Infantry Drills

1-22: Operational Framework

Previous: 1-19: Elements of Combat Power

1-22. Army leaders are responsible for clearly articulating their concept of the operation
in time, space, purpose, and resources. An established framework and associated vocabulary assist greatly in this task. Army leaders are not bound by any specific framework for conceptually organizing operations, but three operational frameworks have proven valuable in the past. Leaders often use these conceptual frameworks in combination. For example, a commander may use the deep-close-security framework to describe the operation in time and space, the decisive-shaping-sustaining framework to articulate the operation in terms of purpose, and the main and supporting efforts framework to designate the shifting prioritization of resources. These operational frameworks apply equally to tactical actions in the area of operation. (Refer to ADRP 3-0 for more information.)

1-23. Area of operation refers to areas assigned to Army units by higher headquarters. Within their area of operation, commanders integrate and synchronize maneuver, fires, and interdiction. To facilitate this integration and synchronization, commanders have the authority to designate targeting priorities and timing of fires. 1-24. Area of influence is a geographical area wherein a commander is directly capable of influencing operations by maneuver or fire support systems normally under the commander’s command or control. (ADRP 3-0) The area of influence normally surrounds and includes the area of operation. 1-25. Area of interest is that area of concern to the commander, including the area of influence, adjacent areas, and areas extending into enemy territory. This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces that could jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. (Refer to ADRP 3-0 for more information.)

1-26. Deep-close-security framework that has been associated historically with a terrain orientation but can be applied to temporal and organizational orientations as well. Deep operations involve efforts to disrupt uncommitted enemy forces. Close operations involve efforts to have immediate effects with committed friendly forces, potentially in direct contact with enemy forces, to include enemy reserves available for immediate commitment. Security operations involve efforts to provide early and accurate warning of enemy operations, provide the force with time and maneuver space within which to react to the enemy, protect the force from surprise, and develop the situation so the commander can use the force.

1-27. Decisive-shaping-sustaining framework lends itself to a broad conceptual orientation. Decisive operations lead directly to the accomplishment of the mission. Commanders may combine the decisive-shaping-sustaining framework and the deep-close-security framework when this aids in visualizing and describing the operation. The decisive operation need not be a close operation. Shaping operations create and preserve conditions for the success of decisive operation. Commanders may designate more than one shaping operation. Sustaining operations enable the decisive operation or shaping operation by generating and maintaining combat power.

1-28. Main and supporting efforts are part of a framework, more simplistic than other organizing frameworks, focuses on prioritizing effort among subordinate units. Therefore, commanders can employ it with either the deep-close- security framework or the decisive-shaping-sustaining framework. The main effort is the designated subordinate unit whose mission at a given point in time is most critical to overall mission success. It is usually weighted with the preponderance of combat power. Typically, the main effort shifts one or more times during execution. Supporting efforts are designated subordinate units with missions that support the success of the main effort.

Next: 1-29: Law of Land Warfare

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