy? What COA will assist in completing the higher headquarters' overall
20-13. Movement teams conduct the execution portion of the plan when notified
by higher headquarters or, if there is no contact with higher headquarters, when
the highest ranking person decides that the situation requires the unit to try
to escape capture or destruction. Movement team leaders receive their
notification through prebriefed signals. Once the signal to try to avoid capture
is given, it must be passed rapidly to all personnel. Notify higher
headquarters, if possible. If unable to communicate with higher headquarters,
leaders must recognize that organized resistance has ended, and that
organizational control has ceased. Command and control is now at the movement
team or individual level and is returned to higher organizational control only
after reaching friendly lines.