Infantry Drills

3-72: Gain and Maintain Enemy Contact

Previous: 3-69: Sequence of the Defense

3-72. Gaining and maintaining enemy contact in the face of the enemy’s determined efforts to destroy friendly reconnaissance assets is vital to the success of the defense. As the enemy’s attack begins, the defending unit’s first concerns are to identify committed enemy units’ positions and capabilities, determine the enemy’s intent and direction of attack, and gain time to react. The platoon leader uses the information available to him, in conjunction with military judgment, to determine the point at which the enemy commits to a COA.

3-73. Early detection of the enemy’s decisive operation provides the leader with reaction time to adjust the fixing force’s positions and shape the enemy penetration, which, in turn, provides the time necessary to commit the striking force. The striking force leader requires as close to real-time updates of enemy situation as possible to ensure the striking force engages the enemy at the right location and time.

Next: 3-74: Disrupt the Enemy

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