Infantry Drills

H-5: Existing Obstacles

Previous: Section I: Obstacle Types and Categories

H-5. Existing obstacles are those natural or cultural restrictions to movement that are part of the terrain. Existing obstacles can be reinforced into more obstacles. They normally are in defilade from enemy observation (located where observation and fires can prevent the opposing force from breaching them), and are difficult to bypass. Existing obstacles include two types, natural and cultural. The following are examples: (Refer to ATP 3-34.22 for more information.)

  • Natural.
    • Swamps.
    • Dense forests.
    • Deep, steep-sloped ravines.
    • Rivers.
    • Streams.
    • Hills or mountains with excessive slopes.
  • Cultural.
    • Urban areas.
    • Quarries.
    • Railroad beds.
    • Built-up or elevated roads.
    • Potential storage sites.

Next: H-6: Reinforcing Obstacles

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