Gain and Maintain enemy contact
Orient on recon objective
Report accurate and timely
Retain freedom of maneuver
- Gain and maintain enemy contact.
- Orient on the reconnaissance objective.
- Report all information rapidly and accurately.
- Retain the freedom of maneuver.
- Develop the situation rapidly
- Do not keep reconnaissance assets in reserve.
- Ensure continuous reconnaissance.
Do not keep recon assets in reserve
Ensure cont. reconnaissance
CDR’s recon guidance
Engagement/ disengagement/ bypass criteria
Displacement/ BHO criteria
Reconnaissance forms (types)
Area (within smaller prescribed area than the zone)
Recon-in-Force (cdr has intel gap) (discover/ test enemy strengths)
Capitalize on accurate and timely intelligence • Maneuvers forces to advantageous positions before contact
Movement to contact
Movement to contact
Focus all efforts on finding the enemy
Gain enemy contact early with the smallest reconnaissance force within the allotted time
Maintain contact and fix the enemy while retaining the freedom to maneuver to prevent premature commitment of the protected force
Maintain adequate follow on combat power to rapidly develop the situation after gaining enemy contact
Destroy, defeat, disrupt, divert, or delay enemy forces
- Destroys or Defeat enemy forces
* Seizes and Secures terrain
Must mass the effects of overwhelming combat power against a selected portion of the enemy force with tempo and intensity that cannot be matched by the enemy
Intent and Fundamentals
To disorganize the enemy in depth (ADRP 3-90).
Seeks to disintegrate enemy forces to the point where they have no alternative but surrender or take flight.
Exploitations take advantage of tactical opportunities.
Hasty or deliberate
Overview and fundamentals
• To catch or cut off a hostile force attempting to escape, with the aim of destroying it (ADRP 3-90)
• Normally follows a successful exploitation
• Occurs when the enemy resistance has broken down and the enemy is fleeing the battlefield
• Pursuits entail rapid movement and decentralized control
• Enhanced operational reach enables the ground commander to destroy enemy forces in depth
- Prevent the enemy from determining friendly locations, strengths, and weaknesses
- Preserve combat power while preventing the enemy from gaining a position of relative advantage.
- Typically defensive in nature
- Provide the combined arms team:
- Early and accurate warning of enemy activities
- Reaction time and maneuver space to prevent surprise
- The ability to rapidly develop the situation upon gaining enemy contact
Maintain enemy contact • it does not break contact unless directed to do so by higher headquarters.
Orient on the protected force, area, or facility • operates at a specified distance between the protected main body, area, or facility and the known or suspected enemy positions • must be prepared to move as the main body maneuvers
- Perform continuous reconnaissance • must conduct thorough, continuous reconnaissance to gain all possible information about the enemy
- Provide early and accurate warning • provides the commander with time and information to seize the initiative and choose the time and place to engage the enemy
- Provide reaction time and maneuver space • security element operates as far from the main body as possible • fights to ensure that the main body has adequate time and space to maneuver against the enemy
Security Forms (types)
Screen (early warning, not decisively engaged)
Guard (fight to gain time, increased firepower to engage)
Cover (self contained, operates independent of main body)
Area (aerial, convoy, route, local)
Continuous (1 BP, 1 HA, 1 Farp)
Phased (2 BP, 1 Farp)
Maximum destruction (3 BP)
Nature of the Target
Range to Target
Multiple Firing Positions
Area to Maneuver
Firing position operations
Sun or Full Moon
Fields of Fire
Fields of Observation
Weapon delivery techniques
Racetrack Cloverleaf L-pattern Figure 8 45 degree Circular/ wheel
Attack by Fire (ABF)
Overview: • Designates the general position from which a unit conducts the tactical task of attack by fire
- Purpose: • To mass the effects of direct fire systems for one or multiple locations toward the enemy
- Notes: • A non-restrictive control measure • Does not indicate the specific site but a general location • Rarely applicable to units larger than company size
Support by Fire (SBF)
- Designates the general position from which a unit conducts the tactical mission task of support by fire
- Purpose: • To increase the supported force’s freedom of maneuver by placing direct fires on an objective that is going to be assaulted by a friendly force
- Notes: • Located within the maximum friendly direct-fire range of the enemy positions • Normally located on the flank of the assault force. • Placed so as not to inhibit supporting fires (FA)
Battle Position (BP)
- Overview: • Designated for attack helicopters, in which they can maneuver and fire into a designated EA
- Purpose: • A restrictive control measure that depicts the location and general orientation of the attack unit
- Notes: • Positions selected based on the: • nature of the target • obstacles • range to target • multiple firing positions • area to maneuver
- Overview: • The actual firing positions (FPs) that provide standoff ranges and good fields of fire within their BP, ABF, or SBF
- Purpose: • Depicts the actual position from which attack aviation will fire into the EA from
- Notes: • Attack helicopter pilots in command (PICs) select the actual firing positions • Ingress and egress routes should be well-concealed • The background of the FP should reduce the risk of visual acquisition by the enemy • Must also allow freedom of movement for the attack helicopters and permit them to be hovered without raising dust or debris • Attack helicopter aircrews should limit the number of engagements from a single FP and move before they receive effective counter-fire
Holding Area (HA)
- Overview: • The last covered and concealed position prior to the objective
- Purpose: • Allows for final reconnaissance and coordination of assets
- Notes: • Normally located 2 to 5 kilometers behind the FLOT forward operating base or a tactical assembly area (TAA) • HA Considerations: • Aircraft remain at NOE altitudes at or within the vicinity of the HA. • Aircraft maintain operating • Aircrews maintain radio silence. • Separate HAs are established for each company. • Aircraft establish positions that provide 360-degree security • The 12 o’clock position is oriented towards the enemy. • HA is terrain masked and free of sources of rotor wash signature
Engagement Area (EA)
- Overview: • An area in which the commander intends to trap and destroy an enemy force with massed fires of all available weapons and supporting systems.
- Notes: • Must use obstacles, FS, fire distribution plans, and a thorough IPB to coordinate both combined and joint fires and mass them against the enemy force as it arrives in the EA • Battle and firing positions are selected in relation to EAs • Four characteristics of an EA are: • BPs: Should have several BPs for attacking from various directions. • Obstacles to movement: To slow target movement and permit the effective use of direct and indirect fires. • Long-range fires: To enhance aircraft survivability, aircrews must engage targets at the maximum range that permits a high PK • Continuous target visibility: Unobstructed view of the target from firing or designating positions. Planning should concentrate on sensor ranges, not weapon maximum standoff ranges, for EAs
Target Reference Point (TRP)
- Overview: • An easily recognizable point on the ground used to initiate, distribute, and control fires
- Notes: • Can also designate the center of an area where the commander plans to distribute or converge the fires of all his weapons rapidly • Designated using the standard target symbol and numbers issued by the fire support officer • May also constitute indirect fire targets