The complete tactical guide to attacking in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

When the commander decides to assault, or the opportunity to attack occurs throughout combat operations, the execution of that assault must mass the consequences of overwhelming combat energy towards chosen parts of the enemy drive with a tempo and intensity that can’t be matched by the enemy. The ensuing combat shouldn’t be a contest between near equals. Attackers have to be decided to seek determination on the bottom of their choosing by way of the deliberate synchronization and employment of the combined arms group.

3-1. Assaults happen along a continuum defined at one finish by fragmentary orders that direct the execution of quickly executed battle drills by forces immediately out there. The different end of the continuum consists of revealed, detailed orders with multiple branches and sequels, detailed information of all elements of enemy tendencies, a pressure that has been process organized specifically for the operation, and the conduct of in depth rehearsals. Most assaults fall between the ends of the continuum as opposed to either extreme. (ADRP Three-90 discusses this continuum between hasty and deliberate operations.)

3-2. This text addresses these issues unique to the attack activity. These common offensive warfighting perform issues mentioned in chapter 1 continue to apply. There are not any distinctive sustainment and protection useful issues that apply solely to the assault.

Three-3. Once a commander determines the scheme of maneuver, the commander activity organizes the drive to give every unit enough combat power to accomplish its mission. The commander normally organizes the drive into a security pressure, a principal physique, and a reserve, all supported by some sort of sustainment organization. The commander ought to complete any modifications in activity organization in time to permit models to conduct rehearsals with their hooked up and supporting parts. The greatest place and time for an attacking drive to activity arrange is when it’s in an meeting space.

Three-Four. Beneath regular circumstances, a commander assets dedicated safety forces during an assault provided that the attack will uncover one or more flanks or the rear of the attacking drive as it advances. In this case, the commander designates a flank or rear safety pressure and assigns it a guard or display mission, relying on the mission variables of mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and help obtainable, time obtainable, and civil issues (METT-TC). Usually an attacking unit does not want in depth forward safety forces; most attacks are launched from positions in contact with the enemy, which reduces the usefulness of a separate forward safety pressure. An exception occurs when the attacking unit is transitioning from the defense to an assault and had previously established a security area as a part of the protection.

3-5. The commander organizes the primary body into mixed arms formations to conduct the decisive operation and essential shaping operations. The commander aims the decisive operation toward the decisive point which may include the quick and decisive destruction of the enemy pressure, its will to resist, seizure of a terrain goal, or the defeat of the enemy’s plan. The scheme of maneuver identifies the main target of the decisive operation. All the drive’s obtainable assets function in concert to guarantee the success of the decisive operation. The subordinate unit or models designated to conduct the decisive operation can change in the course of the course of the attack. If the commander expects to conduct a breach operation in the course of the attack, the commander designates an assault, breach, and help drive.

Three-6. If it is impractical to determine initially when or the place the echelon’s decisive operation will probably be, akin to during a hasty attack, the commander retains flexibility by arranging forces in depth, holding out robust reserves, and sustaining centralized management of long-range hearth help techniques. As soon because the tactical state of affairs clarifies sufficient to permit the commander to designate the decisive operation, the commander focuses out there assets to help that decisive operation’s achievement of its goal. Enemy actions, minor modifications in the state of affairs, or the shortage of success by other parts cannot be allowed to divert both drive or its effects from the decisive operation.

Three-7. The commander may have to designate a unit or models to conduct shaping operations to create home windows of opportunity for executing the decisive operation. The commander allocates the unit or models assigned to conduct shaping operations the minimal combat energy mandatory to accomplish their missions, since overwhelming combat energy cannot be employed all over the place. Models conducting shaping operations often have a wider area of operations (AO) than these conducting a decisive operation. If the commander has enough forces to conduct echelon shaping operations, the commander can assign the duties of comply with and assume or comply with and help to subordinate models. (Appendix B defines these two tactical mission tasks.)

Three-8. The commander uses the reserve to exploit success, defeat enemy counterattacks, or restore momentum to a stalled assault. Once dedicated, the reserve’s actions normally turn out to be or reinforce the echelon’s decisive operation, and the commander makes each effort to reconstitute one other reserve from models made obtainable by the revised state of affairs. Typically a commander’s most troublesome and essential determination considerations the time, place, and circumstances for committing the reserve. The reserve shouldn’t be a dedicated drive; it isn’t used as a comply with and help drive or a comply with and assume drive.

Three-9. In the assault, the combat energy allotted to the reserve depends totally on the extent of uncertainty concerning the enemy, especially the power of any anticipated enemy counterattacks. The commander solely needs to useful resource a small reserve to reply to unanticipated enemy reactions when detailed information about the enemy exists. When the state of affairs is relatively clear and enemy capabilities are restricted, the reserve might include a small fraction of the command. When the state of affairs is obscure, the reserve might initially include nearly all of the commander’s combat power.

Three-10. As well as, the power and composition of the reserve range with the reserve’s contemplated missions, the forces obtainable, the type of offensive maneuver chosen, the terrain, and the danger accepted. For example, in a hasty assault the reserve can include up to one-third of the pressure’s combat energy. Alternatively, in a deliberate attack the commander sizes the reserve to defeat the enemy’s projected obtainable counterattack forces. The commander shouldn’t constitute the reserve by weakening the decisive operation. A reserve should have mobility equal to or higher than probably the most dangerous enemy ground menace, and have the ability to counter that menace.

3-11. In an attack the commander usually locates the reserve to the rear of the unit, putting the decisive operation in a location that provides most protection from hostile remark and hearth. Nevertheless, the reserve have to be in a position to transfer shortly to areas the place it’s needed in totally different contingencies. This is most certainly to happen if the enemy has robust counterattack forces. For armored and Stryker outfitted reserve forces, the key factor is cross-country mobility or street networks. For mild forces, the important thing elements are the prevailing street community, the supply of vans and helicopters, or the supply of pickup zones (PZs) to be used by supporting helicopters that allow the reserve to conduct air assault operations. The commander prioritizes the positioning of the reserve to reinforce the success of the decisive operation first, then to counter the worst-case enemy counterattack.

3-12. The commander assets sustaining operations to help the attacking pressure. A maneuver battalion commander and that individual’s supporting brigade help battalion (BSB) commander organizes the maneuver battalion’s supporting sustainment belongings into combat and area trains. The Stryker brigade combat staff (SBCT) sustainment group is totally different in structure from that of armored brigade combat teams (ABCTs) and infantry brigade combat teams (IBCTs). Greater echelon commanders appoint somebody to control sustaining operations within their echelon help areas. For instance, this is typically the BSB commander in an ABCT and the commander of a division’s hooked up maneuver enhancement brigade (MEB). In an attack, the commander tries to place sustainment models properly forward. From these ahead places they will sustain the attacking pressure and provide priority of help to the models conducting the decisive operation. As the attacking pressure advances, sustainment models and capabilities displace ahead as required to shorten supply strains, utilizing displacement methods designed to guarantee uninterrupted help to maneuver models. The measurement of the drive a commander devotes to the echelon help area security mission depends upon the menace in the attacking drive’s help area. A big enemy menace requires the commander to useful resource a tactical combat pressure. (FM Three-90-2 discusses techniques related to the conduct of space security operations.)


Word. An Military Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) should not be confused with a Marine Expeditionary Brigade. They are two very totally different organizations with vastly totally different capabilities.




Three-13. Models conducting offensive actions are assigned an AO inside which to operate. Inside the AO the commander usually designates the next management measures no matter whether or not the assault takes place in a contiguous or noncontiguous setting:

  • Areas of operations for subordinate models of battalion measurement or larger.
  • A part line as the road of departure (LD), which may also be the line of contact (LC).
  • The time to initiate the operation.
  • The goal.

If mandatory, a commander can use either an axis of advance or a path of assault to further control maneuver forces. (Determine 3-1 depicts minimal management measures for an attack.)

Determine 3-1. Minimal attack control measures

Three-14. A commander can use another control measures mandatory to control the attack. In need of the LD or LC, the commander might designate meeting areas and assault positions where the unit prepares for offensive actions or waits for the establishment of the required circumstances to initiate the assault. Past the LD or LC the commander might designate checkpoints, part strains (PLs), possible strains of deployment (PLDs), assault positions, direct hearth control measures, and oblique hearth help coordination measures. Between the PLD and the target a commander can use a last coordination line (FCL), assault positions, help by hearth and attack by hearth positions, and a time of assault to additional control the ultimate stage of the attack. Past the target the commander can impose a restrict of advance (LOA), if the commander does not want the unit to conduct exploitation or a pursuit. (Appendix A discusses these management measures.)

Three-15. In an assault during limited-visibility circumstances, the commander maintains management over the motion of all attacking parts. Sometimes, further control measures are imposed past these used in a daylight assault. These further measures might embrace utilizing some extent of departure (PD) and a path of attack.

3-16. In an attack, friendly forces seek to place the enemy in a place the place the enemy can easily be defeated or destroyed. The commander seeks to maintain the enemy off-balance whereas regularly decreasing the enemy’s choices. In an attack the commander focuses movement and maneuver results, supported by the opposite warfighting features, on these enemy forces that seek to forestall the unit from engaging in its mission and seizing its goal. Planning helps a commander synchronize the consequences of combat power via the army decisionmaking course of and troop main procedures outlined in ADRP 5-0.

Three-17. Hearth superiority is that diploma of dominance in the fires of one drive over another that allows that drive to conduct maneuver at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the enemy. The commander plans to focus the consequences of pleasant methods to obtain hearth superiority and permit friendly maneuver forces to breach the enemy’s defensive network. The drive should achieve and keep hearth superiority at important points through the attack. Having hearth superiority permits the commander to maneuver forces without prohibitive losses. The commander positive aspects hearth superiority through the use of quite a lot of techniques, methods, and procedures. This consists of utilizing counterfires and precision fires, suppressing enemy positions, and destroying key amenities and belongings. Attaining hearth superiority requires the commander to reap the benefits of—

  • The range, precision, and lethality of obtainable weapon methods.
  • Momentary info superiority ensuing from a mix of friendly info administration; information management; intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance operations; and joint info operations and Army inform and influence and cyber electromagnetic actions.
  • Movement to place the enemy in a place of disadvantage the place enemy weapon methods might be destroyed, one or more at a time, with little danger to pleasant weapon methods.

3-18. The commander states the desired impact of fires on the enemy weapon methods, akin to suppression or destruction, as a part of the planning process. The commander assigns subordinate models their missions and imposes these management measures essential to synchronize and keep management over the operation.

Three-19. Utilizing the enemy situational and weapons templates beforehand developed, the commander determines the possible line of contact and enemy set off strains. Because the commander arrays subordinate parts to shape the battlefield, friendly weapon methods are matched towards the enemy’s to decide the PLD. Once the commander determines the PLD, the commander establishes how lengthy it takes subordinates to move from the LD to the PLD and any help by hearth positions the attack requires. The commander establishes when and where the drive should maneuver into enemy direct-fire vary.

3-20. In addition to undertaking the mission, each assault plan should include provisions for exploiting success or any advantages which will arise through the operation. The commander exploits success by aggressively executing the plan, promoting subordinate leader initiative, and using models that may rapidly execute battle drills.

Three-21. Within the plan of attack, the commander seeks to surprise the enemy by choosing an sudden path, time, sort, or power for the assault and by exploiting the success of army deception operations. Shock delays enemy reactions, overloads and confuses enemy command and control, induces psychological shock in the enemy, and reduces the coherence of the enemy protection. The commander achieves tactical surprise by attacking in dangerous weather and over seemingly impassible terrain, conducting feints and demonstrations, sustaining a high tempo, destroying enemy forces, and employing sound operations security (OPSEC). For instance, a unit in extremely hilly or mountainous terrain might contemplate transporting mild infantry forces to the heights and have them maneuver down the terrain. The commander might plan totally different attack occasions for the decisive and shaping operations to mislead the enemy and permit the shifting of supporting fires to successive attacking echelons. Nevertheless, simultaneous attacks present a way to maximize the consequences of mass in the initial assault. Additionally they forestall the enemy from concentrating defensive fires towards successive attacks.

3-22. In planning, the commander and subordinate leaders concentrate on the routes, formations, and navigational aids they’ll use to traverse the ground from the LD or PD to the target. Some terrain places might require the attacking unit to change its combat formation, path of motion, or motion method when it reaches those places. The unit can submit guides at these crucial places to ensure management over the motion.

Three-23. The commander attacks targets all through the depth of the enemy’s protection to maintain the enemy off stability and restrict enemy freedom of action. Nevertheless, on the level of the decisive operation, the commander concentrates the consequences of overwhelming combat power towards the enemy to shatter the cohesion of the defense. The commander accomplishes this by making use of combat energy towards the enemy at a degree of violence and in a fashion that the enemy can’t match. For example, the commander might focus an Army mixed arms battalion’s shock motion and firepower towards one enemy rifle platoon’s swiftly ready defensive position.

Three-24. One other facet of concentration is the power to quickly concentrate drive effects corresponding to deadly fires and digital warfare capabilities during motion. This is particularly important when crossing linear obstacles. Every subordinate component tends to transfer out independently when it completes passage via a choke point. This unbiased movement detracts from the power of the whole pressure to rapidly focus combat energy on the far aspect of the impediment.

Three-25. Daylight attacks permit friendly forces to successfully use their gear while facilitating management of their maneuver. They’re the least aggravating psychologically and physically on the attacking models. One major disadvantage is that the enemy drive can successfully use its weapon methods to oppose the attack. Another drawback is that it does not reap the benefits of the Army’s usually superior night time imaginative and prescient capabilities.

Three-26. The mission variables of METT-TC normally require an assault carried out throughout limited visibility to be extra deliberate in nature than a daylight assault, besides when it occurs as part of the follow-up to a daylight assault or as part of an exploitation or pursuit operation. The commander planning a night assault considers how limited visibility complicates controlling models, Soldiers, and fires. Limited visibility additionally complicates identifying and partaking targets, navigating and shifting without detection, locating, treating, and evacuating casualties, and finding and bypassing or breaching obstacles.

Three-27. Commanders attack in limited-visibility circumstances to reap the benefits of American night-vision and navigational superiority towards most potential enemy floor forces. Intensively educated forces outfitted for this surroundings have vital advantages over an enemy who’s unprepared for limited-visibility operations. When the friendly pressure’s limited-visibility operations capabilities are significantly higher than the enemy’s, limited-visibility attacks might turn out to be the traditional sort of assault. Table 3-1 on page Three-6 outlines the benefits and disadvantages of conducting limited-visibility attacks.

Three-28. Extremely-trained models outfitted with trendy night-vision units conduct limited-visibility attacks comparable to the best way they conduct daylight assaults. Models without in depth night-vision units can use the darkness to their advantage to conceal their movement, allowing them to get as shut to the enemy positions as attainable, if the enemy also doesn’t have in depth night-vision capabilities. Troops which might be properly educated for limited-visibility operations and take full benefit of the superiority of their night-vision gear achieve vital tactical and psychological advantages when attacking the enemy at night time or in other circumstances of lowered visibility. The commander ought to perceive the totally different night-vision capabilities of all parts collaborating in the assault, to embrace the enemy’s night-vision capabilities, and make any changes crucial to the plan based mostly on these differences. The commander should reap the benefits of superior night-fighting capabilities every time attainable.

Desk 3-1. Advantages and disadvantages of limited-visibility attacks

Advantages of limited-visibility assaults

Disadvantages of limited-visibility assaults

  • Defenses are extra prone to infiltration.

  • Darkness can conceal the movement of huge forces.

  • Bodily and psychological elements favor the attacker, as shock, disorientation, and isolation are simpler to achieve.

  • Air belongings can function more safely as a result of air defenders with solely optical sights have higher problem buying targets at night time.

  • The factor of shock might improve because defenders are more prone to army deception methods, akin to dummy lights, noise, smoke, and fires.

  • The defender can’t make use of reserves as shortly at night time because the defender can throughout daylight circumstances.

  • U.S. forces coaching in a restricted visibility surroundings are superior to most potential opponents.

  • Management of maneuver forces in the absence of technical means is harder.

  • The defender can react simpler to changing situations.

  • The attacker has problem figuring out the bounds of impediment techniques.

  • Restrictive terrain is harder to traverse.

  • Mild, smoke, noise, and fires can deceive the attacker.

  • The attacker loses momentum because assaults are carried out at a decreased velocity to keep the coherence of the unit.

  • Land navigation, with out international positioning methods, is harder at night time; models might turn into separated, cohesion may be lost, and help parts can transfer to the flawed positions.

  • The enemy can reposition or emplace obstacles throughout darkness without being detected by pleasant reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence belongings.

  • Attacking models are easier to ambush at night time.

  • Adjusting oblique hearth is troublesome, even with night-vision units or illumination.

  • Models require significantly larger quantities of signal ammunition resembling smoke, tracers, flares, and illumination rounds.

  • Models have more problem locating and evacuating casualties.

  • The danger of fratricide might improve.

3-29. The group of forces for a limited-visibility or night time attack is identical as for some other attack. Nevertheless, altering an present process organization beneath limited-visibility circumstances requires far more time and effort than it does throughout daylight. Small tactical organizations, similar to combat crews and infantry squads, ought to be manned and outfitted as close as attainable to full power, even when it means decreasing the whole number of these small tactical groups.

Three-30. The presence or lack of illumination characterizes the conduct of limited-visibility assaults. Non-illuminated attacks supply the perfect probability of gaining shock. Illumination, nevertheless, is generally deliberate for every limited-visibility assault, in order that it can be available if required. The commander can choose to conduct a non-illuminated attack until subordinate forces make contact with the enemy. At that time, the objective may be illuminated. The enemy can even choose to employ illumination to improve the effectiveness of defensive efforts. Models usually conduct non-illuminated attacks, though they all the time plan for illumination. All leaders inside the attacking unit should perceive the time, circumstances, and authority required to make use of illumination.

3-31. Illuminated, supported attacks are virtually like daylight attacks. They’re only when velocity is important, time for reconnaissance is restricted, or the enemy is weak and disorganized. If the commander employs illumination, it ought to continue until the drive secures the target. After the attacking pressure reaches its assault position, the commander should place illumination beyond the target to silhouette objects on the objective. This helps the assaulting drive see and hearth at withdrawing or counterattacking enemy forces. The commander may make use of illumination in several places to confuse the enemy concerning the actual place of attack.

Three-32. The commander plans for limited-visibility operations in the identical manner that the commander does for daylight operations, with emphasis on—

  • Retaining the plan simple.
  • Taking further time for reconnaissance.
  • Benefiting from easily identifiable terrain options, resembling roads and railroad tracks, when establishing management measures.
  • Utilizing intermediate aims as mandatory to management and keep the right motion path through the assault.
  • Concealing preparations.
  • Scheduling preliminary rehearsals throughout daylight, with the ultimate rehearsal at night time.

The commander establishes control measures to facilitate visualizing, describing, and directing subordinate and supporting forces throughout restricted visibility operations. Commanders also needs to reap the benefits of the technical capabilities of the gear out there, similar to these projected for the Land Warrior system.

Three-33. To simplify control issues, the commander might weight the help component over the assault pressure to scale back the variety of friendly Soldiers shifting on the objective in the darkness. The commander can also develop a plan that does not require the unit to change its motion azimuth after it crosses the LD or PD to simplify execution.

Three-34. The commander should assume that the enemy possesses, in at the least restricted portions, the same limited-visibility remark capabilities as pleasant forces—absent constructive info to the opposite— when conducting a limited-visibility attack. Using terrain to masks motion and deployment remains important because limited visibility might create a false sense of safety from enemy statement. During movement, leaders scale back the distances between automobiles or particular person Soldiers as crucial to permit one system or Soldier to observe the other. This decreases the time crucial to react to enemy contact. The attacking drive strives to keep its momentum; subsequently, it doesn’t protect the alignment of models inside the chosen combat formation at the expense of further time. Nevertheless, the attacking drive must adhere extra intently to the plan of assault than underneath daylight circumstances.

Three-35. To make use of the right capabilities and techniques, the commander should have detailed information of the enemy’s organization, gear, and techniques. The commander must perceive the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, this data is obtainable in the course of the army decisionmaking process. The commander and employees develop enemy situational and weapons templates based mostly on evaluation of all obtainable combat info and intelligence knowledge. These templates must handle each typical and unconventional threats. These templates assist to determine the feasibility of obtainable programs of motion (COAs) designed to achieve a position of benefit.

Three-36. Before the attack, a unit conducts reconnaissance and surveillance actions to confirm these info necessities addressed in paragraphs 1-157 to 1-163. Other info requirements can embrace—

  • The location and depth of enemy reserves.
  • The location and extent of contaminated areas.
  • The location and extent of obstacles, attainable breach sites, and enemy engagement areas.
  • The location of areas the place attacking models might grow to be disoriented, similar to rough or restrictive terrain.
  • The most favorable routes of strategy to the assault goal.
  • Areas that the attacker can use for flanking hearth and maneuver, similar to help by hearth and attack by hearth positions.
  • Suitability of planned friendly assault, help, artillery, and sustainment positions.
  • Enemy deception operations.

Commanders and leaders at all echelons personally take part in this process.

3-37. The commander takes each alternative to achieve and refine combat info relating to the enemy. Obtainable reconnaissance and surveillance belongings are employed to collect combat info and process it

into intelligence. Info gathered through the planning part of the plan, prepare, and execute cycle is particularly helpful in figuring out the viability of each COA developed. Usually, if a commander doesn’t have good intelligence and, subsequently, does not know where the overwhelming majority of the enemy’s models and methods are situated, the commander can’t conduct a deliberate attack. The attacking unit must conduct a movement to contact, conduct a hasty assault, or gather extra combat info.

Three-38. The two elementary employment methods for reconnaissance in the assault are reconnaissance-pull and reconnaissance-push. In reconnaissance-pull, the reconnaissance goal is to find weaknesses in enemy tendencies that may be exploited by the primary drive. Reconnaissance is launched over a broad area that permits the reconnaissance parts to determine enemy weaknesses to exploit and enemy strengths to keep away from. Once these are identified, the commander exploits the state of affairs by selecting a COA that permits the decisive operation to attack enemy weaknesses and penetrate gaps in the enemy’s defense. The commander can then commit forces to widen the hole and envelop the enemy. The reconnaissance parts proceed to transfer, in search of paths of least resistance and pulling the primary body deep into the enemy’s rear.

3-39. In reconnaissance-push, the reconnaissance objective is to determine the obstacles and enemy forces the attack forces should overcome to assault the objective in a previously chosen location in accordance with a COA selected before the reconnaissance. As soon as friendly reconnaissance parts achieve contact with the enemy, they develop the state of affairs inside their capabilities. If the target is an enemy pressure, the reconnaissance factor orients on it to keep contact and determine as a lot as attainable about its tendencies.

Three-40. The commander ensures that reconnaissance and surveillance of the enemy’s defensive positions and any terrain important to the scheme of maneuver proceed all through the attack. If the enemy models try to modify their defenses, these actions will probably be detected. In flip, this enables the commander to regulate the scheme of maneuver as the enemy state of affairs turns into clearer. The commander can use human and technological means, appearing individually or in combination, to present the required diploma of reconnaissance and surveillance.

Three-41. A commander’s functionality to achieve information about the enemy and the AO’s setting varies by echelon. Military brigade combat teams (BCTs) are the lowest tactical echelons with organic evaluation capabilities. Nevertheless, continuing enhancements in intelligence dissemination capabilities and larger tactical web bandwidth availability signifies that intelligence products developed by greater echelons can be extra obtainable at low tactical levels—battalion and company degree—in the longer term than they’re at the moment.

Three-42. All intelligence disciplines might be discovered in the theater military’s intelligence brigade. The Military’s battlefield surveillance brigade (BFSB) accommodates a army intelligence assortment functionality that includes unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sensors, alerts intelligence, human intelligence, and counterintelligence. The BFSB’s reconnaissance and surveillance squadron supplies floor reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. BCTs additionally include organic UASs, alerts intelligence, human intelligence, counterintelligence, and floor reconnaissance capabilities although the natural reconnaissance and surveillance belongings of a BCT are much less succesful than these discovered in the BFSB. Maneuver battalions and corporations have their very own reconnaissance capabilities. Non-maneuver battalions and corporations can conduct reconnaissance patrols as needed to enhance their local safety or to achieve or enhance their understanding of the mission variables of METT-TC around their places. (FM 3-90-2 accommodates the essential techniques associated with the conduct of reconnaissance operations.)

Three-43. The planning course of synchronizes the unit’s maneuver with the supply of fireside help. It must determine crucial occasions and places where the commander needs the utmost results from fire-support belongings. That planning must consider present limitations on the employment of fires, resembling guidelines of engagement and constructive identification necessities, presence of particular operations forces (SOF) inside the AO, desired circumstances of subsequent phases, and requirements for collateral injury assessments. The commander combines maneuver with fires to mass results, achieve surprise, destroy enemy forces, and acquire decisive outcomes. The commander’s s steerage provides specified attack criteria for supporting fires belongings, thus focusing the planning and execution efforts on these essential occasions and occasions. The specified

assault standards are a compilation of the commander’s steerage, desired results, and high-payoff targets and assault priorities. The period of time out there to plan the operation constrains the commander’s potential to synchronize fire-support operations that employ well-matched effects of all out there belongings towards high-payoff targets.

3-44. The objective of the commander’s attack criteria is to focus fires on seizing the initiative. The commander emphasizes simple and quickly built-in hearth help plans. This is accomplished using quick-fire planning methods and good normal working procedures (SOPs). The commander integrates hearth belongings as far ahead as potential in the movement formation to facilitate early emplacement. One example of this integration can be using a UAS forward website staff from a combat aviation brigade briefly hooked up to a fires brigade or a BFSB to determine targets for destruction. Fires concentrate (mass) on ahead enemy parts to allow maneuver efforts to close with the enemy positions. Fires can isolate forward enemy parts through the use of long-range fires, air help, and digital warfare.

3-45. Fires facilitate the attacking unit’s maneuver by destroying or neutralizing robust enemy forces and positions. Hearth techniques should take full benefit of obtainable preparation time to obtain these demanding effects standards. Hearth plans function the following characteristics:

  • Targets which are confirmed or denied by reconnaissance and surveillance efforts.
  • Designation of target sensor-to-shooter communication links.
  • Potential use of preparation and deception fires to form the enemy’s protection.
  • Air help to destroy high-payoff targets on the objective and then shift to reinforcing enemy models, artillery belongings, and command and management nodes.
  • Proactive suppression of enemy air-defense efforts.
  • Preparation fires that shift simply because the maneuver pressure arrives on the objective.
  • Suppression and obscuration hearth plan to help breaching operations.
  • Pre-positioned ammunition backed by prepackaged munitions shares capable of speedy supply.
  • Integration of nonlethal effects, reminiscent of electronic assault and army info help operations, into the attack steerage matrix.
  • Integration of main and backup observers to interact high-priority targets.
  • Hearth help coordination measures, accounting for danger close and different technical constraints, to permit maneuver forces to get as shut as attainable to the target earlier than lifting fires.
  • Alerts for lifting and shifting fires on the objective, primarily by combat internet radio and by visual alerts as a backup means.

These later hearth help coordination measures also needs to facilitate the massing of fires, together with close air help (CAS) and air interdiction utilizing kill box procedures, towards high-payoff targets all through the AO. (See FM Three-09.34 for more info on the employment of a kill field.)

3-46. Even in fluid conditions, attacks are greatest organized and coordinated in meeting areas. If the commander decides that speedy motion is important to retain a tactical benefit, that individual might choose not to use an assembly area. Detailed advance planning—combined with digital communications, SOPs, and battle drills—might scale back unfavorable impacts of such a choice.

Three-47. Until already in an meeting space, the attacking unit moves into one in the course of the preparation part. The unit moves with as a lot secrecy as attainable, normally at night time and along routes that forestall or degrade the enemy’s capabilities to observe or detect the movement. It avoids congesting its assembly area and occupies it for the minimum attainable time. Whereas in the meeting space, every unit is answerable for its personal safety actions, similar to native ground security.

3-48. Models shifting to assembly areas send out their quartering events and link up with their guides at the designated places. (FM Three-90-2 discusses these features of troop movement.) While subordinate models move to and occupy meeting areas, the commander completes the process of planning and coordinating the attack.

Three-49. The attacking unit should continue its troop main procedures and priorities of work to the extent the state of affairs and mission permit before shifting to attack positions. These preparations embrace but are usually not essentially restricted to—

  • Protecting the drive.
  • Conducting activity organization.
  • Performing reconnaissance.
  • Refining the plan.
  • Briefing the troops.
  • Conducting rehearsals, to embrace check firing of weapons and breach and gap crossings, if these operations are envisioned to occur through the assault. (The sort of rehearsal and methods used will differ based mostly on the mission variables of METT-TC.)
  • Shifting logistics and medical help ahead.
  • Selling satisfactory rest for both leaders and Soldiers.
  • Positioning the drive for subsequent action.

As a part of troop leading procedures, leaders at all levels should conduct a private reconnaissance of the actual terrain when this won’t compromise operations safety or end result in excessive danger to the unit’s leadership. Trendy info methods can allow leaders to conduct a digital reconnaissance when a physical reconnaissance is just not practical. If a limited-visibility assault is planned, they should additionally reconnoiter the terrain at night time.

3-50. A radical reconnaissance of the target, its foreground, and other enemy positions is a crucial a part of attack preparations. The commander exploits all out there reconnaissance and surveillance belongings to provide the required info. This consists of requesting joint surveillance feeds of enemy movements from larger echelons or imagery of enemy obstacles. Reconnaissance forces infiltrate by way of the enemy security space to conduct an space reconnaissance. They will make use of precision munitions and typical oblique fires to destroy detected enemy outposts while remaining undetected. They find and attempt to infiltrate the enemy’s important defensive positions to affirm enemy unit tendencies. When properly task-organized, forces conducting reconnaissance can also be given a mission to conduct covert breaches in the enemy’s impediment complexes to facilitate speedy movement of the decisive or shaping operation.

Three-51. During this part, the commander positions artillery target-acquisition radars to present help throughout the AO. BCT and larger headquarters establish quick-fire channels between sensors, comparable to counterbattery radars, and firing models assigned a counterfire mission, to quickly silence enemy oblique hearth techniques. These channels don’t change command relationships or priority of fires.

Three-52. The commander workouts and refines the maneuver and hearth plans during rehearsals which are an essential a part of making certain the plan’s coordination and synchronization. As part of the rehearsal course of, the commander critiques the anticipated battle sequence with subordinate leaders to guarantee all models understand the plan, the relationship between hearth and movement, and the synchronization of essential occasions. These crucial events embrace:

  • Shifting from the meeting area to the line of departure.
  • Maneuvering from the line of departure to the possible line of deployment.
  • Occupying help by hearth positions.
  • Conducting the breach or gap crossing.
  • Assaulting the objective.
  • Consolidating on the target.
  • Exploiting success or pursuing a withdrawing enemy.
  • Actions of echelon reserves.

The unit ought to conduct rehearsals beneath as many kinds of hostile circumstances as potential (beneath time and other constraints) to determine and put together the unit to deal with problems. At decrease tactical echelons, the rehearsal consists of battle drills, similar to creating lanes by way of minefields.

3-53. From their meeting areas, attacking models move to their respective LDs. (See figure 3-2.) Models move from assembly areas to the LD in the identical means as for another tactical movement. (FM 3-90-2 discusses troop motion.) The number of columns a unit employs in its movement is dependent upon the supply of suitable routes and the pleasant and enemy state of affairs. The tactical state of affairs and the order in which the commander needs subordinate models to arrive at their assault positions primarily govern the march formation. Using an LD facilitates the simultaneous initiation of the attack at the prescribed time by all attacking models.


Figure 3-2. Motion from the assembly area to the road of departure

Three-54. Mild infantry models should move by tactical automobiles to the maximum extent potential to avoid prematurely exhausting their Soldiers. Nevertheless, mild infantry forces shouldn’t journey too far ahead in tactical automobiles. The enemy can detect the noise and other battlefield signatures associated with using tactical automobiles at a larger distance than dismounted infantry Troopers may be detected, and the enemy will in all probability reply to the presence of tactical automobiles with direct- and indirect-fire methods. The commander should weigh the necessity for safety towards the time required to conduct a foot march and its ensuing effects on Soldiers.

3-55. Models move rapidly by means of their attack positions and throughout the LD, which must be managed by friendly forces. A unit makes use of its designated attack position solely by exception, reminiscent of when it should refuel earlier than to crossing the LD to ensure adequate gasoline to attain the objective or the circumstances required to ensure the success of the planned maneuver usually are not yet established. A unit doesn’t occupy its attack positions for more than 10 to 15 minutes without initiating actions to shield itself and improve its survivability, akin to deploying local safety and camouflage nets and starting the construction of preventing and survivability positions. If needed, a unit can use guides to help in occupying the attack position.

3-56. For models attacking on foot utilizing infiltration and stealth, a commander might designate some extent of departure for the attacking models as an alternative of an LD. Armored and Stryker-equipped models normally use gaps or lanes via the friendly positions to permit them to deploy into combat formations earlier than they cross the LD.

3-57. Preliminary operations for an assault might embrace utilizing preparatory fires and the aid of models in contact by executing a aid in place (RIP) or a ahead passage of strains. The aid of models may be desirable to proceed the momentum of the assault with recent troops, change the course of the attack, exploit a weak spot in the enemy position with reserve forces, or provoke an offensive on a stabilized entrance. (FM Three-90-2 addresses the essential techniques related to the conduct of a RIP and a ahead passage of strains.)

3-58. The commander makes use of out there artillery, mortar, CAS, air interdiction, digital warfare, and army info help operations (MISO) to conduct preparation fires. Preparation fires are developed from the highest down, with bottom-up refinement. The subordinate commander most affected by the consequences of these preparatory fires should strongly emphasize the bottom-up refinement process. Preparatory fires can accomplish the following features:

  • Destroy the enemy.
  • Suppress, neutralize, or disrupt high-value or high-priority targets.
  • Achieve hearth superiority.
  • Suppress enemy forces in their defensive positions.
  • Facilitate the attacking pressure’s maneuver.
  • Deceive the enemy.

3-59. If the attacking forces are in contact with the enemy’s security zone, preparatory fires might initially destroy or disrupt solely the enemy’s reconnaissance and security forces and positions. In either case, counterfires carried out as a part of preparatory fires serve to degrade the enemy’s fire-support methods and assist in attaining hearth superiority.

Three-60. The commander ensures that attacking maneuver forces have the useful and multifunctional help and sustainment belongings needed to conduct the operation and keep the attack’s momentum as part of the preparation process. That help and sustainment effort should anticipate future maneuvers to make sure the uninterrupted advance of the maneuver pressure.

Three-61. An attack consists of a collection of advances and assaults by attacking models till they accomplish their mission. (This can be the seizure or securing of a remaining geographic objective, or the destruction, defeat, or disruption of a delegated enemy pressure in accordance with the higher commander’s intent.) Commanders in any respect levels must use their initiative to rapidly shift their decisive operation or primary effort between models as needed to benefit from alternatives and momentum to ensure the enemy’s speedy destruction. Attacking models move as shortly as potential, following reconnaissance parts by means of gaps in the enemy’s defenses. They shift their power to reinforce success and carry the battle deep into the enemy’s rear. A commander does not delay the assault to protect the alignment of subordinate models or to adhere intently to the preconceived plan of attack.

3-62. The commander must keep away from turning into so dedicated to the preliminary plan that alternatives are uncared for. The commander is mentally ready to abandon failed assaults and to exploit any unanticipated successes or enemy errors by designating one other unit to conduct the decisive operation in response to the changing state of affairs.

3-63. When maneuvering the pressure, the commander strives to retain freedom of motion whereas protecting the drive. Though a detailed plan to defeat the enemy might exist, the commander regularly seeks any opportunity to attack to defeat, destroy, or scale back the enemy’s combat power or shatter the enemy’s cohesion and will to struggle. The commander avoids dogged adherence to a plan not applicable to current battlefield circumstances. The difference between success and failure in combat typically depends upon the commander’s potential to make the plan match present circumstances fairly than making an attempt to make circumstances fit the plan.

3-64. The five step dialogue of offensive actions launched in chapter 2 is used in this text, though there are others methods of discussing the execution part. Just as in chapter 2, the primary three steps are often shaping operations or supporting efforts. These steps are introduced right here for discussion functions solely and typically overlap through the actual execution of attacks.

Achieve and Keep Enemy Contact

Three-65. Gaining and maintaining contact with an enemy determined to break that contact is significant to the success of offensive actions. A defending enemy usually establishes a security area round those forces manning the primary line of protection to make early contact with attacking forces to determine their capabilities, intent, and chosen COA, and to delay their strategy. The enemy commander uses that security area to strip away friendly reconnaissance forces and cover enemy tendencies, capabilities, and intent. The enemy commander’s aim is to compel the attacking pressure to conduct a motion to contact towards defending enemy forces that know the exact location of the attacking pressure.

Three-66. A commander employs combat energy to overwhelm enemy forces in accordance with the commander’s situational understanding. Nevertheless, echelons under division don’t usually have the detection, monitoring, and weapon techniques mandatory to conduct decisive or shaping operations directed towards enemy forces not presently dedicated to close combat. The method a unit positive aspects and maintains contact is determined by whether the unit is in contact with the enemy’s security area or the enemy’s primary line of resistance and the echelon of the unit in the nested layers of reconnaissance and security. For instance, the intent of a corps’ reconnaissance effort is to decide the tendencies, composition, course of movement, and price of motion of a defending enemy’s vital forces. An ABCT, appearing as a masking pressure or advance guard, can battle by means of most security areas, develop the state of affairs, affirm info offered by technical means, and drive the enemy to reveal extra info than could possibly be acquired solely via utilizing intelligence sensors. This additional info consists of locating the enemy’s tactical and probably operational reserves. At a lower degree, a battalion constituting the advance guard of the primary body of a brigade combat group can use its scout platoon to conduct a zone reconnaissance that focuses on acquiring updates of enemy positions and obstacles.

3-67. The commander’s capacity to sense the enemy’s actions by gaining and maintaining contact with all vital elements of the enemy drive, to embrace tracking enemy reserves, hearth help, and follow-on forces, will increase the security of the attacking pressure. The commander seeks to detect the enemy’s makes an attempt to shift major parts of defending enemy forces or launch a counterattack. Additionally, by sending out a pressure to conduct space reconnaissance with an on-order mission to be prepared to conduct a safety mission, the commander can forestall enemy reconnaissance belongings from detecting the friendly drive’s major actions and improve the enemy’s danger. The risks to the enemy pressure improve when pleasant forces impede or deny enemy reconnaissance and surveillance belongings success. Combining these elements results in offering the attacking commander with further time to reap the benefits of the altering state of affairs. Shifting inside the enemy’s determination cycle permits the commander to reap the benefits of successes by transitioning to the exploitation and pursuit to complete the enemy’s destruction.

Three-68. The capabilities of digital info methods supply further methods a commander can use to achieve and keep enemy contact. The improved widespread operational picture offered by those methods enhances the commander’s situational understanding and ensures speedy, clear communication of orders and intent, thereby decreasing the confusion and friction of battle. This is especially true when the info on those info techniques offering that widespread operational picture is quickly updated from the lowest tactical echelons. The disposition and actions of pleasant and enemy forces and third-party businesses are necessary parts of data. Advanced Service and joint intelligence techniques feeding these info techniques allow the commander and echelon employees to detect and monitor enemy forces all through a given AO with out having subordinate forces make bodily contact with the enemy. The commander’s capacity to see and perceive the state of affairs before the enemy can allows the pleasant pressure to act first and rapidly maneuver out of contact with the enemy at a high tempo. This enables the commander to place subordinate forces where they will overwhelm selected parts of the enemy pressure to disrupt and destroy the enemy’s mixed arms group. Such assaults—delivered simultaneously with precision by air, ground, and naval techniques all through the width, peak, and depth of the battlefield—stun the enemy forces and rapidly lead to their defeat.

Disrupt the Enemy

3-69. Disrupting a number of elements of the enemy’s combined arms group weakens the whole enemy pressure and allows the friendly commander to assault chosen portions of the remaining enemy pressure in an asymmetrical method. The evaluation and selections relating to what to disrupt, when to disrupt, and to what finish are important. For instance, the aim of disrupting the enemy’s fire-support system is to permit friendly forces to maneuver and mass the consequences of their weapon techniques towards the enemy without being engaged by the enemy’s indirect-fire weapons. Attacking forces can accomplish this by attacking enemy ahead observers, fire-direction centers, command posts, artillery, rocket techniques, or ammunition. Each set of targets requires a unique quantity of assets. The chance of success, the effectiveness of the assault, and the time crucial to achieve the desired goal effects varies with each set of targets.

3-70. Once any sort of contact—even sensor contact—is made with the enemy, the commander seeks to use the component of surprise to conduct shaping operations that strike at the enemy and disrupt each the enemy’s combined arms staff and the enemy commander’s potential to plan operations and control enemy forces. As soon as the attacking commander begins this disruption process, it continues all through the assault.

The commander uses any present technological benefit over the enemy in the next areas to assist the disruption course of:

  • Joint info operations core, supporting, and related capabilities and Army inform and affect and cyber electromagnetic actions.
  • Deadly firepower effects.
  • Range of direct-fire weapons.
  • Safety.
  • Battlefield mobility and countermobility.
  • Info administration.
  • Mission command techniques.

Three-71. Disrupting the enemy allows the commander to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative, keep freedom of motion, impose the commander’s will on the enemy, set the phrases, and select the place for battle. That disruption additionally permits the commander to exploit enemy vulnerabilities and react to changing conditions and sudden developments more rapidly than the enemy. This disruption effort often occurs at divisional echelons and above as a result of lower echelons lack the required reconnaissance, target acquisition, intelligence analysis, and target attack belongings to interact enemy forces not committed to shut combat.

3-72. The commander plans the shaping operations to occur at the place and time essential to set up the circumstances for the decisive operation. Targets of a shaping operation might embrace enemy command and management amenities, reconnaissance and surveillance belongings, fire-support methods, reserves, and logistics help nodes. If a commander executes a shaping operation too early, the enemy has time to recuperate and respond earlier than friendly forces conducting the decisive operation can complete their maneuver.

3-73. The commander plans to use harassment, suppressive, or interdiction fires towards positions doubtless to include high-payoff targets to disrupt enemy reactions to the attacking unit’s advance. These fires deny the enemy unrestricted use of the terrain and can forestall enemy reserves from getting into the struggle before the attacking pleasant unit seizes the target. Further advantages might end result from these fires over time, together with increased psychological strain on enemy personnel and a reduction in their mental and bodily capabilities by disrupting their sleep and relaxation patterns.

3-74. Surprise denies the enemy the opportunity to focus and synchronize combat power towards the attacking drive. It prevents the enemy from massing defending enemy forces or fires at a important, probably decisive, place and time. Instead of cohesive resistance, shock can produce confusion, worry, and piecemeal resistance. Elements that contribute to shock embrace the tempo and intensity in executing the assault plan and using sudden elements, akin to choosing a lower than optimal COA, varying operational techniques and methods, conducting army deception operations, and making certain OPSEC.

Fix the Enemy

3-75. A main objective in fixing the enemy is to isolate the target of the pressure conducting the echelon’s decisive operation to forestall the enemy from maneuvering to reinforce the unit focused for destruction. Since conflict is a contest between considering opponents, the enemy will oppose the pleasant commander’s attempts to fix the enemy’s forces. Every pleasant transfer causes the enemy to attempt to counter that transfer. The commander does every little thing attainable to limit the options obtainable to the opposing commander. Fixing an enemy right into a given position or a COA and controlling the enemy’s movements restrict enemy options and scale back the quantity of uncertainty on the battlefield.

3-76. Decreasing uncertainty permits the pleasant drive to use maneuver to mass the consequences of overwhelming combat power towards a portion of the enemy. It provides the commander extra time to modify the attack plan as needed and synchronize the employment of pleasant forces. It permits the commander to mass forces in one place through the use of financial system of drive measures in other areas. The commander may attempt to fix an enemy unit, such because the enemy reserve or follow-on drive, to forestall it from repositioning or maneuvering towards the pressure conducting the decisive operation.

3-77. Fixing the enemy have to be executed with the minimum amount of pressure. The commander normally allocates the majority of friendly combat power to the pressure conducting the decisive operation, so fixing operations are, by necessity, shaping operations that illustrate financial system of pressure as a precept of conflict. Subsequently, the commander should rigorously contemplate which enemy parts to fix and target only those that may significantly have an effect on the operation’s consequence. The longer the requirement to fix these forces, the extra assets the commander wants to accomplish the mission. Usually, an enemy pressure only wants to be fastened until it can’t reply to the actions of the unit conducting the decisive operation in time to have an effect on the result. This will likely require a commander to decelerate the speed of march of an enemy unit to forestall it from influencing the result of the engagement or battle.

Three-78. One technique of isolating the target is to conduct a shaping operation utilizing deadly and nonlethal effects. Lethal effects might range from sniper hearth to a joint hearth plan designed to totally destroy a specific portion of the enemy pressure. Nonlethal results, similar to digital warfare, can forestall the enemy from receiving orders or very important intelligence and combat info.

Three-79. Severing enemy strains of communication over extended durations of time through the use of interdiction measures is one other approach to fix the enemy. These measures can vary from air interdiction that destroys bridges and rail switching yards to ambushes carried out by infiltrating combat patrols.

3-80. Another technique of fixing the enemy is to tie obstacles into the prevailing terrain to canalize and sluggish the motion of enemy reserves. At lower tactical echelons, scatterable minefields (employed in accordance with the principles of engagement) can seal the aims from attainable enemy reinforcement or counterattacks and block or disrupt enemy actions to the flanks. Army deception operations and actions, corresponding to demonstrations and false preparatory fires, can fix the enemy. Utilizing in depth smoke screens and car mock-ups in a army deception effort may also help in fixing an enemy drive.

3-81. The commander maneuvers subordinate forces to achieve positional advantage that permits the friendly drive to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. The attacking pressure seeks to keep away from the enemy’s defensive power. The commander employs techniques that defeat the enemy by attacking by means of some extent of relative weak spot, reminiscent of a flank or the rear.

3-82. Offensive maneuver seeks to achieve a decisive massing of effects at the decisive level, or at a number of decisive factors if enough combat power is obtainable. The commander exploits maneuver by—

  • Taking maximum advantage of lifeless area and coated and concealed routes to shut with the enemy.
  • Utilizing benefits in the effective ranges of weapon techniques.
  • Repositioning friendly forces quickly.
  • Navigating accurately cross-country.
  • Obtaining situational understanding of pleasant and enemy places.
  • Taking effective security measures.
  • Synchronizing the appliance of all parts of combat power at a time and place on the battlefield to maximize their results.

3-83. The key to success is to strike onerous and fast, overwhelm a portion of the enemy pressure, and then shortly transition to the subsequent objective or part, thus maintaining the momentum of the attack without decreasing the strain on the enemy. The commander must retain freedom of maneuver with a number of COAs throughout the operation and responsive sustainment. Additionally, the commander should make every effort to find and monitor enemy reserve and follow-on forces, which prevents pleasant forces from being attacked unexpectedly by vital enemy forces. This enables the commander time to delay, disrupt, or destroy these enemy forces before they will intrude with the attack.

3-84. Relying on the mission variables of METT-TC, artillery and mortars might advance with the attacking formation or move ahead by bounds. The echelon hearth help coordinators (FSCOORDs) place direct help and reinforcing artillery in coordination with their maneuver commanders. The drive area artillery headquarters, usually a fires brigade headquarters, coordinates place areas for common help and basic support-reinforcing artillery models by means of the fires cells natural to the corps, division, and brigade headquarters. The commander considers the maneuver of fireside help belongings together with maneuver forces to be sure that proper hearth help is accessible always.

Three-85. The maneuver process usually follows this sequence:

  • Movement from the LD to the PLD.
  • Actions at the PLD, assault position, or FCL.
  • Breaching operations.
  • Actions on the target.

The movement from the assembly space to the LD that precedes many assaults is troop motion and is mentioned in FM 3-90-2.

3-86. The unit transitions from troop motion to maneuver as soon as it crosses the LD. It moves aggressively and as shortly as the terrain and enemy state of affairs permit. It moves forward using applicable motion methods assisted by the fires of supporting models. Hearth and movement are intently integrated and coordinated. Effective suppressive fires facilitate friendly movement, and friendly motion facilitates simpler fires. Every time potential, the attacking unit uses avenues of strategy that keep away from robust enemy defensive positions, takes benefit of all out there cover and concealment, and locations the unit on the flanks and rear of the defending enemy. Where cowl and concealment aren’t obtainable, the unit makes use of obscurants to conceal its movement. Any delays in establishing obscuration and suppressive fires earlier than crossing the PLD might require the attacking unit to occupy its assault positions.

Three-87. Artillery and other ground-based fires belongings transfer as essential to be sure that the attacking unit remains inside supporting range. The commander’s evaluation of the time it takes the maneuver unit to move from the LD to the PLD and the distances concerned ensures that artillery methods are prepared to present help earlier than maneuver models transfer inside the effective range of enemy direct-fire weapon techniques. The commander retains attacking artillery forces out of enemy artillery range as long as potential. The existence of enemy artillery techniques which have a longer vary than fielded U.S. artillery methods complicates this process. The commander makes use of fires delivered from fixed- and rotary-wing methods and the autonomous operation capabilities of modernized artillery techniques to help counter any enemy vary advantage.

Three-88. If the commander expects to make enemy contact at or shortly past the LD, the unit deploys in order to keep maximum firepower towards the enemy’s recognized positions. The commander selects the combat formation that greatest balances firepower, tempo, safety, and control in the precise state of affairs. The commander has the option of deploying a safety pressure in entrance of the attacking unit. The commander may make use of a flank or rear safety drive if required by the enemy state of affairs. The commander might not need to change formations through the attack due to potential lack of momentum ensuing from such modifications. If the commander finds it mandatory to transition from one combat formation to another, that transition must be based mostly on completely educated drills. As soon as enemy contact is predicted, the pressure transitions to the bounding overwatch technique of motion. (FM Three-90-2 addresses motion methods.)

Three-89. Between the LD and the PLD, the attacker seizes intermediate aims only to remove enemy positions or convey further suppressive fires to bear. Artillery, rocket, electronic warfare (EW), and aerial belongings interact targets of alternative. The commander makes use of CAS and artillery to destroy enemy safety forces. Because the unit approaches suspected enemy positions or danger areas, the commander directs subordinate forces to occupy pre-designated help by hearth positions. Lethal fires, suppression, and obscuration enable attacking forces to occupy these positions. The commander makes use of direct-fires from these positions to suppress enemy forces while other parts of the unit proceed their advance towards the target.

3-90. The commander engages recognized enemy forces with the utmost potential combat energy to overwhelm them as shortly as attainable. An attacking unit that encounters small enemy models on the best way to the target either shortly overruns or bypasses them, if they meet the bypass criteria. The attacking unit then studies the situation of bypassed enemy parts to its larger headquarters and maintains contact till

they can be handed off to comply with and help forces. The commander makes use of minimal pressure to keep that contact to avoid considerably weakening the pressure conducting the unit’s decisive operation.

Three-91. The attacking unit maintains the tempo of its advance as it approaches its PLD. (See determine Three-Three.) The commander divides the attacking unit into a number of assault and help forces either earlier than or upon reaching the PLD. On the PLD infantry Soldiers dismount from their combat automobiles, if mandatory. All forces supporting the assault drive ought to be set in their help by hearth positions before the assault pressure crosses the PLD. The commander synchronizes the occupation of these help by hearth positions with the maneuver of the supported attacking unit to limit the vulnerability of the forces occupying these positions. The commander uses unit tactical SOPs, battle drills, prearranged alerts, engagement areas (EAs), and goal reference factors (TRPs) to management the direct fires from these supporting positions. A commander normally employs restrictive hearth strains between converging forces.


Three-92. The PLD may be co-located with the assault place. (See figure 3-3.) The commander ensures that the final preparations of the breach drive in an assault place don’t delay its maneuver to the breach point as soon because the circumstances are set. Each time attainable, the assault drive rapidly passes by way of the assault position. It might have to halt in the assault position whereas fires are lifted and shifted. On this case, if the enemy anticipates the assault, the assault drive deploys into coated positions, screens its positions with smoke, and waits for the order to assault. As long as the assault pressure stays in the assault position, help forces continue their suppressive fires on the target.

3-93. Once the help drive sets the circumstances, the breach drive reduces, proofs, and marks the required variety of lanes by means of the enemy’s tactical obstacles to help the maneuver of the assault drive. To keep away from confusion, the commander clearly identifies the circumstances that permit the breach pressure to proceed. From the PLD, the assault drive maneuvers towards or around the enemy to benefit from the help pressure’s efforts to suppress the focused enemy positions. The help drive employs direct and oblique fires towards the chosen enemy positions to destroy, suppress, obscure, or neutralize enemy weapons and cowl the assault pressure’s movement. The assault pressure should intently comply with these supporting fires to achieve floor that gives positional benefit. This COA normally outcomes in the fewest casualties.

3-94. The key to ahead motion when the assault drive is underneath enemy direct hearth is to return effective hearth, which prevents the enemy from firing effectively on the shifting assault drive. Damaging or suppressive fires are best when fired by the stationary help drive. These fires forestall the enemy from firing effectively at the shifting assault drive. As soon as the help pressure is in position and the assault pressure is ready to transfer, the help drive locations a heavy volume of fires on the enemy forces to destroy, neutralize, or suppress them. The means of the help drive to transfer to advantageous terrain is crucial to carrying out its objective of making certain the assault drive’s success. As soon as it suppresses the enemy place, it reduces its price of fireside to sustainable ranges to preserve ammunition as the assault drive closes on the objective to make sure that it has enough to help the assault. When the assault drive nears its objective, the help drive will increase its price of fireside to make sure the continued suppression of the enemy. This enables the assault drive to assault the place before the enemy can react. Either on signal or when the assault begins, the help pressure ceases hearth, shifts its hearth to one other target area, or walks its hearth across the target in entrance of the assault drive.

Three-95. The commander uses smoke to help conceal models and particular person weapons. It degrades enemy laser designators, range finders, and directed power weapons. When planning to make use of smoke, the commander remembers that smoke can have the identical results on friendly and enemy forces. Through the assault, the commander uses obscuration to blind the enemy and display friendly motion onto the objective if potential. Obscuration is positioned in entrance of enemy positions, on the far aspect of obstacles, and in areas that prohibit maneuver. The commander might use a smoke haze over the echelon help space to limit enemy statement. The neutralization of enemy thermal viewers requires using multispectral smoke.

3-96. The commander employs overwhelming and simultaneous hearth, motion, and shock motion in the course of the last assault. This violent assault destroys, defeats, or drives the enemy from the objective space. Small models conduct the ultimate assault whereas working beneath the control of the suitable echelon command submit. Armored forces have the option of conducting this ultimate assault in either a mounted or dismounted configuration.

Three-97. The commander employs all hearth help means to destroy and suppress the enemy and sustain the momentum of the assault. By rigorously synchronizing the consequences of indirect-fire techniques and out there CAS, the commander improves the probability of success. The commander plans fires in collection or teams to help maneuver towards enemy forces on or near the geographical goal. As the commander shifts artillery fires and obscurants from the objective to different targets, the assault component moves quickly throughout the objective. The help parts must keep suppressive fires to isolate the objective and forestall the enemy from reinforcing or counterattacking. Additionally they destroy escaping enemy forces and methods. The commander employs joint info operations and Military info tasks, similar to digital warfare, to assault enemy command and management info methods as a part of this effort.

3-98. Supporting artillery may have to displace forward in the course of the assault to guarantee maximum help is accessible for the assault. Nevertheless, modifications in position are limited as a result of they scale back the quantity of obtainable fires. The commander balances the need to keep that amount of artillery help towards the enemy’s counterfire capabilities with the necessity to present continued coverage as the attacking unit continues to move ahead. Supporting artillery, rocket, and mortar belongings transfer into their new positions one subordinate unit at a time, by echelon, to keep help all through the assault. The commander can use any obtainable CAS to present supporting fires whereas artillery batteries displace.

Three-99. Small enemy models shifting toward the penetrated space can disrupt the synchronization of this remaining assault. As small models and weapon methods crews turn out to be engaged, they have a tendency to concentrate on their speedy opponent relatively than the general state of affairs. Loss of situational understanding, mixed with the enemy’s extra detailed information of the terrain, allows small enemy forces to inflict quite a lot of injury on the attacking drive. The attacking unit’s leaders should understand the move of combat and retain the potential to interact these enemy forces before they will alter the result of the assault. The commander can commit the echelon reserve to keep the attack momentum and hold relentless strain on the enemy. This additionally hinders enemy attempts to stabilize the state of affairs.

3-100. Towards a well-prepared, built-in enemy protection, the commander should isolate and destroy portions of the enemy defense in sequence. (See figures 3-Four and Three-5.) Pleasant forces should isolate, suppress, obscure, and bypass chosen enemy positions. For example, smoke delivered by area artillery and mortars in entrance of the target—between the drive and the enemy—screens friendly movement and obscures the enemy’s weapon techniques. Fires placed on and beyond the flanks of the target isolate the enemy’s position. These fires embrace smoke, excessive explosives, improved typical munitions, and precision-guided munitions delivered by a mix of area artillery, fixed-wing aviation belongings, and assault helicopters conducting close combat assault. In addition, the commander might employ short-duration scatterable mines in conjunction with terminally guided munitions to help isolate and impair the enemy’s potential to counterattack. (Their use must not impede the commander’s conduct of exploitation and pursuit operations.) Jamming can be utilized to minimize info system hyperlinks between the enemy’s maneuver pressure and its supporting artillery. The commander can even use out there CAS to accomplish these tasks.

Three-101. The commander plenty overwhelming combat power in sequence towards isolated centers of resistance. The assault aspect commander can process manage the aspect to assault one portion of the objective at a time. For instance, inside the assault company of a battalion-level attack, two platoons might suppress whereas one platoon seizes a portion of the corporate goal. This initial platoon, having seized a foothold, then suppresses to permit a second platoon to continue the assault. The third platoon might have a third portion of the objective assigned to it to seize in turn. The enemy might try to reinforce its defending forces or counterattack in the course of the friendly drive’s assault. Once the attacking pressure reaches the far aspect of the target, selected parts clear remaining pockets of resistance while the bulk of the assault drive prepares for a potential enemy counterattack. After the assault pressure reaches the objective, the help pressure leaves its help by hearth place and rejoins the assault pressure or moves to a blocking position to counter attainable enemy counterattacks.

Mounted Assault

Three-102. In determining whether or not to conduct a mounted or dismounted attack, the commander considers the primary mission variables of the terrain, obstacles, and the power of enemy anti-armor defenses. Mounted assaults speed up the execution of the operation by permitting the greatest velocity and shock action and providing the perfect protection towards small arms and indirect fires while conserving the power of the infantry Soldiers conducting the assault.


Determine 3-4. Assault of an objective: the breach


Figure Three-5. Attack of an objective: the assault

Three-103. When dealing with weak, rapidly prepared, disorganized resistance, or when attacking with overwhelming combat power, an armored or Stryker-equipped drive commander can conduct a mounted assault. The commander conducting a mounted assault concentrates all supporting fires to destroy and neutralize the enemy and repair native reserves. Tanks, infantry preventing automobiles, and amphibious assault carriers use their cannons and machineguns to interact targets for as long as potential. Because the fires from one sort of weapon are lifted or shifted, different weapons improve their price of fireside. The assault pressure advances shut to its goal underneath the duvet of those supporting fires.

Three-104. The assault pressure assaults using shock action and firepower to quickly overrun the enemy place as soon as the commander shifts supporting fires past the target. Mechanized infantry parts move as close as attainable to the target while remaining mounted in their combat automobiles. When the hazard to the mounted infantry parts exceeds the safety provided by their combat car, the commander provides the order for infantry parts to dismount from their carriers.

Three-105. The following method for securing an goal applies to an armored or Stryker outfitted pressure assigned the mission of rapidly clearing an objective towards an enemy that does not have a strong anti-armor functionality. First, the drive overruns the target. Then, the accompanying mechanized infantry Troopers dismount from their combat automobiles on the far aspect of the target and sweep the objective from the far aspect again to the close to aspect to clear any remaining pockets of resistance. The potential of armored and Stryker forces to intently comply with pleasant mortar and artillery fires, as they shift throughout the objective, is a major benefit. The commander secures the objective instantly after supporting fires are shifted to deny the enemy time to move from protective to firing positions.

Dismounted Assault

3-106. An armored or Stryker outfitted drive commander often conducts a dismounted assault when any of the following circumstances apply:

  • Terrain favors dismounted operations.
  • The enemy is in ready positions.
  • The enemy has a robust anti-armor capability.
  • Tanks will not be obtainable to lead the assault although the mission variables of METT-TC favor their employment.
  • Obstacles forestall maneuver throughout the objective.
  • Stealth is required to close on the objective.
  • A mounted assault stalls on or in need of the objective.

The commander determines if, when, and the place any mechanized infantry forces will dismount from their combat automobiles based mostly on evaluation of the mission variables of METT-TC and the degree of acceptable danger.

3-107. An attacking drive ought to think about advancing beyond the geographical boundaries of enemy defensive positions every time attainable earlier than stoping to consolidate and reorganize when attacking enemies with considerable artillery and mortar capabilities. It’s because enemies with these oblique hearth capabilities are probably to have developed preplanned targets on these positions for speedy engagement in case of their loss and to help enemy counterattacks.


3-108. As soon as an attacking drive takes an enemy place, it consolidates on that position if doing so is tactically essential or advantageous. Consolidation is organizing and strengthening a newly captured position in order that it can be used towards the enemy. Usually, the attacking unit tries to exploit its success; nevertheless, in some conditions the unit might have to pause to consolidate its features. Consolidation might range from a speedy repositioning of forces and security parts on the target, to a reorganization of the attacking drive, to the group and detailed enchancment of the position for defense. Actions taken to consolidate good points embrace—

  • Conducting reconnaissance.
  • Establishing security.
  • Eliminating enemy pockets of resistance.
  • Positioning forces to allow them to conduct a hasty defense by blocking potential enemy counterattacks.
  • Adjusting the hearth planning.
  • Getting ready for potential further missions.

Three-109. Immediately after the assault, the commander should keep contact with those enemy forces which have deserted the target. If the attacking pressure has destroyed all enemy forces on the target, the commander takes these actions essential to regain contact with the enemy. Patrols are despatched in any course required to keep or regain contact with the enemy inside the unit’s AO. Greater echelon commanders reposition their intelligence assortment belongings and regulate their missions as needed to keep that contact.

Three-110. The commander additionally dispatches patrols to ensure contact with any adjoining friendly models. A unit is generally liable for establishing contact with the models to its entrance and proper as outlined by the course to the enemy. The unit commander also establishes contact with friendly models to the left and rear, until these models are getting ready to set up contact. Otherwise, a dangerous hole might occur, which the enemy might exploit throughout a counterattack.

Three-111. As soon because the attacking pressure occupies the target it establishes security. Every subordinate component establishes remark posts (OPs) that monitor probably enemy avenues of strategy and conduct

other security operations. Models must remain aware that the enemy may have defensive fires planned on these previously occupied positions, including headquarters bunkers and supply caches.

Three-112. Once subordinate models seize the objective, they clear it of enemy forces. They then occupy firing positions to prepare for an enemy counterattack. Usually, an attacking unit does not occupy vacated enemy positions as a result of the enemy is acquainted with and normally targets them. Subsequently, the attacking unit should position itself away from established enemy positions, often on the subsequent defensible piece of terrain. This positioning can also be essential because the unit wants to orient on totally different avenues of strategy and in a unique path. The commander positions armored and antitank methods in overwatch to cover probably enemy mounted avenues of strategy. Mechanized infantry forces usually dismount and orient along probably dismounted and mounted avenues of strategy. Mortars, command posts, and sustainment belongings move ahead to assist in the consolidation.

3-113. The commander should preplan the situation and future missions of each component. Artillery and different hearth help methods mass fires on enemy meeting areas and troops forming for counterattacks. The commander might alert the reserve to shield the flanks of the attacking models, maintain floor seized by them, or counter an enemy counterattack. The commander might use antitank minefields or different obstacles to cowl doubtless enemy avenues of strategy. As the unit has time and assets, it improves these obstacles and defensive positions.

3-114. The commander usually designates TRPs, ultimate protecting fires, engagement areas, and other direct- and indirect-fire control measures as part of the consolidation course of. Once in place, subordinate parts modify preplanned measures and improve defensive capabilities as required. As local security is being established, the commander directs subordinate parts to conduct mounted or dismounted patrols alongside doubtless enemy avenues of strategy. The echelon scout or cavalry unit deploys past these native security patrols to conduct its reconnaissance or safety mission.


3-115. Reorganization consists of all measures taken by the commander to keep unit combat effectiveness or return it to a specified degree of combat capability. Commanders of all varieties of models at every echelon conduct reorganization. Any reorganization actions not completed when conducting the attack are completed during consolidation. These actions embrace—

  • Redistributing or cross-leveling provides, ammunition, and gear as essential.
  • Matching operational weapon techniques with crews.
  • Forming composite models by becoming a member of two or extra attrited models to type a single, mission-capable unit.
  • Replacing key personnel lost before or through the battle.
  • Reporting unit location and status to maintain the subsequent greater commander informed; digitized models can do this mechanically.
  • Recovering, treating, and evacuating casualties, prisoners of warfare, and damaged gear in accordance with its SOP.
  • Resupplying primary a great deal of ammunition, gasoline, and restore elements.
  • Integrating alternative Soldiers and techniques into the unit.
  • Revising communication plans as required.
  • Putting the unit’s command posts in position to conduct additional operations and management the consolidation.
  • Reestablishing unit cohesion.
  • Conducting essential training, reminiscent of coaching replacements on the unit’s SOP.

Three-116. After seizing the target, the commander has two options: exploit success and proceed the assault or terminate the offense. After seizing an goal, the almost definitely on-order mission is to continue the assault. By continuing the attack the commander seeks to obtain a breakthrough that can be was an exploitation or a pursuit. A breakthrough is a rupturing of the enemy’s ahead protection that happens because of a penetration. A breakthrough permits the passage of an exploitation drive. At BCT echelon and under, the unit maintains contact and attempts to exploit its success. Usually, an intermediate tactical commander, resembling a division or corps commander, makes the choice relating to whether to initiate a basic—as opposed to native—exploitation or pursuit or terminate offensive actions.

Three-117. Throughout consolidation, the unit commander and employees continue troop leading procedures in preparation for any on-order missions. They use out there combat info and intelligence products to modify contingency plans. The commander redirects the unit’s intelligence assortment effort to help the subsequent mission.

Three-118. Hearth help belongings transfer shortly to benefit from the natural discount in help necessities that happens when a position is taken. Area artillery models reposition to the place they will help a renewed attack when ammunition provide and enemy motion allow. Assaults by rotary- and fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft can present help whereas artillery methods reposition. Street circumstances, corresponding to destroyed bridges or giant numbers of dislocated civilians, and the unit’s cross-country mobility will affect the precise time of repositioning.

3-119. The commander makes an attempt to exploit the deterioration of the enemy place by administering fast and highly effective blows before the enemy can reconstitute an effective defense. The commander’s employment of precision-guided munitions, combined with the action of huge, armored or Styker formations and air help, might obtain decisive outcomes.

3-120. Ordinarily, a defending enemy drive will attempt to maintain a place till nightfall to have the ability to complete its withdrawal beneath the duvet of darkness. The attacking unit maintains relentless strain, continuing the assault at night time. By way of these assaults, the unit maintains contact with the enemy, keeps the enemy off stability, and makes the enemy pressure’s withdrawal from action extremely troublesome. If the enemy tries to delay, the unit continues its attack, concentrating its efforts on enveloping or encircling the retrograding enemy drive, if the enemy is just too robust to overrun. An attack aggressively pushed via the hostile entrance might isolate major parts and pressure the enemy pressure to evacuate the complete defensive place earlier than it will probably construct a viable fall-back place.

3-121. When conducting a successful penetration, attacking models penetrate deeply into the hostile place to assault enemy reserves, artillery, command and management nodes, and strains of communication. Either the assault or a help unit attacks the enemy’s newly uncovered flanks to widen the gap. The commander sends forces by way of the gap which have a excessive degree of tactical mobility to exploit the penetration, attack the enemy from the rear, and forestall the enemy’s escape. Presently, the commander’s drive multipliers— akin to fixed-wing aviation belongings—consider supporting the bottom drive exploiting the penetration.

3-122. The commander plans logical sequels to the assault as a part of the comply with via. Attacking forces plan for exploitation. Exploiting forces plan for the pursuit of a defeated enemy. Furthermore, the commander must use subordinate forces without overextending their sustainment capabilities. The commander must plan to have recent models move round or via ahead models to sustain the momentum of the assault. These recent models may be assigned the task of comply with and help or comply with and assume in an effort to keep the assault’s tempo. (Appendix B discusses both tactical mission tasks.) A commander of any unit conducting any offensive process envisions how, underneath what circumstances, where, and when that unit will want to transition to the defense, based mostly on attainable enemy countermoves and other events.

3-123. If the attacking unit transitions to a pursuit or exploitation, it might have to bypass enemy models to keep the tempo. Models bypass enemy forces according to beforehand established bypass criteria. At least, the bypassed drive remains beneath remark or fastened in place by different models.

3-124. If the enemy succeeds in withdrawing main forces from motion, the commander intensifies reconnaissance to get hold of the knowledge needed to determine on a COA. Aggressive motion might forestall the enemy from reconstituting an effective protection in a rearward place. The commander might have to delay the renewal of the assault until finishing further reconnaissance, so a tactically sound plan could be formulated if the enemy succeeds in occupying new defensive positions.

3-125. The commander can launch an attack to obtain numerous results or for particular purposes. These subordinate attack duties embrace the—

  • Ambush.
  • Counterattack.
  • Demonstration.
  • Feint.
  • Raid.
  • Spoiling attack.

Three-126. The commander’s intent and mission variables of METT-TC determine the precise attack type. As subordinate attack duties, they share most of the planning, preparation, and execution issues of the assault. This part discusses the unique issues of each subordinate attack process. Demonstrations and feints, whereas forms of assault, are additionally related to the conduct of army deception operations. (See JP 3-13.)

3-127. An ambush is an assault by hearth or different damaging means from hid positions on a shifting or briefly halted enemy. An ambush stops, denies, or destroys enemy forces by maximizing the component of shock. Ambushes can employ direct hearth techniques as well as other damaging means, corresponding to command-detonated mines, oblique fires, and supporting nonlethal results. They could embrace an assault to close with and destroy enemy forces. In an ambush, floor goals don’t have to be seized and held.

Three-128. The three types of an ambush are the point ambush, the world ambush, and the anti-armor ambush. In some extent ambush, a unit deploys to attack a single kill zone. In an area ambush, a unit deploys into two or more associated level ambushes. A unit smaller than a platoon does not normally conduct an area ambush.


Anti-armor ambushes concentrate on shifting or briefly halted enemy armored automobiles.

3-129. Ambushes are categorized as hasty or deliberate however take place along a continuum. A hasty ambush is an instantaneous reaction to an sudden opportunity carried out utilizing SOPs and battle drill. A deliberate ambush is deliberate as a selected motion towards a selected goal. Detailed details about the goal; reminiscent of measurement, group, and weapons and gear carried, route and path of movement, and occasions the target will reach or cross sure factors on its route, may be obtainable. All forces might conduct an ambush. There are not any ambush particular management measures. (Figure 3-6 exhibits the ambush tactical mission graphic.) Doctrine also categorizes ambushes as near or far ambushes, based mostly on the proximity of the friendly pressure to the enemy.

Figure 3-6. Ambush tactical mission graphic

Three-130. The regular aim of an ambush is the demise or capture of all enemy personnel situated inside the kill zone. One other objective could possibly be to destroy certain designated automobiles, corresponding to all missile transporter-erector launchers. Ideally, the ambush pressure can destroy the ambushed enemy so shortly that enemy personnel inside the kill zone can’t to report the engagement while the ambush pressure accomplishes its mission.

Organization of Forces

Three-131. A typical ambush is organized into three parts: assault, help, and safety. The assault component fires into the kill zone. Its objective is to destroy the enemy drive. When used, the assault drive assaults into and clears the kill zone and may be assigned further tasks, to embrace looking for gadgets of intelligence value, capturing prisoners, and finishing the destruction of enemy gear to preclude its

fast reuse. The help component helps the assault component by firing into and across the kill zone, and it offers the ambush’s main killing power. The help aspect makes an attempt to destroy nearly all of enemy combat energy before the assault aspect strikes into the target or kill zone. The safety factor isolates the kill zone, offers early warning of the arrival of any enemy aid drive, and offers security for the assault and help parts. It secures the target rally level and blocks enemy avenues of strategy into and out of the ambush website, which prevents the enemy from getting into or leaving.

Planning an Ambush

Three-132. Throughout terrain evaluation, leaders determine at the least four totally different places: the ambush website, the kill zone, security positions, and rally factors. As far as attainable, so-called “ideal” ambush sites must be prevented as a result of alert enemies keep away from them if attainable and improve their vigilance and safety once they have to be entered. Subsequently, shock is troublesome to achieve. As an alternative, unlikely websites ought to be chosen when attainable. Other planning issues for an ambush embrace—

  • A “no-later-than” time to set up the ambush.
  • A tentative ambush formation or, for an area ambush, aspect places.
  • Insertion and exit routes.
  • A ahead passage of strains and motion to the ambush website in tactical formation.
  • Actions if the ambush is prematurely detected.
  • A scheme of maneuver that maximizes engagement of the enemy’s flank or rear, offers early warning of goal strategy, consists of assault factor actions in the kill zone, and details how the ambush factor displaces from the ambush website.
  • Actions at the objective.
  • Obstacles to augment the consequences of the friendly hearth.
  • A fireplace help plan that integrates the direct hearth and impediment plans, which ends up in the enemy’s isolation, inflicts maximum injury, and also supports forces in the rally level.
  • The standards for initiating the ambush; for instance, models solely interact enemy formations of the identical or smaller measurement and withhold hearth until the target moves into the kill zone.
  • Any required modifications to the ambushing unit’s hearth distribution SOP.
  • Rear security measures.

Three-133. Some extent ambush often employs a linear or an L-shaped formation. The names of those formations describe deployment of the help factor around the kill zone. The kill zone is that a part of an ambush website the place fires are concentrated to isolate, repair, and destroy the enemy. The ambush formation is necessary because it determines whether or not some extent ambush can deliver the heavy quantity of fireside vital to isolate and destroy the target. The commander determines the formation to use based mostly on the advantages and disadvantages of every formation in relation to the mission variables of METT-TC.

3-134. The assault and help parts usually deploy parallel to the goal’s route of movement—the lengthy axis of the kill zone—which topics the target to flanking hearth in the line formation. (See determine Three-7.) The safety component positions itself the place it could possibly greatest present security to the assault and help parts. The measurement of the target that can be trapped in the kill zone is restricted by the dimensions of the world that may be coated by the help component’s weapons. Natural, man-made, and army obstacles—strengthened with tactical obstacles built-in with direct and indirect fires—lure the target in the kill zone. An obstacle of the road formation is that the target may be so dispersed that it’s bigger than the kill zone.

Three-135. The linear ambush formation is effective in shut terrain, which restricts the goal’s movement, and in open terrain the place one flank is blocked by present or reinforcing obstacles. The commander might place comparable obstacles between the assault and help parts and the kill zone to shield the ambush pressure from the goal’s counter-ambush drills. When the ambush drive deploys in a line formation, it leaves access lanes via these protective obstacles in order that it will possibly assault the target. An advantage of the road formation is that it’s relatively straightforward to management beneath all circumstances of visibility.

3-136. The L-shaped formation is a variation of the line formation. (See figure 3-Eight.) The long leg of the “L” (assault component) is parallel to the kill zone and supplies flanking hearth. A bonus of the “L” formation is that the brief leg (help component) is on the finish of the kill zone and at a right angle to it and blocks the enemy’s forward movement. It also offers enfilading hearth that interlocks with hearth from the opposite leg. The commander can employ an L-shaped formation on a straight stretch of trail, street, stream, or at a pointy bend.

3-137. An space ambush is handiest when enemy motion is essentially re- stricted to trails or roads. The area should supply a number of appropriate point ambush websites. The commander selects a central ambush website round which the commander can arrange outlying ambushes. As soon as the location is selected, the commander should decide the enemy’s potential avenues of strategy and escape routes. Outlying level ambush websites are assigned to subordinates to cover these avenues. As soon as they occupy these websites, they report all enemy visitors going toward or away from the central ambush website to the commander. These outlying ambushes permit the enemy to cross via their kill zones until the commander initiates the central ambush. Once the central ambush begins, the out-lying ambushes forestall enemy troops from escaping or getting into the world. (See determine Three-9.)

Three-138. The ambush unit commander usually specifies the alerts required to management the ambush. Modifications to the which means of audible and visible alerts are made often to avoid setting patterns that the enemy can recognize. In any other case, the enemy may recognize a signal and react in time to avoid the complete results of the ambush. For example, if a white star cluster is all the time used to signal withdrawal in a night ambush, an alert enemy may hearth one and trigger the ambush pressure to withdraw prematurely. The subordinate parts of the ambush unit should obtain communications—in the type of alerts—that relay the following info:

  • Target approaching, usually given by a member of the security staff to warn theimage

    Figure 3-7. Linear ambush


    Determine 3-Eight. L-shaped ambush


    Determine Three-9. Area ambush

    ambush commander and the ambush parts of the target’s progress.

  • Initiate the ambush, given by the ambush unit commander. (This sign ought to be a mass casualty-producing signal initiated by a reliable weapon system or explosive, reminiscent of a important gunround from a tank or infantry service, the detonation of mines or explosives, or different direct hearth crew-served weapons that fireplace from a closed bolt.)
  • Raise or shift hearth, given when the target is to be assaulted; all fires must stop or be shifted directly in order that the assault aspect can attack earlier than the target can react.
  • Assault, given when the assault drive is to transfer into the kill zone and complete its activities.
  • Cease hearth, given to cease all fires.
  • Withdraw from the kill zone or ambush website, given when the ambush is completed or an enemy aid pressure is approaching.

Three-139. The commander makes use of quite a lot of alerts to communicate this info, similar to radio transmissions, voice commands, car horns, whistles, or pyrotechnics. All alerts should have no less than one backup. For example, if the signal to shift hearth fails, the assault factor shouldn’t assault the target until it receives the backup sign. Alerts despatched out before initiation of the ambush shouldn’t expose the ambush to detection by the enemy. The commander critiques SOP alerts to see if they need to be revised or augmented to meet specific situational requirements.

Preparation for an Ambush

Three-140. The keys to a successful ambush are shock, coordinated fires, and control. Shock allows the ambush pressure to seize management of the state of affairs. If complete shock isn’t potential, it have to be so almost complete that the target doesn’t anticipate the ambush until it’s too late to react effectively. Thorough planning, preparation, and execution help achieve surprise.

Three-141. The commander conducts a pacesetter’s reconnaissance with key personnel to affirm or modify the plan. This reconnaissance ought to be covert to remain undetected and preclude alerting the enemy. If vital, the commander modifies the ambush plan and immediately disseminates these modifications to subordinate leaders and different affected organizations. The commander should keep shut management throughout movement to, occupation of, and withdrawal from the ambush website. Management is most crucial when the ambush unit is approaching the goal. Leaders enforce camouflage, noise, and mild self-discipline. All parts of the ambush drive reconnoiter their routes of withdrawal to the chosen rally level. When potential, all Troopers reconnoiter the routes they may use.

Three-142. The ambush unit’s security factor stays at full alert and makes use of all out there remark units to detect the enemy’s strategy to the ambush website. Every Soldier’s duties inside every component are rotated as crucial to keep alertness.

3-143. The commander positions all weapons, together with mines and demolitions, to get hold of the maximum effectiveness towards the goal in the kill zone. All fires, including these of supporting artillery and mortars, are coordinated. The help factor isolates the kill zone, prevents the target’s escape or reinforcement, and delivers a large volume of highly concentrated surprise hearth into the kill zone. This hearth should inflict most injury so the assault factor can shortly assault and destroy the goal.

Execution of an Ambush

3-144. Hearth self-discipline is a key part of any ambush. Troopers withhold hearth till the ambush commander provides the sign to initiate the ambush. That signal ought to be hearth from probably the most lethal and reliable weapon in the ambush. As soon as initiated, the ambush unit delivers its fires on the maximum price potential given the need for accuracy. In any other case, the assault might be delayed, giving the goal time to react and growing the potential of fratricide. Accurate fires help achieve surprise as well as destroy the target. When it is crucial to assault the goal, the lifting or shifting of fires have to be precise. The assault aspect doesn’t conduct its assault until enemy fires or resistance has been negated or eradicated.

Three-145. If the ambush fails and the enemy pursues the ambush pressure, it might have to withdraw by bounds. It ought to use smoke to help conceal its withdrawal. Activating limited-duration minefields along the withdrawal routes after the passage of the withdrawing ambush drive may help stop or delay enemy pursuit. The commander positions the help component to help in the withdrawal of the assault factor.

Three-146. On the commander’s order, the ambush drive withdraws to the rally level, reorganizes, and begins its return march. At a previously established location, it halts and disseminates any combat info obtained because of the ambush to all parts of the ambush drive. Nevertheless, if info techniques are in a position to disseminate this info, the pressure does not need to halt.

Three-147. Once the ambush drive returns from conducting the ambush, the commander or a representative debriefs the ambush pressure to help determine enemy patterns of response, activities, and procedures, each inside and outdoors the ambush area. Patterns must be analyzed and reported to all applicable organizations via intelligence channels. The commander adjusts the techniques, methods, and procedures employed by the unit to account for these patterns. (For extra info on the conduct of ambushes see the Maneuver Middle of Excellence Army methods publication for the infantry rifle platoon and squad.)


Three-148. A counterattack is an attack by part or all of a defending drive towards an enemy attacking pressure, for such specific functions as regaining ground misplaced or slicing off or destroying enemy advance models, and with the overall objective of denying to the enemy the attainment of the enemy’s function in attacking. In sustained defensive actions, it is undertaken to restore the battle position and is directed at limited aims. The commander directs a counterattack—usually carried out from a defensive posture—to defeat or destroy enemy forces, exploit an enemy weak spot, corresponding to an uncovered flank, or to regain management of terrain and amenities after an enemy success. A unit conducts a counterattack to seize the initiative from the enemy by means of offensive motion. A counterattacking pressure maneuvers to isolate and destroy a delegated enemy pressure. It could assault by hearth into an engagement area to defeat or destroy an

Determine 3-10. Projected main counterattacks enemy drive, restore the unique position, or block an enemy penetration. As soon as launched, the counterattack normally becomes the commander’s decisive operation. (See determine 3-10.)

3-149. The commander plans and conducts a counterattack to attack the enemy when and the place the enemy is most weak, which is when the enemy is trying to overcome friendly defensive positions. Normally, the commander makes an attempt to retain a reserve or hanging drive to conduct a decisive counterattack once the enemy major pressure commits to the assault. The commander assigns goals to counterattacking forces when they’re meant to assault the enemy. The commander usually assigns attack by hearth positions when counterattacking using primarily direct and indirect fires.

3-150. The two levels of counterattacks are major and native counterattacks. In both instances, waiting for the enemy to act first might reveal the enemy’s essential effort and create an assailable flank to exploit. A defending unit conducts a serious counterattack to seize the initiative from the enemy by means of offensive action after an enemy launches an attack. A commander also conducts major counterattacks to defeat or block an enemy penetration that endangers the integrity of the whole defense, or to attrit the enemy by the defeat or destruction of an remoted portion of the attacking enemy.

Group of Forces

3-151. The commander of a serious counterattack pressure sometimes organizes out there mixed arms belongings into security, reconnaissance, primary physique, and reserve forces. Those defending forces already in contact with the enemy are used to fix or include those self same enemy forces. The commander might use a drive dedicated to the counterattack, such as the hanging drive in a cellular protection, the reserve, another echelon’s reserve, or designate some other pressure deemed applicable to be the counterattack pressure. The commander completes modifications in process organization in time to permit models to conduct rehearsals with their hooked up or supporting parts.

3-152. A commander conducts an area counterattack with whatever forces are immediately obtainable to retake positions misplaced to enemy motion or to exploit a target of alternative. The forces typically include the reserves of subordinates and defending forces that survive after finishing their withdrawal from misplaced positions. While it’s unlikely that the commander modifications the task group of the forces conducting an area counterattack, the commander organizes the pressure right into a safety drive and a foremost physique. The commander might have the ability to designate an element to conduct reconnaissance.

Three-153. The counterattack pressure is a dedicated drive from the start of the defense if the commander’s defensive scheme hinges on a counterattack to destroy, dislocate, disintegrate, or isolate the attacking enemy pressure, such as the strike drive in a cellular protection. On this case, the commander should designate another drive as the reserve.

Planning a Counterattack

Three-154. The commander plans to counterattack the enemy drive when it’s weak. As the enemy pressure advances, the defense might create gaps between enemy models, exposing the flanks and rear of parts of the attacking drive. Immediately after an enemy pressure occupies a defended place, it is typically disorganized and sick prepared to meet a sudden counterattack. Opportunities for efficient counterattacks are often temporary; the commander must assess the state of affairs rapidly, and the pressure should execute the counterattack swiftly. The commander assigns goals or assault by hearth positions to counterattacking forces, depending on whether or not the counterattacking pressure is meant to shut with and assault the enemy.

Three-155. Major counterattack plans are usually developed as a department or sequel to the primary defensive plan. A serious counterattack might achieve surprise when it strikes the enemy from an unanticipated course. For that cause the drive directed to conduct a serious counterattack, such as the strike drive in a cellular protection, ought to be concerned in creating these plans in addition to any plans to exploit potential success. Local counterattacks might or will not be the results of earlier deliberate planning.

Getting ready a Counterattack

Three-156. The keys to a profitable counterattack are surprise, management, and coordinated fires. Shock allows the counterattacking drive to seize management of the state of affairs. If complete shock just isn’t attainable, it have to be so almost complete that the targeted enemy drive does not anticipate the attack until it is too late to react effectively. Thorough planning and preparation assist achieve surprise. The commander adjusts the positioning of reconnaissance and surveillance belongings and the taskings given these belongings in order to determine the situation and targets for the counterattack.

Three-157. Control of a counterattack begins with the commander’s plan. The commander conducts a pacesetter’s reconnaissance with key personnel to affirm or modify the counterattack plan. If mandatory, the commander modifies the plan and disseminates these modifications to subordinate leaders and different affected organizations. Every component of the counterattack drive reconnoiters its planned axis of advance and the routes it is going to take, if potential. The commander maintains shut management throughout motion to and occupation of cover positions and this reconnaissance course of so the enemy doesn’t detect the counterattack drive before initiating the counterattack. Leaders implement camouflage, noise, and mild self-discipline.

3-158. The commander coordinates fires by adjusting the deliberate positions of weapon techniques to get hold of maximum effectiveness towards targets in the planned engagement space. The commander coordinates all fires, including those of supporting artillery and mortars. The commander uses these fires to isolate the targeted enemy pressure in the deliberate engagement space while stopping the goal’s escape or reinforcement. These fires should inflict most injury shortly before the enemy can reply to the counterattack.

Executing a Counterattack

Three-159. A commander shouldn’t counterattack until there is a affordable probability of success. The commander attempts to retain a reserve to counterattack the enemy drive after it reveals its important effort by committing nearly all of its combat power. If the commander orders the reserve to conduct a deliberate counterattack, the reserve turns into a dedicated drive and the commander ought to take measures to designate or reconstitute a brand new reserve.

Three-160. The commander conducts the counterattack in the same manner in which another attack is carried out. The commander shifts priorities of help and hearth and designates targets to be engaged by electronic warfare techniques. The counterattack pressure additionally performs those actions discussed in paragraphs Three-61 to 3-124.

Three-161. Subordinate commanders initiate local counterattacks with the forces available when it matches inside the greater commander’s intent. The conduct of an area counterattack ought to be swift and violent. Commanders exploit enemy disorganization, such because the confusion that briefly exists in an attacking pressure after it seizes a defended place. A quickly mounted local counterattack might yield better results than a more deliberate counterattack executed by a better echelon because of the velocity at which it can be launched.

Three-162. In the face of a robust enemy penetration, a commander might conduct local counterattacks to retain or seize positions on the shoulders of the enemy’s penetration. This prevents the enemy from widening the penetration whereas forces from other defending models interact the penetrating enemy forces. Holding the shoulders may also forestall the sacrifice of positional depth because the restricted gap in the defensive position prevents an attacking enemy drive from absolutely exploiting its success.

3-163. In army deception, an indication is a present of drive in an space where a choice shouldn’t be sought that is made to deceive an adversary. It is comparable to a feint however no actual contact with the adversary is meant (JP 3-13.Four). A feint in army deception is an offensive action involving contact with the adversary carried out for the aim of deceiving the adversary as to the situation and/or time of the particular primary offensive motion (JP Three-13.Four). A commander uses demonstrations and feints in conjunction with different army deception actions. They typically try to deceive the enemy and induce the enemy commander to transfer reserves and shift hearth help belongings to places where they can’t immediately impression the pleasant decisive operation or take different actions not conducive to the enemy’s greatest interests in the course of the defense. Each types are all the time shaping operations. The commander should synchronize the conduct of those forms of attack with greater and lower echelon plans and operations to forestall inadvertently putting one other unit in danger.

3-164. The principal distinction between these types of assault is that in a feint the commander assigns the drive an goal restricted in measurement, scope, or another measure. Forces conducting a feint make direct hearth contact with the enemy however keep away from decisive engagement. Forces conducting an indication don’t seek contact with the enemy. The planning, getting ready, and executing issues for demonstrations and feints are the identical as for the other forms of attack.

Three-165. A raid is an operation to briefly seize an space in order to safe info, confuse an adversary, capture personnel or gear, or to destroy a capability culminating in a deliberate withdrawal (JP 3-0). Raids are often small, involving battalion-sized or smaller forces. Raids are normally carried out in five phases, as shown in figure 3-11 on web page Three-30. Within the first part the raiding pressure inserts or infiltrates into the target area. Within the second part the objective area is then sealed off from outdoors help or reinforcement, to embrace enemy air belongings. In part three any enemy forces at or close to the objective are overcome in a violently executed surprise assault utilizing all out there firepower for shock effect. In part 4 the drive seizes the objective and accomplishes its assigned process shortly before any surviving enemy in the objective space can get well or be strengthened. Lastly in part five the raiding drive withdraws from the target area and is extracted often using a special route than what was used for motion to the target. Operations designed to rescue and recuperate individuals and gear in hazard of seize are usually carried out as raids.


Determine Three-11. Five phases of a raid

3-166. A simplified raid chain of command is a vital organizational requirement. A raid often requires a pressure rigorously tailored to neutralize particular enemy forces working in the neighborhood of the target and to carry out whatever further features are required to accomplish the objective of the raid. These further features can include the demolition of bridges over major water obstacles or the recovery of an assault helicopter pilot shot down ahead of the ahead line of own troops (FLOT). The commander incorporates any mandatory help specialists in the course of the initial strategy planning stage of the operation.

Three-167. When a unit’s commander and employees plan a raid, they develop COAs that meet ethical, authorized, political, and technical feasibility standards. Planners require exact, time-sensitive, all-source intelligence. The planning process determines how mission command, sustainment, goal acquisition and goal servicing will occur through the raid. Methods and procedures for conducting operations across the FLOT are additionally developed, given the precise mission variables of METT-TC expected to exist through the conduct of the raid. The commander and employees develop as many various COAs as time and the state of affairs allow. They rigorously weigh every various. In addition to these planning issues associated with different offensive actions, they need to decide the dangers related to conducting the mission and attainable repercussions.

Three-168. All parts concerned in a raid absolutely rehearse their features, if time permits. The key parts in determining the level of element and the alternatives for rehearsal before mission execution are time, OPSEC, and army deception necessities. (See Maneuver Middle of Excellence Army methods publications discussing the infantry rifle company, platoon, and squad for extra info on the conduct of raids.)

Three-169. A spoiling attack is a tactical maneuver employed to significantly impair a hostile assault whereas the enemy is in the method of forming or assembling for an attack. The objective of a spoiling assault is to disrupt the enemy’s offensive capabilities and timelines while destroying focused enemy personnel and gear, not to seize terrain and different bodily goals. (See figure 3-12.) A commander conducts a spoiling assault every time attainable through the conduct of pleasant defensive duties to strike an enemy pressure


while it is in meeting areas or attack positions getting ready for its personal offensive operation or is briefly stopped. A spoiling attack often employs armored, assault helicopter, or hearth help parts to assault enemy assembly positions in entrance of the pleasant commander’s major line of resistance or battle positions.

Three-170. A commander conducts a spoiling attack to—

  • Disrupt the enemy’s offensive preparations.
  • Destroy key belongings that the enemy requires to assault, similar to hearth help techniques, gasoline and ammunition stocks, and bridging gear.
  • Achieve further time for the defending drive to prepare its positions.
  • Scale back the enemy’s present advantage in the correlation of forces.

The commander synchronizes the conduct of the spoiling attack with different defensive actions.

3-171. The commander can employ reserve forces in a spoiling assault to throw the enemy’s offensive preparations off stride. The commander assumes the danger of not having a reserve or designates another pressure as the echelon reserve in this case. The following issues have an effect on the spoiling assault:

  • The commander may want to limit the dimensions of the drive used in executing the spoiling assault.
  • Spoiling attacks will not be carried out if the loss or destruction of the pleasant attacking pressure would jeopardize the commander’s capability to accomplish the defensive mission.
  • The mobility of the pressure obtainable for the spoiling attack ought to be equal to or higher than that of the focused enemy drive.
  • Operations by artillery or aviation techniques to forestall enemy parts not in contact from interfering with the spoiling attack are vital to make sure the success of the operation.Three-172. There are two circumstances that have to be met to conduct a profitable and survivable spoiling assault:
  • The spoiling attack’s goal have to be obtainable earlier than the enemy is in a position to respond to the attack in a synchronized and coordinated manner.
  • The commander should forestall the pressure conducting the spoiling attack from turning into overextended.If the spoiling attack fails to meet both circumstances, it can doubtless fail, with grave consequences to the defense.
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