Infantry Drills

3-13: Organization of Forces

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3-13. The leader organizes the defending force to accomplish information collection, reconnaissance operations; security; main battle area; reserve; and sustainment missions. The leader has the option of defending forward or defending in-depth. When the leader defends forward within an area of operation, the force is organized so most of available combat power is committed early in the defensive effort. To accomplish this, the leader may deploy forces forward or plan counterattacks well forward in the main battle area or even beyond the main battle area. If the leader has the option of conducting a defense in-depth, security forces and forward main battle area elements are used to identify, define, and control the depth of the enemy’s main effort while holding off secondary thrusts. This allows the leader to conserve combat power, strengthen the reserve, and better resource the counterattack.

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