Previous: 2-320: Special Purpose Attacks
2-321. An ambush is an assault by fire or other destructive means from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy. An ambush stops, denies, or destroys enemy forces by maximizing the element of surprise. Ambushes can employ direct fire systems as well as other destructive means, such as command-detonated mines, indirect fires, and supporting nonlethal effects. They may include an assault to close with and destroy enemy forces. In an ambush, ground objectives do not have to be seized and held.
2-322. The three forms of ambush are point, area, and antiarmor ambush. In a point ambush, a unit deploys to attack a single kill zone. In an area ambush, a unit deploys into two or more related point ambushes. Units smaller than a platoon normally do not conduct an area ambush.
2-323. A typical ambush is organized into three elements: assault, support, and security. The assault element fires into the kill zone. Its goal is to destroy the enemy force. When used, the assault force attacks into and clears the kill zone. It also may be assigned additional tasks, to include searching for items of intelligence value, capturing prisoners, photographing new types of equipment and when unable to take enemy equipment, completing the destruction of enemy equipment to avoid its immediate reuse. The support element supports the assault element by firing into and around the kill zone, and it provides the ambush’s primary killing power. The support element attempts to destroy the majority of enemy combat power before the assault element moves into the objective or kill zone. The security element isolates the kill zone, provides early warning of arrival of all enemy relief forces, and provides security for the assault and support elements. It secures the objective rally point (ORP) and blocks enemy avenues of approach into and out of the ambush site, which prevents the enemy from entering or leaving. (Refer to chapter 6 this publication for detailed discussion.)
Next: 2-324: Counterattack