Infantry Drills

3-110: Displacement Planning

Previous: 3-109: Flank Positions

3-110. Disengagement and displacement allow the platoon to retain its flexibility and tactical agility in the defense. The ultimate goals of disengagement and displacement are to enable the platoon to avoid being fixed or decisively engaged by the enemy. The overarching factor in a displacement is to maintain a mobility advantage over the enemy. The platoon leader must consider several important factors in displacement planning. These factors include, among others:

  • The enemy situation, for example, an enemy attack with one company-size enemy unit might prevent the platoon from disengaging.
  • Disengagement criteria.
  • Availability of direct fire suppression that can support disengagement by suppressing or disrupting the enemy.
  • Availability of cover and concealment, indirect fires, and obscurants to assist disengagement.
  • Obstacle integration, including situational obstacles.
  • Positioning of forces on terrain that provides an advantage to the disengaging elements such as linear obstacles.
  • Identification of displacement routes and times when disengagement or displacement will take place. Routes and times are rehearsed.
  • The size of the friendly force that must be available to engage the enemy in support of the displacing unit.

3-111. While disengagement and displacement are valuable tactical tools, they can be extremely difficult to execute in the face of a rapidly moving enemy force. In fact, displacement in contact poses such great problems that the platoon leader thoroughly plans for it and rehearses displacement before conducting the defense. He then carefully evaluates the situation when displacement in contact becomes necessary to ensure it is feasible and does not result in unacceptable personnel or equipment losses.

Next: 3-112: Disengagement Criteria

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