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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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Hostile Areas

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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