Infantry Drills

B-45: Maximum Engagement Line

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B-45. MEL is the linear depiction of the farthest limit of effective fire for a weapon or unit. This line is determined by both the weapons, unit’s maximum effective range and by the effects of terrain. For example, slope, vegetation, structures, and other features provide cover and concealment preventing the weapon from engaging to the maximum effective range. A MEL serves several purposes. The platoon leader can use it to prevent crews from engaging beyond the maximum effective range, to define criteria of the establishment of triggers, and to delineate the maximum extent of sectors on the area of operation sketch.

Next: B-46: Restrictive Fire Line

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