Infantry Drills

H-17: Secure

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H-17. Friendly forces secure reduction areas to prevent the enemy from interfering with obstacle reduction and passage of the assault force through lanes created during the reduction. Security must be effective against outposts and fighting positions near the obstacle and against overwatching units as necessary. The far side of the obstacle must be secured by fires or be occupied before attempting efforts to reduce the obstacle. The attacking unit’s higher headquarters is responsible for isolating the breach area by fixing adjacent units, attacking enemy reserves in-depth, and providing counterfire support.

H-18. Identifying the extent of the enemy’s defenses is critical before selecting the appropriate technique to secure the point of breach. If the enemy controls the point of breach and cannot be suppressed adequately, the force must secure the point of breach before it can reduce the obstacle.

H-19. The breach force must be resourced with enough maneuver assets to provide local security against the forces supporting force cannot engage sufficiently. Elements within the breach force securing the reduction area also may be used to suppress the enemy once reduction is complete. The breach force also may need to assault to the far side of the breach and provide local security so the assault element can seize its initial objective.

Next: H-20: Reduce

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