Hostile Areas

Examples of tactical mission tasks in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Tactical Mission Tasks The tactical mission tasks in this appendix describe the results or effects the commander wants to achieve—the what and why of a mission statement not previously addressed in this publication. A mission statement contains the who, what, when, where, and why associated with a specific operation. The…
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Examples of basic tactical control measures in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Basic Tactical Control Measures This article explains basic tactical control measures common to the conduct of offensive and defensive tasks. These control measures apply to both automated and hand-drawn graphic displays and overlays. This article portrays common control measures for use on situation maps, overlays, and annotated aerial photographs. They…
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The complete military glossary of acronyms and terms (tactical and offense series).

Glossary The glossary lists acronyms and terms with Army, multi-Service, or joint definitions, and other selected terms. Where Army and joint definitions are different, (Army) follows the term. Terms for which FM 3-90 is the proponent publication (the authority) are marked with an asterisk (*). The proponent publication for other…
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The complete guide to retreating in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

The Retrograde The Army categorizes the retrograde as one of three primary defensive tasks. The enemy may force these operations or a commander may execute them voluntarily. In either case, the higher commander of the force executing the operation must approve the retrograde. Retrograde operations are transitional operations; they are…
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The complete guide to mobile defense in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Mobile Defense A mobile defense focuses on destroying the attacking force by permitting the enemy to advance into a position that exposes the enemy to counterattack and envelopment. The commander retains the majority of available combat power in a striking force for the decisive operation, a major counterattack. The commander…
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The complete guide to area defense in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

The Area Defense An area defense capitalizes on the strength inherent in a closely integrated defensive organization on the ground. The conduct of an area defense facilitates the consolidation and reconstitution of forces in order to transition to a focus on another element of decisive action, such as stability. The…
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The complete guide to defensive tactics in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Basics of the Defense Defensive actions alone normally cannot achieve a decision. Their purpose is to create conditions for a counteroffensive that allows Army forces to regain the initiative. Other reasons for conducting defensive actions include— Retaining decisive terrain or denying a vital area to the enemy. Attriting or fixing…
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The complete tactical guide to pursuit of an enemy during combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Pursuit A pursuit differs from the exploitation in that its primary function is to complete the destruction of the targeted enemy force. Army doctrine regards a pursuit as an offensive task. Pursuit operations begin when an enemy force attempts to conduct retrograde operations. At that point, it becomes most vulnerable…
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The complete tactical guide to exploiting the enemy after a combat operations attack (tactical and offense series).

‌Exploitation An exploitation takes full advantage of offensive success, following up initial gains, and making permanent the temporary effects already achieved. Commanders at all echelons exploit successful offensive actions. Attacks that succeed in annihilating a defending enemy are rare. Failure to aggressively exploit success at every turn may give the…
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The complete tactical guide to attacking in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Attack When the commander decides to attack, or the opportunity to attack occurs during combat operations, the execution of that attack must mass the effects of overwhelming combat power against selected portions of the enemy force with a tempo and intensity that cannot be matched by the enemy. The resulting…
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The complete tactical guide for movement to contact in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Movement to Contact When necessary, commanders order subordinates to conduct a movement to contact regardless of which element of decisive action is currently dominant—offense, defense, or stability. Commanders conduct a movement to contact to create favorable conditions for subsequent tactical tasks. A commander conducts a movement to contact when the…
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The complete guide to tactical offense in combat operations (tactical and offense series).

Basics of the Offense Offensive actions are combat operations conducted to defeat and destroy enemy forces and seize terrain, resources, and population centers. They impose the commander’s will on the enemy. A commander may also conduct offensive actions to deprive the enemy of resources, seize decisive terrain, deceive or divert…
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How to plan, develop, and lead a guerilla warfare combat mission

  Guerilla warfare involves leading a small group of soldiers, such as armed civilians, while using unorthodox military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, and hit-and-run attacks, to fight a larger, more organized (and typically state-sponsored) enemy. Operations typically include a variety of strong surprise attacks against transportation routes, individual groups,…
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How to conduct group mission movement (how to capture an enemy or avoid detection while moving)

  On any mission, it is important to plan and execute proper group movement in order to avoid dangerous or risky areas. This includes movement of individuals within the group as well as teams (or squads) which act as smaller subsets of the group. The same principles military experts use…
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How to create a EMP generating device and how to protect yourself from a EMP attack

  An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a fascinating phenomenon. Caused by a rapid acceleration of charged particles travelling at the speed of light, an EMP can easily disable electronics including household electrical equipment, automobiles, and even electric utility power grids. Inherent properties of electronic components make this possible.  Electronic…
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The CIA provides details on NBC/CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) attacks

The following was taken from a CIA pamphlet published in 2007 warning of potential Al-Qa'ida terrorist attacks.  The pamphlet lists various CBRN attack vectors with details on the agent used in the attack, symptoms and signs, and treatment (first aid) options.  More information on NBC/CBRN attacks can be found in…
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What the Army Field Manual tells us about surviving nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks

The following document is an appendix taken from the US Army Field Manual.  The topic is tactical and emergency operations in a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attack (see this CIA report for details on various types of attack vectors).  The document, which provides excellent insight into the tactics and procedures…
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How to defend against a car bomb – all about explosive devices and how to protect yourself from their deadly blasts

About car bombs Car bombs are a commonly used weapon for assassinations, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare. They are easy to hide, cheap to construct, and leave behind little forensic evidence. In addition, the gasoline in the automobile’s fuel tanks magnify the force of the explosion. Where car bombs are typically…
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Escape from zip ties? It’s not as hard as you think to escape from plastic handcuffs

Plastic handcuffs (aka FlexiCuffs, Riot Cuffs, or Zip Ties) are popular with military and law enforcement officials when mass arrests are expected. Consisting of either two interlocking straps or a single cable tied around both wrists, they are cheaper, easier to carry, and less likely to spread communicable disease (plastic…
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How to survive a mass public (“active”) shooting – tips for avoiding the shooter’s sights and getting out alive

Random Mass Public Shootings Despite what many believe, random mass public shootings are becoming fairly common. For instance, during six months in 2012, there were at least six random, active shooter incidents (one in a drive by shooting spree killing 3 people, two in schools killing a total of 10…
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