Infantry Drills

D-13: Area Security

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D-13. Area security is used by units to secure their area of operation from smaller enemy units (special purpose forces, guerrillas).

D-14. During area security operations civilians will be present. Therefore, leaders must ensure Soldiers understand current ROE. However, leaders always are responsible for protecting their forces and consider this responsibility when applying the ROE. Restrictions on conducting operations and using force must be explained clearly and understood by everyone. Soldiers must understand their actions, no matter how minor, may have far-reaching positive or negative effects. They must realize both friendly or hostile media and adversary information activities quickly can exploit their actions, especially the manner in which they treat the civilian population.

D-15. Leaders executing area security measures in a densely populated area must assess the effect of imposing a degree of control on both traffic and pedestrians carefully. For instance, during the rush hour period, however efficient the traffic control point, a crowd of impatient civilians or cars and trucks can quickly build-up and precipitate the very situation the traffic control point leader is trying to avoid.

D-16. Population and resource control operations cause inconvenience and disruption to all aspects of community life. Therefore, it is important members of the civil community appreciate the purpose of such operations. In particular, they must understand control measures are protective and not punitive. All personnel involved in operations designed to ensure security must be thoroughly conversant with their duties and responsibilities. They must be able to work quickly and methodically to prevent delay and disruption to legitimate activities. They also must work to avoid unnecessary damage to personnel, vehicles, and property. To achieve their purpose they must be thorough. Leaders, at all levels, must ensure adequate security is in place to counter all assessed risks.

Next: D-17: Local Security

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