Infantry Drills

A-117: Develop a Concept of Operations

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A-117. The concept of the operation describes how the leader envisions the operation unfolding, from its start to its conclusion or end state. Operations/actions consist of numerous activities, events, and tasks. The concept of the operation describes the relationships between activities, events, and tasks, and explains how the tasks will lead to accomplishing the mission. The concept of the operation is a framework to assist leaders, not a script. The normal cycle for an offensive mission is tactical movement, actions on the objective, and consolidation and reorganization. The normal cycle for defensive missions is engagement area development and preparation of the battle positions, actions in the engagement area, counterattack, and consolidation and reorganization. In developing the concept of the operation, the leader clarifies in his mind the best ways to use the available terrain and to employ the unit’s strengths against the enemy’s weaknesses. He includes the requirements of indirect fire to support the maneuver. He then develops the maneuver control measures necessary to convey his intent, enhance the understanding of the schemes of maneuver, prevent fratricide, and clarify the tasks and purposes of the decisive shaping, and sustaining operations. He also determines the sustainment aspects of the COA.

Next: A-118: Assign Responsibilities

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad