Cove Video | Formation Gap Crossing PME
02/04/2024

Have an inside look at 7 Brigade's professional military education session, discussing a "wet gap" crossing, or an assault river crossing, in this video filmed at Gallipoli Barracks. Gap crossings are a complex and important Combined Arms activity as they require integration of all formation assets and divisional enablers to achieve a single goal. Understanding the fundamentals, principles, and tenets are all important when starting to put theory into practice.

"If you have a look at our region. Every MSR along our coastal plain crosses waterway, after waterway, after waterway. So we are probably not going to do this once; we are going to do this again, and again, and again."
– LTCOL Malcolm, CO 2/14 LHR (QMI)

The challenge is to minimise the impact of rivers or gaps on the formation's ability to conduct manoeuvre. The force is vulnerable while crossing and cannot effectively fight while it is split by a river or gap. Studying this complex activity now will aid in executing it in the field.

The scope of this video covers:

  • A welcome from Brigadier Michael Say, DSC, the Commander of 7 Brigade.
  • CO Engineers explains crossing theories and the overarching lines of command and control. From seizure of a bridge to hasty crossings and even covert theories, he highlights the vital requirement of gaining an early concept of the terrain to identify opportunities for deception.
  • CO Guns discusses Joint Fires and Effects considerations and proposes the ways and means of fires, and the importance of deep shaping.
  • MAJ Aaron Newfield talks about C4I Considerations and emphasises that planning must always be threat responsive. 
  • Combat Service Support (CSS) considerations is covered by CO CSSB. LTCOL Humphreys identifies the gap crossing as a critical logistics event due to the dislocation of forces which necessitates the 5 Ds for CSS considerations, being: distance, demand, destination, duration, dependency, and also C2.
  • CO 2 Health Battalion provides an overview of the health considerations’ for a gap crossing that is deep and opposed, which means preparing for a mass casualty event. This tactical picture means health considerations are based on a trade-off between proximity and protection.
  • CO ACR covers off enabling elements such as Military Police support to crossing (timestamp: 1:49:45) by assisting in generating Traffic Control Points, reconnaissance of key routes, and more. 
  • Division HQ representative LTCOL Stort discusses Div-level support factors. COMD FSG provides advice on general and above logistic support that enables the Bde in this activity.

This video was recording as a joint PME initiative with 7th Brigade.