Infantry Drills

5-37: Route Planning

Previous: 5-36: Navigational Attack Points

5-37. Route planning must take into account enabling tasks specific to tactical movement. These tasks facilitate the overall operation. Tactical movement normally contains some or all of the following enabling tasks:

  • Planning movement with global positioning system waypoints or checkpoints utilizing navigation skills.
  • Movement to and passage of friendly lines.
  • Movement to an objective rally point.
  • Movement to a phase line of deployment.
  • Movement to a limit of advance.
  • Linkup with another unit.
  • Movement to a patrol base or assembly area.
  • Movement back to and reentry of friendly lines.

5-38. Leaders first identify where they want to end up (the objective or LOA). Then, working back to their current location, they identify all of the critical information and actions required as they relate to the route. For example, navigational aids, tactical positions, known and templated enemy positions, and friendly control measures. Using this information, they break up their route in manageable parts called legs. Finally, they capture their information and draw a sketch on a route chart. There are three decisions leaders make during route planning:

  • The type of (or combination of) navigation to use.
  • The type of route during each leg.
  • The start point and end point of each leg.

5-39. The leader assesses the terrain in his proposed area of operation. In addition to the standard Army map, the leader may have aerial photographs and terrain analysis overlays from the parent unit, or he may talk with someone familiar with the area.

5-40. To control movement, a leader uses axis of advance, directions of attack, infiltration lanes, phase lines, PLD, checkpoints (waypoints), final coordination line, rally points, AA, and routes.

Next: 5-41: Types of Navigation

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