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Near Ambush

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The near ambush has the expressed purpose of destroying the target. This often requires an assaulting force to literally overrun the target after the initial volley of fire has inflicted tremendous damage. Again, the intent is to destroy everything. Since the patrol will overwhelm the target, the patrol will get as close as possible to the enemy. This close proximity also means that friendly forces MUST outnumber the enemy target.

The near ambush has the express intent of overwhelming and destroying the enemy force. The near ambush masses close to the kill zone and requires careful fire coordination. The linear method offers the greatest simplicity. (Source: SUTS2 - The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook, 2nd. Ed. / www.TheLightningPress.com).

The near ambush has the express intent of overwhelming and destroying the enemy force. The near ambush masses close to the kill zone and requires careful fire coordination. The linear method offers the greatest simplicity. (Source: SUTS2 – The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook, 2nd. Ed. / www.TheLightningPress.com).

An ambush is an attack by fire or other destructive means from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy. It may take the form of an assault to close with and destroy the enemy, or be an attack by fire only.

An ambush does not require ground to be seized or held. Ambushes are generally executed to reduce the enemy force’s overall combat effectiveness. Destruction is the primary reason for conducting an ambush. Other reasons to conduct ambushes are to harass the enemy, capture the enemy, destroy or capture enemy equipment, and gain information about the enemy. Ambushes are classified by category (deliberate or hasty), formation (linear or L-shaped), and type (point, area, or antiarmor).

The execution of an ambush is offensive in nature. However, a unit may be directed to conduct an ambush during offensive or defensive operations. An ambush normally consists of the following actions:

• Tactical movement to the objective rally point (ORP)

• Reconnaissance of the ambush site

• Establishment of the ambush security site

• Preparation of the ambush site

• Execution of the ambush

• Withdrawal

The intent of any ambush is to kill enemy troops and destroy enemy equipment. From a small unit perspective, how that is achieved and to what extent determines the difference in employing either a near ambush or a far ambush.


SUTS2: The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook, 2nd Ed.This article is an extract from “SUTS2: The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook, 2nd Ed. (Leading, Planning & Conducting Tactical Operations)” by The Lightning Press. Download a free PDF sample and learn more at: SUTS2: The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook, 2nd Ed. (Leading, Planning & Conducting Tactical Operations).

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