Infantry Drills

A-60: Winds

Previous: A-59: Visibility

A-60. Winds of sufficient speed can reduce the combat effectiveness of a force downwind as the result of blowing dust, obscurants, sand, or precipitation. The upwind force usually has better visibility. CBRN operations usually favor the upwind force. Windblown sand, dust, rain, or snow can reduce the effectiveness of radar and other communication systems. Strong winds also can hamper the efficiency of directional antenna systems by inducing antenna wobble. Strong winds and wind turbulence limit airborne, air assault, and aviation operations.

A-61. Evaluation of weather in support of these operations requires information on the wind at the surface as well as at varying altitudes. Near the ground, high winds increase turbulence and may inhibit maneuver. At greater altitudes, it can increase or reduce fuel consumption. Wind always is described as “from…to” as in “winds are from the east moving to the west.” The leader must answer these questions:

  • Will wind speed cause obscurants to dissipate quickly?
  • Will wind speed and direction favor enemy use of obscurants?
  • Will wind speed and direction affect the employment of available mortars?
  • What is the potential for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contamination?

Next: A-62: Precipitation

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