Leaders use well-planned, efficiently run rehearsals to accomplish the following:
1. Reinforce training and increase proficiency in critical tasks.
2. Reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan.
3. Integrate and synchronize the actions of all elements.
4. Confirm coordination requirements between elements within the organization.
5. Confirm each individual's understanding of the mission, concept of the operation, the direct fire plan, anticipated contingencies, and possible actions and reactions for various situations that may arise during the operations.
Rehearsal techniques include the following:
1. Map Rehearsal. A map rehearsal is usually conducted as part of a confirmation brief involving subordinate leaders or portions of their elements. The leader uses the map and overlay to guide participants as they brief their role in the operation. If necessary, leaders can use a sketch map. A sketch map provides the same information as a terrain model and can be used at any time.
2. Sand Table or Terrain Model. This reduced-force or full-force technique employs a small-scale sand table or model that depicts graphic control measures and important terrain features for reference and orientation. Participants walk around the sand table or model to practice the actions of their own elements in relation to other members of the platoon (see earlier Terrain Model post under Rehearsal Techniques for additional detail).
3. Radio Rehearsal. This is a reduced-force or full-force rehearsal conducted when the situation does not allow the platoon to gather at one location. Subordinate elements check their communications systems and rehearse key elements of the platoon plan.
4. Reduced-Force Rehearsal. In this rehearsal, leaders discuss the mission while moving over key terrain or similar terrain.
5. Full-Force Rehearsal. This technique is used during a full-force rehearsal. Rehearsals begin in good visibility over open terrain and become increasingly realistic until conditions approximate those expected in the AO.
NOTE: If security allows and time permits, the unit should always strive to conduct a full-force rehearsal of the plan.