Infantry Drills

2-311: Beyond the Objective

Previous: 2-310: On The Objective

2-311. Dismounting beyond the objective has several potential advantages: effective control at the dismount point; easier to orient the rifle squads to the terrain and the objective; and confused or disoriented enemy are forced to fight in an unexpected direction. Significant disadvantages remain the platoon is vulnerable to attack from enemy defensive positions in-depth; the platoon is vulnerable to attack by enemy reserve forces; the vehicles are vulnerable to short-range, handheld antiarmor systems; and it is difficult to control direct fires, increasing the risk of fratricide.

2-312. Ideally, the platoon’s assault element occupies the assault position without the enemy detecting the platoon’s elements. Preparations in the assault position may include preparing Bangalore, other breaching equipment, or demolitions; fixing bayonets; lifting or shifting direct fires; or preparing smoke pots.

2-313. If the platoon is detected as it nears its assault position, indirect fire suppression is required on the objective and the support element increases its volume of fire. If the platoon needs to make last-minute preparations, then it occupies the assault position. If the platoon does not need to stop, it passes through the assault position, treating it as a PLD and assaults the objective. Sometimes, a platoon must halt to complete preparation and to ensure synchronization of friendly forces. Once the assault element moves forward of the assault position, the assault continues. If the assault element stops or turns back, the element could sustain excessive casualties.

2-314. Infantry leaders employ all direct and indirect fire support means to destroy and suppress the enemy and sustain the momentum of attack. By carefully synchronizing the effects of indirect-fire systems and available CAS, leaders improve the likelihood of success. Fires are planned in series or groups to support maneuver against enemy forces on or near the geographical objective. As the leader shifts artillery fires and obscurants from the objective to other targets, the assault element moves rapidly across the objective. The support element must not allow its suppressive fires to lapse. These fires isolate the objective and prevent the enemy from reinforcing or counterattacking. They also destroy escaping enemy forces and systems.

Next: 2-315: Follow Through

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