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Andres F. Tejero Gonzalez "Whoever controls the information will dominate the world, freedom is meaningless without knowledge of information" "Qui controle l'information va dominer le monde, la liberta n'a pas de sens sans la connaissance de l'information" "Quien controle la informacion dominara el mundo, la libertad no tiene sentido sin el conocimiento de la informacion" "Wer kontrolliert die Informationen werden die Welt zu beherrschen, ist die Freiheit bedeutungslos ohne Kenntnis der Informationen" snehtua

FM 90-8
“This is another type of war new in its intensity,
ancient in its origins —
war by guerrillas, subversives,
insurgents, assassins; war by ambush
of by combat; by infiltration, instead of
seeking victory by eroding and exhausting
the enemy instead of engaging him...it
in those situations where we must counter
..a whole new kind of strategy, a wholly different
kind of force, and therefore a new and wholly
different kind of military training.”
John F. Kennedy, 1962
The aims, objectives, and methods of guerrilla warfare differ greatly
from those of conventional warfare. To be successful in countering this
type of war, the planners of counterguerrilla operations must
understand the enemy and the unique environment in which he
This manual provides commanders and staffs of brigade elements and
below with concepts and doctrine concerning the conduct of counterguerrilla
operations by US forces in insurgency and conventional
environments. It provides a general overview of US counterinsurgency
strategy and the impact that strategy has on counterguerrilla
It provides planning, training, and operational guidance
commanders and staffs conducting counterguerrilla operations.
The doctrine provides principles to guide the actions of US forces
conducting counterguerrilla operations. In applying these principles,
the commander must be aware that the situation in each counterguerrilla
operation is unique. Techniques and tactics applied successfully in one
situation may not be suitable if applied in the same manner in another
situation. The principles in this manual are guides to be adapted to
each counterguerrilla situation.
The proponent of this publication is HQ TRADOC. Submit changes for
improving this publication on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes
to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward to the Commandant,
US Army Infantry School, ATTN: ATSH-B-ID, Fort Benning, GA
Unless otherwise stated, whenever the masculine gender is used, both
men and women are included.
1-1. Overview.
Section I. General
This chapter discusses the type of activity that is characteristic of an
insurgency. A general overview of insurgency is provided to introduce
the planner of counterguerrilla operations to the insurgent. The host
government’s method to defeat the insurgency is discussed, as is the
difference between counterinsurgency and counterguerrilla operations.
The methods of response by United States (US) forces, and the general
doctrine for their use, are also presented.
1-2. Types of conflict.
a.   The risk to national survival is greatest in a conventional conflict,
but the probability of such conflicts occurring is relatively low. On
the other hand, the risk to national survival is not as great in a
counterinsurgency conflict, but the probability of these types of
conflicts occurring is much greater.
b.    Conventional conflicts imply a state of open belligerency between
nations and a direct confrontation of their armed forces. An
insurgency implies a situation where a country is threatened by
an internal attempt, frequently assisted by external support, to
overthrow the legitimate government. counterguerrilla situations
faced by US forces are likely to occur in an insurgency environment,
but may also occur in conventional conflict environments.
Counterguerrilla operations in support of a conventional conflict
(such as the partisan operations that occurred behind German
lines during World War II) are discussed in Chapter 4.
1-3. Concept.
Section Il. Insurgency
a. The concept of resistance applies to an organized effort by some
portion of the civil population of a country to resist, oppose, or
overthrow the existing government. Many of the methods of
resistance are part of the stock-in-trade of revolutionary activity.
There can be
no revolution without a resistance movement, but
there can be a resistance movement without a revolution when the
objectives of the resistors do not envision a reallocation of power.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
b.      This concept applies to an organized insurgent movement that
seeks to overthrow the established government. In this manner,
an insurgent organization can be considered a type of resistance
1-4. Prerequisites.
There are three requirements that must exist before an insurgency can
a. Vulnerable population. For whatever the reasons — social,
political, or economic — the population is generally open to
change. The insurgents will offer hope for change and exploit
dissatisfaction with the current government.
Leadership available for direction. A vulnerable population
alone will “not support an insurgent movement. There must be a
leadership element that can direct the frustrations of a dissatisfied
populace along the lines delineated by the overall insurgent
c. Lack of government control. Lack of government control may
be real or perceived. The greater the control the government has
over the situation, the less likely are the chances for insurgent
success The opposite is also true: the less control the government
has, the greater is the chance for insurgent success.
1-5. Other required conditions.
There are a number of other conditions that must exist or be produced
for an insurgent movement to succeed.
Popular support. Support can be passive or active. It is not
necessary that the entire population actively support an
insurgency, but the majority of the population must passively
support it.
Unity of effort. The overall thrust of an insurgent movement
must provide a strength of unity that dedicates those involved to
achieving the same goal.
Will to resist. It is not enough for the population to resist their
government passively; at least a portion must be willing to resist
Leadership. The activities and effort of the insurgent movement
must be properly directed through the exercise of effective
Discipline. The aspect of the movement must be strongly
maintained to ensure security and obedience.
f.   Intelligence. Because the insurgent movement is usually
inferior in numbers and combat power in relation to government
forces, the intelligence effort must provide security for the
insurgent organization and information to conduct successful
Propaganda. It is used to gain popular support and intensify
the populace’s dissatisfaction with the government.
Favorable environment. This includes attitudes of the people,
the political environment, and the economic situation.
External support. The preceding eight conditions are theoretically
the only ones that an insurgency must have to succeed.
Historically, however, there seems to be one additional condition
that must exist the condition of external support. This support
may be physical or psychological. Examples of physical external
support are equipment, weapons, supplies, ammunition, sanctuaries,
personnel, and combat units. Examples of psychological external
support include the political support given to the resistance when
a country recognizes that movement in the world arena and the
pressure a government might exert politically or economically to
influence world opinion in favor of the movement.
1-6. Insurgent organization.
An insurgent organization may have both an overt and a covert
element. The overt element, the guerrilla, is readily identified. It is
supported by a clandestine element which makes up the insurgent
infrastructure. The insurgent organization also has political and
military structures.
1-7. Phases of development.
a. Once an insurgent organization is established and begins its
activities, it progresses through several phases in its effort to
overthrow the government. When the insurgency moves from one
phase to another is difficult to determine. The activities that occur
in the earlier phases will continue through the later phases. These
phases range from the weak insurgent movement until the time
the insurgent can confront government forces directly.
There is also the possibility that an insurgency may move directly
from Phase I to Phase III. Additionally, depending upon the lack
of success of the movement, there may also be a reversion from
Phase III to Phase II or even back to Phase I.
(1)   Phase I: Latent and incipient insurgency. Activity in
this phase ranges from subversive activity that is only a
potential threat to situations in which frequent subversive
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FM 90-8
incidents and activities occur in an organized pattern. It
involves no major outbreak of violence or uncontrolled
insurgent activity. The guerrilla force does not conduct
continuous operations but rather selected acts of terrorism.
(2)  Phase II: Guerrilla warfare. This phase is reached
when the insurgent movement, having gained sufficient
local or external support, initiates organized continuous
guerrilla warfare or related forms of violence against the
government. This is an attempt to force government forces
into a defensive role. As the guerrilla becomes stronger, he
begins to conduct larger operations.
Phase III: War of movement. When the guerrilla attains
the force structure and capability to directly engage
government forces in decisive combat, then he will progres-
sively begin to use more conventional tactics and may obtain
combat forces from an external source. He may also begin to
conduct more extensive defensive operations in this phase to
protect the areas he controls.
c. The goal of the insurgent movement, if achieved, will result in the
replacement of the established government with a government
structure developed by the insurgent movement. If this occurs, it
is a political victory for the insurgents. The insurgent movement
does not need to defeat host country forces to accomplish this. A
parallel or “shadow” government may also be developed by an
insurgent force. It must, however, win the support of the people
away from the established government to achieve this political
Section Ill. Counterinsurgency
1-8. Three target groups.
The government’s weapon to combat insurgency is counterinsurgency
(COIN). The COIN mission includes a full range of measures used by a
government to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness,
and insurgency. They are actions taken by a nation to promote its
growth by building viable institutions (political, military, economic,
social) that respond to the needs of the people. There are three target
groups that the government addresses: the population, insurgents, and
external actors.
1-9. Population.
The government must win back the support of the people. It does this
through providing them security and showing an honest effort to
correct those conditions which caused dissatisfaction.
1-10. Insurgents.
a. The government must isolate the insurgent from the population,
both physically and psychologically, thereby denying him
personnel, materiel, and intelligence support.
b.    The COIN strategy is based on the concept of balanced development,
mobilization, and neutralization. These three components are
interdependent and must occur simultaneously. If COIN strategy
achieves its goal, the government will regain populace support.
c. The military assists the COIN program through the conduct of six
major operations: intelligence, psychological operations, civil
affairs, populace and resources control, advisory assistance, and
tactical operations. The successful employment of these operations
contributes to the success of the COIN program. They are
normally conducted simultaneously, in conjunction with each
other, and require close coordination of diverse government
1-11. External actors.
Current insurgencies target on external actors for support, passive or
active. Both the government and the insurgents use this tactic. The
insurgent tries to separate the government from its foreign support.
The government seeks to retain its support and separate the insurgent
from his foreign support.
1-12. Counterinsurgency — counterguerrilla.
There is a difference in the terms counterinsurgency and counterguerrilla.

The internal defense and development (IDAD) program is
geared to counter the whole insurgency. It does this through
alleviating conditions which may cause insurgency. This program,
which addresses both the populace and the insurgent, can be termed
counterinsurgency. Counterguerrilla operations are geared to the
active military element of the insurgent movement only. To this end,
counterguerrilla operations are viewed as a supporting component of
the counterinsurgency effort.
Section IV. Foreign Internal Defense
1-13. US assistance.
a. All civil military action by a government to assist a host
government and to achieve a standard level of protection from
lawlessness, subversion, and insurgency is termed foreign
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FM 90-8
internal defense (FID). The United States (US) Army has been
assigned a major role in providing military assistance to selected
nations in support of US national interests. The degree of
participation by US Army units is determined by US policy and
interests, an analysis of the insurgent threat, and the capabilities
and desires of the host country’s government.
b.   The introduction of US combat forces into an insurgency to
conduct counterguerrilla operations is something that is done
when all other US and host country responses have been
inadequate. US combat forces are never the first units into a
country. They are normally the last. Preceding them is an array of
advisors, security assistance forces, mobile training teams,
combat service support units, and combat support units. Combat
commanders deploying to conduct counterguerrilla operations
should understand this and the fact that neutralization of the
guerrilla is only one-third of the COIN strategy. Balanced
development of the country and mobilization of the populace
against the insurgents must occur simultaneously for the
insurgency to be defeated.
1-14. US activities.
When deployed in FID operations, US forces ensure that their
planned activities support the goals and consequences of the host
country’s COIN program. Actions by US forces must not
undermine or be detrimental to COIN goals.
b.     The response of US forces in any given situation must meet the
following requirements:
(1) Be appropriate
— response is appropriate to the level of
threat and activity.
(2) Be justifiable –
actions taken are justifiable in the eyes of
the host country’s population and the US public.
(3) Use minimum force — the goal is to restrict the use of force
and the level of commitment to the minimum feasible to
accomplish the mission. However, the principle of minimum
necessary force does not always imply minimum necessary
troops. A large number of men deployed at the right time may
enable a commander to use less force than he might
otherwise have done, or even to avoid using any force at all.
Commanders must, however, keep in mind that a peaceful
situation could become hostile because of the provocative
display of an overlarge force. Doing too much may be a
greater danger than doing too little.
(4) Do maximum benefit –
US forces should select operations
so they accomplish positive benefit for the population. If this
is not possible then the operational concept is wrong and
should not be executed.
(5) Do minimum damage
– US forces ensure that operations
preclude unnecessary damage to facilities, activities, and
resources. Since this is almost an impossibility, compensation
for any damage to property must be made and the property
restored, as much as possible, to its original state. In any
case, a major consideration is to plan activities to limit
Section V. AirLand BattIe and Counterguerrilla Operations
1-15. Challenges.
AirLand Battle is the Army’s operational concept for combat. It is
designed to deal with the worldwide challenges the Army faces. The
four basic challenges to the Army are the battlefield, leadership,
readiness, and training. The basic concepts of AirLand Battle doctrine
can be applied to counterguerrilla operations.
1-16. The battlefield.
The Army faces an enemy that may strike from any direction. It must
contend not only with military considerations in this environment but
with the political, economic, and social considerations which may
oftentimes outweigh military considerations. The Army must be able
to operate in all geographical areas and climates, and on all types of
terrain, with only the weapons, tactics, and assets permitted by the
political, social, and economic environment. The enemy will strike at
weak points and seek to avoid direct combat.
1-17. Leadership.
The complexities of counterguerrilla operations place a premium on
informed and trained leadership and independent operations. These
conditions demand more leader expertise and the ability to operate
independently at lower command levels than do higher levels of
conflict. The leader applies skill, imagination, and flexibility. He
effectively leads his troops and helps them to understand the problems
of counterguerrilla operations. He must be willing to reorganize his
assets to better accomplish his mission.
1-18. Readiness.
Units tasked to conduct counterguerrilla operations are prepared to
deploy and operate on short notice. Each soldier is prepared for battle
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
and is able to perform his duties. Units train to operate in areas of the
world where they may be tasked to fight.
1-19. Training.
Training is the cornerstone for success and a full-time job for
commanders. The commander ensures that soldiers are proficient
in traditional, basic skills and also familiar with more complex
skills required for success in a counterguerrilla environment.
These skills include intelligence, civil affairs, populace and
resources control, psychological operations, and advisory
AirLand Battle concepts outline the principles the Army must
apply when engaged in combat. Combat operations based on this
doctrine seek to locate, harass, and neutralize the guerrilla force
and deny it the capability to conduct offensive actions by
severing its linkage with the population. Coordinated efforts of
military and civilian organizations are required to achieve the
overall objective.
1-20. Operational concepts for AirLand Battle.
Generally, the purpose of military operations is to defeat the
opposing force. The use of armed forces in a counterguerrilla role
is primarily to provide enough internal security to enable the host
country to initiate counterinsurgency programs and pursue
national objectives.
The final resolution will not be by military means, but by
political, social, and economic action. With this in mind,
successful military operations are a means to an end. Success in
combat depends on the basic tenets of AirLand Battle doctrine:
initiative, depth, agility, and synchronization.
(1)   Initiative. To preserve the initiative, subordinates act
independently within the context of the overall plan. The
overall attitude of the Army is one of action, not reaction, to
the enemy’s initiatives. The characteristics of improvisation,
initiative, and aggressiveness, tempered with intelligent and
prudent decision-making, must be strong.
(2)    Depth. This refers to time, distance, and resources. The
commander is able to operate overlarge areas with minimum
logistical support while retaining the ability to react to
unexpected attacks. This battle-in-depth is designed to delay,
disrupt, or destroy the guerrilla’s uncommitted forces and
base areas. Reserves are kept to a minimum to allow
maximum use of the force, while still retaining the capability
to meet most threats.
(3) Agility. This requires flexible organizations and leaders
who can quickly adapt to changing situations. The factors of
mission, enemy, terrain (and weather), troops (available),
and time (available) (METT-T) and the way they interface
with environmental considerations determine the type of
organization involved. The leader is innovative and flexible,
and he adapts to different situations. Mobility enhances the
agility of the force engaged in counterguerrilla operations,
but the force is not tied to its vehicles. At a minimum, the
force has mobility equal to that of the guerrillas.
(4) Synchronization. This means more than coordinated
action to achieve maximum combat power. In the counter-
guerrilla environment, it encompasses the effective, coordinated
use of available combat power and its interface with
noncombat operations. Tactical and nontactical, civilian
and military, host country and US force operations are
coordinated and supportive of each other to achieve the
overall objective. Additionally, US military operations are
aligned with US policy and aims in the host country. This in
turn may place certain restrictions on US forces.
1-21. Combat imperatives.
The seven combat imperatives of AirLand Battle doctrine find
their basis in the principles of war. These imperatives are:
Ensure unity of effort. The principles for this imperative
are the objective, unity of command, and simplicity. Unity of
effort requires the commander to understand the overall US
objective and how his operations support that objective. He
applies the principles underlying this imperative in such a
way that the effects of his operations are not a detriment to
attaining the overall US objective.
Direct friendly strengths against enemy weaknesses.
The principles for this imperative are maneuver and
surprise. The commander minimizes and protects his
weaknesses and uses his strengths against the guerrilla’s
weak points. To do this, he knows the enemy’s organization,
equipment, and tactics. In addition to knowing how the
guerrilla fights, it is important for the commander to
understand why the guerrilla fights.
Designate and sustain the main effort. The principles
for this imperative are mass and economy of force. The Army
cannot be everywhere at once. It cannot do everything at
once. Priorities are set at tactical and operational levels to
determine where the main effort is to occur and what goal is
to be achieved.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Sustain the fight. The force may have to operate for
extended periods on limited logistics. To sustain momentum,
the commander deploys forces in adequate depth and
arranges for service support when needed. The commander
is audacious and presses soldiers and systems to the limits of
Move fast, strike hard, and finish rapidly. The principles
for this imperative are maneuver and mass. Speed and
mobility are essential. To avoid detection, US forces employ
deception techniques, communications security (COMSEC),
and operations security (OPSEC). While the overall conflict
may be prolonged, the tactical operations are executed with
speed to retain initiative and freedom of action. This is
balanced against the need for patience.
Use terrain and weather. The guerrilla force is familiar
with the terrain and comfortable with the climate. Reconnaissance
and intelligence (if accomplished effectively) give
the commander a decisive edge in anticipating difficulties
with terrain and weather. He uses both to his advantage.
Protect the force. Successful commanders preserve the
strength of their force. They do so through security, keeping
troops healthy and equipment ready, and by sustaining
discipline and morale. The guerrilla seeks to degrade the
morale of the force through the use of psychological
operations (PSYOPS) and harassment. His tactics are
geared to wear down his opponent’s will to fight. The
commander trains his soldiers and constantly reminds them
of exactly what the mission is and why it is important to
complete the mission.
Doctrine is a guide that delineates principles and fundamental
concepts. The commander uses these principles and concepts
when analyzing the situation and then uses them as a guide in
selecting his actions.
2-1. Operations.
The Threat
Section I. General
The guerrilla must be understood before he can be defeated. This
chapter discusses the characteristics, tactics, and environment of
guerrilla operations.
b.   The guerrilla is the overt combat element of the insurgent
organization. The members of the guerrilla force are organized
under military concepts to conduct military and paramilitary
operations. Their duties usually include all the overt actions that
are conducted by the insurgent organization but may include
covert and clandestine operations. They are usually most active
in insurgent-controlled or contested areas. However, when the
insurgency calls for operations in government-controlled areas,
the guerrilla may conduct these operations.
2-2. Aims and goals.
Support overall goal of the insurgent movement. To this
end, the guerrilla operates to support the major goal of the
insurgent movement to replace the established government.
Gain support for insurgent movement. The guerrilla tries to
gain support for the insurgent movement through propaganda,
coercion, and terror. If he cannot gain active support, then he will
seek passive support: Silence on the part of the populace
concerning insurgent activities is considered passive support for
the insurgent.
Increase population’s vulnerability. Through the use of
selective terrorism, the guerrilla attacks or destroys economic and
political symbols upon which the government is founded.
Overreaction on the part of government forces or other elements
of authority contributes to the population’s dissatisfaction with
the government and its subsequent support to the insurgency.
Lessen government control. By defeating small government
forces and striking where government forces are not, the guerrilla
adds to the perception that the government cannot or will not
provide security for the population and its property. This adds to
the perception that the government cannot control the insurgents.
Provide psychological victories. To this end, the guerrilla
seeks to gain victories that psychologically benefit the insurgent
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FM 90-8
movement, whether or not these victories are significant in terms
of material damage to the government or its armed forces. It is the
psychological advantage the guerrilla seeks.
Tie up government resources. By forcing the government to
expend resources on military operations against the guerrilla, the
guerrilla seeks to tie up resources that could best be utilized by the
government in development programs.
Weaken resolve of government military forces. By defeating
smaller elements of the government’s military forces, the
guerrilla further weakens the usually limited assets the government
has available. He also psychologically weakens the government
forces’ resolve to continue waging war.
2-3. Factors.
Section Il.
The environment that the guerrilla operates in must be examined from
more than a geographical point of view. While terrain and climate are
important factors, the political, sociological, and economic aspects of
the environment take on added importance.
2-4. Terrain.
The rural guerrilla will prefer to continue to live in his own home. He
will go to camps if security does not permit him to live at home. He
favors level, well-drained campsites with good water supply, natural
fuel, cover, and adequate vegetation to provide concealment from
aerial observation. The preferred camps are also chosen with a view
toward easy access to the target population, access to a friendly or
neutral border, good escape routes, and good observation of approach
routes used by government counterguerrilla forces. When counterguerrilla
operations by government forces force the guerrilla out of his preferred
base camps, he tends to establish camps in rugged inhospitable areas
not easily penetrated by government forces.
2-5. Climate.
The fact that the guerrilla is usually a native to the area and is used to
the climate gives him an added advantage. If the government forces
are also familiar with this type of climate, then the advantage to the
guerrilla is lessened. If the government forces are not familiar with
operating in the climate, then the advantage to the guerrilla increases.
Generally, the climate of the area does not favor either the guerrilla or
the government forces to any great degree unless there are extremes
involved. Then the impact is on the logistical systems.
2-6. Political factors.
The amount of government control in a given area directly impacts on
the ability of the guerrilla to operate. The more government control, the
less successful are guerrilla activities, whereas less government
control of an area improves chances for guerrilla success. The guerrilla
will attempt to disrupt normal government functions and destroy key
government facilities and personnel to reduce the level of government
control in an area.
2-7. Sociological factors.
The more fragmented a society is, the greater the opportunity for
dissatisfaction among the populace. The guerrilla will attempt to
increase friction between different groups in society. These groups may
be aligned along racial, ethnic, religious, or social lines. Language
differences or tradition may also be a reason for alignment. Religious
influences may play a significant role in the sociological factors that
affect the guerrilla.
2-8. Economic factors.
Low standards of living and desires for economic reforms may be
popular causes of dissatisfaction with the government. As with
political and sociological factors, the greater the degree of dissatisfaction
with the government’s economic policies, the better the guerrilla’s
chances for success. The guerrilla seeks to exploit this situation
through the use of psychological operations. Since the guerrilla derives
a major portion of his logistical support from the local economy, he will
normally not disrupt it drastically. Guerrilla forces will destroy a local
economy of an area as a lesson to the people living there to exact more
support or obedience from them.
2-9. Impact.
The impact that each of the factors has on the guerrilla, and his
ability to successfully operate, changes in each situation. A
careful analysis by the commander and his staff of each of the
factors is necessary to determine what the impact of each is prior
to conducting counterguerrilla operations. In all cases, each
factor must be analyzed to determine the peculiarities, weaknesses,
and strengths it may have in relation to the guerrilla.
b.     In planning for counterguerrilla operations, the commander
exploits disclosed guerrilla weaknesses and deprives the
guerrilla, wherever possible, of any opportunities to exploit
government weaknesses.
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Section Ill.
2-10. Considerations.
a. By understanding the general characteristics of the guerrilla, it is
easier to determine strengths which must be reduced or avoided
and weaknesses which can be exploited.
The characteristics discussed are general, and the commander
planning counterguerrilla operations must analyze a particular
situation to discover how these considerations apply.
2-11. Guerrilla strengths.
a. Intelligence. The intelligence networks in the infrastructure
usually provide continuous and current information on government
force dispositions, strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. The
need for secrecy as an element of survival for the insurgent
organization makes government penetration and disruption of
these intelligence networks difficult. However, their structures
are vulnerable to penetration and careful, detailed analysis.
Intelligence collecting and analyses must be placed on a robust
footing early to build data bases. Pattern analysis and other
techniques can rob the guerrilla of this advantage. counterguerrilla
forces can also overcome this intelligence advantage through the
comprehensive use of deception, operations security, and
communications security.
b. Indigenous characteristics.
(1)    Guerrillas usually have the ability to blend with the local
populace. In many cases they are part of the local populace.
This enhances their capability to operate with secrecy in a
given area.
The counterguerrilla force must identify the guerrilla and
remove him from the civilian populace. This is best
accomplished through the effective use of population and
resources control.
(3)   Care must be taken to ensure that civilians are not injured or
mistreated as a result of counterguerrilla operations.
c. Knowledge.
(1)  The guerrilla’s knowledge of the local populace and terrain is
a strength. It gives him the ability to utilize psychological
operations effectively. The guerrilla can usually develop a
working relationship with the populace because they
identify to some degree with his cause. If he cannot persuade
them, he has the force to coerce them. The counterguerrilla
force must try to overcome this advantage by fostering a
strong relationship between the government forces and the
populace. The creation of a local civilian defense force by the
government and the counterguerrilla force’s cooperation
with it is one way to do this.
(2)  By knowing the environment he operates in, the guerilla has
a major advantage. This advantage may be overcome by
continuous counterguerrilla operations in a given area by a
permanently stationed counterguerrilla force and skillful
use of native assets.
Motivation and discipline. The guerrilla leaders are trained
and motivated. They reinforce motivation within the guerrilla
force through the immediate application of discipline. Usually,
the guerrilla is devoted to a cause almost to the point of
Limited responsibilities. The guerrilla usually does not have
the responsibility to maintain normal governmental obligations
toward society. This frees all his efforts to conduct operations in
support of the insurgency goals. However, the guerrilla force may
be tasked to perform certain political services (such as tax
collection) by the insurgency shadow government.
Tactics. The guerrilla can utilize a broad range of tactics, from
terror and sabotage through conventional warfare. This enables
him to escalate or deescalate antigovernment activity almost at
Physical condition.
Guerrillas are usually of an age which places them in their
years of greatest physical stamina. One of the major
advantages the guerrilla has is his ability to endure
hardship. Usually, because of the situation, he has to make
do with less. This forces him to adapt and be innovative.
The general strengths described are designed to provide a
base to analyze the specific guerrilla threat. No two guerrilla
forces are identical. These strengths are applied against the
specific situation being addressed. Whatever the results of
that analysis, the obvious strengths must be reduced or
2-12. Guerrilla weaknesses.
a. Limited personnel and resources. The guerrilla normally
lacks the personnel and the logistics to intentionally become
decisively engaged with government forces. Difficulty in
recruitment and resupply to replace his combat losses in
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personnel and materiel may limit his operations. The counterguerrilla
force should exploit these weaknesses by interdicting
routes and facilities, forcing desertion because of
and by inflicting combat losses that are hard to
b.   Individual factors. Basically, the guerrilla endures a life of
physical danger and privation. These stresses can be exploited by
counterguerrilla forces. Numerically inferior to the government
forces facing him, fear of being treated as a criminal if captured by
the government, and fear of violence to himself and his family
(imposed by the guerrilla organization to ensure his cooperation)
are stress factors in addition to constant combat and a hostile
environment that weaken guerrilla resolve. In some societies,
good treatment, pardon, protection, food, shelter, and participation
in the government may be stronger incentives than the fear of
criminal punishment to induce guerrilla desertions.
Operational factors. Operational weaknesses may include
security, which requires extensive resources and slows down
responsiveness; bases that are difficult to acquire and operate;
and the lack of technology or ability to maintain captured
high-technology items. The dependence of the guerrilla on
popular support is also a weakness, since if that support wavers or
is withdrawn, then the guerrilla will not be able to operate
effectively. Another operational weakness may be the lack of
sophisticated communications, which could require the guerrilla
to spend an excessive amount of time preparing to launch an
2-13. Guerrilla support.
A major concern common to all guerrillas is support. Support can be
divided into two general categories.
a. Popular support.
(1)  As discussed previously, the guerrilla must have either the
active or passive support of the populace to succeed. Popular
support alone will not ensure the success of guerrilla
operations. Ineffective operations, unwise decisions, and
poor leadership are examples of deficiencies that would
preclude his success. Popular support should be viewed,
instead, as a condition that must exist for the guerrilla to
initiate and conduct operations in a given area over a period
of time. If popular support does not exist or is withdrawn, the
guerrilla will not be able to conduct operations with any hope
of success. Therefore, one of the prime considerations for the
counterguerrilla force is to gain and maintain the support of
the populace. Areas where active support is given to the
guerrilla are excellent targets for psychological operations.
Populace and resources control operations will play a vital
role in winning support away from the guerrilla.
In areas where only passive support is given to the guerrilla,
then government efforts through psychological operations
and civil affairs, as well as the provision of security, must be
initiated to gain active support and trust of the government.
In areas that the government controls and where the
populace supports the government, increased emphasis is
placed on all six major operations in IDAD to maintain that
b.  Logistical support.
(1)   This is one of the guerrilla’s most vulnerable areas. In early
operations, the guerrilla relies on his base of popular support
for logistical requirements. As the guerrilla force develops
and expands, its logistical needs may increase to the point
that the internal support base can no longer provide for all of
the guerrilla’s logistical requirements. If the insurgent
movement has not reached the point where the attainment of
its overall goals is imminent, then the guerrilla may have to
receive additional logistical support from another source.
(2)   If the guerrilla receives support from external sources, then
he is faced with the problem of security for supply lines,
transport means, and storage facilities. External support
should not be considered a prerequisite for the initiation of
counterguerrilla operations. It is an additional factor that, if
present and effective, will enhance the capabilities of the
guerrilla. In any case, the counterguerrilla force should seek
to interdict the logistic support that the guerrilla is receiving,
whether it be internal or external.
(3)    Since the guerrilla operates along military lines, he will
usually have temporary sites for headquarters, installations,
facilities, and operational units. These temporary sites are
called guerrilla base camps. It is in these camps that the
guerrilla has his command posts, training areas, communications
facilities, medical stations, and logistics centers. The
may also use these camps for rest, retraining, and
(4)   It must be understood that these camps do not equate with
conventional force operational bases since the guerrilla does
not seek to defend them if they are discovered. They are
temporary and depend on secrecy for their existence. If
discovered, the guerrilla will usually abandon the site and
move his operation. These bases are kept small, and usually
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there is more than one base in the guerrilla’s area of operation.
Characteristics of a base camp area are:
Cover and concealment. The guerrilla will attempt
to locate base camps in areas where cover and concealment
provide security against detection.
Rough, inaccessible terrain. Usually, the rougher
the terrain, the less likely is the chance of being
surprised by government forces. Terrain is chosen to
provide security against detection. Key terrain, as seen
by the conventional force, is usually avoided. While
guerrillas avoid defensive combat, they emphasize
short-term defensive action in the base camp vicinity to
aid evacuation, if necessary.
Suitable for bivouac. The area selected is a suitable
bivouac area. Consideration is given to food and water
supply, grade or slope of terrain, access to trails, and
protective environment.
(d) Remoteness.
Base camps are usually in relatively
remote areas for security. To preclude accidental
discovery, base camps are not usually near inhabited
areas. However, because the guerrilla must be able to
fill his logistical needs, his base camp usually will not
be more than one day’s march from a village or town. If
the counterguerrilla force can locate and disrupt these
camps, then the guerrilla can be kept off balance and
on the run, allowing the counterguerrilla force to gain
the initiative.
Section IV. Tactics
2-14. Terrorism and harassment.
When guerrilla forces first become operational, they usually
engage in limited or small-scale activities and operations. If they
reach more sophisticated levels of organization, equipment, and
training, then larger operations utilizing more conventional
tactics may be expected.
Guerrilla tactics are characterized by elusiveness, surprise, and
brief, violent action. These tactics in the early phases can be
divided into terrorism and harassment.
(1)   Terrorism. The guerrilla may use terrorism if it fits a given
situation and accomplishes his goals. Terrorist techniques
include bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, threats,
mutilation, murder, torture, and blackmail. It must be
recognized that all guerrillas do not use terrorism as a tool. If
terrorism is utilized, it is usually for coercion, provocation, or
Coercion. This is used to persuade individuals to act
favorably in given situations toward the guerrilla or
the insurgent movement. As an example, terrorism
might be used to persuade a local mayor to revise policy
concerning the guerrilla.
Provocation. This is used to provoke an overreaction
on the part of government forces so that the population
will be alienated by government forces’ actions.
Targets are usually government soldiers, leaders, or
(c)  Intimidation. This is used to modify behavior.
Usually, threats or fear of harm, either to the individual
or his family and friends, are used. Intimidation can be
used to induce the populace to silence or noncooperation
with government forces. It is used to discourage
competent citizens from accepting critical low-level
governmental positions.
(2) Harassment.
(a)  Most guerrilla operations are offensive, not defensive.
There is seldom an attempt to seize and defend
objectives for any length of tome.
The guerrilla uses dispersion during his movements,
but near the target area, small guerrilla elements mass
and then conduct operations.
(c)   While the guerrilla is outnumbered by government
forces, he seeks to attain local numerical superiority. In
this way he can attain victory over small elements of
the government forces. These tactics, if successful,
compel government forces to commit larger elements to
defensive tasks. Once government forces move to the
defensive, they lose the initiative and become reactive.
This allows the guerrilla time and space to develop to a
point where he has the capability to engage larger
government forces with more conventional tactics.
(d)    The most common techniques employed by the guerrilla
are the ambush, raid, and small-scale attacks. These
techniques are usually targeted against security posts,
small forces, facilities, and lines of communication.
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(e)   Harassing tactics are utilized to keep government
forces on the defensive. If successful, they make
government forces react to guerrilla operations, taking
away the government’s ability to conduct offensive
operations that would prevent successful guerrilla
(f)     Harassing tactics are also effective in weakening the
government’s resources and disrupting lines of com-
munication. One advantage of harassment is the
perceived image it gives of the guerrilla being able to
strike anywhere at will. It also makes the government
appear ineffective and incompetent by continuously
losing small battles.
2-15. Mao’s principles.
The principles of guerrilla tactics have been stated by China’s Mao
• Enemy advances, we retreat.
• Enemy halts, we harass.
• Enemy tires, we attack.
• Enemy retreats, we pursue.
Counterinsurgency Operations
Section I. General
3-1. Different conditions.
a. As described in chapters 1 and 2, the nature of counterguerrilla
operations differs from the conditions most soldiers expect to face
in combat. The counterguerrilla commander faces an enemy
whose objectives, tactics, and concepts are usually different from
his own.
b.   This chapter examines the role of tactical counterguerrilla
operations in relation to the COIN program. In addition, it
discusses planning considerations and principles for the
successful conduct of counterguerrilla operations, as well as
related operations that the counterguerrilla force must be
acquainted with.
3-2. US role.
The most common role in which US forces will conduct counterguerrilla
operations will be as a foreign internal defense (FID) force.
FID is designed to support the host country’s national objectives
COIN plan. Two of the primary considerations for the FID
are the final goals of the host country COIN program and
to coordinate his operations to support hose goals.
Section Il.
3-3. FID operations.
Most US forces conducting counterguerrilla operations will be
part of an FID force. The commander must understand how FID
operations support the host country COIN plan. In this sense, the
goals of the host country COIN plan become the goals for the FID
force and the counterguerrilla commander.
b.   The primary consideration when planning counterguerrilla
operations is the effect operations will have on the populace.
Commanders must attempt to win the active support of the
population for the government. At a minimum, counterguerrilla
activities must eliminate incidents which the guerrilla may
exploit in his psychological operations.
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3-4. Support of coin.
US forces committed to FID in the host country have a dual
mission. First, they must defeat or neutralize the guerrilla
militarily so the host country government can begin or resume
functioning in previously contested or guerrilla-controlled areas.
Second, they must support the overall COIN program by
conducting noncombat operations to provide an environment
where the host country government can win the trust and support
of its people and ultimately become self-sustaining. Both aspects
of the COIN mission are of equal importance and are usually
conducted simultaneously.
b.    A common mistake made by FID forces when trying to gain
popular support is that they sometimes win popular support only
for themselves. The commander must ensure that popular
support, in the end, is for the host country government. Credit for
successful campaigns against the guerrillas, or programs to help
the people, should go to the host country government and not to
the FID force commander.
3-5. Purpose of tactical operations.
Tactical counterguerrilla operations are conducted to reduce the
guerrilla threat or activity in the area, and to provide a favorable
environment for the host country’s development program. These
purposes are complementary. When the guerrilla threat is reduced,
internal development can begin, and when internal development
works, the causes of dissatisfaction which gave rise to the insurgency
are alleviated. This deprives the guerrilla of both popular support and a
reason for fighting (which he needs to survive).
3-6. Planning considerations — METT-T.
(1) Foreign internal defense operations fall into six areas:
 Intelligence operations.
Psychological operations.
Populace and resources control operations.
 Military-civic action.
Tactical operations (both strike and consolidation).
Advisory assistance.
(2) The combat brigade is most often concerned with tactical
operations, but because of the nature of counterguerrilla
warfare, a specific tactical operation or campaign will
probably involve elements of the five other operations to
some degree. The commander’s guidance for counterguerrilla
operations is more detailed and comprehensive than for
more conventional operations and must accommodate all
operational aspects inherent in brigade counterguerrilla
(3) Before receipt of a specific mission, the commander’s
guidance and subsequent planning is based on all probable
missions, to include supporting consolidation operations or
conducting strike operations, as well as on the specific
characteristics of the guerrilla, terrain, and population in the
specific operational area. After receipt of the mission, his
guidance becomes more specific and includes the extent to
which the brigade will become involved in each of the six
areas of FID operations.
b. Enemy. When evaluating the guerrilla capabilities and limitations,
the commander considers:
(1) National and regional origins.
(2) Organization, to include effectiveness and unity of command.
(3) Strength, morale, and status of training.
(4) Tactics being employed and tactical proficiency.
(5) Capability to attack, defend, and reinforce.
(6) Resources available:
(a) Food and water.
(b) Arms, ammunition, demolitions, fuels, medicines, and
neclear, biological, chemical (NBC) protective equipment
(agents, detection devices, and employment assets);
external support — personnel, materiel, and morale.
(7) Leaders and their personalities.
(8) Relations with the civilian population.
(9) Status of supplies.
(10) Effectiveness of communications.
(11) Effectiveness of intelligence and counterintelligence, to
include the extent of infiltration of host country civil and
military establishments.
(12) Lines of communications.
(13) Vulnerabilities.
(14) External support.
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c. Terrain and weather. When evaluating the effects of terrain
and weather on counterguerrilla operations, the commander
(1)   Effects of seasons of the year (to include planting and
harvesting periods), phases of the moon, and coastal tides.
Particular attention is focused on the effects of the weather
on men, equipment, visibility, and mobility (on both US
forces and the guerrilla).
(2)    Suitability of terrain (to include landing zones and pickup
zones) and road nets for tactical and logistical operations. As
with weather, particular attention is focused on the effects
the terrain has on men, equipment, visibility, and mobility
(on both US forces and the guerrilla).
d. Troops and resources available.
(1)      The commander has a variety of combat, combat  support,
and combat service  support assets at his disposal. These
assets may be from US forces and civilian agencies, or from
host country forces and civilian agencies, or from a
combination of all these.
(2)       Successful counterguerrilla operations depend upon the
commander utilizing his available assets to maximize their
strengths and minimize their weaknesses. To do this, the
commander realistically appraises the capabilities and
limitations of his assets and then organizes and employs
them on suitable missions. Oftentimes, the commander finds
he lacks assets which would greatly facilitate mission
accomplishment. In these instances, he should request what
he needs from his higher headquarters. If his needs cannot
be met, he has the option of improvising a solution or doing
(3)    The peculiar circumstances of counterguerrilla warfare
require that senior commanders allow subordinate leaders,
at all levels, a great deal of flexibility in accomplishing their
e. Time.
(1)  Time is relative. The conditions leading to the development
of the insurgency did not appear overnight, and they will not
disappear overnight, either.
(2)    US forces involved in FID operations should anticipate
staying in the host country only as long as required to
complete their mission. Usually, this will only be as long as it
takes the host country forces to assume missions the
counterguerrilla force is accomplishing. No matter how
successful FID forces are militarily, the insurgency is not
defeated until the political, economic, and social problems
which led to it are corrected or significantly alleviated. This
usually takes a considerable length of time.
In the area of tactical operations, time available for planning
and execution varies. When planning for long-term actions,
such as consolidation campaigns, a long lead time is
necessary to permit planning in meticulous detail. However,
when planning shorter term actions, such as strike campaigns
or offensive operations against fleeting guerrilla targets,
planning time is usually short.
Commanders at all levels can use the time available to them
more efficiently by planning for contingency missions. Lack
of hard information precludes planning in detail, but routine
tasks common to similar missions should be codified in
standing operating procedures (SOP) and understood by all
concerned. When the need to execute a contingency mission
arises, the basic plan can be reviewed and planning
expedited by making minor adjustment as required.
Planning time is often extremely limited. Warning and
operation orders are normally issued orally. In these
instances, the one-third rule applies: the commander utilizes
one third of the available time for his own planning and
allows two thirds of the available time for his subordinates to
develop their plans and issue their orders. In many cases,
planning time will be so limited that formal planning is
precluded. In these instances, commanders direct their
subordinates by using fragmentary orders.
US forces engaged in counterguerrilla operations function under
restrictions not encountered in other types of warfare. These
restrictions may appear to hamper efforts to find and destroy the
guerrilla. For example, the safety of noncombatants and the
preservation of their property is vitally important to winning
them over to the government’s side.
The guerrilla knows this and will attempt to capitalize on it by
engaging US forces at locations where US fire would endanger
civilians or damage their property. While the temptation to return
fire may be great, a few dead or injured enemy will in no way
compensate for the ill will of the local populace if some innocent
civilians are killed or injured or their homes and property
Political considerations influence the conduct of counterguerrilla
operations. It is essentially a contest between the host government
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and guerrillas concerning political, social, religious, or economic
issues. The government and its representatives must present
themselves and their program as the better choice.
d.     Commanders must be prepared to operate in a broad range of
political atmospheres. The host country’s form of government
may be anything from an absolute, and not too benevolent,
dictatorship to a democracy struggling to establish itself, or
anything in between.
No matter what political atmosphere prevails in the host country,
the brigade commander must engage the guerrilla with every
asset at the commander’s disposal. He must realize that
democratic principles may not be immediately applicable.
However, he should act within the limits of his authority to
improve the circumstances of the government he was sent to
support. Any incidents of deep-rooted corruption, gross inefficiency,
or violation of human rights should be documented and reported
to higher headquarters. The commander can also offer other
alternatives to accomplish the same objective. It is the responsibility
of the US Government to influence the host
attitude toward democratic principles; it is
not the responsibility of the commander.
There will be situations where well-defined responsibilities in a
local area may not be readily apparent. It is the duty of the higher
headquarters to determine these responsibilities and make them
known prior to the insertion of US forces, especially in the
execution of strike missions. However, there maybe eventualities
in which the counterguerrilla force commander may be required to
coordinate with numerous governmental officials to locate
sources of authority and decision. If the commander encounters
government officials who habitually hinder operations against
the guerrillas through incompetence, self-interest, or suspected
sympathy for the guerrilla cause, he should document his case
and forward it to the next higher commander for disposition.
3-8. Operating principles.
Intelligence. Tactical intelligence is the key to defeating the
guerrilla. It provides the commander with information about
guerrilla locations, activities, strengths, weaknesses, and plans
which enable the commander to seize the initiative. Without
intelligence sources, the chances of success (particularly in
offensive operations) are limited and the commander must react
to guerrilla initiatives rather than controlling the situation in the
area of operations. Every relevant source of information about the
commander’s area of operation should be exploited and include:
The brigade intelligence section (and augmentation):
Ground surveillance radar (augmentation from
Ground sensors (augmentation from division).
Long-range surveillance unit (augmentation from
Aviation assets (augmentation from division).
 Aerial imagery reconnaissance (from corps).
The maneuver battalion’s intelligence section and recon-
naissance platoons.
The maneuver companies’ sightings and reports (combat
Combat support units’ target acquisition batteries, military
police, chemical reconnaissance units (if available), and
sightings and reports (combat information).
Combat service support units’ sightings and reports (combat
Other sources:
Local populace.
Intelligence agents (from division and corps).
Host government civilian agencies.
Captured enemy documents (from division and corps).
Enemy prisoners (from division and corps).
Intercepted enemy communications (from division and
Special operation forces.
b.  Tactical situation. The organization for, and conduct of,
counterguerrilla operations is dependent on the tactical situation.
Units are organized and employed to counter the current guerrilla
threat. For example, if guerrillas are operating in platoon-size
units, then platoon- or company-size units are used against them.
These units conduct independent operations such as patrols and
ambushes, under centralized control (company or battalion). This
enables them to cover more area simultaneously than a larger
unit and still have the firepower to deal with the typical guerrilla
unit they might encounter. Employing a large force to counter a
significantly smaller guerrilla force is inefficient because it
compromises the chance of achieving surprise, reduces the area
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that can be covered at any one time, and is more difficult to move
(than a smaller force) if it is required elsewhere. However, sending
a small force to counter a significantly larger guerrilla force may
prove disastrous unless the smaller force is supported by fire or
can be rapidly reinforced.
Flexibility. Forces engaged in counterguerrilla operations are
flexible and capable of adapting to rapidly changing tactical
situations. The nature of counterguerrilla warfare necessitates
being able to make swift transitions from large to small unit
operations; to adjust to extremes of terrain, weather, and
visibility; to move on foot, by vehicle, or by aircraft; and to
function in offensive or defensive modes. Adapting to changing
tactical situations keeps the guerrilla force off balance and
prevents it from developing effective tactical operations.
d. Mobility.
(1)     Counterguerrilla forces most possess mobility equal to or
greater than that of the guerrilla in order to find, fix, fight,
and pursue him. Since the guerrilla is primarilly footmobile,
counterguerrilla forces equipped with motorized, mechanized,
or air transportation assets would appear to have a
significant mobility advantage. However, the guerrilla
typically operates from terrain that precludes (or severely
limits) speed on a ground approach. The counterguerrilla
force’s mobility advantage may not be as great as it first
appears to be. When terrain, weather, or the guerrilla force
disposition precludes closing on guerrilla positions by
high-speed air or ground transport, then counterguerrilla
forces should be moved by the fastest available transportation
to the nearest suitable, safe area to launch footmobile
operations. A well-trained, footmobile counterguerrilla force,
that can use terrain better than the enemy, can achieve a
tactical mobility advantage.
(2)  Commanders should not overburden soldiers with excessive
loads because the guerrillas will be able to outrun them.
Soldiers should carry only the things they need to find and
fix the guerrilla. Once this is accomplished, they can be
resupplied by ground or air.
Minimum use of force.
(1)    Only the minimal firepower needed to accomplish a given
mission is employed. If US forces come under guerrilla fire,
and if by returning fire noncombatant civilians maybe
injured or their homes and property destroyed, then only the
amount of fire necessary to protect US forces is returned.
Under these circumstances, the commander attempts to
suppress the guerrillas with minimal return fire (possibly
using snipers) and moves his forces to advantageous
positions from which he may engage the guerrillas while not
endangering civilian life or property. He may use smoke and,
if authorized, riot control agents to facilitate maneuver. If
the guerrillas cannot be engaged without endangering
civilian life or property, the commander moves his forces
(over covered or concealed routes) to positions that cut off
their escape routes and encircle them. Then he begins to
tighten the ring around them.
(2)  The unrestricted use of firepower in the vicinity of civilians
or their property will result in turning their anger toward the
government and may turn them to the insurgent cause. US
soldiers must understand this and follow strict rules of
engagement. However, the right to self defense is never
(3)  All available fire may be brought to bear on guerrillas when
it does not endanger civilian life or property. However, the
expenditure of ammunition should be appropriate: mortars
to knock out a machine gun position; small arms to kill a
sniper. The use of indirect fire, while effective in some cases,
is not a substitute for maneuver.
f.   Patience. Counterguerrilla forces must anticipate long periods
without making contact. The guerrilla knows he is outnumbered
and outgunned and avoids engagement unless it is on his terms.
Counterguerrilla forces should not develop a false sense of
security if it appears the guerrilla has ceased operations in their
area. It must be assumed that the guerrilla is always observing
the operating patterns of the counterguerrilla force for weak
points, and waiting for lax security to strike with minimum risk. A
guerrilla attack must be expected at any time.
(1) The commander always maintains a reserve to take
advantage of sudden opportunities, and to counter guerrilla
initiatives. The size of the reserve depends on the size of its
parent unit and the tactical situation.
(2)    In offensive operations, a company might keep a squad in
reserve; battalions, a platoon; and brigade, a company.
(3) In defensive operations, because of the need for 360-degree
security, a reserve at company and battalion is complicated
by the fact that the on-line strength of the perimeter is
(4)    The company or battalion commander may have to spread
his forces thin to protect his perimeter. In these instances,
the commander has four options: establish a small, centrally
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located reserve at the expense of on-line strength; establish
no reserve but specify units on-line to be prepared to shift a
portion of their strength to other sections of the perimeter;
establish no reserve but reinforce the most heavily contested
section of the perimeter by fire; and consider reducing the
size of the perimeter.
Brigades too should maintain a company in reserve in
defensive operations. This mission should be rotated among
companies, with the company that has spent the most time
in the field (or that has seen the heaviest action) being
designated as the reserve. The reserve company can rest,
rearm, and train during the time it has the reserve mission.
The reserve unit should be highly mobile. Air transport is the
preferred method for moving the reserve because it is fast
and not dependent on open ground routes as are motorized or
mechanized modes of transport. Whatever its mode of
transportation, the reserve’s vehicles are dedicated to the
reserve and immediately available for employment.
Reserve units are prepared for contingency missions. If the
reserve is committed, the commander designates a new
reserve. In this case, his least committed unit is the first
3-9. Targets.
Section III. Strike Campaigns
This section provides guidance on the organization, missions,
concepts, and operations of strike campaigns. Strike campaigns
consist of a series of major combat operations targeted against
insurgent tactical forces and bases in contested or insurgent-controlled
zones. Other internal defense activities may support tactical forces
during strike operations. Strike campaign operations are usually of
relatively short duration (generally, one day to several weeks). While
the guidance outlined here is focused on the infantry brigade, this
section may be extended to apply to any combined arms organization
conducting counterguerrilla operations.
3-10. Organization.
Brigades assigned strike campaign missions either are relieved from
area responsibility in advance of the mission or, preferably, are
constituted as specialized forces held at the national or regional levels.
Brigade strike forces are organized as self-sufficient task forces
capable of operating in areas remote from logistical bases. Brigades
are assigned support bases in secure areas for elements not committed
to operations.
3-11. Missions.
Strike campaigns are conducted against guerrilla forces and bases.
They serve to keep guerrilla forces moving and off  balance. Strike
campaign areas are usually outside of those undergoing consolidation
or those under friendly control. Ground or water means of entry maybe
used, but air assault or parachute deliveries can be employed.
3-12. Concepts.
a.  Strike campaigns include offensive tactics such as raids,
reconnaissance in force, hasty or deliberate attacks, and pursuit
(or combinations of these operations).
Brigade strike campaign operations are conducted to:
(1) Harass the guerrilla to prevent the buildup of personnel and
logistical resources.
(2) Destroy the guerrilla force and its base complexes.
(3) Demonstrate support for the government and for the
populace in the local area.
(4) Expand consolidation areas.
3-13. Operations.
Brigades committed to strike campaigns are assigned a tactical
area of responsibility. The brigade commander normally assigns
operational areas to the subordinate battalions which, in turn,
may assign areas to companies. Company commanders may
assign specific areas to platoons at times; however,’ platoons are
normally assigned specific missions rather than operational
areas. Each battalion normally establishes a separate operational
support base (OSB). Companies normally operate from patrol
bases, but at times may operate separate company OSBs. When
the areas assigned to units are too large to be reconnoitered
concurrently by subordinate units, commanders establish an
order of priority for reconnaissance of the areas.
Battalion commanders maintain reserve forces (ready forces) to
react quickly to situations requiring an immediate response. Each
rifle company patrols its area of operations continuously and
aggressively. The location of the company patrol base and patrol
routes are varied to ensure complete coverage of the area.
c. The rifle company moves to, secures, and occupies the company
patrol base with sufficient supplies to permit limited independent
operations. If it is to operate in the same area for a period of time, it
should consider establishing small ration and ammunition
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d. The company area is patrolled to provide complete coverage day
and night with emphasis on night patrols. Generally, platoon-size
patrols have sufficient firepower to handle the situation if a
guerrilla force is encountered. If additional support is needed, the
company commander may maneuver his other platoons against
the guerrillas, or he may request assistance from the battalion
reserve (ready force). Emphasis is placed on engaging the
guerrilla with organic means of fire and movement (if required)
and on employing supporting artillery and air support.
e. Orders issued to the company commanders include the area
assigned and resupply instructions. The conduct of operations is
based on decentralized planning and execution. Company
commanders plan and coordinate platoon activities to ensure
completion of the overall company mission. Platoons on patrol
carry light rations and store unneeded equipment at OSBs.
f.    Rifle company mortars may (at times) be located in battalion
OSBs while fire support teams (FIST) move with the companies. If
the terrain and situation permit, battalion OSBs may be moved as
the companies move their patrol bases. If civilian communities
are in the area, and if security conditions permit, battalion bases
may be near (but not within) the community. Here, the battalion
may conduct psychological, intelligence, and military-civic
action operation.
Brigade commanders use all available means to locate guerrilla
forces and bases, and they give priority to destroying the guerrilla
forces. An attack on a guerrilla force normally requires superior
combat power. Reserves (ready forces) attempt to immediately
engage and destroy moving guerrilla forces before they can
disperse. Depending on the situation, either hasty or deliberate
attacks are made on guerrilla bases that contain fortifications.
After a successful attack on guerrilla forces, troops thoroughly
search the area for guerrilla personnel, supplies, equipment, and
documents. Pursuit operations are undertaken to destroy or
capture forces attempting to flee. Artillery, air support, and air
assault forces support ground pursuit.
h.   The brigade does not normally occupy the area defensively for an
extended time following a successful attack. Operations to search
out guerrillas continue. Elements of the brigade may be rotated
through the brigade support base for periods of rest and training.
Speed and surprise are important in strike operations, especially
when attacking a known guerrilla stronghold. The sudden and
unexpected delivery of combat forces into a guerrilla-held or
contested area provides significant advantages to the counterguerrilla
commander. If caught by surprise, the guerrilla maybe
to react in time to save himself. He is confused initially and
may panic. In the time it takes him to become aware of the tactical
situation, or to take effective action, the counterguerrilla forces
may encircle him. Speed and surprise may be achieved by using
air assault tactics to insert the first counterguerrilla forces into
the area of operations. Subsequent forces can be delivered on later
airlifts or by other modes of transportation.
Strike forces are most vulnerable just after entering a new area of
operations. Initially, there is some confusion until patrol bases
are established and patrols are sent out. counterguerrilla forces
must be especially security conscious the first few hours in a new
location. Upon arrival, they should immediately establish target
reference points, observation posts, and listening posts.
Section IV. Consolidation Campaigns
3-14. Control.
This section provides the brigade guidance on the missions,
organization, and operations of consolidation compaigns.
Consolidation campaigns are the application of all civil and
military aspects of internal defense and internal development
programs. They are designed to establish, regain, or maintain
control of specific areas.
b.   The brigade participates in consolidation campaigns by conducting
tactical, intelligence, psychological, civil affairs, populace and
resources control, and advisory assistance operations.
Brigades committed to consolidation campaigns support the
overall host country internal defense and development (IDAD)
effort by applying their resources in the following manner:
(1) In the preparation and offensive phases, tactical operations
are stressed. Initial area control is established by clearing
guerrilla forces from an area, expanding it, and linking it to
other areas as they are cleared.
(2)     In the development phase, the primary mission is tactical
operations to maintain security of the cleared area. Concurrently,
the brigade performs intelligence, psychological,
and resources control, civil affairs, and advisory
operations. The brigade also conducts military-civic
in conjunction with civil affairs programs.
(3)  During the completion phase, when guerrilla activity within
a consolidated area has been largely neutralized and host
country agencies have resumed control of the area, the
brigade begins to phase out its participation in local
operations and prepares to conduct operations in another
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3-15. Preparatory phase.
Consolidation campaign plans are detailed and provide for long-range
commitment of both personnel and materiel. Plans are coordinated
with all agencies involved in the consolidation campaign. In addition
to planning, the brigade conducts necessary training and becomes
engaged in intelligence and other FID activities.
3-16. Offensive phase.
The offensive phase of a consolidation campaign involves
moving the civil-military task force into the operational area,
neutralizing guerrilla forces and sympathizers, and removing
insurgent personnel who may have infiltrated the local govern-
b.       Patrolling, area  surveillance, ambushes, and other small-unit
actions are used extensively. Offensive operations, such as
movements to contact, hasty or deliberate attacks, raids, or
pursuits follow the small unit reconnaissance as targets are
c. Care is taken that once cleared, the friendly, controlled areas are
not allowed to revert to guerrilla domination.
3-17. Development and completion phases.
During the development and completion phases of a consolidation
campaign, brigade operations involve holding an area to permit
government agencies to conduct their internal defense and
development programs. Operations also involve training local
forces to assume the defensive and security missions from the
regular armed forces. Aggressive defensive operations provide
security against guerrilla attack, deny guerrillas access to
support, and provide a secure base from which to expand the
consolidated areas. Offensive action is continued to destroy
guerrilla forces; however, defense must be provided for population
centers, tactical bases, logistical installations, airbases and
airfields, and lines of communication.
b.   Defensive actions are conducted to accomplish one or more of the
(1) Destroy or capture guerrilla forces.
(2)   Reduce guerrilla capability and opportunity for offensive
(3)  Deny guerrilla entry into an area.
(4)  Provide security and thus develop favorable conditions for
other IDAD operations.
The normal defense in consolidation campaign operations
employs small-unit tactics, using air assault and other reserve
forces (ready forces) to immediately react to intelligence or an
insurgent attack. Artillery and air support is prearranged to the
degree possible, and plans are adjusted as required.
Security forces conduct extensive patrolling throughout the area.
The bulk of the brigade force may be assigned areas of responsibility
and be heavily engaged in patrolling and supporting efforts of
local security forces.
e. The composition of the brigade reserve varies with the size of the
area, nature of the enemy threat, and the terrain. Some brigade
units may be fragmented into small elements and required to
defend dispersed installations. In this situation, the reserve
elements are assigned contingency missions to provide reaction
forces for several installations.
Area coverage may require assignment of fire support units to a
much lower level than is normal in conventional operations. To
support dispersed security elements, decentralization of fire
support may be required. Direct fire supporting weapons
(including artillery in the direct fire role) can be effective at short
ranges when using time and super quick fuze. Direct fire support
weapons are important if the guerrilla force moves within the
minimum range of indirect fire weapons.
All military and critical civilian installations and population
centers must be protected against sabotage and attack.
The larger installations and communities and the surrounding
smaller ones mutually assist each other in their defense. Fire
support from several installations and communities can contribute
to mutual defense.
The defense of communities is primarily the task of local
paramilitary forces and police. The defense of communities is
conducted with special emphasis on physical security and
populace and resources control measures. In planning the
defense, military units may be required to secure lines of
communication in the area. They may do so by surveillance,
occupation of tactical positions, or use of guards for convoy
security, patrolling, and security posts. Along lines of communication,
fixed security posts protect critical points such as
tunnels, bridges, and road or railway junctions. The
of the security post depends on the mission and the type and
of the hostile forces which may attack it. Security posts in
areas are larger than those near supporting forces.
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Section V. Offensive Operations
3-18. Three phases.
This section discusses offensive operations which brigades (and
subordinate units) may have to conduct. For purposes of organization
and clarity, operations are discussed under those phases of an
insurgency in which they will most often have to be conducted.
Depending on the tactical situation, these operations, or variations
and combinations of them, may be conducted during any of the three
phases of insurgent activity: latent and incipient insurgency; guerrilla
warfare; and war of movement.
3-19. Phase I — Latent and incipient insurgency.
a. This phase ranges from subversive activity that is only a
potential threat, latent or incipient, to situations in which
frequent subversive incidents and activities occur in an organized
pattern. It involves no major outbreak of violence or uncontrolled
insurgency activity.
b.     Possible insurgent activities during Phase I include attacks on
police forces, other terroristic activities, and some minor military
operations carried out to gain additional influence over the
population (or provide arms for the movement) and to challenge
the government’s ability to maintain law and order. Furthermore,
groundwork is laid for extensive external materiel support which
is essential in most cases for the expansion of the insurgency and
its eventual success.
3-20. Police-type operations.
To control the movement of insurgents or guerrillas, and their
materiel, police-type operations are conducted. These operations
are executed by host country police, paramilitary, or military
forces. For various reasons, this may not be possible, and US
forces may have to conduct police-type operations until host
country forces are available to relieve them. (Under US law, the
military cannot advise or train foreign police forces.)
If US forces must conduct this type of operation, military police
units are suitable for this function. If they are not available,
combat forces do the job.
When conducting police operations, host government representatives
are with US troops to serve as interpreters and advise on local
customs and courtesies. When performing these duties, US troops
treat passive civilians and their property with as much courtesy
and respect as the situation permits.
3-21. Searches.
The need for a counterguerrilla force to conduct search operations
or to employ search procedures is a continuous requirement. Most
search operations support strike operations or consolidation
operations, or they may be conducted as the main effort in
populace and resources control operations. A search maybe
oriented to people, to materiel, to buildings, or to terrain. It usually
involves both civil police and military personnel.
Since misuse of search authority can adversely affect the ultimate
outcome of operations agtainst guerrillas, seizure of contraband,
evidence, intelligence material, supplies, or minor items during
searches must be accomplished lawfully and properly recorded to
be of future legal value. Proper use of authority in searches gains
the respect and support of the people. Abusive, excessive, or
inconsiderate search methods may temporarily suppress the
guerrilla force or expose elements of it, but at the same time such
methods may ultimately increase the civilian population’s
sympathy for and/or support of the guerrilla.
Authority for search operations is carefully reviewed. Military
personnel must be aware that they perform searches only in areas
within military jurisdiction (or where otherwise lawful) for
purposes of apprehending suspects or securing evidence that
tends to prove an offense has been committed. Usually, there are
special laws regulating the search powers of the military forces.
These laws are given wide dissemination.
Search teams have detailed instruction on controlled items. Lists
of prohibited or controlled-distribution items such as chemicals,
medicines, machine tools, and other items should be distributed.
The military or civil police who administer the populace and
resources control program are contacted before the conduct of
search operations, or periodically if search operations are a
continuing activity.
Search operations involving US forces maybe ineffective when
language difficulties prevent full communication with the
indigenous population. US units given a search mission are
provided with interpreters as required.
The pace at which a search operation is conducted is slow enough
to allow for an effective search but not so slow as to allow the
guerrilla force time to react to the threat of the search.
If active resistance develops to the search operation, offensive
operations are conducted to eliminate the resistance.
Consideration is fiven to returning to a searched area after the
completion of an initial search to surprise and eliminate
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guerrillas or their infrastructure that may have remained
undetected or may have returned.
3-22. Search of individuals.
The fact that anyone in an area to be searched can be a guerrilla or a
guerrilla sympathizer is stressed in all search operations. However,
searchers are tactful to avoid making an enemy out of a suspect who
may, in fact, support the host country government. It is during the
initial handling of a person about to be searched that the greatest
caution is required. During the search of an individual, one member of
a search team always covers the other member who makes the actual
search. (For information on how to conduct searches, see Appendix G.)
3-23. Checkpoints, roadblocks, and vehicle searches.
It will be necessary to maintain a continuous check on road
movement to apprehend suspects and to prevent smuggling of
controlled items. This requires the use of checkpoints. Since
checkpoints cause considerable inconvenience and even fear, it is
important that the civil population understands that checkpoints
are a preventive and not a punitive measure.
Checkpoints maybe described as either deliberate or hasty. The
deliberate checkpoint is positioned in a town or in the open
country, often on a main road. It acts as a useful deterrent to
unlawful movement. The hasty checkpoint is highly mobile and is
quickly positioned in a town or in the open country. The actual
location of the hasty checkpoint is designed to achieve quick
c. Concealment of a checkpoint is desirable, but often impossible.
The location should make it difficult for a person to turn back or
reverse a vehicle without being observed. Culverts, bridges, or
deep cuts may be suitable locations. Positions beyond sharp
curves have the advantage that drivers do not see the checkpoint
in sufficient time to avoid inspection. Safety disadvantages may
outweigh the advantages of such positions. A scarcity of good
roads increases the effect of a well-placed checkpoint.
A checkpoint requires adequate troops to prevent ambush and
surprise by a guerrilla force. An element of the checkpoint force is
positioned and concealed an appropriate distance (one hundred to
several hundred meters) from the checkpoint to prevent the escape
of any vehicle or person attempting to turn back upon sighting the
checkpoint. The vehicle, driver, and passengers are searched. If
the checkpoint is manned for any length of time, part of the force
is allowed to rest. The rest area is located near the search area so
that the troops can be assembled quickly as a reserve force. (For
information on how to conduct checkpoints and roadblocks, see
Appendix G.)
3-24. Search of built-up areas - cordon and search
a. Techniques. Search techniques in built-up areas are practiced
by police and military forces operating in populated areas. These
techniques are required for searching either a few isolated huts or
buildings, or for searching well-developed urban sections. Search
operations in built-up areas require thorough preparation and
rehearsal. Special emphasis should be given to the following:
(1)   Divide the area to be searched into zones, and assign a
search party to each. A search party consists of a search
element (to conduct the search), a security element (to
encircle the area and prevent entrance and exit, and to secure
open areas), and a reserve element (to assist, as required).
(a) The search element conducts the mission assigned for
the operation. Normally it is organized into special
The security element surrounds the area while the
search element moves in. Members of the security
element orient primarily upon evaders from the
populated area; however, they can cut off any insurgents
trying to reinforce. Checkpoints and road blocks are
established. Subsurface routes of escape, such as
subways and sewers, must be considered when operating
in cities.
The reserve element is a mobile force within a nearby
area. Its specific mission is to assist the other two
elements should they meet resistance they cannot
handle. In addition, it is capable of replacing or
reinforcing either of the other two elements should the
need arise.
(2)  Consider any enemy material found, including propaganda
signs and leaflets, to be booby-trapped until inspection
proves it is safe.
(3)  Thoroughly search underground and underwater areas. Any
freshly excavated ground can be a hiding place. Use mine
detectors to locate metal objects underground and underwater.
(4)   Deploy rapidly, especially when a guerrilla force is still in the
area to be searched. The entire area to be searched is
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surrounded simultaneously. If this is not possible, observed
fire must cover that portion not covered by soldiers.
Principles. A basic principle when searching a built-up area is
to conduct it with limited inconvenience to the population. The
populace may be inconvenienced to the point where they
discourage guerrillas and insurgent sympathizers from remaining
in the locale, but not to the point that they collaborate with the
guerrilla force as a result of the search. The large-scale search of a
built-up area is normally a combined civil police and military
operation. It is planned in detail and rehearsed when possible.
Physical reconnaissance of the area just prior to a search is
avoided. Information needed about the terrain may be obtained
from aerial photographs. In larger towns or cities, the local police
may have detailed maps showing relative size and location of
buildings. For success, the search plan must be simple and be
executed swiftly.
c.  Command and control. Normally, a search involving a
battalion or larger force is best controlled by the military
commander with the civil police in support. A search involving a
smaller force is best controlled by the civil police with the military
in support. Regardless of the controlling agency, the actual search
is performed by host country police when they are available in
adequate numbers and have been trained in search operations.
(For detailed information on how to conduct cordon and search
operations, see Appendix G.)
3-25. Aerial search operations.
Search unite mounted in armed helicopters use the mobility and
firepower of these aircraft to the maximum. (This may seriously
affect the morale of the guerrilla force.)
Air assault combat patrols, conducting an aerial search,
reconnoiter an assigned area or route in search of guerrilla forces.
When a guerrilla force is located, the air assault combat patrol
may engage it from the air or may land and engage it on the
ground. This technique has little value in areas of dense
vegetation. Use of air assault combat patrols should be limited to
those operations in which sufficient intelligence exists to justify
their use and then normally in conjunction with ground operations.
In ground search operations, helicopters drop off troops in an area
suspected of containing guerrilla elements. With the helicopters
overmatching from the air, troops search the area. Troops are then
picked up and the process is repeated in other areas.
Members of air assault combat patrols should be trained in
tracking procedures in order to follow guerrillas to their base. If
the patrol encounters a large guerrilla force, the reserve (ready
forces) are committed. Plans must provide for evacuation of
prisoners, casualties, and materiel.
3-26. Civil disturbance and riot control.
a. US forces participating in counterguerrilla operations may be
tasked to assist host country police and military forces in
restoring order disrupted by civil disturbance or riot. If this
occurs, US force participation should be limited to containing the
disturbance and protecting US lives and property.
The suppression of demonstrators or rioters should be left entirely
to host country forces. Any direct action by US troops against
demonstrators or rioters will be misrepresented by the insurgents
and their sympathizers as brutal suppression of legitimate
dissent and be used by them as a propaganda weapon. (For
further information on specific techniques, see FM 19-15.)
3-27. Phase II
— Guerrilla warfare.
a. Phase II is reached when the subversive movement, having
gained sufficient local or external support, initiates organized
guerrilla warfare or related forms of violence against the
government. Examples of insurgent activities during Phase II
(1)  Activities initiated in Phase I are continued and expanded.
Insurgent control, both political and military, over territory
and populace, is intensified.
(2)   Guerrilla warfare is used on a larger scale, and limited
defense is conducted in some geographic areas.
(3)   An insurgent government is established in insurgentdominated
areas as the military situation permits. In areas
yet controlled, efforts are made to neutralize actual or
opposition groups and to increase infiltration into
agencies. Intimidation through terror and
of guerrilla action increases and thus becomes more
b.    Militarily, the major goal is to control additional areas; the
government is forced to strain its resources trying to protect
everything at the same time. Insurgent forces attempt to tie down
government troops in static defense tasks, interdict and destroy
lines of communications, and capture or destroy supplies and
other government resources.
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3-28. Small-unit operations.
Small-unit operations are used against guerrilla activities in the
second phase of an insurgency. They are effective since small units can
cover more territory than a large unit, they keep the guerrilla off
balance, and their friendly firepower (that can be rapidly massed) may
provide a favorable ratio in meeting engagements. In Phase II, the
guerrilla is usually operating in smaller units, too.
3-29. Raid.
A raid is an operation involving a swift penetration of hostile
territory to secure information, harass the guerrilla force, or
destroy the guerrilla force and its installation. It ends in a
planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission. A
successful raid is based on accurate, timely, and detailed
information. Raids are usually targeted against single, isolated
guerrilla base camps. To assist in attaining surprise, the raiding
force uses inclement weather, limited visibility, or terrain
normally considered impassable.
The raiding force is normally organized into an assault element
and a security element. A larger raiding force may add a support
element while a small raiding force includes supporting weapons
in the assault element.
The use of airborne and air assault forces for a raid enhances
surprise. If night airborne or air assault raids are conducted, the
force must be accurately inserted and oriented on the ground. Air
assault forces supported by armed helicopters offer infinite
possibilities for conducting raids. This type of raid force can move
in, strike the objective, and withdraw without extensive preparation
or support from other sources. (For further information on the
composition and organization of raid forces, see FM 7-8, FM 7-10,
and FM 7-20.)
3-30. Patrols.
Conventional patrolling doctrine normally applies to counterguerrilla
operations, but some techniques must be oriented to meet
guerrilla’s activities and the operational environment.
becomes more significant in counterguerrilla operations
of the difficulty in locating and identifying guerrilla
and determining their intentions. Patrolling is used when
(or no) intelligence on guerrilla activity is available.
should be thoroughly briefed, carry only mission-essential
and be physically fit. Routes are planned carefully
coordinated with higher, lower, and adjacent units, to include
and ground fire support elements and reserve forces.
Patrolling is done to find and destroy the guerrilla, and to deny
him use of an area. Patrols are usually categorized as either
combat or reconnaissance.
c. Patrols can be employed to:
(1)  Saturate areas of suspected guerrilla activity.
(2)  Control critical roads and trails.
(3)  Maintain contact between villages and units.
(4) Establish population checkpoints.
(5)  Provide security for friendly forces.
(6)  Interdict guerrilla routes of supply and communication.
(7)   Establish ambushes.
(8)  Pursue, maintain contact with, and destroy guerrillas.
(9)    Provide internal security in rural areas.
(10)  Locate guerrilla units and base camps.
d.   Saturation patrolling is extremely effective in Phase II situations.
In this technique, patrols are conducted by many lightly armed,
small, fast-moving units and provide thorough area coverage.
Patrols move over planned and coordinated routes which are
changed frequently to avoid establishing patterns. Use of
saturation patrolling results in the sustained denial of an area to
guerrilla forces as they seek to avoid contact with the counterguerrilla
units. In addition to harassment and discovery of
tactical forces, this technique provides:
 An opportunity to gain an intimate knowledge of the area of
(2)   A form of reassurance to the local population that the
government is concerned about their protection and security.
(3)     A means by which information about the guerrilla can be
obtained. (For further information on preparation, execution,
and operational techniques of patrols, see FM 7-10, FM 7-20,
and Appendix D.)
3-31. Ambush
a. An ambush is a surprise attack from a concealed position upon
a moving or temporarily halted target. Ambushes give the
counterguerrilla force several advantages:
(1)  An ambush does not require ground to be seized or held.
(2)   Smaller forces with limited weapons and equipment can
harass or destroy larger, better armed forces.
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(3)   Guerrillas can be forced to engage in decisive combat at
unfavorable times and places.
(4)  Guerrillas can be denied freedom of movement and deprived
of weapons and equipment that are difficult to replace.
b.  Well-planned and well-executed ambushes maybe the most
successful operational technique employed against guerrillas. It
is an effective technique to interdict movement of guerrilla forces
within an area. Selection of the site is a key step in developing a
well-organized ambush. Also, leaders must be proficient in using
mines, antihandling devices, demolitions, and expedient devices
for organization of the position. Fire support is prepared for
immediate delivery on call.
3-32. Night ambush.
Ambush during darkness is difficult to control, but darkness increases
the security of the ambush party and the confusion of those being
ambushed. A small ambush party generally is more practical;
however, the size of the party depends on factors such as the size of the
unit to be ambushed and the estimated guerrilla strength in the area.
(For further information on preparation, execution, and operational
ambush techniques, see FM 7-8, FM 7-10, and Appendix C.)
3-33. Encirclement.
a. Encirclement offers the best chance to fix guerrilla forces in
position and achieve decisive results. The battalion and larger
units will usually plan and conduct encirclements. The company
and smaller units normally do not have the manpower and
command and control capability to execute encirclements except
as part of a larger force.
b.       Encirclements require accurate intelligence on the location of
guerrilla elements. Since it requires a major portion of the
counterguerrilla force to execute this maneuver, it is usually
targeted against large guerrilla forces or guerrilla base complexes,
a series of smaller base camps clustered within an area.
Planning, preparation, and execution are aimed at encircling the
guerrilla force rapidly. Maximum security and surprise can be
gained by occupying the initial encirclement positions during
d.   In large operations, air assault and airborne troops add speed and
surprise to the operation. Positions are occupied simultaneously
in order to block escape. If simultaneous occupation is not
 possible, probable escape routes are covered first. Initial
occupation is the most critical period of the operation. When the
guerrillas become aware that they are being encircled, they will
probably probe for gaps or attack weak points and attempt to
break out.
Encircling units provide strong combat patrols far to their front to
give early warning of attempted breakouts. Mobile reserves are
positioned to counter a breakout and to reinforce difficult areas
such as broken terrain or areas with caves, tunnels, or
fortification complexes.
Indirect fire support can serve to cloak an encirclement by
gaining and holding the guerrillas’ attention. Fires are planned in
detail to support the encirclement.
Following completion of the encirclement, the circle is contracted
to capture or destroy the guerrilla force. As the circle is contracted,
units may be removed from the line and added to the reserve.
Against small guerrilla forces, the encircled area may be cleared
by contraction and a final sweep. Against larger guerrilla forces,
however, at some point, some action other than contraction will be
One technique consists of driving a wedge through the guerrilla
force to divide it and then destroying the guerrillas in each
Another technique, employed after some degree of contraction, is
to employ a blocking force on one or more sides of the perimeter
while the remainder of the encircling force drives the guerrillas
against the blocking force. Either element may accomplish the
actual destruction. This technique is effective when the blocking
force can be located on, or immediately in the rear of, a natural
terrain obstacle. (For further information, see Appendix G.)
3-34. Phase III — War of movement.
The situation moves from Phase II to Phase III when insurgency
becomes primarily a war of movement between organized insurgent
forces and forces of the established government. During Phase III,
insurgent activities conducted in Phases I and II are continued and
expanded. Larger insurgent units are used to fight government forces
and to capture key geographical and political objectives to be used to
defeat government forces.
3-35. Large-unit operations.
When an insurgency enters Phase III, the guerrilla begins to mass his
forces and challenge government forces openly. He may begin to use
conventional warfare tactics to a greater degree. He may even elect to
stand and fight in defense of terrain if he feels that it is in his interest to
retain it or if he feels that he can deal government forces a serious
military or political defeat by defending. In this phase, conventional
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warfare tactics can be effectively employed to defeat the guerrilla. (For
further information on how to employ these tactics, see FM 7-8, FM
7-10, FM 7-20, and FM 7-30.)
3-36. Movement to contact.
Movement to contact in counterguerrilla tactical operations is
basically the same as in conventional conflicts. Night movement,
clandestine movement, and counterambush precautions are
 Care is taken to avoid ambushes in movement to contact. The
infantry maintains contact by aggressive frontal and flank
patrolling by small security elements, thereby exposing a
minimum of troops to ambush. Supporting fires are placed
close-in along, and parallel to, the route of advance.
3-37. Reconnaissance in force.
Reconnaissance in force is a limited-objective operation to
discover and test guerrilla positions, locations, and strength, and
to gather information. In counterguerrilla operations, the
objective is collection of information about guerrillas and the
destruction of units and facilities. The commander is prepared to
exploit meeting engagements and intelligence to achieve tactical
success by conducting a hasty or deliberate attack to destroy
discovered guerrilla units and facilities. The recon force may
conduct the operation as a unit, or selected subordinate units may
be committed on a limited scale.
b. Reconnaissance-in-force operations normally develop information
more rapidly and in more detail than do other reconnaissance
methods. When firm intelligence is lacking, the principal effort of
the recon unit may be a widespread and continuous reconnaissance-in-force
operation coupled with mandatory security
In arriving at a decision to reconnoiter in force, the
(1) His overall mission.
(2) His knowledge of the enemy situation.
(3)  The urgency and importance of other information,
(4) The efficiency and speed of other intelligence collection
(5) The possibility that the reconnaissance may lead to a
general engagement under favorable conditions.
(6)  The continuing requirements for local and area security.
(7) The availability of adequate reserves (reaction forces) and
the resources to deliver them quickly to the area to be
(8) The availability of adequate, all-weather fire support means.
c. The reconnaissance elements in the force should have mobility at
least equal to that of the enemy. Mobile reserves (ready forces)
quickly exploit guerrilla weaknesses and influence the action.
3-38. Hasty attack.
Once contact with the enemy is made, the commander deploys his
force, coordinating movement, fires, air support, and other means
in an attempt to immediately destroy the enemy or fully develop
the situation. Generally, if the leading element contacting the
enemy cannot defeat him quickly, the commander must decide
whether to conduct a hasty attack or to take time to develop the
situation more carefully and then conduct a deliberate attack.
At times, the intelligence available to the commander indicates
clearly which course he should follow. At other times, however,
judgment may dictate that he conduct a hasty attack to avoid
being held up by inferior forces and being unnecessarily delayed.
At the same time, he must be careful to avoid being drawn into
Conduct of a hasty attack is a difficult and challenging operation.
Ideally, there should be no pause in the forward momentum of the
force upon initial contact. Maneuver units swing into action
immediately, using movement techniques appropriate to the
enemy and terrain.
The commander calls for available fire support. He coordinates
and maneuvers resources so as to apply the combat power needed
against the enemy. The hasty attack tries to fix enemy elements in
place with firepower and either overrun or encircle them. Speed is
essential. The reserve force has to be deployed early if maneuver
elements are held up. If momentum is lost, the hasty attack fails.
3-39. Deliberate attack.
When the force commander knows he has encountered a strong
enemy force in well-prepared defensive positions, he may
conclude that a deliberate attack is necessary.
 A deliberate attack is characterized by detailed (and widely
distributed) knowledge of enemy positions, by large volumes of
effectively delivered supporting fires, by extensive deception, by
full exploitation of electronic warfare (EW), and by employing
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measures beyond those possible in a hasty attack. Continued
contact with the guerrilla force must be maintained to prevent its
3-40. Exploitation.
If an attack succeeds, exploitation and pursuit follow. Exploitation
is an operation undertaken to follow up success in the attack.
Following the principle of reinforcing success, immediate
exploitation using an uncommitted element of the force is
The exploiting force drives swiftly to disrupt guerrilla command
and control functions, severs escape routes, destroys reserves and
equipment, and denies the enemy an opportunity to reorganize his
defense. The exploitation force is large, reasonably self-sufficient,
and well-supported by tactical air, air cavalry, and attack
helicopters. It does not pause to achieve minor tactical successes
against isolated or fleeing enemy units; it attempts to fix them
while concentrating on destroying the main guerrilla force. The
commander provides mobile support, including helicopters for
emergency  supply of petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) and
ammunition, and ensures sufficient follow-on forces to attack
guerrilla forces bypassed or fixed by the exploiting force.
3-41. Pursuit.
Pursuit is an offensive action against a retreating enemy. It is the
final phase of the exploitation and occurs when a large guerrilla
force attempts to disengage. Normally, it attempts to cut off
escape routes and encircle and destroy the guerrilla force. It
maintains pressure with an exploiting force.
As the guerrilla unit disintegrates, exploitation may develop into
pursuit. Pursuit may develop in any operation in which the enemy
has lost his ability to operate effectively and attempts to flee.
Pursuit requires energy and resolution to press on despite fatigue,
dwindling supplies, or the approach of darkness. Nighttime
pursuit increases the enemy’s confusion and speeds his disintegration.
The primary purpose of pursuit is to destroy the guerrilla force.
Although terrain objectives may be assigned as control measures,
the primary objective is the guerrilla force.
In pursuit, the requirements and command relationships for
forces which follow and support are the same as in exploitation.
They destroy bypassed enemy strongholds, relieve supported
units that have halted to contain enemy forces, guard prisoners,
open and secure lines of communications, and control refugees. In
conducting a pursuit, the commander maintains unremitting,
direct pressure against the enemy while trying to envelop him to
cut his line of retreat. When conditions permit, the commander
orders double envelopments of the retreating guerrilla force. He
makes maximum use of fire support, air assault forces, and
offensive electronic warfare.
Section VI.
Defensive Operations
3-42. Variations.
a.  This section discusses defensive operations which brigades and
 subordinate units may have to conduct. Depending on the tactical
situation, these operations, or variations of them, may be
conducted during any phase of an insurgency. In some instances,
the type of operation under consideration is identical to one
already discussed in Section V. The difference is the purpose.
For example, patrolling maybe either offensive or defensive in
purpose. When its purpose is offensive, it is done to locate the
enemy and destroy him. When its purpose is defensive, it is done to
deny the enemy access to an area, and to keep him from
organizing for offensive operation. (For similarities of offensive
and defensive operations, see Section V.)
c. This section also provides guidance to commanders concerned
with the defense of various types of temporary or semipermanent
bases, such as logistical installations, OSBS, airfields, and
airbases, under varying conditions of security that may exist in
an area of operations.
d. It is also applicable to the defense of civilian communities.
Commanders responsible for bases, facilities, and communities
should exercise those principles and techniques discussed which
apply to their particular situation.
3-43. Base defense environment.
a. Defense and security of tactical units and installations are
integral parts of combat missions. (The term “base” is used to
include all types of facilities to be defended.)
 Base defense operations are executed under the guidance of an
area commander whose responsibilities include protecting the
resources of his area from interruptions caused by enemy
activities. This is a territorial responsibility in which base
commanders provide for the local defense of their immediate base
areas. In addition, base commanders may be asked to provide
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resources for other activities which may be classified as rear
c. The base defense environment is established in an area generally
controlled by friendly forces but not sufficiently secure to prevent
guerrillas from moving in small groups, establishing firing
positions, or mounting small-scale attacks.
d. Conditions which may characterize the environment for base
defense include:
US forces are in a host country.
Other nations in similar roles may be in the same host
Unity of command or a combined headquarters may or may
not exist.
Although there is organized armed conflict, there is no
recognized state of war.
Many of the guerrillas do not wear distinctive uniforms. At
times, some may appear dressed in government uniforms.
Guerrillas cannot always be distinguished from government
supporters or neutrals even when they are conducting overt
External support may be provided to the guerrillas, both
overtly and covertly. Nations or groups supporting the
guerrillas may provide sanctuaries where guerrilla forces
may establish base areas.
Paramilitary forces may assume increased responsibilities.
No military "frontline" exists where continuous contact can
be maintained.
Guerrillas usually do not hold territory. They may disperse
and avoid combat at the appearance of a stronger force.
Missions, functions, and responsibilities.
Base defense consists of both normal and emergency local
military measures taken to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of
enemy attacks or sabotage. Base defense is conducted to ensure
the continued effectiveness of its facilities and units to fulfill their
 The commander of an
area or a  subarea that contains a base is
responsible for its overall defense. The base commander, however,
is responsible for its local defense; he must have under his
operational control all forces, regardless of branch of service, that
are assigned to the base primarily for its defense. Forces assigned
to the base for other primary purposes will also assist in local
defense during an attack. Each commander of forces located at a
base is responsible for:
Participating in preparation of base defense plans. Training
his forces for base defense.
Providing appropriate facilities and essential personnel for
the base defense operations center and appropriate personnel
for the base defense force staff.
Providing for internal security of his own command.
3-45. Passive defense.
In addition to their assigned defense missions, all units in the base area
are responsible for maximum implementation of passive defense.
Passive defense consists of measures taken to reduce the probability
(and to minimize the effects) of damage caused by hostile action,
without the expectation of taking the initiative. Responsibility for the
conduct of specialized passive defense measures is assigned to
firefighting units, chemical units, medical units, and other appropriate
organizations capable of satisfying passive defense requirements.
Additionally, all units assigned to the base initiate passive defense
measures, such as dispersion, camouflage, blackout, and use of
shelters. These measures assist in preserving the operating integrity of
the base and ensuring decisive and effective action against  enemy
3-46. Command relationships.
Command relationships for base defense operations provide unity of
command while preserving simplicity. The urgency of base defense
operations requires clear-cut authority.
3-47. Fundamentals of base defense.
a. Base defense. It is established to provide all-round security for
the base with available forces and is characterized by detailed
planning and centralized control. Security measures may also
include provisions to protect adjacent civilian communities, if
feasible.  Constant and aggressive action by friendly elements
against enemy forces constitutes a major element of base defense.
Vigilance and sound security measures reduce enemy interference
with operations at the base and also tend to cause enemy forces to
divert their operations from the area.
Use of terrain. Proper evaluation and organization of the area
are essential to hold down the number of additional forces
required for base defense. Factors considered are:
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(1) Natural defensive characteristics of the terrain.
Use of artificial obstacles to enhance the natural defensive
characteristics of the terrain.
Existing roads and waterways used for military lines of
communications and civilian commerce.
Control of land areas surrounding the base complex to a
range beyond that of enemy mortars and rockets, and also
control of water approaches.
c. Security. Early warning of pending actions ensures the base
commander time to react to any threat. Outposts, patrols, ground
surveillance andcountermortar radar, infantry scout dogs (if
available), and air reconnaissance and surveillance provide early
warning. Civilian informants and actions of indigenous personnel
near the base are excellent indicators of pending enemy actions.
Security measures vary with enemy threat, forces available, and
other factors; all-round security is essential.
d. Mutual support. Defending forces are positioned to ensure
mutual employment of defensive resources, which include fires,
observation, and maneuver elements. Mutual support between
defensive elements requires careful planning, positioning, and
coordination because of the circular aspects of the base area.
Surveillance, obstacles, prearranged fires, and maneuver are used
to control  gaps. Defense plans provide for use of all available
support, including attack helicopters and close air support.
e. All-round defense. In defensive planning, the base commander
has to be prepared to defend against enemy attack from any
direction. Plans are sufficiently flexible, and reserves are
positioned to permit reaction to any threat. Base defense forces
(BDF) are assigned primary and alternate positions and sectors of
responsibility. All personnel are assigned duty stations or
Defense in depth. Alternate and supplementary positions,
combat outposts, and mutually supporting strongpoints in front
of the base forward defense area extend the depth. The commander
plans fires throughout the defensive area up to the maximum
range of available weapons. Portable obstacles may be placed
around critical targets during reduced visibility to disrupt the
enemy’s plan and add depth to the defense.
Responsiveness. Attacks against a base may range from
long-range sniper, mortar, or rocket fire to attacks by suicide
demolition squads or major forces. The enemy has the advantage
of deciding when, where, and with what force he will attack. The
defender positions his forces and plans fires and movement so he
can respond to the widest possible range of enemy actions. The
defender prepares plans, to include counterattack plans, and
rehearses, evaluates, and revises them as necessary.
Maximum use of offensive action.  Since the objective of the
base defense is to maintain a secure base, the defender uses
offensive action to the maximum to engage enemy forces outside
the base. On initial occupation of the base site, friendly forces take
offensive actions to destroy enemy forces in the immediate area.
The area commander employs patrols, raids, ambushes, air
attacks, and supporting fires to harass and destroy any
remaining enemy force. Once the enemy has been cleared from the
area, the base can be defended by a smaller force. The BDF
commander maintains constant liaison with major tactical unit
commanders in the area to stay abreast of efforts to remove the
3-48. Defense preparations.
a. Implementation of base defense measures in a new base begins
before base units arrive, if possible.  Normally, combat units
provide the initial defense in a new base area, These combat forces
remain in the base area, conducting aggressive offensive actions,
until base units are capable of assuming the mission.
When base units arrive, they immediately start organizing the
base defense. They perform many of the tasks concurrently, but
some tasks require priority. The base commander specifies the
sequence for preparation of the defense system. (FM 7-8, FM 7-10,
and FM 7-20 provide a recommended sequence for tactical
defense. For more information on base defense, see Appendix E.)
3-49. Patrols.
Base defense operations to counter small groups of enemy forces
include aggressive, frequent patrolling by squad- and platoon-size
forces to detect and capture or destroy small groups of guerrillas.
Infantry scout dogs, if available, maybe used to add security and
additional detection ability to patrol operations.
Patrolling is conducted by small, highly mobile units moving on
foot or by vehicles during daylight and darkness. It may include
the use of aircraft or boats. Populated areas near the base are
searched, and surprise checkpoints are established along known
or suspected routes of guerrilla communications.
Dug-in or concealed night ambush sites are manned outside the
barrier system trace on a random basis. Indigenous personnel
should accompany ambushes near populated areas. Their
knowledge of local populace and terrain assists the ambush
mission. Artillery and mortar targets are registered and plotted to
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provide rapid on-call support. Detectors and sensors are emplaced
to provide early warning.
d. BDF or other base unit reconnaissance patrols obtain target
acquisition data. They may penetrate known guerrilla-controlled
territory to install sensors that report the enemy’s presence along
infiltration and supply routes. In addition, such patrols observe
known infiltration and supply routes and report any activity
along these routes. They provide early warning of guerrilla
assembly of personnel; movement of weapons, ammunition, or
other supplies; and preparation of mortar and rocket firing sites.
In addition to the acquisition of specific targets, reconnaissance
patrols may be used to locate suspected areas where other types of
surveillance or acquisition systems may be employed to obtain
information. Indigenous personnel are valuable assets to
reconnaissance patrols. Their knowledge of the terrain, ability to
operate effectively in the environment, knowledge of the
language, and familiarity with local customs are useful.
Combat patrols, when used for base defense, are employed in
difficult terrain some distance from the base but within range of
supporting artillery. Combat patrols employ ranger-type tactics
and remain committed for relatively long periods. They may be
supplied by air and equipped to communicate with the base and
supporting aircraft. Such patrols may vary in size from squad to
platoon. They have the mission of making planned searches to
locate areas used by guerrillas to hide supplies, regroup, rest,
train, or otherwise prepare for offensive actions. Small groups of
guerrillas are engaged and destroyed. Large groups are reported
and kept under surveillance until they are attacked. Augmentation
in the form of local paramilitary guides or trackers increases the
effectiveness of combat patrols.
(1)  Reaction force operations. When a guerrilla unit is
located, the reaction force is deployed rapidly to engage the
unit, disrupt its cohesion, and destroy it. If the guerrilla force
cannot be contained and destroyed, contact is maintained;
reinforcements are dispatched if needed; and the guerrillas
are pursued. When escape routes have been effectively
blocked, the attack is continued to destroy the enemy force.
The required mobility is provided by ground and air vehicles
and by rapid foot movement. Wheeled vehicles for reaction
forces are predesignated.
(a) Reaction operations are simple, planned, and rehearsed
day and night. Primary and alternate points are
predesignated for the release of reaction forces from
centralized control to facilitate movement against
multiple targets. Such points are reconnoitered and
photographed for use in planning and briefing. Within
security limitations, actual release points are used
during rehearsals to promote complete familiarity with
the area.
Immediate reaction to any type of attack is essential
and is attained through employment of firepower and
movement of forces and their equipment. Immediate
reaction to accurate and timely intelligence may
permit destruction of the guerrilla force before an
attack. Immediate reaction to standoff mortar or rocket
fire may permit destruction of the guerrilla force during
an assault on the base and facilitate blocking routes of
Host and third country forces. The BDF commander
normally considers the integration of host and third country
forces in the overall base defense effort. Particular emphasis
is on integration of host country forces in patrol and
populace control activities.  Both host and third country
forces provide local security for their own units; however, to
ensure maximum benefit, all such local plans should be
coordinated with, and integrated in, the base master defense
plan. The degree of participation in base defense by host and
third country forces depends on the orders and guidance of
their governments.
3-50. Securing lines of communication (LOC).
Guerrillas may attempt to sever lines of communications (LOC)
by various methods.  Roads, waterways, and railways can be
mined, or ambush sites located adjacent to them.  Bridges and
tunnels can be destroyed by demolitions. It is impossible to
absolutely secure long lines of communication, but measures can
be taken to minimize the effect of guerrilla activity against them.
Patrolling by counterguerrilla forces increases the chances of
detecting guerrillas before they can emplace mines or demolitions,
or establish ambushes or roadblocks. During Phases I and 11 of an
insurgent action, military police can do most of the patrolling of
ground lines of communication, but the tactical situation may
dictate combat forces having to perform this mission.
Patrolling is done regularly, but patrols should not establish a
routine which enables the guerrilla to avoid or ambush them.
Patrols must pay particular attention to probable ambush sites
and chokepoints where roadblocks or mines and demolitions
would be effective.
Aerial patrols are effective for covering large areas in a short time.
Surface patrols are slower, but they can check routes in greater
detail. Surface patrol members must be trained in the detection of
mines and booby traps. Mine detectors and infantry scout dogs, if
available, may aid them in this task.
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The primary function of a patrol is to check the security of the
routes it patrols. Ordinarily, manpower constraints prohibit a
patrol from being organized and equipped to counter a large
guerrilla force; however, reinforcement by artillery and attack
helicopters increases a patrol’s capability to deal with guerrillas
they encounter. Patrols are organized with enough combat power
to survive an initial contact. Recent guerrilla activity provides
guidance on how patrols are organized. If the guerrilla is found in
strength, his destruction is the reaction force mission.
Patrols always attempt to make initial contact with the smallest
of their elements, and they must be thoroughly proficient in counterambush
Roadblocks, checkpoints, and guardposts at critical chokepoints
(such as bridges and tunnels) are effective in preventing acts of
sabotage. Vehicles and persons are stopped and searched before
being allowed to proceed. Vehicles are not allowed to stop on or
under bridges or in tunnels.
Critical chokepoints are watched carefully at night. Personnel
guarding them are equipped with night vision equipment, and
ground surveillance radar and sensors are used to cover the
immediate, surrounding area. Curves on railroads are also
watched. Mining indirect approaches to sensitive areas may help
to lessen the chances of ground attack. The area is ringed with
planned artillery fires, and bunkers are constructed to protect
guard personnel and provide them positions from which to fight
until reinforced. Underwater approaches to bridges are reinforced
by booby-trapped obstacles.
Engineers are used to help keep lines of communication open.
They can locate and clear mines, clear potential ambush sites,
and repair damage. They may also prepare defensive systems around
3-51. Defending against guerrilla offensive.
a. When insurgent action enters Phase III, the guerrilla may begin
to attack using conventional tactics with the intention of
capturing and holding facilities, installations, bases, communities,
and t.errority. He also attemps to permanently sever critical lines
of communication. These attacks are similar to attacks conducted
by conventional infantry except the initial absence of established
lines enables the guerrilla to strike from any direction, or from
many directions at once. As host government and US forces react
to these initiatives, enemy and friendly lines may evolve;
however, during the initial stages of the guerrilla’s offensive
campaign, friendly bases, facilities, installation, and even cities
may be surrounded and come under siege.
The organization of the defense and the construction of physical
defenses must be at least partially completed prior to the
guerrilla’s attack if the defenders are expected to hold until a
counteroffense can begin.
Once enemy and friendly  lines are established, conventional
tactics are employed by both sides. Initially, however, US forces
may have to conduct limited attacks to reopen lines of communication
or to relieve besieged areas.
Section VII. Common Operations
Operations common to offensive and defensive counterguerrilla
operations may be conducted during any of the three phases of an
insurgency. The degree to which these operations are utilized is
dependent on the tactical situation.
3-52. Movement security.
All movements of troops and supplies are planned and conducted
as tactical operations with emphasis on extensive security
measures. These security measures may include:
Secrecy when planning and disseminating orders, strict
noise and light discipline during movement when appropriate,
and varying routes and schedules of movement.
Security forces organized and equipped to ensure effective
front, flank, and rear security during movement and halts.
Pre-positioning security elements along the route of movement
helps in performing route reconnaissance and movement
Coordination with supporting air units to ensure a thorough
understanding of air support used to assist the movement,
both in taking preventive measures and in close combat
operations. The need for secrecy may preclude initial air
cover, but it will not preclude use of close air support when
required. The use of aerial photographs is critical.
Fire support elements which provide close and continuous
fire support for the movement.
Maneuver for counterambush actions, to include contingency
plans for immediate action against an ambush and use of
formations which allow part of the column to be in position to
maneuver against an ambush force.
Communications with supporting units, adjacent host
country forces, and higher headquarters, to include airborne
radio relay.
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Varying the location of leaders, communications, and
automatic weapons within the movement formation.
Questioning local civilians along the movement route for
intelligence information, to include possible guerrilla
ambush sites.
Movement by bounds with overmatching fire.
 Use of  infantry scout dogs, if available, and other ambush
detection means.
b. Organization of the movement depends upon the type of
movement, whether by ground, air, or water.
Planning for movement is coordinated with military units along
routes of movement and considers the following:
(1) Communications. Communications are vital to the
success of movements. Radio communication is planned and
available between convoy serials and march units, with
artillery forward observers and air controllers, and with
units and population centers in the areas along the route of
movement. Visual and sound signals, which include colored
smoke, identification panels, and whistle or horn signals, are
prearranged. While limited, these communication means are
effective when prearranged meanings and responses are
understood and rehearsed.
(2) Artillery and mortar support. Artillery and mortar
support may be provided by units within range of the route of
movement or by artillery and mortars which may be
positioned within range of the proposed route. Movements
requiring artillery and mortar support have observers either
with them or in supporting observation aircraft. Strip maps
marked with planned targets enable personnel (other than
forward observers) to request fires. Coordination with fire
direction centers (FDC) capable of providing fire along the
route of movement ensures that forward observers can enter
the FDC net, make routine location reports, and request and
adjust fires. Call signs, frequencies, authentications, areas
of possible employment, schedules of movement, and target
numbers are coordinated.
(3) Aircraft. Experience has shown that the presence of
aircraft deters ambushes. Column movement covered by
traveling overwatch or bounding overwatch attack helicopters,
in conjunction with a route reconnaissance by scout
helicopters or fixed-wing strike aircraft, maybe requested.
Planning includes the type, number, and method of employ-
ment of aircraft. Methods of employment include column
cover, air alert, and ground alert. Column cover by fighter
aircraft is expensive in terms of crew fatigue and equipment
maintenance; therefore, light observation-type aircraft that
can direct on-call air support are used for short movements
over frequently used routes in more secure areas. When air
support is planned, communications information concerning
radio frequencies, call signs, and identification procedures is
provided to all who may need to use them. In addition, the
supporting air unit knows the maneuver intentions of the
ground element in case of ambush.
Route clearing. This operation may be conducted before
certain critical movements. The use of route-clearing
operations depends upon the availability of troops, the
importance of the movement, and the guerrilla threat within
the area. Normally the units responsible for the area through
which the movement will pass are used in route-clearing
operations. These route-clearing forces normally include
both mounted and dismounted elements. In addition to a
thorough reconnaissance of the main route of movement,
critical terrain near the route is secured. This maybe done by
placing pickets along critical stretches of the route or by
selective placement of tactical units.
Reserves. Reserves (ready forces) are vital to countering
ambushes. The guerrilla must be convinced that ambushes
produce a fast, relentless, hard-hitting response by counterguerrilla
supporting forces, to include airstrikes and ground
Prior to a movement, reserve force commanders and
are briefed on the general area of operations;
areas, known and suspected guerrilla locations, and
are emphasized. If the distance to be
from a single location prevents quick reaction,
ready forces are designated in successive areas. (For
information on movement security, see Appendix G.)
3-53. Motor movement.
a. Special escort attachments may not be available to support all
motor movements; therefore, many convoys must be prepared to
secure themselves for part or all of the distance. When a maneuver
unit is designated to provide escort for a vehicle convoy, elements
of the unit provide escort through their respective areas of
responsibility. Armor or armored cavalry units are ideally suited
to provide convoy escorts. Reconnaissance of the route immediately
prior to the passage of the convoy is desirable. When a single unit
is to provide escort through other units’ areas of responsibility,
the single unit coordinates closely with those other units to ensure
adequate fire support and available reinforcements during
passage of the convoy.
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Since there is seldom time to issue orders during an ambush, the
security detachment’s actions are planned and, when possible,
rehearsed by drills prior to the movement.
Convoy command responsibility is clearly fixed throughout the
chain of command. The commander and as many of his
subordinates as possible are briefed on the latest information
about the area through which they are to pass. The commander
formulates his plans and issues his orders to include formation,
intervals between echelons and vehicles, rate of travel, and
detailed plans for action if a guerrilla force attacks the convoy. All
personnel board their vehicle in such a way that they can
dismount rapidly into predrilled formations. Arms and ammunition
are readied for immediate action, and vehicle commanders are
responsible for keeping personnel alert (Figure 3-1 ).
Convoys may be escorted by reconnaissance aircraft or attack
helicopters and may have tactical air support on call. The use of
reconnaissance Army aircraft to survey routes immediately
forward of a convoy often provides early warning of danger.
3-54. Armor and cavalry movement.
During movements, unit vehicles and equipment are arranged to
facilitate their employment upon contact with, or interference
from, the enemy. Traveling, traveling overwatch, and bounding
overwatch techniques are used in movement. (See FM 71-2 for
armor ground movement security techniques, and FM 17-95 for
cavalry movement techniques.)
Air cavalry can be used to provide column cover and to give early
warning of hostile activity. Security measures are employed to
keep the enemy from learning of the movement or its destination
once the column has begun moving.
Terrain and weather permitting, aground security force (advance
guard, flank security, and/or rear guards) are used to provide
security. When terrain precludes the use of these ground security
elements, air cavalry may perform these activities as part of the
security mission.
3-55. Rail movement.
Mission. The primary mission of train personnel and combat or
security troops is to get the train to its destination.
Concept. As long as the train continues to move, control
remains with the train crew; however, if an ambush or firefight
develops and the train is unable to disengage by movement
forward or backward, the escort commander takes command and
undertakes defense of the train with all available personnel. If
there is no escort, the senior military member aboard takes
command. Radio communications are used to call for assistance.
Security detachments guarding the right of way have their own
communication system which may be tied into the railway
communication system, when required.
Organization. Railway installations and rail traffic are secured
by establishing defined areas of responsibility. Standing
operating procedures on organization for rail movement are
normally published by the highest level of command. Rail
security is coordinated with area and tactical commands which
provide support.
Operations. Armored trains may be used for patrolling track
where guerrilla activity may be expected. Armored trains operate
tactically under orders of the appropriate military commander.
Since the operation of an armored train is quite different from that
of other trains, the military transportation service assigns a
specially selected train crew. This crew coordinates the train
movement with that of other trains and with proper regard for the
tactical situation. Railway gondolas may be prepared for defense
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by piling sandbags on the floor and at the sides and by mounting
machine guns, mortars, and rocket launchers. These cars must
not be placed next to cars containing gasoline, ammunition, or
other flammables. Locomotives should be preceded by two or more
cars loaded with sandbags, rocks, or scrap material for protection
against mines and obstructions. On a single-track rail division
subject to guerrilla attack, the positive-block method of operations
is employed. In this method of operation, a following train is not
permitted to enter a block until the preceding train has cleared it.
This permits the train in the block, if attacked, to back up if
necessary and to receive reinforcements by train from either
3-56. Water movement and riverine operations.
Counterguerrilla operations may be conducted in large inundated
areas (lakes, coastal waters, flooded delta areas, and inland waterways)
which are inhabited by large population segments and which have
limited, or no, rail and road nets. The ability of the counterguerrilla
force to operate in these areas is a requirement for successful missions.
(See FM 31-11 and FM 31-12 for amphibious operations.)
Mission and concept. Boats may be used to perform a variety of
tactical as well as logistical tasks. Waterway movement of troops
and supplies is planned and conducted in much the same manner
as mounted movements on land; however, special characteristics
of water transportation must be considered. The counterguerrilla
force may participate in riverine operations along with host
country regular forces (particularly naval forces), paramilitary
forces, US Army waterborne transportation forces, and US naval
Organization. When a large waterborne force moves, it adopts a
march formation similar to a ground convoy. Advance and rear
guards in boats are organized. Flank security maybe provided by
patrols in boats in adjacent streams or on foot on the banks.
Unlike ground convoy procedures, movement is not necessarily in
file or column formation. The formation depends upon the
purpose of the movement, the strength of the friendly force, and
the width of the stream. It is based on the same considerations as
those for combat formations on land, to include control, security,
flexibility, speed of reaction, observation, and fields of fire.
(1) Waterways afford little cover and concealment. Power-driven
boats are noisy and attract attention. Boats can be seen and
fired on easily in daylight, but this disadvantage can be
reduced by night movement and by traveling close to the
stream banks where shadow and overhead branches aid
concealment. Boats must go to or near the shore to unload,
thus affecting the reaction time in case of an ambush.
Landing operations may be difficult because of unfavorable
characteristics along the banks. Transported troops should
be assigned firing positions on board their vessels for
defense against ambush. The transported units should
position the maximum number of crew-served weapons on
board to engage enemy on the near bank or both banks of the
(2)  Combinations of blocking, attacking, and screening tactical
actions can be devised by the counterguerrilla force utilizing
the mobility of naval forces (river assault groups) and air
assault units. Teamwork between ground forces moving
along river banks, and supporting naval craft firepower and
floating artillery, can result in successful operations against
guerrilla forces in water areas.
(3)  The amount of time required for planning increases with the
size of the force involved. Planning should be as detailed as
time permits, but quick reaction is necessary to capitalize on
current intelligence.
Planning includes:
Reducing all planning facets of embarking and
debarking of troops and equipment to SOP.
Integrating and combining plans for US, allied, and
host country military forces and civilian agencies.
Facilitating command and control means to unify
command and coordination of fires and other support.
Reducing rehearsals to a minimum, based on habitual
employment; reducing activities to SOP; reducing
equipment and logistical requirements.
Obtaining detailed intelligence from the population
and civilian police.
Obtaining information on currents and tides at
H-hour, beach conditions, and conditions of banks or
shores for exit routes.
Crew-served weapons transported on water craft must be in
position at all times to engage guerrilla ambush forces.
3-57. Foot and air movement.
Foot movement. Dismounted movements by small units are
planned and conducted using the principles for patrolling; for
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larger units, the principles for movement to contact will apply
(FM 7-8, FM 7-10, and FM 7-20).
Air movement. Air movements are an integral part of counterguerrilla
operations. The principles governing security of such
are contained in FM 7-10, FM 7-20, and FM

3-58. Border operations.
a. While operations to control borders are normally a civilian
security agency mission, the brigade may be required to
participate in these operations by reinforcing or assuming
responsibility for border surveillance and control.
Brigades conducting or supporting consolidation or strike
operations may become involved in border control activities. In
some cases, the scope and combat requirements of controlling a
border may make border operations more a tactical than a civilian
security force problem, and may require the conduct of successive
strike operations by the brigade in its area of operations.
(1) Purpose. Border control operations require effective
measures to secure extensive land border or seacoast areas
and to preclude communication and supply operations (to
include aerial resupply) between an external sponsoring
power and guerrilla forces.
 Concept. In Phase I insurgency, operations in border
areas are normally a function of police, customs, and
other government organizations. Armed and paramilitary
forces may assist these organizations, particularly
remote areas. In Phases II and III, denial of external
for the insurgency may require combat
in border areas. These operations require
coordination and cooperation between the armed
paramilitary forces, and all government
involved. Physically sealing the border may
be possible since it could require the commitment of
government forces and materiel than overall
resources permit.  Since placing forces and
at all possible crossings or entry sites maybe
priorities should be established. Natural
must be used wherever possible. Using patrols,
and obstacles in selected areas increases the
of natural barriers.  Barrier and denial
are established after careful consideration
the threat, the environment, and the location of the
probable targets and methods of operation.
Organization. National border forces may be composed
of border police and guards and may include
forces and regular armed forces with
or direct responsibility for portions of the
Command and control. Border operations are
planned, directed, and supervised from the national
level. Authority to conduct these operations may be
delegated to subnational and other area commanders.
Structuring. Border task forces are tailored units
designed to meet requirements in their assigned areas.
They should contain sufficient combat support and
combat service support elements to support operations
for extended periods.
(2) Operations.
Restricted zones or friendly population buffer zones
can be established if needed. Either of these operations,
which could require relocating many persons, must be
carefully planned. Although armed forces may assist,
civil authorities normally are responsible for planning
and carrying out a relocation program. Forced relocation
is held to a minimum. The 1949 Geneva Conventions
prohibit forced population resettlement unless there is
clear military necessity.
While specific portions of an international land border
or shoreline maybe placed under effective surveillance
and control by use of static security posts, reserve
forces, ground and aerial observers, electronic listening
posts, and patrols, the continuous surveillance and
control of an extensive land border or shoreline is
difficult. Since it may not be possible to place brigade
forces at all the crossing or landing sites, a priority
system for the sites requiring military forces is
(3)  Surveillance. Continuous and detailed surveillance is
required to determine infiltration and exfiltration routes and
support sites, frequency and volume of traffic, type of
transportation, number and type of personnel, amount and
type of materiel, terrain and traffic conditions, and the
probable location of base areas and sanctuaries. Surveillance
and control of extensive coastal areas normally require the
use of coordinated ground patrols on the shoreline, coordinated
offshore patrols, aerial surveillance, strategic observation
posts along the shoreline, and an effective system of
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licensing and identifying friendly military and civilian
Military operations. Border units establish operational
support bases at battalion and company levels to direct
operations. Aviation, signal, engineer, and fire support
augmentation usually is required. These are normally found
in the brigade support base if not augmenting subordinate
 Border control methods. Two operational concepts for
the control of extensive land borders are the restricted zone
and the friendly population buffer.
Restricted zone. Under this concept, an area of
predetermined width along the border is declared a
restricted zone. Appropriate proclamations are issued
to the population so that everyone understands that
any individual or group encountered in the zone will be
considered as an element of the guerrilla force,
paramilitary force, or similar organization. So far as
practicable, the restricted zone is cleared of vegetation
and other obstacles to observation over the area.
Earth-moving equipment may be used for this purpose.
Defoliants, if authorized, may also be used for this
purpose, but this should be considered when no other
method is feasible. Since the clearance of the zone
along the entire border is normally not feasible, a
priority of areas for clearance is usually necessary. The
restricted zone is controlled by the use of ground and
aerial observers, electronic sensor devices, listening
posts, patrols, mines, and obstacles. It is preferable
that these activities be conducted by host country civil
police and paramilitary forces to economize on the
available regular armed forces’ combat power which
can be better utilized in tactical operations.
(b) Friendly population buffer. The civilian population
in the area of operations is redistributed as necessary
to ensure that all civilians residing near the border are
sympathetic to the host country government. This may
entail the screening of all persons settled along the
border, relocation of those persons of doubtful sympathy,
and supplementary resettlement of the border area
with friendly elements of the civilian population. This
concept provides a potential informant net along the
border, it provides friendly local civilians for employment
in self-defense units to control the border area, and it
denies potential civilian contacts and houses of refuge
for use by the guerrillas in border-crossing activities.
Relocation of civilians is a sensitive legal and political
issue and should be undertaken with host country
authority in compliance with host country law. US
personnel should not be actively involved. US relocation
activities in an international conflict environment
must comply with applicable provisions of Geneva
Conventions IV. Relocation operations must be preceded
by detailed economic, social, psychological, and
preparation so the socio-economic stability of
area is not endangered by the shifts in population.
conduct of these operations without such preparation
result in such undesirable effects in the area as
instability, extensive unemployment, inequities
land distribution, inadequate public utilities,
inadequate housing, and intermingling of population
with conflicting religious beliefs and social mores.
Waterline borders. In addition to use of restricted zones
and friendly population buffers, as discussed above for land
borders, the surveillance and control of extensive coastal
areas and shorelines normally require the use of:
Coordinated ground patrols on the shoreline.
Coordinated offshore sea patrols of the shoreline and
river delta areas.
Reinforcing aerial, visual, and photographic surveillance
of the offshore waters and the shoreline.
Observation posts along the shoreline in the vicinity of
river mouths, ground lines of communication, and
accessible portions of the shoreline.
An effective system of licensing and identifying all
friendly military and civilian watercraft using the
offshore waters.
Effective, centralized control and coordination of all
these activities.
Sanctuaries. Guerrillas may establish base camps and
conduct cross-border operations from countries adjacent to
the host country. They will take advantage of an international
boundary to launch operations or evade pursuit with
impunity. Commanders operating in border areas must
respect the sanctity of international boundaries, but they
can conduct combat operations against the guerrilla force
once it crosses back over the border. Ambush patrols are an
excellent means of dealing with guerrillas who attempt to
use an international border as a sanctuary.
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3-59. Urban operations.
Operations in an urban environment require different emphasis
and different techniques than those in rural areas. The presence
of many people and the characteristics of the area influence both
insurgent and government operations. During Phases I and II,
these areas are usually unfavorable for guerrilla operations.
Guerrillas will not normally fight in these areas; however, other
insurgent elements in the urban areas may incite rioting, use
terrorist tactics, or seize portions of the city and key facilities.
Armed forces may be required to reinforce police in combatting
riots and disorders provoked by the insurgents. Tactical
operations may be necessary if the guerrillas take direct action to
seize urban areas or critical installations within them. This may
occur in smaller urban areas during Phase II, and may occur in
large urban areas in the later stages of Phase III. (FM 90-10
discusses tactical operations in urban areas. FM 19-15 discusses
civil disturbances.)
The population density requires emphasis on the use of nonlethal
weapons and the careful use of weapons of destruction when force
is necessary. The application of “minimum essential force” to
minimize loss of life and destruction of property requires detailed
planning, coordination, and control.
Covert insurgent activity is extensive in urban areas. The
government must emphasize intelligence and police operations to
counter clandestine organizational, intelligence, logistical, and
terrorist activities. IDAD operations in urban areas maybe part
of a consolidation campaign.
Urban areas are critical and require a continuing IDAD effort
whether or not they are included in a specific campaign. Military
forces should participate in IDAD planning and operations in
urban areas during all phases of insurgency to be prepared to
assist other national security and law enforcement agencies if
situations requiring military forces develop.
Operational environment. The characteristics of an
urban area normally include:
(a) A large, concentrated population.
(b) Government facilities.
(c) Industrial complexes.
(d) Communications facilities.
(e) Transportation terminals.
(f) Storage facilities.
(g) Food markets.
(h) Medical facilities.
(i) Public utilities.
(j) Educational centers.
(k) Ethnic, religious, and economic groups.
(l)  Man-made features (multistory buildings and subter-
ranean facilities).
Police force, paramilitary force, and other law en-
forcement agencies.
Government activity. Urban areas need more government
functions and services than rural areas. This requires more
and possibly larger government organizations for operations.
The activities and capabilities of all government agencies
should be considered in planning and executing IDAD
(3) Subversive activities. A subversive element intent on
destroying the government may strain the capabilities of
local authorities. The insurgents will attempt to exploit local
civilian organizations by subverting their goals and
objectives. They will try to place them in opposition to the
government. Terrorist activities and psychological operations
will take place along with covert insurgent organizational,
intelligence, and logistical operations. Police, internal
security, and other government organizations will be high
priority targets of the insurgents.
(4) Operations. Operations require careful planning and
coordination, particularly those operations involving
application of force. Military forces designated to provide
assistance, if needed, make plans and prepare to implement
them. Military forces must be able to communicate with
police and other agencies involved in the operations. They
must collect and have readily available detailed information
on area characteristics and critical installations.
(5) Tactical operations.
Tactical operations may be required inside or near an
urban area to defeat an insurgent attack. Any insurgent
attempt to seize and hold an urban area will probably
involve operations in nearby areas as well. When the
police and other internal security forces can cope with
the attack inside the urban area, military forces can
best participate by establishing security around the
urban area and by denying the insurgent reinforcement
or support. When military forces are required to
reinforce police or defeat insurgent forces inside the
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FM 90-8
urban area, operations must be closely controlled and
coordinated. Military forces should be withdrawn as
soon as police forces can handle the situation.
When an urban area has been seized by insurgent
forces, an evaluation must be made from both a tactical
and psychological perspective whether to recapture it
using major military force or using other techniques.
The amount of force and the specific techniques to be
used to recapture the area are decided based on the
probable psychological impact on the enemy, noncombatant
civilians, and friendly troops; the safety of
and friendly troops; the destruction of
and the military forces available. The
of “minimum essential force” will help reduce
casualties in the noncombatant civilian population.
Riot control munitions can be used against targets so
that military forces can close with and capture the
enemy with minimum injury to the noncombatants.
Operations may be in the form of assistance to civilian
police. In any event, military operations must be
coordinated with the civilian police. (For information
on combat in fortified and built-up areas, see FM 90-10
and FM 90-10-1.)
Counterguerrilla Operations
in Conventional Conflicts
4-1. Rear areas.
Section I. General
The conditions of conventional conflicts differ greatly from an
insurgency. This chapter discusses factors the commander must
consider when planning counterguerrilla operations during a
conventional conflict. The nature of the threat and tactics suitable to
counter the threat are discussed. The material in this chapter is general
and refers only to countering guerrilla activities in the rear areas of
friendly forces engaged in conventional conflicts (Figure
4-2. Threat.
Figure 4-1. Guerrilla rear action.
A guerrilla threat may not exist in these situations. However, if it does
exist, it normally occurs in support of enemy forces engaged in
conventional combat with friendly forces and occurs in the friendly
force rear areas. (For further information on rear area operations, see
FM 90-14.)
FM 90-8
Section Il.
4-3. Guerrilla support.
Since a major goal of participants in a conventional conflict is to
gain control of territory through the use of regular armed forces,
the forms of guerrilla activity change. Guerrilla operations in this
case support the main effort of the enemy force by disrupting
command, control, communications, and logistical operations of
friendly forces. The guerrilla force also serves to cause commitment
of friendly forces, best used in the close battle, to the rear battle.
The ability of the guerrilla force to operate successfully does not
rely on the attainment of popular support. Rather, the guerrilla
force relies more on its ability to cause confusion in rear areas.
4-4. Guerrilla objectives.
The objectives of a guerrilla force in a conventional conflict are:
Disruption. The guerrilla force seeks to disrupt command,
control, communications, and logistics operations and
facilities. He may accomplish this by attacking key
installations such as headquarters, communications sites,
supply depots, maintenance facilities, and airfields. The
guerrilla force also seeks to cut lines of communication and
supply by interdicting supply columns, bridges, highways,
and communications lines.
Confusion. By destroying key facilities and interdicting
lines of communication and supply, the guerrilla force
causes confusion within the friendly force rear areas. The
greater the amount of confusion created, the greater the
ability of the main enemy force to discover and exploit
weaknesses of the friendly force.
Harassment. The guerrilla force remains a source of
harassment as long as it operates in the rear area. It may not
have to conduct continuous operations to achieve its goal.
The mere knowledge that the guerrilla exists within the rear
area, even though undetected, may be enough.
Support. By disrupting, confusing, and harassing vital
areas, the guerrilla supports the main enemy force by tying
up friendly combat units in countering the threat.
The guerrilla force may possess weapons, communications, and
technology equal to or superior to the rear battle forces. It must be
anticipated that nuclear, chemical, and biological, as well as
conventional weapons and tactics may be utilized to achieve
guerrilla goals.
4-5. Factors affecting operations.
When considering the environment that the participants will be
involved in, the commander’s plans for counterguerrilla operations
must consider terrain and climate, as well as political, sociological,
economic, and psychological factors.
a. Terrain. Terrain affects men, equipment, trafficability, visibility,
and the employment of NBC weapons. The terrain aspects of each
area of operations must be evaluated to determine the impact on
both guerrilla and counterguerrilla forces. Generally, guerrillas
favor rough, inaccessible terrain with cover and concealment,
affording them routes of escape and withdrawal if confronted or
detected by counterguerrilla forces. Rolling, open terrain with less
cover and concealment usually favors counterguerrilla forces in
detecting and pursuing a guerrilla force.
Climate. Each geographic area is analyzed to determine the
effects of climate since no two areas have identical climates.
Generally, a mild climate favors the guerrilla force since it
induces less physical hardship, and may provide year-round
vegetation for subsistence, cover, and concealment. The climate is
also analyzed to determine the effect it will have on guerrilla
operations as regards trafficability, visibility, and equipment. A
cold climate usually favors the counterguerrilla force and
hampers guerrilla operations since it increases the logistics
required to support the guerrilla. The commander must also
consider that the effect of seasonal variations can either increase
or decrease his ability to conduct operations.
c. Political factors. Political considerations are reduced. Generally,
the relationship between the counterguerrilla force and the
population is governed by restrictions and agreements
that the US has with the government(s) of the country (or
countries) in which the conflict takes place. In the event that the
conflict takes place in enemy territory that is occupied, then the
policies concerning interaction the the civilian populace will be
formulated at theater level in consonance with guidance from the
US government. It must be recognized that, in some situations,
the political system of the area will be sympathetic to the
Sociological factors. As with political factors, social factors
are considered, but their impact is usually reduced. Usually, when
US forces operate in friendly territory or liberate previously
captured friendly territory, the sociological factors generally
favor the counterguerrilla force. When US forces operate in
captured enemy territory, then the sociological factors may favor
the guerrilla force. In this situation, the guerrilla force may be
receiving some support from the populace.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Economic factors. Generally, the counterguerrilla force plans
its operations to minimize damage to the economic structure of an
area. The standard of living must be recognized as a contributing
factor to the psychological climate within the area. If the
counterguerrilla force damages civilian property and economic
structures, then it may have an adverse psychological impact.
Usually, a poor economic climate will favor the counterguerrilla
force since it will reduce the resources available to the guerrilla.
The counterguerrilla force, on the other hand, is usually not
dependent on the economy for its logistics. A strong economic
climate usually does not favor either force.
Psychological factors. A population that actively supports the
counterguerrilla force greatly enhances the capability to detect
guerrilla forces. Usually, this type of population is found when US
forces operate in friendly territory or liberate areas opposed to the
goals of the enemy force. Population support for the goals of the
enemy force usually favors the guerrilla. That situation may
occur when US forces operate in captured enemy territory. In most
cases, however, the military objective of destroying the guerrilla
force takes precedence over other considerations as long as
operations are planned to minimize damage to civilian property.
US forces must, in all cases, treat the civilian populace in a fair
and just manner whether the people support the US presence or
not. Inhumane treatment and criminal acts (murder, rape, or
theft, even under stress of combat and with provocation) are
serious and punishable violations under international law, the
law of land warfare, and the US Uniform Code of Military Justice.
4-6. Applying METT-T.
The commander of a counterguerrilla force in a conventional
conflict plans his operations by analyzing the factors of METT-T.
An understanding of the goals of a guerrilla force operating in
rear areas and a general analysis of the environment of the area of
operations provide a framework for planning. An analysis of the
factors of METT-T will provide the specific information and
indications to complete operational plans.
Some of the major considerations of METT-T are:
(1) Mission.
 All aspects of the mission must be analyzed. In this
analysis, the commander and his staff determine all
specified and implied tasks:
•  Is  the mission offensive?
• Is the mission defensive?
• Is the mission a combination of offense and
The authority a commander can exert within his area
of operations is critical. If the command and support
relationships are not clearly delineated in the initial
order, then the commander must ensure that he
receives that guidance prior to commencement of
operations. The restrictions, limitations, and rules of
engagement that the counterguerrilla force adheres to
must be defined. These may include specific limitations
regarding the use of firepower and types of weapons, or
they may be general regarding the relationship of the
counterguerrilla force with the civilian population.
(2) Enemy.
 Since the general goals of the enemy are known,
specific information is gathered to produce a more
complete picture. The capabilities of the enemy are
examined. Some of the questions that should be
answered are:
• Can the guerrilla strike at will?
• What is the size(s) of his unit(s)?
Ž What type of weapons does he possess?
• Is this a true guerrilla force consisting mainly of
locally recruited indigenous personnel, or is this an
enemy regular military unit specially trained and
using guerrilla tactics?
• Does he have fire or air support?
• Does he have an offensive NBC capability?
• How long can he operate in the area?
The commander examines not only guerrilla capabilities
but also his vulnerable aspects, which include logistics
and ability to remain undetected. Usually, guerrillas
operating in a rear area then acquire logistical support
from external sources, from captured equipment and
supplies, and from the civilian populace.
External support by the enemy main force may occur
through clandestine parachute drop or through
waterborne, surface, or subsurface infiltration. If the
guerrilla’s only source of resupply is external, then
interdiction of his supply lines can decrease or halt
operations as the guerrilla’s supplies are exhausted.
If the counterguerrilla force prevents the capture of
friendly equipment and supplies, then again the
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FM 90-8
guerrilla must decrease and finally halt operations
because of lack of supplies.
(e) Reliance by the guerrilla on the civilian populace for
support may occur more often in occupied enemy
territory or in territories where the population favors
the enemy force. Effective use of populace and resources
control operations and psychological operations can
reduce the logistical support received through the
Because the guerrilla operates in rear areas, the
difficulty of maintaining his lines of resupply usually
keeps the size of his force at a relatively static level. If
the counterguerrilla force can detect the guerrilla force,
then it is only a matter of time until the guerrillas are
fixed and engaged. The commander utilizes all available
human intelligence (HUMINT), imagery intelligence
(IMINT), and signal intelligence (SIGINT). In addition,
the counterguerrilla force maximizes all information
that can be gained from tactical operations to locate
the guerrilla force.
Probable courses of enemy action are identified. What
may be the least likely course of action for a conventional
force may be the most likely for the guerrilla force.
Often, the guerrilla strikes in this manner to gain the
advantage of surprise. The counterguerrilla force
identifies likely targets and takes measures to protect
them. In addition, facilities and operations that may
not seem likely targets may in fact be guerrilla targets
solely because of their vulnerability. The counterguerrilla
force commander must realize that destruction of
numerous insignificant targets may cause more
damage and confusion than the destruction or damage
of one important target.
Terrain. The terrain consideration also includes consider-
ation of weather. The weather is analyzed to determine its
effect on both the guerrilla and the counterguernlla force. It
is analyzed in terms of its effect on men and equipment,
trafficability, and visibility. Since the guerrilla force may
have the capability to use NBC, the effect of weather on NBC
and smoke is also addressed. The terrain is studied in
relation to the factors of OCOKA: Observation and fields of
fire, Cover and concealment, Obstacles, Key terrain (to
include likely guerrilla targets and base camps), and
Avenues of approach or escape. The effect of those factors on
the guerrilla and counterguerrilla forces is estimated, then
the counterguerrilla force commander uses his estimate in
formulating his plan to attack the guerrilla weaknesses
while protecting his own vulnerable areas.
Troops available. The counterguerrilla force commander
may or may not have control over all forces in the rear area
for employment in rear battle operations. Forces he may
have might include combat, combat support, and combat
service support units. In addition, the commander may have
allied regular, paramilitary, and irregular forces under his
control in certain situations. The counterguerrilla force
commander will be provided guidelines and directives on the
current joint and combined procedures for establishing an
effective rear defense. He will effect liaison with all forces
operating in his area of responsibility, fix specific responsi-
bilities, and exercise overall control of defensive operations
in response to a guerrilla threat.
Time available. The time available for planning must be
wisely utilized. In most cases, the one-third rule may be
applied. The commander uses one third of the available time
for planning and leaves two thirds for subordinate planning
and preparation.  However, reaction to intelligence may
require an immediate response. Operational planning is
conducted as early as possible.
4-7. Type forces.
Section Ill. The Threat
The guerrilla action supports the enemy’s main forces by causing
disruption, confusion, and harassment. These actions may be
conducted by conventional or unconventional forces utilizing
guerrilla warfare tactics.
Conventional forces that may conduct guerrilla warfare include
forces that have been cut off or that intentionally stay behind as
their main force withdraws or retreats. These forces generally
possess the weapons and equipment of the main enemy force.
Their combat power may suffer from killed and wounded
personnel and lost or damaged equipment, and they may have
logistical difficulties. Another type of force may be an armored
and/or mechanized unit with a mission to penetrate friendly rear
areas and cause disruption, confusion, and harassment. Only if
this force uses guerrilla warfare tactics is it considered a guerrilla
force. If it continues to operate within the area that can be
influenced by the main enemy forces, or if it utilizes conventional
tactics, then it is not considered a guerrilla force. Airborne,
heliborne, or waterborne light infantry forces may also compose a
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guerrilla force if inserted to conduct guerrilla warfare operations
(disruption, harassment, or confusion).
In all cases where conventional enemy forces are using guerrilla
warfare tactics, the counterguerrilla force commander must
expect their degree of training, equipment, and sophistication to
match that found in the main enemy force.
4-8. Special units.
Unconventional warface forces that may conduct guerrilla
warfare consist of special units trained specifically for guerrilla
warfare and indigenous guerrilla forces sponsored by the main
enemy force. Special units trained for guerrilla warfare usually
have a primary mission to conduct guerrilla warfare operations
against targets of opportunity with a follow-on mission to train an
indigenous guerrilla force.
Initially, these units may possess weapons and equipment equal
to, or greater in sophistication than, US forces. The longer these
units operate, the more they expend their assets. If they stay in the
operational area for a prolonged period with no external resupply,
then their level of efficiency decreases until US forces possess an
equal capability. Their level of training is usually high, and these
units are skilled in weapons, demolitions, communications,
medicine, operations, and the ability to improvise when needed.
These special units may enter a friendly area through the use of
high altitude, low opening (HALO); high altitude, high opening
(HAHO); or low level parachute techniques. They I.., also be
skilled in and use overland and waterborne (both surface and
subsurface) techniques to enter the area.
In many cases, the indigenous guerrilla unit may be trained by
special units inserted by the enemy force. Usually, the indigenous
guerrilla force must rely on external support for its logistics
requirements. In some cases, if the guerrilla force is not too large,
then it may rely on captured or improvised equipment and
The tactics used by both conventional and unconventional
guerrilla forces remain the same. They are characterized by
elusiveness, surprise, and brief, violent action. The techniques
used by these forces usually consist of raids and ambushes.
Depending on the composition of the guerrilla force, it may have
aviation and fire support assets available to it.
The counterguerrilla force commander must be aware that the
guerrilla force may have NBC weapons available to it. Because of
the capability of NBC weapons to cause a maximum amount of
confusion with a limited amount of personnel, their use must be
considered as a method that the guerrilla may employ.
Section IV. Tactics and Operations
4-9. Rear battle.
Rear battle (FM 90-14) is defined as those actions, including area
damage control, taken by all units  singly or in a combined effort to
secure the force, neutralize or defeat enemy operations in the rear area,
and ensure freedom of action in the deep and close-in battles. The basic
philosophy of rear battle doctrine is to maximize the capability of
combat support and combat service support elements to defend
themselves and render mutual support without requiring assistance
from tactical combat forces. If a tactical combat force is assigned to the
rear battle, it will be placed under the operational control (OPCON) of
the rear battle officer. Once it completes the tactical mission and
notifies the rear area operations center, it will be released to its parent
4-10. Concepts.
The concepts discussed in this chapter are geared to the needs of
the tactical commander but can be used by the rear battle officer
as well. In all instances, it is imperative that the principle of unity
of command be maintained to minimize confusion and indecision
that will occur if there is an inability to determine who is in
The techniques used in rear battle operations are dependent upon
METT-T. Some of these factors include the force composition,
aviation assets, fire support assets, mobility, equipment, and size
of the counterguerrilla force. These same factors must be
examined regarding the guerrilla force. Generally, these
techniques can be classified as either offensive or defensive.
(1) Offensive techniques are used to locate, fix, and engage
guerrilla forces. These operation include reconnaissance
patrols, ambushes, attacks, encirclements, and movements
to contact.
(2) Defensive techniques are used to prevent disruption,
harassment, or confusion. They are also used to minimize
damage to a target if it is attacked. Preventive defensive
techniques include movement security, security patrolling,
and combat patrolling, among others. Examples of techniques
designed to minimize damage once an action starts include
base defense, counterambush, and reaction forces.
c. The distinctions between offensive and defensive techniques are
sometimes difficult to discern. Many offensive techniques can be
used as a type of defensive technique and vice versa. (Offensive
and defensive techniques are discussed in Chapter 3.)
FM 90-8
5-1. Composition.
Combat Units
Section I. General
The military force conducting counterguerrilla operations may not
necessarily consist of only light infantry. This chapter discusses the
various types of combat units that maybe available to the counterguerrilla
force. The composition of the tactical force to be used in counterguerrilla
operations —
in other words, whether to use forces other than light
— depends upon the forces available and the threat that is
5-2. Restricted firepower.
Generally, because of political, economic, and sociological considerations
that restrict the use of firepower, the farther the insurgency moves
toward Phase III, the greater the combat power that can be utilized
(Figure 5-1 ). In a conventional conflict, the same factors of availability
of forces and the Threat are considered, but combat power can be
applied at higher levels.
Figure 5-1. Combat power can be applied at higher levels.
FM 90-8
Section II. Counterinsurgency Environment
5-3. Type forces.
The types of forces that maybe employed (other than light infantry)
are infantry, airborne, air assault, mechanized infantry, armor,
armored cavalry, and aviation. Terrain, enemy forces, and capabilities
must be thoroughly assessed when deciding how to utilize these forces.
The impact of these forces on the populace must also be assessed before
they are employed. Normally, the majority of ground combat elements
are organized to fight as light infantry.  However, the proper use of
other combat forces can provide the counterguerrilla force advantages.
5-4. Use of combat power.
The primary consideration is that counterguerrilla operations
support the host country’s IDAD plan. Extensive use of combat
forces (other than infantry) in this environment is usually
restricted because of limitations on the use of heavy weapons and
their collateral damage. In addition, the guerrilla habitually
chooses to operate from terrain that affords him protection
(Figure 5-l). Usually, this type of.terrain is rough, inaccessible,
and restrictive to ground vehicles.  Military forces engaged in
counterguerrilla warfare must make maximum effective use of all
available assets, even if this means reorganizing and retraining
as light infantry, utilizing organic combat vehicles in a
supporting role for transportation only.
The measure of effectiveness of an asset is contained in the
concept of suitability. The extent to which various types of forces
can be effectively utilized must be measured against the following
criteria to determine if they will be suitable.
5-5. Impact on the populace.
The commander must determine both the physical and psychological
impact of using additional combat assets. In all cases, their use must
fall within any restrictions stated in the rules of engagement. In
addition, the psychological effect of the expanded use of firepower or
assets might result in the perception that the government forces are
losing or ineffective.
5-6. Meets the threat.
The commander must ensure that the additional assets he plans to
employ do not “overkill” the threat. If the threat is a light infantry force
of company size working in groups of five to ten men, then it is not
really suitable to have a battalion of armor arrayed against it.
5-7. Capability to accomplish assigned mission.
a. The additional assets utilized must have the capability to perform
tactical and IDAD missions. When determining if the additional
assets do have the capability, the threat’s capabilities, structure,
weapons, and level of training must be considered.
In addition, the impact of the terrain on the force must be
determined. All of these factors must be weighed to determine if
the type of force that is going to be used will be an asset or a
liability. These same factors, plus the psychological factor,
determine if the force can support the accomplishment of the
overall IDAD objective, which is to defeat the insurgency by
winning the support of the populace for the host country
(1) Airborne.
The essential difference between airborne forces and
other combat forces employed against guerrillas is the
capability of parachuting into an area. An airborne
infantry unit conducts ground tactical operations in
the same general manner as other infantry units.
Since airborne forces become light infantry upon
insertion into an operational area, they can be used
effectively in counterguerrilla operations. The primary
advantage of using this type of force is that it enables
the commander to position a large infantry force in a
short period. In addition, when inserting small
elements into a guerrilla-controlled or contested area,
this method may provide a relatively clandestine
means of insertion. Airborne operations are dependent
on several factors, to include drop zone availability,
airframe availability, terrain, and weather. In most
cases, airborne operations can be used effectively to
insert forces into suitable areas in all phases of
insurgency. (For further information on airborne
operations, see FM 7-10, FM 7-20, and FM 7-30.)
 Air assault.
The helicopter provides battlefield mobility to the
counterguerrilla force that usually cannot be matched
by the guerrilla force. Air assault forces provide a
valuable contribution through the tactic of vertical
envelopment. They give the force commander the
means to rapidly disperse and concentrate forces at the
critical time and place and then quickly extract the
force and employ it in a different area, if needed. The
fundamental characteristic of air assault operations is
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
the use of helicopters to provide a tactical mobility
advantage over the enemy. No other force on the
battlefield can respond to a tactical situation and move
considerable distances as rapidly as air assault forces.
Air assault forces can:
• Attack enemy positions from any direction.
• Strike objectives in otherwise inaccessible areas.
• Overfly or bypass barriers and obstacles, to include
NBC area contamination.
Ž Conduct raids using helicopters to insert and
withdraw forces.
• Concentrate, disperse, or redeploy rapidly to
extended their area of influence.
• Provide the commander flexibility by allowing him
to retain a smaller reserve and commit a larger
portion of his force to action.
• React rapidly to tactical opportunities and necessities.
• Place forces rapidly at tactically decisive points in
the battle area.
• Provide surveillance over a wide area.
(c )
Air assault forces, while suited to counterguerrilla
operations, have limitations that must be considered:
• Weather extremes that hamper or stop aircraft
• Helicopter lift capacity that restricts the type and
quantity of supporting weapons and equipment
that can be airlifted into the battle area.
• Air lines of communications, once inserted.
• Enemy tactical aircraft, air defense, and electronic
warfare systems.
• Reduced mobility on completion of air movement.
Ž Increased vulnerability during loading and landing
Flexibility, mobility, and speed are the key advantages
of utilizing air assault forces. In counterguerrilla
operations, the effective use of these advantages may
be a critical function for the commander. While seeking
to employ this type of force to maximize its strengths,
the commander must also ensure that he realizes these
operations have limitations and vulnerabilities. The
advantages and limitations must be weighed in terms
of the concept of suitability to determine if air assault
forces should be used in a given situation. In almost all
cases, air assault forces are well suited for use in all
phases of insurgency. (For further information on air
assault operations, see FM 90-4.)
Mechanized infantry.
Mechanized infantry forces, fighting mounted, are not
particularly suited for engaging guerrilla forces in
combat action on restricted terrain. However, terrain
permitting, the ability of infantry fighting vehicles
and armored personnel carriers to move forces rapidly
about the battlefield may give the counterguerrilla
force a mobility advantage and a distinct firepower
advantage. These advantages let the force close on
guerrilla locations mounted and then complete its
Because of the terrain the guerrilla habitually operates
on, and the tactics he normally employs, opportunities
to conduct traditional mechanized infantry operations
against him are extremely limited. When this is the
case, the mechanized force must be prepared to either
abandon its carriers or use them only as a means of
transport to the battle area where the mechanized force
will fight on foot. Terrain permitting, the advantage in
speed and mobility may allow for a larger area of
operations than is within the capability of a totally
light force of similar size.
(c) In most cases, mechanized forces may have a role in:

Providing convoy escort.
Providing mobility for reserves.

Conducting show-of-force operations.

Assisting in base defenses.

Participating in an economy-of-force role when
large areas require speed and mobility for adequate
coverage while crossing NBC contaminated areas.

Providing limited armor protection against light
small arms fire.

Participating in air assault operations.
Mechanized forces are normally suitable to be employed
as a maneuver combat element only in the later stages
of Phase III insurgency.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
In Phases I and II, dependening upon the situation,
mechanized forces may be used for transport to the
battle area because of their speed and mobility. (For
further information on mechanized infantry employment,
see FM 71-1, FM 71-2, and FM 71-3.)
(a) Armor forces are usually employed with accompanying
infantry, but as with mechanized infantry forces,
armor forces are not particularly suited for use as a
maneuver combat element in a counterinsurgency
environment. An armored force does provide firepower,
protection, speed, and shock effect. These are usually
advantages. Its capabilities are decreased and its
vulnerabilities are increased in close and rough terrain.
The difficulty in using armored forces is due to the
placed on the use of firepower and increased
because of environment. Normally, the
that is involved is close, restrictive, and
suited to light infantry forces. Further
placed on what is generally considered its
— firepower
— result in an overall increase
in vulnerabilities and a decrease in capabilities when
using an armored force in counterguerrilla operations.
In most cases, armored forces maybe used in:

Providing convoy escort.

Providing mobility for reserves.

Conducting show-of-force operations.

Assisting in base defenses.
• Participating in an economy-of-force role when
large areas require speed and mobility for adequate
(c) During counterguerrilla operations, an armored force
can usually be used as a maneuver combat element
only in the later stages of Phase 111. In Phases I and II,
its role is very limited. In these phases, armored forces
are usually effective when supporting base defenses
and show-of-force operations. (For further information
on armor operations, see FM 71-1, FM 71-2, and
FM 71-3.)
(5) Armored cavalry.
(a) The basic tasks of an armored cavalry unit are
reconnaissance and security. Terrain permitting, such
units may help the comma nder cover larger areas
because of their speed and mobility. The armored
cavalry force will suffer the same vulnerabilities as
mechanized infantry and armor if the members or the
force remain tied to their vehicles. For these reasons,
they can best be used for:
• Securing bases.
• Patrolling large areas.
• Providing quick reaction forces and mobile
When properly utilized and tailored to fit the situation,
armored cavalry can accomplish the specific missions
listed in all phases of an insurgency. As the conflict
progresses into Phase II, terrain permitting, armored
cavalry units begin to take on a more traditional role
and operate in a conventional manner. (For further
information on armored cavalry operations, see
FM 17-95.)
(6) Aviation.
Types. Three types of aviation units maybe available
for use in counterguerrilla operations: air cavalry
troops, attack helicopter battalions, and combat
aviation companies.
Air cavalry troops. These perform the same missions
of reconnaissance and security as ground cavalry.
Because of its ‘greater mobility, air cavalry can
reconnoiter and maintain surveillance over a much
larger area than its ground counterpart. For this
reason, depending upon the situation, air cavalry units
are usually suited for employment in counterguerrilla
operations in all phases of an insurgency.
Attack helicopter battalions. These provide highly
maneuverable, aerial-delivered firepower. When these
assets are used, the ordnance mix must reflect the type
of threat being faced. In Phases I and II, the threat is
usually light infantry, and a higher proportion of
20-mm rounds and 2.75-inch rockets is preferable to
heavier antiarmor ordnance. As the conflict moves into
Phase III, and if the guerrilla force starts to use
mechanized or armored assets, a higher proportion of
antiarmor ordnance maybe preferable. Attack helicopters
use natural cover and speed to compensate for their
vulnerabilities. They are suited for situations in which
rapid reaction time is important or where terrain
restricts ground forces. A vital element to the effectiveness
of these units is the suppression of enemy air defense
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
(SEAD). SEAD is any activity that neutralizes,
destroys, or temporarily degrades enemy air defense
systems in a specific area. Means of doing this include
the employment of artillery or United States Air Force
(USAF) and Army forces. Depending on the situation,
attack helicopter units are usually suited for combat in
all phases of an insurgency.
(d) Combat aviation companies. These units give
dismounted infantry tactical mobility by moving
combat elements as the commander dictates. They can
also provide critical supplies to areas when ground
lines of communication have been interdicted or
overloaded. Depending on the situation, combat
support aviation units are suited to all phases of an
insurgency. Because of their speed, mobility, and
flexibility, aviation assets can provide an advantage if
properly employed in most situations. (For further
information on aviation operations, see FM 1-100, FM
17-50, and FM 90-4.)
Section Ill. Conventional Conflict Environments
5-8. Concepts.
In conventional conflict counterguerrilla operations, forces other than
infantry take on larger roles. Their participation conforms more to the
concepts outlined for their use in rear battle doctrine. In these
environments, there are usually fewer restrictions on the use of
5-9. Considerations.
Two major considerations, when employing forces other than
infantry, are suitability and availability.
Maneuver force mission suitability is usually discussed in terms
of  METT-T.  The commander must weigh the advantages and
disadvantages of using his force against the factors of METT-T. If
the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then the force is
The commander must make the most effective use of all the forces
he has available. If a particular force would be more suitable but is
not readily available, the commander should seek to procure it. If
he cannot, then he maximizes the effects of those assets that he
has available.
In conventional conflicts, the use of combined arms is more
effective in almost all situations rather than the use of any single
type of combat force.
e. The primary considerations in planning counterguerrilla
operations, using combined arms, are the factors of  METT-T
(FM 100-5).
FM 90-8
6-1. Support units.
Combat Support
Section I. General
In addition to combat units, reconnaissance and surveillance
(R&S), fire support, intelligence, engineer, signal, military police,
and air defense artillery forces are integrated into counterguerrilla
force operations by the commander. This chapter explains the
extent to which these assets are used, depending on their
suitability to the situation.
The role of reconnaissance and surveillance in counterguerrilla
operations at all levels of conflict is of prime importance.
Reconnaissance and surveillance units are critical; without them
the chance of success in counterguerrilla operations is significantly
The types of reconnaissance and surveillance units the counterguerrilla
force may have are its organic scout elements and any
surveillance units attached from corps and division. A
force may also have supporting intelligence
from the divisional combat electronic warfare intelligence
battalion. These assets may include SIGINT collectors,
sensors, and ground surveillance radars.
The types of fire support units the counterguerrilla force may have
are mortar platoons, antitank platoons or companies, field
artillery units, tactical air support, naval gunfire support, and air
defense artillery units.
6-2. Firepower constraints.
In counterinsurgencies, firepower is usually restricted in order to
limit damage. The use of fire support depends on its suitability
and prevailing restrictions.
The same restrictions do not usually exist to the same degree in
conventional conflicts. The use of fire support assets in these
conflicts is expanded since restrictions are relaxed. Suitability in
these conflicts usually depends on the availability of fire support.
FM 90-8
Section II. Reconnaissance and Surveillance Units
6-3. Techniques.
a. Reconnaissance and surveillance are important techniques in
gaining current and accurate intelligence on guerrilla forces.
Current, accurate intelligence on the location, size, composition,
equipment, and morale of guerrilla forces is an absolute necessity
for successful counterguerrilla operations.
b. While all tactical units have the capability to conduct
reconnaissance and surveillance during operations, there are two
units that are trained and organized to fulfill these specific
tactical missions. These units are the scout platoon and the long-
range surveillance unit (detachment or company).
c. The scout platoon is organic to battalions; the long-range
surveillance detachment is organic to divisions; and the
long-range surveillance company is organic to corps. Each
one works directly for its (division, corps) commander. Elements
of these units may be attached to subordinate units, when
If the reconnaissance and surveillance unit has vehicles, their use
for purposes other than transportation is determined by the
situation. In most cases, vehicles are used for transport to the
general area where the operation is to begin. The operation is then
conducted dismounted to enhance security.
6-4. Countering the guerrilla force.
a. One method that may be successful in countering guerrilla forces
is to divide the reconnaissance and surveillance assets into teams
of three or four men. These teams are inserted into the operational
area to “saturate” it. Since guerrillas travel in small units and
then mass at a predetermined point prior to the attack, this tactic
increases the chances of discovering one or more of these guerrilla
units before they mass. The chance of this method being
successful increases in proportion to the number of teams inserted
and operating.
The reconnaissance and surveillance element is divided into as
many teams of three or four men as possible and deployed to cover
an area. Of the seven teams deployed in this situation, only two
(three and six) discover enemy units (figure 6-1).
Figure 6-1. The reconnaissance and surveillance element.
This method should be used continuously to provide the
counterguerrilla force greater opportunity to act rather than react.
Once contact is made, the counterguerrilla commander has three
immediate options available (Figure 6-2).
160-739 - 94 - 4
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Figure 6-2. Three immediate options of the counterguerrilla commander.
In most cases, option 3 presents the best possibility for continued
success if the counterguerrilla force commander has time
constraints placed on his mission. It enables him to engage a
portion of the guerrilla force and weaken its overall capability
without losing a vital source of intelligence.
Option 1 maybe best in situations where the counterguerrilla force
does  not have constraints placed on it and seeks to decisively
engage a larger guerrilla force. In any case, the commander
should wait until intelligence indicates that the guerrilla force has
reached its assembly area or base camp before he reacts with
maneuver forces.
He should place his reconnaissance and surveillance elements in
positions where they can best discover escaping guerrillas who
have slipped through the blocking forces (Figure 6-3).
Figure 6-3. Emplacement of R&S teams to discover fleeing guerrilla forces.
g. He begins the process again if guerrilla units escape (Figure 6-4).
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Figure 6-4. If guerrilla elements escape, R&S teams begin process again.
The key to reconnaissance and surveillance units operating
successfully in a counterinsurgency environment is the ability to
remain undetected. This capability is the result of comprehensive
training and experience. Communications equipment suitable for
the mission is also a prime factor. It does no good to gather
intelligence if the counterguerrilla force cannot use it in a timely
In conventional counterguerrilla conflicts, the use of the
reconnaissance and surveillance units is more in line with their
conventional missions. They can also employ modifications of the
tactics described for a counterinsurgency. The mission of the
scout platoon is to perform reconnaissance, provide limited
security, and assist in controlling movement of the battalion or its
elements. The types of operations a scout platoon can perform are
route, zone, and area reconnaissance, and screening.
6-5. LRSU.
The mission of the long-range surveillance unit {LRSU} (company
or detachment) is to observe, record, and report enemy
facilities, and activities as well as battlefield
b. The LRSU provides the commander with a dedicated, specially
trained and equipped, and highly reliable human intelligence
collection capability. A HUMINT collection unit provides the
commander with the capability to gather timely, highly reliable
information that does not require lengthy processing and
analysis. The trained observer augmented with modem sensor
and communication systems is a reliable, flexible, and valuable
information-gathering asset and is essential to conducting
successful operations.
The LRSU is organized, trained, and equipped to enter enemy
areas to observe and report enemy movements and activities, as
well as battlefield conditions. At night, or during other periods of
reduced visibility, surveillance teams infiltrate by air, ground, or
water to selected areas occupied by enemy forces or to areas where
enemy activity is expected.
d.    While avoiding contact with the enemy and local civilians, these
elements employ a variety of sensors and special purpose
equipment to detect, observe, and monitor enemy activities and
perform other specified tasks. As information is obtained,
periodic reports are sent to the LRSU operations element utilizing
secure, rapid-transmission communications equipment. This
operational element provides the reported data to the military
intelligence (MI) operation center for analysis and dissemination.
At a predesignated time, or on order, surveillance elements are
either extracted or evade enemy personnel to exfiltrate the enemy
area, or they link up with friendly forces. Members of the
surveillance elements are physically and mentally prepared to
remain in enemy territory for extended periods to accomplish
their mission.
Section Ill. Fire Support Units
6-6. Fire support planning.
The types of fire support units the counterguerrilla force may have
available are mortar platoons, antitank platoons or companies,
field artillery units, naval gunfire, tactical air, and air defense
artillery units.
An important factor in planning fire support is the restriction(s)
placed on its use. In counterinsurgency environments, restrictions
on its use (and damage caused) are greater than in conventional
conflict environments. The commander operates under the
concept of “minimum essential force” in counterinsurgency
environments. He integrates his fire support into his tactical plan
in accordance with prevailing restrictions, but always ensures he
has adequate fire support for likely contingencies. In many cases,
this means little or no use of fire support.
c. This difficulty is not as great in conventional conflicts, but in
these environments there are also restrictions. Usually these
restrictions do not hinge on the amount of firepower used, but
rather on collateral damage and coordination and control
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
measures. Additionally, fire support may not be readily available
to the counterguerrilla commander because it may be committed
to fight in the main battle area.
d.    Due to restrictions that may preclude the use of fire support, the
counterguerrilla force is prepared to operate with little or no fire
e. Since areas of operation are usually larger in counterguerrilla
operations (than in more conventional operations), the counterguerrilla
force must not become tied to the range of its fire support.
will take place outside of fire support weapon ranges.
such cases, the commander provides for increased capability to
or extract his engaged units, depending upon the
situation. In all cases, restricted or not, the fire support forces
available are ready to respond on short notice if restrictions are
lifted or when needed for self-defense.
6-7. Mortar platoons.
In a counterinsurgency, the firing elements of the mortar platoon
normally occupy positions within the battalion operational support
base. If elements are required to move to firing positions outside of the
base, additional security must be provided. The mortar platoon is
usually kept under battalion control and provides the most responsive
indirect fire capability available to a battalion. Depending on the
situation, the mortar platoon may or may not work from an established
base in a conventional conflict.
6-8. Antitank platoons and companies.
a. In an insurgency, the antitank units are not usually employed in
their primary role. In those situations where no armor threat
exists, consideration may be given to leaving the tube-launched,
optically-tracked, wire-guided (TOW) missile in a secure staging
area, either in or out of country, and using the crews as infantry.
Since these personnel are usually not experienced in light
infantry tactics, they may be best used as part of the security force
for the OSB.
In conventional conflict environments, the same situation may
apply when no armor threat exists. However, because of the
contingencies that the counterguerrilla force must be prepared to
encounter, the TOWS must remain with the antitank unit while it
is employed in a security role. These contingencies may include
countering enemy armor penetrations, or a change in mission
from rear battle to reinforcing frontline units, or even attacking or
defending as part of the main force.
6-9. Field artillery units.
As stated previously, the use of field artillery may be extremely
limited because of restrictions on the use of firepower. In all cases,
the application of firepower must reflect the principle of
“minimum essential force.” The field artillery (FA) support
normally provided to light infantry divisions consists of the
105-mm howitzer. Artillery of larger calibers maybe provided by
artillery units augmenting the divisional artillery. If the
counterguerrilla unit is not light infantry, its organic capability
may consist of 155-mm howitzers. It is normal for artillery
batteries to operate from the battalion OSB when the battalions
are widely dispersed. Normal field artillery missions include
direct support, reinforcing, general support, and general support
There is a fire support coordination center at each level of
maneuver command from company through brigade. They are
manned by personnel from the brigade’s direct support FA
c. When the situation permits the use of indirect fire support, FA
units must be responsive and flexible. Timely and effective
artillery fire in response to guerrilla activity may discourage
subsequent guerrilla activity within artillery range. Quick
reaction times and the capability to shift artillery fires over wide
areas require a responsive and effective means of communication.
To provide effective fire support, artillery is employed to obtain
maximum area coverage with available weapons while retaining
the capability to mass fires. In addition to supporting tactical
operations, artillery may be positioned to provide area fire
support to defend depots, logistical complexes, population
centers, and other critical installations. Fires may be requested by
self-defense forces, police, security elements protecting logistical
complexes, and other support units, in addition to the supported
tactical force.
The senior field artillery officer at each echelon of maneuver
command is designated the fire support coordinator. (FM 6-20
gives information on fire support coordination for indirect fires
and fires from tactical air support. ) Fires must be closely
coordinated not only with tactical operations in the area but also
with civilian activities.
e. Counterguerrilla operations normally dictate:
(1) A greater decentralization of organic, attached, and reinforcing
fire support.
(2) A reduced capability for brigade-level control and coordination
of fires within the operational area.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
(3) Greater security requirements for firing positions of indirect
fire weapons to include planning of direct fires for defense.
(4) A requirement to fire in all directions.
(5) Provision for support to local defense forces and static
security posts.
(6) Discriminate use of fire support to avoid noncombatant
casualties that would alienate the population and produce
hostile attitudes toward the host government.
(7) Close coordination with host country officials in the
operational area.
Lack of time may preclude the preparation of a formal, coordinated,
and integrated fire support plan for every contingency; however,
SOP should provide for all likely contingencies. Close liaison and
continuous contact between the supported commander and the
fire support coordinators provide the required coordination;
however, in operations involving extensive employment of
maneuver and support forces, such as in the final phase of an
encirclement, coordination measures must be used to ensure that
converging friendly units do not call fire upon one another.
In conventional conflicts, the use of FA units is more along
conventional lines.
6-10. Naval gunfire support.
Naval gunfire support is delivered by ship batteries to support
amphibious operations and maneuver units operating in coastal
areas. When support is provided by naval gunfire, each gunfire
ship is assigned the tactical mission of either direct support or
general support. A ship in direct support normally supports a
battalion and delivers planned and immediate fires. A ship in
general support normally supports a brigade and delivers
adjusted fires, or it may be assigned on a fire-mission basis to a
subordinate maneuver unit. The counterguerrilla force commander
must take into consideration the fact that naval gunfire is
normally high velocity, low trajectory fire.
In a counterinsurgency, the use of this asset will be governed by
the same restrictions and the principle of “minimum essential
force” that pertains to firepower when using field artillery.
Generally, if FA can be used in an insurgency, naval gunfire can
also be used, if available. The same is true of naval gunfire in
conventional conflicts. One advantage of naval gunfire is that the
supported ground units do not have to provide security to the
firing batteries.
A liaison platoon (from the US Marine Corps) will normally be
attached to the brigade to provide specialists and communications
needed to control, coordinate, and recommend employment of
naval gunfire or naval air.
6-11. Tactical air operations.
Tactical air operations are flown by the US Air Force in support of
counterguerrilla operations and cover six mission areas (some
missions could be flown by Navy or Marine air assets) and special
Counter air. Objectives are to gain control of the airspace
environment. Counter air operations protect friendly forces,
ensure freedom to use the airspace to perform assigned missions
and tasks, and deny use of airspace to a hostile force. The goal is
air supremacy.
Offensive counter air (OCA). Air operations seek out and
neutralize or destroy hostile air forces at a chosen time and place.
Offensive counter air is designed to seize the offensive at the
initiation of hostilities, conduct operations in hostile air space,
and neutralize or destroy hostile air forces and the infrastructure
that supports their operations.
Suppression of enemy air defenses. These operations
neutralize, destroy, or temporarily degrade hostile air defensive
systems in a specific area by physical or electronic attack. SEAD
operations provide a favorable situation to perform missions
effective y without interference from hostile air defenses.
Defensive counter air (DCA). These operations detect,
identify, intercept, and destroy hostile air forces attempting to
attack friendly forces or penetrate friendly airspace. DCA defends
friendly lines of communication, protects friendly bases, and
supports friendly land and naval forces while denying hostile
forces the freedom to carry out offensive operations.
Air interdiction (AI).
AI delays, disrupts, diverts, or destroys hostile military
potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against
friendly forces. These operations are performed at such
distances from friendly forces that detailed integration of
specific actions with friendly fire and movement forces is not
normally required. AI attacks are usually executed against
hostile surface forces; movement networks (including lines
of communication); command, control and communications
networks; and combat supplies. Interdiction can delay the
arrival or buildup of hostile forces and supplies, disrupt the
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hostile scheme of operation and control of forces, divert
hostile resources to other uses, and destroy forces and
(2) AI is normally executed by an air commander as part of a
systematic and persistent campaign. Although an AI
campaign can bean independent air effort, an air commander
normally coordinates the campaign with a surface force
commander. A campaign is developed to limit the enemy’s
mobility to maneuver forces, while forcing the enemy into
high rates of consumption, and to create opportunities for
friendly forces to exploit the disabilities produced by
interdiction. The weight, phasing, and timing of interdiction
attacks can provide friendly forces the opportunity to seize
the initiative.
(3) AI against targets which could have a near-term effect on
friendly land forces is referred to as battlefield air interdiction.
The primary difference between battlefield air interdiction
and the rest of the air interdiction effort is the level of interest
and emphasis the land commander places on the process of
identifying, selecting, and attacking certain targets.
Therefore, battlefield air interdiction requires joint coordination
at the component level during planning, but once planned,
battlefield air interdiction is controlled and executed by the
air commander as an integral part of a total air interdiction
f. Close air support (CAS).
(1) CAS supports surface operations by attacking hostile
targets near friendly surface forces. CAS can support
offensive, counteroffensive, and defensive surface force
operations with planned or immediate attacks. All such
missions require detailed coordination and integration with
the fire and maneuver plans of friendly surface forces. CAS
missions require corridors to the battlefield, timely intelligence
information, and accurate weapons delivery.
(2) CAS enhances surface force operations by delivering a wide
range of weapons and massed firepower at decisive points. It
can surprise the hostile force, create opportunities for the
maneuver or advance of friendly forces through shock effect
and concentrated attacks, protect the flanks of friendly
forces, blunt hostile offensives, and protect the rear of
surface forces during rear battle maneuvers.
Special operations.
(1) These operations influence the accomplishment of strategic
or tactical objectives through the conduct of low visibility,
covert, or clandestine military actions. Special operations
are usually conducted in hostile territory or politically
sensitive areas and may complement friendly force operations.
(2) Virtually all aerospace forces have the potential for
employment in special operations. Additionally, the Air
Force organizes, trains, and equips unique units to conduct
special operations as a primary mission. To execute special
operations, forces are normally organized and employed in
small formations capable of support actions and independent
operations that enable timely and tailored responses
throughout the spectrum of conflict. Special operation forces
may conduct or support unconventional warfare, counterterrorist
operations, collective security, psychological
operations, certain rescue operations, and other missions
such as interdiction or offensive counter air operations.
(a) Airlift. Airlifts deploy, employ, and sustain military
forces under varying conditions, ranging from peace to
war. As a combat mission, airlifts provide combat
power through airdrops, extractions, and airlanding of
ground forces and supplies. Through mobility operations,
the joint or combined force commander can maneuver
fighting forces to exploit hostile weaknesses. As a
combat support mission, airlifts provide logistical
support through the transportation of personnel and
equipment. In peacetime, airlifts provide the opportunity
to enhance national objectives by providing military
assistance and civilian relief programs. In addition to
the special operations noted above, aircraft assets may
be used to dispense flares and leaflets as well as
equipped with speakers or spraying apparatus for
forest fire fighting. Airlifts, therefore, accomplish the
timely movement, delivery and recovery of personnel,
equipment, and supplies, and further military and
national goals. Airlifts may be strategic or tactical.
Strategic (intertheater) airlifts transcend the boundary
of any one theater and are executed under the central
direction of higher authority, normally in support of an
overall effort. In contrast, tactical (intratheater)
airlifts are performed within a theater of operations
and support theater objectives through the rapid and
responsive movement of personnel and supplies.
(b) Aerospace surveillance and reconnaissance. The
objectives are to collect information from airborne,
orbital, and surfacebased sensors. Air Force surveillance
and reconnaissance efforts are part of the national
intelligence gathering effort and a systematic observa-
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tion process. These operations provide much information
that is key to the development of national security
policy, force postures, planning actions, force employment,
and informed responses in times of crises.
operations collect information continuously
the aerospace and from the earth’s surface and
subsurface. Reconnaissance operations are directed
toward localizd or specific targets. Through surveillance
and reconnaissance, varied data are collected, such as
meteorological, hydrographic, geographic, electronic,
and communications characteristics. The products of
reconnaissance and surveillance operations have
strategic and tactical applications in both peace and
war. Strategic and tactical surveillance and reconnaissance
provide timely notification of hostile intent and
actions as well as other information vital to the
national command authorities and combat commanders.
These operations are instrumental in identifying the
composition and capability of potentially hostile
forces. The Air Force also performs the following
specialized tasks that could support counterguerrilla
(c) Electronic combat (EC). This is a specialized task
performed by aerospace forces to control selected parts
of the electromagnetic spectrum in support of strategic
and tactical operations. Electronic combat involves
actions to protect friendly electromagnetic capabilities
and actions to neutralize or destroy hostile electromagnetic
capabilities. This enhances the ability of
war-fighting systems to achieve objectives,
the use of the electromagnetic spectrum can have
major impact on the success or failure of military
EC includes electronic warfare (EW), as
as elements of command, control, and communications
countermeasures (C
CM) and suppression of
enemy air defenses. EW is military action using
electromagnetic energy to determine, exploit, reduce, or
prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum
and also includes actions designed to retain the
friendly use of that spectrum. C
CM involves defensive
and offensive operations designed to deny information,
protect friendly command, control, and communications
), influence hostile actions, and degrade or destroy
hostile C
capabilities. C
CM, supported by intelligence
operations, integrates the use of operations security,
military deception, jamming, and physical destruction.
SEAD, as an essential element of the counter air
mission, is aimed at gaining freedom of action to
perform Air Force missions by neutralizing, destroying,
or temporarily degrading hostile air defense systems.
EC contributes heavily to SEAD in counter air objectives.
(d) Psychological operations. This is a specialized
task performed to support national objectives by
influencing the attitudes and behavior of hostile,
neutral, or friendly groups. All Air Force commands
and agencies are responsible for the conduct or support
of psychological operations. In planning and executing
operations, commanders should consider the psychological
implications and opportunities inherent in
action, and they must make a concerted effort to
that the signals transmitted are perceived as
intended. Both action and inaction may communicate
information (which can exert influence and may be
used to reinforce actions) to enhance perceptions of
capabilities or to influence others to support friendly
objectives. Depending on the medium of communications,
national objectives, and planned actions, various
psychological efforts can be created to reinforce
operations. These include planned communications
through electronic means or printed material; a show
of force or demonstrations of superiority; an attack on a
specific, significant target for psychological effect;
actions to harass and disrupt hostile operations;
surprise, shock action, and deception; or humanitarian
(e) Weather service. This is a specialized task performed
to provide timely and accurate environmental information
to support strategic, tactical, and mobility
The Air Force weather service gathers,
yzes, and provides meteorological and exoatmospheric
data for mission planning. Environmental
is essential in conducting both airspace
surface operations. The environmental information
by the weather service directly influences the
process for employing forces, including the
of weapon systems, routes, targets, and
6-12. Air defense artillery units.
Air defense is a combination of all active and passive measures to
counter hostile air operations. In an insurgency, the hostile air
threat may be minimal. In this case, consideration maybe given
to leaving air defense artillery (ADA) weapons in a rear staging
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area and using ADA personnel as additional security forces for
the OSB. If this course of action is selected, the ground
commander must recognize that an insurgency does not equate to
a low intensity air threat. If ADA personnel are separated from
their ADA weapons, even a minimal air attack could result in the
destruction of friendly force units. Commanders must plan for
such an attack by hostile or sympathetic forces.
When the guerrilla force has the potential to mount an air threat,
or when an air threat exists, the ADA assets must maintain the
capability to immediately react to an air threat. In a conventional
counterguerrilla environment, the roles of ADA are along more
conventional lines. (For further information on air defense
operations integrated with infantry operations, see FM 44-1, FM
44-3, and FM 44-18.)
6-13. Military intelligence.
Intelligence at the tactical level is of prime importance in
counterguerrilla operations. MI elements organic to units
conducting counterguerrilla operations are CEWI battalions at
division level, and staff sections at brigade and battalion level.
Because of the decentralized nature of counterguerrilla operations,
portions of the divisional assets are usually attached to brigades,
which may in turn attach elements down to the battalions. The
tactical MI assets coordinate their efforts with the existing
intelligence operations (either host country or US) in their area.
Division level MI assets are not capable of long-term, area-oriented
intelligence production without echelons above division support
and assistance. However, they are capable of short-term
collection and production efforts in support of the immediate
tactical operation.
The tactical MI element has two missions that are conducted
simultaneously. The first is to collect, process, and analyze
intelligence information. There are two categories of information
which are important to combat commanders: combat information
and intelligence. Combat information is raw data that can be used
for fire and maneuver decisions as received without further
processing, interpretation, or integration with other data.
Combat information is seldom developed above battalion level
and is a component part of intelligence. Intelligence is data
requiring some form of validation, integration, and comparison
with other data (or analysis) before it can be used or fully
The disciplines from which these data are produced and collected
are HUMINT, SIGINT, and IMINT. In a counterguerrilla
conflict, the area of HUMINT provides a large portion of
available intelligence. Technical and electronic assets, if used
effectively, can provide additional data to enhance the counterguerrilla
force’s intelligence advantage. Some of these assets
ground surveillance radar, sensors, communications
(COMINT), and side-looking airborne radar (IMINT).
f. The second mission of the tactical MI element is to attempt to
disrupt or delay the enemy’s intelligence collection processes. The
discipline that accomplishes this task is termed counterintelligence.
These functions include deception operations, OPSEC, COMSEC,
and are for the most part performed by HUMINT assets. (For
further information on intelligence operations, see FM 34-1 and
FM 34-10.)
6-14. Engineers.
a. Engineer assets are usually found at division level and above.
Portions of these assets maybe attached to brigades and, in turn,
to battalions. The engineer system is divided into four areas:
mobility, countermobility, survivability, and general engineering.
Mobility is geared toward improving the movement of maneuver
units and movement of critical supplies. It is oriented toward
reducing or negating the effects of obstacles. Examples of
mobility operations include landing zone construction, reduction
of roadblocks, construction of combat trails, and assault bridging.
Countermobility is designed to reduce the enemy’s mobility and
effectiveness. This is generally done through the installation of
obstacles. Some obstacles may destroy targets; most enhance or
complement weapon effectiveness. Examples of conventional
obstacles are minefield and wire entanglements.
d. Survivability is the development of protective positions. Examples
include construction of perimeter defense positions in operational
support bases.
e. General engineering missions do not contribute directly to
committed maneuver units. Examples of general engineering
missions include:
(1) Improving and maintaining essential supply routes.
(2) Developing areas for essential logistics.
(3) Replacing assault (or destroyed) bridges with tactical
(4) Carrying out civic action.
Engineer units spend most of their time and effort in survivability
and general engineering tasks, even though all four areas of
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engineer effort may be addressed. When determining if a project
should be considered general engineering or one of the other three,
the rule is: if the project’s primary purpose is to help the populace,
it is general engineering; if its primary purpose is to enhance
tactical operations, it will usually be one of the other three
Since engineers spend much of their time interfacing with the
populace during civic action projects, it is essential that engineers
understand the impact of their role on national objectives.
Engineer assets can be used to enhance infantry combat
operations as a contingency mission. Engineers are effective in
their primary mission and are utilized in their secondary role as a
last resort. Engineers can be used as trainers on basic mobility,
countermobility, and survivability skills to include identification
of booby traps, mines, and obstacles, and emplacement construction.
They contribute more toward the achievement of national goals
as civic action units than as additional infantry. Engineers may
be used as infantry:
(1) During attacks on the operational support base.
(2) When all tactical units are committed and a threat arises.
(3) As reserves in situations where the guerrilla threat has
already caused the commitment of all available reserves.
(For further information on engineer operations and
capabilities, see FM 5-100.)
6-15. Military police.
Military police units can perform their normal functions as an
effective part of any counterguerrilla force. They provide a
distinct advantage in police operations in the populace and
resources control program. Military police operate in conjunction
with host country civil and military police.
b. Military police functions include:
(1) Populace and resources control operations. Operations
in an insurgency may involve extensive police activities to
control the host country populace and materiel resources,
including screening, identification, registration, enforcement
of curfews, operation of patrols and checkpoints, and
investigation of crime.
(2) Intelligence operations. Since guerrilla activities often
overlap with criminal activities, police activities over a
period of time can develop informants and informant nets
which produce intelligence and/or information.
(3) Searches. Military police may conduct searches in support
of cordon-and-search operations. They support the operation
by manning or supervising search parties, securing persons
or property captured, and evacuating prisoners.
(4) Securing ground lines of communication. Military
police assist in securing lines of communication by road and
aerial patrolling, establishing traffic control points,
escorting convoys, and conducting reconnaissance in their
area of responsibility. In securing such lines, they may
apprehend individual guerrillas and their supporters and are
prepared to combat small groups of guerrillas or to act as a
fixing element until combat units arrive.
(5) Physical security. Military police provide physical
security to individuals and installations. This may include
designated communities.
(6) Prisoners. Military police process, secure, and evacuate
captured persons and detainees in accordance with FM 19-40
and Department of the Army directives.
A division usually has one military police company. Depending
on the situation, elements of this company may be attached to
brigades or battalions. They are utilized more in consolidation
operations than in strike operations. (For further information on
military police activities, see FM 19-1, FM 19-4, and FM 19-40.)
6-16. Signal.
Radio is the primary means of communication in counterguerrilla
operations. Planning and implementing radio communication
nets for the brigade and its maneuver battalions may become
highly complex. The brigade signal officer is prepared to advise
on the capability of available communications means to support
each course of action being considered.
Providing sufficient radio communication equipment to conduct
operations is a high priority in an insurgency. Aerial and ground
relay stations may be required to extend the range of FM
equipment. Since the brigade communication platoon has no
reserve from which to provide augmentation, special communication
needs of brigade elements are provided either by redistributing
equipment or by augmenting the table of organization and
equipment. For long-range radio communications between
battalion operational support bases and patrol bases, communication
support teams may be required.
c. Extensive use of radio expands the communications security
problem. Never consider the guerrilla force too unsophisticated to
acquire communications intelligence. Conventional communica-
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tions security measures are employed with emphasis on changing
operational codes frequently at the lower tactical echelons. Secure
voice nets will be provided from company level upward.
Long-range reconnaissance and surveillance units employed in
counterguerrilla operations should possess a secure, long-range
capability to enhance communications security.
Use of multichannel, high-frequency voice radio, radio teletype,
and tactical satellite should be considered for interconnecting
operational support bases. Normally, isolated relay stations
cannot be established in the counterguerrilla operational
environment. Therefore, the location of operational support or
patrol bases, and distance between them, seriously impacts on the
signal unit’s ability to provide a reliable multichannel communi-
cations system. The signal officer considers this when presenting
his recommendations on base locations to the commander.
The composition of the signal element committed in support of the
counterguerrilla force is modified to meet mission and situation
requirements. The signal support element can be either in direct
support or attached. A direct support role is desirable as it affords
the signal officer wider latitude and greater flexibility to meet
changing support requirements. In all cases, the supported unit
provides security forces for the signal elements. (For further
information on signal operations and capabilities, see FM 24-1.)
7-1. Assets.
Combat Service Support
Section I. General
This chapter explains how combat service support assets enhance
tactical operations and assist the unit in accomplishing its overall
These assets include medical, supply, transportation, maintenance,
and personnel and administration. They normally operate from
bases that support unit tactical operations. Depending on the size
of the unit, these assets may be organic or attached.
7-2. Essential elements.
Combat service support units include those elements essential to the
tactical mission and those elements that are not essential but are
necessary to the normal functioning of the battalion and brigade.’
Usually, only essential combat service support assets are located at the
battalion operational support base. Both essential and nonessential
tactical support elements can be found in the brigade’s support base.
Section Il. Bases
7-3. Operational support.
Operational support bases are usually established by battalions.
In consolidation operations, these bases are usually semipermanent.
In strike operations, they operate only as long as required by the
unit mission. The primary function of the battalion operational
support base is to support tactical operations. It may provide a
staging area for operations; a command, control, and communication
center; a limited logistics base (battalion combat trains); a
support base; or a combination of all these functions. The
support functions it provides are determined by availability
necessity. These bases have the minimum personnel
to operate and provide security. All nonessential
— those not crucial to the tactical mission — are
positioned in the brigade support base.
Battalion operational support bases provide certain advantages.
(1) Establish a government presence in the area of operations.
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FM 90-8
(2) Aid in limiting guerrilla mobility in the immediate vicinity.
(3) Provide a measure of security to populated areas close by.
These advantages are secondary and do not take precedence over
the primary function — to support tactical operations.
7-4. OSB location.
a. When selecting a location for the operational support base,
several factors are considered. The location includes an area large
enough to meet the unit’s requirements, and it is on defensible
terrain. If the unit is going to use the base for fire support, it
provides the maximum possible coverage for indirect fire
The operational support base is located far enough away from
population centers to preclude civilian interference with operations
and to minimize the possibility of the population center becoming
a collateral target.
The OSB is located so that it has, as a minimum, two methods for
resupply. For example, if the primary means for resupply is by air,
it should also have a secondary means, such as a road, in case
weather precludes the use of aircraft.
The brigade support base provides deployed battalions with
command, control and communications facilities; logistics
support (brigade support area, BSA); staging areas; and
intelligence activities. The support base is usually in a secured
area within a government-controlled area. It is larger than a
battalion operational support base. The brigade support base
provides essential tactical and necessary operational support to
deployed battalions, and also provides a rear location for
nondeployed elements of the deployed battalions (battalion field
e. All combat service support elements, whether operating from
battalion or brigade bases, ensure that their activities support the
overall national objective. Since these operations usually involve
more interaction with the civilian populace than tactical
operations, it is necessary that personnel involved understand the
host country’s culture. Such understanding will preclude any
action that might be detrimental to the accomplishment of the
overall national objective.
The combat service support assets that normally operate from the
battalion operational base are medical and supply. These same
assets can also operate from the brigade support base. The
additional assets of transportation, maintenance, and personnel
and administration usually operate from the brigade support
base. The size of the element at each base depends on the
situation. A nonessential element (operational or tactical) should
not be deployed from the home station. It is important that
deployed elements consist only of those assets critical to the
tactical or operational functioning of the unit.
Section Ill.
Use of Assets
7-5. Support levels.
Most of the combat service support assets are found at division or
higher level and are attached to brigades as needed. In some cases, the
brigade may receive a larger portion of the division assets than normal
if the situation requires it.
7-6. Medical.
a.     The mission of medical units is to conserve the fighting strength
of the counterguerrilla force by preventive medical and sanitary
measures and by appropriate medical and surgical treatment. In
support of the IDAD effort, medical units and personnel may
provide medical assistance, advice, and training to host country
medical personnel. These units may also provide limited medical
support to the local populace on a temporary basis. However, such
support is conducted under the auspices of the host country and to
the credit of that government.
b.  Aidmen are at company level and give emergency medical
treatment within their capabilities. They also ensure that
patients who need to be evacuated are properly prepared and
promptly moved.
c.   An aid station is usually at battalion level. In counterguerrilla
situations, the station is within the battalion operational support
base. Aid station functions include:
(1) Receiving, recording, examining, and sorting patients and
returning the physically fit to duty.
(2) Giving emergency medical treatment and preparing patients
for evacuation.
(3) Providing limited medical support through military civic
action programs, as designated.
d.   The battalion aid station is normally supervised by a physician or
physician’s assistant.
Depending on the seriousness of the wound, the patient maybe
moved directly to a division treatment station in the brigade
support base, or to a corps level hospital. Evacuation to medical
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support facilities may be by ground, but aeromedical evacuation
is the preferred means in counterguerrilla operations because of
the speed and security of aerial transport.
Any medical facility maybe bypassed, and the patient evacuated
to a higher level when his condition warrants it and the means of
evacuation permit. Evacuation of wounded personnel does not
take precedence over mission accomplishment.
7-7. Supply.
Supply units in counterguerrilla operations, as in conventional
operations, provide all necessary classes of supplies to units
involved in tactical operations. Since the battalion operational
support base is as small as possible and provides only a limited
logistics base, the supply element at battalion is small.
A majority of the combat trains are collocated with field trains in
the brigade support base, so it is essential that supply lines to
battalions be maintained. Both aerial and ground resupply are
considered to ensure a backup system in case one method is
The brigade usually receives its portion of divisional assets, but it
may be augmented with additional assets as required.
Resupplying tactical units must not set a pattern. Resupply
should not occur on a regular basis, but only as requested by
tactical units.
Unit messes normally do not operate from battalion operational
support bases. Unit mess teams may move to (and operate from)
battalion bases for short periods to improve morale, or prepare hot
meals in the brigade base and transport them to the battalion
base. In some cases, local procurement of foodstuffs maybe
authorized to help bolster the local economy.
Currently prescribed supply systems and procedures can
adequately support counterguerrilla operations with minor
(For further information on supply operations and procedures, see
FM 29-51.)
7-8. Transportation.
a. Transportation requirements are classified as tactical and
nontactical. Tactical transportation deals with the repositioning
of men and materiel in the battle area, and is directly associated
with combat. Nontactical transportation deals with the movement
of men and materiel in a noncombat action.
There are two major types of transportation means available to
counterguerrilla forces: ground and air transport. Less common
means of transportation are railroads, watercraft, and pack
Tactical transportation by aviation assets is preferred because of
their speed and flexibility. On occasions when aviation assets are
not suitable, ground transportation is utilized. Ground transportation
requires increased security. Once the unit is repositioned,
move on foot to accomplish their mission.
Aviation units are located at division level and above. Aircraft for
brigade operations, or below, are attached or placed in support of
the using unit(s).
Nontactical transportation is accomplished by either aviation or
ground transportation assets. Generally, nontactical transportation
is used to move supplies and equipment, and for medical
evacuation. Ground transportation assets may be organic to units
at company and above. The use of ground transport is dependent
upon distance, security, terrain, and availability of routes, among
other factors.
Ground transportation requests are made through S4 channels,
consolidated at brigade S4, and forwarded to the division
transportation officer. He assigns priorities and missions to the
division’s track assets or requests additional assets from corps.
Requests for Army aviation are made through S3 channels and
forwarded to the assistant division aviation officer. He assigns
priorities and missions to the division’s combat aviation brigade
or requests additional assets from corps.
(For further information on transportation assets and operations, see
FM 55-2.)
7-9. Maintenance.
Maintenance involves all actions to keep equipment operationally
ready or to restore it to that status. Battalion maintenance elements are
located at the OSB (combat trains) and the brigade support base (field
trains). In addition, maintenance contact teams from the maintenance
unit supporting the brigade (forward support maintenance company or
forward support battalion) will also be located with the OSB.
Maintenance doctrine (fix as far forward as possible) is modified
slightly in an effort to keep the OSB as small as possible. As a result,
most maintenance, other than minor repair or replacement of parts,
will take place at the brigade support base in a relatively secure area.
(For further information on maintenance operations, see FM 29-2, FM
29-23, and FM 29-30-1.)
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7-10. Personnel and administration.
To remain an effective fighting force, the counterguerrilla unit
requires personnel and administrative support. Most, if not all, of
this support function occurs in the field trains at the brigade
support base.
The adjutant (S1) is at the battalion operational support base with
the supply officer (S4). The S1 is responsible for headquarters
management of the battalion base as well as S1 functions and
liaison with brigade. The headquarters commandant is with the
field trains of the battalion in the brigade base. This arrangement
keeps the battalion base as small as possible.
Personnel and administrative support for counterguerrilla
operations is essentially the same as in conventional operations.
Administrative operations remain relatively the same and
flexible to support the situation.
(For further information on personnel and administrative support
functions, see FM 7-20 and FM 71-2.)
Subsurface Operations
A-1. Type facilities.
Section 1. General
This appendix explains how guerrillas may use natural caves or
construct underground facilities in the course of their operations.
These may be used for command and control centers, logistical
staging areas, hospitals, or even fortifications.
The larger underground facilities may be complex. Caves may
have many large chambers connected by passageways, while
tunnel systems may have many large rooms joined by interconnecting
tunnels. Underground facilities may be wired for
and communications and may even have pumping
for supplying air to lower levels.
A-2. Tunnel uses.
Tunnels may be dug with zigzags and sumps to lessen the effects of
small arms fire, explosives, and gas inside them. Some tunnels and
rooms, or passageways and chambers, may contain concealed exits to
allow guerrillas to hide or escape if the complex or cave is penetrated
while others may be booby-trapped to kill intruders. Tunnels and caves
are difficult to detect from the air or ground, and their construction may
make them impossible to destroy with conventional ammunition.
Tunnel entrances are normally covered by fire from another point in
the complex.
a. Guerrillas may use tunnels in penetration operations to gain
access to restricted areas. In built-up areas they may infiltrate
through sewers, or tunnel from the basement of a nearby building,
or subway tunnel, or sewer to their target. When they are below
the target, they may either construct an exit and penetrate the
target from below or fill the tunnel with explosives and blow up
the target.
Tunnels may also be dug in the basements of safehouses for use as
escape routes if a house is compromised.
Tunnels are used for approach and escape. They are used to obtain
access to caves and underground bunkers for use as firing
positions and protection against indirect fires. They are also used
as a common method of storing food and materials in underground
caches. Some tunnel complexes are large enough to house
underground hopitals and base camps.
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A-3. Categories.
Section Il.
Tunnels vary from the simple to the complex. They are categorized as
hiding holes, access and escape routes, underground base areas,
fortified base camps, and bunkers.
Hiding holes. There are three basic types of holes used by
guerrillas. They are classified more by their location than by their
construction. Methods of construction and dimensions can be
expected to vary, depending on the area of operations.
Bamboo hole. This is easily and quickly camouflaged
(Figure A-1 ). The entrances to the holes differ as do the
techniques of camouflage. Most of the entrances are within
the edge of a bamboo clump or dense thicket or just outside
the edge. The hole cover, or trapdoor, contains camouflage
material. Some have pieces of cut bamboo or other vegetation
affixed to the top of the door. The edges of the door fit snugly
into the structure of the entrance. Other entrances may be
covered by spreading materials over them.
Figure A-1. Under bamboo hole.
(2) Air hole.
Another characteristic common to small tunnels is the
air hole, which is normally made from a hollow piece of
bamboo or pipe 3 to 4 inches in diameter and inserted
into the tunnel and camouflaged on the surface.
(b) The air hole is the only telltale indicator in a beach hole
or tunnel. It differs from the bamboo hole in that it is
constructed in sand or dirt and constructed from cut
timbers (Figure A-2). It does not depend on roots to add
rigidity to the roof. The entrance is hard to locate as it is
often buried under afoot of loose sand or dirt; however,
it can be found by first finding the breathing tubes.
Some air holes are a continuation of the supports that
hold up local buildings. Other air holes may be exposed
by pulling up plants that grow nearby.
Figure A-2. Beach hole.
Water entrance hole. This hole or tunnel (Figure A-3) is
located near a small stream or beside an old bomb crater
filled with water. These holes have no door and depend on
natural growth to hide the entrance. Sometimes the entrance
is completely submerged.
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Figure A-3. Water entrance hole.
Access and escape routes. Guerrillas use tunnels to infiltrate
or exfiltrate an area. They may lead to villages, roads, or highly
fortified bunker systems (Figure A-4).
Figure A-4. Access and escape routes.
Base area. This may house a command post, ordnance shop, or
hospital. This type of tunnel system is not-as common as the ones
found in a fortified village or used as access or escape routes. It is
normally deep in guerrilla-controlled areas. This type of tunnel
complex may have several rooms, such as a 4- by 6-foot area or a
large 10-foot-square area with a 15-foot ceiling. They may also
include electric lighting or other comfort features (Figure A-5).
Figure A-5. Underground base area.
Base camps. These are usually fortified positions. They may
consist of a-central bunker, 18 inches above ground, and tunnels
100 to 150 meters long, connecting outer bunkers to the central
bunker. All bunkers have overhead cover and camouflaged firing
apertures. They are positioned to provide mutual support and
deny observation of the entire complex from any one location on
the ground (Figure A-6).
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Figure A-6. Fortified base camps.
Bunkers. Entrances are often in a house under a bed or table,
and have an outside exit. In many cases, bunkers are constructed
with walls up to 3 feet thick. The floor is below ground level. The
roof is normally constructed of logs covered with dirt, mud, or rock
from 3 to 6 feet thick. Sometimes, small logs (driven 3 to 6 feet into
the ground and extending upward to roof level) serve to reinforce
the walls. In some cases, the bunker maybe constructed entirely
of concrete. Most often, bunkers have one overt entrance and one
or more covert exits. The primary use of bunkers is to provide
cover and concealment. Firing apertures are just above ground
(Figure A-7).
Figure A-7. Bunkers.
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A-4. Construction methods.
One feature common to almost all tunnel complexes is the method
of excavation. The laborers are divided into a number of work
units and assigned tunnel sections. The units are placed
approximately 20 meters along the axis of the planned tunnel.
Each unit then digs a well or shaft to the desired depth where a
working area is enlarged. From this point, the units begin digging
toward each other. As the tunnel grows, the workers are formed in
a line to pass the soil out the excavation shaft. The soil is spead
evenly over the ground or a road, or under the forest canopy to
prevent detection. Once the main tunnel has been excavated, the
shaft is filled and camouflaged.
As the tunnel becomes more extensive, lower levels may be
constructed to provide additional room and better protection. The
degree of sophistication is dependent upon the purpose of the
tunnel and frequency of its use. Most of the tunnels constructed by
guerrilla forces are hiding places or escape routes; therefore, they
may be extensive in length, but not complex in design.
Whether their construction is complex or not, care is taken to
provide security throughout the tunnels. False corridors are
constructed, as are trapdoors and false walls. A U-shaped design
is often formed to give the impression that the corridor is a
deadend when actually a trapdoor leads to the way out.
Most tunnel systems require substantial planning before actual
construction. The systems are never haphazard. The tunnel is
reinforced by reveting or other means. One common method used
to reinforce tunnels is to coat walls with mud 3 to 6 inches thick
and build fires throughout the system to bake the mud, turning it
into a ceramic texture.
Tunnel systems are usually not constructed in a straight line.
They will follow a zigzag or serpentine course. This type of
construction is used to protect the occupants from small arms fire
in the event that tunnel systems are detected and breached.
Tools for digging are simple. A bucket and pick or shovel are the
main tools. Common methods of illumination include carbide
lamps, flashlights, candles, and in larger complexes, small,
fuel-driven generators for electric lighting.
Secrecy of location is considered of utmost importance. All means
are taken to camouflage and conceal tunnel entrances. Often,
tunnels are hidden in tombs, walls, floors, or under water.
Extensive use of booby traps and mines should be expected in and
around tunnel complexes. Some common booby traps are mortar
and artillery duds rigged for command detonation. These may be
buried or suspended in trees in the immediate vicinity. Hand
grenades and homemade bombs are used to booby-trapdoors and
hatches. Poisonous snakes may be placed in tunnels to inflict
A-5. Detection of tunnels.
The first step in detecting or locating tunnels is to reduce a large
geographical area of interest to a smaller area of probable
locations. This can be accomplished by studying general
indications of probable tunnel locations.
Some indicators that tunnels are being employed by guerrilla
forces are:
(1) Movement of guerrillas in a specific direction after being
spotted by aircraft.
(2) Sniper fire occurring from areas where there are no obvious
avenues of withdrawal.
(3) Vegetable gardens far from places of habitation.
(4) Operations where guerrillas inflict casualties at relatively
long range and disappear without making close contact or
being detected by friendly forces.
(5) The smell of burning wood or food cooking in an area lacking
Conventional air photography produces results if the appearance
of the surface and vegetation are changed from normal. This
requires skilled personnel to interpret photos. In a jungle
environment, air photography may be prohibited because dense
vegetation, such as double or triple canopy jungle, obscures the
Once determined that a specific area may contain a tunnel
system, there are several indicators that are helpful in detecting
tunnels. Visual inspections often disclose the general area of a
tunnel, but not its precise location. The key to finding a tunnel
system is the application of common sense to the situation. A
platoon or company should be assigned a small search area, never
larger than a 1000-meter grid square for a company. These small
areas are picked based on intelligence reports or past actions of
the guerrilla force. The unit searches every square meter of the
area. Some visual indicators usually found are:
(1) Worn places on trees that the guerrilla uses as handholds.
(2) A small trail, much like a game trail, through the brush into a
clump of small trees.
(3) Cut trees, although not a sure sign.
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(4) Limbs tied near tree top to conceal the use of a tunnel from
(5) Slight depression in or around a group of small trees.
(6) Air holes, a sure indicator.
(7) A lone individual, especially a female, in the area.
(8) Fresh cooked food with no one attending the site.
(9) Fresh human feces in an area.
All these indicators are good. However, in different areas they
may vary. The places to look for indicators are in the corners of
hedgerows, in the corners of village huts, and in the secluded
corners of trails and streams. The enemy often hides in these
places so he can see while not being seen. Additionally, hiding in
these places allows those who put the finishing touches on the
camouflage to escape undetected. The guerrilla is aware of the
danger of establishing a pattern. However, he must have a
location that provides him with observation as well as concealment.
So look for observation posts that allow him to move into or out of
an area undetected.
f. Occasionally, the specific location of a tunnel can be obtained by
interrogating the local populace, or prisoners of war (PW) who
may have occupied, or helped in digging, the system. Because of
the method of constructing a tunnel system, that of using an
excavation shaft to reach the level of the tunnel and then closing
this shaft once the tunnel is completed, the individual may not be
able to locate an entrance or exit unless he has seen or used the
completed tunnel.
A-6. Tunnel search operations.
a. Entering an area where a tunnel complex is located requires a
methodical approach. Security to the flanks and rear is imperative.
The size of the objective area of operations determines the
strength of the unit assigned the search mission. Basically, the
unit, company, or platoon is task-organized for tunnel operations.
c. A company is divided into three elements: security, search, and
reserve. (The headquarters element remains with the security
(1) Security — one platoon plus headquarters element to cordon
search area.
(2) Search — one platoon to search immediate area for tunnels.
The search element is subdivided into search and security
(3) Reserve –
one platoon to assist in cordon and reinforce as
d.    A platoon is divided into three elements:
(1) Security –
one squad plus headquarters element to cordon
(2) Search – one squad to search area for tunnels. The search
element is subdivided into search and security teams.
(3) Reserve –
one squad to assist in cordon and reinforce as
e.    The techniques of deliberate search are centered around the rifle
squad. Each squad is divided into a security and a search team.
f.   A slow, methodical search is conducted in the area of operations.
Once assigned a search area, the squad systematically searches
every square meter. The security element move toward the limits
of the search area. Once a hole (tunnel) is discovered, the security
element surrounds the area while the search team prepares to
destroy or neutralize the hole (tunnel).
A-7. Special equipment.
The unit may require the following special items to perform tunnel
Mine detector — used to detect ammunition and weapon caches.
Grenades – fragmentary, chemical (CS) gas, chemical (HC)
smoke, while phosphorus (WP), and concussion types. Grenades
should not be used after friendly forces have entered a tunnel.
Demolitions —
used to destroy tunnel system. Because of the
complexity of charges needed to destroy some tunnel complexes,
an engineer team should support the search unit. Also, the large
amount of demolitions required for some operations may present
unique logistical problems, especially in a jungle environment.
Air generator —
used to force smoke into tunnel complex.
Flashlights — to search tunnels.
Weapons —
caliber .45 pistol should be used inside tunnels. The
pistol has good stopping power and is effective at close range.
Loudspeaker — used to call enemy from tunnels.
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Section Ill.
Destroying Underground Facilities
A-8. Four-step process.
The destruction of a tunnel is a four-step process, beginning (1)
with a soldier firing one or two magazines from a rifle into the
tunnel entrance. This has a tendency to discourage the enemy
from staying close to the entrance.
After gaining the attention of the guerrillas, they are told to
vacate the hole or tunnel or be killed. They may give up without a
fight, saving not only the efforts of killing, but of excavating the
hole or tunnel for weapons and documents.
If this fails, breaching operations are used(2). A grenade is placed
on the entrance cover to gain access. The entrance cover is
removed in this manner to minimize the effects of any attached booby
Once the entrance cover is destroyed, the following measures are
used (depending on the mission):
(1)  Insert grenades (3), fragmentary or concussion, to kill the
guerrillas. Ensure that the grenades are cooked-off prior to
throwing them in the hole or tunnel.
(2) Insert a combination of HC smoke and CS chemical
grenades. This serves two purposes: HC smoke may reveal
the locations of other entrances or exits, and CS may force
the guerrillas to evacuate the hole or tunnel. Captured
guerrillas become a source of intelligence in finding other
holes or tunnels.
The last step (4) is the entry of soldiers to ensure that all weapons
and documents are recovered and all enemy dead, wounded, and
living are removed. The hole or tunnel is thoroughly searched for
small compartments built to hide weapons and ammunition. If a
tunnel complex proves to be extensive with bunkers and large
rooms, it is cleared systematically. Bunkers are destroyed or
occupied to prevent the enemy from reoccupying them through
another tunnel. Do not clear more bunkers than friendly
forces can hold.
Deliberate search techniques emphasize where to look for the
enemy (locations that provide him with observation, cover,
concealment, and an escape route). When the soldier learns what
to look for (a game trail, worn and cut trees, an air hole, human
feces, a depression, fresh food, a lone individual), any of these
indicators is likely to trigger a mental alert that the enemy is not
far away. After the tunnel is searched, it is destroyed with
A-9. Neutralization-demolition procedures.
Tunnels. Since each tunnel system differs in size and construction,
a different quantity and placement of explosives is needed for
each type.
(1) The use of block explosives to destroy a tunnel system has a
disadvantage: all the explosive power is concentrated at one
point. Thus, the destruction is localized, and often portions of
the tunnel are unaffected. However, a large (10-to 12-pound)
block of explosive tamped against the ceiling may cause an
entire tunnel to collapse.
(2) Advantages of block-type explosives are the ease of emplacement,
ease of procurement, and feasibility of aerial
resupply. Also, block or satchel charges are effective in the
destruction of bunkers, sunken living quarters, and underground
rooms. Cratering charges are also effective for
underground rooms. Short tunnels can be destroyed effectively
by block explosives.
(3) The shaped charge in tunnel destruction is successful when
used in specific circumstances. A shaped charge placed
underground in the middle of a tunnel complex, and aimed
downward, destroys an area of the tunnel complex around
and above the charge. Also, a shaped charge placed in a deep
complex and aimed upward results in extensive destruction.
(4) Another effective method of tunnel destruction utilizes
bangalore torpedos placed throughout the tunnel length
(regardless of depth). The constant length of explosives
throughout the tunnel ensures complete destruction. The
bangalore (5 feet long) is adaptable to the twists and turns in
tunnels. Each tunnel where it can be pushed through). A
disadvantage of bangalore torpedoes is the logistical
problem arising from their size and weight. There may be a
problem with resupply if large quantities are used to
completely destroy a tunnel system.
Bunkers. Underground living quarters, bunkers, and underground
hideaways can be destroyed by block or satchel charges placed
strategically inside the room. The following are examples of
structures and the size and placement of charges.
(1) Bunkers dug into the ground and covered by dense brush
(average size 4 by 8 by 4 feet) can be destroyed with 3 pounds
of explosives placed next to a wall.
(2) This bunker (8 by 5 by 4 feet) can be destroyed by placing a
5-pound charge against the roof toward the side of the
strongest beam (Figure A-8).
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(3) This 4-inch-thick concrete wall bunker (6 by 6 by 5 feet) can
be destroyed by placing 8 to 9 pounds of explosives at the
point where the tunnel enters the bunker, and will also
destroy a portion of the tunnel (Figure A-9).
Figure A-9. Reinforced underground bunker.
(4) This bunker depicts an underground hospital capable of
holding 10 to 12 persons. It is about 10 feet below the surface.
Usually 15 feet long by 8 feet wide by 6 feet high, it is
constructed of cement and steel I-beams. The room is
completely destroyed by interlacing three bangalore
torpedoes in the I-beam rafters (Figure A-10).
Figure A-10. Underground hospital.
(5) This bunker design requires 10 to  12 pounds of explosives to
destroy it (Figure A-11).
FM 90-8
The Urban Guerrilla
Section I.  General
B-1. Effects of the urban environment.
a. Cities and towns are vulnerable to urban guerrilla violence
because they are the focus of economic and political power. In
many cases, public utilities and services can be disrupted. Thus,
the government may appear to have lost control of the situation.
The concentration of a large number of people in a relatively small
area provides cover for the guerrilla. However, the insurgent may
find support only in certain areas of a town or city. In any event,
the urban guerrilla lives in a community that is friendly to him or,
as a minimum, is too frightened to withhold its support or inform
on him. He has a close relationship with leaders and other
guerrillas, and may have a communication system using women
and children who also provide cover for other activities.
The urban guerrilla can operate more boldly than his rural
counterpart as reflected by his tactics: the sniper complements the
more conventional ambush and often replaces it; explosive
devices may be used either as instruments against the community
or more selectively against individuals or groups.
The availability of large numbers of people ensures that crowds
can be assembled and demonstrations manipulated with
comparative ease. The presence of women and children restricts
counterguerrilla force reactions, and a clumsy reaction may
ensure a major incident that provides the guerrilla with
propaganda. Publicity is easily achieved in an urban area
because no major incident can be concealed from the local
population even if it is not widely reported by the news media.
Terrorist successes may be exploited to discredit the ability of the
police, counterguerrilla force, and civil government to provide
protection and control the guerrillas.
The urban guerrilla cannot, like his rural counterpart, establish
bases and recruit large military units. He is an individual, a
member of a relatively small group, relying on the cover afforded
by the people of the city and on terror to avoid betrayal.
Individuals and small groups are effective in an urban environment
because it is easier for them to avoid capture; if captured, however,
the terrorist may be able to expose only two or three persons to
government or counterguerrilla forces.
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B-2. Guerrilla tactics.
The urban guerrilla works alone or in small cells, and his tactics
are different from those of his rural counterpart.
b. They include:
Disrupting industry and public services by strikes and
Generating widespread disturbances designed to stretch the
resources of the counterguerrilla force.
Creating incidents or massing crowds in order to lure the
counterguerrilla force into a trap.
Provoking the counterguerrilla force in the hope that it may
overreact and provide hostile propaganda.
Fomenting interfactional strife.
Sniping at roadblocks, outposts, and sentries.
Attacking vehicles and buildings with rockets and mortars.
Planting explosive devices, either against specific targets or
indiscriminately, to cause confusion and destruction, and to
lower public morale.
Ambushing patrols and firing on helicopters.
Section Il.
Techniques to Counter the Urban Guerrilla
B-3. Urban counterguerrilla operations.
Operations against urban guerrillas may vary from a passive
policy designed to curtail terrorist activities so that community
life can continue (under certain constraints), to an active policy
which involves the counterguerrilla force seeking out and
capturing or killing the enemy. The level of intensity at which
operations are conducted will be determined by the civil government.
Fighting the urban guerrilla is generally a police mission.
However, the military counterguerrilla force commander maybe
required to assist the police in this mission or even take it over.
The techniques used are similar to the ones used in rural areas.
Before operations are conducted, information must be obtained
about the enemy, his environment, and operations (Appendix H).
The techniques include:
(1) Installation of base defense (Appendix E).
(2) Roadblocks and checkpoints (Chapter 3).
(3) Crowd dispersal (FM 19-15).
(4) Cordon-and-search operations (Chapter 3).
(5) Patrols (Chapter 3 and Appendix D).
B-4. Minimum force.
The principles remain the same, but in an urban environment the
principle of minimum force becomes more important and is directly
related to the rules of engagement. There is greater danger of injuring
or killing innocent civilians in heavily populated centem. Since there
are seldom large groups of guerrillas in cities, there are no base camps,
only safe houses. Opportunities for deliberate attacks rarely occur. Just
as fighting guerrillas in a rural environment, killing or capturing the
urban guerrilla is not a mission that is quickly accomplished.
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Ambush Patrols
Section 1. General
C-1. Purpose of ambushes.
The ambush patrols discussed in this appendix are combat patrols
with missions to establish and execute ambushes to harass or destroy
targets and/or capture personnel and equipment. Ambushes generally
are executed to reduce the guerrilla’s overall combat effectiveness.
Destruction is the primary purpose of an ambush since guerrillas killed
and/or captured, and equipment and/or supplies destroyed or
captured, critically affect the guerrilla force. Harassment, the
secondary purpose, diverts guerrillas from other missions. A series of
successful ambushes causes the guerrilla force to be less aggressive
and more defensive; to be apprehensive and overly cautious; and to be
reluctant to go on patrols and move in convoys or in small groups.
C-2. Types of ambushes.
There are two types of ambushes. A point ambush involves patrol
elements deployed to support the attack of a single killing zone.
An area ambush involves patrol elements deployed as multiple,
related, point ambushes.
An ambush is categorized as either hasty or deliberate. A hasty
ambush is an immediate action drill, an action of a combat patrol
wilth little or no information. When information does not permit
detailed planning required for a deliberate ambush, a hasty
ambush is planned. In this case, the ambush patrol plans and
prepares to attack the first suitable guerrilla force. A deliberate
ambush is planned as a specific action against a specific target.
Detailed information of the guerrilla force is required: size, nature,
organization, armament, equipment, route and direction of
movement, and times the force will reach or pass certain points on
its route. Deliberate ambushes are planned when:
(1) Reliable information is received on the intended movement
of a specific force.
(2) Patrols, convoys, carrying parties, or similar forces establish
patterns of size, time, and movement sufficient to permit
detailed planning for the ambush.
c. A unit conducting a combat patrol, before departing, plans and
rehearses the ambush of the type of guerrilla force it may
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encounter. It establishes and executes ambushes as opportunities
Section Il.
Attack Fundamentals
C-3. Three elements.
Surprise, coordinated fires, and control are basic to a successful
C-4. Surprise.
Surprise must be achieved or else the attack is not an ambush. Surprise,
which distinguishes an ambush from other forms of attack, allows the
ambush force to seize and retain control of the situation. Surprise is
achieved by careful planning, preparation, and execution. Guerrillas
are attacked in a manner they least expect.
C-5. Coordinated fires.
All weapons, including mines and demolitions, are positioned, and all
direct and indirect fires are coordinated to achieve:
Isolation of the kill zone to prevent escape or reinforcement.
Surprise delivery of a large volume of concentrated fires into the
kill zone to inflict maximum damage so the target can be
assaulted and destroyed.
C-6. Control.
Close control is maintained during movement to, occupation of,
and withdrawal from the ambush site.
The ambush commander’s control of all elements is critical at the
time of target approach. Control measures provide for
(1) Early warning of target approach.
(2) Withholding fire until the target moves into the kill zone.
(3) Opening fire at the proper time.
(4) Initiating appropriate actions if the ambush is prematurely
(5) Lifting or shifting supporting fires when the ambush
includes assault of the target.
(6) Timely and orderly withdrawal to an easily recognized
rallying point.
c. Personnel conducting the ambush remain still and quiet while
waiting for the target to appear. They may have to forgo smoking;
endure insect bites and thirst in silence; and resist sleeping,
easing cramped muscles, and performing normal body functions.
(Ambushes should have a rest plan and a mess plan.) When the
target approaches, they do not open fire before the signal is given.
C-7. Flexibility.
Section Ill.
An ambush is planned and prepared using troop leading
procedures. Planning considerations include whether the ambush
is to be a deliberate ambush or a hasty ambush. In a deliberate
ambush, more target intelligence is available to permit planning
for every course of action at the target. Planning for a hasty
ambush includes tentative plans both for the types of targets that
may be ambushed and for varying situations. Both plans are
flexible enough to allow modifying, as appropriate, at the ambush
site. All plans are rehearsed in detail.
b. Planning provides for the following:
(1) Simplicity. Every soldier must thoroughly understand
what he is to do at every stage of the operation. In an
ambush, more so than in other operations, the failure of even
one soldier to perform exactly as planned can cause failure.
Type of ambush. The type of ambush affects the organization,
number of men, and amount of equipment and
(3) Deployment. Each possible formation is considered for its
advantages and disadvantages.
C-8. Manner of attack.
The attack may be by fire only (harassing ambush) or may include
assault of the target (destruction ambush).
C-9. Size of ambush force.
The force is tailored for its mission. Two men may be adequate for a
harassing ambush. A destruction ambush may require the entire unit
(squad, platoon, company).
Organization. An ambush patrol is organized in the same
manner as other combat patrols to include a headquarters, an
assault element, a support element, and a security element. The
assault and support elements are the attack force; the security
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element is the security force. When appropriate, the attack force is
further organized to provide a reserve force. When an ambush site
is to be occupied for an extended period, double ambush forces
may be organized. One ambush force occupies the site while the
other rests, eats, and tends to personal needs at the objective
rail ying point or other concealed location. They alternate after a
given time, which is usually 8 hours. If the waiting period is over
24 hours, three ambush forces maybe organized.
Equipment. The selection of equipment and supplies is based on
(1) Mission.
(2) Size of the guerrilla force.
(3) Means of transportation.
(4) Distance and terrain.
(5) Weight and bulk of equipment.
c. Routes. A primary route is planned which allows the unit to
enter the ambush site from the rear. The kill zone is not entered if
entry can be avoided. If the kill zone must be entered to place
mines or explosives, care is taken to remove any tracks or signs
that might alert the guerrillas and compromise the ambush. If
mines, mantraps, or explosives are to be placed on the far side, or
if the appearance of the site might cause the guerrillas to check it,
then a wide detour around the kill zone is made. Here, too, care is
taken to remove any traces which might reveal the ambush. Also,
an alternate route from the ambush site is planned.
Site. Maps and aerial photographs are used to analyze the
terrain. When possible, anon-the-ground reconnaissance is made.
As far as possible, so-called “ideal” ambush sites are avoided.
Alert guerrillas are suspicious of these areas, avoid them if
possible, and increase vigilance and security when they must be
entered; surprise is even more difficult to achieve in these areas.
Instead, apparently unlikely sites are chosen, when possible.
Considering this, an ambush site must provide:
(1) Fields of fire.
(2) Concealed positions.
(3) Canalization of the guerrillas into the killing zone.
(4) Covered routes of withdrawal (to enable the ambush force to
break contact and avoid pursuit).
(5) No exit route for the guerrilla force.
e. Occupation of the site. As a rule, the ambush force occupies the
ambush site at the latest possible time permitted by the tactical
situation and the amount of site preparation required. This not
only reduces the risk of discovery but also reduces the time that
soldiers must remain still and quiet in position.
Positions. The unit moves into the ambush site from the rear.
Security elements are positioned first to prevent surprise while the
ambush is being established. Automatic weapons are then
positioned so that each can fire along the entire killing zone. If
this is not possible, they are given overlapping sectors of fire so
that the entire killing zone is covered. The unit leader then selects
his position, located where he can see when to initiate the ambush.
Claymore mines, explosives, and M203 grenade launchers maybe
used to cover any dead space left by the automatic weapons. All
weapons are assigned sectors of fire to provide mutual support.
The unit leader sets a time by which positions are to be prepared.
The degree of preparation depends on the time allowed. All men
work at top speed during the allotted time.
Camouflage. Camouflage is important. Each soldier must be
hidden from the target. During preparation for the patrol, each
soldier camouflages himself and his equipment and secures his
equipment to prevent noise. At the ambush site, positions are
prepared with minimal change in the natural appearance of the
site. All debris resulting from preparation of positions is concealed.
Movement, noise, and light discipline. Movement is kept to a
minimum and the number of men moving at a time is closely
controlled. Every man is as quiet as possible, especially at night.
Light discipline is rigidly enforced at night. Smoking is forbidden
at night and is closely controlled in the day.
C-10. Execution.
Three signals, often four, are needed to execute the ambush.
Audible and visual signals, such as whistles and pyrotechnics,
must be changed often to avoid establishing patterns. Too
frequently, use of the same signals may result in their becoming
known to the enemy. A guerrilla might recognize a signal and be
able to react in time to avoid the full effects of an ambush. For
example, if white star cluster is habitually used to signal
withdrawal in a night ambush, an alert guerrilla might fire one
and cause premature withdrawal.
A signal by the security force to alert the patrol leader to the
guerrilla’s approach may be given by:
(1) Arm-and-hand signals.
(2) Radio, as a quiet voice message, by transmitting a prearranged
number of taps, or by signaling with the push-to-talk switch.
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(3) Field telephone, when there is no danger that wire between
positions will compromise the ambush.
A signal to initiate the ambush, given by the patrol leader or a
designated individual, may be a shot or the detonation of mines or
explosives. The ambush should be initiated with a mass casualty
producing weapon (Claymore antipersonnel mine or M60
machine gun).
A signal for lifting or shifting fires, if the guerrilla force is to be
assaulted, may be given by voice command, whistles, or
pyrotechnics. All fire stops immediately so that the assault can be
made before the guerrilla can react.
A signal for withdrawal may also be by voice command, whistles,
or pyrotechnics.
C-11. Fire discipline.
This is a key part of the ambush. Fire is withheld until the signal is
given, then immediately delivered with the heaviest, most accurate
volume possible. Properly timed and delivered fires contribute to the
achievement of surprise as well as to destruction of the guerrilla force.
When the guerrillas are to be assaulted, the lifting or shifting of fires is
equally precise. Otherwise, the assault is delayed, and the guerrillas
have an opportunity to recover and react.
C-12. Withdrawal to the objective rallying point.
The objective rallying point is far enough from the ambush site so
that it will not be overrun if the guerrilla force attacks the
ambush. Routes of withdrawal to the objective rallying point are
reconnoitered. If possible, each person walks the route he is to use
and picks out checkpoints. When the ambush is to be executed at
night, each person must be able to follow his route in the dark.
On signal, the unit quickly but quietly withdraws to the objective
rallying point, reorganizes, and begins its return march.
If the ambush was not successful and the unit is pursued,
withdrawal may be by bounds. The last group may arm mines,
previously placed along the withdrawal route, to further delay
C-13. Four ambush techniques.
A near ambush is a point ambush with the assault element within
reasonable assaulting distance of the kill zone (less than 50
meters). Close terrain, such as jungle and heavy woods, may
require this positioning. It may also be appropriate in open terrain
in a “rise from the ground” ambush.
A far
ambush is a point ambush with the assault element beyond
reasonable assaulting distance of the kill zone (beyond 50 meters).
This location may be appropriate in open terrain offering good
fields of fire or when attack is by fire for a harassing ambush.
c. A harassing ambush is an ambush in which attack is by fire
A destruction ambush is an ambush which includes assault to
close with and decisively engage the guerrilla force.
Section IV.
Point Ambush Formations
C-14. Positions.
a. A point ambush, whether independent or part of an area ambush,
is positioned along the expected route of approach of the guerrilla
force. Formation is important because, to a great extent, it
determines whether a point ambush can deliver the heavy volume
of highly concentrated fire necessary to isolate, trap, and destroy
the guerrillas.
b. The formation to be used is determined by carefully considering
possible formations and the advantages and disadvantages of
each in relation to terrain; conditions of visibility, forces,
weapons, and equipment ease or difficulty of control; force to be
attacked; and overall combat situation.
This section discusses formations developed for the deployment of
point ambushes. The formations are identified with names that
correspond to the general pattern formed on the ground by
deployment of the attack element. They include:
(1) Line formation (two techniques, Paragraph C-15).
(2) L-formation (two techniques with variations, Paragraph
(3) Z-formation (Paragraph C-17).
(4) T-formation (two techniques, Paragraph C-18).
(5) V-formation (two techniques, Paragraph C-19).
(6) Triangle formation (closed; open with variations, Paragraph
(7) Box formation (two techniques, Paragraph C-21).
C-15. Line formation.
The attack element is deployed generally parallel to the guerrilla
force’s route of movement (road, trail, stream). This positions the
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attack element parallel to the long axis of the kill zone and
subjects the guerrilla force to heavy flanking fire. The size of the
force that can be trapped in the kill zone is limited by the area
which the attack element can effectively cover with highly
concentrated fire. The force is trapped in the kill zone by natural
obstacles. mines (Claymore, antivehicular, antipersonnel),
demolition’s, and direct and indirect fires (Figure C-1).
Figure C-1. Line formation: harassing or destruction ambush.
A disadvantage of the line formation is the chance that lateral
dispersion of the force maybe too great for effective coverage. The
line formation is appropriate in close terrain that restricts
guerrilla maneuver and in open terrain where one flank is
restricted by mines, demolitions, or mantraps. Similar obstacles
can be placed between the attack element and the kill zone to
provide protection from guerrilla counterambush measures.
When a destruction ambush is deployed in this manner, access
lanes are left so that the force in the killing zone can be assaulted.
The line formation can be effectively used by a “rise from the
ground” ambush in terrain seemingly unsuitable for ambush
(Figure C-2).
Figure C-2. Line formation: destruction ambush with access lanes for assault of target.
c. An advantage of the line formation is its relative ease of control
under all conditions of visibility.
C-16. L-formation.
The L-shaped formation is a variation of the line formation. The
long side of the attack element is parallel to the kill zone and
delivers flanking fire. The short side of the attack element is at the
end of, and at right angles to, the kill zone and delivers enfilading
fire that interlocks with fire from the other leg (Figure C-3).
Figure C-3. L-formation: destruction ambush.
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This formation is flexible. It can be established on a straight
stretch of a trail or stream or at a sharp bend in a trail or stream
(Figure C-4).
Figure C-4. L-formation: destruction ambush at bend of trail or stream.
When appropriate, fire from the short leg can be shifted to parallel
the long leg if the guerrilla force attempts to assault or escape in
the opposite direction. In addition, the short leg prevents escape
in that direction or reinforcement from that direction (Figure C-5).
Figure C-5, L-formation: short leg prevents escape or reinforcement.
C-17. Z-formation.
The Z-shaped formation is another variation of the L-formation. The
attack force is deployed as in the L-formation but with an additional
side so that the formation resembles the letter Z. The additional side
may serve to (Figure C-6):
• Engage a force attempting to relieve or reinforce the guerrillas.
• Restrict a flank.
• Prevent envelopment (of the ambush force).
• Seal the end of the kill zone.
Figure C-6. Z-formation: destruction ambush.
C-18. T-formation.
In the T-shaped formation, the attack element is deployed across,
and at right angles to, the route of movement of the hostile force so
that the attack element and the target form the letter T. This
formation can be used day or night to establish a purely harassing
ambush, and at night to establish an ambush to interdict
movement through open, hard-to-seal areas (such as rice paddies).
A small unit can use the T-formation to harass, slow, and
disorganize a larger force. When the lead guerrilla elements are
engaged, they will normally attempt to maneuver right or left to
close with the ambush force. Mines, mantraps, and other
obstacles placed to the flanks of the kill zone slow the guerrilla’s
movement and permit the unit to deliver heavy fire and then
withdraw without becoming decisively engaged. (Figure C-7).
The T-formation can be used to interdict small groups attempting
night movement across open areas. For example, the attack
element may be deployed along a rice paddy dike with every
second member facing in the opposite direction. The attack of a
force approaching from either direction requires only that every
second member shift to the opposite side of the dike. Each member
fires only to his front and only when the target is at close range.
Attack is by fire only, and each member keeps the guerrilla force
under fire as long as it remains to his front. If the force attempts to
escape in either direction along the dike, each member takes it
under fire as it comes into his vicinity. The T-formation is effective
at halting infiltration. (Figure C-8).
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Figure C-7. T-formation: harassing ambush.
d. It has one chief disadvantage: there is a possibility that while
spread out the ambush will engage a superior force. Use of this
formation must, therefore, fit the local enemy situation.
Figure C-8. T-formation: rice paddy harassing ambush where guerrilla approach
may be from either direction.
C-19. V-formation.
The V-shaped attack element is deployed along both sides of the
guerrilla route of movement so that it forms a V. Care is taken to
ensure that neither group (or leg) fires into the other. This
formation subjects the guerrilla to both enfilading and
interlocking fire (Figure C-9).
Figure C-9. V-formation.
The V-formation is suited for fairly open terrain but can also be
used in the jungle. When established in the jungle, the legs of the
V close in as the lead elements of the guerrilla force approach the
apex of the V; elements then open fire from close range. Here, even
more than in open terrain, all movement and fire is carefully
coordinated and controlled to ensure that the fire of one leg does
not endanger the other. Wider separation of the elements makes
this formation difficult to control, and there are fewer sites that
favor its use. Its main advantage is that it is difficult for the
guerrilla to detect the ambush until well into the kill zone (Figure
Figure C-10. V-formation (close range).
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C-20. Triangle formation.
This is a variation of the V-formation and can be employed in three
a. Closed triangle. The attack element is deployed in three
groups, positioned so that they form a triangle (or closed V). An
automatic weapon is placed at each point of the triangle and
positioned so that it can be shifted quickly to interlock with either
of the others. Elements are positioned so that their fields of fire
overlap. Mortars may be positioned inside the triangle. When
deployed in this manner, the triangle ambush becomes a small
unit strongpoint which is used to interdict night movement
through open areas, when guerrilla approach is likely to be from
any direction. The formation provides all-round security, and
security elements are deployed only when they can be positioned
so that, if detected by an approaching target, they will not
compromise the ambush. Attack is by fire only, and the target is
allowed to approach within close range before the ambush force
opens fire (Figure C-11).
Figure C-11. Closed triangle.
Advantages include ease of control, all-round security, and
guerrillas approaching from any direction can be fired on by
at least two automatic weapons.
Disadvantages include the requirement for an ambush force
of platoon size or larger to reduce the danger of being overrun
by a large guerrilla force; one or more legs of the triangle may
come under guerrilla enfilade fire; and lack of dispersion,
particularly at the points, increases danger from guerrilla
mortar fire.
b. Open triangle (harassing ambush). This variation of the
triangle ambush is designed to enable a small unit to harass, slow,
and inflict heavy casualties upon a larger force without being
decisively engaged. The attack group is deployed in three
elements, positioned so that each element becomes a corner of a
triangle containing the kill zone. When the guerrillas enter the kill
zone, the element to the guerrillas’ front opens fire on the lead
guerrillas. When the guerrillas counterattack, the element
withdraws and an assault element to the flank opens fire. When
this group is attacked, the element to the opposite flank opens fire.
This process is repeated until the guerrillas are pulled apart. Each
element reoccupies its position, if possible, and continues to
inflict maximum damage without becoming decisively engaged
(Figure C-12).
Figure C-12. Open triangle formation: harassing ambush.
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c. Open triangle (destruction ambush). The attack group is
again deployed in three elements, positioned so that each element
is a point of the triangle, 200 to 300 meters apart. The kill zone is
the area within the triangle. The guerrillas are allowed to enter
the killing zone; the nearest element attacks by fire. As the
guerrillas attempt to maneuver or withdraw, the other elements
open fire. One or more assault elements, as directed, assault or
maneuver to envelop or destroy the guerrillas (Figure C-13).
Figure C-13. Open triangle formation: destruction ambush.
(1) As a destruction ambush, this formation is suitable for
platoon-size or larger units; a unit smaller than a platoon
would be in danger of being overrun.
Also, control, in assaulting or maneuvering, is difficult.
Close coordination and control are necessary to ensure that
assaulting or maneuvering assault elements are not fired on
by another party; and the ambush site must be a fairly level,
open area that provides (around its border) concealment for
the ambush elements (unless it is a “rise from the ground”
Box formation.
This formation is similar in purpose to the open triangle ambush.
The unit is deployed in four elements positioned so that each
element becomes a corner of a square or rectangle containing the
kill zone (Figure C-14).
Figure C-14. Box formation: harassing ambush.
b. It can be used as a harassing ambush or a destruction ambush in
the same manner as the two variations of the open triangle
ambush (Figure C-15).
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Figure C-15. Box formation: destruction ambush.
Section V.
Area Ambush Formations
C-22. Kill zone.
A point ambush is established at a site having several trails or other
escape routes leading away from it. The site may be a water hole,
guerrilla campsite, or known rendezvous point, or a frequently traveled
trail. This site is the central kill zone.
C-23. Area ambush: multiple point
a. Point ambushes are established along the trails or other escape
routes leading away from the central kill zone (Figure C-16).
Figure C-16. Area (multiple point) ambush.
b.  The guerrilla force, whether a single group or several parties
approaching from different directions, is permitted to move to the
central kill zone. Outlying ambushes do not attack (unless discovered).
c.    The ambush is initiated when the guerrillas move into the central
kill zone.
d.  When the guerrillas break contact and attempt to disperse,
escaping portions are intercepted and destroyed by the outlying
The multiple point ambush increases casualties and harassment
and produces confusion.
f.    This version of the area ambush is best suited in terrain where
movement is largely restricted to trails. It provides best results
when established as a deliberate ambush. When there is not
sufficient intelligence for a deliberate ambush, an area ambush of
opportunity (hasty ambush) may be established. The outlying
ambushes are permitted to attack guerrillas approaching the
central kill zone, if the guerrilla force is small. If it is too large for
the particular outlying ambush, the guerrillas are allowed to
continue and they are attacked in the central kill zone.
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C-24. Area ambush: baited trap
A variation of the area ambush is the “baited trap” ambush.
b.   A central kill zone is established along the guerrilla’s route of
Point ambushes are established along the routes over which units
relieving or reinforcing the guerrilla will have to approach.
d.     The guerrilla force in the central kill zone serves as “bait” to lure
relieving or reinforcing guerrilla units into the kill zones of the
outlying ambushes. A friendly force can also be used as the “bait.”
The outlying point ambushes need not be strong enough to
destroy their targets. They may be small harassing ambushes
that delay, disorganize, and cause casualties by successive
f.    This version can be varied by using a fixed installation as “bait”
to lure relieving or reinforcing guerrilla units into the kill zone of
one or more of the outlying ambushes. The installation replaces
the central kill zone and is attacked. The attack may intend to
overcome the installation or may use it as a ruse.
These variations are best suited for situations where routes of
approach for relieving or reinforcing guerrilla units are limited to
those favorable for ambush (Figure C-17).
Figure C-17. Area (baited trap) ambush
Section VI.
Unusual Ambush Techniques
C-25. Spider hole ambush.
a. This point ambush is designed for open areas that lack the cover
and concealment and other features normally desirable in a
“good” ambush site. The attack element is deployed in the
formation best suited to the overall situation (Figure C-18).
Figure C-18. Spider hole ambush.
The attack element is concealed in the “spider hole” type of
covered foxhole. Soil is carefully removed and positions expertly
When the ambush is initiated, the attack element members throw
back the covers and literally “rise from the ground” to attack.
This ambush takes advantage of the tendency of patrols, and
other units, to relax in areas that do not appear to favor ambush.
The chief disadvantage is that the ambush element is vulnerable
if detected prematurely.
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C-26. Demolition ambush.
Dual primed, electrically detonated mines or demolition charges
are planted in an area over which a guerrilla force is expected to
pass. This may be a portion of a road or trail, an open field, or any
area that can be observed from a distance. Activating wires are
run to a concealed observation point sufficiently distant to ensure
safety of the ambush element.
b.    As large a force as desired or necessary can be used to mine the
area. The ambush element remains to fire the charges; other
personnel return to the unit.
c. When a guerrilla force enters the mined area (kill zone), the
element on site detonates the explosives and withdraws immediately
to avoid detection and pursuit (Figure C-19).
Figure C-19. Demolition ambush.
C-27. Special ambush situation.
Attacks against columns protected by armored vehicles depend on the
type and location of armored vehicles in a column, and the weapons of
the ambush force. If possible, armored vehicles are destroyed or
disabled by fire of antitank weapons, landmines, and Molotov
cocktails, or by throwing hand grenades into open hatches. An effort is
made to immobilize armored vehicles at a point where they are unable
to give protection to the rest of the convoy and where they will block the
route of other supporting vehicles.
D-1. Patrols.
Section I. General
This appendix provides guidance on patrolling. It describes
various types of patrols and patrolling techniques.
b.     A patrol is a mission. The unit that has the mission organizes for
the conduct of the patrol. When organizing for the patrol, unit
integrity is maintained as much as possible.
c. The requirements of the mission determine the size, organization,
and equipment of a patrol. Some missions may require only two or
three men, lightly armed with no special equipment; some
missions may require a squad or platoon, specially armed and
equipped. A unit is always tailored for the mission it is to execute.
d.     The effectiveness of a patrol is limited only by the ingenuity of the
planner and the skill and aggressiveness of the unit leader. For
this reason, they are one of the commander’s most valued tools.
Patrols are especially valuable in counterguerrilla operations.
Aggressive patrolling in an area greatly reduces the guerrillas’
freedom of movement, hampers their operations, and weakens
their influence on the local population.
Patrols are classified according to the nature of the mission
D-2. Reconnaissance patrols.
They collect information and confirm or disprove the accuracy of
information previously received. Reconnaissance patrols are further
classified as:
Ž Zone reconnaissance patrols.
Ž Area reconnaissance patrols.
D-3. Combat patrols.
They provide security and harass, destroy, or capture enemy
personnel, equipment, and installations. Combat patrols also collect
and report information whether it is related to the assigned mission or
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D-4. Five phases.
Section Il.
There are five phases involved in mission planning: patrol steps,
reverse planning sequence, the warning order, the time schedule, and
the operation order. The patrol leader uses patrol steps (derived from
troop leading procedures as discussed in FM 7-10) in planning the
mission. The leader considers all steps but executes only those required
by the mission. The steps may occur in various sequences, and some are
considered and accomplished simultaneously.
D-5. Patrol steps.
(Consider all steps; accomplish those necessary; sequence may vary.)
Study the mission.
Plan use of time.
Study terrain and situation.
Organize the patrol.
Select men, weapons, equipment.
Issue warning order.
Coordinate (continuous throughout).
Make reconnaissance.
Complete detailed plans.
Issue operation order.
Supervise (at all times), inspect, rehearse.
Execute the mission.
D-6. Reverse planning
The unit leader uses reverse planning sequence to allot time for each
action of the patrol. He plans this schedule around any critical times
specified in his order.
D-7. Warning order.
There are two orders that the unit leader issues: the warning order and
the operation order. The warning order is issued as soon as a tentative
plan is made so that the men may have maximum time to prepare for
the patrol.
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D-8. Time schedule.
When the warning order is issued, a time schedule is given for all
activities that must take place.
D-9. Operation order.
The second order that the unit leader gives is the operation order. This
is issued in a standard (five-paragraph) field order format. The
situation determines whether the order is written in detail or prepared
in note form. The operation order, as well as the warning order, maybe
shortened by reference to unit SOPs. In addition, items unchanged
from the warning order are covered by stating "same as warning
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Section Ill.
Reconnaissance Patrols
D-10. Information requirements.
Reconnaissance patrols provide the commander with timely,
accurate information of guerrillas and the terrain they control.
This information is vital in making tactical decisions.
b.     The commander may require information of a specific location or
small specific area, usually a known or suspected position or
activity. An area reconnaissance patrol secures this information
by reconnoitering the location or by maintaining surveillance
over the location.
The commander may require information of an extended area, or
may desire information of several locations within an area. A
zone reconnaissance patrol secures this information by reconnoitering
the area, by maintaining surveillance over the area, or
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by making the coordinated area reconnaissance of designated
locations within the area.
D-11. Security.
In addition to reaching the objective without discovery, if
possible, a reconnaissance patrol also tries to conduct its
reconnaissance or surveillance without being discovered. Stealth,
patience, and maximum use of concealment are mandatory.
b.   A reconnaissance patrol fights only to protect itself or, when
authorized, to accomplish its mission. The commander dispatching
the patrol is responsible for informing tha patrol whether it is to
fight, if necessary, to accomplish the mission.
c. Day and night reconnaissance patrols use essentially the same
techniques. The principal differences are:
(1)  Day reconnaissance requires greater use of concealment.
The patrol is more likely to be seen than at night and usually
will not be able to move as close to the objective.
(2)  Night reconnaissance requires stealth. Sounds carry farther
at night, and reduced visibility usually requires a closer
approach to the objective.
d.   When two or more teams of a patrol are to assembly at a linkup
point, one team is designated to secure the linkup point for the
arrival of other teams. The route and tasks of this team are
arranged so that it can reach the linkup point first and
accomplish these tasks.
Section IV.
Combat Patrols
D-12. Seek and attack.
A combat patrol has the general mission of seeking out and
attacking targets of opportunity. An ambush is a combat patrol
(Appendix C).
b.  In conventional operations, the enemy’s general location is
usually defined. Specific targets for patrols are not difficult to
locate and designate. Missions for patrols can be, and usually are,
specific and limited.
This situation seldom exists in counterguerrilla operations,
however. Specific targets for raids and for other forms of attack
are much more limited, because of the characteristics of
guerrillas. They are elusive and highly mobile; they avoid decisive
engagement; they avoid prepared positions and establish
relatively few fixed installations.
d.    A combat patrol searches for and, within its capability, engages
targets when and where found. Engagement is by raid, ambush,
or any form of attack suitable to the situation.
D-13. Flexibility.
The combat patrol is one of the commander’s most flexible
weapons. Uses vary from a two-man patrol executing a harassing
ambush of opportunity to a reinforced platoon conducting raids,
ambushes, and target-of-opportunity operations. In some
instances, a patrol encountering a superior force may maintain
contact with the force until reinforcements permit decisive
engagement. Effectiveness of the patrol depends, not on size, but
on the suitability to a given situation.
b.    The use of combat patrols forces guerrillas to engage in decisive
combat at unfavorable times and places. They can be used to
locate and destroy enemy camps, elements, and supply points.
Saturation of an area with patrols forces the guerrillas to either
curtail operations or consolidate in larger groups, which are
favorable targets for air, artillery, and large-scale attack.
c. Patrols may be inserted by parachute, helicopter, surface or
subsurface watercraft, or ground methods. The conduct of the
patrol itself remains unchanged, even though the method of
insertion changes.
Section V.
Motorized Patrols
D-14. Missions, organization.
Patrols may be motorized (usually as an economy-of-force
measure) to allow them to:
(1) Cover greater distances in less time than dismounted patrols.
(2) Operate in contaminated areas too dangerous for dismounted
(3) Carry more or heavier equipment, weapons, and ammuni-
b.   A motorized patrol is organized into elements and teams in the
same manner as a dismounted patrol. Substitution of tracked
carriers for wheeled vehicles provides an increased potential for
battlefield mobility (Figure D-1).
c. When soldiers are assigned to vehicles, squad or fire team
integrity is maintained as far as possible. One soldier is
designated commander of each vehicle.
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Figure D-1. Organization of a motorized reconnaissance patrol.
d.   A motorized patrol is prepared in the same general manner as a
dismounted patrol. In addition, however, vehicles must be
checked to ensure that they are in good mechanical condition and
properly supplied with fuel, oil, and water. Drivers and other
personnel are as thoroughly prepared for the mission as regular
patrol members.
Motorizing enables a patrol to carry heavy and bulky equipment
such as:
(1) Antitank weapons and ammunition are placed near the front
and rear of the patrol. Personnel are designated to man and
support these weapons when they are employed.
(2) Surveillance equipment.
(3) Additional automatic weapons and ammunition.
f.  Communication between vehicles and between the patrol and
higher headquarters is essential. Within the patrol, radios, voice
commands, and visual signals may be used. Vehicular-mounted
radios are usually the best means for communication with higher
headquarters. Light aircraft may be used to drop messages and to
relay radio messages.
D-15. Movement.
A motorized patrol moves by one of three methods: continuous
movement, successive bounds, and alternate bounds:
a. In continuous movement, all vehicles travel at a moderate rate of
speed, with all personnel alert. The lead vehicles stops to
investigate only those areas that appear dangerous. This is the
fastest, but least secure, method of movement.
In successive bounds, vehicles keep their relative positions in the
column. The first and second vehicles operate as a team in moving
from one observation point to another. The second vehicle is
placed in a concealed position, occupants dismounting if
necessary, to cover movement of the first vehicle to an observation
point. On reaching this point, occupants of the first vehicle
observe and reconnoiter, dismounting if necessary. When the area
is determined to be clear, the second vehicle is signaled forward to
join the first vehicle. The commander of the first vehicle carefully
observes the terrain to the front for signs of guerrillas and selects
the next stopping point. The first vehicle then moves out and the
process is repeated. Movement distance of the lead vehicle does
not exceed the limit of observation or the range of effective fire
support from the second vehicle. The lead vehicle and personnel
are replaced frequently to ensure constant alertness. The other
vehicles in the column move by bounds from one concealed
position to the next. Each vehicle maintains visual contact with
the vehicle ahead but avoids closing up (Figure D-2).
Figure D-2. Lead vehicle moves by bounds.
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c. In alternate bounds, all except the first two vehicles keep their
relative places in the column. The first two vehicles alternate as
lead vehicles on each bound. Each covers the bound of the other.
This method provides more rapid advance than movement by
successive bounds but is less secure; it does not allow soldiers in
the second vehicle enough time to thoroughly observe the terrain
to the front before passing the first vehicle. Security is obtained by
the vehicle commander who assigns each soldier a direction of
observation: to the front, flank(s), or rear. This provides each
vehicle with some security against surprise fire from every
direction and provides visual contact with vehicles to the front
and rear. For maximum observation, all canvas is removed from
the vehicles.
D-16. Actions at danger areas.
The commander of the leading vehicle immediately notifies the
unit leader when he encounters an obstacle or other danger area.
Designated soldiers reconnoiter these places under cover of the
weapons in the vehicle. Obstacles are bypassed, if possible. When
they cannot be bypassed, they are cautiously removed.
Side roads intersecting the route of advance are investigated.
Soldiers from one vehicle secure the road junction; one or two
vehicles investigate the side road. The amount of reconnaissance
of side roads is determined by the patrol leader’s knowledge of the
situation. Men investigating side roads do not, however, move
past supporting distance of the main body of the patrol.
Bridges, road junctions, defiles, and curves (that deny observation
beyond the turn) are danger areas. Soldiers dismount and take
advantage of available cover and concealment to investigate
these areas. The vehicle is moved off the road into a covered or
concealed position; weapons from the vehicle cover the advance of
the investigating personnel (Figure D-3).
When approaching a village, two or three soldiers may go forward
on foot to reconnoiter. Other soldiers cover their movement from
covered or concealed positions.
Actions on contacting guerrillas depend on whether the mission
permits or prohibits engaging in combat. For example, if the
mission permits or requires the exploitation of opportunities for
combat and the lead vehicle detects, or is attacked by, an ambush,
then soldiers in the lead vehicle move to positions from which the
guerrillas can be brought under fire. The soldiers dismount and
maneuver to destroy the ambush. Higher headquarters is notified
of the situation.
Figure D-3. Soldiers dismount to investigate danger areas.
f.    In any situation where the soldiers dismount, drivers remain with
and protect their vehicles. The vehicles are moved off the road,
after ensuring that the shoulders of the road are not mined. If
possible, they are positioned so that the drivers can support the
attack. At least one automatic weapon remains with the vehicles.
Higher headquarters is notified when the action is completed and
the unit continues the mission.
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Section VI.
Dismounted Movement
D-17. Techniques.
There are many movement techniques that can be utilized. This section
describes basic and linear movements, and combat, zone, and area
D-18. Basic movements.
In all cases, the unit moves from a start point (SP) to an objective
rally point (ORP) and then on to its objective (OBJ) area (Figure
Figure D-4. Basic movement sequence.
b.     The unit may then return to the ORP upon mission accomplishment,
or it may proceed through the objective area and onto a linkup
point (LUP) (Figure D-5). From there the unit continues with a
follow-on mission, or returns to base.
Figure D-5. Other basic techniques.
D-19. Linear movement.
Stream and trail. This technique of movement calls for the unit
to use a trail or stream as a navigation guide. The unit may not be
traveling on the trail or stream, but only in the vicinity of it for
security (1).
Contour. The unit selects a contour interval and follows that
elevation (2).
c. Cross-compartment. The unit travels in a generally straight
path regardless of terrain features (3). Reference Figure D-6.
Figure D-6. Stream and trail (1), contour (2), and cross-compartment (3).
D-20. Combat and zone reconnaissance patrols.
These techniques are general and illustrate how units operate on
sections of terrain in guerrilla territory (Figures D-7).
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Figure D-7. Combat and zone reconnaissance patrols.
D-21. Area reconnaissance patrol.
This type of patrol differs from the others in that it has a specific
location to be observed for intelligence. There are several methods
that may be utilized by an area reconnaissance patrol to conduct
its mission. Four of the most common are illustrated (Figure D-8).
Figure D-8. Area reconnaissance patrol
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b. The movement techniques described in this section are basic
methods. Many other techniques may be developed depending
upon the terrain, the mission, and the unit leader’s initiative. The
leader always ensures, however, that no outline or pattern is
established that would allow a guerrilla force to ambush his unit.
E-1. Three types.
Section I. General
This appendix explains the three types of bases generally used in a
counterinsurgency: patrol bases, operational support bases, and
support bases.
E-2. Tactical uses.
Patrol bases are used by a company or smaller units. Operational
support bases are used by battalions, and support bases are used by
brigades and larger units.
E-3. Planning.
Section Il. Patrol Bases
a. When a unit halts for an extended period, it takes active and
passive measures to provide maximum security. The leader
selects, occupies, and organizes an area so located that it provides
passive security from enemy detection. This is a patrol base.
Planning a patrol base is usually a part of the patrol’s operation;
or it may be an on-the-spot decision. The length of time a patrol
base is occupied depends on the need for secrecy. In most
situations, occupation should not exceed 24 hours except in an
emergency. A patrol base is occupied the minimum time
necessary to accomplish the mission. The same base is not
(usually) used again.
In counterguerrilla operations, patrol base secrecy is required;
and evacuation (if discovered) depends on the degree of control the
guerrilla force has in the base area, their ability to react to the
discovery of a base, and their ability to affect the unit’s mission.
When a guerrilla force is relatively small and weak, patrol base
secrecy may not bean overriding consideration; and if the base is
discovered, evacuation may not be required. In an area controlled
by a large guerrilla force with a high degree of combat capability,
patrol base secrecy is mandatory; and if discovered, evacuation is
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d. Typical situations that require planning for a patrol base include:
(1) A requirement to cease all movement to avoid detection.
(2) A requirement to hide the unit during a lengthy, detailed
reconnaissance of the objective area.
(3) A need to prepare food, maintain weapons and equipment,
and rest after extended movement.
(4) A need to formulate a final plan and issue orders for actions
at the objective.
(5) A requirement for reorganization after a patrol has infiltrated
the enemy area in small groups (used in conjunction with a
linkup point).
(6) A need for a base from which to conduct several consecutive
or concurrent operations such as ambush, raid, reconnaissance,
or surveillance patrols.
Any unforeseen situation occurring during a patrol mission could
lead to an on-the-spot decision to establish a patrol base.
E-4. Selection.
The location for a patrol base is usually selected by map
reconnaissance during planning. Selection may also be by aerial
reconnaissance or based on prior knowledge of a suitable location.
A patrol base established as the result of an on-the-spot decision
requires reconnoitering, securing, expanding, and organizing the
area occupied during a security halt.
A patrol base location selected by map or aerial reconnaissance,
or by prior knowledge of an area, is tentative. Its suitability is
confirmed by ground reconnaissance, and it is secured before
Plans to establish a patrol base include consideration of:
(1) Alternate location. This is used if the initial location
proves unsuitable or if the unit is required to evacuate the
initial location prematurely. In counterguerrilla operations,
reconnaissance and surveillance of an alternate location,
until occupied or no longer needed, are desirable.
(2)   Linkup point. This is used if the unit evacuates the patrol
base by exfiltration in groups. The linkup point does not
have to be reconnoitered.
(3)  Rallying point. This is used if the unit is dispersed from
the patrol base. It is a point over which the unit has
previously passed, and it is known to all.
E-5. Considerations.
When planning for a patrol base, passive and active security
measures are considered, as well as the mission.
With regard to passive security measures, base selection
(1) Difficult terrain that impedes foot movement and has little
tactical value.
(2) An area with dense vegetation (bushes and trees that spread
out close to the ground).
(a) An area remote from human habitation.
(b) An area near a water source.
(c) An area that avoids known or suspected enemy
positions; built-up areas; ridgelines and topographic
crests (except as necessary for maintaining adequate
communications); roads or trails and natural lines of
drift; and wet areas, steep slopes, and small valleys
that may be lines of drift.
c. With regard to active security measures, base selection includes:
(1) Outpost and listening post systems covering avenues of
approach into the area.
(2) Communications with outposts and listening posts.
(3) Defense of the patrol base (if required).
(4) Withdrawal, to include multiple withdrawal routes (if
(5) An alert plan.
(6) Enforcement of camouflage, noise, and light discipline.
(7) Conduct of necessary activities with minimum movement
and noise.
E-6. Occupation and operation of a patrol base.
A patrol base maybe occupied in two ways:
(1) By moving to a selected site and organizing the area in the
same manner as an on-the-spot establishment.
(2) By halting near the selected site and sending forward
reconnaissance forces.
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b.   The method is thoroughly planned and rehearsed. The use of
patrol base drills (in either method) assists in the swift and
efficient establishment of patrol bases.
Approach. The unit is halted at a suitable position within
200 meters of the tentative patrol base location. Close-in
security is established. Previously designated individuals
(preferably leaders of the unit’s major subunits) join the unit
leader (Figure E-1).
Figure E-1 Approach and reconnaissance.
(2)   Reconnaissance. The leader designates a point of entry
into the patrol base location as 6 o’clock, assigns areas by the
clock system, designates the center of the base as headquarters,
and moves there. Subordinate leaders then reconnoiter
assigned areas for suitability and return to the unit leader.
Usually, two men are dispatched to bring the unit forward.
(3)  Occupation. The unit leaves its line of march at right
angles and enters the base in single file, moving to the center
of the base. Designated men remove signs of the unit’s
movement. Each leader peels off his unit and leads it to the
left flank of the unit sector. Each unit occupies its portion of
the perimeter by moving clockwise to the left flank of the
next sector. The unit leader checks the perimeter by meeting
each leader at the left flank of his sector, moving clockwise
(Figure E-2).
Figure E-2. Occupation, initial phase.
(a) Each leader reconnoiters forward of his sector by
moving a designated distance out from the left flank of
the sector, moving clockwise to the right limit of the
sector, and reentering at the right flank of the sector.
He reports indications of the enemy or civilians,
suitable observation and listening post positions,
rallying points, and withdrawal routes (Figure E-3).
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Figure E-3. Occupation, final phase.
(b)   The unit leader designates rallying points, positions
for OPs and listening posts, and withdrawal routes.
Each unit puts out one two-man observation post (OP)
(day), and one three-man listening post (LP) (night),
and establishes communications (Figure E-4).
Figure E-4. Typical patrol base layout.
(4) Operation security. Only one point of base entry and exit
is used. It is camouflaged and guarded at all times. Fires are
built only when necessary and, as a rule, only in daylight.
Whether day or night, only necessary fires are built, and they
are kept as small as possible. Where terrain permits, fires are
built in pits and, if built at night, are carefully covered and
shielded. Building fires in pits reduces the danger of visual
detection and facilitates extinguishing the fires and
camouflaging the sites. The driest and hardest wood
available is used (to reduce smoke). In most areas, the best
time for building fires is when the air is thin and smoke
dissipates quickly (usually around noon); early morning
may be appropriate, however, in areas where there is ground
fog. The risk of detection, because of lingering odor, must be
weighed against the risk of detection due to visible smoke.
Noisy tasks, such as cutting branches, are accomplished
at designated times, as early as possible
occupation but never at night nor during the
periods of early morning and late evening.
When possible, noisy tasks are performed when
other sounds will cover them, such as the sounds of
aircraft, artillery, or distant battle noises.
Movement, both inside and outside the patrol base,
is restricted to the minimum.
Civilians who discover the location of the patrol
base are detained until the base is moved or until
they can be evacuated to higher headquarters. Care
is taken to prevent detained civilians from learning
about base operation and future plans. If necessary,
they are tied and blindfolded and their ears are
When sufficient personnel are available, OPs are
manned by at least two men so they can alternate
and ensure alertness at all times. This also removes
the need for traffic between the OP and the patrol
base. Listening posts are manned by at least two,
preferably three, individuals so they can alternate
and remain alert.
A 1-hour stand-to is observed morning and evening:
30 minutes before and 30 minutes after light in the
morning, and 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after
dark in the evening. This ensures that every man is
acclimated to changing light conditions, and is
dressed, equipped, and ready for action.
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(f) Each man knows the locations of men and positions
to his flanks, front, and rear, and knows the times
and routes of any expected movement within, into,
and out of the patrol base.
(5)  Defense. Defensive measures are planned, but a patrol
base is usually defended only when evacuation is not
possible. Elaborate firing positions are not constructed;
nonetheless, camouflage and concealment are stressed.
(a) Artillery and mortar fires may be planned, if
available. Early warning devices may be placed on
avenues of approach. If the base is to be defended,
then mines and trip flares may be placed on avenues
of approach and in areas that cannot be covered by
fire. The value of these devices is weighed against
the fact that their discovery automatically compromises
the patrol base.
(b) An alert plan includes evacuation and defense. All
members know the plans and the signals or orders
for their implementation. Plans cover pursuit and
destruction of the attacking force.
Communications. Communications are established
with higher headquarters, subordinate units, OPs, and
listening posts. The system provides for every man to be
alerted quickly and quietly. Radios, an excellent means of
communication, are carefully controlled. Wire can be used
within the patrol base if its bulk and weight, and the time
required to lay and pick up, are not disadvantages. Tug, or
pull, wires may be used for signaling. They are quiet and
reduce radio or telephone traffic. Messengers maybe used
within the patrol base.
(7)   Maintenance. Weapons and equipment are cleaned and
maintained as required.
(8)   Sanitation and personal hygiene. In daylight, catholes
outside the perimeter are used. The user is guarded. At
night, catholes are used inside the perimeter. Men wash,
shave, and brush their teeth as needed, consistent with
the situation (including availability of water). Cans, food,
and other trash are taken with the departing patrol for
(9)  Messing. Men eat at staggered times, as planned and
controlled. Preparation of meals is planned (if required).
(10) Water. Guarded water parties provide water. Lone
individuals do not visit the water source. No more than
two visits to the source are made in a 24-hour period. Use
of water is controlled (as required).
(11)   Rest. Rest and sleep are permitted after all work is done.
Rest periods are staggered to maintain security. Consistent
with work and security requirements, as much sleep and rest
as possible are scheduled for each man.
(12)  Resupply. If the unit is to be resupplied by air, the flight
path, drop zone or landing zone, and cache are located so that
neither the base nor possible objectives are compromised.
Planning and conduct of operations. Details of operations
are passed to all unit members. Members are not assembled
atone time as this would endanger base security. Rehearsals
are limited to terrain models, with part of the unit rehearsing
while the remainder provides security. Weapons are not test
fired. If part of the unit is absent on an operation, the
perimeter is adjusted, if necessary, to ensure security. Orders
are as brief as possible. Maximum practical use is made of
fragmentary orders and references to SOPs.
(14) Departure. All signs of the unit’s presence are removed or
concealed. This may prevent the enemy from learning that
the unit is in the area, prevent pursuit, or prevent the enemy
from learning how the patrol base is operated. Night
evacuation (in case of attack) is avoided if possible.
Evacuation is conducted as a unit when possible.
Section Ill.
Battalion Operational Support Bases
E-7. Purpose.
When engaged in counterguerrilla operations, battalion elements often
establish a base for command and control and fire support resources,
protected by a perimeter defense. These resources are called the
battalion operational support base.
E-8. Perimeter defense.
The OSB perimeter defense location depends upon:
(1) Forces available to defend the combat base.
(2) Ability to support subordinate units with indirect fire.
(3) Defensibility of terrain.
(4) Ability to communicate with subordinate units.
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b.     Before establishing the battalion OSB, the commander reconnoiters
to determine terrain defensibility. He also plans the defense force.
While the defense is designed to defeat the heaviest attack the
enemy is likely to conduct, it uses minimal forces. Essential
elements (reinforced as necessary) of the headquarters and
headquarters company (HHC) compose the force available to
prepare and defend the perimeter.
E-9. OSB commander.
The battalion commander normally designates the HHC
commander as battalion OSB commander in charge of perimeter
defense. Forces normally under control of the OSB commander
(1) An antitank platoon.
(2) An air defense section, if attached (to man the perimeter and
provide antiaircraft fire).
(3) A heavy mortar platoon (to man the perimeter and provide
fire support).
(4) A rifle platoon (if provided for perimeter defense or as a
reaction force).
b. The scout platoon is normally used for patrolling or screening
missions, rather than perimeter defense. Use of specialty unit
personnel (air defense and mortar) for manning the perimeter will
reduce the responsiveness of those systems. An element of risk is
During defense works construction, the perimeter is vulnerable to
attack, so it is completed as quickly as possible. Maximum
security is provided during construction.
E-10. Infiltration.
Guerrillas may be able to conduct large-scale attacks on fortified
positions, but they may disrupt operations by infiltrating one or
two men through the perimeter to place explosive devices on
command and control facilities, artillery pieces or mortars, or
ammunition storage areas.
This infiltration often follows a deceptive attack or probe. The
perimeter defense force maintains constant security, using early
warning systems and continuous patrolling. Starlight scopes,
OPs, unattended ground sensors, ground surveillance radars, and
trip flares are also used. Wire obstacles should be used to keep
infiltrators out of critical facilities.
c. A battalion OSB may have to remain in place for an extended
period, but it is not a permanent base. Continuous firing of
mortars and landing of helicopters make concealing its location
difficult. These factors require that the perimeter defense be
hardened. Overhead cover and sandbagged bunkers are provided
for all fighting positions. The tactical operations center and
command post (CP) require similar protection (or they maybe dug
underground). Mortars and artillery pieces are dug in or fortified
with sandbags.
E-11. Reserves.
a. A reserve for the defense is made up from attachments (engineers,
if available, or from off-shift personnel from tactical operation
center [TOC] and CP elements).
The reserve reacts to enemy attacks and reinforces the defense or
counterattack. It is rehearsed on signals and actions. Mortars are
employed to provide close-in fire support. Artillery pieces maybe
able to provide direct fire but may not be able to provide indirect
fire in support of the perimeter. Hence, the perimeter should be
within range of other artillery and mortar units for additional
E-12. Work priorities.
a. A priority of work is scheduled to construct the battalion OSB.
The priority placed on actions is dependent upon the tactical
situation and the availability of resources. Work is accomplished
in the following sequence, consistent with the tactical situation
and the availability of resources.
Step 1. Air assault and/or ground assault seizes the site;
immediate security is established to include OPs; area is
swept for booby traps; and mortars are laid.
Step 2. Communications are established; CP is set up; TOC
position is dug in; and selected TOC personnel are displaced
to perimeter defense.
Step 3. Perimeter positions are established; fields of fire are
cleared; reserve force is established; and wire is laid to all
Step 4. Barriers and obstacles are placed around perimeter
defense; early warning devices are emplaced; security and
ambush patrol plans are established; and final protective
fire (FPF) is called in.
Step 5. Positions are sustained; positions are hardened
with overhead cover; all other positions are improved; more
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fields of fire are cleared; the landing zone is enlarged; and the
latrine, generators, and ammunition supply point are established.
NOTE: Camouflage is applied throughout base preparations.
b.   The size of the base is dependent upon the situation and the
terrain available. When artillery is within the perimeter, then the
OSB is larger to accommodate the guns and supporting equipment
(Figure E-5).
Figure E-5. Example of OSB.
Section IV.
Brigade, Division Support Base
E-13. Permanent-type base.
A brigade or division support base is larger and more permanent.
It is usually near an airfield and/or generally in consolidation
areas. This section describes the responsibilities and organization
found in the defense of more permanent installations.
An area command is composed of those organized elements of one
or more of the armed services designated to operate in a specific
geographical area; these armed services are placed under a single
commander. The area command may range in size from an area
(theater) of operations to a small urban complex. The purpose of
such area assignment is to:
(1) Secure unity of effort in such operational missions as may be
assigned to commanders.
(2) Coordinate defense, logistics, and the use of available
To provide for the effective defense of a base within his command
or for joint planning within his area of responsibility, the
commander must:
(1) Assign the responsibility for defense of the base and
surrounding local defense areas.
(2) Establish the method of command or coordination to be
(3) Ensure the establishment of appropriate command relationships
between subordinate area and base commanders.
Command relationships, security, and defense responsibilities
vary at the base command level because of the possible multinational
and multiservice force combinations involved in the overall
defense effort of a given base. In most cases, base ownership,
national-level agreements, and mutual agreements among senior
commanders determine relationships and responsibilities. The
relationship between US service components and host country
forces is included in the directive of the US establishing authority.
This relationship is generally one of mutual coordination and
cooperation. Relationships among US service components using
the same base are also outlined in the directive of the establishing
authority. These relationships follow the principles designated
for joint operations, attachment, or support given in JCS
Publication 2.
E-14. Organization of forces.
The overall organization for base defense includes three basic
elements: permanent, as required, and as available.
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a. Permanent. Permanently assigned elements for base defense
and/or security responsibilities are:
(1)  Provisional-type base defense forces which have been
assigned a primary mission to defend the base. This force
includes personnel and equipment for command and control;
conduct of patrols; manning of outposts, listening posts, and
the base perimeter; and reserve and/or reaction force
(2)  Component police and security elements make up the
internal security force. Although not normally a part of the
BDF, these forces perform their routine security duties in
close coordination with the defense force commander to
ensure complete protection and integration of defensive
(3)  Combat support and combat service support units are
relatively static support units, such as communications and
maintenance elements, which exercise their support capabilities
from within the perimeter of the base.
As required. Elements assigned base defense responsibilities
on an “as required” basis include units, or elements of units,
normally occupying or operating in the base area whose primary
mission is not base defense. These elements, referred to as the
emergency augmentation force, supplement the capabilities of the
BDF when the degree of threat or intensity of guerrilla attack
dictates that they cease their primary functions and assist in base
defense. The emergency augmentation force may consists of US,
host country, or allied ground, naval, or air forces.
As available. Elements assigned base defense responsibilities
on an “as available” basis include:
(1)   Transient units of US, host country, or allied military forces
temporarily in the base area.
(2)   Tenant units on the base between operations.
(3)  Host units or units of other nation(s) normally in areas
adjacent to the base perimeter that have been designated, by
their commanders, to provide assistance to the base when
their own operations do not require total effort.
E-15. Operational concepts.
Base defense includes all actions that units occupying the base
must take to protect themselves from enemy acts. Such actions
inevitably interfere to some degree with the primary mission of
some of the elements involved. To reduce this interference, the
following principles apply:
Tenant units not assigned primarily for base defense are
normally used in the role or configuration for which they are
organized and trained — except when required for duty as
emergency augmentation forces during an all-out attack on
the base.
Combat, combat support, and combat service support
elements are specifically allocated for base defense missions
when guerrilla actions are frequent, prolonged, or severe.
When emergency augmentation forces are used in base
defense situations, they must be returned to their primary
functions as soon as the situation permits.
Base tenant unit personnel are responsible for local security.
The organization of a provisional defense force or the
assignment of a combat unit to provide security for the base
does not relieve them of this responsibility.
The overall concept of base defense includes all actions required to
preseve the operating integrity of the base.
c. Regardless of the military measures applied, there is no defense
that prevents guerrillas from attacking and damaging a base if
they are willing to pay the price in manpower and materiel.
Making them pay a high price holds down the number of attacks.
d.   Defense of the critical areas is a primary consideration. The
critical areas are facilities and installations whose continued
operation is essential for the accomplishment of the primary
mission. These facilities and installations are designated by the
base commander or higher authority and include power stations;
petroleum, oils, and lubricants storage sites; ammunition storage
sites; aircraft facilities; and artillery emplacements.
e. Defense of a military base involves a combination of area denial
actions, aggressive offensive operations, and immediate reaction
to guerrilla threat or attack. While hardening of facilities and
maintaining an immediate reaction force are the responsibility of
the base commander, area denial actions and major offensive
operations are the responsibility of the area commander. Use of
barriers, field expedient flame weapons, natural obstacles, and
aggressive offensive actions deny guerrillas access to the area
immediately surrounding the base. If they are kept at a distance,
they cannot launch damaging rocket attacks on the base. If they
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penetrate far enough to use rockets or other long-range weapons,
hardening and dispersal of base resources may reduce the
Plans are prepared to counter the threat or attack, and reaction
forces are kept ready to immediately implement these plans. This
preparation includes plans by area commanders to commit other
forces to base defense. Base defense plans are coordinated with
host country officials and other allied forces through use of the
area coordination center.
Responsive, rapid fire support is required for base defense
operations. Artillery and mortar fire can provide quick reaction to
the infiltration and standoff attack threats. If in range, naval
gunfire is used the same as artillery fire. In base defense
operations, base-positioned fire support units follow normal fire
support procedures. Fire support units positioned outside the base
area, but within support range, are included in the overall base
defense fire support plan. Also included are the fire support
capabilities of host country and other allied forces.
h.    The fire support coordination center is operational 24 hours a day.
It must have immediate access to host country officials who can
autho rize fire within areas not predesignated as free fire zones.
E-16. Base commander.
The mission of the base commander is to exercise command,
control, and administration of the base and also to exercise
necessary control of resident and transient units not a part of the
base command.
A base commander may also be the area commander. At the same
time, he may also be the component Army, Navy, Marine Corps,
or Air Force commander; or he may be designated separately.
The base commander’s responsibilities include establishing the
overall defense organization as well as planning, preparing, and
executing all defense measures. If the base mounts or supports
operations of two or more services that occupy and operate
separate nonadjoining facilities within the base area, the base
commander, as base defense coordinating authority, plans and
directs the employment of these forces in base defense roles. The
base commander normally appoints a base defense force
commander to assist him in executing base defense functions
(Figure E-6).
Figure E-6. Organization of base defense.
E-17. Base defense force commander.
The base defense force commanders normally appointed to
supervise the preparation of detailed defense plans to include
establishing defense sectors, conducting required training,
providing for or coordinating logistical support, and controlling
base defense operations. As the base commander’s special
representative, the BDF commander coordinates the planning
efforts of all elements scheduled to participate in the base defense.
During the defense, he exercises command authority over these
Commanders of base elements maybe given responsibility for the
defense training of their forces or for making their forces
available to the BDF commander for training. Additional
requirements such as procurement and storage of essential
supplies, construction of defense installations, medical support,
and communications assistance may also be levied against these
commanders, consistent with overall requirements.
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E-18. Base defense force.
The mission of the BDF, whether it be an assigned or a
provisional force, is to prevent or resist an enemy attack by
destroy in the enemy force, reducing the enemy capacity for
offensive action, and denying the enemy entry into the base area.
Detecting and destroying enemy forces (organized in strength)
are responsibilities of the area commander; however, the BDF
commander may initiate offensive action in areas over which he
has operational control.
The accomplishment of this basic mission requires thorough
planning for an aggressive defense fully supported by other forces
of the area command.
E-19. Major tenant units.
All units assigned to the base constitute elements of the overall
defense force of the base. During an enemy attack or threat, some
elements maybe required to continue their primary function
longer than others. In this respect, all local unit defenses are
coordinated by the BDF commander to ensure that each
contributes to the overall defense of the base as well as to the local
security of the areas in which the unit is quartered or employed.
b.    Since all tenant units may not be organized and equipped for base
defense tasks, they must be provided with appropriate weapons,
ammunition, and equipment, as well as combat and logistical
E-20. Transient units.
Transient units, or other units not a part of the base command, maybe
placed under operational control of the base commander, or the BDF
commander, for emergency defense. Transient units may be elements
of US components, host country, or other allied military forces.
E-21. Employment of forces.
Forces whose primary mission is base defense patrol aggressively,
develop and occupy defensive positions within their assigned sectors,
and prepare immediate reaction forces to counter any guerrilla action.
These forces may be uniservice, joint, or combined, depending on the
composition of base area forces.
E-22. Defensive construction.
a. Shelters. Construction of personnel shelters throughout the
billeting, administrative, and maintenance areas provides
individual protection against standoff attacks. Depending on
resources available, these shelters vary in construction. Shipping
containers, dugouts, and double-walled plywood shelters with
sand or gravel fill, all with sandbag reinforcement and overhead
cover, provide acceptable protection. These shelters are close to
the billets and work areas to permit rapid access.
Bunkers. Fighting bunkers may be constructed on position or
prefabricated and moved to position for assembly. These bunkers
should be strong enough to withstand direct hit by recoilless rifle
fire on the front and sides and a direct hit by a mortar round on the
Revetments. Construction of revetments for critical resources
provides additional protection against mortar and rocket
fragmentation. These revetments may be of sand-filled, double-
walled construction, with either plywood or steel plate sides.
Overhead cover is provided when possible.
Wire. Tactical wire barriers should be used within the perimeter
to limit and canalize penetrations by enemy groups or individuals.
Initially, these barriers can be as simple as a single strand of wire
3 to 4 feet high. Generally, they should be placed to prevent a
direct approach to vital installations, and they should be covered
by automatic weapons fire. The barriers are constructed as
inconspicuously as possible and relocated periodically to disrupt
enemy plans. Further, the barriers must not preclude freedom of
movement by the reaction or reserve forces. These forces, and
other personnel, become thoroughly familiar with the location of
all barriers during the course of daylight and night drills.
E-23. Defense positions.
a. The key base defense positions consist primarily of bunkers and
towers in the base perimeter area. The positioning of bunkers and
towers affords maximum observation and mutually supporting
fires over the area forward of the perimeter to include the
perimeter barrier and sensor system.
(1)   Bunkers. Full-time observation and all-round defense of
the base are essential. To reduce the number of personnel
conducting static defense missions, however, it may be
possible to designate key bunkers around the perimeter to be
manned at all times and the remainder to be fully manned
during darkness, reduced visibility, and increased enemy
threat. Individual fighting positions are prepared near the
bunkers to provide covering fires. Night and day vision
devices, automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and hand
grenades are common to the positions. Antitank weapons
cover possible vehicle approaches.
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E-1 9
FM 90-8
(2)  Towers. When coupled with night and day vision aids,
sensors, and flash-ranging devices, elevated platforms
enhance the capability of detecting perimeter infiltration
and the location of guerrilla mortar and/or rocket firing
positions. Either standard military towers or towers
constructed from local materials can be used. The installation
of sandbags or steel plating around observation platforms
provides protection against automatic weapons and small
arms fire. Construction of a ground-level bunker provides
additional protection when fires are directed against the
tower. Access to the bunker maybe by means of a fireman’s
pole or a ladder arrangement. Tower safety measures for
consideration include:
(a) Lightning arresters.
(b) Construction to withstand strong winds and to support
two observers and their equipment.
(c) Enclosed mounting ladder.
(d) Provision of safety nets round the tower when warranted
by tower height.
(e) Painting it a dark color to reduce reflection from moon-
(f) Installation of a suitable roof to shield personnel from
the elements without interference to observation. A
double-roof design could cause mortar rounds to
detonate at a height that affords some protection to
Control is the key to a successful base defense. To achieve the
necessary control, a communication capability must be established
between the base defense operations center and commanders of
sectors of responsibility, and between the sector commander and
his bunkers, towers, and reserve. Additionally, bunkers within
each section can communicate laterally within the sector, and
flank bunkers of one sector can communicate with flank bunkers
of adjacent sectors.
E-24. Training considerations.
Individual and collective training. Most of the training
required in support of base defense operations is currently a part
of individual and collective training programs. Individuals
designated to take any part in base defense operations will
probably require additional training in areas applicable to their
roles in the base defense effort. Training may be on:
Techniques of ambushes and raids and defensive measures
against these types of operations.
Use of hearing, sight, and smell as detection means.
Police-type patrolling and the operation of roadblocks and
Night operations to include use of night observation devices
and sensors and special challenge, sign, and countersign
Individual and crew-served weapons cross-training within
the unit.
Marksmanship, especially night firing.
Observation post operations with emphasis on security,
sound and light discipline, and reporting procedures.
Operation and operator maintenance of special devices such
as radars, sensors, and night observation devices (if
Familiarization with all communications equipment available
within the unit and communication techniques.
Barrier construction, mines, and booby traps.
Patrolling of all types.
Fire control.
Area orientation. All individuals require an orientation on the
guerrilla and his tactics, local customs, social values, and the
civilian population in the area. The capabilities and procedures of
civil police and indigenous forces are explained, since elements of
the base and base defense force may operate in conjunction with
them. Status-of-forces agreements and rules of engagement
concerning use of weapons must be covered.
Technical training. The most up-to-date surveillance, target
acquisition, and night observation (STANO) equipment should be
used in base defense operations. Its installation and operation
require special training. If enough specialists are not available,
the scope of training is expanded. Additional maintenance
specialists are also required to keep equipment operational and to
advise and assist operators on their maintenance responsibilities.
Maintenance and operator training is scheduled periodically to
ensure a current capability to use the equipment.
 Morale and psychological factors. The morale and psychological
pressures on troops employed in base defense operations
differ from those normally found in regular combat operations.
Many of these pressures are caused by infrequent contact with
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guerrillas and the requirement for constant vigilance. Other
factors include:
(1) Boredom caused by recurring routine tasks, which tends to
lead to laxity.
(2) The tendency to become inattentive, which occurs because
little physical activity is required in operating or monitoring
observation devices or sensor equipment.
(3) The disruption of normal sleep and eating routines, which
occurs when operations continue day and night.
(4) Long periods of relative inactivity, which may result if
training is not pursued vigorously.
Leader participation. Leaders at all echelons must carry out a
continuing indoctrination and motivation program to offset
psychological pressures. This is an important part of the training
program. Physical training and athletic and recreation programs
are essential to maintaining high morale.
E-25. Defense exercises.
Defense exercises provide a means for rehearsing the BDF
defense plans, to include testing of the base defense alarm and
communication systems, and for training and diverse elements of
the defense force to act in a coordinated effort.
Defense exercises are the final and most important step in the
training cycle. These exercises familiarize all elements of the
defense force, and the base tenant units, with their assignments
in base defense. The exercises are conducted frequently, under
various weather conditions, and during both daylight and darkness.
Exercises include, but are not limited to:
Defense of sectors of responsibility to include rehearsing
counterattacks and manning defense positions.
Employment of the reserve for counterattacking and for
reinforcing the defense positions.
Coordination of supporting fires and other means of support.
Integration of the emergency augmentation force with other
units of the defense force.
Coordination with other forces of the base, such as the air
defense units that may be used in a ground defense role.
d. Command post exercises should be held frequently to:
(1) Train the staffs of all headquarters involved in base defense.
Train fire support coordination agencies.
Test communications.
Obtain the necessary coordination and liaison between the
base defense headquarters and the headquarters of base
tenant forces.
FM 90-8
Smoke, Flame, Herbicides, and Riot Control Agents
F-1. Employment.
This appendix provides guidance on the employment of chemical
agents and munitions in counterguerrilla operations.
The munitions are useful where there is difficulty in pinpointing
guerrilla locations, and where the area coverage provided by riot
control munitions would be greater than that of other available
weapon systems.
F-2. Smoke.
Smoke may be used to identify, signal, obscure, deceive, and
screen. It may be used to identify and signal targets, supply and
evacuation point, and friendly unit positions. It may also provide
the counterguerrilla commander with prearranged battlefield
Obscuring smoke is used on guerrilla positions to reduce their
ability to see and engage friendly targets. Deceptive smoke is used
to mislead guerrillas as to friendly force intentions. Screening
smoke is used in friendly operational areas, or between friendly
and guerrilla forces to deny guerrilla observation of areas where
friendly units are maneuvering, or resupply or recovery operations
are in progress. This type of smoke employment usually is not
required by the counterguerrilla commander until the later stages
of Phases II and III.
Smoke sources include:
Mechanical smoke generators (large screen areas).
Smoke grenades (small screens, signaling, identifying).
M110-pound smoke pot (small screen).
ABC-M5 30-pound smoke pot (small screen).
M42A and M207A1 floating smoke pot (small screens,
ground or water base).
WP mortar and WP and HC artillery rounds (obscuring,
signaling, deceiving, identifying).
WP tank rounds, 90-mm and 105-mm (small screens,
obscuring, signaling, identifying).
Grenade-launched round by tanks, Bradley fighting vehicle,
and M203 (small, individual screens).
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(9) Vehicle engine exhaust smoke systems, tanks, and Bradley
fighting vehicle (small, individual screens).
(10) Aircraft-delivered smoke ordnance (large screens).
Depending on the weather and terrain, smoke screening may not
always be effective. For example, the wind could be too strong or
be blowing from the wrong direction. Signaling, identifying, and
obscuring are all good smoke missions in all phases of a
counterguerrilla operation.
F-3. Flame expedients and the M202.
Flaming fuel and hot shrapnel, exploding over an area up to 100
meters in diameter, is an effective defensive weapon. If a target is
to be pinpointed, then the M202 rocket can be used to flame a
hostile position.
The flame mine is an omnidirectional expedient that can be
command detonated or activated by a tripwire. It will scatter
flame and shrapnel over an area 20 to 80 meters in diameter,
depending on the size of the mine.
c. The fougasse (flame/shrapnel) expedient is similar to the mine
except that its explosive force is directional (rather than
all-round). A 55-gallon barrel is often used as a container for fuel
and shrapnel. The barrel is placed in a V-trench, sandbagged in
place, and an explosive charge is placed behind the barrel. When
exploded, the flaming fuel and pieces of metal are blown out to a
distance of 100 meters or more (in a broad V-pattern).
The M202 rocket launcher contains four rockets that burst into
flame on impact. The aiming device on the launcher provides
on-target accuracy for close-in combat.
F-4. Herbicides.
a. The United States renounces first use of herbicides in war except
use, under regulations applicable to their domestic use and the
rules of engagement, for control of vegetation within US bases
and installations or around their immediate defensive perimeters
to clear observation and fields of fire.
Herbicides have the potential to destroy food production and
defoliate large areas. The US will not use herbicides in this way,
unless they are first used against US forces and the President
directs their use in retaliation.
F-5. Riot control agents.
The United States renounces the first use of riot control agents
(RCA) in war, except defensively to save lives. The use of RCA is
not governed by the same policy as chemical agents. Since they
are not used to injure or kill and their effects are short lived, there
are times when the use of RCA is more appropriate than
conventional weapons.
b. Commonly used not control agents contain chemicals that cause
vomiting, sneezing, and watering (tears) of the eyes.
c. RCA containers include hand grenades and 40-mm cartridge
grenades (M203 launcher). When used, the grenades, whether
thrown or fired, are directed upwind of the target so the chemical
particulate (vapor) will drift onto the hostile position.
RCAs are used to force guerrillas from tunnels, caves, and
buildings in an effort to take them prisoner. When counterguerrilla
units probe possible ambush sites, RCAs may be employed to
flush guerrillas and take prisoners.
e. When counterguerrilla units are in defensive positions, canister of
RCA (containing the agent in powder form) maybe detonated by
remote control. This type of agent causes reactions similar to RCA
vapor agents and blisters the skin.
Counterguerrilla personnel will wear the protective mask and
cover exposed skin areas when employing RCAs. Decontamination,
after RCA missions, requires troops to wash skin areas and brush
or wash clothing.
FM 90-8
Operations and Techniques
Section I. General
G-1. Tactical variations.
a. Chapter 3 presents an overview of the most common types of
tactical counterguerrilla operations conducted in an insurgency.
This appendix presents techniques that may be employed when
conducting those operations.
Chart G-1 presents some of the most common operations and
techniques that a counterguerrilla force employs. Generally,
large-scale operations are more suited to the later stages of an
insurgency while small unit tactics are more suited to the whole
spectrum (see page G-2).
G-2. Standard operations.
With minor adaptations (Chapter 3), some operations discussed in FM
7-10 and FM 7-20 can be used for counterguerrilla warfare. These
operations include raids, movements to contact, hasty attacks,
deliberate attacks, reconnaissance in force, exploitations, and
G-3. Encirclement.
Section Il. Operations.
Encirclement is designed to cut off all ground routes for escape
and reinforcement of the encircled guerrilla force. It offers the best
possibility for fixing guerrilla forces in position and achieving
decisive results. Battalion and larger units may conduct encirclements.
The company and smaller units normally lack enough men and
command and control capability to conduct encirclements (except
against small, concentrated guerrilla forces). All units of the
brigade may participate in encirclements conducted by a larger
c. Planning, preparation, and execution are aimed at complete
encirclement of the guerrilla force. Maximum security and
surprise can be gained by completing the encirclement during
Encircling movements are executed rapidly. Use of air assault
and airborne troops can contribute speed and surprise to the early
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FM 90-8
Chart G-1. Comparison of operations.
phases of an encirclement. Positions are occupied simultaneously
in order to block escape. If simultaneous occupation is not
possible, escape routes most likely to be used are covered first.
Initial occupation is the most critical period of an encirclement. If
large guerrilla formations realize that they are being encircled,
they can be expected to react immediately to probe for gaps or
attack weak points to force a gap.
e. Units occupying the encircling positions provide strong combat
patrols well to their front to give early warning of attempted
breakouts and to block escape routes. Mobile reserves are
positioned for immediate movement to counter any threat of a
breakout, and to reinforce difficult areas such as deep ravines or
areas containing cave or tunnel complexes.
Indirect fire support can cloak an impending encirclement by
gaining and maintaining the guerrilla’s attention while encircling
units move into position. Fires, including field artillery, should be
planned in detail to support the encirclement after it is discovered.
G-4. Contraction.
Following the initial encirclement, the capture or destruction of
the guerrilla force is methodical and thorough. Fire and maneuver
are used in a simultaneous, controlled contraction of the encirclement.
As the line of encirclement is contracted, and depending on
terrain, units may be removed from the line and added to the
reserve. Against small guerrilla forces, the entire encircled area
may be cleared by contraction; however, against larger guerrilla
forces, it is probable that, at some point, some action other than
further contraction will be required (Figure G-l).
Figure G-1. Contraction technique.
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One technique, employed after some degree of contraction, is to
employ a blocking force on one or more sides of the perimeter
while part of the encirclement forces the guerrillas against the
blocking force by offensive action. Either element may accomplish
the actual destruction, but it is usually accomplished by the
attacking element. This technique is most effective when the
blocking force is located on, or immediately to the rear of, a
natural terrain obstacle.
G-5. Hammer and anvil.
In this method, one or more units in the encirclement remain
stationary while the others drive the guerrilla unit against it (Figure
Figure G-2. Hammer and anvil technique.
G-6. The wedge.
This method is used after some contraction. A unit is used to divide the
enemy while the encircling elements remain in place. After the
guerrilla force has been broken up into smaller elements, either
contraction or the hammer and anvil technique is used (Figure G-3).
Figure G-3. Wedge technique.
Section III. Civil Disturbances and Searches
G-7. US involvement.
While it is preferable to have host country forces control civil
disturbances, US forces may be forced by circumstances to conduct
them and be involved in search operations. (The type of civil
disturbance provides the necessary counteraction guidelines; for
detailed information refer to FM 19-15.)
G-8. Search techniques.
Searches are commonly used in population and resources control
operations. They include use of checkpoints and roadblocks to control
traffic and to reduce the capability of the guerrilla to move personnel
and materiel freely.
a. Special equipment required. For a checkpoint to achieve
maximum results, special equipment is required. Portable signs in
the native language and in English should be available. Signs
should denote the speed limit of approach, vehicle search area,
vehicle parking area, male and female search areas, and
dismount point. Lighting is needed for the search area at night.
Communication is required between the various troop units
supporting the checkpoint operation. Barbed-wire obstacles
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FM 90-8
across the road and around the search area should be provided.
Troops must have adequate firepower to withstand an attack or to
halt a vehicle attempting to flee or crash through the checkpoint.
Method. The checkpoint is established by placing two parallel
obstacles (each with a gap) across the road. The distance (in
meters) between obstacles depends on the amount of traffic that is
held in the search area. The blocked section of road can be used as
the search area. If possible, there should be a place (adjacent to the
road) where large vehicles can be searched without delaying the
flow of other traffic (which can be dealt with more quickly). Areas
are required for searching female suspects and detaining persons
for further interrogation. If possible, the personnel manning a
checkpoint should include a member of the civil police, an
interpreter, and a trained female searcher. When searching a
vehicle, all occupants are made to get out and stand clear of the
vehicle. The driver should be made to observe the search of his
vehicle. The searcher is always covered by an assistant. When
searching, politeness and consideration are shown at all times.
The occupants of the vehicle can be searched simultaneously, if
sufficient searchers are available (Figure G-4).
Figure G-4. Area search technique.
G-9. Search of persons, areas.
Searches can be classified as searches of individuals and searches of
populated areas.
Searching individuals.
Frisk search. The frisk is a quick search of an individual
for weapons, evidence, or contraband. It is conducted
preferably in the presence of an assistant and a witness. In
conducting the frisk, the searcher stands behind the suspect.
The searcher’s assistant takes a position from which he can
cover the suspect with his weapon. The suspect is required to
raise his arms. The searcher then slides his hands over the
individual’s entire body, crushing the clothing to locate
concealed objects.
Wall search. Based on the principle of rendering the
suspect harmless by placing him in a strained, awkward
position, the wall search affords the searcher a degree of
safety. It is particularly useful when two searchers must
search several suspects. Any upright surface, such as a wall,
vehicle, or a tree, may be utilized.
Position of suspect. The suspect is required to face
the wall (or other object) and lean against it, supporting
himself with his upraised hands placed far apart and
fingers spread. His feet are placed well apart, turned
out, parallel to the wall, and as far from the wall as
possible. His head is kept down.
Position of searcher’s assistant. The searcher’s
assistant stands on the opposite side of the suspect
(from the searcher) and to the rear. He covers the
suspect with his weapon. When the searcher moves
from his original position to the opposite side of the
suspect, the assistant also changes position. The
searcher walks around his assistant during this
change to avoid coming between his assistant and the
Position of searcher. The searcher approaches the
suspect from the right side. The searcher’s weapon
must not be in such a position that the suspect can grab
it. When searching from the right side, the searcher
places his right foot in front of the suspect’s right foot
and makes and maintains ankle-to-ankle contact.
From this position, if the suspect offers resistance, the
suspect’s right foot can be pushed back from under
him. When searching from the left side of the suspect
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the searcher places his left foot in front of the suspect’s
left foot and again maintains ankle-to-ankle contact.
Initial position. In taking his initial position, the
searcher should be alert to prevent the suspect from
suddenly attempting to disarm or injure him. The
searcher first searches the suspect’s headgear. The
searcher then checks the suspect’s hands, arms, right
side of the body, and right leg, in sequence. The
searcher repeats the procedure in searching the
suspect’s left side. He crushes the suspect’s clothing
between his fingers; he does not merely pat it. He pays
close attention to armpits, back, waist, legs and tops of
boots or shoes. Any item found that is not considered a
weapon or evidence is replaced in the suspect’s pocket.
If the suspect resists or attempts escape and has to be
thrown down prior to completing the search, the search
is started over from the beginning.
Switch of multiple suspects. When two or more
suspects are to be searched, they must assume a
position against the same wall or object but far enough
apart so that they cannot reach one another. The
searcher’s assistant takes his position a few paces to
the rear of the line with his weapon ready. The search is
begun with the suspect on the right of the line. On
completing the search of one suspect, he is moved to the
left of the line and resumes the positon against the
wall. Thus, in approaching and searching the next
suspect, the searcher is not between his assistant and a
Strip search. This type of search is usually necessary
when the individual is suspected of being a guerrilla leader or
important messenger. The search is conducted preferably in
an enclosed space, such as a room or tent. The searching
technique can be varied. One method is to use two unarmed
searchers while an assistant, who is armed, stands guard.
The suspect’s clothing and shoes are removed and searched
carefully. A search is then made of his person, including his
mouth, nose, ears, hair, armpits, crotch, and other areas of
possible concealment.
Search of females. The guerrilla force will make maximum
use of females for all types of tasks where search may be a
threat. Counterguerrilla forces must make maximum use of
female searchers. If female searchers cannot be provided, a
doctor or aidman should be considered for use in searching
female suspects. The search of females is an extremely
delicate matter. When male soldiers must search females,
every possible measure must be taken to prevent even the
slightest inference of sexual molestation or assault.
Searching populated areas. There are four fundamentals used
when conducting a search.
Approach. On some operations, the situation may allow
mounted movement directly into the area to be searched. On
others, the situation may dictate dismounted movement into
the area. Emphasis is placed on rapid and coordinated
entrance into the area.
Surrounding the area. During darkness, troops approach
silently by as many different routes as possible. At first
daylight, the area can be occupied by a chain of observation
posts with gaps covered by patrols. Normally, a large area
cannot be completely surrounded for any length of time
because of the number of troops required. If necessary, troops
dig in, take advantage of natural cover, and use barbed wire
to help maintain their line.
Reserves. If there is a chance that hostile elements from
outside the area could interfere, measures are taken to
prevent them from joining the inhabitants of the area under
search. Air observers can assist by detecting and giving
early warning of any large-scale movement toward the occupied
Search parties.
The officer in command of the operation informs the
inhabitants that the area is to be searched, that a house
curfew is in force, and that all inhabitants must remain
indoors. Or, he may require the inhabitants to gather at
a central point and then have the search party move in
and begin the search. Search parties are usually
composed of search teams.
When a decision is made to gather inhabitants at a
central point, the head of the house should accompany
the search party when his house is searched. If this is
not done, he can deny knowledge of anything incriminating
that is found, or he can accuse the troops of theft
looting. In small searches, it may be practical to
the head of each household to sign a certificate
that nothing has been illegally removed, but in
large search this may be impractical. In order to
accusations of theft, witnesses should be present
the search. A prominent member of the com-
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munity should accompany each search team, if
Buildings are searched from top to bottom, if possible.
Mine detectors are used to search for arms and
ammunition. Every effort is made to avoid unnecessary
damage. Each house or building searched is marked
with a coded designation. This same designation can
be used to list occupants who must be accounted for in
subsequent searches, and the designation helps ensure
that no building is overlooked in the search.
If a house is vacant, or if an occupant refuses entry, it
may be necessary to force entry. If a house containing
property is searched while its occupants are away, it
should be secured to prevent looting. Before troops
depart, the commander should make arrangements
with the community to protect such houses until the
occupants return.
(5) Search teams.
Special teams may be formed for search operations. In
searching small areas (a few buildings), small units
can conduct a search without special teams for each
Search teams may require these capabilities:




Physical or visual search.
Fire support.
Prisoner detection.
Mine detection.
Scout dogs.
Riot control agents, flame weapons, and demolitions.
Tunnel reconnaissance team.
Psychological/civil affairs operations.
House search. Each search party assigned to search an
occupied building should consist of at least one local
policeman, a protective escort, and a female searcher, if
appropriate. The search party must first assemble everyone.
The civil police may give the necessary orders and do the
actual searching. The object of this search is to screen for
suspected persons. Apprehended persons are evacuated as
soon as possible. Troops may perform this task. Escort
parties and transportation must be planned in advance.
Village search.
Prior to conducting search operations in a village, a
reconnaissance patrol is sent out to gain information
about the village and its inhabitants. The patrol avoids
detection. A portion of the patrol maintains surveillance
over the village while the remainder of the patrol
returns with information. This is done to detect any
changes which may take place prior to the security
element going into position. Information of value to a
commander includes:
Size and exact location of the village.

Fortifications (mantraps, spiketraps).
Warning systems.
Tunnel systems.

Where does the insurgent live? Does he live in the
forest at night and inhabit the village during the
day, or does he stay in the village night and day?
Does he inhabit one or more huts?

How many people are there in the village?
The security and search elements use one of two
general methods of movement.

If aviation support is available, a quick-strike air
assault operation is employed. This type of operation
is characterized by speed.
If the elements conduct a dismounted operation,
they normally use designated routes. This type of
operation is characterized by secure and rapid
A village may be searched as follows:
First method –
assemble inhabitants in a central
location (if they appear to be hostile). This method
provides maximum control, facilitates a thorough
search, denies insurgents an opportunity to conceal
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evidence, and allows for detailed interrogation. It
has the disadvantage of taking the inhabitants
away from their dwellings, thus encouraging
looting which, in turn, engenders ill feelings.

Second method —
restrict inhabitants to their
homes. This method prohibits movement of civilians,
allows them to stay in their dwellings, and discourages
looting. The disadvantages are that it makes
and interrogation difficult and gives
inhabitants time to conceal evidence in their
Third method —
control head of household. The
head of each household is told to remain in front of
his house while all others are brought to a central
location. During the search, the head of each
household accompanies the search team through
his house. Looting is minimized, and the head of
the household can see that the search team did not
steal property. This is the best method for controlling
the population.
Search teams must search thoroughly for insurgent
personnel, equipment, escape tunnels, or caches. Cattle
pens, wells, haystacks, gardens, fence lines, and
cemeteries should be investigated. Search teams are
constantly alert for booby traps.
After the house search is completed, the perimeter and
area between the security element and the village is
searched. There are two methods:
One — if the security element has not been
discovered, the search element may be formed into
sections, each section searching a portion of the
perimeter. Should any section flush an insurgent
out of the vegetation or tunnel exit, the security
element captures the person, or shoots at him, if he
attempts to escape.

Two —
if the security element has been discovered,
it conducts the perimeter search. Part of this
element keeps the village isolated, while the
remainder conducts the search. Such a search
could take hours if the terrain is extremely dense.
Regardless of the terrain, the search unit checks
possible locations for caches of materiel or insurgents
in hiding.
In areas where tunnels have been reported, it is
imperative that the search unit have a tunnel recon-
naissance team attached. This team should be composed
of volunteers trained for this type of operation. They
should have special equipment such as flashlights or
miner helmets, protective masks, communication with
the surface, and silencer-equipped pistols. They should
know how to sketch a tunnel system, and they should
recover all items of intelligence interest.
Section IV.
Movement Security
G-10. TWO categories.
Movement security can be divided into two categories: security of
convoys with strong security detachments, and security of convoys
with weak security detachments.
G-11. Strong convoy security.
Special combined-arms teams may be organized and trained to
accompany and protect convoys. The security detachment is
organized with adequate combat power to suppress guerrilla
ambushes. Its size and composition depend upon the physical
characteristics of the area, the capability of the enemy force, and
the size and composition of the convoy.
In any case, the security detachment should have the following
subordinate elements:
A headquarters element to provide command, control, and
A medical support element.
An armored element to provide firepower and shock effect.
A mechanized or motorized infantry element.
A combat engineer element to make minor repairs to bridges
and roads and to detect and remove mines and obstacles.
For large convoys, the security detachment should include field
artillery. Ideally, half of the artillery would be placed well forward
in the column and half near the rear of the column. The artillery
command and control element would move in the vicinity of the
security detachment headquarters. This arrangement allows the
most flexibility for providing artillery fire support to elements of
the column in the event of ambush.
The combined-arms security detachment is usually interspersed
throughout the convoy so that the various elements can be
employed either as a fixing element or attacking element, as
The formation of a security detachment and its integration into a
convoy varies because the enemy may be expected to observe
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convoy patterns and prepare their ambushes to cope with
expected formations. Tanks lead the convoy to gain maximum
advantage from their mobility and firepower. If no tanks are
available, a heavy vehicle with sandbags placed to protect
personnel from mines should lead the convoy.
A strong attack element is placed at the rear of the convoy
formation where it has maximum flexibility in moving forward to
attack any force attempting to ambush the head or center of the
The enemy force may allow the advance guard to pass the site of
the main ambush and then block the road and attack the main
body and the advance guard separately.
At the first indication of an ambush, vehicles attempt to move out
of the kill zone. If necessary to halt, vehicles stop in place; they do
not drive to the roadsides or shoulders, which may be mined.
Specified individuals (following the unit SOP) immediately return
fire from inside vehicles to cover dismounting personnel. These
individuals dismount last under cover of fire by those who
dismounted first. Upon dismounting, personnel caught in the kill
zone open fire and immediately assault toward the ambush force
and then establish a base of fire. Tanks open fire and maneuver
toward the ambush force or to the most favorable ground in the
immediate vicinity.
While the engaged element continues its action to protect the
convoy, the commander rapidly surveys the situation and issues
orders to the designated attack elements to begin predrilled
offensive maneuvers against the guerrilla force. The fire of the
engaged security element is used to fix the ambush force and is
coordinated with that of the attacking element.
After the guerrilla force is destroyed or neutralized, security
details are posted to cover convoy reorganization. The convoy
commander, using the fastest communication available, briefs
his commander on the engagement. Captured guerrilla personnel
are interrogated as to where they planned to reassemble, and this
information is reported immediately to higher headquarters.
After an ambush, patrols maybe sent to interrogate and, if
necessary, apprehend suspected civilians living near or along the
routes of approach to the ambush positions.
G-12. Weak convoy security.
If the security detachment accompanying a convoy is too weak for
decisive action against a guerrilla attack or ambush, the
following principles apply:
Some of the troops are placed well forward in the convoy, and
the remainder are placed a short distance to the rear.
Radio contact is maintained between the two groups.
Sharp curves, steep grades, or other areas where slow speeds
are necessary are reconnoitered by foot troops before
At the first indication of ambush, leading vehicles, if the road
appears clear, increase speed to the safe maximum in an effort to
smash through the ambush area. Troops from vehicles halted in
the ambush area dismount and immediately return fire. Troops
from vehicles breaking through the ambush dismount and
assault the flanks of the ambush position. Both attacking groups
must exercise care that they do not fire on each other.
If the enemy force allows the main convoy to pass through and
then ambushes the rear guard, troops from the main body return
and attack the flanks of the ambush position.
FM 90-8
Related Operations
H-1. Five operations.
Section I. General
This appendix describes the five major operations found in internal
defense and development, and in foreign internal defense besides
tactical operations. They are: intelligence, psychological operations,
civil affairs, populace and resources control, and advisory assistance.
H-2. IDAD support.
While the brigade commander is primarily concerned with tactical
operations in strike campaigns, he also recognizes that these five
operations exist and support a whole range of activities in a COIN
program. In consolidation campaigns, these operations normally take
precedence, and tactical operations assume a supporting role. While
the emphasis on any single operation may shift in response to the
requirements of the situation, all of these operations occur simultaneously
and continuously.
Section Il. Intelligence
H-3. Information sources.
a. When operating in a counterinsurgency environment, the
population is considered a major source of intelligence. Since the
conflict revolves around the population, the populace usually has
a wealth of information that can be exploited.
In FID, intelligence organization requirements fall into three
areas: preparedness, advice and assistance, and support of US
The first area is preparedness. In this area, intelligence
requirements are generated and filled in anticipation of a
counterinsurgency. This intelligence production is designed
to fulfill contingency requirements. Examples of these
requirements are background biographies, area studies, and
order of battle for guerrilla forces in areas likely to become
involved in an insurgency.
The second area. is advice and assistance to host country
intelligence organizations. This advice and assistance is
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designed to increase the capabilities of the host country
intelligence organization.
The third area is designed to fulfill operational requirements
for committed US units.
c. Some of the primary objectives of US intelligence organizations
in FID are to:
Determine the indicators of an impending insurgency.
Obtain or develop enemy intelligence which can be utilized to
launch surgical strikes by US forces.
Obtain information about the insurgent, weather, terrain,
and population.
Reduce to a minimum insurgent espionage; subversion, and
Identify the main sources of discontent among the people.
Identify the true nature, aims, leadership, potential power,
and most likely course of action of the insurgency.
Identify and penetrate the insurgent infrastructure.
The internal defense intelligence system consists of all host
country military and civilian intelligence systems plus all US
intelligence resources which are committed in-country to assist in
preventing or defeating an insurgency. These agencies are
coordinated and integrated under a single directorship in the
National Internal Defense Coordination Center. The intelligence
resources of committed counterguerrilla forces are an integral
part of this intelligence system. National agencies are usually
targeted toward more strategic demands that require long-term
intelligence networks and systems. Counterguerrilla force
intelligence assets are usually targeted toward tactical battlefield
intelligence requirements and use intelligence gained through
national systems.
H-4. Intelligence production.
Intelligence production in counterguerrilla operations in foreign
internal defense operations is done in accordance with the intelligence
cycle which consists of directing the intelligence effort, collecting raw
information, processing this information into finished intelligence,
and disseminating the intelligence for use by the commander and his
Directing. The intelligence effort is directed by the intelligence
officer. He translates the commander’s guidance and concept of
the operation into specific, prioritized intelligence requirements.
A continuously updated collection plan provides the intelligence
officer with a logical, orderly system for directing the collection
effort. Ideally, it ensures that all information necessary is
collected in time to be of use and that all possible sources of
information are exploited by appropriate collection agencies.
Collecting. The need to exploit all sources of information will
require resourceful, flexible, and aggressive direction and
coordination of the intelligence collection effort. It is essential
that commanders and intelligence officers be fully aware of the
capabilities and limitations of all available intelligence resources
in order to make the best use of them. Among the collection
techniques employed is the use of standard procedures as well as
the use of expedients and improvisations necessitated or
permitted by local conditions and resources, and the employment
of specialized intelligence personnel and equipment which may be
placed in support of the brigade.
Processing. Processing is the phase of the intelligence cycle
whereby information becomes intelligence. Raw (combat)
information from all sources is evaluated, correlated, and
analyzed to produce an all-source product. The effort to produce
intelligence necessary to support counterguerrilla operations in
foreign internal defense will require continual and close
coordination with higher, subordinate, adjacent, supporting, and
cooperating civil and military intelligence agencies and elements.
Disseminating and using. The timely dissemination of
available intelligence and its immediate use is of vital importance
in counterguerrilla operations in foreign internal defense.
Primary, alternate, and special intelligence channels of communi-
cation may be established when facilities and resources permit.
H-5. Civilian population.
Exploitation of civilian sources of information in counterguerrilla
operations normally requires a sophisticated intelligence organization
which is resident within the population. However, as the counterguerilla
campaign progresses, the civilian populace can be expected to
volunteer increasing amounts of intelligence information within the
brigade operational area.
Type of information. Civilian sources or informants normally
may be expected to provide the following information:
Details of the local terrain.
Ideological motivation and sympathies of local residents.
Logistical support available, or potentially available, to
guerrillas operating in the area.
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Potential guerrilla targets or objectives.
Identification of covert or part-time members of the guerrilla
Sabotage, espionage, and terrorism techniques and activities
of the guerrilla and underground support organizations.
Weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the guerrilla force.
Psychological operations by the guerrilla force and the
impact on the local population.
Information source file. To expedite the evaluation of
information provided by the civilian populace, it may become
necessary for brigade intelligence personnel to establish records
which quickly identify local sources of information and the degree
of reliability of such sources. When established, this information
source file should include such information as:
Name, photograph, and physical description of source.
Area in which source(s) can obtain information.
Factors contributing to source’s motivation to cooperate
with counterguerilla forces.
Information collection capabilities of source, to include
indication of training received.
Method by which source is contacted.
Record of payments or other remuneration, if made to source.
Record of productivity and reliability of source.
Overt exploitation of civilian sources. In overt exploitation,
a source is contacted openly by the intelligence officer or one of his
recognizable agencies, and information is solicited directly. This
method has the advantage of providing for the immediate
collection of information, but frequently entails significant
disadvantages, to include:
The information requirements of the brigade or battalion are
made apparent to the source, thus entailing a security risk.
The source may not cooperate fully because of lack of
motivation or because of fear of reprisal.
Clandestine exploitation of civilian sources. Clandestine
intelligence techniques are necessary in counterguerrilla
operations in foreign internal defense to complement overt
collection efforts in determining location, strength, and capability
of guerrilla forces, underground cells, and civilian supporters.
Normally, at brigade or battalion level, it is difficult, if not
impossible, to establish an original clandestine collection or
informant system during the time the brigade or battalion is in a
particular area of operations. Therefore, the S2 should support
and utilize reliable informant or clandestine collection operations
being conducted by other US, allied, or host country agencies
within the brigade or battalion area of interest. Intelligence
collected through clandestine exploitation of civilian sources of
information is made available to counterguerrilla commanders
through an area control center, joint operations-intelligence
center, or a similar facility established to coordinate internal
defense and development operations.
H-6. Counterintelligence.
Counterintelligence increases the security of all forces and increases
the probability of attaining surprise in operations against guerrilla
forces. Adequate security measures are developed and continuously
enforced to prevent penetration of the intelligence operation by hostile
elements and to detect hostile elements already within the operation.
Since guerrilla forces are usually numerically inferior to those of the
host country, allied, and US forces opposing them, the guerrilla
depends heavily on intelligence for successful operations. US brigades,
in coordination with host country authorities, must habitually place
emphasis on counterintelligence measures.
a. Denial measures. Denial measures particularly applicable to
counterguerrilla operations may include:
Removal of compromised informant sources from the area of
Restrictions on movement and communication facilities of
the civilian population within the area of operations.
Thorough briefing of all US, allied, and attached host
country personnel in the intelligence practices and techniques
used by the guerrilla and his underground support organization
and on the security of information.
Emphasis on the secure disposal of trash and waste matter.
Employment of silent weapons by patrols.
Normal activity, while preparing for operations, to preclude
indication to the guerrilla force of a change in routine.
Maintenance of strict security concerning current or
projected logistical movements and the nature of supplies.
Conduct of major troop movements under the concealment of
darkness or during inclement weather and by the most rapid
means of movement available.
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Detection measures. Appropriate detection measures in
counterguerrilla operations may include:
Background investigations and screening of all civilians
employed by, or operating with, US and host country forces,
and those in civil positions. Particular attention is given to
the control of guides or trackers who are familiar with the
location, disposition, and objectives of the friendly forces.
Surveillance of all known or suspected members of the
guerrilla force and its infrastructure.
Extensive employment of trip flares and ambushes in areas
of suspected guerrilla reconnaissance activity.
Employment of infantry scout dogs, if available, in conjunction
with other security measures.
Maximum emphasis on visual and electronic observation.
Augmentation of organic visual aids and electronic detection
devices is frequently required.
Monitoring civil communication media.
Employment of civil policewomen for search and interrogation
of women and children.
Counterintelligence screening of the entire population of
settlements suspected of intelligence activities in support of
guerrilla force.
Wide distribution of photographs of known guerrillas or key
underground personnel to assist in the apprehension.
Offering rewards for information leading to the capture of
informants or other agents supporting the guerrilla force.
Periodic photographs of all residents of villages within the
guerrilla area of influence and comparison of these photographs
to determine additions to, or deletions from, the
during the interim period.
Issue of closely controlled identification cards to all residents
of the area of operations. In counterguerrilla operations,
counterintelligence activities normally are complicated by
the presence of large numbers of civilians of unknown
reliance; it is difficult to distinguish among the friendly,
neutral, and hostile elements. All possible security measures
which facilitate identification of these elements are employed
Deception measures. In counterguerrilla operations, units
habitually plan and execute small-scale cover and deception.
Section Ill.
Psychological Operations
H-7. Create support.
Psychological operations in foreign internal defense include propaganda
and other measures to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and
behavior of hostile, neutral, or friendly groups to support the
achievement of national objectives. (For further information on
psychological operations, see FM 33-1.)
H-8. Brigade PSYOP.
The purpose of brigade psychological operations is to enhance the
probability of accomplishing the brigade’s various foreign internal
defense missions. This is achieved by employing psychological
principles to lessen or exploit the effects of tactical or nontactical
operations upon the population and/or the guerrilla force.
H-9. Concept.
a. The overall psychological operation program for a given host
country is established at the national level by a US-host country
agency. This program provides guidelines for succeeding lower
military and civilan echelons to use in the quest for popular
Counterguerrilla units must ensure that their PSYOP is consistent
with and supports US national objectives and the host country
national PSYOP program. The brigade employs psychological
operations to support its tactical strike and consolidation
missions and to support intelligence operations, civil affairs
operations, and advisory assistance operations. Care is exercised
to ensure that the allegiance of the people is directed toward the
host country rather than toward US brigade forces, and that
announced programs and projects are attainable. Coordination is
accomplished in the local area control center.
H-10. Organization.
The psychological operations staff officer(s) and unit(s) perform
assigned missions in the same manner as other specialized units
or staff members that are attached to, or placed in support of, the
brigade or battalion. When such support is not available, a
member or section of the unit staff is assigned responsibility for
incorporating psychological operation considerations into plans,
action, and operations.
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Psychological operation resources are provided either from
higher headquarters units or from TOE resources. Psychological
operation units provide, in addition to advice, support in the form
of loudspeaker teams, leaflets, and various other audiovisual
H-11. Operations.
Properly integrated and employed in the planning and conduct of
operations and activities, psychological operations can facilitate
the accomplishment of the brigade’s mission. Counterguerrilla
forces must consider the employment of psychological operations
in all missions. Commanders and staff officers must realize that
all military operations have psychological implications. PSYOP
officers must be included in planning all activities.
The establishment of support bases and operational support
bases necessitates gaining the support of the populace in the
vicinity. Propaganda themes stress the purpose of US support
and the military civic action program; the need for laborers; the
effects of pilferage on the counterguerrilla effort; and that people
do not discuss US and host country military activities.
Within an insurgency context, PSYOP has five major objectives:
Assist the government in gaining the support of its popu-
Assist the government in defeating the insurgent movement.
Assist the government in providing psychological rehabilitation
for returnees from the subversive insurgent movement.
Establish and maintain a favorable image in the host
Influence neutral groups and the world community.
The major tasks of US PSYOP in an insurgency (when US combat
forces are not yet committed) are to:
Advise host country PSYOP personnel on how to best exploit
government programs.
Recommend techniques for maintaining morale of host
country forces.
Assist host country and US information agencies and
activities in coordinating their efforts.
Assist host country personnel regarding PSYOP programs
which will motivate the people to actively support their
Recommend programs which will adversely affect the in-
The major tasks of US PSYOP personnel in an insurgency (when
US combat forces have been committed) are to:
Coordinate PSYOP activities with host country units.
Advise US and host country commanders regarding
insurgent activities and effects.
Advise US commanders regarding the psychological effects
of military actions.
Assist in developing a PSYOP capability within host
country military forces.
There are five major target groups for PSYOP: the insurgent, the
population supporting the insurgent, the uncommitted population,
government personnel, and foreign audiences. Themes are
tailored to each of these groups to gain maximum effective
support for the government.
When targeting the insurgent:
The major PSYOP objective is to discredit the insurgent and
to isolate him from the population.
The most important direction of attack is against insurgent
unit morale.
Themes should publicize and exploit differences between
cadre, recruits, supporters, and the local population. Other
themes might stress lack of support, isolation, homesickness,
and hardships.
Amnesty programs often prove useful in neutralizing
insurgences. Amnesty programs are most effective when
they are sincere, credible, well publicized, directed against
lower ranking members of the insurgency, and offer
sufficient reason and benefits for quitting the insurgent
Amnesty programs do, however, have several disadvantages:
they recognize the insurgents as quasi-legitimate; they forgo
punishment of anyone accepting amnesty; and they increase
the image of the insurgent threat.
When targeting the population supporting the insurgent:
The PSYOP objective is to achieve withdrawal of support for
the insurgent and defection in place or person to the
legitimate government.
Themes should highlight insurgent shortcomings, ultimate
governmental victory, government successes, and the
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practical advantages of surrendering or of accepting
i. When targeting the uncommitted population:
The major PSYOP mission is to build national morale, unity,
and confidence in the government.
There should also be a major effort to win popular acceptance
of the government force, and convince the people that
government programs serve their interests, government
forces can protect them, ultimate government victory is
assured, and the people have major intelligence and
counterintelligence roles to play.
When targeting government personnel:
Seek to maintain loyalties and develop policies and attitudes
which will result in group members who will realize the
importance of popular support, promote public welfare and
justice, take action to eliminate the basic causes of the
subversive insurgency, and protect the population from the
subversive insurgent.
Indoctrinate host country security and military forces
regarding the importance of the civilian population in IDAD
operations. Each soldier must understand that his actions
toward the people may spell the difference between success
and failure.
When government personnel interact with neutral and
nonhostile elements of the population, the emphasis should
be positive and constructive. PSYOP efforts should publicize
the tangible and visible accomplishments of the legitimate
PSYOP should discourage public apathy and activity that
helps the insurgent.
The people should not be asked to undertake any activity
which is contrary to their own best interests.
When targeting foreign audiences, there are two major groups to
be addressed: neutral nations and hostile nations. For neutral
nations, the purpose of PSYOP is to achieve friendly neutrality or
active support for the legitimate government. For hostile powers,
the major PSYOP objective is to influence public opinion against
involvement in supporting the insurgency.
US PSYOP attempts to establish and maintain a favorable US
image. The themes most useful in establishing an image are that
the US presence is requested by host country government, it is
legal and necessary, it is temporary, and it is advisory.
In combat actions, every effort is made to provide for the safety of
the civilian population and, if possible, to separate them from the
guerrilla forces so that maximum available firepower can be
employed against the guerrilla. The decision to employ psychological
operation media to accomplish this task is carefully weighed
against compromising surprise and security.
Intelligence operations are facilitated by employing psychological
operation media to inform the people that they should report to the
proper authority information pertaining to strangers, suspicious
persons, unusual activities by neighbors, and guerrilla activities.
Posters and leaflets provide definitive instruction as to persons
and places that are available to receive this information. The
message indicates what rewards, if any, are available.
Captured or defected leaders of the guerrilla force are exploited.
Written and broadcast messages prepared by these individuals
and reviewed by trained psychological operation personnel are
used in communities suspected of supporting guerrilla forces, and
in tactical operations against guerrilla forces.
Section IV. Civil Affairs
H-12. Government-building.
The civil affairs (CA) role in FID takes the form of civic assistance
and civic action.
Civic assistance is defined as providing advice and assistance to
indigenous civil and military authorities in the sociological,
economic, and political aspects of a civil emergency, disorder, or
IDAD. It is commonly referred to as “government-building” since
it is directed toward the structures of government. Military civic
action is defined as the participation findigenous military forces
in short-term projects which are useful to the local population and
which contribute to social and economic development.
c. Civic action programs are divided into long-range and short-range
programs. The former deals with the resolution of social and
economic problems; the latter is designed to gain and retain the
loyalty of the population.
CA operations are a responsibility of military commanders at
every echelon. They include any activity of military forces
concerned with relationships between the military forces and the
civil authorities and people in the area. Activities may range from
military civic action projects to the exercise of certain authority
that normally is the responsibility of the local government.
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H-13. Operational scope.
The scope of CA operations varies with the type of local
government and is influenced by the economic, social, and
political background of the country and people. Some major CA
activities include:
Prevention of civilian interference with military operations.
Support of government functions.
Community relations.
Military civic action.
Assistance for populace and resources control.
Civil defense.
The overall objective of CA in FID is to mobilize and motivate
civilians to assist the government and military forces. The
operations are directed at eliminating or reducing military,
political, economic, and sociological problems. Close and
continuous PSYOP support is needed to maximize the effect of
All military units have a capability to conduct CA, particularly
military civic action. Major roles in military civic action are
frequently undertaken by engineer, transportation, medical, and
other units having assets suited to support military civic action
There are several judgmental factors that should be considered
before a military unit undertakes a civic action project:
Is the project needed and wanted?
Will military participation compromise civilian authority
and responsibility?
Does the project support the unit’s political-military
Does the project comply with the host country FID plan?
Will the project duplicate other efforts?
Will the people be involved in the project?
Will there be continuity of effort?
Both civic assistance and civic action are geared to the phase of
insurgency they are facing.
H-14. US role.
The normal role of the US military in civic assistance and civic
action is to advise and assist host nation military forces. Under
some rare conditions, US military units may enter into direct civic
action programs.
Units as small as a battalion task force may be assigned CA
elements to assist in carrying out CA plans. A civil-military
operations staff officer may also be assigned to such a task force.
c. CA liaison and coordination should be established between
military forces and government agencies. This can be accomplished
through organizations specifically designed for this purpose or
through CA staff elements.
CA operations require good relationships with the population. To
establish a good relationship, troop discipline, courtesy, and
honesty in dealings with the people are emphasized. Where
rapport has been established between host country forces and the
population, properly administered CA operations contribute to
the attainment of FID objectives.
H-15. Planning – five phases.
CA planning includes political, economic, social, psychological,
and military considerations. These considerations include:
A national development plan that involves projects which
support development programs that meet the needs and
desires of the people. Civic actions projects conducted simply
for the want of something to do may be counterproductive.
Military civic action projects conducted by military forces.
CA personnel and units required to support host country
agencies at subnational levels.
CA mobile training team requirements and resources.
CA training program requirements for host country and
allied forces.
CA requirements to provide (where needed) government
administration in areas of the country.
CA responsibilities assigned to a tactical unit commander may
require the employment of specialized civil affairs personnel or
units. Host country CA plans should include provisions for CA
support to tactical unit commanders. (For further information on
CA organization, see FM 41-10.)
c. Emphasis on military civic action varies with the intensity of
insurgent activities. Whatever the level of military civic action,
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projects are planned and coordinated with internal development
programs. During Phase I of an insurgency, military civic action
concentrates on the development of the socio-economic environment.
In the absence of tactical operations, many military resources
may be devoted to military civic action projects providing both
long-range and short-range benefits.
During Phases II and III, military civic action is concentrated on
projects designed to prevent intensification of the insurgency.
These projects produce noticeable improvements in a relatively
short time. Examples of such projects are farm-to-market roads,
bridges, short-range educational programs, basic hygiene,
medical immunization programs, and simple irrigation projects.
Advice is sought on projects to ensure they are needed, wanted,
and coincide with development plans for the area. In the
advanced stages of insurgency, priorities on military operations
may reduce military civic action to such immediate tasks as
providing medical aid to civilians and procuring and distributing
food and shelter for displaced persons.
Section V.  Populace and Resources Control
H-16. Population protection.
Population and resources control (P&RC) operations are generally
classified as nontactical, police-type operations.
Populace and resources control is government action to protect
the populace and its materiel resources and to deny those resources
which would further hostile objectives against the government.
The objective of populace and resources control operations is to
assist in preserving or reestablishing a state of law and order
within a nation or area. There are three main tasks involved in
reaching this objective:
Providing security for the populace.
Detecting and neutralizing the insurgent apparatus.
Severing any relationship between the insurgent and the
H-17. Forces available.
There are three forces available to conduct populace and resources
control operations:
The civil police are the first line of defense in the battle
against an insurgency.
Paramilitary forces may augment or assist the civil police.
The nation's military forces should reemployed only when
civil police and paramilitary units cannot cope with the
insurgent activity. Even then, priority should be given to
employing military police units rather than combat forces.
Control of the populace and resources should be performed by host
country agencies. This is a matter of practicality, but there are
also legal and psychological implications. US military should be
used as a last resort and only as augmentation to host country
units. Military police should be utilized before combat troops.
c. Populace and resources control measures can be classified into
three categories:
Surveillance of individuals, groups, activities, or locations
by overt or covert means.
Restrictions such as curfews, travel permits, registration of
firearms, national registration and identification of all
persons, and control of selected foodstuffs, medical supplies,
and equipment.
Enforcement through the use of roadblocks, checkpoints,
rewards, amnesty programs, and selective inspections of
homes at night.
These control measures should be well-planned and coordinated
to ensure rapid and efficient operations, with a minimum of delay
and inconvenience to the people.
Populace and resources control is designed to complement and
support other counterguerrilla operations and environmental
improvements being conducted by the military forces, and to
contribute to the overall stability of the country or the operational
H-18. Central theme.
The central theme of populace and resources control is population
protection and resource management. PSYOP should convey this
theme and be designed to accomplish the following:
Persuade the people to accept the necessary measures,
priority to their implementation.
Convince the people that their full support will minimize the
inconvenience of the measures.
Place the blame for any inconveniences or discomfort
squarely upon the insurgents.
Border operations are taken (as part of populace and resources
control) to isolate the insurgent from his outside support. Outside
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
support covers a variety of activities. It may range from provision
of funds and training of individual insurgents by an outside
power to providing an active sanctuary for combat forces.
The most frequent populace and resources control operations US
units may participate in are:
(1) Border operations.
(2) Cordon and search.
(3) Augmentation of enforcement operations (roadblocks,
Section VI. Advisory Assistance
H-19. Tactical backup.
Advisory assistance is advice and assistance provided by US
personnel to host country regular, paramilitary, and irregular
forces and to civilian agencies to help them become effective in the
performance of their missions.
These activities support and, in turn, are supported by tactical
operations, intelligence operations, psychological operations,
populace and resources control operations, and military civic
action. Such assistance is designed to:
Provide military assistance in conjunction with the Navy
and Air Force to the host country.
Participate with other services in joint internal defense
training and exercises as mutually agreed upon by the
services concerned.
Provide mobile training teams, combat service support, and
combat support to advise, train, assist, and support host
country forces.
H-20. Army assistance.
The primary purpose of US Army assistance is to increase the
capabilities of host country armed forces.
The brigade may be required to organize, train, equip, and advise
host country civil and military personnel and units to perform
counterguerrilla missions. Tasks include:
Organizing, equipping, training, and advising paramilitary
and irregular forces (locally recruited) to assume local
defense missions from the brigade.
Equipping, training, and advising host country regular
armed forces on new equipment provided by military
assistance programs (MAP) and foreign military sales
Organizing, equipping, training, and advising host country
police organizations.
Advising host country regular armed forces, paramilitary
forces, and local governments in all aspects of internal
defense and development.
c. Brigade advisory assistance to host country personnel and
organizations, as differentiated from military civic action,
usually is performed to extend security assistance activities. Such
activities as organizing, equipping, training, and advising host
country forces may be accomplished while in base areas or during
the defensive phase of consolidation operations of counterguerrilla
tactical operations.
If US military assistance organizations are operational, advisors
usually are provided for this purpose. However, in cases where US
advisors or mobile training teams are not available, brigades may
be required to assume this function. Advisory assistance is
coordinated closely with both the internal defense and the
internal development programs through the local area control
H-21.  Brigade organization.
a. All brigade organizations should be prepared to provide
individuals or teams capable of performing advisory assistance
within their areas of specialization, if the need arises. Organization
for advisory assistance operations may require the tailoring of
specific teams to accomplish specific missions:
Military police, augmented by brigade elements, may be
required to train host country military police organizations
in the area, while combined arms teams may be required to
train local host country artillery and armor units in artillery
and armor tactics and techniques.
Training centers may be required if the training load is
sufficient to warrant them.
Teams from brigade units may be organized for on-duty
training of host country specialists. These specialists are
trained in the use of specialized equipment which is organic
to brigades but which will be supplied to host country forces
at some future date.
Mobile training teams formed by the brigade may be
dispatched to local host country forces to conduct training at
host country unit bases or training centers.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Advisory assistance operations inherently involve the requirement
to use advisory techniques. Consequently, tact, discretion,
language qualification, expertness in the subject, and other
qualifications normally associated with US advisors and
advisory operations must be stressed. (For further information on
policy governing advisory assistance activities, see FM 100-5 and
FM 100-20.)
I-1. General.
Staff Functions
This appendix describes some of the major functions and duties of staff
personnel that are inherent in counterguerrilla operations.
I-2. Executive officer (XO).
The duties and responsibilities of the XO are tailored to the desires
and wishes of the commander.
These duties and responsibilities encompass four major tasks:
Coordinate all staff functions.
Assume command in the absence of the commander.
Prepare for future operations.
Ensure that liaison and coordination are conducted with
higher headquarters by the appropriate staff sections, as
I-3. Adjutant (S1).
The S1 is responsible for preparing the personnel estimate and
providing input on the effects of personnel status on operations.
In addition to this vital function, there are several other tasks that
the S1 must accomplish:
Maintain unit strength reports.
Process wounded in action.
Process killed in action.
Process prisoners of war (PW).
Maintain unit morale.
Maintain discipline, law, and order.
I-4. Intelligence officer (S2).
In counterguerrilla operations, the S2 is the driving force for all
operations. Without timely, accurate intelligence and current
estimates of enemy courses of action and locations, the S3 cannot
plan for tactical operations with any degree of success.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
To fulfill this vital role, the S2 must:
Maintain current intelligence information.
Develop and interpret intelligence information.
Gather intelligence information.
Determine likely and suspected enemy targets.
Prepare for future operations.
c. Some of the items the S2 accomplishes, to complete his tasks,
Updating situation map based upon current intelligence
Collecting, interpreting, and disseminating information
concerning the effects of weather, terrain, and the guerrilla
force on the battalion mission.
Supervising the intelligence activities of attached and
supporting elements.
Monitoring command and intelligence communications nets
at all times.
Requesting intelligence reports from various sources (higher
units, attachments) and logging reports in the S2 journal.
Ensuring that the S2 section receives situation reports from
the S3 section, tactical fire direction system (TACFIRE), and
attachments according to the internal tactical operations
center communications SOP.
Evaluating and interpreting intelligence information and
determining enemy probable course(s) of action.
Disseminating intelligence information to his commander,
staff, higher headquarters, units or attachments, and
adjacent units according to SOP.
Supervising and controlling reconnaissance and surveillance
plans (in coordination with the battalion S3).
Briefing and debriefing patrols operating in accordance with
reconnaissance and surveillance plans.
Determining reconnaissance patrol plans, reports, and the
use of scouts (recommends use of same to S3).
Supervising the interrogation of PWs, to include civilians
who may have information of immediate tactical value.
Examining captured enemy documents and expediting
evacuation of PWs and captured materiel to higher headquarters
after coordinating with the S4. Unless the S2 is
language-qualified, or has an interpreter attached and
available, documents and materials should be forwarded
immediately to higher headquarters where qualified personnel
can conduct interrogations and/or examinations.
Planning, supervising, and coordinating with the S3 to
ensure all reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition
(RSTA) devices maintain as complete coverage of the area of
operation as possible.
Coordinating with the S3 to ensure the reconnaissance and
surveillance plan and the limited visibility plan are adjusted
as needed by the tactical situation.
Supervising and controlling the operation of the scout
platoon in the execution of intelligence missions.
Originating requests and screening requests from staff
elements and subordinate units for air reconnaissance.
Analyzing air photos and imagery-analysis reports received
from brigade.
Supervising the destruction of classified materials in
accordance with the unit’s classified document destruction
I-5. Operations and training officer (S3).
The S3 prepares the operations estimate and recommends to the
commander actions to be taken. The estimates, predictions, and
information supplied by the S2 drive the tactical plan.
The S3 and the S2 work in close coordination if they are to
successfully support the mission. More specifically, the S3
accomplishes the following major tasks:
Receives and sends initial unit or attachment dispositions.
Monitors the tactical situation.
Analyzes, interprets, and recommends courses of action.
Interacts and coordinates with other staffs.
Maintains communications.
Prepares for future operations.
Supervises training.
I-6. Logistics officer (S4).
a. The S4 is responsible for advising the commander on all logistical
matters. He determines supply and other service support
requirements. The S4 prepares the logistical estimate and
logistical administrative plans.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
The S4 accomplishes the following tasks:
Maintains equipment readiness reports.
Monitors support of units or attachments.
Monitors the tactical situation.
Supervises use of transportation assets.
Prepares for future operations.
c. Supply operations in support of counterguerrilla forces involve
much use of pre-positioned caches and the urgency to resupply
units in action.
I-7. Civil-military operations officer (S5).
The role of the S5 is a major one in the inevitable interaction
between counterguerrilla forces and the civilian population. The
S5 prepares civil affairs estimates and portions of the operation
orders. All operations have civil affairs value, and the S5 ensures
that this value supports the overall COIN goals.
To do this, the S5:
Advises, assists, and makes recommendations that relate to
civil affairs.
Makes recommendations to ensure operations are consistent
with overall COIN goals.
Coordinates and implements the civil affairs tasks of the
I-8. Fire support officer (FSO).
The FSO is responsible for the planning, coordination, and
request of fire support for the battalion. He ensures that fire
support is in consonance with any firepower restrictions and
adheres to the principle of “minimum essential force.”
To accomplish this, the FSO:
Establishes and maintains communication.
Manages fire support coordination reports and information.
Plans and coordinates employment of battalion fire support
Coordinates all fire support on surface targets.
Processes planned fire support requests.
Monitors immediate fire support requests.
Performs target analysis.
J-1. General.
Combined Operations
If and when US forces are deployed to a host country to assist in a
counterinsurgency conflict, tactical operations will probably be joint
in nature, and it is likely that US forces will be working with, or in
support of, the military and paramilitary forces of the host country.
J-2. Nature of Combined Operations.
a. Combined operations require prior written agreement as to
authority, jurisdiction,
and procedural and organizational
matters. The legal basis for combined operations is usually a
treaty or operational agreement between the US and the host
b. US forces must plan to coordinate and work with the military or
paramilitary forces. Commanders and staffs must be prepared to
establish workable arrangements rapidly, once introduced into a
host country, if not done prior to deployment. Every situation will
be unique and will depend upon the extent of involvement of
US forces and the nature of the operations.
Planning for factors that must be taken into consideration will
benefit combined operations. Chief considerations are:
Command and control.
Operational procedures.
Combat service support.
J-3. Command and Control.
a. Organization of the combined force.
Overall command of the force.
c. Roles and/or missions of the combined force.
d. Procedure for exchange of liaison officers with language
capability or interpreter support, and determine the level of
Understanding of differences, capabilities, and personal characteristics
of host country military leaders.
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
J-4. Intelligence.
Establish procedures for:
Dissemination of military intelligence and use of intelligence
assets by partners.
b. Coordination of intelligence operations.
c. Sharing of high-tech intelligence capabilities.
J-5. Operational Procedures.
Establish plans and procedures for:
SOPs that ensure effective cooperation.
Assignment of responsibility for certain operations based on
special capabilities of the force.
Determining difference in tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Determining difference in equipment, radios, and maps.
Detailed planning and rehearsals.
f. Determining allied unit recognition.
Rear operations coordination, planning, and responsibilities.
Use of combat support assets.
J-6. Combat Service Support.
Establish plans for:
Exchange of liaison officers.
b. Coordinating support from local resources and facilities.
Determining equipment and ammunition compatibility.
d. Support in a tactical emergency.
Acronyms, Abbreviations
area control center
air defense artillery
air interdiction
area of operations
base defense force
brigade support area
Command, Control, Communications countermeasures
civil affairs
close air support
communications-electronics operation instructions
combat electronic warfare intelligence
communications intercept
communications security
command post
chemical gas
defensive counter air
direct support
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
electronic combat
electronic intelligence
electronic warfare
field artillery
forward air controller
fire direction center
foreign internal defense
fire support team
frequency modulation (radio)
foreign military sales
final protective fire
fire support officer
general support
high altitude, high opening
high altitude, low opening
chemical smoke
headquarters and headquarters company
human intelligence
internal defense and development
imagery intelligence
mission, enemy, terrain (and weather), troops (available), and time (available)
military intelligence
lines of communication
listening post
long-range surveillance unit
 linkup point
military assistance program
nuclear, biological, chemical
offensive counter air
Observation and fields of fire, Concealment and cover,
Obstacles, Key terrain, Avenues of approach and
observation post
operations security
objective rally point
operational support base
petroleum, oils, lubricants
population and resources control
platoon sergeant
psychological operations
prisoners of war
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
riot control agent
remain overnight
reconnaissance and/or surveillance
reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition
security assistance organization
suppression of enemy air defense
signal intelligence
standing operating procedure
start point
surveillance, target acquisition, and night observation
tactical fire direction system
tactical operations center
table(s) of organization and equipment
Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missile
United States
United States Air Force
white phosphorus
executive officer
Required Publications
Required publications are sources which users must read in order to
understand and use FM 90-8.
Field manual (FM)
Low Intensity Conflict
Related Publications
Related publications are sources of additional information. Users do
not have to read them to understand FM 90-8.
Army regulation (AR)
Dictionary of United States Army Terms
Catalog of Abbreviations and Brevity Codes
Field manual (FM)
1-100 Combat Aviation Operations
Employment of Chemical Agents
Operational Aspects of Radiological Defense
Deliberate Smoke Operations
Engineer Combat Operations
Fire Support in Combined Arms Operations
The Infantry Platoon and Squad (Infantry, Airborne,
Air Assault, Ranger)
The Infantry Rifle Company (Infantry, Airborne, Air
Assault, Ranger)
The Infantry Battalion (Infantry, Airborne, Air
Assault )
Infantry, Airborne, and Air Assault Brigade Opera-
Air Cavalry Combat Brigade (ACCB)
Attack Helicopter Operations
17-95 Cavalry
FM 90-8
FM 90-8
Military Police Support for the AirLand Battle
Military Police Team, Squad, Platoon Combat Operations
Civil Disturbances
Enemy Prisoners of War, Civilian Internees, and
Detained Persons
Combat Skills of the Soldier
Combat Communications
Organizational Maintenance Operations
Direct Support Maintenance Operations (Non-
Division Maintenance Battalion
Division Supply and Field Service Operations
Combat Intelligence
Doctrine for Amphibious Operations
Army Forces in Amphibious Operations
Psychological Operations: US Army Doctrine, Combat
Electronic Warfare and Intelligence
Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations
Military Intelligence Battalion (Combat Electronic
Warfare Intelligence Division)
Civil Affairs Operation
US Army Air Defense Artillery Employment
Air Defense Artillery Employment: Chaparral/Vulcan
Air Defense Artillery Employment: Stinger
Division Transportation Operations
Tank and Mechanized Infantry Company Team
The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Battalion Task
Armored and Mechanized Brigade Operations
Airmobile Operations
Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT)
An Infantryman’s Guide to Urban Combat
Rear Battle
Armed Forces Doctrine for Chemical and Biological
Weapon Defense
Joint chiefs of staff publication (JCS Pub)
Pub 1
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
Pub 2
Unified Action Armed Forces
FM 90-8
advisory assistance, H-16
Army assistance, H-16
tactical assistance, H-16
aerial search operations, 3-20
aerospace reconnaissance and
surveillance, 6-13
air assault forces, 3-20, 3-22, 5-3
airborne forces, 5-3
air cavalry, 5-7
aircraft support, 3-38
air transportation, 7-5
Air-Land Battle, 1-7
doctrine, 1-8, 1-9
air movement, 3-44
ambushes, 3-32
area, see area ambush
attack fundamentals, C-2
base defense, 3-33
deliberate, C-1
execution of, C-5
fire discipline, C-6
force size and deployment, C-3, C-7
formations, see formations, ambush
hasty, C-1
night, 3-24
objective rallying point, C-6
planning of, C-3
point, C-1
purpose of, C-1, C-22
techniques, C-6, C-21, see also spider hole
ambush, demolition ambush, and special
antitank platoons and companies, 6-8
area ambush, C-1, C-18
baited trap, C-20
multiple point, C-18
armor, 5-6
armor and cavalry movement, 3-41
armored cavalry, 5-6
Army assistance, H-16
artillery and mortar support, 3-38
deliberate, 3-27
hasty, 3-27
helicopters, 5-7
base commander, 3-30
responsibilities of, 3-30
base defense
ambushes, 3-33
construction of, E-18
forces (BDF), 3-32, E-18
fundamentals of, 3-31, E-15
in depth, 3-32
offensive action, 3-33
passive, 3-31
preparations, 3-33, E-17, E-19, E-20, E-22
security, 3-32
use of host and third country forces, 3-35
FM 90-8
brigade or division support, see brigade support
operational support, see operational support
patrol, see patrol bases
tactical uses of, E-1
battle-in-depth, 1-8
border operations, 3-44
control methods, 3-46
sanctuaries, 3-47
waterline, 3-47
brigade support base
base commander, E-16
base defense force, E-18
defense of, E-15, E-17
defense positions, E-19
defensive construction, E-18
operational concepts, E-14
organization of, E-13
permanent, E-12
training exercises, E-22
built-up area searches, 3-19, G-9, G-11
checkpoints, 3-18
civil affairs
civic action programs, H-11
FM 90-8
civic assistance, H-11
operational scope, H-12
planning, H-13
US role in, H-13
civil police, H-14
civilian population protection
by civil police, H-14
by host nation’s military
forces, H-15
by paramilitary forces, H-15
civilians, relocation of, 3-45
close air support, 6-12
operations, 3-10
patrols, 3-34, D-1, D-8, D-15
service support, 7-1
support, 6-1
combat aviation companies, 5-8
combat electronic warfare intelligence (CEWI),
combat forces
air assault, 3-20, 3-22, 5-3
airborne, 5-3
air cavalry, 5-7
armor, 5-6
armored cavalry, 5-6
attack helicopter, 5-7
aviation companies, 5-8
composition of, 5-1
mechanized infantry, 5-5
US, in COIN operations, 1-6
use of, 5-2
combined operations
combat service support, J-2
command and control, J-1
intelligence, J-2
nature of, J-1
operational procedures, J-2
during movements, 3-38
lines of, 3-35
patrol bases, E-8
security (COMSEC), 1-10
communications intercept (COMINT), 6-17
communications security (COMSEC), 1-10
conventional, 1-1, 5-8
counterinsurgency, 1-1
consolidation campaigns
control of, 3-14
development and completion phases, 3-14
offensive phase, 3-14
preparatory phase, 3-14
convoy security, G-13
strong, G-13
weak, G-14
cordon and search operations, see searches,
built-up areas
counterguerrilla forces
flexibility of, 3-8
mobility of, 3-8
patience, 3-9
reserves, 3-9
counterguerrilla operations, 1-5, 1-6, 3-1, 3-4
economic factors, 4-4
effects of weather and terrain on, 3-4, 4-3, 4-6
in conventional conflicts, 4-1
in rear areas, 4-1
in urban areas, B-2
political considerations, 3-5, 4-3
principles of, 3-6
psychological factors, 4-4
purpose of, 3-2
sociological factors, 4-3
tactical, see tactical counterguerrilla
time available for, 4-7
troops available for, 4-7
mission, 1-4
operations, 1-5
operating principles, 3-6
strategy, 1-5
target groups, 1-4
counterintelligence, H-15
defensive operations, 3-29
against guerrilla offensive, 3-36
base, see base defense
ambush, C-1
attack, 3-27
demolition ambush, C-22
dismounted patrols
basic movements, D-14
linear movement, D-15
division support base, see brigade support base
electronic combat (EC), 6-14
CM, 6-14
EW, 6-14
SEAD, 6-14
engineers, 6-7
exploitation, 3-28
force, 3-28
field artillery
units, 6-9
use of in convoy security, G-13
fire support units, 6-7
flame expedients
flame mine, F-2
fougasse, F-2
fuel, F-2
M202 rocket, F-2
exploitation, 3-28
minimum essential, 3-48, B-3
use of, 3-8
air assault, 3-20, 3-22, 5-3
airborne, 5-3
base defense, 3-32, E-18
civil police, H-14
host nation, H-15
paramilitary, H-15, see also combat forces,
counterguerrilla forces, and guerillas’
formations, ambush
area, see area ambush
box, C-17
L-formation, C-7
line, C-9
T-formation, C-11
triangle, C-14
V-formation, C-13
Z-formation, C-10
foreign internal defense (FID)
US activities in, 1-6
US assistance in, 1-6
US role in, 3-1
Geneva Conventions, 3-45
ground transportation, 7-5
guerrilla tactics in urban areas, B-2
base camps, 2-8
capabilities, 3-3, 4-5
limitations, 3-3
logistical support, 2-7, 4-5
objectives, 4-2
popular support, 2-6, 4-2
strengths, 2-4
threats, 4-1
type of forces, 4-7
weaknesses, 2-5
guerrilla warfare, 1-4, 2-1, 3-31
FM 90-8
environmental considerations, 2-2
political, sociological and economic considerations,
tactics, 2-8
ambush, C-1
attack, 3-27
helicopters, 5-7
herbicides, F-2
hiding holes
air hole, A-3
bamboo hole, A-2
water entrance hole, A-3
host nation forces, H-15
house searches, G-11
human intelligence (HUMINT), 4-6, 6-6, 6-16
imagery intelligence (IMINT), 4-6, 6-16
internal defense and development (IDAD), H-1
activities, 3-16
aims and goals, 2-1
development of, 1-3
organization, 1-3
prerequisites, 1-2
intelligence officer, duties of, H-2, I-1
intelligence sources
combat electronic warfare intelligence (CEWI),
FM 90-8
communications intercept (COMINT), 6-17
host country intelligence organizations, H-1
human intelligence (HUMINT), 4-6, 6-6, 6-16
imagery intelligence (IMINT), 4-6, 6-16
local population, H-1, H-3
military intelligence (MI), 6-7, 6-16
signal intelligence (SIGINT), 4-6, 6-16
international law, 4-4
large-unit operations, 3-25
law of land warfare, 4-4
Mao Tse-Tung, 2-10
mechanized infantry, 5-5
METT-T, 1-9
planning considerations, 3-2
military intelligence, 6-7, 6-16
military operations
along borders, 3-46
purpose of, 1-8
military police, 6-18
mortar platoons, 6-8
motor movement, 3-39
motorized patrols, D-9
actions of at danger areas, D-12
movement of, D-10
by air, 3-44
by foot, 3-43
by motor, 3-39
by rail, 3-41
of armor and cavalry, 3-41
over water and rivers, 3-42
security during, 3-37, 3-40
movement to contact, 3-26
naval gunfire support
in conventional conflicts, 6-10
in counterinsurgency, 6-10
night ambush, 3-24
nontactical transportation, 7-4
objective rallying point, C-6
offensive operations, 3-16
operational support bases, 7-1
commander, E-10
defense of, E-9
infiltration of, E-10
location, 7-2
purpose of, E-9
reserves, E-11
work priorities, E-11
aerial search, 3-20
combat, 3-10
combined, see combined operations
counterguerrilla, see counterguerrilla
counterinsurgency, 1-5
large-unit, 3-25
military, see military operations
offensive, 3-16
police-type, 3-16
psychological, see psychological operations
reaction force, 3-34
security (OPSEC), 1-10
small-unit, 3-22
special air, see special air operations
strike campaigns, 3-11
subsurface, see subsurface operations
tactical counterguerilla, see tactical counter
guerrilla operations
tactical, see tactical operations
urban, see urban operations
paramilitary forces, H-15
patrol bases
communications, E-8
defense of, see base defense
departure, E-9
occupation and operation of, E-3
planning, E-1, E-9
security measures, E-3, E-7
site selection, E-2
defensive, 3-29
offensive, 3-29
saturation, 3-23
patrols, 3-22, 3-23
combat, 3-34, D-1, D-8, D-15
dismounted see dismounted patrols
motorized, see motorized patrols
operation order, D-5
planning, D-2
reconnaissance and surveillance, 3-34, D-1,
D-7, D-15
time schedule, D-4
warning order, D-3
poke-type operations, 3-16
point ambush, C-1
property searches, 3-17
psychological operations, 3-1, 6-5, 6-15, H-8
concept, H-7
organization, H-7
 pursuit, 3-28
purpose of, 3-28
rail movement, 3-41
rear battle
defensive techniques, 4-9
offensive techniques, 4-9
reaction force operations, 3-34
reconnaissance and surveillance, 3-45
aerospace, 6-13
in force, 3-26
LRSU mission, 6-6
patrols, 3-34, D-1, D-7, D-15
units, 6-2
techniques, 6-2
reserves, 3-39
relocation of civilians, 3-45
riot control, 3-21
agents, F-2
roadblocks, 3-18
saturation patrolling, 3-23
search teams, G-10
search techniques, G-5
aerial, 3-20
of built-up areas, 3-19, G-9, G-11
of houses, G-11
of individuals, 3-18, G-7
of property, 3-17
of tunnels, A-10, G-12
of vehicles, 3-18
security, 3-9
base, 3-32, E-3, E-7
communication (COMSEC), 1-10
convoy, G-13
during movements, 3-37, 3-40
operations (OPSEC), 1-10
FM 90-8
service support, combat, 7-1
medical, 7-3
maintenance, 7-5
personnel and administration, 7-6
supply, 7-4
transportation, see transportation
unit messes, 7-4, see also operational support
signal intelligence (SIGINT), 4-6, 6-16
signal units, 6-19
small-unit operations, 3-22
sources, F-1
use of, F-1
special air operations,
aerospace surveillance and reconnaissance,
airlift, 6-13
electronic combat (EC), 6-14
psychological operations, 6-15
weather operations, 6-15
special ambush, C-22
spider hole ambush, C-21
staff functions
adjutant (S1), I-1
civil-military operations officer, I-4
executive officer (XO), I-1
fire support officer (FSO), I-4
intelligence officer (S2), I-1
logistics officer (S4), I-3
operations and training officer, I-3
strike campaigns
concepts, 3-11
missions, 3-11
operations, 3-11
organization, 3-10
targets, 3-10
subsurface operations
base areas, A-5
base camps, A-5
bunkers, A-6
hiding holes, see hiding holes
tunnels, see tunnel systems
FM 90-8
aircraft, 3-38
artillery and mortar, 3-38
close air, 6-12
support bases, see brigade support base
support units
engineers, 6-7
fire support, 6-7
military intelligence, 6-7, 6-16
military police, 6-18
reconnaissance and surveillance, 6-2
signal, 6-19
assistance, H-16
intelligence, 3-6
situation, 3-7
tactical counterguerrilla operations, 3-1, 3-2, 3-5
contraction, G-3
encirclement, G-1
hammer and anvil, G-4
wedge, G-4
tactical operations
air, 6-11
counterguerrilla, see tactical counterguernlla
in urban areas, 3-49
tactical transportation, 7-4
conventional warfare, 1-4, 3-25
guerrilla warfare, 2-8
training, 1-8, E-22
air, 7-5
ground, 7-5
nontactical, 7-4
tactical, 7-4
tunnel systems
access and escape routes, A-4
construction methods, A-8
destruction of, A-12
detection of, A-9
search of, A-10
special equipment, A-11
Uniform Code of Military Justice, 4-4
urban operations
counterguerrilla, B-2
government activities, 3-49
guerrilla tactics, B-2
in cities and towns, B-1
subversive activities, 3-49
vehicle searches, 3-18
water and river movement, 3-42
By Order of the Secretary of the Army:
FM 90-8
29 AUGUST 1986
General, United States Army
Chief of Staff
Brigadier General, United States Army
The Adjutant General
Active Army, USAR, and ARNG: To be distributed in accordance with DA Form 12-11A,
Requirements for Counterguerrilla Operations (Qty rqr block no. 1231).

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