Infantry Drills

D-92: Actions at an Ambush

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D-92. An ambush is one of the most effective ways to interdict a convoy. Reaction to an ambush must be immediate, overwhelming, and decisive. Actions on contact must be planned for and rehearsed so they can be executed quickly.

D-93. In almost all situations, the unit will take several specific, instantaneous actions when it reacts to an ambush. (See figures D-12 and D-13, page D-32.) However, if the convoy is moving fuel and other logistics, the best method might be to suppress the enemy, continue to move and report. These steps, illustrated in figure D-12 (page D-32) in include the following:

  • As soon as they encounter an enemy force, the escort vehicles take action toward the enemy. They seek covered positions between the convoy and enemy; suppress the enemy with the highest volume of fire permitted by the ROE. Contact reports are submitted to higher headquarters as quickly as possible.
  • The convoy commander retains control of the convoy vehicles and continues to move them along the route at the highest possible speed.
  • Convoy vehicles, if armed, may return fire only if the escort has not positioned itself between the convoy and the enemy force.
  • Leaders may request damaged or disabled vehicles be abandoned and pushed off the route.
  • The escort leader uses SPOTREP to keep the convoy security commander informed. If necessary, the escort leader or the convoy commander requests support from the reaction force and or calls for and adjusts indirect fires.

Note. Indirect fire support for areas behind the forward line of troops is planned and coordinated on an area basis (such as a base operations center, base cluster operations center, or rear area operations center). This planning may provide direct and indirect fire support to main supply routes (MSRs) or other routes. Convoy commanders are responsible of direct and indirect fire support plans for their convoy and for ensuring escort security leaders are familiar with the plan.

Figure D-12. Convoy escort actions toward ambush
Figure D-13. Convoy continues to move

D-94. Once the convoy is clear of the kill zone, the escort element executes one of the following COA:

  • Continues to suppress the enemy as combat reaction forces move to support. (See figure D-14.)
  • Uses the Infantry to assault the enemy. (See figure D-15, page D-34.)
  • Breaks contact and moves out of the kill zone.
  • Request immediate air support to cut off escape routes.

D-95. In most situations, platoons or squads will continue to suppress the enemy or execute an assault. Contact should be broken only with the approval of the controlling commander.

Figure D-14. Escort suppresses ambush for reaction force attack
Figure D-15. Infantry assaults ambush

Next: D-96: Actions at an Obstacle

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