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3-46. Usually, as part of a larger element, the Infantry platoon conducts the defense performing several integrated and overlapping activities. The following paragraphs focus on the tactical considerations and procedures involved in each activity. This discussion shows an attacking enemy that uses depth in its operations, but there will be situations where a platoon must defend against an enemy that does not have a doctrinal operational foundation. The platoon must be prepared to defend against such threats. This unconventional (insurgent or terrorist force) enemy situation requires a more flexible plan that allows for more responsive and decentralized control of combat power rather than spreading it evenly throughout the platoon’s area of operation. The platoon also may conduct ‘base-camp’ (Refer to FM 3-21.10 for more information.) or perimeter defense along with offense and patrolling against terrorist and insurgent forces. (Refer to chapter 6 of this publication for a discussion on patrol base activities.)
3-47. As the platoon leader plans his defense, he generally follows this order of events:
- Reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) operations and enemy preparatory fires.
- Occupation and preparation.
- Approach of the enemy main attack.
- Enemy assault.
- Consolidation and reorganization.