Infantry Drills

2-250: Executing a Cordon and Search

Previous: 2-247: Preparing A Cordon And Search

2-250. Cordon and search missions involve isolating the target area and searching suspected buildings to capture or destroy possible insurgents and contraband. A cordon is critical to the success of the search effort. It is designed to prevent persons of interest from escaping and insurgents from reinforcing while protecting the forces conducting the operation. Based on METT-TC, the Infantry platoon can establish an inner cordon and an outer cordon. A mounted platoon is best suited to provide the outer cordon given its mobility and armaments. Both cordon elements must focus inward and outward for security purposes.

2-251. The outer cordon’s composition and capabilities should be based on METT-TC, and its mission is providing containment to prevent a high-value target from escaping the objective area. The outer cordon may have to accomplish this task by being more terrain-oriented, focusing on the most probable avenues of approach into and out of the objective area. It also can be tasked to obstruct specific locations to prevent escape from inside and block interference from the outside. A mounted platoon is best suited to provide the outer cordon due to its mobility and armaments.

2-252. The mission of the inner cordon is containing the immediate vicinity of the target to prevent escape and providing security to the search element. If the cordon and search is opposed by a hostile force, the inner cordon provides support by fire and direct fires to suppress the enemy force and allow maneuver of the search element to the objective.

2-253. Due to the congested nature of urban environments, direct fire control measures can be complicated. One proven TTP is for units to number buildings, letter building corners, and number floors. Then a request for immediate direct fire suppression can be specific and the risk of collateral damage, fratricide, and friendly fire is reduced. The fire command can be, “Immediate suppression, two personnel with weapons, building 23, side A-B, second floor, second window, fire when ready.” Due to the condensed and compressed nature of the physical area, fires are precise and accurate, as opposed to high volume.

Next: 2-254: Civilian Considerations

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