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Previous: 6-93: Support Element
6-95. The security element is a shaping force having three roles. The first is to isolate the objective from enemy personnel and vehicles attempting to enter the objective area. These actions range from simply providing early warning, to blocking enemy movement. This element may require several different forces located in various positions. The patrol leader is careful to consider enemy reserves or response forces that will be alerted once the engagement begins. The second role is to prevent enemy from escaping the objective area. The third role is to secure the patrol’s withdrawal route.
6-96. There is a subtle yet important distinction to the security element. All elements of the patrol are responsible for their own local security. What distinguishes the security element is they are protecting the entire patrol. Their positions must be such they can, in accordance with their engagement criteria, provide early warning of approaching enemy.
6-97. The security element is organized to address the primary threat to the patrol, being discovered and defeated by security forces prior to execution of actions on the objective. To facilitate the success of the assault element, the security element must fix or block (or at a minimum screen) all enemy security or response forces located on parts of the battlefield away from the raid.
Next: 6-98: Leader Locations
Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad