Infantry Drills

C-7: Tactical Uses of Planned Indirect Fires

Previous: C-5: Indirect Fire Planning Process

C-7. Fires are used for many different tactical reasons. They include:

  • Preparatory fire, delivered before an attack to weaken the enemy position (Refer to ADRP 3-90 for more information.)
  • Supporting fires (covering fires). Supporting fires enable the friendly maneuver element to move by destroying, neutralizing, or suppressing enemy fires, positions, and observers.
  • Final protective fires are an immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas.
  • Suppression.
  • Obscuration.
  • Counterfire (indirect fires only). Counterfire is fire to destroy or neutralize enemy artillery/mortars.
    • These missions normally are controlled at higher level headquarters.
    • Direct support artillery moves with supported units and aviation may be used to destroy enemy direct and indirect fire support means, essential enemy units and facilities.
    • Counterfire radars are positioned to maintain radar coverage to ensure continuous coverage during rapid movement forward.
  • Harassing fire is observed or predicted (unobserved) fire intended to disrupt enemy troop and vehicle movement, disturb their rest, and lower their morale.
  • Illumination.

Next: C-8: Echelonment of Indirect Fire

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