Infantry Drills

6-132: Initiating the Ambush

Previous: 6-131: Movement in the Kill Zone

6-132. Once all friendly elements are in position, the unit waits for enemy targets. When the target approaches, the security team spots it and alerts the ambush leader. The security team reports the target’s direction of movement, size, and special weapons or equipment. Upon receipt of the report, the leader alerts the other elements.

6-133. When most of the enemy force is in the kill zone, the leader initiates the ambush with the most casualty-producing weapon, medium machine gun fire, or the detonation of mines or explosives. The detonation of explosives can cause a pause in the initiation of fires due to the obscuration created by the explosion. Once conditions are set, cease or shift fires. The assault element may conduct an assault through the kill zone to the LOA. If the assault element must assault the kill zone, the leader signals to cease or shift fire. This also signals the start of the assault. Besides destruction of the enemy force, other kill zone tasks can include searching for items of intelligence value, capturing prisoners, and completing the destruction of enemy equipment. When the assault element has finished its mission in the kill zone, the leader gives the signal to withdraw to the ORP.

6-134. Fire discipline is critical during an ambush. Soldiers do not fire until the signal is given. Then it must be delivered at once in the heaviest, most accurate volume possible. Well-trained gunners and well-aimed fire help achieve surprise and destruction of the target. When the target is to be assaulted, the ceasing or shifting of fire also must be precise. If it is not, the assault is delayed, and the target has a chance to react. Sector stakes should be used if possible.

Next: 6-135: Withdrawal

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