Previous: 3-138: Subterranean Threats
3-141. Defensive tasks in mountainous areas are conducted to resist, defeat, or destroy an enemy attack to support subsequent offensive tasks. Infantry leaders use the defense to withstand an enemy attack while preparing to seize the initiative and develop conditions favorable for transitioning to the offense. During the defense, friendly forces withstand enemy attacks and hold the enemy while preparing to seize the initiative and transition to an attack or to conduct stability tasks. A thorough understanding of the commander’s intent is especially critical in the defense, which demands precise integration of all combat power.
3-142. Forces operating in mountainous terrain often possess weapons and equipment more advanced in technology than the enemy does. Knowing this, enemy offensive tactics commonly involve short violent engagements followed by a hasty withdrawal through preplanned routes. They often strike quickly and fight only as long as the advantage of initial surprise is in their favor. Attacks may include direct fires, indirect fires, or IEDs and may be against stationary or moving forces. (Refer to ATTP 3-21.50 for more information.)