Infantry Drills

B-16: Shift Fires to Refocus and Redistribute

Previous: B-15: Orient Forces to Speed Target Acquisition

B-16. As the engagement proceeds, leaders must shift fires to refocus and redistribute the effects based on their evolving mission analysis. Situational awareness becomes an essential part of the fire control process at this point. Leaders apply the same techniques and considerations, including fire control measures they used earlier to focus and distribute fires. A variety of situations will dictate shifting of fires, including the following:

  • Appearance of an enemy force posing a greater threat than the one currently being engaged.
  • Extensive attrition of the enemy force being engaged, creating the possibility of target overkill.
  • Attrition of friendly elements engaging the enemy force.
  • Change in the ammunition status of the friendly elements engaging the enemy force.
  • Maneuver of enemy or friendly forces resulting in terrain masking.
  • Increased fratricide and friendly fire risk as a maneuvering friendly element closes with the enemy force being engaged.

Next: Section III – Direct Fire Planning

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