Infantry Drills

A-76: Enemy Situation Template

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A-76. Identifies how the enemy may potentially fight; the leader weighs the result of his analysis of terrain and weather against the higher headquarters’ situation template. The refined product is a platoon situation template, a graphic showing how he believes the enemy will fight under specific operational conditions. This situation template is portrayed one echelon lower than developed by the higher headquarters’ S-2. For example, if a battalion situation template identifies a platoon-size enemy element on the company’s objective and squad-size enemy elements on the platoon’s objective, the leader, using his knowledge of both the enemy’s doctrine and terrain, develops a situation template positioning squad-size battle positions, crew-served weapons positions, or defensive trenches.

A-77. He includes in this situation template the likely sectors of fire of the enemy weapons and tactical and protective obstacles, either identified or merely templated, which support defensive tasks. Table A-1 (page A-20) shows recommended situation template items. (Refer to ATP 2-01.3 for more information.)

Table A-1. Recommended enemy situation template items

A-78. The leader must avoid developing his situation template independently of the higher commander’s guidance and S-2’s product. The product must reflect the results of reconnaissance and shared information. Differences between the situation templates must be resolved before the leader can continue analyzing the enemy. Finally, given the scale with which the leader often develops his situation template, on a 1:50,000 maps, the situation template should be transferred to a graphic depiction of terrain for briefing purposes, as the situation allows. This is not for analysis, but to show subordinates the details of the anticipated enemy COA. Once he briefs the enemy analysis to his subordinates, he must ensure they understand differences between what he knows, what he suspects, and what he just templates (estimates). Unless given the benefit of information collection, his situation template is only an estimate of how the enemy might be disposed. He must not take these as facts. This is why the leader must develop a tactically sound and flexible plan. It is also why he must clearly explain his intent to his subordinates. This allows them to exercise initiative and judgment to accomplish the unit’s purpose. Reconnaissance is critical in developing the best possible enemy scenario.

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