Infantry Drills

B-38: Sector of Fire

Previous: B-37: Engagement Area

B-38. A sector of fire is a defined area being covered by direct fire. Leaders assign sectors of fire to subordinate elements, crew-served weapons, and individual Soldiers to ensure coverage of sectors; they also may limit the sector of fire of an element or weapon to prevent accidental engagement of an adjacent unit. In assigning sectors of fire, platoon leader and subordinate leaders consider the number and types of weapons available. In addition, they must consider acquisition system type and field of view in determining the width of a sector of fire. For example, while unaided vision has a wide field of view, its ability to detect and identify targets at range and in limited visibility conditions is restricted. Conversely, most fire control acquisitions systems have greater detection and identification ranges than the unaided eye, but their field of view is narrow. Means of designating sectors of fire include the following:

  • Target registration points.
  • Clock direction.
  • Terrain-based quadrants.
  • Friendly-based quadrants.
  • Azimuth or cardinal direction.

Next: B-39: Direction of Fire

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