Smoke Operations

					                                                                                    *FM 3-50

Field Manual                                                                   Headquarters
No. 3-50                                                                 Department of the Army
                                                                   Washington, DC, 4 December 1990

                                  Smoke                Operations

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

* This publication supersedes FM 3-50, 25 July 1984.
                                                                                                  FM 3-50

Change                                                                                     Headquarters
No. 1                                                                            Department of the Army
                                                                      Washington, DC, 11 September 1996

                                        Smoke Operations

1. Change FM 3-50, 4 December 1990, as follows:
         Remove old pages:            Insert new pages (attached)
         3 through 4                  3 through 4
         97 through 98                97 through 98
                                      54-A through 54-D

2. New or changed material is indicated by a

3. File this transmittal sheet in front of the publication.

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

By Order of the Secretary of the Army:

                                                                       DENNIS J. REIMER
                                                                    General, United States Army
Official:                                                                  Chief of Staff

Administrative Assistant to the
   Secretary of the Army

Active Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve: To be distributed in accordance with
the initial distribution number 110743, requirements for FM 3-50.

  Field Manual 3-50 provides US        sustained as necessary to defeat the     smoke correctly and is experienced
Army units with doctrine, tactics,     enemy’s electro-optical systems and      in limited visibility operations will
techniques, and procedures to use      create a "one-way mirror" — one          be more agile and respond faster to
smoke and obscurants to attack and     which our forces can both see and        changing situations.
defeat specific enemy targets, sen-    shoot through to set the terms of          Users of this publication are en-
sors, target acquisition systems,      battle.                                  couraged to recommend additions,
weapon guidance systems, and             Smoke is a double-edged sword.         changes, or comments to this
other enemy electro-optical devices.   Smoke conceals troop movements,          manual. Key your comments to the
Also, it describes techniques to       slows attacking forces, disrupts com-    pages, paragraphs, and line(s) of
reduce friendly degradation in         mand and control, and reduces the        text in which you recommend the
smoke.                                 vulnerability of critical assets for     changes. Provide reasons for each
  The scope of this manual is smoke    both friendly and Threat forces.         comment to ensure understanding
operations at the operational and      Combat operations in World War II        and complete evaluation. Prepare
tactical levels of war. The target     and the Korean War demonstrated          your comments on DA Form 2028
audience is maneuver unit com-         that the proper use of smoke enhan-      (Recommended Changes to Publica-
manders and staff officers, par-       ces mission success and force sur-       tions and Blank Forms) and for-
ticularly the G2/S2, G3/S3, FSO,       vivability. In recent times, US forces   ward them directly to Commandant,
and chemical officer at corps level    have reinforced the positive benefits    US Army Chemical School, ATTN:
and below. Most of the examples        of large-area smoke use at the com-      ATZN-CM-NF, Fort McClellan,
depict smoke support for brigade-      bat training centers at Fort Irwin,      AL 36205-5020.
level operations.                      California; Fort Chaffee, Arkansas;        Unless this publication states
  The focus is on synchronized         and Hohenfels, Federal Republic of       otherwise, masculine nouns and
smoke planning — smoke integrated      Germany.                                 pronouns do not refer exclusively to
into the commander’s tactical plan,     In battle, the side that employs        men.

2                                                                                                           FM 3-50
                                                                               FM 3-50, Cl
                                                                           11 September 1996

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

FM 3-50, Cl

                                                      Chapter 1


 Common sense tells us what can           and target acquisition (RSTA) ef-      protect your force and deny the
be seen can be hit and killed on the      forts. It also uses smoke to protect   Threat the ability to acquire and
battlefield. The US Army uses             the force and to support tactical      engage it.
smoke and obscurants to attack            deception operations. By combining
Threat reconnaissance, surveillance,      obscuration with maneuver you can

                                         Historical Perspective
  Armies have used smoke to con-          resulted in over 3,000 bombs falling   aircraft. Elements of the 133rd Pan-
fuse and deceive their enemies            harmlessly in and around the area.     zer Brigade penetrated CCA's
throughout history. We can find in-         The use of smoke and other man-      defenses. Two tank destroyer
dications of smoke operations from        made obscurants can give a com-        platoons and a medium tank com-
as early as 2000 B.C. when the burn-      mander an edge if applied properly.    pany engaged the 133rd Panzer
ing of damp straw was a common            Natural obscurants can also be used    Brigade. The fog worked to the
way to smoke enemy positions.             to friendly advantage. The actions     defender’s (Allied forces) ad-
  The War Department proposed             of Combat Command A (CCA), 4th         vantage, as the limited visibility
the use of smoke to President Lin-        Armored Division, during the Lor-      negated the superior range of the
 coln during the War Between the          raine Campaign, in September 1944,     German tank guns. As the fighting
States. The idea was not taken            demonstrated the use of fog as a       surged back and forth through the
seriously at the time and smoke was       combat multiplier.                     fog, CCA’s tanks and tank
used sparingly. Documentation of             On 13 September 1944, CCA           destroyers used their mobility to out-
the period reflected in the Cavalry       forced a crossing of the Moselle       maneuver and ambush the larger
Journal historical archives suggests      River north of the heavily defended    Panzers.
that "...a little smoke, judiciously      city of Nancy. On 14 September,          From 20 to 25 September, the
laid down, could have changed the         CCA was ordered to bypass              Fifth Panzer Army directed the
entire course of history. Had the         Chateau-Salins and exploit the weak-   lllth Panzer Brigade and the llth
South used smoke, Federal forces          ness to the south. By 1900 hours,      Panzer Division into a series of at-
may not have been able to stop            CCA began to draw into a               tacks against the Arracourt posi-
Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg even       perimeter defense around the town      tion. Each assault followed the
though the Federal force was great-       of Arracourt. This allowed the Ger-    pattern set on 19 September. The
ly superior...."                          mans to strengthen their position      Panzers attacked under the cover of
  The use of large-area smoke in-         around Chateau-Salins and as-          morning fog, only to be thwarted by
creased drastically during World          semble forces for a major counterat-   CCA’s mobile defense and driven
War II. The British used smoke to         tack against the XII Corps right       off by armored counterattacks of
effectively screen harbors, factories,    flank. The Fifth Panzer Army           company or battalion strength.
and large cities in the United            moved north, striking at CCA’s ex-       The defensive actions fought
Kingdom from the Luftwaffe’s              posed position around Arracourt.       around Arracourt stalled the Ger-
relentless bombing. In 1943, US for-      The ensuing battle was one of the      man offensive. The 4th Armored
ces used smoke to protect the sup-        largest armored engagements fought     Division claimed 281 German tanks
ply facilities and invasion fleet at      on the Western Front.                  destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed,
Bizerte Harbor in North Africa              On the morning of 19 September,      and another 3,000 taken prisoner in
from attacking German aircraft.           a heavy fog concealed the German       the fighting. For the German offen-
The smoke blanket placed over this        movement, giving them tactical         sive, the ground fog represented a
area by smoke generator units             surprise and protection from Allied    double-edged sword. It provided

 FM 3-50                                                                                                             5
them concealment but ultimately           it proved to be a significant combat
led to their demise. For US forces,       multiplier.

                        Description of Smoke and Obscurants
 Obscurants are man-made or               burning or vaporizing some              defeat the visible through far IR;
naturally occurring particles             product. An example is the vaporiza-    multispectral obscurants defeat the
suspended in the air that block or        tion of fog oil to produce smoke        visible through millimeter wave; and
weaken (attenuate) the transmission       from a mechanical smoke gener-          special purpose obscurants defeat
of a particular part or parts of the      ator. We classify US and Threat         specifically targeted portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum, such as         smoke and obscurants, both current-     electromagnetic spectrum.
visible light, infrared (IR), or          ly fielded and developmental, as          Appendix G describes the charac-
microwaves. Fog, mist, dust, smoke,       visual, bispectral, multispectral, or   teristics of smokes and obscurants,
and chaff are examples of                 special-purpose obscurants. Visual      how they work, and what
obscurants.                               obscurants defeat the visible           obscurants are in the US inventory.
 Smoke is an artificially created         through near IR portion of the
obscurant normally produced by            spectrum; bispectral obscurants

                                 Uses of Smoke and Obscurants
  We can render some electro-opti-        What can be seen can be hit and         defeat the enemy’s battlefield
cal (EO) target acquisition and           killed.                                 viewers; weapon guidance systems;
sighting devices ineffective; others        We use visual obscurants to defeat    radar systems; and high-energy,
we can degrade significantly; some        the enemy’s battlefield viewers, such   microwave-directed energy weapons.
we cannot affect at all. As a result      as binoculars, weapon sights, night       Table 1, on the next page, is a tac-
of the development of IR and radar        observation sights, and laser range     tical decision aid for selecting the
devices during World War II and           finders. We use bispectral              type of smoke to defeat a particular
subsequent technological advances,        obscurants to defeat the enemy’s        EO system. Detailed information
EO devices have supplemented con-         battlefield viewers and weapon          concerning the types of smokes and
ventional visual methods of target        guidance systems such as command        obscurants and their effects on EO
acquisition and aiming weapons.           line-of-sight or terminal homing sys-   systems are in Appendixes G and
Precision-guided munitions and            tems on antitank and air defense        B, respectively.
sophisticated sensors provide the ul-     missiles. When developed, we will
timate in lethality on the battlefield:   use multispectral obscurants to

                               How and Where To Use Smoke
  Smoke aids in deceiving the                What do I want smoke and             deny mine, but my thermal sights
enemy, conceals maneuver, and in-         obscurants to accomplish?               are unaffected).
creases your potential force-on-          (Degrade target acquisition? Con-           When might on-call hasty or
force ratio when your target              ceal the movement of my main at-        deliberate smoke benefit me?
acquisition systems can see through       tack? Aid in deception?)                (Where does my decision support
the smoke and the Threat’s cannot            Where and for how long am I          tree indicate I may be exposed and
(see Chapter 2). For smoke to do          willing to sustain this smoke cloud?    need immediate smoke to obscure
this, you must develop a plan to use      (Over my own position? Between          the enemy?)
smoke synchronized with your tacti-       my unit and the enemy? On the              How will countersmoke help me?
cal plan.                                 enemy?)                                 (If the enemy uses smoke, where
  Use the military decision model            How much restriction in my own       and how should I retaliate with
from FM 101-5 as general guidance         mobility can I accept? (Visibility 50   smoke to interfere with their
for planning and executing smoke          meters or less? More?)                  synchronization?)
operations. Commanders must                  How much restriction in my own
routinely give planning guidance to       target acquisition and engagement
the staff that answers the following      capabilities can I accept? (If I deny
questions:                                another’s laser designators, I also

 6                                                                                                             FM 3-50
                              Categories of Smoke Operations
 There are two general categories
of smoke operations: hasty and

         Hasty Smoke
  Hasty smoke operations are smoke
operations conducted with minimal
prior planning. They are normally
executed by the projected, on-
board, and smoke generator units
(company- and smaller-size ele-
ments) on hand at the time of the
engagement. This does not mean
that hasty smoke operations are not
planned; rather, plan hasty opera-
tions as on-call smoke in your
deliberate smoke plan. Use hasty
smoke operations to support a com-
bined arms force to counter an
enemy action or anticipated enemy
action of immediate concern to the
commander. Hasty smoke opera-
tions generally cover a small area
for a short duration.

      Deliberate Smoke
  Deliberate smoke operations are
conducted with detailed planning
and are executed by either on-hand
smoke assets or with those on hand
augmented by corps and theater as-
sets. Deliberate smoke operations
normally are synchronized with
specific times, events, or locations
on the battlefield (for example,
when we are within 1,500 meters of
the objective, fire six battery volleys   tion). Deliberate smoke operations     to support the operations of
of 50-percent high-explosive and 50-      normally include multiple pre-         brigades, divisions, and corps.
percent smoke munitions onto the          planned smoke operations. They
objective to obscure enemy observa-       cover large areas over long periods

                                            Smoke Planning
  Each echelon of command plans           as the tactical plan: mission, enemy   ligence, and whether the unit has
for smoke employment to support           situation, terrain, weather, troops    successfully operated in smoke pre-
both current and future operations.       available, time, and distance. Mis-    viously.
Integrate smoke into the overall tac-     sion considerations include unit         The G3/S3 has primary staff
tical plan, synchronized with key         capabilities, detailed planning and    responsibility for planning smoke
events or decision points. Base           preparation, employment tech-          operations in coordination with the
smoke planning on the same factors        niques, communications, intel-         fire support officer (FSO), G2/S2,

 FM 3-50                                                                                                               7
G4/S4, smoke unit commander,              need to plan and fight the close            Threat integration. This is the
chemical staff officer, and staff         and deep operation. Both proces-         development of situation, event, and
weather personnel. When planning          ses, conducted simultaneously, incor-    decision support templates. For
smoke operations, the primary focus       porate intelligence preparation of       smoke planning we input the
must be to attack enemy EO sys-           the battlefield (IPB) and the intel-     priority intelligence requirement
tems and degrade enemy combat ef-         ligence cycle functions. Situation       (PIR) and extract actual findings
fectiveness without significantly         development enables commanders           from the decision support template.
degrading friendly command, con-          to see and understand the bat-
trol, or target acquisition               tlefield in sufficient time and detail           Smoke Estimate
capabilities.                             to employ their forces and weapons
  Staff officers must constantly plan     effectively. In situation develop-                 Preparation
to integrate smoke into the tactical      ment, the G2/S2 uses IPB to                When the G2/S2 performs the
plans for both current and future         produce a description of enemy           IPB, the chemical officer, in coor-
operations. Planning ranges from          force disposition on the battlefield      dination with the G3/S3, FSO, and
deliberate plans to provide smoke         in terms of location, size, type,         smoke unit commander, will
support for future operations in a        direction, rate of movement, and ac-     prepare the smoke estimate. This es-
48- to 72-hour window to hasty plan-      tivity. For smoke planners, situation    timate will go to the G2/S2 and tar-
ning for current operations.              development provides information         geting officer for inclusion into the
  Staffs must develop estimates that      about weather, terrain, enemy dis-       target value analysis (TVA) for fire
define enemy capabilities and our         position, and composition in the         support planning and to the G3/S3
own courses of action, analyze            area of interest. FM 34-1 provides a     and chemical staff for smoke target
smoke targets, and prioritize smoke       more detailed description of situa-      planning.
resources. They must finally recom-       tion development procedures.               The chemical staff officer pre-
mend courses of action for the              IPB provides a basis for ac-           pares a smoke estimate to recom-
commander’s approval. When the            complishing situation and target         mend courses of action for
commander approves the staff es-          development. IPB orients the mis-        attacking enemy targets with smoke
timates, the staff prepares orders        sion planning, collecting, processing,   and obscurants. Besides supporting
that combine smoke with combat            and disseminating efforts of situa-      the commander’s estimate, the
power. Appendix A shows a smoke           tion and target development. The         smoke estimate assists the chemical
estimate format and a smoke annex         IPB process includes—                    staff, FSO, and G3/S3 in determin-
to plans and orders.                          Threat evaluation. This is a         ing the detailed plan for smoke
                                          detailed study of enemy forces and       employment. FM 101-5 contains
           Situation and                 their composition, organization, tac-     detailed guidance on the military
                                         tical doctrine, weapons, equipment,       decision-making process and es-
    Target Development                   and supporting battlefield functional     timates.
   Targeting begins with the             systems. For smoke planning, we
 commander’s guidance and con-           focus on enemy EO and smoke
                                         capabilities as listed in Chapter 2          Smoke Support Plan
 tinues through the development of a
 prioritized list specifying what tar-   and Appendix B.                                     Development
 gets to attack and when to attack           Evaluation of areas of interest
                                         and operation. This is a study of           Simultaneous with preparing the
 these targets (DECIDE) and acquir-                                                smoke estimate, the staff chemical
 ing high-payoff targets (DETECT)        enemy order of battle (OB) for a
                                         specific area of the battlefield. For     officer develops a draft smoke sup-
 and what will defeat these targets                                                port plan. The procedures for
 (DELIVER). This process con-            smoke planning, we focus on num-
                                         bers and probable locations of EO         preparing a smoke support plan
cludes with the commander’s                                                        are —
decision on which course of action       systems.
                                             Terrain analysis. This is an             Coordinate with the commander
he will select to engage the various                                               and staff prior to smoke support
targets: maneuver, fire support, and     analysis of the military aspects of
                                         the terrain in a specific area. For       planning. Obtain the restated mis-
smoke unit support, or a combina-                                                  sion.
tion thereof. There are two basic        smoke planning, we focus on the ter-
                                         rain effects on smoke.                     – Obtain required fire and smoke
processes in the targeting process:                                                planning information such as task
situation development and target             Weather analysis. This is an
                                         analysis of the impact of weather on      organization, smoke delivery sys-
development.                                                                       tems, objectives, axis of advance or
  Situation development and target       both terrain and friendly and enemy
                                         capabilities. For smoke planning, we      sector, and commander’s intent.
development are the processes that                                                 – Recommend smoke support coor-
provide commanders the intel-            focus on the weather effects on
                                         smoke.                                    dinating measures such as key time,
ligence and targeting data they                                                    place, and event and no smoke

 8                                                                                                             FM 3-50
areas and target allocations (smoke    – Modify the plan as agreed.             enhances rather than degrades mis-
unit targets, artillery targets, and   – Ensure the plan is logistically sup-   sion success.
mortar targets) based on available     portable and sustainable.                  Commanders must control smoke
information such as restrictive fire       Brief smoke support plan to ob-      in their area of operations. Use
line (RFL), coordinated fire line      tain concurrence from the com-           decision points based on IPB and
(CFL), no fire line (NFL), munition    mander (or G3/S3 as required by          human feedback to control when
availability, and priority of fire.    local policy).                           you start and stop smoke. Smoke
    Update status displays.            –Brief requirements for fire sup-        unit leaders monitor the communica-
 – Plot locations of maneuver ele-     port engagement with smoke.              tions nets for the supported unit as
ments and objectives.                   –Modify the plan as agreed.             well as internal nets. This ensures
 – Plot locations of agreed targets.    –Decide the support.                    the commander has an immediate
    Develop a smoke support plan.       –Decide the time.                       response to start or stop smoke at a
 – Get target lists from the FSO.       –Decide which smoke delivery            particular point or time.
 – Modify target lists as necessary.   unit (s) will engage.                      Plan to minimize friendly force
Use the smoke target analysis proce-    –Finalize the target list.              degradation from our own use of
dures in Appendix A as guidance.           Coordinate the fire support plan     smoke. Rehearse those contingen-
 – Develop a list of smoke delivery    changes with the commander or            cies. An antitank position with clear
assets.                                G3/S3 and the FSO.                       fields of fire may be valueless in
 – Decide the type of support re-       – Inform or brief them concerning       dense smoke unless the gunner or
quired (for example, smoke versus      changes made in coordination.            section leader has rehearsed move-
EO system effectiveness).               – Modify the plan as agreed.            ment to previously prepared alter-
 – Decide the time support is re-          Coordinate the smoke support         nate positions (limited visibility
quired.                                plan with adjacent units.                positions).
 – Decide the best delivery system      – Inform or brief them concerning         The preceding paragraphs estab-
to engage.                             the plan.                                lished the "Why" and "How" of
 – Decide the best delivery unit to     – Modify the plan if required.          smoke support. The remainder of
engage (for example, smoke gener-          Confirm coordination with the        Chapter 1 answers the "When and
ator unit, direct support (DS), 155-   commander or G3/S3 and with the          Where" and "What" and explains
battery).                              FSO.                                     with what delivery systems and
 – Prepare and consolidate target         Brief the smoke unit leader(s) on     delivery units we make smoke. The
lists.                                 the smoke annex to the OPORD.            remaining chapters outline Threat
 – Assign smoke target numbers. Ap-                                             (Chapter 2) and provide doctrine,
pendix A outlines the procedure for       Smoke Support Plan                    tactics, and techniques for smoke
numbering smoke targets.                                                        employment in the offense (Chapter
    Coordinate the smoke support                   Execution                    3), defense (Chapter 4), and other
plan with the FSO.                       The extreme impact of smoke on         operations (Chapter 5). The
 – Inform or brief requirements for    tactical operations mandates close       manual concludes with smoke sup-
fire support engagement with smoke.    coordination, control, and planning      port sustainment planning considera-
 – Obtain target numbers for targets   for contingencies. Command super-        tions (Chapter 6).
requiring fire support asset engage-   vision and staff supervision are es-
ment.                                  sential to ensure the use of smoke

            Operational Concept for Smoke and Obscurants
 Smoke and obscurants themselves       another means to meet the impera-            Enhancing friendly weapon sys-
are not lethal. However, when          tives of the AirLand battle by–          tern effectiveness.
synchronized throughout the depth         Degrading the enemy’s ability to        The Comprehensive Smoke Study
of the battlefield they enhance the    see.                                     analyzed what happened when US
maneuver commander’s ability to           Disrupting the enemy’s ability to     forces used smoke and the adver-
maneuver. They concentrate combat      communicate.                             sary used smoke, and the net effect
power against enemy vulnerabilities       Concealing friendly forces.           on combat effectiveness when both
at the critical time and place. They      Deceiving the enemy.                  sides used smoke and obscurants,
also reduce his own vulnerability to      Providing a means to identify and     The lessons learned indicate –
enemy intelligence and target ac-      signal.                                     Smoke favors the attacker. Our
quisition. Smoke and obscurants           Degrading or defeating directed-      force exchange ratio improves 25 to
provide the commander with             energy weapons.                          80 percent.

FM 3-50                                                                                                               9
   Projected smoke is important to        tive of smoke employment is to in-        In the defense, obscurants support
success, but resource intensive.          crease the effectiveness of US          disruption of enemy activities and
Firing units require 400 percent          operations while reducing the vul-      enhancement of friendly operations
above normal basic loads.                 nerability of US forces.                throughout the battlefield. Smoke
   Large-area smoke is beneficial.          Obscurant use supports battlefield    will isolate attacking echelons and
There is up to a 30-percent in-           deception and enhances friendly         conceal friendly unit locations. It
crease in our force exchange ratio.       combat operations by—                   will screen friendly maneuvers, sup-
Combined with artillery-delivered            Increasing friendly force sur-       port deception, and interfere with
WP smoke gives a 75-percent in-           vivability by—                          enemy movement and communica-
crease in our force exchange ratio.        – Concealing friendly mass and         tions. Obscurants help to preserve
    You should avoid smoke on             maneuver.                               forces essential to the mission.
friendly antitank guided missile           – Degrading Threat weapon system       Smoke supports tactical objectives
lines of sight.                           effectiveness.                          by selectively denying air and
                                           – Attenuating energy weapons.          ground routes and by forcing the
      Operational Level                    – Increasing friendly-to-enemy         enemy into tightened tactical forma-
                                          force ratio.                            tions, which are easier targets.
               of War                      – Increasing Threat force vul-           In a nuclear environment, tem-
  Operational objectives within a         nerability by —                         porary massing of friendly forces
theater of war include the marshall-       – Decreasing Threat rate of            may create a particularly lucrative
ing and sustaining of forces and          advance.                                target. Dense smoke provides both
materiel to conduct successful cam-        – Disrupting Threat command and        concealment and some measure of
paigns. Commanders and staffs at          control.                                protection against thermal radiation.
this level of war will plan and con-       – Deceiving Threat intelligence col-
duct smoke operations to—                 lection.                                  Commander and Staff
   Deceive the enemy as to friendly         In the offense, the commanders
force location, status, and movement.     can achieve surprise and protect                Considerations
  Defeat enemy air and satellite          their force by combining obscurants       Commanders must be prepared to
reconnaissance efforts.                   with maneuver and firepower.            use smoke to their advantage
  Reduce the effectiveness of             Obscurants allow us to reduce our       regardless of whether it is employed
enemy fire and air attacks.               vulnerability through concealment       by friendly or Threat forces. Com-
  Defeat enemy precision-guided           as we mass forces to attack.            manders and staffs at all levels—
weapons.                                  Obscurants will conceal friendly           Consider the use of smoke to en-
   Increase force survivability.          movements and screen breaching of       hance friendly scheme of maneuver.
                                          obstacles and river crossings. They        Avoid developing a predictable
                                          will also negate the stand-off          pattern of smoke use.
   Tactical Level of War                  capabilities of enemy long-range an-       Anticipate and plan to counter
  Obscurants can support the move-        tiarmor weapons and interfere with      enemy smoke and countersmoke
ment and positioning of forces on         enemy guidance and acquisition sys-     measures (see Chapter 2).
the battlefield and the provision of      tems. Smoke supports tactical objec-       Train for limited visibility opera-
fire support. They can also conceal       tives by deceiving the enemy as to      tions to minimize friendly force
the logistical support of forces          the exact location, timing, and size    degradation.
before, during, and after engage-         of the main attack. It also isolates
ments with the enemy. The objec-          units for piecemeal destruction.

                                        Operational Continuum
  Smoke and obscurants disrupt the        peacekeeping operations. Smoke sys-                   Conflict
enemy’s ability to locate, acquire,       terns may be particularly useful in
and defeat our forces across the          segregating or isolating violent ele-     Use smoke in conflict to support
operational continuum. Use smoke          ments. This creates a sense of isola-   all types of military operations.
in peacetime, conflict, and war.          tion among the people. In               Smoke is useful in insurgen-
                                          counternarcotics operations, use        cy/counterinsurgency and peacetime
           Peacetime                      smoke to restrict use of airfields      contingency operations in support
                                          and to conceal the movement of          of tactical objectives. Smoke sys-
  Use smoke in peacetime in sup-          law enforcement personnel.              terns may be particularly useful in
port of security assistance opera-                                                concealing initial insertion of forces.
tions, show of force, and

10                                                                                                              FM 3-50
This would provide surprise and                           War                       hostilities to protect the force, alter
security for our forces.                                                            force ratios, conceal maneuvering
                                            Use smoke in war to support all         forces, and give leaders an added
                                           operational and tactical operations.     dimension of flexibility.
                                           Smoke is useful from the onset of

                                          Spectrum of Conflict
  The Army recognizes that under           by law enforcement or counterter-        tion points. This is particularly im-
low-intensity conflict (LIC) condi-        rorist forces.                           portant when special operating for-
tions indirect, rather than direct, ap-       Support peacekeeping operations.      ces are being inserted.
plications of military power are the       Smoke use can protect our forces         – Use emplaced smoke such as
most appropriate and cost-effective        by screening our forces from Threat      smoke hand grenades to conceal
ways to achieve national goals. If         observation. It can also restrict the    entry into the facility once their
US involvement requires military ac-       effectiveness of combatant target ac-    presence is known.
tion, force protection and identifica-     quisition or weapon guidance sys-        – Use projected or emplaced
tion of Threat RSTA means are              tems. Marking smokes are effective       smoke to conceal their exfiltration
critical. In LIC, use projected,           for signaling and early warning. In      route and allow them to break con-
generated, and self-defense smoke          addition, we can use smoke and           tact.
to –                                       obscurants to segregate or isolate         In high-intensity and mid-intensity
   Support counterinsurgency opera-        forces in conflict.                      conflicts, US forces face large,
tions. Smoke use can protect the              Support peacetime contingency         rapidly maneuvering formations on
force in all phases of counterinsur-       operations. Smoke use can protect        battlefields characterized by sophisti-
gency operations. In addition, when        our forces, particularly in a show of    cated weapons, high-consumption
identified we use smoke to attack          force or demonstration. In strikes,      rates, and extended time and dis-
Threat RSTA means. Smoke                   raids, and unconventional warfare,       tance. Smoke supports all types of
creates a psychological feeling of         use smoke to attack known Threat         military operations in mid- and high-
isolation. This may reduce the             RSTA means. For example, in a            intensity conflict.
insurgent’s will to resist.                raid on a suspected Threat com-            Using smoke and obscurants
   Support terrorism counteraction.        munications center, friendly forces      across the spectrum of conflict will
Smoke use can restrict use of air-         would—                                   positively influence the outcome of
fields or facilities and conceal the       –Use projected smoke (for ex-            any operation. Chapters 3 through 5
movements of counterterrorist for-         ample, mortars, rifle grenades, or       outline tactics for smoke employ-
ces. Use smoke to conceal objec-           aviation-delivered smoke rockets) to     ment to meet the challenges of the
tives prior to assault or occupation       obscure guard posts and observa-         spectrum of conflict.

                                               The Battlefield
  Smoke and obscurants disrupt             command and control at key               addition, we can air transport the
enemy combat operations                    decision points. Deep attacks are        chemical company of an airborne
throughout the depth of the bat-           conducted to create "windows of op-      division to support airborne opera-
tlefield. One of the key concepts in       portunity" by disrupting or destroy-     tions in the deep battle.
AirLand battle is the entire bat-          ing follow-on echelons. Smoke              Current artillery-delivered
tlefield consists of one single battle     systems that support the deep battle     obscurants will seldom have a direct
fought by one commander with one           include aviation, artillery, smoke       impact on deep strike capability. In
plan. Obscurant operations must            generator, and armored vehicle           the far term, millimeter wave
support all levels of command in           smoke systems.                           obscurants delivered by rockets
fighting a unified battle of deep,           Army aviation assets deliver           onto radar sites will be effective to
close, and rear operations.                smoke rockets from attack helicop-       suppress enemy air defense and
                                           ters to obscure enemy observation,       counterbattery abilities. Similarly,
     Deep Operations                       degrade target acquisition, and          special purpose obscurants that
                                           mark targets for close air support       block certain regions of the electro-
 Deep operations disrupt the               aircraft. Medium-lift helicopters sup-   magnetic radiation will be more ef-
enemy’s movement in-depth, destroy         porting airmobile operations can         fective in disrupting hardened
high-value targets behind the              move chemical units with smoke           command and control centers than
enemy’s lines, and interrupt enemy         generators behind enemy lines. In        high-explosive munitions.

FM 3-50                                                                                                                   11
  Deep attacks with armored             battle preparations, denying enemy       tank parks, assembly and staging
columns may require the use of          intelligence information, and con-       areas, and critical portions of main
smoke self-protection systems. Com-     cealing maneuver and counterat-          supply routes.
bat vehicle defensive obscurant sys-    tack. Units conceal areas for real         At the operational level, the
tems include vehicular launched         and decoy battle positions during in-    protection of key transportation and
grenades and vehicle engine exhaust     itial preparation and camouflage.        logistics activities is critical to sus-
systems. The prime constraints will     Before the battle, mobile units pro-     taining the force. Echelons above
be logistical support (fuel and arma-   vide smoke in multiple areas until       corps must plan for obscurants in
ment).                                  the battlefield is fully prepared.       the defense to conceal static opera-
                                          Use smoke and obscurants aggres-       tions. Ports and terminals; fixed rail
      Close Operations                  sively to assist the unit in regaining   facilities such as bridges, tunnels,
                                        the initiative. Obscurants isolate       and rail yards; logistics-over-the-
  In the defense a covering or          enemy echelons, conceal movement         shore sites; dams; locks; trailer
screening force occupies a sector       of counterattacking forces, and          transfer points; and critical points
far enough forward of the forward       deceive the enemy about friendly in-     along main supply routes must be
edge of the battle area (FEBA) to       tentions. Smoke from smoke units,        covered. Obscurants may also pro-
prevent surprise, to force the enemy    smoke pots, and enemy smoke lines        vide limited protection for nonstatic
to deploy their forces, and to gain     conceal movement of friendly for-        operations such as water transport,
sufficient time to respond to the       ces. Artillery- and mortar-delivered     railroad operations, inland water-
Threat. Extensive use of concealing     smoke blinds enemy armored and           ways movement, and convoys. Com-
and deception smoke helps to            antitank elements while friendly for-    manders and staffs must carefully
develop the situation by forcing the    ces attack targets from the flanks       plan operations to ensure that the
enemy to deploy. It also denies in-     using thermal viewers. Obscurants        use of friendly obscurants at one
formation about disposition and         separate enemy echelons to               logistics facility does not impede ac-
composition of friendly forces,         preclude supporting and overmatch-       tivities at another.
degrading enemy target acquisition.     ing fire and to facilitate their           Smoke can assist in defeating or
  Defending forces fill valleys and     piecemeal defeat.                        delaying enemy airborne and air-
terrain defiles with visual               Obscurants in the defense of the       mobile operations. Place smoke
obscurants to force enemy helicop-      MBA require careful preparation to       over potential drop zones and land-
ters above the obscurant cloud,         preclude an ill-conceived deception;     ing zones in rear areas to conceal
while ground fire is adjusted, using    disruption of friendly activities; or    them and force the enemy aircraft
thermal viewers. Use visual and in-     poorly-timed, low-visibility              to remain exposed to our air
frared defeating smokes to support      retrograde operations. Obscuration        defense assets longer. This is par-
countersurveillance and counter-        will slow friendly activities. Com-      ticularly useful when you have sig-
reconnaissance.                          manders and planners should plan        nificant intelligence indicators that
  Smoke provides concealment for         additional time for movement under      airborne or airmobile operations
maneuver and counterattack and           smoke and obscurants.                    are imminent, as smoke may deny
reduces the effectiveness of enemy                                               the enemy the ability to insert those
target acquisition. It also deceives            Rear Operations                  forces at all.
the enemy about the true intentions                                                In the event of enemy break-
of our forces and creates conditions      Because support units normally         through, freed sites and some rear
necessary to surprise them. Smoke       remain fixed over a period of hours      area forces will not be able to
enables the covering force to delay     or more, smoke units will normally       maneuver away from an attacking
the Threat advance more effectively.    maintain a large-area haze over          Threat force. They will have to
  When advanced positions can no        brigade and division support ac-         defend in place. Placing smoke on
longer be retained, the security        tivities throughout the early part of    rear operations will conceal them
force must quickly and efficiently      the battle. Based on command             from observation. However, this will
conduct a passage of lines. It must     priorities and resources, brigade        degrade their operations. Smoke
hand the battle off to the main bat-    and division support areas may be        may be placed on the Threat for-
tle area (MBA) units. Smoke pots,       concealed by obscurants from the         ces, in coordination with electronic
smoke generator units, and              beginning to the end of the battle.      warfare and deception assets, to iso-
projected smoke conceal friendly        Obscurants used in rear operations       late the Threat units and prevent
forces and routes during battle         include deception and screening of       resupply, relief, or reinforcement
handoff.                                vital targets. Such targets include      prior to their destruction.
  Obscurants support the decisive       communications centers, ammuni-
battle in the MBA by concealing         ion supply points, motor pools,

12                                                                                                              FM 3-50
                            Battlefield Applications of Smoke
  Smoke has four battlefield applica-   key assembly areas, and supply           visual through mid-infrared portions
tions that support combat opera-        routes. There are three visibility       of the spectrum depending on the
tions: obscuring, screening,            categories for screening smoke that      concentration of the smoke.
protecting, and marking.                the supported unit commander uses
                                        to establish the visibility require-           Protecting Smoke
     Obscuring Smoke                    ment for a smoke mission. These
                                        are —                                      Protecting smoke is smoke used to
  Obscuring smoke is smoke                 Smoke haze. A smoke haze is a         defeat enemy guidance systems or
delivered directly on or immediately    light concentration of smoke placed      to attenuate energy weapons on the
in front of enemy positions to blind    over friendly areas to restrict ac-      battlefield. Smoke and obscurants
or degrade their vision both within     curate enemy observation and fire.       have the ability to reflect, refract,
and beyond their location. Use          It is not dense enough to disrupt        or absorb energy. When enemy gun-
obscuring smoke to attack and           friendly operations within the           ners have already fired ATGMs or
defeat enemy target acquisition and     screen. A smoke haze is defined as       have used laser designators, use
guidance systems at their source.       a concentration of smoke that            protecting smoke to immediately
Projected means, such as artillery,     would allow an individual to iden-       screen vehicle movements and
mortars, rockets, and rifle grenades,   tify a small tactical vehicle between    defeat enemy guidance links. In an
generally deliver obscuring smoke.      50 and 150 meters away, but no far-      active nuclear environment or when
  For example, smoke delivered on       ther than 150 meters.                    threat of nuclear weapon use is
an enemy antitank guided missile            Smoke blanket. A smoke blanket       high, use protecting smoke to at-
(ATGM) position may prevent the         is a dense, horizontal development       tenuate the thermal energy from
system from acquiring or sub-           of smoke used over friendly areas        nuclear detonations.
sequently tracking targets, thereby     to conceal them from enemy                 When the enemy possesses
reducing its effectiveness. Employ-     ground and aerial observation. A         directed-energy weapons, use smoke
ment of obscuration smoke on an at-     smoke blanket may hamper opera-          or obscurants to degrade the effects
tacking armored force may cause it      tions of friendly troops by restrict-    of those weapons. Directed-energy
to vary its speed, inadvertently        ing movement and activity within         weapons include lasers; high-power
change its axis of advance, deploy      the screen. It provides maximum          microwaves; particle beams; and
prematurely, and rely on nonvisual      concealment. It is a concentration       non-nuclear, directed electromag-
means of command and control.           of smoke that would allow the iden-      netic pulse. A detailed description
                                        tification of a small tactical vehicle   of the effects of smoke and
     Screening Smoke                    from 0 to 50 meters but no farther.      obscurants on directed-energy
                                            Smoke curtain. A smoke curtain       weapons is in Appendix B.
  Screening smoke is smoke              is a dense, vertical development of
delivered in areas between friendly     smoke. It is placed between friendly             Marking Smoke
and enemy forces or in friendly         and enemy positions to prevent or
operational areas to degrade enemy      degrade enemy ground observation           Marking smoke includes smoke
ground or aerial observation or         of friendly positions. Since the         used to mark targets, identify friend-
both. It also defeats or degrades       smoke curtain is not placed directly     ly positions, and provide for prear-
enemy EO systems. In general, use       on friendly troops, it will not          ranged battlefield communications.
screening smoke to attack enemy         hamper friendly operations. Com-         The smoke means used for iden-
target acquisition and guidance sys-    manders should use smoke curtains        tification or signaling smoke are nor-
tems by placing smoke between the       when friendly forces have air supe-      mally projected means and smoke
friendly unit and the sensors.          riority or air parity. It does not       hand grenades. For example, use
Generated means, such as smoke          prevent aerial observation; however,     helicopter-delivered smoke rockets
generators, smoke pots, and smoke       it may force aircraft to fly higher in   to mark a target for destruction by
hand grenades, deliver screening        order to see behind the curtain,         close air support aircraft, artillery,
smoke.                                  thus increasing vulnerability to air     or mortars. Use smoke hand
  For example, employ screening         defense weapons. In general, smoke       grenades to signal aircraft.
smoke to conceal ground maneuver,       curtains will defeat sensors in the
breaching and recovery operations,

FM 3-50                                                                                                             13
                                         Smoke Delivery Means
  The primary factors that affect         ward observers. Also, use them for        smoke to provide depth of coverage
delivery of smoke onto a target are       initiating screening smoke forward        throughout the battlefield.
the smoke weapon system (delivery         of an attacking force that smoke          Generated smoke can cover small
means and smoke agents) and ter-          generators will sustain.                  and large areas for up to an in-
rain and weather conditions (steer-                                                 definite period of time based on the
ing winds and temperature                          Self-Defense Smoke               availability of logistical support, par-
gradients). Appendixes C and G               Self-defense smoke is smoke            ticularly fuel.
detail smoke delivery means and            produced by smoke grenade launch-            Smoke pots and smoke grenades.
smoke agents, respectively.                ers and the vehicle engine exhaust       You can pre-position these. They
                                           smoke system (VEESS), which we           do not require an operator. You
       Smoke Delivery                      mount on most armored vehicles.          can ignite them manually or electri-
                                           An advantage of this system is           cally. Use these smoke devices in
             Systems                                                                hasty smoke operations because of
                                           rapid smoke production and respon-
 In general, there are three means         siveness to the small unit leader.       their relatively short burn time and
for producing smoke: projected,            Disadvantages include danger to dis-     ease of access. The ideal battlefield
self-defense, and generated smoke          mounted troops with the grenade          applications for smoke pots are in-
devices and systems.                       launchers, interrupting your own tar-    itiating screening smoke, marking
                                           get acquisition while taking evasive     smoke, and providing smoke unit
           Projected Smoke                 maneuvers, and additional fuel con-      self-protection. Smoke hand
   Projected smoke is smoke                sumption for VEESS.                      grenades are best for small-area
 produced by artillery or mortar             The ideal battlefield application      screening smoke (squad-size
 munitions, naval gunfire, helicopter-     for self-defense smoke devices is to     maneuver) and marking smoke.
 delivered rockets, and bombs and          conceal armored vehicle movements           Smoke generators. Smoke gener-
 generator smoke from fixed-wing           and to reduce vulnerability to attack    ator units produce large volumes of
 aircraft. The advantage of using         by enemy antiarmor weapons. The           smoke to support hasty or
 projected smoke munitions is you         devices function as follows:              deliberate smoke operations. Smoke
 can place smoke directly on a deep,          Armored vehicle smoke grenade         generator units require a stand-off
 close, or rear target.                   launchers. Mounted on M88, M113,          distance from the target based on
   The disadvantage of projected          M60, Ml, M2, and M3 families of          wind speed and direction. Smoke
 smoke is that most projected smoke       armored vehicles, smoke grenade          generators are ideal for large-area
 devices and munitions are lethal;        launchers provide rapid obscurant        smoke missions of long duration.
 they cannot be used on or near           production to assist the vehicle in      They require detailed planning for
 friendly forces. Most unit basic         self-defense. The launchers deliver      logistical support. The ideal bat-
 loads for munitions are insufficient     the obscurant in front and/or to the     tlefield applications for smoke gen-
 for sustaining smoke on a target.        flanks of a vehicle by smoke             erators include screening,
The exception to this is generator        grenades electrically fired from the     protecting, and sustaining obscuring
smoke from fixed- and rotary-wing         vehicle.                                 smoke.
aircraft, which is considered a               Vehicle engine exhaust smoke sys-       There are two concepts for
projected smoke system because of         tem. The VEESS injects diesel fuel       employing smoke generators:
its ability to obscure deep targets.      into the engine exhaust system. The      mobile and stationary.
  Projected smoke can support both        fuel then vaporizes and is released        Mobile smoke is smoke produced
short- and long-duration missions         into the air, where it condenses and     while the system is on the move.
based on the availability of ammuni-      produces smoke Vehicles that cur-        Mobile smoke units normally are
tion. Combine use of projected            rently have the VEESS include the        positioned well forward on the bat-
smoke munitions with other smoke          AVLB. LEV, M88A11, M60, Ml,              tlefield. They have the advantage of
employment means throughout the           M2, and M3 families of combat            maneuver, but are exposed to more
battlefield.                              vehicles.                                enemy weapon systems. They have
  The ideal battlefield applications                                               a self-concealment ability that en-
for projected smoke systems are                   Generated Smoke                  hances their survival, and they can
producing obscuring smoke, initiat-                                                make smoke from a freed position
                                            Generated smoke is smoke               or while moving. Mobile smoke sys-
ing screening smoke, and marking          produced by smoke pots, smoke
targets. For example, use projected                                                tems rely heavily on passive opera-
                                          grenades, and smoke generators.          tions security (OPSEC) measures to
smoke systems to place smoke on           Steering winds deliver generated
enemy intelligence gathering assets,                                               enhance their survivability.
                                          smoke to a target. Combine
ATGM positions, and artillery for-        generated smoke with projected

14                                                                                                                FM 3-50
  Mobile smoke is supplied by units        Stationary smoke is smoke            height, density, duration, and travel
equipped with M1059 mechanized           produced from a fixed location, nor-   distance of smoke. There are three
smoke carriers or motorized M157         mally by units equipped with M3A4      types of temperature gradients:
smoke generators.                        mechanical pulse jet smoke gener-      lapse, neutral, and inversion.
  The M1059 is an M113 armored           ators mounted on M998 HMMWVs             Since steering winds carry smoke,
personnel carrier (APC) equipped         or M151 1/4-ton vehicles with          smoke usually follows the contours
with the M157 smoke generator set.       trailers. Units move their vehicles    of the earth’s surface. On flat, un-
This system can support armored          and smoke generators into positions    broken terrain and over water
and mechanized forces well for-          on a smoke line and then produce       (open terrain), smoke streamers
ward. It is less vulnerable to small     smoke. These units are limited by      take longer to spread out and mix
arms and indirect fire than wheeled      their mobility and require more        with other streamers. Obstructions,
systems due to its armored plating.      time to set up and depart an area.     such as trees and buildings, tend to
Its tracked chassis provides it with     They are well-suited for large-area    break up smoke streamers. The
the ability to move with its sup-        smoke missions conducted in rear       streamers may then re-form, cover
ported unit both on and off the          areas.                                 a larger area, and create a more
road.                                                                           uniform cloud than over open ter-
  The motorized M157 smoke gener-           Weather and Terrain                 rain. Large hill masses and very
ator is an M1037 HMMWV                                                          rugged terrain cause strong cross
equipped with an M157 smoke gen-                       Effects                  currents of wind and tend to create
erator set. This system can provide        Steering winds actually carry the    holes and uneven dispersal of the
mobile smoke to light infantry and       smoke and determine its direction,     smoke cloud.
specialized units. This system is vul-   speed, and downwind travel dis-          Appendix F details the effects of
nerable to small arms and indirect       tance. Temperature gradients are       weather and terrain on obscurants.
fire.                                    normally based on the time of day.     It also gives a summary of the best
                                         Temperature gradients affect the       and worst employment conditions.

                                              Smoke Units
  Smoke generator units are as-          lines the smoke coverage               limiting exposure of smoke assets to
signed to chemical battalions under      capabilities of smoke platoons.        that fire.
chemical brigades at corps, to
chemical battalions at TAACOMs,             Tactics, Techniques,                        Tactics, Techniques,
and to divisions. Detailed informa-                                                        and Procedures
tion concerning the modified or                Procedures, and
living tables of organization and                                                 The commander that "owns" the
                                                Unit Guidelines                 terrain is responsible for controlling
equipment (MTOEs/LTOEs) and
capabilities of these units is in Ap-      Smoke tends to draw enemy atten-     the smoke. Place smoke before the
pendix D.                                tion and fire especially when used     enemy can pinpoint targets. Employ
  The platoon is the lowest echelon      over friendly areas. The effect of     smoke during hours of darkness
of command for smoke units that is       enemy fire can be minimized by         and limited visibility periods (rain,
self-sufficient. Table 2, below, out-    detailed planning, synchronizing all   fog, ice fog, snow, sleet) to enhance
                                         smoke assets with firepower, and       its effectiveness. Synchronize all
                                                                                smoke assets for maximum impact

 FM 3-50                                                                                                            15
  against the enemy. Coordinate            smoke. Rehearsal of displacement        cal unit. This organization permits
  smoke employment with adjacent           under smoke will help you avoid         close control and the most produc-
  units and all units in the operation-    confusion and disorientation and        tive use of all assets. The com-
  al area to minimize friendly unit        rapidly restore engagement              mander continuously monitors the
  degradation.                             capability.                             progress of assigned tasks. He shifts
    Understand that smoke compres-                                                 elements where the need is greatest
  ses the battlefield by limiting                   Unit Guidelines                throughout his area of operations.
  visibility. Training soldiers to          Smoke units are vulnerable to          On the other hand the supported
  operate in smoke reduces the             enemy direct fire weapons. Use the      unit commander at the lowest level
  degradation caused by smoke. It         following guidelines when employ-       gets greater responsiveness when
  also reduces psychological impact       ing smoke generator units. Smoke         the chemical unit is under his direct
  such as confusion, fear, and isola-     units should, whenever possible,         control. He determines the task or-
  tion on troops.                         avoid prominent terrain features        ganization and gives missions direct-
    Smoke cloud size should be large      and locations that would permit ac-     ly to the units under him.
  enough to prevent the enemy from        curate map firings or fire through         Providing smoke units in a com-
  saturating the entire smoked area       adjustment from a known point.          mand or a support relationship is a
 with fire. The target should be off-       Do not use mobile smoke vehicles      balance between the needs of the
 set from center within the smoke. A      to lead the attack. Use them to         higher commander for flexibility
 rule of thumb is for the screen to       screen the flanks or main body          and the needs of the subordinate
 be five times the size of the target.    maneuvering forces. Do not employ       commander for responsiveness. The
 Avoid patterns for smoke employ-         smoke units less than a platoon-size    corps may provide each committed
 ment. Avoid placing smoke over the       element. Use stationary smoke units     heavy division with one motorized
 center of your target every time.        to conceal rear area facilities and     and one mechanized smoke com-
 Maneuver using the flanks and            light infantry forces.                  pany. Light infantry divisions are
 edges of the smoke alternatively                                                 normally provided a dual-purpose
 with the center.                                                                 smoke/decontamination company.
    To support tactical deception,          Command and Support                   Units are provided in either a com-
 employ smoke over other likely              Smoke units operate under two        mand or support relationship.
 areas to dilute the volume of fire        types of relationships: command          For brigades already in contact or
 and draw attention to the areas of        and support. A command relation-       when contact is imminent, it is also
 little or no importance. The smoke        ship reflects the chain of command     appropriate for the division to allo-
 should approximate the principal          and degree of authority. A support     cate chemical units in an OPCON
 smoke cloud in size. Establish and        relationship represents the manner     or attached status. Brigades, in
 enforce mobile smoke control              in which the maneuver unit is to be   turn, can provide chemical assets
 measures. The smoke control of-           supported.                             directly to their battalion task for-
 ficer controls the smoke operation          In the tactical planning process     ces only when they receive the
from a vantage point allowing target       the staff recommends the ap-          chemical assets from the division in
observation, ensuring it is complete-      propriate command or support          a command relationship. Otherwise,
ly concealed by smoke. When using         relationship between the chemical      the chemical unit commander
self-defense smoke, ensure the en-        unit and the supported unit. This      deploys his subordinate elements
tire squad, section, or platoon uses      relationship defines the specific      based on his estimate.
the smoke simultaneously to pre-          responsibilities between supporting       At each echelon, commanders use
clude drawing attention to a lone         and supported units. Generally,        organizational principles, derived
vehicle.                                  smoke units at corps and division      from the AirLand battle impera-
   Start the smoke mission prior to       levels establish support rather than   tives, to guide the employment of
operation start time and continue         command relationships. Direct sup-     chemical units. These principles in-
well beyond the end of the opera-         port (DS) is the preferred support     clude the following:
tion. For example, a river crossing       relationship for company-size and         Task organize to meet require-
is scheduled for the time from 0500       larger chemical units. Attachment is   ments. Mission requirements drive
to 0700. Start smoke at 0400 and          the preferred command relationship     size and composition of task forces.
stop smoke at 0800 to confuse the         for chemical platoons.                 A mix of chemical units is often
enemy as to the exact crossing time                                              necessary to achieve the proper
and size of the force.                                                           balance of capabilities.
   Limited visibility positions,                  Organization                       Task organize by platoons.
preplanned and previously pre-                   and Principles                      Give priority to the main effort.
pared, will minimize degradation                                                 There are not enough chemical as-
caused by friendly or Threat use of        Smoke units work most efficiently
                                          under the control of a parent chemi-   sets on the battlefield to handle all

 16                                                                                                           FM 3-50
tasks. Chemical units are not spread      operation. This commander must ex-         smoke plan, in coordination with
evenly across the battlefield but are     ecute coordination with all units par-     the FSO and smoke unit com-
concentrated with the main effort to      ticipating in or influenced by the         mander. The procedures for smoke
ensure its success.                       smoke operation. He defines smoke          planning have been discussed. The
   Integrate chemical support with        support requirements to include—           procedures for monitoring execu-
maneuver and fire. The scheme of             His intent.                             tion are—
maneuver governs the use of smoke            Visibility criteria within the smoke.      Direct the chemical staff in
and reconnaissance assets.                   Location and size of the smoke          monitoring the smoke support plan.
  Do not hold smoke units in              target.                                       Monitor planned smoke engage-
reserve. Smoke assets are too                Time for effective smoke to be          ment by fire support assets:
scarce and valuable to be held out        on the target.                              – Coordinate with FScell.
of the fight. They must refit quickly        Duration of effective smoke on           – Determine whether planned fire
and return to their primary mission.      the target.                                was executed.
   Make logistically sustainable             Security of smoke assets.                – Make changes as necessary.
plans. Resources are always limited.         Immediate support available for          – Report changes as required.
The availability of fuel and fog oil      the mission.                                – Update status displays.
restricts chemical unit ability to ex-       Preparation of a smoke annex for           Monitor planned smoke engage-
ecute smoke missions. Conduct             the operation.                             ment by smoke unit assets:
detailed planning for chemical unit                                                   – Monitor the smoke unit net.
sustainment and supporting logistics.        Smoke Unit Commander’s                   – Determine success (Smoke on tar-
   Maintain effective command and                    Responsibilities                get on time? Did it achieve pur-
control. Effective plans use all avail-                                              pose?).
                                            When the smoke plan calls for sup-        – Make changes as necessary.
able controlling headquarters and         port from a smoke generator unit,
hand off operations smoothly be-                                                      – Report changes as required.
                                          the commander of the smoke unit is          – Update status displays.
tween them.                               responsible for all activities concern-       Monitor planned smoke employ-
                                          ing establishing and maintaining           ment by maneuver units (for ex-
       Responsibilities                   smoke on the designated target.            ample, VEESS and smoke pots):
  When supported by a smoke gener-        Based upon information from the             – Monitor the appropriate com-
ator unit, both the maneuver unit         maneuver commander, the smoke              mand or maneuver unit net.
commander and the smoke unit              unit commander performs the fol-            – Determine success (Smoke on tar-
commander have specific sets of           lowing tasks:                              get on time? Did it achieve pur-
responsibilities for planning and            Plans for map, air, or ground           pose?).
coordinating the smoke mission.           reconnaissance.                             – Make changes as necessary.
Smoke missions involve close coor-           Coordinates the mission with sup-        – Report changes as required.
dination between the supported unit       ported and adjacent units.                  – Update status displays.
commander and staff and the                  Selects and coordinates smoke              Monitor immediate calls for
smoke unit commander. Com-                lanes (mobile smoke) or smoke              smoke:
manders must use the same troop-          lines (stationary smoke).                   –Monitor the appropriate net
leading procedures for smoke assets          Coordinates communications nets.         (FScell and smoke unit).
as they will for their maneuver              Provides input for the smoke             – Determine if smoke support is re-
units, ensuring smoke unit com-           annex.                                      quired.
manders have adequate time and               Identifies additional support re-        – Determine the best asset to
resources to plan and prepare for         quirements within the limitations of        engage. (Note: Fire support assets
smoke support.                            command or support relationships.           have the quickest response time.)
                                                                                      – Respond if necessary to coor-
Maneuver Unit Commander’s                    Chemical Staff Officer’s                 dinate smoke support from other
        Responsibilities                          Responsibilities                    than fire support assets.
                                           The chemical staff officer plans           – Update status displays.
 The maneuver unit commander is
responsible for the overall tactical      and monitors the execution of the

  FM 3-50                                                                                                              17
                                                      Chapter 2


  US forces may have to fight            countries. These are excellent refer-    established smoke lines up to 100
enemies ranging from sophisticated       ences for unit organization and          kilometers long, maintaining them
armored forces of Warsaw Pact and        equipment, operations and tactics,       for several days, weeks, and months.
the more advanced emerging               and specialized warfare.                   The Soviets state that smoke car-
countries to unconventional forces         The smoke capability of our poten-     ries more importance today than in
of the Third World. The reconnais-       tial adversaries ranges from field ex-   World War II. This is due to the
sance, surveillance, and target ac-      pedient methods to extensive             growth of highly sophisticated, long-
quisition (RSTA) capabilities of our     smoke-producing equipment and or-        range target acquisition systems that
potential adversaries range from         ganizations in the field. Clearly the    relatively inexpensive smoke and
binoculars and night vision devices      most significant Threat smoke            obscurants can defeat. They believe
to laser and thermal imaging sys-        capability resides within the Soviet     that smoke and obscurants can
tems. We must focus our training,        Union. Their continued emphasis          degrade and potentially defeat the
doctrine, and tactics in smoke and       on adapting existing smoke assets to     use of optical, laser, night vision,
obscurants on degrading and poten-       tactical missions and the develop-       and even thermal imaging systems.
tially defeating these types of sys-     ment of new smoke systems allows         For this reason the Soviets plan
tems.                                    Soviets to employ smoke in depth         that they will use smoke whenever
  The training begins with identify-     and in large areas for extended          and wherever the tactical situation
ing the location, types, capabilities,   periods.                                 permits.
and employment procedures of               Historically, the Soviets relied         For these reasons, our intelligence
enemy systems on the battlefield.        heavily on smoke. In many instances      preparation of the battlefield (IPB)
The FM 100-2 series covers the           smoke use was directly responsible       must include both Threat RSTA
Soviet Army and North Korean             for operational success. One Soviet      and smoke capabilities. This chap-
Army. The Cuban Forces Hand-             writing states that during an offen-     ter outlines Threat RSTA and
book, DDB-2680-62-86, dated May          sive action smoke screens can            smoke employment doctrine. Chap-
1980 and similar handbooks for           reduce their losses of combat            ters 3 through 5 outline doctrine
other countries are excellent sour-      vehicles by 60 percent to 80 per-        and tactics to attack Threat RSTA
ces of information on Third World        cent. In World War II, the Soviets       efforts and protect the force.

       Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition
  The effective employment of bat-         Threat RSTA encompasses all              Aerial reconnaissance sources are
tlefield smoke and obscurants re-        methods, such as photographic intel-     the satellites, front/army aviation as-
quires an understanding of Threat        ligence (PHOTINT), imagery intel-        sets, rotary-wing aircraft, and
RSTA capabilities and how these          ligence (IMINT), and human               remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs).
capabilities support Threat opera-       intelligence (HUMINT). The most            Ground reconnaissance includes
tions. The Soviets define reconnais-     reliable methods and therefore the       long-range reconnaissance units of
sance as the collection of               most used methods of RSTA are            front/army and divisional organiza-
intelligence information about the       also easily defeated by smoke and        tions and special reconnaissance,
location, disposition, composition,      obscurants. The Threat groups            such as NBC, engineer, and medical
number, armament, combat                 these methods into three major           reconnaissance.
preparedness, character of ac-           areas (aerial, ground, and artillery)      Artillery reconnaissance uses artil-
tivities, and intentions of the enemy    that encompass the strategic, opera-     lery observation posts through
in the interests of combat.              tional, and tactical depth of the bat-   direct observation, supplemented by
                                         tlefield.                                radar, sound, and flash ranging, and

18                                                                                                              FM 3-50
information resulting from               can transmit their information in-         The BRM is a BMP variant
electronic means.                        flight. High-performance aircraft        mounting the TALL MIKE ground
  Threat forces will conduct recon-      and helicopters can be equipped          surveillance radar. Some units will
naissance to acquire information on      with laser range finders and desig-      have the PSNR (portable informa-
US nuclear weapons, force disposi-       nators.                                  tion gathering station), a man-pack
tion, and intentions. In the Soviet        Reconnaissance aircraft fly at a       radar, or a mixture of both.
ground forces, dedicated reconnais-      high speed and low altitude, out to      Detailed information on the recon-
sance units will conduct aggressive      600 kilometers beyond the forward        naissance units’ organization and
RSTA for commanders from the             edge of the battle area (FEBA).          equipment can be found in
front down to regiment.                  However, certain reconnaissance          FM 100-2-3.
                                         aircraft, such as the FOXBAT B             Ground reconnaissance is primari-
 Aerial Reconnaissance                   (with visual and IR cameras) and         ly the concern of the tactical com-
                                         the FOXBAT D (with SLAR), may            mander at division and below. His
  Satellite, or "cosmic" reconnais-      perform their missions at high al-       or her interest is the enemy and ter-
sance, includes photography and          titude without having to cross their     rain to the immediate front, out to
television. It is controlled by the      forward line of own troops (FLOT).       100 to 150 kilometers. Tactical
GRU (general staff’s main intel-           Front and army RSTA assets may         ground reconnaissance units
ligence directorate). One reconnais-     include a squadron of drones, com-       operate out to 50 kilometers in
sance satellite version contains a       monly the DR3. Drones may have           front of the division. Airborne
video system on which images are         vertical and side-looking cameras,       reconnaissance teams can operate
stored and later retransmitted to        using visual and IR film. A drone        out to 100 kilometers.
Soviet ground stations.                  may also carry a video with real-          The information gathered directly
  Aerial reconnaissance is the prin-     time down-link, though this would        supports the plan of fire and
cipal method of gathering target in-     reduce its range. One drone              maneuver. Reconnaissance units will
telligence. It provides the most         squadron could launch 20 missions        operate as patrols of two to three
timely and reliable information on       a day.                                   vehicles. The greatest effort will be
the character and location of tar-         Aerial reconnaissance is particular-   directed toward suspected enemy
gets, particularly those in the enemy    ly critical to the initial air opera-    strength and primary axes of ad-
rear. Aerial reconnaissance recog-       tion. Predesignated strikes are          vance. These patrols will avoid com-
nizes four major categories of tar-      planned in detail. Maps and terrain      bat if possible. They will
gets:                                    models are used to familiarize           concentrate their efforts on finding
    Nuclear weapon systems and           pilots, plan approach and departure      enemy units, determining their
storage depots.                          routes, and determine attack techni-     strength, disposition, and weapons.
    Active and potential airfields.      ques and routes. The vulnerability       As the battle is joined, these patrols
    Defensive positions and systems      of high-performance aircraft to          will attempt to penetrate the FEBA
(AD, C3, EW).                            ground-based air defense neces-          to report on rear area activities,
    Reserves, logistic facilities, and   sitates a low-altitude (ideally, 50 to   movement of reserves, and location
approaches.                              100 meters), high-speed approach         of supply routes.
  Front air forces normally include      in minimum time. The pilot has             In addition to dedicated reconnais-
an air reconnaissance regiment, but      three to six seconds to identify his     sance units, the organization of the
may have as many as three. These         target. Helicopter squadrons at          regiment in march maximizes recon-
regiments are self-contained and         army and division level will fly mis-    naissance. To maintain the momen-
process the information they collect.    sions in support of engineer, chemi-     tum of the attack, the regiment in
There are 24 to 40 aircraft per regi-    cal, and artillery reconnaissance.       march allocates its combat power
ment. Their collection capabilities                                               forward in increments of one-third.
include fixed-frame and strip                          Ground                     This march formation assures that
photography, infrared (IR) photog-                                                the main body is not impeded by a
raphy, television, and side-looking             Reconnaissance                    small enemy force.
airborne radar (SLAR). An ex-              Reconnaissance units are assigned        The first element is the combat
ample is the FOXBAT B, which car-        to all echelons of the Soviet force      reconnaissance patrol (CRP), con-
ries five nose-mounted cameras and       structure, from regiment to front.       sisting of a reinforced platoon. En-
IR linescan equipment. It provides       Reconnaissance units are equipped        gineer and NBC reconnaissance
a coverage corridor of up to 70          with tanks, BMPs, BTRs, and              assets usually will be attached to
kilometers. The aerial television        BRDM2 scout cars, and reconnais-         the CRP. The CRP engages enemy
with down-link does not give the         sance variants of each. Specialized      units to determine strength and dis-
resolution of still photography, but     vehicles perform engineer and NBC        position. If the CRP cannot over-
it is near-real time. About half of      reconnaissance.                          come the enemy, it will attempt to
the Soviet reconnaissance aircraft

FM 3-50                                                                                                              19
fix the enemy in place to facilitate      bat vehicles fleetwide. This                for target acquisition, topographic
the employment of its parent, the         capability increases the Threat, be-        survey equipment for location data,
forward security element (FSE),           cause reconnaissance and combat             and a fire direction computer.
consisting of a reinforced company.       units will be able to detect and              Battlefield surveillance radars also
Next follows the advance guard, a         engage friendly units using these           support target acquisition and fire
reinforced battalion.                     devices.                                    adjustment. The PRP3 mobile obser-
  Target acquisition for direct fire                                                  vation, a BMP variant, is found in
begins early in the battle. A PRP3,                Artillery                          each howitzer battalion. It carries
with its SMALL FRED target ac-                                                        the observation devices of the
quisition radar, will be found with             Reconnaissance                        ACRV and the SMALL FRED
the advance guard, if not sooner.            A network of observation posts           radar, which detects targets and ad-
  Most Soviet combat vehicles carry       controls artillery fire. Artillery obser-   justs fire out to 20 kilometers. The
active IR for night vision and fire       vation posts locate targets and refer-      BIG FRED battlefield surveillance
control; many are equipped with            ence points. They transmit the data        radar, mounted on an MTLB, a
laser range finders. Laser range          back to the firing batteries and ad-        light transport combat vehicle, is
finders in vehicles and artillery units   just fire. Some observation posts            found in the target acquisition bat-
are usually Nd: YAG (Neodymium:           will be located with the advance            tery of the artillery regiment. The
yttrium aluminum garnett) operat-         maneuver elements. Armored com-             MI2 HOPLITE from the division
ing in the visible spectrum at 1.06       mand and reconnaissance vehicles            helicopter squadron is also used for
microns. Some Third World                  (ACRVs) (which function as fire            target acquisition and fire adjust-
countries are capable of and have         direction centers as well as observa-       ment.
installed thermal imagers rather           tion posts) carry day/night observa-
than active IR optics on their com-       tion devices and laser range finders

                                   Combined Arms Operations
 The Soviets believe the tank to be       both improved and more extensive            of Israeli armored vehicles in one
the keystone of the combined arms         obscuration capabilities and tactics.       week. Their doctrine reflects this
operation. Their concern about            Soviet writings often cite the Arab-        concern over defeating enemy an-
NATO antitank capabilities gives          Israeli War of 1973, in which               titank weapon systems.
them great incentive to develop           ATGMs destroyed over one-third

         Threat Smoke Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
  In addition to the three battlefield        Use decoy smoke at one or more              Use smoke to screen the ac-
smoke applications, we can expect         likely crossing sites in an attempt to      tivities of engineer units when clear-
the Threat to follow several              deceive our forces.                         ing minefield and to mark passages
guidelines when using smoke. These            Use smoke to conceal aerial refer-      through engineer barriers.
include the following:                     ence points.                                   Use smoke to screen logistics
   Cover an area five times the size          Use smoke to conceal important          routes and activities that are within
of the target, with the target off cen-   locations and possible targets such         range of our fire and observation.
ter within the smoke.                     as troop concentrations, crossing               Use smoke to mark targets for
    Light dummy fires or use flares       sites, bridges, railroad junctions,         aircraft, artillery preparation, and
within the smoke to give the false         and unloading areas.                       signaling purposes.
impression of a hit when enemy fire           Screen flanks of attacking                  Use blinding, camouflage, and
falls within the smoke.                    echelons.                                  decoy smoke to conceal the direc-
   Initiate the smoke two to three            Use illumination rounds in con-         tion and time of attack to minimize
hours before starting the operation;      junction with blinding smoke to             losses.
sustain the smoke along a wide            destroy night vision on the objective       Note: Reliable communication and
front to conceal river crossing           and illuminate the target.
operations.                                   Screen fronts of advancing              continuous coordination among
   Place smoke on both sides of the       maneuver echelons.                          units making smoke, units using
river during crossing operations.             Screen movement of guns and             smoke, forward air warning assets,
   Make maximum use of floating           other weapon systems into firing            and air defense systems are essen-
smoke pots and smoke barrels to           positions and from position to posi-        tial.
cover the crossings.                      tion.

20                                                                                                                 FM 3-50
                               Threat Offensive Smoke Use
  Threat smoke doctrine states that        After a Threat attacking force        forward elements is 1,300 meters.
they will use smoke whenever and        passes through the FLOT to our            The CRP is part of the reinforced
wherever the tactical situation per-    side of the FLOT, use consecutive         motorized rifle company (MRC),
mits. The extent they use smoke in      lines of fire with HE and WP/PWP          which is part of a reinforced MRB.
any offensive operation depends lar-    to provide additional blinding            The mission of the FSE is to destroy
gely on the amount of time avail-       smoke.                                    our reconnaissance forces and to
able to plan and coordinate for the        Use VEESS/grenades on the US           destroy or fix our lead company,
use of smoke in support of the          side of the FLOT only on command          thereby fixing our force in position.
operation. Smoke usage is also de-      of the company and battalion com-         Twenty minutes behind the FSE is
pendent on other variables, such as     mander when required for addition-        the reinforced MRB (minus the ad-
weather, terrain, and the tactical      al protection.                            vanced guard) that is to actually con-
situation. Nevertheless, we can                                                   duct the attack.
deduce several doctrinal norms for           Threat Smoke Example                    At H-hour supporting artillery
our IPB in regard to Threat smoke         The following example illustrates       deploy and fire a WP round from
use in the offense. Expect the          the Threat’s use of smoke in the of-      each of two 122-millimeter guns to
Threat to—                              fense. The example does not in-           mark the enemy’s flanks. The FSE is
    Use an intense initial artillery    clude consideration of either terrain     moving forward and will establish
preparation with HE and smoke           or local meteorological conditions;       the FLOT along the screen line of
munitions fired for shock and sup-      therefore, it is largely mission,         the CRP. The advanced guard is
pression                                enemy, terrain, troops, and time          moving forward at a rate of 30
   Use sustained HE fire to cause at-   available (METT-T) independent.           kilometers per hour.
trition to defenders; this also         The example centers around the               The artillery and mortar units begin
creates large quantities of dust that   type, extent, and time frame in           their fire at H + 1 minute, using HE
stay aerosolized after three to four    which the Threat would use                rounds on the objective. The FSE
volleys.                                obscurants. The example does not          has deployed along the FLOT with
    Place blinding HE dust and          consider our countermeasures and          its attached tank platoon in the north-
smoke on or in front of defensive       does not represent US Army                ern sector.
positions.                              doctrine.                                   At H + 9 minutes, the FSE’s com-
    Use smoke to deny acquisition,        In meeting engagements, the             bat vehicles initiate camouflage
degrade armor or antiarmor              Threat attempts to seize the initia-      smoke with their VEESSs (Figure 1,
guidance systems, and with toxic        tive to either overwhelm or force         next page). The artillery and mortar
smokes create casualties.               the opponent into the defensive.          units increase their rate of fire. Two
    In the main attack area, make       These tactics generally occur when        minutes later (H + 11 minutes) the
smoke three to five times wider         covering forces, guard forces,            two platoons in the northern sector
than the zone of attack.                patrols, and units moving to contact      shut off their VEESS and fire a half
   On the Threat side of the FLOT,      encounter the enemy, either inten-        volley of their smoke grenades. These
use smoke pots and generators and       tionally or unintentionally. They are     two platoons will distract attention
limited VEESS smoke to                  normally conflicts of a few hours        from the advanced guard, which will
camouflage and protect the attack-      duration. A meeting engagement            conduct the actual attack along a
ing force’s advance from long-range     will probably occur more frequently       more southerly axis.
helicopter and indirect fire.           than any other encounter and in-            At H + 12 minutes, the MRB (-)
   On the US side of the FLOT,          volve the least amount of deliberate      arrives at the FLOT and attacks
use HE-created dust, projected          use of smoke and obscurants.              through the area where the two
WP/PWP smoke, and on-board                A Threat reinforced motorized rifle     motorized rifle platoons are still
smoke to degrade acquisition and        battalion (MRB) has penetrated our        generating camouflaging smoke with
armor or antiarmor guidance sys-        defensive positions. A second-            their VEESS. Each of the two tank
tems.                                   echelon unit has exploited the           platoons from the attacking force
   Increase artillery tempo as attack   breakthrough by continuing the            now fires a half volley of grenades.
force approaches the FLOT               march into our rear area. At H - 9,        The units that had previously fired
   Shift HE and smoke fire to iso-      both sides have located each other,        their grenades to distract attention
late the zone of attack when the at-    with neither screening force large        fire the rest of their grenades and
tacker is 400 to 1,000 meters from      enough to initiate combat. Therefore,      begin to move forward.
our defense.                            they remain in contact until either          At H + 13 minutes, the tanks
   Conduct the final assault unen-      side can bring forward a larger force.    from the main attacking formation
cumbered by their own obscurants        The distance between the opposing         fire the rest of their grenades as they

FM 3-50                                                                                                               21
                                                            continue to attack       The mortar and artillery units start
                                                           forward. The feint     firing an HE/WP mix at H + 15
                                                           has stalled and is     minutes.
                                                           now unobscured.          At H + 16 minutes, Threat fire
                                                           HE rounds are          shifts to the rear of the defensive posi-
                                                           still falling on the   tions to isolate our force.
                                                            objective (Figure        For a list of total obscurant and ar-
                                                            2, below).             tillery assets used by the Threat in
                                                                                   this example, see Table 3.

                                 Threat Defensive Smoke Use
 Threat defensive smoke use can             To ensure flank and maneuver                Smoke to Disrupt
be grouped into two broad                security.
categories. These are smoke for              To mislead our forces on the dis-                and Defeat
protection from fire and smoke to        position of second echelons and                Advancing Forces
disrupt and defeat advancing forces.     reserves and planned counterattack
                                         directions.                                The Threat also will use smoke
  Smoke for Protection                      To conceal the withdrawal of the      while in the defense to slow, dis-
                                         battle outpost.                          rupt, and defeat our advancing for-
  Examples of Threat smoke usage            To counter our reconnaissance, in-    ces. Several Threat writings
for protection include the following     telligence, target acquisition, and      expressed concern over identifying
   To camouflage the maneuvers of        weapon guidance and control sys-         targets set against forest or brush
their subunits of tanks, infantry, and   tems.                                    backgrounds. For this reason, the
artillery.                                  To protect targets from laser         Threat developed techniques involv-
   To conceal engineer activities        designators.                             ing the use of smoke and illumina-
from our observation.                       To blind our observation posts        tion rounds to serve as an artificial
   To screen replacements of first-      and forward observers.                   background. This makes target iden-
echelon units and subunits under            To conceal engineer breaching         tification easier. These techniques
conditions of good visibility.           operations.                              involve firing mortar and/or artillery
   To camouflage the approach of            To conceal aerial reference points.   smoke rounds 50 to 100 meters
their subunits for counterattack.           To defeat the light and heat ef-      beyond our advancing forces. Then
                                         fects of nuclear weapons.                they place illumination rounds just

22                                                                                                              FM 3-50
beyond the smoke to illuminate the             Threat Smoke Example                    When their forces have identified
background from the rear. This                                                      our axis of advavce, they begin to es-
                                            The best illustration of Threat         tablish an obscuring line, using WP
creates favorable conditions for ob-      smoke use in the defense is a
servation and acquisition.                Threat hasty defense versus a friend-     and illumination rounds approximate-
  Also, Threat doctrine states that                                                 ly 150 to 200 meters in front of our
                                          ly deliberate attack. In the following    FLOT. When our attackers emerge
smoke deprives our units, when            scenario, Threat forces have attack-
shrouded in smoke, of the                                                           from the smoke, Threat forces engage
                                          ed and are well within our territory.     them with ATGM weapon systems.
capability to conduct observation of      Threat forces have already made an
the field of battle. Smoke will make      unsuccessful attempt to attack from          The Threat will establish a second
fire control and navigation more dif-                                                obscuring line approximately 900
                                          a position in contact.                     meters in front of our FLOT, using
ficult. As a result, our attacking for-     The Threat force commander is
ces can stray off course from the         preparing to conduct an attack from       HE and WP fire. Again, ATGM fire
specified directions and get mixed        a position in contact. Before he can       will engage our attacking forces when
up with each other. There is poten-       initiate this attack we attack. Two        we emerge from the smoke. As our
tial for us to reduce or not aim our      minutes after our forces begin their      forces reach the point 1,000 meters
fire, creating favorable conditions       preparatory fire, Threat artillery uses   from the the Threat’s FLOT, they
for Threat second echelons and            counterbattery fire with HE onto our       will engage us with HE munitions
reserves to deploy, seize the initia-     scout platoon.                            from a 122-millimeter multiple rocket
tive, and counterattack.                                                             launcher.

                                      Commander’s Considerations
  Even the most sophisticated                Extent of enemy smoke employ-            Example 2 shows that the Threat
weapon systems are limited by ter-        ment.                                     use of smoke degrades the enemy’s
rain and weather. Prior planning by          Directed-energy weapon                 own force combat power when we
the S2/G2, S3/G3, and the chemical        capabilities of the enemy force.          have ATGMs with thermal sights
officer can increase the limitations        We use smoke and obscurants to          (for example, TOW II). TOW II
of enemy systems with man-made            attack Threat EO systems and to           can see and shoot through most
obscurants. The commander will            protect our force. Smoke and              smokes. This increases our force
have to decide how smoke and              obscurants can change the number          ratio (2.5:1) over that depicted in ex-
obscurants will affect his ability to     of effective weapon systems avail-        ample 1 (1:6.4) by removing all
conduct the direct fire fight. Given      able to either force. Once the com-       Threat long-range direct fire
the various types of EO devices and       mander decides to use smoke and           weapons while not significantly
the number of visual and bispectral       obscurants, the outcome of the bat-       degrading friendly long-range tank
obscurants that will be common on         tle and the proficiency of his intel-     main gun (M1) and missile shots
any future battlefield, the answer to     ligence, operations, and chemical         (IFV and ITV).
this question is not easy. The            officers will determine the effective-      In example 3, we use smoke
Soviets may not have thermal im-          ness of his weapons.                      against a high-technology threat.
agery sights on their weapon sys-           The four examples in Figure 3, on       Our use of smoke degrades the
tems. However, other potential            the next page, illustrate how smoke       Threat’s combat power when we
adversaries are attempting to ac-         affects the number of enemy               have the TOW II. The force ratios
quire or already have the systems.        weapon systems that can engage the        are the same as in example 2. In ex-
During any future conflict, you must      combat battalion. Example 1               ample 4, we use smoke against a
know your enemy, "What?"                  depicts the force ratio when smoke        low-technology threat. This
"When?" "Where?" "How?" and               is not used. In this example, the         eliminates the Threat’s ability to
"With how many?" will always be           standard force ratio is Threat forces     fight the direct fire fight since none
the questions to answer. Other            6.4:1 over friendly forces. In ex-        of the enemy’s long-range fire sys-
PIRs to determine the effects of          amples 2 through 4, the same size         tems can see through smoke. In this
obscurants are the—                       force uses equal amounts of smoke         case, our force ratio significantly in-
   EO system capabilities of the          and puts it in the same location.         creases (8:1). Friendly forces are
ememy force.                              However, the force ratio changes in       able to engage the Threat’s entire
   Extent of their employment:            each example based on the relative        force.
whether on reconnaissance systems,        abilities of opposing weapon sys-           We could describe an infinite num-
direct fire systems, or all systems.      tems to see through the smoke and         ber of combinations of smoke and
   Smoke delivery capabilities of the     engage targets.                           weapon usage; therefore, com-
enemy force.

FM 3-50                                                                                                                 23
24   FM 3-50
manders must consider the follow-        Threat direct fire systems to see       your enemy to see and fire through
ing principles when using smoke:         and shoot through smoke.                smoke. Plan the battle accordingly
   Smoke usage can change the num-           Employing smoke improperly can      and never leave smoke employment
ber of effective weapon systems          degrade friendly combat potential.      to chance.
available to either force.               When in doubt, employ smoke only
   Smoke effectiveness is directly re-   when you can see and fire through
lated to the relative ability of         it. Know your ability and that of

               US Countermeasures to Threat Use of Smoke
  Threat smoke and obscurant use                    Dispersion                   using thermal imagers and direct
has the potential for significantly                                              fire weapon systems.
degrading both our defensive and of-       Dispersing our forces laterally and
fensive operations. In general, there    in depth places a greater burden on              Engagement
are two options available to counter     attacking fire. Combining dispersion
enemy smoke use: Move to aler-           with rigorous counterreconnaissance           of Enemy Forces
nate positions on the battlefield to     measures forces the Threat to ex-           in March Formation
continue unimpaired operations, or       pend more resources and take
use EO devices that allow opera-         greater risks in conducting attacks.      The Threat does not plan as much
tions to continue under smoke.           The more dispersed you are, the         smoke to protect the force while
  Our forces must first understand       more difficult and costly it is for     they are still behind the FLOT. If
Threat doctrine regarding use of         the Threat to bring blinding smoke      we engage enemy march formations,
smoke and obscurants to anticipate       fire on your positions. Additionally,   less enemy smoke use should en-
when and where the Threat will           dispersing in depth aids in obtain-     hance our fire.
employ them on the battlefield.          ing flanking fire where the Threat
Next, our commanders must train          smoke is much less concentrated.               Limited Visibility
their units to operate in periods of                                                          Positions
limited visibility where target ac-                  Deception
quisition, navigation, and command                                                 Threat doctrine calls for the
and control are confusing and dif-         Tactical deception can cause the      Threat to lift all smoke when they
ficult. Finally, we must train and       Threat to ineffectively use smoke as-   come within 1,000 meters of their
use tactics, techniques, and proce-      sets. For example, an effective ruse    objective. Using alternate positions
dures that overcome or minimize          might cause the enemy to expend         forward of your main defense will
the effectiveness of Threat smoke        greater resources in attempting to      cause attrition in their attacking
and obscurant usage.                     blind friendly gunners and              force and disrupt their timetables,
                                         camouflage tank movement. This          creating surprise and confusion
           Obstacles                     would reduce overall smoke effec-       when they emerge from their final
                                         tiveness. Using deception means         smoke screen. However, the use of
  Obstacles placed along the             may also cause the enemy to attack      any alternate positions increases the
enemy’s most likely avenue of ad-        in the wrong direction and become       need for countersurveillance and
vance can slow them, disrupting          silhouetted against their own smoke,    counterreconnaissance measures.
their timetables. Preplanned fire on     allowing us to effectively engage         Occupation of reverse slope posi-
these positions can be an effective      their force without smoke degrading     tions coupled with alternate or
means of engaging the enemy even         our line of sight.                      dummy positions on the forward
in dense concentrations of smoke.                                                slope can cause the enemy to waste
  Acquisition devices that are less         Friendly Countersmoke                artillery assets and give friendly
sensitive to smoke and obscurants                                                defenders more time to react when
can acquire the enemy at choke             Friendly forces can use smoke and     enemy attackers emerge from their
points and/or barriers and then          obscurants to counter enemy use of      own smoke.
direct engagement by direct and in-      smoke as control measures or phase
direct fire. Obstacles can delay one     lines. Friendly visual obscurants can
                                         flood the area between friendly              Stay-Behind Forces
element of the attacking force, draw-
ing an adjacent element into an          defensive positions and enemy             Stay-behind forces using nonlinear
engagement area, unable to receive       smoke lines to disorient the enemy      tactics can engage an enemy from
supporting fire. Separation of forces    and deceive them as to the actual       their flanks and rear where they are
may also occur due to the enemy’s        battle positions. At the same time,     often unobscured.
own use of smoke.                        friendly units can engage the enemy

FM 3-50                                                                                                             25
           Positioning                    Ground Surveillance                              Preplanned
      of Observers and                                 Radar                           Disengagements
   Observation Devices                  Employ ground surveillance radar          Execute preplanned disengage-
  Position forward observers, warn-    (GSR) with maneuver elements to           ment based on remote signal
ing systems, and ground/vehicle        direct, identify, and locate targets in   devices rather than visual cues. Use
laser locator designators              smoke. Ensure our own obscurant           a thorough IPB to establish the key
(G/VLLDs) where they are less like-    operations do not mask GSRs with          event for disengagement on your
ly to encounter obscuration during     millimeter wave obscurants and that       decision support templates.
the battle. The highest point of a     GSRs can continue to provide tar-
battle position normally offers the    geting data to commanders when              Air Defense Positions
best lines of sight for laser desig-   smoke obscures other surveillance
nators. However, because of the vul-   means.                                      Position air defense assets where
nerability of these G/VLLDs to                                                   they obtain the most benefit from
smoke and obscurants, commanders          Use of Threat Smoke                    enemy smoke. Emplace systems re-
should attempt to avoid blinding by                                              quiring visual target acquisition (for
                                                  to Conceal                     example, Vulcan and Stinger) on
placing these devices on the flanks
of a battle position.                          Our Maneuver                      high ground clear of the smoke.
                                                                                 Use them to look over the smoke
                                         When the Threat uses smoke be-          and engage low-flying helicopters
            Targeting                  tween their forces and ours, we can       and aircraft that silhouette against
            of Enemy                   exploit the fact that they are as like-   the smoke. Emplace air defense sys-
                                       ly to be unable to see through it as      tems using thermal or millimeter
        Smoke Assets                   we. We can use their smoke to aid         wave acquisition in the smoke to
  In addition to passive counter-      in obtaining surprise for our own at-     mask missile launch points.
measures, we can also take active      tack or counterattack.
steps to reduce the obscurant
threat. Using IPB with a thorough               Use of Friendly
understanding of how the enemy                        Aviation
employs smoke assets, we can deter-
mine the location of those smoke as-     Use friendly aviation assets to
sets. Once located, enemy artillery    identify gaps in smoke coverage.
and smoke generator units are ex-      Target hand-off procedures must
tremely vulnerable to friendly fire.   facilitate air and ground target

26                                                                                                            FM 3-50
                                                     Chapter 3

                                        Offensive Operations

  The offense is characterized by        and obscurant use multiplies the        type of offensive operation at any
violence, concentration of friendly      commander’s ability to project com-     level because smoke generally
forces, disruption of hostile forces,    bat power at the critical time and      favors the attacker.
and rapid transitions between dif-       place to defeat the enemy. Smoke
ferent types of operations. Smoke        and obscurant use will support any

                                        Historical Perspective
 The most recent and perhaps             prepared Israeli positions defending    munications centers, airstrips, and
most significant example of smoke        the west bank of the Suez Canal.        artillery positions (Figure 4).
in a combat multiplier role oc-          The Egyptians initiated the attack       Within moments, Egyptian artillery
curred during the 1973 Arab-Israeli      by deploying 200 attack aircraft into   opened up with a massive barrage
War. On 6 October 1973, at 1400          the Sinai to destroy Israeli com-       of high-explosive munitions and
hours, Egyptian forces attacked                                                  blinding smoke. The Egyptians in-
                                                                                                       tended to
                                                                                                       degrade the
                                                                                                       ability of the Is-
                                                                                                       raelis to engage
                                                                                                       targets and ad-
                                                                                                       just artillery fire
                                                                                                       with that blind-
                                                                                                       ing smoke. It ac-
                                                                                                       complished its
                                                                                                       purpose with
                                                                                                       results; it in-
                                                                                                        duced a feeling
                                                                                                        of total isolation
                                                                                                        among defend-
                                                                                                        ing Israeli units.
                                                                                                       The fear caused
                                                                                                        by the addition
                                                                                                        of yellow smoke
                                                                                                        to the artillery
                                                                                                        amplified the
                                                                                                        psychological ef-
                                                                                                        fects of isola-
                                                                                                        tion. The
                                                                                                        believed they
                                                                                                        were being

FM 3-50                                                                                                             27
  Minutes later Egyptian armored            These actions demonstrated the         Israeli ability to acquire targets and
and artillery assets began to deploy      tremendous impact of smoke when          spot for attack aircraft.
forward to firing positions on their      synchronized with a combined arms          The Egyptian Army was eventually
side of the canal. These units            assault. Within the first 24 hours of    driven back and sustained consider-
engaged the Bar-Lev strongpoints          the attack, the Egyptians ac-            able losses. Nevertheless, their
with direct fire while infantry units     complished the almost impossible:        forced crossing of what the Israelis
conducted a forced crossing in din-       They had moved five divisions,           believed to be the largest tank ditch
ghies under the cover of canister-        100,000 men, 1,020 tanks, and            in the world was a complete suc-
generated smoke. Air-mobile               13,500 vehicles across the canal and     cess. The effect that smoke played
operations placed commando units          established a bridgehead six miles       in that operation was significant.
10 miles into the rear to disrupt         into the Sinai. The Israeli forces       While the crossing may have been
reinforcing echelons. Egyptian en-        lost 150 tanks, almost one-tenth of      effective without smoke, the Egyp-
gineer units emplaced bridges over        their total in the Sinai. The blinding   tian forces could have sustained far
the canal. Smoke from artillery,          smoke placed on the Bar-Lev              greater casualties, and the crossing
canister, and smoke generator as-         strongpoints effectively reduced the     could have taken far longer to com-
sets supported the engineer effort.                                                plete without the cover of smoke.

   The National Training Center               Provide additional firepower by—                       Use
 (NTC) is an area where smoke              – Changing friendly to enemy force
 training is possible on a large force-    ratios by using thermal imagers and        Smoke and obscurant use in the of-
 on-force scale. MG E. S. Leland,         millimeter wave acquisition devices       fense requires careful planning and
 former commander of the NTC,             such as radars to see through visual      execution to prevent interference
 stated, "Smoke is a far more sig-        smokes and using smoke to isolate         with movement, assault operations,
 nificant battlefield factor than I        defending and second-echelon for-        or target acquisition; to retain the
 used to believe. It simply must be a     ces.                                      element of surprise; and to avoid sil-
 major planning consideration in           – Defeating enemy counterrecon-          houetting or drawing undue atten-
 terms of both friendly employment        naissance efforts.                        tion to friendly forces.
 and reaction to enemy use."               – Enhancing friendly target                Smoke use is not without risks.
   Key insights from the NTC for the      acquisition efforts by silhouetting       Our use of smoke must increase
 offense include the following:           enemy vehicles with smoke and            friendly force survivability without
    Smoke favors the attacker.            using smoke and obscurants we can        seriously degrading operational
    Smoke tightens attack formations.     see through but the enemy cannot.        capabilities. It must decrease Threat
    We must capitalize on thermal im-     Disrupting enemy maneuver and            force command, control, com-
ager capability.                          reinforcement.                           munications, and intelligence gather-
    We must plan command and con-          – Disrupting the enemy’s ability to     ing capabilities (C3I).
trol without visual cues.                 communicate.                                In addition to the general employ-
    Training and rehearsal are the            Protect the force by—                ment techniques detailed in Chap-
keys to success.                           – Reducing friendly force vul-          ter 1, techniques to minimize
  Smoke and obscurants integrated         nerability by concealing support         interference in the offense include
throughout the offensive framework        forces from enemy observation and        the following:
provide major contributions to com-       defeating enemy reconnaissance ef-           Use covered and concealed
bat power in deep, close, and rear        forts.                                   maneuver techniques. Assume the
operations. In the offense, use           – Concealing obstacle breaching.         enemy can see through the smoke.
smoke to—                                 – Defeating enemy weapons by             Do not take unnecessary risks with
    Support maneuver by—                  defeating enemy target acquisition       the force.
 – Concealing maneuvering forces          efforts, defeating enemy guidance            Time smoke delivery with
from enemy observation.                   systems, and negating standoff           decision points. Conduct a
– Providing tactical surprise and al-     capability of enemy long-range           thorough IPB and time your use of
lowing the commander to set the           direct fire weapons.                     smoke to key decision points in
terms of combat.                          – Degrading or defeating enemy           your tactical plan: for example,
– Allowing the commander to mass          directed-energy weapons.                 "When we reach Hill 285, we will
forces unobserved.                                                                 call for A Battery to fire smoke and
Defeating enemy surveillance efforts.                                              HE onto target XY1007 and sustain
– Supporting the deception plan.                                                   that fire to obscure enemy observa-

28                                                                                                              FM 3-50
tion of our flanking of Objective                        Goal                     your units. Begin making smoke
White."                                                                           prior to crossing the line of depar-
    Use unobscured weapons to over-        The main focus of smoke in the of-     ture to confuse the enemy as to the
watch. The overmatching elements         fense is to defeat enemy RSTA ef-        actual location and size of the force.
should have target acquisition           forts, conceal maneuver and                  Protecting smoke. Use protecting
devices such as thermal imagers          support forces, and contribute to        smoke as required to defeat enemy
that can see through our own             tactical deception operations. Our       ATGMs and air defense systems.
smoke and engage the enemy. This         intent is to deny the enemy informa-         Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring
prevents surprise and enhances the       tion about the disposition and com-      smoke to defeat enemy reconnais-
ability to suppress enemy fire           position of our forces, which            sance and counterreconnaissance ef-
during the assault.                      provides surprise and security. It       forts. Use projected smoke means
    Do not let your own smoke sil-       also allows the commander the            to deliver smoke mixed with high-ex-
houette your forces. Never overrun       flexibility to mass the forces re-       plosive rounds before the enemy
your smoke cloud prior to the final      quired to conduct attacks. The next      can pinpoint your units. Plan obscur-
assault. "Walk smoke in" towards         section presents the tactics for         ing fire based on decision points for
enemy positions wherever possible.       using smoke in offensive operations.     the enemy, isolating and confusing
This ensures your forces remain con-     Appendix A contains tactical             their reconnaissance forces.
cealed and confuses the enemy as         decision aids for determining which          Marking smoke. Use smoke to
to your exact location and intent.       smoke delivery means to use against      mark enemy targets for rapid
    Plan to engage through or            the specific smoke targets covered       destruction or to reduce the poten-
around the smoke. Plan to use            by these tactics.                        tial for firing on friendly forces.
weapon systems that can acquire                                                       Smoke for deception. Use this
and fire through the smoke. Plan                      Phases                      smoke to draw attention to areas of
limited visibility positions for those                                            little or no importance. Create large-
systems that smoke degrades (for ex-      The phases of the offense are            area smoke away from the main
ample, position target acquisition as-   preparation, attack, exploitation,       body. Consider using smoke mixed
sets on flanks or above smoke).          and pursuit.                             with high-explosive rounds to con-
    Plan for enemy countermeasures.                                                duct preparatory fire on dummy ob-
Enemy forces will counter your                       Preparation                  jectives.
smoke use. Plan to intensify your          The preparation phase of offensive        Figure 5, on the next page, il-
 counterreconnaissance and air           operations involves the concentra-        lustrates smoke employment in the
defense efforts. The enemy may use       tion of attacking forces and as-          preparation phase.
countersmoke to confuse your com-        sociated support elements into
mand and control, so avoid reliance      contact with the enemy.                                  Attack
on visual signals. The enemy will in-      The overriding imperative in a           A hasty attack will normally imme-
crease use of indirect fire weapons      movement to contact is initiative.       diately follow a movement to con-
when direct fire target acquisition is     Use smoke to –                         tact. If the contact reveals an
ineffective. Therefore, plan artillery      Conceal movement of maneuver          overwhelmingly superior enemy
counterbattery and countersmoke          and support forces, allowing the         force, or our hasty attack is unable
fire after crossing the line of depar-   commander to mass forces unob-           to either outflank or overcome the
ture/line of crossing (LD/LC).           served.                                  enemy defense, we will conduct a
    Plan for additional maneuver            Provide tactical surprise, allowing   deliberate attack. In the attack
time under smoke. Smoke slows            the commander to seize the initia-       phase, use smoke to—
maneuver. Base the planning factor       tive and set the terms of combat.           Provide tactical surprise, allowing
 on METT-T and the proficiency of           Defeat enemy reconnaissance and       the commander to seize the initia-
your unit to operate under smoke         counterreconnaissance efforts.           tive early.
 as shown in previous combat (or            Conceal obstacle breaching or             Conceal movement of maneuver
training) operations.                    crossing.                                and support forces, allowing the
    Verify enemy locations (respon-        Smoke employment tactics in the        commander to mass forces unob-
sibility of reconnaissance). The         preparation phase are the following:     served. Smoke must provide the
enemy can use both our smoke and            Screening smoke. Use screening        commander with the ability to con-
theirs to conceal movement to alter-     smoke to conceal maneuver and            centrate the maximum possible
nate positions or to break contact.      obstacle breaching or crossing. Use      shock and violence against the
Aggressive reconnaissance before         smoke in the main body area and          enemy.
 and during the engagement will          along the flanks to conceal move-           Ruin the enemy commander’s
 allow you to shoot and remain in        ment. You must carefully control         synchronization.
 contact.                                the smoke to prevent silhouetting

FM 3-50                                                                                                              29
     Conceal obstacle breaching or       tion of reserves. Use self-defense      names as for the preparation phase,
 crossing.                               and generated-smoke means to            but read on.
     Defeat enemy target acquisition,    deliver smoke across danger areas           Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring
 weapon guidance, and directed-ener-     and to the flanks of the force to       smoke to isolate the objective and
 gy weapon systems.                      limit enemy observation and engage-     complement countermobility efforts.
   The overriding imperative in hasty    ment.                                   Use it also to defeat enemy target
 attacks is agility. Therefore, smoke       Marking smoke. The tactics are       acquisition and guidance systems
 use in a hasty attack must assist the   the same as in the preparation          and defeat reconnaissance and
 commander to fix and contain the        phase.                                  counterreconnaissance efforts. Use
 enemy, deploy into combat forma-           Protecting smoke. The tactics are    projected smoke means to deliver
 tions, and maneuver additional for-     the same as in the preparation          smoke mixed with high-explosive
 ces to the flank and rear where the     phase.                                  rounds in front of the objective, be-
 enemy is destroyed by fire or as-          Deceptive smoke. The tactics are     tween enemy formations, on iden-
 sault.                                  the same as in the preparation          tified forward observers, and on
   Smoke employment tactics in a         phase.                                  ATGM and tank unit positions
 hasty attack include obscuring            The overriding imperative for the     before the enemy can pinpoint your
 smoke, screening smoke, marking         deliberate attack is synchronization.   units as targets. Use smoke mixed
 smoke, protecting smoke, and            Therefore, smoke use in the             with scatterable mines for counter-
 deceptive smoke:                        deliberate attack must assist the       mobility behind enemy positions.
     Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring      commander to fix and maneuver           Use it also between the enemy first-
 smoke to isolate the objective,         against the enemy and prevent the       echelon, reserve, and second-
 defeat enemy target acquisition and     enemy from breaking contact. It         echelon forces. The critical activity
 guidance systems, and defeat recon-     must also force penetration of the      in planning obscuring fire in the
 naissance and counterreconnais-         enemy’s defense and prevent reinfor-    deliberate attack is synchronization
 sance efforts. Use projected smoke      cement or counterattack by enemy        of all direct fire, fire support,
 means to deliver smoke mixed with       reserves or second-echelon forces.      smoke support, and engineer assets
 high-explosive rounds in front of       Smoke employment tactics in a           to create maximum combat power.
 the objective; between enemy forma-
                                .        deliberate attack have the same
 tions; and on iden-
 tified forward ob-
 server, ATGM, and
 tank unit positions
before the enemy
 can pinpoint your
units as targets.
Using projected
smoke as
countersmoke and
to isolate the objec-
tive can significant-
ly interfere with the
     Screening smoke.
Use screening
smoke to conceal
maneuver as you
bypass small pock-
ets of resistance
and breach
obstacles. Use it
also along the
flanks to protect
the force and in the
rear to conceal dis-
position and composi-

30                                                                                                           FM 3-50
    Screening smoke. Use screening      pressure, compound their disor-              Marking smoke. Use marking
smoke to conceal maneuver as you        ganization, and erode their will to       smoke to mark targets for destruc-
cross the line of contact, bypass       resist. The overriding imperative in      tion, identify bypass routes, and sig-
small pockets of resistance, or         exploitation is depth. In the exploita-   nal for battlefield activities. Use
bypass or breach obstacles; along       tion phase, use smoke to—                 projected smoke means to deliver
the flanks to protect the force; and       Ruin the enemy commander’s             smoke onto identified enemy
in the rear to conceal disposition      synchronization.                          strongpoints or larger formations
and composition of reserves. Use           Isolate enemy forces, allowing the     and to signal forces to consolidate
large-area generated smoke to con-      commander to keep the enemy in            on a particular objective or rally
ceal passage of lines and confuse       contact and under pressure.               point. As exploitation force com-
the enemy concerning the disposi-          Conceal movement of maneuver           manders rely heavily on air cavalry
tion and composition of your force.     and support forces, allowing the          units for reconnaissance, helicopter-
Reconnaissance of enemy obstacles       commander to protect logistical           delivered smoke rockets will pro-
is critical to ensure timely employ-    units and convoys required to sus-        vide the best delivery system. Use
ment of large-area smoke to con-        tain the momentum of the exploit-         generated-smoke means to mark
ceal breaching or crossing of           ing force.                                bypass routes (for example, scouts
obstacles. Use self-defense and            Defeat enemy target acquisition,       could drop smoke pots at 100- to
generated-smoke means to deliver        weapon guidance, and directed-ener-       200-meter intervals along a bypass
smoke across danger areas and to        gy weapon systems. This is par-           route).
the flanks of the force to limit        ticularly important as the                   Protecting smoke. The risk of
enemy observation and engagement.       exploitation force bypasses or con-       nuclear weapon use increases when
    Marking smoke. Use marking          tains small groups of enemy forces.       conventional means are ineffective
smoke to mark enemy targets for           Smoke employment tactics in the         in stopping our advance. If the
rapid destruction or to reduce the      exploitation phase use the same five      enemy has known or suspected
potential for firing on friendly for-   types of smoke as follows:                nuclear or directed-energy weapon
ces. Use projected smoke means             Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring         capability, concealing your logistics
such as helicopter rockets to mark      smoke to complement counter-              activities in oil smokes may at-
close and deep targets for engage-      mobility efforts, defeat enemy target     tenuate some of the energy.
ment by close air support aircraft.     acquisition and guidance systems,            Supporting smoke for tactical
   Protecting smoke. If the enemy       and isolate enemy forces for              deception. Use supporting smoke to
has known or suspected directed-        piecemeal destruction. Use                keep the enemy off-balance and to
energy weapon capability, conceal-      projected means to deliver smoke          draw attention away from critical
ing your force in a blanket of oil      mixed with high-explosive rounds          sustainment activities. Use
smoke will attenuate some of the        onto targets between enemy forma-         generated-smoke means to deliver
energy. In the far term, using large-   tions, onto enemy units as they at-       smoke to multiple locations to the
area projected smoke containing mil-    tempt to regroup, and in front of         rear of the exploitation force to
limeter wave obscurants directly on     enemy strongpoints as you bypass          force the enemy to expend resour-
the enemy positions will reduce our     them. Use smoke mixed with scat-          ces to target logistical activities.
vulnerability to directed-energy        terable mines behind moving enemy
weapons,                                formations to impede their ability to                    Pursuit
   Smoke for deception. Use sup-        break contact and to compound               As the enemy becomes demoral-
porting smoke to draw attention         their disorganization.                    ized and their formations begin to
away from the main effort to areas         Screening smoke. Use this smoke        disintegrate, exploitation may
of little or no importance. Use         to conceal maneuver and support           develop into pursuit. Commanders
generated-smoke means (in a             forces and defeat enemy target ac-        attempt to annihilate the enemy
deliberate attack, the best means       quisition and guidance systems. As        force using a direct pressure force
may be smoke pots and generators)       protection of supplies and support        that keeps the enemy units in flight
to create smoke away from the           units is essential to maintain the        and an encircling force to envelop,
main body. The deception story          rapid tempo of the exploitation,          cut off, and destroy or capture the
must be integrated into the overall     priority of effort for smoke assets       fleeing enemy force. In the pursuit,
tactical plan for smoke use to be ef-   must go to sustainment activities.        use smoke to—
fective.                                Use generated-smoke means to                 Ruin the enemy commander’s
                                        deliver smoke onto key logistics ac-      synchronization, denying the enemy
           Exploitation                 tivities and to protect convoys. Use      time to reorganize a cohesive
  Commanders should plan to fol-        self-defense and generated-smoke          defense. If the enemy is able to es-
low every attack by bold exploita-      means to conceal maneuver units as        tablish a perimeter, smoke must
tion to keep the enemy under            they bypass or harass enemy forces.       help to defeat enemy target acquisi-

FM 3-50                                                                                                              31
tion, weapon guidance, and directed-    force towards the enemy to obscure       force can conceal their maneuver.
energy weapon systems.                  their observation while giving the en-   However, since smoke draws atten-
   Isolate enemy forces, allowing the   circling force freedom of maneuver.      tion, you may risk losing the ele-
commander to keep the enemy in          When in place, the encircling force      ment of surprise. Use self-defense
contact and under pressure.             could use generated smoke towards        and generated-smoke means to con-
   Conceal movement of maneuver         the enemy to obscure our forces, sil-    ceal maneuver units as they bypass
forces, allowing the commander to       houette the enemy, and generally in-     or attack enemy forces.
envelop the enemy force.                crease the enemy commander’s                Marking smoke. The tactics are
  Smoke employment tactics in the       synchronization problems.                the same as in the exploitation
pursuit include the following ap-          Screening smoke. Use screening        phase.
plications of the five basic smoke      smoke to conceal maneuver forces            Protecting smoke. The tactics are
types:                                  and defeat enemy target acquisition      the same as in the exploitation
   Obscuring smoke. The tactics are     and guidance systems. Since the en-      phase.
the same as in the exploitation         circling force generally advances on        Smoke for deception. Use this
phase. Additionally, use generated      parallel routes, screening smoke         smoke to keep the enemy off-
smoke from the direct pressure          along the flanks of the encircling       balance and to support hasty at-
                                                                                         tacks if the enemy is able to
                                                                                         establish a perimeter. Use
                                                                                         smoke generators to deliver
                                                                                         smoke to multiple locations
                                                                                         creating false passage points
                                                                                         and to draw attention away
                                                                                         from the main effort.
                                                                                           Figure 6, below, illustrates
                                                                                         smoke employment in the
                                                                                         exploitation and pursuit

                                                                                            Attack Scenario
                                                                                           The following scenario il-
                                                                                         lustrates possible smoke
                                                                                         employment options in the
                                                                                         offense, from the prepara-
                                                                                         tion through the pursuit
                                                                                         phases. It depicts a
                                                                                         mechanized infantry heavy
                                                                                         brigade conducting the
                                                                                         movement to contact. The
                                                                                        brigade is the 2d Brigade,
                                                                                        54th Infantry Division (M).
                                                                                           Smoke delivery means in-
                                                                                        clude the direct support ar-
                                                                                        tillery battalion, battalion
                                                                                        mortars, smoke generator
                                                                                        platoon, VEESS, smoke
                                                                                        pots, smoke grenades, and
                                                                                        aviation assets on-call. Field
                                                                                        expedient smoke delivery
                                                                                        means include smoke pots
                                                                                        strapped to armored
                                                                                        vehicles with electrical igni-
                                                                                        tion wires running inside
                                                                                        the vehicle.
                                                                                          2d Brigade will conduct a
                                                                                        movement to contact com-
                                                                                        mencing at H-hour today.
                                                                                        The commander’s intent is

32                                                                                                           FM 3-50
to reestablish contact with the enemy,           The fire support plan also calls for    tillery and mortar units increase their
seize the brigade objective, and ex-          aviation assets to use smoke rockets       rate of fire.
ploit any success onto the division           to mark the gaps between the enemy           At H + 45 minutes, the main body
 objective. The brigade objective is Ob-      CRPs and FSEs. The S3 (air) has            crosses the LD. The main body
jective Fox. The brigade’s follow-on          coordinated for the attack helicopter      maneuvers to the west of the smoke
 objective is Objective Jack. The             squadron to carry extra WP rockets         along the bypass route (Figure 7, on
 division objective is Objective Midas        in their first two sorties. The smoke      the next page).
 some 40 kilometers beyond the line           platoon initially travels with the main                    Attack Phase
 of departure.                                body and has on-board capability to
   Intelligence indicates that the            make smoke for 70 to 140 minutes.             The movement to contact has
 enemy is the 1st Guard Motorized               At H-hour, our forces cross the line     developed into an actual engagement.
Rifle Division, 2d Combined Arms              of departure.                               The commander seizes the initiative
Army, which relieved another                     Thirty minutes !ater, aviation recon-   and orders the brigade to attack
 motorized rifle division and is con-         naissance sights the lead elements of      toward Objective Fox. The main at-
 ducting a meeting engagement from            the enemy CRP. When the CRP is             tack is in the west along Axis Andy.
 the march. The enemy is marching             within 3,000 meters of the security         The supporting attack is in the east
 by regiments, with three regiments in        force, the artillery battalion fires HE    along Axis Tony. The brigade will
front and a combined arms reserve             and smoke (HC) in front of each            consolidate on the objective and con-
 instead of a second echelon. Terrain          CRP.                                      tinue the attack towards the division
 is fairly open to the west of Hill 268         At H + 35 minutes, the security          objective.
 but is restricted to the east of Hill        force sights the CRP through the             At H + 46 minutes, the artillery
 352. The enemy has excellent observa-        smoke using thermal imagers. The           shifts fire from the area between the
 tion and fields of fire from both            security force then attempts to fix the     CRP and FSE to the area between
 hills. Figure 3-6 illustrates the disposi-    CRP by engaging it with direct fire        the FSE and advanced guard (AG),
 tion of forces as of H-1 hour.                weapons through the smoke.                obscuring the target with a mixture of
   At H – 24 hours, the commander is-           At H + 36 minutes, the security          HE and HC. Also, the mortars shift
 sues the restated mission and his            force will also locate and mark            fire from the CRP to between the
planning guidance. The brigade                 bypass routes. The security force ig-      CRP and FSE, obscuring with a mix-
 chemical officer, S2, and FSO go to          nites smoke pots and drops them off         ture of HE and WP.
 the intelligence cell and begin target       at 200-meter intervals to mark and            When the main attack has cleared
 development.                                  conceal the bypass.                       the LD, the security force elements in
   The brigade chemical officer has              The smoke platoon moves toward          the west turn off their VEESS. At the
 completed his estimate at H – 18              the LD at H + 36 minutes. NOTE:           same time the supporting attack force
 hours and provides a draft target list        The smoke platoon should always            engages the enemy FSE and AG
 to the FSO. While the brigade chemi-         remain behind the security force.           with flanking fire.
 cal officer briefs the commander, the          At H + 38 minutes, the aviation            At H + 50 minutes, the artillery
 brigade chemical NCO continues               reconnaissance and security force           shifts fire from the area between the
 smoke target analysis in coordination        sight the enemy FSE. The FSE is            FSE and AG to the area between the
 with the smoke platoon leader.               moving forward to establish the            AG and the main body in the west,
   At H – 15 hours, the brigade chemi-        FLOT along the screen line of the           and onto the objective in the east.
 cal officer, FSO, and smoke platoon           CRP.                                       The artillery continues to fire a mix
 leader finalize the smoke support              At H + 39 minutes, the maneuver           of HE and HC.
plan. This includes a draft smoke              battalion mortars begin to fire HE          Also at H + 50 minutes, the mor-
 support annex to the brigade OPORD.           and WP on top of and in between            tars shift fire from the area between
                                               the CRPs. The artillery battalion          the CRP and FSE to the area be-
            Preparation Phase                 shifts fire to the area between the         tween the FSE and AG, obscuring
          (Movement to Contact)               FSEs and CRPs, obscuring with a             with a mix of HE and WP.
   Prior to H-hour the security force          mix of HE and HC.                           At the same time, the smoke
 and flank security elements prepare             The smoke generator platoon begins      platoon stops making smoke. This
 expedient smoke devices using smoke           to make smoke at H + 40 minutes            will ensure the objective itself is un-
pots strapped onto their vehicles. The         at the LD. In addition, the flank          obscured during the assault.
fire support plan includes quick              security force on the eastern flank ig-       The main attack force is in position
 smoke to isolate the enemy combat            nites and dumps its smoke pots              to make the assault on the objective
 reconnaissance patrols (CRPs), so             within 500 meters of the LD.               at H + 55 minutes. The artillery
 WP and HC smoke ammunition is                  At H + 40 minutes, the security          shifts fire to the regimental main
pre-positioned forward of the artillery       force combat vehicles initiate screen-      body beyond the objective, now firing
 battalion in the security force area.         ing smoke with their VEESS. The ar-        only HE. The rnortars shift fire onto
                                                                                          the AG in the center and in the west,

FM 3-50                                                                                                                       33
 obscuring and isolating them
 with HE and WP mix.
  At H + 1 hour, the main
 attack force assaults the ob-
jective. Artillery and mortars
 continue to fire on the
 enemy main body, isolating
 the objective from external
        Exploitation Phase
   The enemy resistance is
 crumbling. 2d Brigade has
 significantly disrupted the
 enemy's synchronization and
 has the initiative. Upon secur-
 ing the brigade objective, the
 brigade rapidly consolidates
 and the commander orders
 them to continue the attack.
 The brigade’s follow-on ob-
jective is to secure Objective
Jack and destroy the rem-
 nants of the enemy division
 artillery group (DAG). The
main attack is in the east
 along Axis Stef, with the sup-
porting attack in the center
along Axis Gay.
  At H + 1.25 hours, the
mortars begin to fire on the
remaining regimental main
bodies, obscuring them with
a mixture of HE and HC.
  At the same time, the artil-
lery begins to fire scatterable
mines and HE and HC mix
into the area behind the first-
echelon regiments. This iso-
lates the first echelon from
the combined arms reserve
and delays their retreat.
  At H + 1.5 hours, the
smoke platoon begins to
make smoke in the west of
the sector to isolate the rem-
nants of the easternmost first-
echelon regiments from the
other first-echelon regiment.
This further disrupts the
enemy commander's
synchronization, command,
and control.
  The main and supporting at-
tack forces begun moving
towards Objective Jack, keep-
ing the enemy under pressure.
They will bypass any enemy

34                                 FM 3-50
forces they encounter, with the             resistance has crumbled. The enemy        the entire enemy formation. The en-
 brigade follow-on forces containing        is now in full flight.                    circling force commander now estab-
 and destroying pockets of enemy for-         Upon securing the brigade follow-       lishes a hasty defense, blocking the
 ces bypassed by the main body.             on objective, the brigade rapidly con-     enemy’s escape route.
   At H + 1.75 hours, the mortars           solidates, and the commander orders         At H + 3.75 hours, the smoke
 and arti!lery shift to fire behind the     them to conduct the pursuit. The          platoon starts its third mission. The
first-echelon regiments and onto Ob-        direct pressure force moves rapidly       smoke platoon begins to make a
jective Jack, respectively. Both mor-      forward along a!l available roads,         smoke curtain across the enemy’s es-
 tars and artillery will fire a mix of      bypassing small enemy pockets of          cape route, while the artil!ery and
HE and WP for obscuration and               resistance. The encircling force plans    mortars from the direct pressure force
 lethality.                                 to move rapidly to the division objec-    stop firing smoke. This allows the
   The mortars shift fire onto Objec-       tive and cut off the enemy retreat.       direct pressure force to engage the
 tive Jack at H + 2 hours, and the ex-        At H + 2.50 hours, aviation assets      enemy with direct fire weapons that
ploitation force positions for the final    locate and mark the !arger enemy for-     are unobscured while concealing the
 assault on the objective.                  mations with WP rockets. The mor-         encircling force’s preparations.
   At H + 2.10 hours, the mortars           tars and artil!ery assets with the          At H + 4.25 hours, the enemy is
 and artillery shift fire beyond Objec-     direct pressure force then fire succes-   forced into an engagement area be-
 tive Jack. The main attack force as-       sive belts of scatterable mines behind    tween the direct pressure and encir-
saults the objective, destroying the        these larger formations. They also        cling forces. The smoke from the
 enemy DAG.                                fire HE and HC mix onto the forma-         smoke generator platoon silhouettes
                                            tions to further slow them and com-       the enemy force for attack by the
              Pursuit Phase                plicate command and control.               direct pressure force. At the same
   By H + 2.25 hours, it is obvious           At H + 2.75 hours, the encircling       time, the encirling force is able to
that the enemy can no longer main-         force leaves its assembly area,            engage enemy forces through the
tain their position, and 2d Brigade is      moving rapidly along the western          smoke or as they emerge from the
capturing significant numbers of sol-      flank towards the division objective.      smoke on the other side. The enemy
diers and equipment. The enemy             By H + 3.5 hours, the encircling           is destroyed and forced to surrender.
                                           force has bypassed and outdistanced

FM 3-50                                                                                                                 35
                                                     Chapter 4

                                        Defensive Operations

 Defensive operations retain             commander’s ability to disrupt          will support any type of defensive
ground, gain time, deny the enemy        enemy attacks, seize the initiative,    operation. Used correctly it will
access to an area, and damage or         and project combat power at the         overcome any initial advantage of
defeat attacking forces. Smoke and       critical time and place to defeat the   the attacker.
obscurant use multiplies the             enemy. Smoke and obscurant use

                                        Historical Perspective
  During World War II, large-area        and dusk and during red alerts for      mechanical smoke generators. The
smoke denied the Germans observa-        antiaircraft defense. The Luftwaffe     technique resulted in the produc-
tion for directing accurate, indirect    made at least one raid each night       tion of a light haze between the har-
fire onto the US Fifth Army at           until mid-February, when the artil-     bor and the front lines. The haze
Anzio. The 24th Decontamination          lery fire increased. The Allies used    was thin enough to permit normal
Company landed at Anzio on D             8-inch howitzers to demolish            operations within it and thick
day, equipped with Ml smoke gen-         farmhouses suspected of harboring       enough to prevent German observa-
erators, M4 smoke pots, and eight        German observers. They fired            tion from the encircling hills.
Navy Besler generators.                  smoke from chemical mortars and           On 18 March 1944, the 179th
  On its first night ashore the unit     small-caliber artillery onto nearby     Smoke Generator Company moved
smoked the beaches and anchorage.        ridges and towers.                      from the harbor to forward posi-
Within two days they had set up a          Yet, enemy observers had an un-       tions. The smoke line formed a 15-
smoke line nearly 2 miles long. As       restricted view of the entire harbor    mile arc around the port (Figure 8,
the beachhead forces expanded,           from the mountains in the back-         on the next page), with 22 possible
other smoke troops, including a          ground for pinpoint firing with long-   positions on land. Based on wind
British unit and the US 179th            range guns. Although the entire         direction, 19 of those 22 positions
Smoke Generator Company, moved           beachhead was within range of           had smoke generators. Also, two
to Anzio to increase the size of the     enemy guns, the Allies failed to        generators were mounted on Navy
cloud. Initially, smoke at Anzio was     obscure the beachhead itself in         patrol craft in the harbor. The
intended to be part of the an-           January and February. The air           smoke generator positions were at
tiaircraft screen. This included         defense, artillery, and naval com-      1,000-meter intervals just beyond
making smoke at night, when flares       manders were afraid that smoke on       the antiaircraft positions of the port
dropped by lead planes appeared to       the beachhead itself would interfere    and just short of the field artillery
be extinguished as they dropped          with observation for friendly fire      observation posts. The latter
into the smoke.                          and with unloading the ships at         prevented enemy observation from
  The Fifth Army’s VI Corps began        anchorage. From 22 January to 10        the flanks of the concave harbor.
an end run that bogged down. The         February alone, the Allies took         The smoke sections began opera-
Germans contained the beachhead          average daily losses of almost 28       tions ½ hour before dawn and
from its establishment on 22             tons of ammunition from enemy           made smoke until 14 hour after sun-
January 1944 until the Allied            long-range fire and bombing.            set every day from 18 March until
breakout the following May. Ex-            To reduce these losses, the corps     after the breakout in May 1944.
perience showed that a favorite          chemical staff and chemical unit        During this period, the Allied
enemy tactic was low-level bombing       commanders, with the approval of        troops at Anzio were able to un-
attacks at dawn and dusk. Conse-         the VI Corps commander, MG              load an average of 3,500 tons of sup-
quently, it soon became standard         Lucian K. Truscott, developed a         plies daily.
practice to smoke the port at dawn       new technique for use of the

36                                                                                                            FM 3-50
  The National Training Center                           Uses                    Chapter 3 for additional ways to
(NTC) is an area where smoke                                                     support maneuver.
employment is possible on a large         Smoke and obscurants integrated           Use smoke to provide additional
force-on-force scale. Key insights      throughout the defensive framework       firepower by disrupting enemy com-
from the NTC for the defense in-        provide major disruptions to enemy       mand and control and forcing the
clude the following                     synchronization providing windows        enemy to mass, thus providing a
   Smoke compresses the battlefield     of opportunity for our forces to         lucrative target. Other ways are
with engagements fought at shorter      seize the initiative and set the terms   identical to those in offensive opera-
range.                                  of combat. In the defense—               tions. See Chapter 3.
   We must use alternate weapon            Use smoke to support maneuver            Use smoke to protect the force
positions in smoke.                     by–                                      in the same way as in offensive
   Smoke employment requires            – Concealing disengaging and             operations. See Chapter 3.
more detailed planning.                 moving forces.                             In addition to the general techni-
   Smoke can be used in deception,      – Slowing and disrupting enemy           ques listed in Chapters 1 and 3,
at night, and for obstacle reduction.   movement.                                techniques to minimize interference
   Units that do not train in smoke     – Isolating attacking echelons.          in the defense include the following
do not perform well.                    – Concealing engineer operations            Verify enemy locations (respon-
                                        and defensive preparations.              sibility of reconnaissance).
                                        In addition, use the guidance in          – The enemy can use both our
                                                                                 smoke and theirs to conceal move-

FM 3-50                                                                                                             37
ment to alternate positions or to        to observe and adjust direct and in-     maneuver and support forces. Our
break contact.                           direct fire at targets.                  intent is to deny the enemy informa-
 – Aggressive reconnaissance before         Plan for enemy countermeasures.       tion about the disposition and com-
and during the engagement will           Enemy forces will counter your           position of our forces. That allows
allow you to shoot and remain in         smoke. The enemy may use                 us to gain time, concentrate forces
contact.                                 countersmoke to confuse our com-         elsewhere, control key or decisive
 – You can use aviation assets to        mand and control, so avoid reliance      terrain, and wear down enemy for-
spot and mark enemy targets for          on visual signals. The enemy will in-    ces as a prelude to offensive opera-
destruction by indirect and direct       crease use of indirect fire weapons      tions.
fire.                                    when direct fire target acquisition is     Our overall goal is to improve the
    Plan and use all sensor and          ineffective. Therefore, plan artillery   commander’s ability to retain his in-
viewer capabilities. Consider plac-      counterbattery and countersmoke          itiative in operations against a poten-
ing ground surveillance radar, air       fire when you stop or delay the          tially numerically superior force.
defense weapons, and target acquisi-     enemy.                                   Appendix A contains tactical
tion radars on the flanks or high                                                 decision aids for determining which
ground to acquire targets through                        Goal                     smoke delivery means to use against
the smoke. Maintain communica-                                                    the specific smoke targets covered
tions between these systems and            As in offensive operations, the        by the tactics for using smoke in
both direct and indirect fire ele-       main focus of smoke in the defense       defensive operations.
ments. Use the acquisition element       is to defeat enemy target acquisition
                                         and reconnaissance, and to conceal

                                        Elements of Defense
  The five complementary elements                Security Force                   force. Use smoke as an active
of the defense are deep operations                                                counterreconnaissance measure to—
forward of the FLOT, security force                 Operations                        Fix the enemy reconnaissance
operations forward and to the             The fundamental purposes of             force.
flanks of the defending force, defen-   security force operations are to              Mark the enemy reconnaissance
sive operations in the main battle      defeat and destroy enemy reconnais-       force for destruction with direct
area (MBA), reserve operations in       sance forces, force the enemy to          and indirect fire weapons.
support of the main defensive ef-       deploy, confirm the direction and             Deny the enemy reconnaissance
fort, and rear operations.              strength of the enemy attack toward       force information about the disposi-
                                        the main body, and buy time for the       tion, composition, or intent of
       Deep Operations                  main body to deploy forward and           friendly forces.
                                        laterally. Use smoke in security            Smoke employment tactics in
  In the defense, deep operations       force operations to—                      counterreconnaissance are the fol-
are aimed at preventing the enemy          Conceal movement of maneuver           lowing:
from concentrating overwhelming         and support forces, allowing the              Screening smoke. Use screening
combat power by disrupting their        commander to mass forces unob-            smoke to conceal maneuver and
momentum and destroying the             served.                                   obstacle emplacement. Use smoke
coherence of their attack. In deep         Provide tactical surprise, allowing    in the security force area and along
operations, use smoke to —              the commander to seize the initia-        the flanks to conceal movement.
   Force the enemy to deploy into       tive and set the terms of combat.         Use smoke forward of the battle
our strength.                               Defeat enemy reconnaissance and       hand over line to allow the security
   Defeat or disrupt command and        counterreconnaissance efforts.            force to disengage. You must care-
control efforts.                            Conceal obstacle emplacement.         fully control the smoke to prevent
   Isolate reinforcing echelons from      The first part of the defensive bat-    silhouetting your units.
the assault force.                      tle that the friendly commander              Protecting smoke. Use protecting
 Smoke employment tactics in deep       must win is counterreconnaissance.        smoke to defeat enemy antitank and
operations are identical to those in    Counterreconnaissance is an in-           air defense systems.
offensve operations (preparation        tegral part of the security mission.         Obscuring smoke. Use projected
phase). See Chapter 3.                  The focus of the Threat’s reconnais-      smoke mixed with high-explosive
                                        sance is to confirm or deny the dis-      rounds before the enemy can pin-
                                        positions and intentions of our           point your units. Plan obscuring fire
                                                                                  based on decision points for the
                                                                                  enemy to isolate and confuse their

38                                                                                                             FM 3-50
reconnaissance forces. Plan obscur-             Main Battle Area                     Once the enemy is in the engage-
ing fire during the battle hand over                                              ment area of our choosing, prevent
to allow the security force to dis-        The decisive battle usually takes      them from breaking contact so we
engage and pass through friendly         place in the MBA. The defender           can destroy them immediately.
lines unobserved.                        concentrates the strongest possible        Smoke employment tactics in the
   Marking smoke. Use marking            forces for decisive action against       MBA are the following:
smoke to mark enemy targets for          the enemy main effort. Use smoke            Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring
rapid destruction or to reduce the       to –                                     smoke to isolate the engagement
potential for firing on friendly for-       Defeat enemy target acquisition       area and counterattack or spoiling
ces. Aviation reconnaissance assets      efforts without degrading our own        attack objectives, defeat enemy tar-
are particularly useful to spot the      ability to acquire and engage.           get acquisition and guidance sys-
reconnaissance force and mark it            Create opportunities for com-         tems, and defeat reconnaissance
with helicopter-delivered smoke          manders to seize the initiative local-   and counterreconnaissance efforts.
rockets.                                 ly and attack.                           Use projected smoke means to
   Smoke for deception. Uses are            Slow the advance of the attacking     deliver smoke mixed with high-ex-
identical to those in offensive opera-   force.                                   plosive rounds in front of the objec-
tions (preparation phase). See Chap-        Separate and isolate the attacking    tive; between enemy formations;
ter 3. Figure 9, below, shows smoke      echelons.                                and on identified forward observer,
employment in security operations.          Force enemy infantry to dismount.     ATGM, and tank unit positions
                                            Disrupt the enemy’s ability to ex-    before the enemy can pinpoint your
                                         ercise command and control.              units as targets. Using projected

FM 3-50                                                                                                             39
smoke as countersmoke and to iso-          smoke employment for reserves in a       enemy to deploy prematurely, seize
late the objective can significantly in-   counterattack or spoiling attack role    the initiative, and conduct local
terfere with the enemy                     are the same as smoke tactics for        counterattacks to destroy the enemy
commander’s synchronization.               the preparation phase of offensive       force.
    Screening smoke. Use screening         operations. For reserve forces in a         Intelligence indicates the enemy is
smoke to conceal maneuver as you           reinforcing role, the smoke tactics      the 1st Guard Motorized Rifle
move to new positions; conceal the         are the same as those for security       Division, 2d Combined Arms Army,
force as you bypass, breach, or            force operations in the defense.         which relieved another motorized
cross obstacles or small pockets of                                                 rifle division and is conducting a
resistance in counterattack or spoil-             Rear Operations                   meeting engagement from the march.
ing attack; along the flanks to                                                      The enemy is marching by regiments,
protect the force; and in the rear to        We conduct rear operations to          with three rrgiments in front and a
conceal disposition and composition        allow the commander freedom of           combined arms reserve instead of a
of reserves. Use self-defense and          maneuver and for continuity of           second echelon. Terrain is fairly
generated-smoke means to deliver           operations, to include continuity of      open to the west of Hill 268 but is
smoke across danger areas and to           sustainment functions and command        restricted to the east of Hill 352. The
the flanks of the force to limit           and control. Use smoke in rear            enemy has excellent observation and
enemy observation and engagement.          operations to—                           fields of fire from both hills.
    Identifying smoke. Use the same           Conceal support forces, facilities,     At H – 48 hours, the commander is-
technique as in the security force         and activities. Reducing enemy ob-       sues the restated mission and his
operations.                                servation reduces the necessity to       planning guidance. The brigade
    Protecting smoke. If the enemy         move frequently. When necessary,         chemical officer, S2, and FSO go to
has known or suspected directed-           conceal movement of support forces.      the intelligence cell and begin target
energy weapon capability, conceal-            Deny the enemy use of landing         development.
ing your force in a blanket of oil         zones and/or drop zones.                    The brigade chemical officer has
smoke will attenuate some of the              Isolate enemy forces in the rear      completed his estimate at H – 42
energy.                                    area.                                    hours and provides a draft target list
   Smoke for deception. Use this              Defeat rear area Threat acquisi-      to the FSO. While the brigade chemi-
smoke to draw attention away from          tion efforts and support base, base      cal officer briefs the commander, the
the main defensive effort and the          cluster, and rear operations             brigade chemical NCO continues
counterattack or spoiling attack to        response to the Threat.                  smoke target analysis in coordination
areas of little or no importance.            Smoke tactics in rear operations        with the smoke platoon leader.
Use generated-smoke to create              are also dependent upon the                At H -36 hours, the brigade chemi-
 small- to large-area smoke away           commander’s intent and the threat.       cal officer, FSO, and smoke platoon
 from the main body.                       In general, use smoke to attack           leader finalize the smoke support
                                           enemy target acquisition and engage-     plan. This includes a draft smoke
    Reserve Operations                     ment efforts when identified. The        support annex to the brigade OPORD.
                                           smoke employment tactics are               At H -33 hours, the brigade com-
  The primary purpose of the re-           similar to those for a hasty attack.     mander approves the final OPORD.
serves in the defense is to counterat-     Figure 10, on the next page, il-          The brigade commander and staff
tack, to exploit enemy weaknesses,         lustrates smoke use in rear area          issue the order to the commanders
and to reinforce forward defensive         operations.                               and specialty unit leaders.
operations. Use smoke in reserve                                                       Three hours later, the smoke
operations to—                                          Example                     platoon makes smoke to conceal
   Deny the enemy information                                                       obstacle emplacement.
about the location and strength of           The following example depicts a          At H – 24 hours, the brigade chemi-
reserve forces.                            mechanized infantry heavy brigade        cal officer finalizes smoke support
   Conceal movement of reserve for-        conducting the movement to con-          coordination with all units. This in-
ces, allowing the commander to             tact. The brigade is the 2d Brigade,     cludes coordination with adjacent
mass forces unobserved.                    54th Infantry Division (M). Smoke        units that might be affected by smoke
   Provide tactical surprise, allowing     delivery means include the direct        if the wind shifts.
the commander to seize the initia-         support artillery battalion, battalion     At H – 20 hours, the brigade chemi-
tive and set the terms of combat.          mortars, smoke generator platoon,        cal NCO verjfies with the FScell that
  The employment tactics for smoke         VEESS, smoke pots, smoke                 the additional smoke munitions for
support in reserve operations              grenades, and aviation assets on-        the artillery and mortars are on hand
depend on how, when, and where             call. 2d Brigade will defend in sec-     and prepositioned.
the commander chooses to use his           tor, commencing at H-hour. The
reserves. In general, the tactics for      commander’s intent is to force the

40                                                                                                               FM 3-50
  The brigade chemical officer             enemy information and confuse them        allow the security force to disengage.
receives a brief back from the smoke       as to the location and disposition of     The smoke platoon makes smoke at
platoon leader and assistant S3            our force.                                the battle hand over line to conceal
(operations) officer at H -18 hours.          Thirty minutes later, the security     the rearward passage of lines.
These officers verify rehearsals in the    force engages the enemy reconnais-         At H-hour, aviation reconnaissance
smoke platoon and maneuver units           sance with direct fire weapons. Artil-    identifies elements of the division
(for on-board smoke use). The               lery and mortar fire shift to behind     main body entering the brigade area
FScell and chemical cell also check         the enemy reconnaissance force. This     of operations. The security force has
communications circuits at this time.      shifting of fire silhouettes the enemy,   done its job and forced the enemy to
  At H – 15 hours, aviation reconnais-      isolates the enemy, and prevents         deploy along the western approach,
sance spots enemy divisional recon-         obscuration of our own direct fire       avoiding the high ground on Hill
naissance assets. Helicopter-delivered       At H – 8 hours, the security force      352. The artillery begins to fire on
rockets mark this enemy element for         identifies elements of the enemy FSE     the flanks and forward elements of
destruction by CAS aircraft.               moving into the brigade area of           the enemy AG and main body. The
  At H – 12 hours, the security force       operations. Aviation and artillery as-   mortars begin to fire on the flanks
encounters enemy reconnaissance as-        sets mark targets with WP for attack      and forward elements of the enemy
sets. Based on the commander’s              by CAS aircraft.                         FSE. Both use a mixture of HE and
decision support template, the DS ar-         The security force, at H – 6 hours,    WP. This will isolate the enemy for-
tillery battalion begins to fire a mix-     identifies elements of the enemy AG      ces and serve as good reference
ture of HE and smoke (HC) onto              moving into the brigade area of          points for adjusting indirect and
identified targets. Mortars moving          operations. The smoke platoon stops      direct fire.
with the security force also fire a mix-    smoke at the obstacle emplacement.        At H + 30 minutes, the enemy
ture of HE and smoke (WP) between             At H – 2 hours, the security force     main body has entered the engage-
the security force and the reconnais-       begins to withdraw. Security force       ment area. Our indirect fire has
sance assets. This will deny the            mortars fire HE and WP mix to            caused attrition to their FSE and A G
                                                                                                   and forced the main
                                                                                                   body into our strength.
                                                                                                   The brigade commander
                                                                                                   now orders the artillery
                                                                                                   to fire FASCAM mixed
                                                                                                   with HC behind the
                                                                                                   engagement area to delay
                                                                                                   reinforcements and to iso-
                                                                                                   late the main body for
                                                                                                    At H + 1 hour, the
                                                                                                   direct fire fight has
                                                                                                   begun. Artillery fire
                                                                                                   switch to HE and HC
                                                                                                   mix. Mortars fire HE
                                                                                                   onto the enemy and WP
                                                                                                   onto the flanks. Our
                                                                                                   GSR teams pass target
                                                                                                   acquisition information
                                                                                                   to the TOW sections of
                                                                                                   each company. Our for-
                                                                                                   ces use thermal sights to
                                                                                                   acquire and engage the
                                                                                                   enemy, who cannot see
                                                                                                   through the smoke.
                                                                                                     By H + 2 hours, the
                                                                                                   enemy commander is un-
                                                                                                   able to maintain his
                                                                                                   momentum and begins
                                                                                                   to withdraw.

FM 3-50                                                                                                                   41
                                                     Chapter 5

                                   Other Tactical Operations

  Other tactical operations cover a        Relief-in-place operations.              Jungles.
wide range of special-purpose opera-       Passage of lines.                        Urban terrain.
tions undertaken routinely during of-      Linkup operations.                       Deserts.
fensive and defensive operations.          Breakout from encirclement.              Winter zones.
While these operations are not the         River crossings.                         Nuclear, biological, and chemical
main focus of the commander at             Obstacle breaching.                   (NBC) conditions.
the tactical level of war, smoke may     In addition, there are special con-       Finally, because smoke draws at-
support these operations as well.       ditions and environments we must         tention, we must consider smoke
These operations include–               consider:                                support for tactical deception.
   Retrograde operations.                  Mountains.

  Smoke and obscurants integrated       techniques listed in Chapter 3, spe-     such as winter zones with deep
throughout the battlefield and opera-   cial techniques to minimize inter-       snow.
tional continuum provide major con-     ference include –                           Use smoke to mask terrain from
tributions to combat power in deep,        Know the limitations of your          aerial observation. With the excep-
close, and rear operations. In other    delivery systems. Smoke munitions        tion of jungles, much of the terrain
operations, the major contributions     do not behave the same in all condi-     described in this chapter affords
are the same as those in offensive      tions or environments (for example,      good aerial observation. By masking
smoke tactics. See Chapter 3.           the jungles of Central America ver-      key terrain features you reduce
  Smoke and obscurant use in other      sus the woodlands of Europe). Plan       your vulnerability as targets of op-
tactical operations requires the        for differences in coverage. Some        portunity for high-performance
same careful planning and execu-        munitions combinations such as HE        aircraft.
tion as with the offense and            and WP are not effective under cer-
defense. In addition to the general     tain environments or conditions

  A retrograde operation is a move-      – Providing tactical surprise and al-       Use smoke to provide additional
ment to the rear or away from the       lowing the commander to set the          firepower by–
enemy.                                  terms of combat.                         – Defeating enemy counterrecon-
  Retrograde operations gain time,       – Allowing the commander to mass        naissance efforts.
preserve forces, avoid combat under     forces unobserved.                       – Disrupting enemy command and
undesirable conditions, or draw the      – Defeating enemy surveillance ef-      control.
enemy into an unfavorable position.     forts.                                   – Disrupting enemy maneuver and
In retrograde operations–               – Supporting the deception story.        reinforcement.
   Use smoke to support maneuver        – Slowing and disrupting enemy           – Disrupting the enemy’s ability to
by–                                     movement.                                communicate.
– Concealing maneuvering forces         – Isolating attacking echelons.          – Forcing the enemy to mass, thus
from enemy observation.                 – Concealing engineer operations         providing a lucrative target.
– Concealing disengaging and            defensive preparations to the rear       – Changing friendly to enemy force
moving forces.                                                                   ratios by using thermal imagers and

42                                                                                                           FM 3-50
millimeter wave acquisition devices          the force. Use projected means        commander to mass security forces
such as radars to see through visual         to deliver smoke between the          unobserved.
smokes and using smoke to isolate            delaying unit and the enemy              Defeat enemy reconnaissance and
defending and second-echelon for-            force. Use smoke to conceal           counterreconnaissance efforts.
ces.                                         obstacle breaching or crossing.          Conceal obstacle emplacement,
– Enhancing friendly target acquisi-         The priority of effort is to          breaching, or crossing and hinder
tion efforts by silhouetting enemy           mobility operations; therefore,       pursuit by the enemy.
vehicles with smoke and using                carefully control the smoke to           Conceal designated withdrawal
smoke and obscurants we can see              prevent slowing or silhouetting       routes, traffic control points, and on-
through but the enemy cannot.                your units.                           order assembly areas.
   Use smoke to protect the force.            Protecting smoke. Use protecting        Create opportunities to disengage
(See Chapter 3 under Offensive            smoke as required to defeat enemy        the force.
Smoke Tactics.)                           ATGMs and air defense systems.              Smoke employment tactics in the
                                          Use protecting smoke to avoid            withdrawal include the following:
                Delay                     decisive engagement.                        Screening smoke. The tactics are
                                              Obscuring smoke. Use obscuring       the same as those under Delay. Ad-
  In delays, units give ground to         smoke to defeat enemy reconnais-         ditionally, use projected means to
gain time. Delaying units inflict the     sance and counterreconnaissance ef-      deliver smoke between the security
greatest possible damage on the           forts. Use projected smoke means         force and the enemy force.
enemy while preserving their              to deliver smoke mixed with high-ex-        Protecting smoke. The tactics are
freedom of action.                        plosive rounds before the enemy          the same as those under Delay.
  In the delay, use smoke to–             can pinpoint your units. Attempt to         Obscuring smoke. The tactics are
    Conceal movement of maneuver          force the enemy into early deploy-       the same as those under Delay.
and support forces, allowing the          ment.                                       Marking smoke. The tactics are
commander to mass forces unob-               Marking smoke. Use marking            the same as those under Delay.
served.                                   smoke to mark enemy targets for             Supporting smoke for tactical
    Provide tactical surprise, allowing   rapid destruction or to reduce the       deception. Use supporting smoke to
the commander to seize the initia-        potential for firing on friendly for-    draw attention to areas of little or
tive and set the terms of combat.         ces.                                     no importance. Create large-area
    Defeat enemy reconnaissance and          Smoke for deception . Use sup-        smoke away from the main body.
counterreconnaissance efforts.            porting smoke to draw attention to
    Conceal obstacle emplacement,         areas of little or no importance. Cre-               Retirement
breaching, or crossing.                   ate large-area smoke away from the
    Conceal designated withdrawal         delaying force. Consider using             In a retirement, a force not in con-
routes.                                   smoke mixed with high-explosive          tact moves away from the enemy in
    Maintain contact with the enemy       rounds to conduct preparatory fire       an organized manner. In a retire-
but preclude decisive engagement.         of dummy objectives.                     ment, a heavy rear guard will con-
  Smoke employment tactics in the                                                  duct delaying actions to slow the
delay are the following:                            Withdrawal                     advance of the enemy and allow the
   Screening smoke. Use screening                                                  main body to increase the distance
   smoke to conceal maneuver and           In withdrawals, a force in contact      between itself and the enemy. In
   obstacle emplacement. Use              disengages from the enemy. The           general, use smoke to support the
   smoke along withdrawal routes          force may be assisted by another         rear guard in its delaying opera-
   and along the flanks to conceal        force or unassisted. In the              tions. The tactics for employment of
   movement. Begin making smoke           withdrawal, use smoke to–                smoke in support of the rear guard
   prior to departing your existing          Conceal movement of maneuver          are the same as for the delay.
   position to confuse the enemy as       and support forces, allowing the
   to the actual location and size of

                                              Relief in Place
 In a relief in place, a unit in con-        Mark the enemy reconnaissance         tion, composition, or intent of
tact is replaced by another that as-      force for destruction with direct        friendly forces.
sumes the missions of the outgoing        and indirect fire weapons.                  Conceal the movement of reliev-
unit. Use smoke to–                          Deny the enemy reconnaissance         ing forces. This is critical as disper-
   Fix the enemy reconnaissance           force information about the disposi-     sion of forces in a relief is difficult.
force.                                                                             The enemy may exploit the massing

FM 3-50                                                                                                                  43
as a time to attack with NBC             ment. Use smoke forward of the           sance forces. Plan obscuring fire
weapons.                                 FLOT to allow the relieved force to      during the relief to allow the
  A special consideration for reliefs    disengage. You must carefully con-       relieved force to disengage and pass
is to maintain the illusion the force    trol the smoke to prevent silhouet-      through friendly lines unobserved.
has not changed. Obtain the              ting your units.                            Marking smoke. Use marking
relieved force’s smoke annex. In            Protecting smoke. Use protecting      smoke to mark enemy targets for
planning the relief, attempt to dupli-   smokes to defeat enemy antitank          rapid destruction or to reduce the
cate patterns of employment for a        and air defense systems.                 potential for firing on friendly for-
brief period.                               Obscuring smoke. Use projected        ces. Use aviation reconnaissance as-
  Smoke employment tactics in a          smoke means to deliver smoke             sets to spot the enemy
relief in place are the following:       mixed with high-explosive rounds         reconnaissance force and mark it
   Screening smoke. Use screening        before the enemy can pinpoint your       with smoke rockets.
smoke to conceal maneuver. Use           units. Plan obscuring fire based on         Supporting smoke for tactical
smoke in the reserve force area and      decision points for the enemy, isolat-   deception. The tactics are the same
along the flanks to conceal move-        ing and confusing their reconnais-       as in the withdrawal phase.

                                          Passage of Lines
  A passage of lines is a coor-             Conceal obstacle breaching or         units. Plan obscuring fire based on
dinated movement of one or more          bypass.                                  decision points for the enemy, isolat-
units through another unit. Units          Smoke employment tactics in pas-       ing and confusing their reconnais-
conduct passage of lines to continue     sage of lines are the following:         sance forces. Plan obscuring fire
an attack or counterattack, envelop         Screening smoke. Use screening        during the passage of lines to allow
an enemy force, pursue a fleeing         smoke to conceal maneuver and            the force to pass through friendly
enemy, or withdraw a security or         obstacle breaching. Use smoke at         lines unobserved.
main battle force. Synchronization       the contact point, along passage            Marking smoke. The tactics are
is the overriding imperative. Use        lanes, and along the flanks to con-      the same as those under Relief in
smoke to—                                ceal movement. Use smoke forward         Place.
   Conceal movement of maneuver          of passage points. You must careful-        Supporting smoke for tactical
and support forces, allowing the         ly control the smoke to prevent sil-     deception. Use supporting smoke to
commander to mass forces unob-           houetting your units.                    draw attention to areas of little or
served.                                     Protecting smoke. Use smoke to        no importance. Create large-area
   Provide tactical surprise, allowing   defeat enemy antitank and air            smoke away from the main body.
the commander to seize the initia-       defense systems.                         Consider using smoke mixed with
tive and set the terms of combat.           Obscuring smoke. Use projected        high-explosive rounds to conduct
   Defeat enemy reconnaissance and       smoke means to deliver smoke             preparatory fire of dummy objec-
counterreconnaissance efforts.           mixed with high-explosive rounds         tives.
                                         before the enemy can pinpoint your

                                         Linkup Operations
  Two friendly forces are joined in         Deny the enemy information con-       units as they bypass or harass
linkup operations. Units conduct         cerning when and where the linkup        enemy forces.
linkup operations to complete an en-     will occur.                                  Marking smoke. Use marking
circlement of an enemy force, assist       Smoke tactics for linkup opera-        smoke to mark the CFL or RFL,
in breakout of an encircled friendly     tions are the following:                 mark targets for destruction, iden-
force, or to join an attacking force        Obscuring smoke. The tactics are      tify bypass routes, and signal for bat-
with a force inserted into the enemy     the same as those for the exploita-      tlefield activities. Use projected
rear.                                    tion phase of offensive operations       smoke means to deliver smoke onto
  Use smoke to–                          (Chapter 3).                             identified enemy strongpoints or
   Mark the coordinated fire line           Screening smoke. Use screening        larger formations and to signal for-
(CFL) or the restrictive fire line       smoke to conceal maneuver and sup-       ces to consolidate on a particular
(RFL) to prevent fires being set by      port forces and defeat enemy target      objective or rally point.
friendly forces.                         acquisition and guidance systems.           Protecting smoke. If the enemy
   Conceal movement of the linkup        Use self-defense and generated-          has known or suspected nuclear or
force.                                   smoke means to conceal maneuver          directed-energy weapon capability,

44                                                                                                             FM 3-50
 concealing your logistics activities in     Smoke for deception. Use this          balance and to draw attention away
 oil smokes may attenuate some of          smoke to keep the enemy off-             from critical sustainment activities.
 the energy.

                                      Breakout from Encirclement
  A breakout from encircled forces            Obscuring smoke . Use obsuring        the force to limit enemy observation
differs from other attacks only in         smoke to isolate the rupture objec-      and engagement.
that units must maintain a simul-          tive, defeat enemy target acquisition       Marking smoke. Use marking
taneous defense of other areas of          and guidance systems, and defeat         smoke to mark enemy targets for
the perimeter.                             reconnaissance and counterrecon-         rapid destruction or to reduce the
  Use smoke to–                            naissance efforts. Use projected         potential for firing on friendly for-
   Aid in establishing a deception         smoke means to deliver smoke             ces.
story.                                     mixed with high-explosive rounds in         Protecting smoke. If the enemy
   Isolate and segregate enemy for-        front of the objective; between          has known or suspected directed-
ces to create gaps or weaknesses in        enemy formations; and on identified      energy weapon capability, conceal-
the encircling force.                      forward observer, ATGM, and tank         ing your force in a blanket of oil
   Conceal movement of maneuver            unit positions before the enemy can      smoke will attenuate some of the
and support, allowing the com-             pinpoint your units as targets.          energy.
mander to mass the rupture force              Screening smoke. Use screening            Smoke for deception. Use this
and main body unobserved.                  smoke to conceal maneuver as you         smoke to draw attention away from
   Defeat enemy reconnaissance and         bypass, breach, or cross obstacles       the main effort to areas of little or
counterreconnaissance efforts.             or small pockets of resistance, along    no importance. Since the diversion-
   Conceal obstacle emplacement,           the flanks to protect the force, and     ary force is critical to the breakout,
breaching, or crossing and hinder          in the rear to conceal disposition       consider making it the priority for
pursuit by the enemy.                      and composition of both the reser-       smoke support. Use generated-
   Create opportunities to disengage       ves and rear guard. Use self-            smoke means to create small- to
the force.                                 defense and generated-smoke              large-area smokes away from the
 Smoke employment tactics in               means to deliver smoke across            main body.
breakout from encirclement in-             danger areas and to the flanks of

                                             River Crossings
  Units conduct river crossings as         project combat power across the             Protecting smoke. Use protecting
part of a higher headquarters              river.                                   smoke as required to defeat enemy
scheme of maneuver. The                      Smoke employment tactics in river      ATGMs and air defense systems.
commander’s objective is to project        crossings include—                          Obscuring smoke. The tactics are
his combat power to the exit side of          Screening smoke. Use screening        the same as in the preparation
the river quickly to maintain the          smoke to conceal maneuver and ac-        phase for offensive operations
unit’s momentum. The overriding            tual river crossing sites. Use smoke     (Chapter 3).
imperative is synchronization. Effec-      in the main body area and along              Marking smoke. Use marking
tive command and control are criti-        the flanks to conceal movement.          smoke to mark enemy targets for
cal for success. Apply all techniques      You must carefully control the           rapid destruction or to reduce the
to minimize the interference caused        smoke to prevent silhouetting your       potential for firing on friendly for-
by smoke. Use smoke to–                    units. Begin making smoke prior to       ces. Aviation assets can deliver
   Conceal the movement of the ini-        conducting the initial assault to con-   smoke onto identified enemy posi-
tial assault force.                        fuse the enemy as to the actual loca-    tions for destruction by indirect fire
   Isolate the exit bank of the river      tion and size of the force. Use          or the follow-on force.
for rapid occupation by maneuver           projected-smoke means to deliver            Smoke for deception. The tactics
forces.                                    the initial screening smoke to iso-      are the same as in the preparation
    Conceal emplacement of crossing        late the exit bank objectives and        phase for offensive operations
means such as engineer bridges.            give other smoke delivery means          (Chapter 3).
    Isolate follow-on objectives to        time to build effective smoke.
allow the commander to rapidly

FM 3-50                                                                                                                45
                                          Obstacle Breaching
   Units breach obstacles when they          Conceal movement of the breach-         Screening smoke. The tactics are
 cannot bypass them at an ad-             ing, initial assault, and support for-   the same as those under River
 vantage. The commander’s objective       ces.                                     Crossings.
 is to project his combat power to           Conceal emplacement of crossing         Protecting smoke. Use protecting
 the exit side of the obstacle quickly    means such as engineer bridges or        smokes as required to defeat enemy
 to maintain the unit’s momentum.         demolitions.                             ATGMs and air defense systems.
 The overriding imperative is initia-         Isolate the exit side of the            Obscuring smoke. The tactics are
 tive. In general, platoons and larger    obstacle for rapid occupation by         the same as in the preparation
 formations breach obstacles, with        maneuver forces.                         phase for offensive operations
 most smoke planning consisting of            Isolate follow-on objectives to      (Chapter 3).
 immediate fire requests for covert       allow the commander to rapidly             Marking smoke. The tactics are
 or hasty breaches or detailed plan-      project combat power across the          the same as those under River
 ning for all potential smoke assets      obstacle.                                Crossings.
 in deliberate breaches.                    Smoke employment tactics for             Smoke for deception. The tactics
   Use smoke to—                          breaching include–                       are the same as in the preparation
     Isolate the exit side objective.                                              phase for offensive operations
                                                                                   (Chapter 3).

                           Special Conditions or Environments
   Weather and terrain have a sig-                   Delivery Means                servers may require mountaineering
 nificant impact on smoke employ-           Mountainous terrain is generally       equipment to get to the best posi-
 ment as previously stated. The           hard and rocky in the summer with        tions, or they may be airlifted. Ter-
 following paragraphs present special     intermittent areas of deep snow. In      rain sketches and visibility diagrams
 climate considerations, employment       the winter, the terrain is mostly        are essential to deliver fast, ac-
 tactics, and techniques to overcome      covered with deep snow.                  curate fire and to identify blind
 difficulties under these conditions:        Snow. The phosphorus in WP            spots.
     Mountains.                           can burn undetected in snow for up         Use ground surveillance radars
     Jungles.                             to four days.                            and remote sensors to acquire tar-
     Urban terrain.                          Rocky terrain. Smoke is effective     gets. Use smoke to—
     Deserts.                                                                         Deny enemy use of narrow pas-
     Winter zones.                        to deny the enemy the use of nar-        sages, valleys, roads, and usable ter-
                                          row passages, valleys, roads, and        rain.
     Nuclear, biological, or chemical     usable terrain.
 (NBC) conditions.                           Winds. Swirling winds make               Isolate enemy formations for
                                          smoke employment very difficult to       piecemeal destruction.
            Mountains                     adjust and maintain. Close coordina-        Obscure routes that can be used
                                          tion is required with adjacent ele-      by the enemy to attack, withdraw,
   In combat operations, mountains                                                 and resupply.
 generally are characterized by           ments to ensure that their vision is        Obscure likely position areas for
 rugged, compartmented terrain;           not obscured or they are not high-       indirect fire assets, command and
 steep slopes; and few natural or         lighted.                                 control elements, CSS assets, and
 man-made lines of communication.            Adjusting fire. Distances are dif-
                                          ficult to judge. Observers tend to       observation posts.
 The weather spans the entire                                                         Conceal terrain that is subject to
 spectrum from extreme cold, with         underestimate upslope distances          snowslides, flash floods, and rock-
 ice and snow during winter, to ex-       and overestimate downslope distan-       slides.
 treme heat in some areas during          ces.
 summer. Although these extremes                                                                Jungles
 are important planning considera-                     Problems
 tions, the variability of weather over     Mortars are ideal because of their       Usually, jungle operations are car-
 short periods of time, and from          high-angle fire. They can deliver        ried out by light forces that can get
 area to area, also significantly in-     fire on reverse slopes and over inter-   into and out of areas by helicopter.
 fluences maneuver, fire support,         mediate crests.                          Fire support may be limited to in-
 and smoke support operations.              Position observers on high ground      direct fire and air support. Because
                                          and spread them to overcome ter-         small-unit operations are com-
                                          rain masks and compartments. Ob-

46                                                                                                              FM 3-50
monplace, greater challenges accrue       observer can estimate the range to        fire. Ground surveillance radars and
to the chemical officers and fire sup-   impact. The speed of sound is ap-          remote sensors must be used.
port coordinators (FSCOORDs) at          proximately 350 meters per second.           Use smoke—
lower levels such as the company         The speed of sound varies accord-             To conceal maneuver to the
FSO and the battalion chemical of-       ing to temperature, wind speed and         front, flanks, and rear.
ficer.                                    direction, relative humidity, and air        Along roads and trails to deny
                                          density; but 350 meters per second        enemy use.
            Delivery Means                should be used as a start point.             At likely ambush sites to obscure
   In jungle terrain, most contact          The observer and smoke control          enemy observation and fields of fire.
 with the enemy will be at extremely      officer must determine their loca-
 close ranges. If the friendly force      tions and ensure that the TAC CP                  Urban Terrain
 has a substantial advantage in fire      and FDC have them plotted. If the
 support, the enemy will most likely      observer or smoke control officer’s         In urban terrain, ranges are drasti-
 try to come in as close as possible     initial position locations are way off,    cally reduced. There are three
 and maintain that close contact so      the smoke will be way off too. Use         major types of terrain in nearly
that the friendly force cannot           the initial smoke to determine the         every built-up area:
 employ their fire support advantage     observer’s own location.                      Obstructions, such as buildings
without inflicting casualties on their      Vietnam and World War II also           and heavily wooded parks.
 own troops.                             showed that the first projected               Flat, open terrain over water,
   In the triple-canopy jungle, HC       round in adjustment must be WP             such as rivers and lakes.
smoke is ineffective. WP is effective    smoke. Because the observers are              Flat, open terrain over concrete
as a marking round and in initial ad-    not sure of their own location or          or asphalt, such as parking lots, mul-
justments. ICM and FASCAM will           that of other friendly elements, WP        tiple-lane roads and highways, and
hang up in the trees and endanger        was always fired first to avoid inflict-   open lots.
friendly forces that later move          ing casualties on friendly personnel.        Air currents are unpredictable.
through the area. Illumination              Creeping fire was also used exten-      Obstructions tend to break up
rounds are ineffective because the       sively in Vietnam and World War            smoke streamers, which re-form
chutes get caught in the upper           II. The observer adds 300 to 400           into a more uniform cloud. Convec-
canopy.                                  meters to his target location in case      tion currents over open areas cause
   The triple-canopy jungle makes ob-    his own position location is wrong.        smoke to rise. There are many ob-
servation beyond 25 to 50 meters         Then he makes corrections of no            servation points at multiple levels,
very difficult. The jungle also makes    more than 50 meters until the fire         which allows an enemy to observe
map reading and self-location, tar-      is on target. In Vietnam, this             from either above or below smoke.
get location, and friendly unit loca-    process sometimes started with an
tion determinations very difficult.      aerial observer and was taken over                   Delivery Means
                                         by the ground observer once he was           Downwind coverage is often less
              Problems                   able to see the rounds. The aerial         due to obstructions breaking up the
                                         observer was often required to relay       smoke, unpredictability of air cur-
  Experience from World War II           fire requests from the ground be-
and Vietnam showed that observers                                                   rents, and smoke following street
                                         cause the terrain severely limited         patterns. The Berlin Brigade ob-
and smoke control officers must be       the ranges of radio communications.
able to adjust smoke and mortar                                                     served that open areas in cities tend
                                            Because of the close combat, laser      to cause smoke to rise and obscure
and field artillery (FA) fire by         range finders may not be of great
sound because they often cannot                                                     key observation points. This is a par-
                                         use; however, night vision devices         ticular problem over water, garden
see the rounds to adjust them. This      are extremely critical. Avoid using
sound adjustment is very difficult                                                  plots, and wide expanses of con-
                                         projected smokes during limited            crete.
and requires wide experience.            visibility periods to preclude
  By taking the recommended adjust-                                                   Smoke diffuses well at night but
                                         degradation of these devices. Aerial       tends to rise to rooftop level about
ments of two or more observers in        observers help direct CAS assets
different locations, some accuracy                                                  one hour after sunrise until one
                                         against enemy targets. Because             hour after sunset. Burning rubble
can result. The battery fire direc-      ground observers cannot see the
tion center (FDC) can help by an-                                                   degrades the screening efficiency of
                                         whole battlefield, the aerial ob-          smoke. Smoke pots weigh between
nouncing SPLASH to let the               server marks targets for the CAS
observer know when the round                                                        27.5 and 33 pounds (M4/M5),
                                         sortie (flares, WP, smoke). Radars         making it difficult for infantry
should impact. The observer then         are extremely effective in the jungle,
counts the seconds until he hears                                                   squads to employ without transpor-
                                         since most indirect fire is high-angle     tation assets to move them forward
the round detonate. Multiplying the
seconds by the speed of sound, the                                                  first.

FM 3-50                                                                                                                47
  Smoke hand grenades make                 Sweep and clear operations to             Smoke pots and smoke grenades
smoke for only 60 to 150 seconds.          eliminate enemy forces acquiring           are effective for concealing move-
Squads need to carry four to six           our soldiers as targets. This is excep-    ment of small units. An example of
per person for concealment. Be-            tionally effective in reducing or          an employment scenario follows:
cause of the height and closeness of       eliminating sniper activity and in          Squad members come under fire
buildings and other obstructions,          breaching obstacles. However, your        from snipers in upper floors. They
CAS and artillery fire is degraded.        soldiers must be careful to avoid         use a grenade launcher to fire smoke
Mortars and high-angle artillery are       burning debris since this tends to        and HE rounds into upper floors,
still effective.                           reduce concealment.                       blinding enemy observation. They
                                             Plan for enemy countermeasures.         emplace HC smoke pots or several
               Problems                    Enemy forces will counter your            smoke hand grenades downwind of
   Smoke and obscurant use in              smoke use. Plan to intensify your         and in between themselves and the
 military operations on urbanized ter-     counterreconnaissance and air             target area or building. Concealed by
 rain (MOUT) requires careful plan-        defense efforts. The enemy may use        the smoke, they maneuver to assault
 ning and execution to prevent             countersmoke to confuse our com-          the target. Upon reaching the target
 interference with movement, assault       mand and control so avoid reliance        area, they cease to make smoke to
 operations, or target acquisition; to     on visual signals.                        allow them to operate undegraded.
 retain the element of surprise; and         The enemy will increase use of in-        Start the smoke mission prior to
 to avoid silhouetting or drawing          direct fire weapons when direct fire      operation start time and continue
 undue attention to friendly forces.       target acquisition is ineffective.        well beyond the end of the opera-
   Time smoke delivery with decision       Therefore, plan artillery counterbat-     tion. For example, you have
 points. Conduct a thorough IPB            tery or countersmoke fire after           planned a canal crossing for 0500 to
 and time your use of smoke to key         crossing the LD/LC.                       0700 hours. Start smoke at 0400.
 decision points in your tactical plan:      Reconnaissance must verify enemy        Stop smoke at 0800 to confuse the
 for example, “When we reach Sec-          locations. The enemy can use both         enemy as to the exact crossing time
 tor Al, use grenade launchers to          our smoke and theirs to conceal           and size of the force.
 smoke the open area and conceal           movement to alternate positions or          Built-up areas nearly always have
 movement of B Company as they             to break contact. Aggressive recon-       civilians/noncombatants occupying
 emplace smoke pots.”) Ensure you          naissance before and during the           them. When planning the type of
target key terrain to deny the             engagement will allow you to shoot        smoke weapon system, and you
enemy the use of it.                       and remain in contact.                    suspect noncombatants are present,
  Use unobscured weapons to over-            Understand that smoke compres-          give consideration to the lethality of
watch. The overwatching elements          ses the battlefield by limiting            the system before employment. For
should have target acquisition            visibility. Smoke drastically reduces      example, artillery-delivered smoke is
devices such as thermal imagers           engagement ranges. Training your           useful around the periphery of a
that can see through our own              soldiers to operate in smoke               city. However, you should switch to
smoke and engage the enemy. This          reduces the degradation caused by          less devastating systems in the cen-
prevents surprise and enhances            smoke. It also reduces psychological       ter of the city, such as smoke muni-
your ability to suppress enemy fire       impact on troops such as confusion,        tions from grenade launchers,
during the assault. This is particular-   fear, and isolation. The Israeli           smoke pots, and smoke hand
ly important for observers in upper       Army successfully used phos-               grenades.
floors of buildings, enabling them to     phorous rounds in Beirut to screen           Smoke units are extremely vul-
observe enemy movements while             their forces and isolate the enemy         nerable in urban areas due to
friendly forces move unobserved.          (enemy forces tended to congregate         smoke generator signature. In addi-
  Limited visibility positions,           in the city). The use of smoke             tion, stationary smoke positions
preplanned and previously                 produced enemy casualties and              need to be closer to the target than
prepared, will minimize degradation       generated the psychological effects        over other terrain, bringing smoke
caused by friendly or Threat use of       of fear and isolation.                     generator elements within range of
smoke. Rehearsal of displacement            Urban terrain causes smoke               enemy small arms weapons. Mobile
under smoke will help you avoid           streamers to break up quickly, creat-      smoke systems are best. Stationary
confusion and disorientation. It will     ing the uniform phase closer to the        smoke systems make large volumes
also rapidly restore engagement           smoke source. You can place                of smoke but require additional
capability.                               smoke sources closer to target areas.      security support. Employ smoke gen-
  The best tactical application of          Ensure the entire squad, section,        erator vehicles in groups of three,
smoke in urban areas is smoke             or platoon uses the smoke simul-           with two vehicles making smoke
blankets for concealment. Use             taneously to preclude drawing atten-       and one vehicle overwatching.
smoke blankets prior to assaults.         tion to a lone vehicle or element.

48                                                                                                                FM 3-50
              Deserts                   also be shot into the air. The use of    Neither shadows, horizon, nor
                                        marking rounds as discussed for          clouds are discernible. The sense of
  There are three types of deserts:     jungle operations also can help for-     depth and orientation is lost. Only
    Rocky plateau deserts.              ward units self-locate.                  very near, dark objects can be seen.
    Sandy or dune deserts.                 Laser range finders must be used,     Whiteouts occur over an unbroken
    Mountain deserts. (Munitions ef-     especially when heat waves degrade      snow cover and beneath a uniformly
fectiveness for mountain deserts is      distance estimating by conventional     overcast sky. Blowing snow can
the same as for any mountainous         means. Observers can detect targets      cause the same effect.
region except that the considera-       by observing dust clouds created by        Greyout. This is similar to
tions of snow are usually not ap-        moving enemy forces. Employ             whiteout except the horizon is distin-
plicable.)                               smoke behind the enemy to sil-          guishable under greyout conditions.
  It is important to recognize the      houette them. The similarity of          It occurs over a snow-covered sur-
specific terrain of each, because       colors in the desert makes specific      face during twilight conditions or
munitions effects will vary according   targets hard to spot. At night, il-      when the snow is close to the
to desert type. Desert battles tend      lumination rounds burning on the        horizon. There is an overall grey-
to be more centralized. Brigade and     ground behind the enemy have the         ness to the surroundings. When the
battalion commanders often per-          same effect.                            sky is overcast with dense clouds,
sonally coordinate the interaction of      Usually, air observation is highly    there is an absence of shadows,
maneuver and firepower. Engage-          productive; however, the absence of     resulting in a loss of depth percep-
ments are often fought at long ran-     landmarks in some areas degrades         tion.
ges.                                    this capability. This problem is en-       Ice fog. This is common around in-
  In rocky plateau deserts, projected   hanced because aerial observers          habited areas during cold weather
smoke and illumination rounds may        tend to see the battlefield in a two-   below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Water
be degraded by high winds, but may       dimensional perspective.                vapor created by humans and
be used to silhouette the enemy.           Lack of trees and hills makes         vehicle exhausts may appear around
HE/PD is extremely effective, creat-     aircraft more vulnerable to enemy       soldier and equipment concentra-
ing extra shrapnel by splintering        air defenses. Use smoke to force        tions. Ice fog obscures vision and
rocks. FASCAM is very effective          enemy aircraft to fly higher, making    discloses locations by presenting a
and should be employed with              acquisition easier. Radars are highly   visible cloud to the enemy.
smoke and the natural terrain to         effective in the desert. Use them to      In winter zones, HC smoke and
force the enemy into unnavigable         aid in adjusting smoke onto targets.    generator smoke are effective, and
terrain.                                   Use smoke to—                         colored smoke may be used to sil-
  In sandy or dune deserts                  Complement ICM and FASCAM            houette the enemy. However, some
projected smoke and illumination         for obstructing and denying enemy       of the canisters may be smothered
rounds are effective and can be          use of roads.                           in the deep snow. WP is effective;
used to silhouette the enemy. HE,           Silhouette the enemy, comple-        however, phosphorus may burn un-
PD, ICM, FASCAM, and delay are           ment illumination fire at night, and    detected in the snow for up to
smothered by deep sands, making          increase the background contrast        three to four days and may be a
them ineffective.                        for sensors to acquire targets.         hazard to friendly troops sub-
  Location determination is often          Priority targets for HC and WP        sequently moving through the area.
very difficult in rocky plateau and      smoke munitions and for generator       HE/PD, HE/delay, ICM, and FAS-
sandy or dune deserts. Maps are          smoke are likely enemy OPs,             CAM are ineffective in deep snow.
often inaccurate, dunes shift, and       ATGM systems, and enemy air             At least 40 percent of the blast
heat waves hamper distance estima-       defense systems.                        from these munitions is smothered
tions. The Israelis help forward ele-                                            by the snow.
ments determine their own location               Winter Zones                      Weather and terrain conditions
by using artillery survey teams at                                               cause disorientation; changing ter-
two or more points, putting               The extreme weather conditions in      rain and poor maps make self-loca-
searchlights on those points, and,      arctic and subarctic regions are         tion difficult. Use marking rounds
upon request, shooting a beam of        dramatic and severely impact on ob-      or searchlights and pyrotechnics
light into the air. The forward ob-     servation, mobility, and delivery of     from surveyed positions to help ob-
server can then shoot an azimuth to     fire. Specific weather phenomena         servers and smoke control officers
the beams of light and perform a        with which the smoke and fire sup-        orient themselves. Bright sunlight
map resection. The beam of light        port personnel must be concerned         reflecting off snow-covered
must project straight up, and the ob-   include whiteout, greyout, and ice       landscape causes snow blindness.
 server must shoot an azimuth at the    fog.                                     Amber filters on binoculars and ob-
lowest visible point on the beam.         Whiteout. The observer appears to
With this system, pyrotechnics may      be in a uniformly white glow.

FM 3-50                                                                                                             49
servation devices reduce the in-                NBC Conditions                     or to estimate ranges for adjust-
cidence of snow blindness.                                                         ments.
  Use of laser range finders is ex-         The physiological and psychologi-         Hear. Hearing is degraded. This
tremely critical because of lack of       cal effects of NBC conditions im-        is a significant problem on certain
depth perception due to weather           pact on all elements of combat           terrain, such as jungles, where fire
and terrain conditions. Use limited       power. These conditions, docu-           and smoke are adjusted by Sound.
visibility positions to prevent degrad-   mented in FM 3-100, create special           Communicate. Communication is
ing these systems. Use aerial ob-         problems when either the enemy or        more difficult, as speakers and lis-
servers because they can see deep         friendly force use smoke and             teners often perceive that they can-
and are not as prone to disorienta-       obscurants. Encapsulation in full, in-   not enunciate or hear as well. This
tion as are ground observers. Fre-        dividual protective equipment sig-       has significant impact on adjusting
quent poor weather reduces                nificantly reduces a soldier’s ability   fire or positioning smoke units.
availability of CAS. Plan smoke use       to—                                          React to stress. Sustained opera-
from CAS aircraft during windows              See. Peripheral vision and visual    tions are much more difficult, as en-
of opportunity for good weather.          acuity are restricted. Observers and     capsulation severely taxes human
                                          smoke control officers are not able      bodies. Leaders are at the greatest
                                          to accurately judge smoke on target      risk of combat ineffectiveness.

  Employed smoke draws attention              Protecting the force performing      obscuring, protecting, or marking-
to the area it covers. This charac-        the deception.                          all apply. Use smoke to obscure,
teristic makes smoke use significant          Making two-dimensional decoy         screen, protect, or mark a dummy
in supporting the deception story.         material look real.                     or imaginary tactical smoke target
However, never plan to use smoke            Planners must provide enough           area. Both the deliberate and decep-
by itself for deception.                   resources so that smoke support for     tion mission should have the same
  Tactical deception draws the             the deception mission lasts as long     visibility requirement and resources.
enemy's attention from the area of         as the deliberate mission. The key      Plan to use projected smoke exten-
the main attack. The object is to          to a successful smoke deception is      sively.
make the enemy commit forces to            to make the enemy believe that the        Planning considerations include–
the deception and not the main at-         smoke support is for the main ef-          Ensure you place smoke on
tack.                                      fort. However, smoke support for        similar targets for both the main ef-
  Smoke supports tactical deception        the deception force should not be       fort and deception. Deception and
operations by—                             so large that it divides or degrades    main effort smoke target areas
   Drawing attention to the decep-         the effectiveness of support for the    should be Similar in size.
tion activity.                             main effort.                               Shift smoke assets to the main ef-
   Limiting the enemy’s ability to          Plan to attack the deception target    fort only when assaulting the objec-
identify the deception for what it is:    just as you would in any other           tive and when immediate smoke is
a ruse, feint, or demonstration.           operation. The standard battlefield     required to protect an element of
                                          applications of smoke—screening,         the main effort.

50                                                                                                             FM 3-50
                                                      Chapter 6

                                         Sustainment Planning

  Sustainment planning for smoke          sible. Artillery and mortar basic           Plan direct delivery from supply
use in tactical operations must           loads of smoke ammunition are           to user. When you expect very high
focus on the sustainment impera-          limited. If your plan calls for sus-    rates of ammunition or POL con-
tives: anticipation, integration, con-    tained projected smoke, you may         sumption, coordinate for direct
tinuity, responsiveness, and              need to pre-position ammunition         delivery from the COSCOM CSS
improvisation. There are several          forward to sustain the operation.       asset to the user unit. This requires
critical factors planners must con-       You may also want to pre-position       intensive coordination to ensure
sider to sustain smoke support in         smoke pots or WP main gun rounds.       transportation assets are in place at
any given operation:                          Use preplanned or preconfigured     the critical time, as well as coordina-
   Number and types of smoke              push packages (LOGPAC) of essen-        tion for delivery locations.
delivery systems and the quantity of      tial items. For missions where            Chemical companies, smoke gener-
available resources.                      smoke requirements exceed existing      ator companies, and platoons in par-
   The commander’s priorities for         assets, the commander should con-       ticular do not have sufficient
support.                                  sider tailoring the LOGPAC to ob-       organic logistics assets to sustain
   consumption factors of the             tain the required items of              combat operations. Because of this,
delivery system and large-area            ammunition or fuel.                     chemical units heavily rely upon the
smoke assets for the type of opera-          Plan for rapid resupply. If pre-     supported unit for CSS. When or-
tion you are planning.                    positioning is not possible, plan to    ganized under a chemical battalion
   Critical smoke delivery systems,       rapidly resupply artillery and mor-     or brigade, the parent headquarters
whose continuous operation is cru-        tar units. Configure ammunition in      acts as an intermediary between the
cial to the battle’s success.             the ammunition supply point (ASP)       chemical company and the division
   Major tactical contingencies such      for rapid sling load or truck           or corps support command for sus-
as exploitation, pursuit, and             transport to user units. Coordinate     tainment support.
withdrawal.                               with the division or corps support        Both the chemical unit and the
   Real estate management (for ex-        command for dedicated transporta-       supported unit conduct planning to
ample, the location of delivery sys-      tion assets for a specific period of    sustain large-area smoke. Planning
tems and combat service support           time to support the operation.          for smoke operations must ensure
[CSS] assets). This involves resolv-         Upload as much materiel as pos-      the smoke element has the following:
ing conflicts in unit/base positions      sible on unit transportation assets.       Maintenance, supply, and
of several units in the same area or      Use existing assets to carry specific   recovery support (fixing and supply-
sector.                                   mission needs, and down load items      ing).
  Commanders and their planners           that can be brought forward later.         Transportation assets available
must plan to sustain all smoke               Plan real estate management. En-     (transporting).
delivery means that are in their tac-     sure the pre-positioned stocks and         Tactical resupply of Class III (for
tical plan. Planners must consider        the terrain around these stocks are     example, fog oil, packaged POL,
the following:                            earmarked for the user unit. The        and MOGAS) (fueling).
   Plan for continuous support.           division support command (DIS-              Sufficient personnel (manning).
   Forward positioning of essential       COM), corps support command                 Fire support, to include tactical
CSS, such as ammunition and               (COSCOM), or area support group         resupply of Class V, and security
petroleum, oil, and lubricants            (ASG) is the focal point for resolv-    (arming and protecting).
(POL). Execute this at night if pos-      ing conflicts in unit/base positions.

FM 3-50                                                                                                            51
                        Maintenance, Supplies, and Logistics
  Smoke generators are very limited            Supporting Units                   can be effected. The basic load is
in number on the battlefield. Smoke                                               approved by the commander. The
generators are also resource-inten-        The smoke unit commander               basic load is not a fixed quantity; it
sive items of equipment. Chemical        specifies the items for inclusion into   may be altered as situations dictate.
brigades and battalions do not have      a “push” package. The CSS unit           For example, a smoke unit conduct-
a support platoon to manage, pick        specified in the plan will configure     ing a prolonged smoke operation
up, and deliver supplies. Chemical       supplies for rapid distribution to       may have its basic load of smoke
units, and smoke units in particular,    the smoke unit. Normally, support        pots increased for that particular
are very dependent upon the sup-         to smoke units is on an area basis.      operation.
porting CSS structure to configure       When providing this support, sup-          One method of easing the resupp-
and deliver “push” packages of sup-      port units use varying combinations      ly requirements of smoke units is
plies. Appendix E outlines smoke         of unit distribution such as long-       tailoring of the basic loads. Ex-
sustainment planning guidance.           range patrol (LRP) and supply            tended smoke operations away from
  It is essential that commanders        point distribution procedures.           the main force can be given larger
and planners consider logistical sup-      Unit distribution is the preferred     or different basic loads of fuel,
port for smoke units in the overall      method for resupplying smoke             parts, or other necessary supplies.
tactical plan for an operation. The      units. The supporting unit delivers      Use the consumption tables in Ap-
plan must specify–                       supplies to the smoke unit’s area        pendix E as a guide for preparing
    Support relationship between the     using preplanned or dedicated            unit basic loads.
supported unit and the smoke unit.       transportation assets. The support-
    Which activities (TAACOM,            ing unit generally arranges this               Fog Oil Resupply
COSCOM, ASG, support group,              transportation, although the
DSA, BSA, or field trains) provide       transportation assets may be dedi-         Fog oil is a packaged POL
what type(s) of support for the          cated to resupplying the smoke unit      product arriving in 55-gallon drums.
smoke unit:                              for a particular mission only. The       Support units can bulk fog oil by
 – Class I, II, IV, VI, and VII.         supporting unit should plan for          transferring the fog oil from the 55-
 -- Class III package (fog oil and       throughput whenever possible.            gallon drums to fuel pods or tank
other packaged POL).                       An alternate means of resupply is      and pump units. The fog oil used in
 – Class III bulk (MOGAS, diesel).       supply point distribution. The sup-      smoke operations comes through
 – Class V (small arms, mines,           porting unit issues supplies from a      the corps and division support
grenades, and explosives).               supply point to the smoke unit. The      areas. It may be delivered as far for-
 – Class VIII and general medical        smoke unit uses its own limited          ward as the brigade support area by
support.                                 transportation assets to move the        the supporting CSS unit. From here
 – Class IX intermediate level main-     supplies to its area of operations.      the smoke unit’s fuel supply ele-
tenance support, less smoke                When determining the type of dis-      ments pick up the fog oil. Based on
generator specific parts.                tribution to be used to support          the type and duration of the smoke
    Consumption rates for the            smoke units, logistics planners at all   mission, the fuel supply element
specified mission such as amount of      levels should consider–                  either establishes a forward fuel
fog oil and other POL needed to             Availability of personnel and         supply point or keeps stocks
sustain smoke operations.                equipment to deliver and pick up         uploaded on organic vehicles. For
    “Push” packages to support com-      supplies.                                rear area missions the smoke-fuel
mitted units (for example, delivery         Missions of the supported forces.     supply point may be supported
times and locations, quantities, and        Adequacy of road networks in          from existing Class III or other
frequency).                              the area of operations.                  supply activities.
    Transportation support:                 Priorities for use of the roads.        There are two methods for fog oil
– Availability of transportation as-        Anticipated distances between         resupply on-line resupply and off-
sets.                                    supporting and supported forces.         line resupply.
– Preplanned deliveries to provide          Locations of the supported forces.      On-line resupply. Stationary
the “push” package.                         Threat to road and rail networks.     smoke points are resupplied on line
    Priorities for support of units or                                            during a smoke mission. This re-
areas.                                              Basic Load                    quires the fog oil and MOGAS
                                                                                  resupply squad to move to each
                                          Basic load is the amount of equip-      point as needed. The resupply
                                         ment and supplies required by a          squad or section will move tank and
                                         unit to sustain itself until resupply    pump units (TPUs) to the line,

52                                                                                                             FM 3-50
drop the drums of fog oil at the           resupply squad or section and the          1 to 2 kilometers to the rear of the
smoke point, or pre-position drums         smoke point.                               smoke line. You can also resupply
at a follow-on smoke point. This in-         Off-line resupply. Mobile units are      stationary units that are displacing
creases the vulnerability of the           resupplied by rotating individual sys-     in this manner.
                                           tems through a fuel resupply point

                                    Fire Support and Security
  When planning for the use of             for the crew and are less vulnerable       and FSO. Integrate the smoke unit
smoke in support of combat opera-          to indirect fire than wheeled smoke        fire plan with the supported unit
tions, it is essential commanders          systems.                                   fire plan. Fire support planning
and operational planners recognize           Lessons learned at the NTC consis-       must consider—
the vulnerability of smoke units.          tently demonstrate that mechanized            Priorities of fire support.
Smoke generator units conducting           smoke systems suffer high-loss rates          Availability of smoke rounds
 smoke operations leave a very recog-      when they are among the lead ele-          (mortar and artillery).
nizable signature on the battlefield.      ments of armored assaults. While              Named areas of interest (NAI)
Smoke by its very essence attracts         improper employment at the NTC             and target areas of interest (TAI)
attention. An observer only needs          serves as a valuable training aid for      of the maneuver unit.
to follow the smoke streamer to its        commanders, the same mistake in               Coordination with fire support as-
source to target the individual            combat will result in the loss of a        sets for the primary, alternate, and
smoke-producing device. Smoke gen-         significant and scarce combat multi-       supplemental smoke operations
erator operators and smoke unit            plier.                                     areas or points.
commanders are acutely aware of              Reconstitution of battlefield losses        On-call targets (nominated by the
this and utilize every measure avail-      will be slow. They may not occur at        smoke unit).
able to reduce this signature.             all based on the availability and
  Some of these steps include –            priority of distribution for such a                     Security
   Making maximum use of natural           limited asset. In a rapidly moving
cover and concealment.                     armor assault, the commander may             Plan for the security for smoke
   Using reverse slope positioning.        wish to plan for additional smoke          units based upon availability of the
   Using self-protecting smoke (for        support from his indirect fire artil-      supported unit’s assets and
example, smoke pots upwind of gen-         lery using WP or HC smoke projec-          priorities. When security forces are
erator positions).                         tiles integrated into preparatory          provided for smoke assets, coordina-
   Continuously moving mobile sys-         fire. This fire placed on or in front      tion measures include –
tems within designated areas to min-       of the objective may accomplish the           Determining needed duration of
imize effective targeting.                 desired result and not expose              security support.
   Staggering positions of generators.     mechanized systems to unnecessary             Determining size of security ele-
   Digging in or hardening.                risk.                                      ment.
   Making smoke from flanks and                                                          Locating overwatch positions for
stand-off positions whenever pos-                    Fire Support                     security elements.
sible.                                                                                   Determining smoke and security
  While the above actions will en-           Supporting smoke assets coor-            element leaders understand the
hance the smoke unit’s survivability,      dinate with the supported unit for         commander’s concept, fire support
proper employment by the sup-              fire support.                              plan, and communication proce-
ported unit is essential. As an ex-          Fire support is based on artillery       dures, and are aware of smoke tacti-
ample, mechanized smoke systems            availability and the coordination          cal resupply locations.
provide some small-arms protection         that takes place among the smoke
                                           unit, chemical staff office, S3/G3,

                                         Personnel Sustainment
 Smoke support occurs in many              ments. They consider visibility con-       (IPE). Heat buildup becomes criti-
types of terrain under different           straints and heavy work rates during       cal to the welfare of the soldier.
weather conditions. Operations may         smoke missions. Specifically, it is dif-   This is especially true when the
occur in NBC-contaminated areas.           ficult to see in smoke. It is more dif-    operator of the M157 smoke gener-
Leaders balance mission require-           ficult to see in smoke when in full        ator set is “buttoned-up” inside the
ments against protection require-          individual protective equipment            M1059 mechanized smoke gener-

FM 3-50                                                                                                                 53
ator in full IPE in support of a         and distribute their units as the           Replacement planning.
mechanized or armored division.          commander requires in his task or-        Limited visibility has a significant
  Smoke generator crews may be dif-      ganization, yet conserve their fight-   impact on sustainment operations.
ficult to replace in future conflicts.   ing strength. Leaders must give         It increases the time and decreases
Therefore, you must focus on main-       special consideration to—               sustainment responsiveness. Support
taining the available force at peak         Health services.                     and smoke units should thoroughly
combat effectiveness. Leadership is         Administrative support.              rehearse sustainment activities prior
the key to maintaining the strength         Morale and welfare activities.       to execution of the plan.
and spirit of the fighting force.           Discipline.
Leaders must assemble, transport,           Stress management.

54                                                                                                            FM 3-50
                                                                                                 FM 3-50, Cl

                                                    Chapter 7

Today virtually every nation and non-state                The M56 Smoke Generator System (Figure 7-1)
organization has access to—                               mounted on an Ml113 HMMWV is organic to
   advanced tactical sensors for target acquisition       motorized smoke units and dual-purpose
(thermal imagers) and intelligence gathering              smoke/decontamination units. The M56 can produce
surveillance systems (ground and air reconnaissance).     90 minutes of visual/near infrared obscurant and 30
   precision-guided munitions delivered by artillery,     minutes of infrared obscurant without resupply. This
missiles, and aircraft that operate in the IR region of   system can produce obscurants while mobile or
the electromagnetic spectrum.                             stationary.
These capabilities are available through internal         The M58 Smoke Generator System (Figure 7-2)
manufacturing or purchase on the world market.            mounted on the M113A3 APC is organic to
These thermal imaging sights allow them to acquire        mechanized smoke units. The M58 can operate
and engage targets through visual smoke, at night,        mobile or stationary. It can produce 90 minutes of
and under adverse weather conditions. To counter the      visual/near infrared obscurant and 30 minutes of
increasingly sophisticated sensor threat, the M56 and
M58 smoke generator systems provide maneuver
commanders the capability to control and dominate
the visual through far infrared (IR) portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum using visual (fog oil) and
infrared (graphite) obscurants.


                                                          infrared obscurant without resupply. Chassis
                                                          improvements allow the M58 to keep pace with
                                                          mechanized and armor units. The systems are
                                                          equipped with a driver’s thermal imager and an NBC
                                                          contamination particulate filter unit.
                                                          Each system can selectively produce visual obscurants
                                                          (vaporized fog oil) to defeat acquisition in the visual,
                                                          and near infrared and infrared obscuration (graphite
                                                          flakes) to defeat target acquisition devices that operate
                                                          in the mid and far infrared. The two obscurants may
                                                          be employed simultaneously or separately. If
                                                          employed simultaneous y, the threat force’s capability
                                                          to acquire targets with day sights and thermal imagers
                                                          will be degraded. If employed separately, the visual
                                                          obscurant will degrade day sights and the IR
                                                          obscurant will degrade the thermal imagers.

                                                                    OBSCURANT EFFECTS
                                                                   ON SENSORS/SEEKERS
                                                          Visual and infrared obscurants have distinctly
                                                          different effects on friendly and threat force sensors.

FM 3-50, Cl

Therefore, commanders and staffs must understand          plan to integrate smoke and obscurant assets into the
the opportunities and limitations associated with each.   operational plan. The goal of the obscurant plan is to
Employment of infrared obscurants is a double-edged       defeat critical threat sensors and seekers. For
sword. A maneuver commander may want the added            example, the IPB process has determined that the
concealment offered by an infrared obscurant              threat possesses a significant thermal imagery
(graphite), but must accept the fact it will also         capability located with his reconnaissance assets. The
degrade his own systems. Commanders and staffs            smoke plan would likely focus on employing IR
must identify the threat sensor/seeker systems to be      obscurants whenever and wherever the threat might
countered, determine the obscurant to be employed,        attempt to utilize his reconnaissance assets.
and identify impacts on their own systems. Table 7-1      The doctrine for IR obscurants is different from the
depicts the types of sensors and seekers found on         doctrine for visual obscurants. IR obscurants provide
today’s battlefields and the relative degree of           the capability to defeat a significant threat
degradation caused by various natural end man-made        asset—thermal imagers. Visual obscurants are used
obscurants.                                               primarily to provide force protection from a threat
                                                          having limited electro-optical capabilities such as first
             VISUAL-INFRARED                              generation FLIR or with an even lesser capability
        OBSCURANT CONCEPTS                                such as systems that can only operate in the visual
Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB)         region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Overall, IR
determines how the threat arrays sensors and seekers      obscurants will be employed directly on the threat or
on the battlefield. After the IPB process has been        between the threat and friendly forces. Visual
accomplished, the chemical battle staff develops a        obscurants are employed on friendly forces to provide

                                                                                                FM 3-50, Cl

protection while still allowing for the ability to        essentially the same for visual and infrared screens.
maneuver within the obscurant cloud.                      However, at night, actual observation of the infrared
                                                          cloud requires a thermal viewer. Without an IR
                       Offense                            sensor, smoke control officers will rely on the fog oil
                                                          cloud to adjust target coverage or on information
Employment of an infrared obscurant in offensive          provided by the supported maneuver unit.
operations gives the maneuver commander an
additional element of combat power. IR obscurants
are able to defeat threat sensors and seekers. Two                  Coordination Measures
missions should be considered. One is to utilize the      Infrared obscurants offer additional options to the
IR obscurant as a screen to prevent thermal ground        commander: visual only, IR only, or visual/IR
sensors from detecting and identifying friendly           obscurants. The chemical battle staff must assist the
forces. Another is to utilize the IR obscurant to         commander in recommending the appropriate type
obscure threat sensors. In this mission, given            obscurant based on IPB. Limiting factors may be
favorable weather conditions, the smoke plainer           based on planned friendly activity, the need to
would employ the IR obscurant directly on the threat      prevent signaling a friendly presence to the threat
sensors.                                                  force, or danger inherent to friendly operations that
                                                          might result in increased fratricide.
IR obscurants in the defense will provide protection               Smoke Control Graphics
from smart weapons and prevent those weapons from         Smoke target numbering systems and graphic control
acquiring their targets. Although the employment of       techniques will be increasingly important as
IR obscurants reduces the friendly ability to             commanders and staffs come to rely more heavily
maneuver, the commander may choose this option to         upon digitization. Battle staffs will maintain
increase the survivability of his forces in the event     electronic overlays of planned smoke missions
that other resources are unavailable to defeat the        (similar to trafficability overlays) to allow for
threat’s smart weapons. For example, IR obscurant         coordination of mission planning with adjacent and
would provide considerable protection from smart          higher organizations. With the fielding of large-area
weapons for rear area operations such as port             infrared smokes, graphic control aids must be
facilities, logistical sites, and airfields.              developed to portray no smoke areas, visual only
                                                          smoke targets, visual-infrared smoke targets, and
                Cloud Dynamics                            infrared only targets. Target numbering procedures
                                                          should be standardized to enable adjacent units to
Infrared obscurants are subject to the same weather       recognize immediately smoke missions that may
and terrain considerations as visual obscurants. For      adversely affect their operations due to wind shifts,
planning purposes, the IR obscurant cloud will travel     the cloud traveling farther than anticipated, or flank
approximately the same distances as a visual cloud        units perhaps being silhouetted. Although subject to
and will cover the same size target area. Visibility      local SOPs, visual only smoke target numbers should
criteria in terms of haze, blanket, and curtain are not   begin with a V followed by five digits. IR only smoke
true for IR obscurants. Infrared clouds are defined in    target numbers should begin with IR followed by four
terms of transmittance value in relationship to           digits. Visual-infrared target numbers should begin
percentage of probability of detection. Given wind        with VIR followed by three digits.
speed, source strength, and downwind distance
(Annex H), chemical staffs are able to estimate
probability of friendly forces being detected when                          Troop Safety
screened or protected by infrared obscurants.             The same masking requirements and procedures for
                                                          fog oil employment apply for infrared (graphite)
                Smoke Control                             obscurants. Overall, carry the mask when
                                                          participating in operations that include the use of
Generally, smoke control is the function of the smoke     infrared obscurants. Mask when passing through or
platoon leader or the smoke company commander             operating in a dense cloud. If duration of exposure
under the direction of the maneuver commander, a          will exceed 4 hours or breathing difficulties occur,
breach or river crossing site commander, or a facility    masking is required.
commander. Smoke control procedures will be

FM 3-50, Cl

          LOGISTICAL SUPPORT                             consumption rate of 5 pounds per minute, the system
Logistical support for chemical smoke units requires     can produce 1 hour of IR obscurant. If the
special consideration with the addition of infrared      consumption rate is 10 pounds per minute, the system
smoke material (graphite). One 5-ton truck is capable    can produce 30 minutes of IR obscurant.
of carrying the weight (and volume) of 9 barrels of
fog oil and up to 4,350 pounds of IR obscurant                             CONCLUSION
simultaneously. If two 5-ton trucks are used to          The M56/M58 smoke generator systems provide
resupply 6 generators, the travel time to a supply       commanders and staffs an additional element of
point, reloading with fog oil and IR obscurants, and     combat power. IR obscurants in any operation can be
returning to the mission site must not exceed 75         employed to protect the force, screen friendly
minutes. When consecutive infrared missions are          maneuvers, or to obscure and attack threat sensors
desired to support maneuver operations, the chemical     and seekers. IPB is critical in planning infrared
staff with the G4/S4 anticipates resupply requirements   missions by identifying threat sensors and seekers and
and ensures that the smoke plan is supportable. Use      how they are arrayed in theater. The chemical battle
the consumption table (Table 7-2) as a logistical        staff, by participating in the IPB process, war
planning tool for visual infrared smoke operations.      gaming, and rehearsals will facilitate an effective
Planners should keep in mind the M56 and M58             obscurant plan to support the commander’s intent.
smoke generator systems have a variable setting          The IPB process, focusing on how the threat arrays
capability for both IR (graphite) and fog oil modules.   his sensors and seekers on the battlefield, are critical
This allows the operator to control the rate graphite    steps in planning the employment of IR obscurants.
and fog oil is consumed. For example, at a

                                                    Appendix A

                                           Smoke Planning

 Chapter 1 describes the general         timate format (Figure 11), smoke          Chemical staff officers must coor-
considerations for planning smoke        target list work sheet (Figure 12),     dinate all smoke support with the
support. This appendix provides pro-     and a smoke annex format (Figure        G3/S3, FSCOORD, and lateral
cedures for preparing smoke plan-        13). In addition, Figure 14 shows a     units. These planning document ex-
ning documents and gives some            coordination checklist for chemical     amples contain several mechanisms
examples. The smoke planning docu-       unit commanders to use when they        to help staff officers verify such
ment examples include a smoke es-        receive orders for a smoke mission.     coordination.

                                  Target Analysis Procedures
  Coordinate with the commander            Close air support assets.             smoke engagement with other than
or G3/S3 to determine obscurant re-        Naval gunfire.                        fire support assets.
quirements for the unit. Coordinate        Other delivery means.                   Coordinate with the FSO for the
with the FSO, and nominate targets        Plan targets, to include the follow-   final target list and schedule of fire.
for obscuration. Identify targets       ing considerations:                      Designate the person, event, or
within the FSO’s capability. Also          Which delivery means to use. For      time that will initiate the smoke mis-
identify targets not within the FSO’s   guidance, see the employment             sion. Coordinate with adjacent
capability.                             matrixes.                                units, and check weather conditions.
  Record targets on the target list        Which obscurant to use. For             Add or delete smoke missions on
work sheet.                             guidance, see Appendix B, Figure         the basis of available assets and
 Identify smoke delivery means to       16, page 73.                             weather and terrain factors. Coor-
support the operation:                     Duration of smoke on each target.     dinate with any adjacent units not
   Smoke generator unit(s).                Time to fire or make smoke.           previously affected, but which may
   Mortars.                               Coordinate with the G3/S3 for the      now be affected by smoke.
   Maneuver combat vehicles.            final target list and schedule of          Prepare the smoke support annex
   Field artillery unit(s).                                                      to the OPLAN/OPORD.

                                        Planning Documents
       Smoke Estimate                         Smoke Target List                   get number for fire support pur-
                                                                                  poses. Fire support target numbers
              Format                               Work Sheet                     may be recorded in the remarks
  After receiving the restated mis-       Mandatory entries in a smoke tar-       column. Smoke target numbers are
sion and planning guidance from          get list work sheet include —            five characters in length. The first
the commander, the chemical of-            Smoke target number. Assign a          character is a letter; the final four
ficer prepares a smoke estimate          control number to identfy the            are numbers. Divisions and higher
(Figure 11).                            smoke target. The smoke control          field headquarters may assign a
                                        number contains five characters.         specific group of numbers to or-
                                        The first character is a letter; the     ganizations (for example, 1st Bde is
                                        following four are numbers. A local      A1001 through A1999; 2d Bde is
                                        SOP will establish how to assign         B2001 through B2999). These num-
                                        these numbers. They are not the tar-     bers provide the chemical staff of-
                                                                                 ficer with a brevity code for smoke

FM 3-50
   Target description. Write a brief        Priority. This is the priority of at-   G3/S3 and G4/S4 officers,
description of the target (for ex-       tack based on fire support’s target        FSCOORD, and smoke unit leaders.
ample, combat reconnaissance             value analysis.
patrol).                                    Remarks. Self-explanatory.                      Smoke Mission
   Target location. Enter the center
of mass UTM grid coordinates for                                                     Coordination Checklist
                                                Smoke Annex to
the target.                                                                           Smoke unit commanders or
   Size. Give the dimensions of the           OPLAN or OPORD                        leaders use this checklist to verify
target in meters.                          The smoke annex to a plan or             coordination with the supported
   EO system. This is the system         order implements the commander’s           unit and any adjacent units that
you will attack with smoke/              decisions concerning how to use            might be affected by the smoke.
obscurants.                              smoke in the operation. The chemi-         The chemical staff officer provides
   Delivery means. Identify potential    cal staff officer prepares and coor-       most of the information (such as
delivery means for the smoke.            dinates the smoke annex. He or             visibility criteria and target loca-
   Type of smoke. Identify the type      she, as a minimum, provides copies         tion); but, the smoke unit leader
of smoke/obscurant to employ.            to subordinate and adjacent units          must personally finalize coordina-
                                         (if affected by the smoke), the            tion, whenever, possible.

                                        Employment Matrixes
 Use the seven employment                the appropriate delivery means for         deliberate attack, defense,
matrixes (Tables 4 through 10,           specific smoke targets. The tables         retrograde, special operations, and
pages 65 through 71) to determine        cover general, hasty attack,               MOUT situations.

56                                                                                                              FM 3-50
FM 3-50   57
58   FM 3-50
60   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   61
62   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   63
64   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   65
66   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   67
68   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   69
70   FM 3-50
FM 3-50   71
                                                      Appendix B

                                          Electro-Optical Systems

  Smoke and obscurants influence           natural obscurants. By-product         or munitions as described in Chap-
the visual portion of the electromagn-     obscurants on the battlefield result   ter 1 and Appendixes D and E. We
etic spectrum. They also provide           from combat actions. Examples in-      use these specifically to attack
protection for our forces by in-           clude the smoke caused by the burn-    enemy electro-optical (EO) systems.
fluencing frequency ranges we do           ing of buildings and equipment,          Figure 16, on the next page, shows
not normally perceive with our sen-        dust raised by maneuvering units,      the effect obscurants have on target
ses.                                       and the airborne dust and particles    acquisition and guidance systems
  All sensory equipment (to include        thrown by exploding artillery and      from the visible through the mil-
the human eye, viewers, vision en-         mortar fire.                           limeter wavelengths of the
hancement devices, trackers, and             We produce artificial obscurants     electromagnetic spectrum.
seekers) requires a certain amount         with smoke production equipment
of energy (a minimum threshold)
before they can perform their func-
tions. A sensor will also fail to func-
tion if the level of energy, in the
frequency range the device is
designed to work within, is too
great (a maximum threshold).
Smoke and obscurants provide us a
means to render sensors ineffective,
by decreasing or increasing the
amount of energy available to the
device or sensor (Figure 15).
  There are three categories of
obscurants: natural, by-product, and
artificial. We can use natural
obscurants advantageously if we cor-
rectly forecast the weather. Dark-
ness, fog, sandstorms, and
precipitation are examples of

                                          Sensors and Effects
  On the AirLand battlefield, what                Target Visibility               The degree of illumination of the
is seen can be hit and killed.                                                    area, the background setting, and
Precision-guided munitions and              When you conceal an object by         angle of observation have an impor-
sophisticated sensors that provide         smoke, a number of factors deter-      tant effect.
new means of observation and               mine the degree of obscuration.          The overriding factor in smoke
detection have appeared on the bat-        Physical properties of the object,     screen effectiveness is the total con-
tlefield. Smoke and other                  such as size, shape, color, bright-    centration of smoke and the path
obscurants can degrade the effec-          ness, and reflecting properties of     and length of the smoke cloud be-
tiveness of sophisticated precision-       various parts of the surface, deter-   tween the observer and the target.
guided weapon systems.                     mine the density of the smoke re-      Thus, one observer may detect the
                                           quired for effective obscuration.

72                                                                                                              FM 3-50
target, while a second observer may       through light rain, snow, and fog).        Sensors and Viewers
not, because of extended line of          Night vision devices use the IR rays
sight through the smoke to the tar-       produced by or reflected from an           As a result of the development of
get.                                      object. Active IR is radiation           IR and radar devices during World
  When considering target visibility,     produced by an illumination source       War II and subsequent technical ad-
it is important to distinguish be-        and then reflected from an object;       vances, electronic sensors have sup-
tween the sighting of an object and       heat radiates from an object. IR         plemented conventional visual
identifying that object as an enemy       radiation depends on the type of         methods of target acquisition and
target. The prevention of detection       radiating material and its tempera-      aiming. The introduction of
is the severest test of a smoke           ture. With an increase in tempera-       electronic techniques has also en-
cloud. Although most detection ef-        ture there is an increase in             hanced our ability to detect and at-
forts in the past were in the visible     radiation. In hazy weather, IR           tack targets at night and in adverse
spectrum, modern technology has           devices can give a two- to four-fold     weather.
extended the useful spectrum              increase in range over visible             We can degrade the performance
beyond the visible wavelengths.           spectrum devices. In foggy weather,      of electronic sensors by using
  Infrared (IR) rays have properties      IR devices suffer a marked               obscurants (smoke and dust). Some
similar to those of visible light. How-   decrease in range, but are still supe-   of these devices can be rendered in-
ever, IR rays may readily pass            rior to visual devices. Many of the      effective; others can be degraded
through materials that lessen visible     restrictions noted for IR also apply     significantly; still others will not be
light (for example, IR rays pass          to military laser range finders and      affected at all. However, to effect
more readily through the atmos-           seekers.                                 sensors we must use the right kind
phere than visible light, even                                                     of obscurant at the right place, at

FM 3-50                                                                                                                73
the right time, and in sufficient         dust will decrease this contrast and    the viewer for a few seconds. Such
quantity.                                 brightness by attenuating light         hot spots may also divert or decoy
  The eye is the basic receiver for       reflected from the target. Rain,        thermal-tracking missiles.
several types of EO sensors. Four         snow, fog, and haze will also             Most smoke attenuates thermal
sensors that rely on the eye are the      degrade the performance of these        radiation less effectively than visual
naked eye itself, the telescope, the      systems. To use an obscurant            radiation, so more smoke is re-
television viewer, and the image in-      against these sensors, place the        quired to degrade thermal viewers;
tensifier. Sensors can be active or       obscurant in the line of sight be-      the relative amount depends on the
passive depending on the                  tween the target and the observer.      agent employed. However, some
mechanism they use to detect and          Obscuration use in moonlight can        smoke (for example, HC and fog
intensify the images.                     also degrade the contrast of target     oil) is not very effective against ther-
                                          and background. We can further          mal viewers. High concentrations of
   Operational Considerations             degrade the contrast of a target        WP and RP and black smoke are
  The eye, the telescope, the             with its background by the light        more effective against thermal
television viewer, and the image in-      from the sun that fails directly onto   viewers.
tensifier all require illumination of     the obscurant and is then scattered
the target and its background. The        into the line of sight. The amount            Command-Guided
sun, moon, stars, or illumination         of degradation depends on the posi-
                                          tion of the sun and the depth of the                  Missiles
rounds may provide this illumina-
tion. The eye detects reflected light     obscurant cloud. Degradation is           Most command-guided missiles
and is dependent upon the contrast        greatest when both sun and target       are command to line of sight
between the brightness of the target      have about the same line of sight to    (CLOS) missiles, which operate in
and its background. The telescope         the observer or viewer. Consider-       one or more spectral regions. The
improves the capability of the eye        able degradation can also occur         oldest of CLOS missiles are visually
by enlarging the target image.            when the sun is directly behind the     and manually controlled, requiring
Television viewers are used to pro-       observer or viewer.                     the operator to track both the mis-
vide viewpoints from distant, hos-                                                sile and its target, while simul-
tile, or awkward positions.                      Thermal Viewers                  taneously guiding the missile to the
Television viewers can also function                                              target (for example, the Soviet Sag-
as image intensifiers or to enhance         Passive thermal viewers use the       ger). Tracking the missile can be
contrast. Image intensifiers electroni-   natural thermal radiation differen-     aided by putting a beacon on the
cally magnify the light received, in-     ces between target and background       missile. This guidance scheme has
creasing it to a level the eye can        to form an image – hence the name       been relatively easy to defeat, since
see. Contrast enhancement electroni-      thermal viewer. Another name for a      either the target or the missile can
cally increases the brightness of the     thermal viewer is forward looking in-   be obscured, and a miss results. In
target, making it easier to see.          frared (FLIR). These thermal            addition, the flash from an explod-
  Passive sensors use available           viewer systems require no external      ing HE or smoke munition could
natural light. We use passive sys-        source of radiation and can success-    serve to distract the gunner, again
tems when the available light is suffi-   fully operate on a dark night if the    resulting in a miss.
cient to illuminate the target. An        targets are sufficiently warmer or        The next type of missile control is
active viewer system consists of a        cooler than the background. The         semiautomatic CLOS (for example,
viewer and an illuminator, which          thermal viewer is used in fire con-     the Dragon). In this case, the
floods the target with light. Il-         trol systems, in some thermal           operator or gunner only tracks the
luminators for different active view-     homing missiles, and for surveil-       target; the missile is automatically
ing sensors include lasers,               lance purposes.                         guided. This reduces the burden on
searchlights, or flares. We use ac-         Reducing the apparent contrast be-    the gunner and increases the ac-
tive sensors when there is not            tween the target and its background     curacy. However, to cause a miss it
enough light to illuminate the target.    may degrade the effectiveness of        is only necessary to obscure either
                                          the thermal viewer. Obscurants          the missile beacon or the target; fur-
      Effects of Obscurants               degrade sensor performance by at-       ther, the sensor tracking the missile
                                          tenuating the target radiation signa-   may be blinded for a short period
  Placing obscurants between the tar-     ture reaching the viewer. The
get and the viewer will degrade the                                               of time by the flash of an exploding
                                          thermal radiation produced by the       munition. Many systems using this
performance of these sensors. Tar-        cloud may also degrade perfor-
get acquisition and identification                                                type of guidance use a beacon and
                                          mance of the sensor. The initial        tracking sensor that operate in the
depend on the contrast between the        burst of a munition will also
target and its background and the                                                 near IR. With visual target tracking
                                          produce a hot spot of thermal radia-    this presents no difficulty. However,
brightness of the target. Smoke and       tion, possibly saturating or blinding

74                                                                                                              FM 3-50
with the advent of thermal imagers        sile. The wire is not susceptible to     region. The most common seekers
a situation known as spectral mis-        obscuration; however, severing the       operate in the IR. Passive seekers
match can occur. In this case, and        wire (for example, by shell frag-        operating in the visible or IR
under obscured condition, it may be       ments) will result in a miss. Some       regions may be either imaging or
possible to see a target with the         CLOS missiles receive guidance           nonimaging.
thermal imager but not to hit the         commands by a radio link in the             Passive imaging seekers have es-
target because of obscuration of the      radar or millimeter portions of the      sentially the same susceptibility to
missile beacon.                           spectrum. These commands are dif-        obscuration as any imaging sensor,
  A third type of guidance is auto-       ficult to degrade using conventional     although far IR imaging seekers
matic CLOS. Both target and mis-          obscurants. Of more importance is        may look on a WP cloud that is hot-
sile are tracked automatically,           the effect of the electromagnetic        ter than the target and track the
usually by different sensors. This        radiation emitted during an HE           cloud as the target. This type of
type of CLOS guidance is the most         detonation. This radiation may           seeker may also be blinded by the
sensitive to obscuration, especially      cause the missile to miss its target.    flash from a detonating munition
with sensors operating in the             As a rule, it is easier to obscure the   and therefore miss its target.
shorter wavelengths.                      target tracker of a beamrider sys-         Nonimaging IR seekers often use
  A more recent type of guidance          tem than the laser beam that guides      two spectral bands. These two
command for CLOS missiles is              the missile. This target tracker is      bands are used to discriminate be-
beamrider guidance. Here, a gunner        usually a viewer or a thermal            tween real and false targets (such
tracks the target either manually or      viewer.                                  as fires or hot rocks). These seekers
automatically while illuminating the        Obscuring the target tracker           can be decoyed by the difference in
target with a beam of light. Usually      (viewer or thermal viewer) usually       obscuration effects upon the two
this beam is provided by a laser,         causes a miss and may even prevent       spectral regions. This difference
and most beamriders operate in the        the gunner from launching the mis-       may cause the seeker to think the
near and far IR spectrums. Most do        sile if the target cannot be seen.       target is a rock (and ignore the tar-
not use the visible portion to            The flash of an exploding munition       get) or to think a fire is the target
prevent exposing the firing position.     behind the missile may blind the         (and attack the fire). Semiactive
Sensors on the rear of the missile        tracking sensors on the rear of the      seekers use energy reflected from
look back at the beam projector.          missiles, causing the missiles to miss   the target for tracking. Usually, the
These sensors track the beam, and         the target.                              target is illuminated by a laser
the missile guides itself to the tar-                                              operating in the IR. Target illumina-
get. Beamrider guidance suffers                 Terminal Homing                    tion does not have to come from
from the same obscuration limita-                                                  the launch point or site. This type
tions as conventional CLOS missiles                     Missiles                   of seeker may be defeated by
with a beacon. As a rule, the lasers        This guidance is characterized by      obscuring the beam, either before
used in beam projectors have more         a missile with a seeker at the front     or after it is reflected from the tar-
power than the equivalent beacon          that tracks the target and guides        get. If obscuration is placed closer
on a CLOS missile. As a result, the       the missile to the target. There are     to the laser than to the target, suffi-
laser beam is harder to obscure.          two categories of terminal homing        cient laser energy may be scattered
  Beamrider missiles are built so         missiles: those that lock on the tar-    by the cloud to cause the missile to
that the spectral mismatch is not         get before launch and those that         track the obscurant cloud rather
the weak link in terms of suscep-         lock on the target after launch. Mis-    than the real target.
tibility to obscuration. If you track a   siles that lock on after launch are
target using the visible portion of       generally more susceptible to               Radar and Millimeter
the spectrum, guidance is per-            obscuration effects than missiles ac-
formed using either the IR or mil-                                                         Wave Sensors
                                          quiring lock before launch. Ter-
limeter wavelengths. Similarly, if        minal homing seekers operate in            We can use radar and millimeter
target track is carried out with a        one or more of three modes: active,      wave sensors to determine the posi-
thermal imagerj the missile is            passive, or semiactive.                  tion and/or velocity of the target.
guided using a far IR or millimeter         Most active seekers operate in the     Since these form only poor images
wavelength. In effect, the target-        radar and millimeter wavelength          of the target, we do not get recogni-
tracking element of the beamrider         regions. These seekers are not, as a     tion and identification in the usual
system is usually the most vul-           rule, adversely affected by obscura-     manner.
nerable to obscuration.                   tion, although they may be blinded         Dust and conventional smokes do
  Most CLOS missiles receive              momentarily by the detonation of         not effectively degrade radar and
guidance commands by a wire con-          an HE or smoke munition. Passive         millimeter wavelength sensors. How-
necting the launcher and the mis-         seekers may operate in any spectral      ever, other highly effective counter-

FM 3-50                                                                                                                75
measures exist. A munition dust           or very near, the line of sight. In      enemy positions, to degrade radar
cloud does produce obscuration for        the far term, we will use millimeter     and millimeter wave sensors.
a few seconds when the burst is in,       wave obscurants, projected onto

                                     Directed-Energy Weapons
  Directed-energy weapons differ in       vehicle-mounted mode; and all fire                 High-Power
operation and effect from all other       support team members use the
weapons. They include lasers; high-       GVS-5, binocular-type, laser range                 Microwaves
power microwaves; particle beams;         finder.                                    Electric ammunition fuzes and
and non-nuclear, directed                   Additionally, artillery survey par-    many missile electronic guidance sys-
electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Ex-          ties use laser devices for surveying     tems can be damaged by
cept for lasers and high-power            gun positions. Scout platoons are        microwaves. Unprotected soldiers
microwaves, directed-energy               equipped with GVS-5 laser range          may experience warmth, pain,
weapons are in the early stages of        finders. USAF and Navy aircraft          headaches, fatigue, weakness, and
development.                              (F4, A7, F111, F105, F16, and A6         dizziness.
  Directed-energy weapons transmit        aircraft) may also carry laser target      Terrain masking offers some
energy at or near the speed of light      designators. Although these are not      protection from microwaves. The
in the form of subatomic particles        intended as weapons, accidental eye      high-power microwaves operate in
or electromagnetic waves. This ener-      damage can occur if someone              the millimeter wave spectrum; thus,
gy impacts on the target as heat or       moves into a laser beam path and         smoke and dust have virtually no ef-
shock. Directed-energy weapons            looks directly at the beam, or a         fect and should not be used solely
can damage soft targets and soft          laser beam reflects off a shiny sur-     to degrade their performance. A
components of hard targets, such as       face into someone’s eyes. A high-        munition dust cloud does produce
lenses, electrical and electronic comp-   power laser beam striking in front       obscuration for a few seconds when
onents, and eyes. New equipment           of an EO device such as night            the burst is in, or very near, the line
will have built-in defenses against       vision devices or thermal imaging        of sight. In the far term, we will use
known directed-energy weapons.            systems may also damage com-             projected millimeter wave
We will fit older equipment with          ponents and electrical circuits or       obscurants onto known or
protective devices. In the near term,     cloud the lens.                          suspected enemy microwave
we will use smoke and obscurants            To avoid engagement by laser           weapon locations to block or ab-
to reduce the impact of attack by         weapon systems, use artillery, mor-      sorb the energy at its source.
directed-energy weapons.                  tars, or direct-fire weapons to sup-
                                          press known or suspected laser
                                          device locations. Smoke can tem-                  Particle Beams
                                          porarily defeat some laser devices.        A particle beam is a directed flow
  As of 1990, no army is known to         When operating within the enemy’s        of atomic or subatomic particles
have laser devices fielded for use        line of sight, protect vulnerable sys-   transmitted in a series of short pul-
specifically as weapons. However,         tems by providing them cover or          ses; it delivers large quantities of
laser target designators and range        concealment. Cover sensor systems        energy to targets in millionths of a
finders are in the inventories of all     when not in use. If the mission re-      second. The beam penetrates bad
major armies, and their numbers           quires movement, block the line of       weather and smoke better than a
are increasing. Any of these laser        sight between friendly forces and        laser beam and is much more
devices can be used as a weapon.          enemy location with smoke, and/or        destructive. The particle energy im-
Laser weapons are effective against       use routes with minimal exposure         pacts in the form of heat, which
optical and EO systems: specifically,     time. Shoot-and-move tactics help        melts or fractures the target. Par-
eyes and fire-control sights.             prevent friendly positions from          ticle beams may also create gamma
  Laser range finders are used on         being pinpointed and targeted by         and X ray when they strike metal.
the M60A2, M60A3, and Ml series           laser devices. When searching with         Millimeter wave obscurant and
tanks and our artillery units. Artil-     optical or EO devices, use as few        type 3 IR obscurant may lessen
lery fire support teams for airborne,     as possible. Protect unused devices      some of the energy but will not be
ranger, and special forces units use      until they are needed.                   more than slightly effective. If a par-
the lightweight target designator;                                                 ticle beam weapon is developed for
fire support teams for mechanized,                                                 ground combat, use the defensive
infantry, and air-assault units use                                                measures taken against other direct
the ground-locating laser designator                                               fire weapons.
in either the ground-mounted or

76                                                                                                               FM 3-50
Electromagnetic Pulses                 can damage or destroy unshielded     needed at the moment should be
                                       electrical equipment.                disconnected; small, electronic
 An EMP is a surge of electromag-       To protect electronic equipment     items should be placed in empty am-
netic radiation generated by a         against EMPs and microwaves, all     munition cans. Millimeter wave
nuclear detonation or a pulse gener-   cable and entry points must be       obscurant and type 3 IR obscurant
ator. An EMP travels hundreds of       shielded. The equipment should be    may lessen some of the energy but
miles in a fraction of a second and    completely encased in metal. Extra   will not be more than slightly effec-
                                       equipment or equipment not           tive.

FM 3-50                                                                                                      77
                                                       Appendix C

                                            Means of Delivery

 Smoke can be delivered to the tar-        ators. Your choice of delivery          tance to the target, and the
get in numerous ways, from artillery       means will be determined by the         availability of resources.
and aircraft to grenades and gener-        amount of smoke needed, the dis-

                                           Artillery           Munitions
  The field artillery provides effec-      smoke mission to screen a small                  Special Smoke
tive systems for rapidly placing           area of 150 to 600 meters for a
smoke on distant targets. They use         period of 4 to 15 minutes.                The objective of a special smoke
HC, WP, and RP projectiles.                                                        mission is to conceal a large area to
  Use artillery-delivered smokes to–            Immediate Smoke                    protect or conceal maneuver forces
   Obscure enemy observers and tar-                                                for an extended period of time. Con-
get acquisition and guidance sys-            The objective of an immediate         sider a special smoke mission when
tems (for example, CLOS ATGMs).            smoke mission is to obscure the         the size of the cloud makes a quick
   Isolate or segregate enemy forma-       enemy’s vision immediately. Use an      smoke mission impractical. This
tions.                                     immediate smoke mission to              type of screen can vary from 400 to
  In projecting smoke onto the bat-        obscure a point of 150 meters or        2,400 meters in length.
tlefield, the field artillery uses three   less within 30 seconds for 1 1/2 to 5     Table 11 lists characteristics of ar-
types of missions: quick smoke, im-        minutes.                                tillery smoke munitions.
mediate smoke, and special smoke.

         Quick Smoke
  The objective of a quick smoke
mission is to obscure the enemy’s
vision or to conceal maneuver ele-
ments. The quick smoke mission
equates to the normal HE adjust
fire mission. Obscuring the enemy
is required, but the urgency of the
situation does not require immedi-
ate smoke procedures. Use a quick

                                            Mortar Munitions
  Mortars can provide good initial         tive indirect smoke delivery means      such as CLOS ATGMs, and to iso-
smoke coverage because of their            available to the maneuver com-          late or segregate enemy formations.
high rate of fire, but their small         mander.                                   Table 12, on the next page, lists
basic load limits the size and dura-         Use mortar-delivered smokes to        characteristics of mortar-delivered
tion of the cloud they can provide.        obscure enemy observers and target      smoke munitions.
They are the most rapid and effec-         acquisition and guidance systems,

78                                                                                                                FM 3-50
  AH/lS and AH-60 helicopters can            Obscure enemy observers and            Table 13 lists characteristics of at-
deliver smoke munitions using the         ATGM and air defense (AD) sys-          tack helicopter-delivered smoke
Hydra 70 rocket launcher system.          terns.                                  rockets.
The Hydra 70 fires a 2.75-inch rock-
et, which has a WP warhead
  Use helicopter-delivered rockets
   Identify/mark targets for CAS
aircraft and artillery.

                                       Aircraft-Delivered Smoke
  The M52 helicopter smoke                limited air defense assets. The sys-      The UH1 helicopter is the
generating system is still in the US      tem contains a fog oil tank, an         airframe for this system. It is effec-
Army inventory, but in January            electrical pump to transfer fog oil     tive when the UH1 flies at speeds
1982 the Army Materiel Command            to the spray apparatus, and jets on     less than 90 knots and at heights
(AMC) type classified it as Stand-        a spray ring to direct the fog oil      not to exceed 50 feet; this makes
ard B. However, it is a very effec-       into a hot exhaust. There, the oil is   the helicopter extremely vulnerable
tive smoke delivery method against        vaporized into a thick, dense, white    to air defense systems. This system
a low-technology enemy or one with        smoke.                                  has application for uses in various
                                                                                  low-intensity conflict operations (for
                                                                                  example, counternarcotics opera-
                                                                                  tions, peacetime contingency opera-
                                                                                  tions, and counterinsurgency
                                                                                  operations) when the enemy has
                                                                                  relatively few air defense systems.
                                                                                    Table 14 lists the characteristics of
                                                                                  aircraft-delivered smoke.

                                              Rifle Grenades
  Rifle grenades can deliver smoke        green smoke, and M716 yellow               Provide immediate suppressive
to point and area targets up to 350       smoke cartridges.                       smoke to degrade enemy weapon
meters away from individual sol-           Use rifle grenades to–                 guidance links or tracking.
diers. The M203 and M79 grenade             Obscure snipers, enemy fighting          Conceal the movement of small
launchers and the MK19 automatic          positions, and heavy weapon             tactical units (squad or smaller).
grenade launcher all can fire smoke       emplacements.                             Table 15, on the next page, lists
grenades. The smoke cartridges in-                                                the characteristics of the 40-mil-
clude the M713 red smoke, M715                                                    limeter grenade launcher.

FM 3-50                                                                                                                 79
                    S m o k e Pots and Smoke Hand Grenades
           Smoke Pots                     either manually (M4A2 and ABC-            grenades are not effective for
                                          M5) at the emplacement site or            screening smokes for units larger
   Smoke pots produce large volumes       electrically from remote positions        than one or two squads. Emplace
 of white or grayish-white smoke for      (ABC-M5 only). The pots can be            smoke hand grenades by hand or
 extended periods. They are the           fired individually, simultaneously, or    manually ignite them with a trip
 small-unit commander’s primary           in a long-burning chain. Smoke pots       wire. This technique is effective to
 means of producing small-area            are used by all services.                 deceive the enemy with a diversion.
 screening smoke. Pots are necessary        Table 16 lists the characteristics of   The average soldier can throw a
 for employing smoke on water, as         US Standard A smoke pots.                 grenade 30 to 35 meters. White
 the M4A2 floating HC smoke pot is                                                  smoke grenades are most often
 the only smoke-producing system          Smoke Hand Grenades                       used to conceal individual vehicles;
 that floats.                                                                       colored smoke grenades are used to
   Emplace smoke pots by hand,             Smoke hand grenades produce              mark or spot positions. All services
 drop them from vehicles or helicop-      either white smoke or colored             have and use smoke grenades
 ters, use them as a field expedient,     smoke for short periods of time. Be-        Table 17, on the next page, lists
 or fasten them to the outside of ar-     cause they only produce small             current smoke hand grenades and
 mored vehicles. Ignite smoke pots        amounts of smoke, smoke hand              their characteristics.

                        The M4A2 smoke pot must be vented for five minutes within 24 hours prior
                        to ignition. Vent each M4A2 pot by folding back the tape from at least two
                        of the emission holes.

80                                                                                                              FM 3-50
  The mechanical smoke generator
is a device that vaporizes smoke
generator fog oil number 2 (SGF2).
The vapor released condenses in
the air as a white smoke. Currently,
mechanical smoke generators are
the only large-area smoke devices
type classified Standard A. Table 18
lists generator systems and their

                        Armored Vehicle Grenade Launchers
  Three types of launchers for tanks
and armored reconnaissance
vehicles are designed to rapidly
generate small amounts of smoke to
conceal or screen individual
vehicles. The vehicle commander
launches the grenades as soon as he
is fired upon, so the driver can take
evasive action behind the smoke.
The launchers fire either AN-M8
HC and M34 WP grenades (M176
launchers) or L8A1 RP and M76
IR grenades (M239 launchers).
  Table 19 gives the characteristics
of these self-defense grenades.

                             Vehicle Engine Exhaust System
The VEESS is a vehicle-mounted            In a heavy brigade-size combined     the 1- to 2-kilometer range
smoke system that produces smoke        arms force scenario, the VEESS         decreases as much as 80 percent. In
by vaporizing fuel with the exhaust     provides a significant reduction (up   summary, the lethality of enemy
system. Vehicles that currently have    to 20 percent) in the vulnerability    tanks decreases about 20 percent at
the VEESS include the AVLB,             of MIs, M2/3s, and Improved Tow        close range. Self-defense smoke
CEV, M88A1, M60, Ml, M2, and            vehicles. When our forces use the      provides significant protection in
M3 families of combat vehicles.         VEESS, the lethality of BMPs from      the close battle.

FM 3-50                                                                                                         81
 Safety with smoke and smoke            smoke and safety for the weapon or   measures for US smoke and
delivery systems depends primarily      delivery systems. Tables 20 and 21   delivery systems.
on two things: characteristics of the   identify safety constraints and

82                                                                                                  FM 3-50
                                                    Appendix D

                  US Smoke Organizations and Capabilities

  Most chemical command and con-         company-sized elements or smaller.          This appendix describes the
trol headquarters are Reserve Com-       Task organizing platoons from these       capabilities, limitations, and struc-
ponent organizations. In the active      companies provide the commander           ture of chemical command and con-
Army, there are few battalion-level      a mission-tailored mix of assets nor-     trol headquarters, smoke units, and
chemical organizations. Most corps       mally associated with battalion and       chemical unit task organizations.
and division-level smoke assets are      higher levels.

             Chemical Command and Control Headquarters
 The two major chemical command          can provide limited administrative        headquarters and headquarters
and control headquarters are the         support, logistics, mission/opera-        detachment and two to five chemi-
corps chemical brigade (HHD)             tions planning, and execution super-      cal companies. The battalion can
(TOE 03-4721) and the corps chemi-       vision for the chemical battalions.       provide limited administrative sup-
cal battalion (HHD) (TOE 03-             The chemical brigade does not have        port, logistics, mission/operations
476L).                                   organic supply and transportation         planning, and execution supervision
                                         assets for sustaining its assigned bat-   for the chemical companies. The
    Chemical Brigade                     talions.                                  chemical battalion does not have a
                                                                                   support platoon; therefore, it has
  Chemical brigades normally are as-         Chemical Battalion                    no organic supply and transporta-
signed one to each corps. Each                                                     tion assets for sustaining its as-
chemical brigade is composed of a          Chemical battalions usually are as-     signed companies.
headquarters and headquarters            signed to a chemical brigade at
detachment (HHD) and two to five         corps, or one per TAACOM. Each
chemical battalions. The brigade         chemical battalion is composed of a

                                       Smoke Generator Units
  The major smoke generator unit         mored Cavalry Regiment (TOE 03-           the company is 100-percent mobile
tactical organizations are–              377L).                                    and is completely air-transportable.
   Corps Chemical Company (SG)             There are two different types of          Motor smoke units equipped with
(Motorized) (TOE 03-067J).               motorized systems and one                 the M157 have 36 to 48 smoke gen-
   Corps Chemical Company                mechanized smoke generator sys-           erators mounted on 18 to 24 M1037
(Smoke/Decon) (TOE 03-257J).             tem. The M3A4 and the M157 are            HMMWVs. This company, also, is
   Corps Chemical Company (SG)           motorized, and the M1059 is               100-percent mobile and is complete-
(Mechanized) (TOE 03-077J).              mechanized.                               ly air-transportable.
   Heavy Division Chemical Com-            Motor smoke units equipped with           Mechanized smoke units equipped
pany (Mechanized Smoke Platoon)          the M3A4 have 36 to 48 smoke gen-         with the M1059 smoke generator
(TOE 03-387).                            erators mounted on 18 to 24 M998          carrier have six (heavy division com-
   Division Chemical Company (Air-       series HMMWVs or M151 series 1/4-         pany) or seven (mechanized smoke
borne/Air Assault) (TOE 03-              ton trucks with trailers. These           company) M1059s per platoon. This
027J500/03-057L).                        smoke systems provide stationary          element is 100-percent mobile on
   Chemical Company                      smoke only. Depending on terrain,         any terrain and is completely air-
(Smoke/Reconnaissance/Decon), Ar-                                                  transportable.

FM 3-50                                                                                                               83
               Corps                                   corps                                Division
    Chemical Company                         Chemical Company                      Chemical Company
      (SG) (Motorized)                        (SG) (Mechanized)                  (Airborne/Air Assault)
  The motorized smoke generator           The mission of the chemical com-       This company provides smoke and
company provides large-area smoke       pany (smoke generator-mechanized)      decontamination support to the air-
support for tactical and rear opera-    is to provide smoke concealment        borne or air assault division. This
tions. The two platoons of the          for maneuver units and other criti-    company has three dual-purpose
motorized smoke company have            cal areas. This company was            platoons. Each of the three
three squads each. There are 24         developed because motorized com-       platoons can provide both smoke
smoke generators per platoon. Each      panies lack the necessary armor        and decontamination support. How-
platoon (if weather, terrain, and the   protection and mobility to operate     ever, the platoon can do only one
situation are favorable) can support    forward to support close operations    mission at a time. Each platoon has
up to a maneuver brigade.               in mid- and high-intensity conflict.   two dual-purpose squads and one
                                        It is organized into three smoke       resupply squad. The company has
              Corps                     platoons. Each platoon has 14          36 generators – 12 per platoon.
                                        smoke generators. (Two generators        The most difficult task of this com-
    Chemical Company                    are mounted on each armored            pany is the transition from decon-
        (Smoke/Decon)                   vehicle.) The seven vehicles form      tamination to smoke support (or
                                        seven mobile point sources.            the reverse). This transition can be
  The corps smoke/decon chemical                                               carried out at the company CP or
company or dual-purpose company                                                in the BSA.
provides smoke and decontamina-                 Heavy Division
tion support to the light infantry          Chemical Company
division or units located in the                                                   Chemical Company
division or corps rear area. This                 (Mechanized
company has four dual-purpose                  Smoke Platoon)
platoons. Each of the four platoons                                                  Armored Cavalry
                                          The smoke platoon of the chemi-                  Regiment
can provide both smoke and decon-       cal company (heavy division) gives
tamination support. However, the        the division a large-area smoke          This company provides smoke and
platoon can do only one mission at      capability. It also provides limited   decontamination support to the ar-
a time. Each platoon has two dual-      site selection for decontamination     mored cavalry regiment. The com-
purpose squads and one resupply         squads. The platoon has six M1059      pany has one dual-purpose platoon.
squad. The company has 48 smoke         smoke generator systems. Each of       Unlike other dual-purpose platoons,
generators — 12 per platoon             the two smoke squads has three         this platoon has seven M1059
   The most difficult task of this      M1059s with six smoke generators       smoke generator systems. The
company is the transition from          per squad.                             platoon can provide both smoke
decontamination to smoke support                                               and decontamination support. How-
(or the reverse). This transition can                                          ever, the platoon can do only one
be carried out at the company CP                                               mission at a time. The platoon has
or in the BSA.                                                                 two dual-purpose squads and one
                                                                               resupply squad, with a total of 14
                                                                               smoke generators.

                           Chemical Unit Task Organizations
 The three unique chemical unit             Chemical-Engineer                  platoons and is particularly useful
task organizations are–                                                        when the platoon is supporting
   Chemical-engineer task force.                    Task Force                 obstacle emplacement or covering
   Chemical company team.                 The chemical-engineer task force     force operations.
   Chemical battalion task force.       attaches one or more smoke or dual-
                                        purpose chemical platoons to the
                                        division engineer battalion. This
                                        provides a habitual association for
                                        logistical support for the chemical

                                                                                                            FM 3-50
    Chemical Company                 pany for command and control          brigade could be attached to a par-
                                     during a particular mission.          ticular chemical battalion when that
              Team                                                         battalion is supporting the corps
 The chemical company team at-           Chemical Battalion                main effort. For example, if a
taches one or more platoons to a                                           division had to conduct a river
                                                Task Force                 crossing as part of the corps
chemical company for specific mis-
sions. For example, a smoke            The chemical battalion task force   scheme of maneuver. The corps
platoon from a corps motorized       attaches one or more platoons or      commander might task organize
smoke company could be attached      companies to a chemical battalion     most of his smoke generator com-
to a heavy division chemical com-    for specific missions. Every smoke    panies under one battalion for
                                     company in a corps chemical           direct support of this mission.

 Tables 22 and 23 show smoke         and types of generators or point      kilometers; and the prime movers
platoon area coverage based on the   sources.. The coverage is given in    are listed for the generators.
type of platoon and the number

FM 3-50                                                                                                       85
                                                   Appendix E

               Smoke Support Sustainment Planning Tables

  The tables in this appendix pro-      sustainment requirements for smoke    tion planning on smoke unit struc-
vide smoke pot spacing guidance         missions.                             ture, smoke duration, and fuel
and ammunition and fuel consump-          Base your ammunition consump-       delivery packaging.
tion data. Use the tables to deter-     tion planning on target size and
mine ammunition or fuel                 smoke duration. Base fuel consump-

                                      Smoke Pot Consumption
 Table 24 is the spacing guide for      (decimals) to the next larger whole   know the length of the target area
smoke pots. When using Table 23         number.                               in meters and the spacing between
to determine actual spacing require-     Table 25, below and on the facing    pots in meters, plus how long the
ments, round up all answers             page, is the smoke pot consumption    target must be smoked.
                                        guide. To use this table, you must

86                                                                                                       FM 3-50
 Enter the table from the left–          Under the spacing find your target      and the smoke time row intersect
smoke time. Locate the spacing be-       length. The cell where this column      contains the number of pots needed.
tween pots at the top of the table.

                                      Fuel Consumption Tables
  Use Tables 26 and 27 to deter-         sumptions of a smoke generator          single M3A4 or M157 smoke gener-
mine fog oil and MOGAS consump-          platoon running all generators simul-   ator, multiply the planning figure by
tion for smoke generators. These         taneously. When a crew operates a       0.5.
tables are based on normal con-

FM 3-50                                                                                                            87
                          Ammunition Consumption Tables
 Use Tables 28 through 31, below,      Start with the wind speed, rate of   and use the table to discover the
to determine consumption rates for   fire, (or weapon and target size)      number of rounds required for the
artillery, and mortarmunitions.      and duration of smoke requested,       mission.

                                                                                                      FM 3-50
                                                   Appendix F

                                       Weather and Terrain

 Environmental factors and terrain      ing winds, temperature gradients          tant for accurately predicting smoke
affect smoke cloud behavior. Steer-     and the type of terrain are impor-        cloud travel.

  Meteorological conditions that          Wind direction determines where         face. They are the winds that actual-
have the most effect on smoke           smoke must be released and where          ly carry the smoke and determine
screening and munitions expendi-        it will travel. Basically, there are      the direction of smoke travel.
tures (including the deployment of      four different types of wind direc-         Wind speed has as much influence
smoke generators) include wind,         tions that affect smoke operations:       on smoke behavior as wind direc-
temperature gradients, humidity,        head winds, tail winds, flanking          tion has. Low wind speed or calm
precipitation, and cloud cover.         winds, and quartering winds.              conditions allow smoke to remain in
                                        Favorable wind directions in rela-        the target area for a longer period
               Wind                     tion to the smoke objective are the       of time. In addition, some types of
                                        tail, quartering, and flanking winds      smoke behave differently at dif-
  The weather condition with the        (see Figure 17).                          ferent wind speeds. For example,
greatest impact on smoke opera-           Head winds are those blowing            WP tends to pillar if winds are less
tions is wind. Both wind direction      from the smoke objective directly         than 9 knots (17 kilometers per
and wind speed play a significant       toward the smoke source and are           hour). HC smoke rises when the
role in almost everything that deals    unfavorable for smoke generator           wind speed is less than 4 knots (7
with smoke operations. These fac-       operations.                               kilometers per hour), and it is torn
tors are important in estimating          Tail winds, the most favorable for      apart by wind speeds over 13 knots
equipment, munitions, and fog oil       smoke operations, blow toward the         (24 kilometers per hour). Smoke
requirements for a smoke opera-         smoke objective from behind the           from mechanical smoke generators
tion.                                   smoke source.                             may be effective in higher wind
                                                          Flanking winds blow     speeds because of the great volume
                                                        directly across the       produced.
                                                        smoke objective and
                                                        the smoke source and       Temperature Gradients
                                                        are generally favorable
                                                        for smoke operations.       Temperature, by itself, has no
                                                          Quartering winds        direct relationship with making ef-
                                                        blow between the          fective smoke. It does, however,
                                                        other winds toward        have an indirect relationship, which
                                                        the smoke objective.      is a result of temperature gradients.
                                                          It is important to      Temperature gradients are deter-
                                                        make the distinction      mined by comparing the air
                                                        between those surface     temperature at .5 meter above the
                                                        wind directions just      ground with the air temperature at
                                                        discussed and steering    4 meters. Three types of tempera-
                                                        winds. Steering winds     ture gradients influence smoke: un-
                                                        occur between 6           stable (lapse), neutral, and stable
                                                        meters and 200 meters     (inversion) (Figure 18, next page).
                                                        above the earth’s sur-

FM 3-50                                                                                                             89
  Unstable. An unstable (lapse) con-    may reduce visibility at ground          snow reduce visibility; therefore,
dition exists when air temperature      level. Inversion conditions are excel-   smoke is rarely needed for conceal-
decreases with an increase in al-       lent for smoke hazes and smoke           ment during those conditions. When
titude. This condition is charac-       blankets but only if there is enough     used during periods of precipita-
terized by vertical air currents and    wind to carry the smoke over the         tion, smoke tends to remain close
turbulence. Thus, smoke tends to        target area.                             to the ground and spread out over
break up and become diffused.                                                    a large area.
Lapse conditions are best for                         Humidity
producing smoke curtains.                                                                 Cloud Cover
  Neutral. A neutral condition exists     Practically all smoke particles ab-
when air temperature shows very lit-    sorb moisture from the air. Mois-          The amount of clouds in the sky
tle or no change with an increase in    ture increases particle size and         gives an indication of how smoke
altitude. Neutral conditions also       density and makes the smoke more         will act on the battlefield. The
exist when the wind speed is            effective. Most smoke munitions          general rule is when the sky is
greater than 9 kilometers per hour.     produce a denser (thicker) smoke         covered with clouds, the atmos-
Under this condition, vertical air      when the humidity is high than           phere is relatively stable, and the
currents are very limited. Neutral      when it is low; therefore, high          conditions are generally favorable
conditions are best for smoke hazes     humidity is generally favorable for      for making smoke.
and smoke blankets; however, this       smoke employment (Table 32).               Table 33, on the next page,
is not the most favorable tempera-                                               provides a summary of favorable
ture gradient for smoke.                          Precipitation                  and unfavorable conditions for
  Stable. A stable (inversion) condi-                                            smoke production.
tion exists when the air temperature      Since light rains
increases with an increase in al-       decrease visibility,
titude, This condition greatly limits   less smoke gives
vertical air currents. A smoke cloud    concealment
produced during inversion condi-        during these rains.
tions lies low to the ground and        Heavy rains and

                                           Terrain Effects
 Since smoke is carried by the          coverage will be in a specified area.     Flat, Unbroken Terrain
wind, it usually follows the contours   Smoke will act differently over the
of the earth’s surface. Therefore,      different types of terrain.                     and Over Water
the type of terrain over which the                                                 On flat, unbroken terrain, and
smoke travels has a tremendous im-                                               over water, the individual smoke
pact on how effective the smoke                                                  streamers take longer to spread out

90                                                                                                           FM 3-50
and mix with other streamers.               Large Hill Masses                      Slopes and Valleys
Therefore, the uniform phase will
usually develop a greater distance             and Mountains                     In areas where there are valleys
downwind.                                Steep hills and mountains tend to     and other types of slopes, the
                                                                               climatic conditions are usually dif-
                                       split winds. The winds eddy around      ferent at different times of the day.
         Obstructions                  the hills and mountains as well as      These areas are characterized by
                                       over them. Large hill masses and        thermally induced slope winds that
 Obstructions, such as trees and       rugged terrain cause strong cross
small buildings, tend to break up      currents. These currents disperse       occur throughout the day and night.
smoke streamers. These streamers                                               During the daytime, the heating ef-
                                       smoke excessively and create holes      fect causes these winds to blow up
re-form, cover a much larger area,     and unevenness in the smoke
and eventually create a more           screen. In addition, thermally in-      the slope, and they are referred to
uniform screen. This uniform screen    duced slope winds occur throughout      as up-slope winds. At night, the
develops much quicker and closer       the day and night. These conditions     cooling effect causes the winds to
to the smoke source than if the ter-   make it extremely difficult to estab-   blow down the slopes, and they are
rain were open. A wooded area,         lish and maintain a smoke screen.       called down-slope winds. This is a
which contains an abundance of         Wind currents, eddies, and tur-         very general rule; however, it is one
obstructions, is the most favorable    bulence in mountainous terrain          which needs to be kept in mind
type of terrain for smoke generator    must be continuously studied and        when planning smoke operations.
operations.                            observed.

FM 3-50                                                                                                           91
                                                     Appendix G

                              Obscurants and How They Work

  Obscurants are particles                obscurants (such as fog); by-            the general characteristics of
suspended in the air that block or        product obscurants (such as dust);       obscurants, how they work, and
attenuate a portion (or portions) of      visual smoke (such as WP); and           what obscurants the United States
the electromagnetic spectrum. The         bispectral multispectral and special     has in its inventory.
six types of obscurants are natural       obscurants. This appendix describes

   Obscuration occurs when there is         Smoke, placed between a target           Grayish or white smoke obscures
 a decreased level of energy avail-        and viewer, degrades the effective-     in the visible range by reflecting or
 able for the function of seekers,         ness of that viewer by interfering      scattering light, producing a glare.
 trackers, vision enhancement             with the reflected electromagnetic       During bright sunlight you need a
 devices, or the human eye. Bat-           radiations. The amount of smoke re-     lower concentration than with black
 tlefield visibility can be practically    quired to defeat that viewer is high-   smoke to effectively obscure a tar-
 defined as the distance at which a       ly dependent upon meteorological         get. At night or in limited visibility,
 potential target can be seen and          conditions, terrain relief, available   considerably more than black
 identified against any background.       natural light, visibility, and the ab-   smoke is needed.
 Reduction of visibility on a bat-        sorption effect of natural particles       Years of experience with white
 tlefield by any cause reduces the        in the atmosphere. Other factors in-     smoke technology have shown it to
 amount of smoke needed to                clude smoke from battlefield fires       be superior to black smoke for
 obscure a target or objective.           and dust raised from maneuvering         most applications. Available white
   Obscuration generally is not as-       vehicles and weapon fire.                smoke producers include WP and
 sociated with combat power be-             The ability to detect and identify a   RP compounds, HC, and fog oil
 cause it is not a lethal tool on the     target concealed by such a smoke         (SGF2). WP, RP, and HC are
 battlefield. However, the deliberate     cloud is a function of target-to-back-   hydrocopic (that is, they absorb
 use of smoke and the inadvertent or      ground contrast. Smoke clouds            water from the atmosphere). This in-
 planned use of dust and/or adverse       reduce target-to-background con-         creases particle diameters and
 weather conditions on the bat-           trast, making the target more dif-       makes them more efficient in scat-
 tlefield have always been of value to    ficult to detect.                        tering light. Fog oils are nonhydro-
 units in the field.                        The effectiveness of obscuration       scopic and depend upon
   In general, smokes are composed        depends primarily upon charac-           vaporization techniques to produce
 of many small particles suspended        teristics such as the number, size,      extremely small diameter droplets
 in the air. These particles scatter      and color of the smoke particles. In     that absorb and scatter light.
 and absorb (attenuate) different         the visible range, dark or black           Smoke produced by a smoke gen-
 spectra of electromagnetic radia-        smoke absorbs a large proportion         erator unit or from a series of
 tion. This absorption reduces trans-     of the electromagnetic waves strik-      smoke pots has four distinct phases:
 mittance of that radiation through       ing individual smoke particles.          streamer, build-up, uniform, and ter-
the smoke. When the density (con-         Dining bright sunlight you need a        minal (see Figure 19, on the next
 centration) of smoke material be-        higher concentration of black            page).
tween the observer or EO device           smoke to effectively obscure a tar-        Streamer phase is the smoke
and an object exceeds a certain min-      get because black smoke particles        cloud formed by a single smoke
imum threshold value (Cl), the ob-        are nonscattering. At night or in        device before it begins to blend
ject is considered effectively            limited visibility, considerably less    with the smoke from other sources.
obscured.                                 black smoke is needed.

92                                                                                                              FM 3-50
  Build-up phase is
the stage of smoke
cloud production
when individual
streamers begin to
  Uniform phase is
a uniform smoke
cloud that occurs
after individual
smoke streamers
have merged. This
is the phase com-
manders want over
the target area.
  Terminal phase is
the stage of a
smoke cloud in
which the smoke
has dispersed and
concealment is no                        diffusion on the battlefield               Continuous line sources (such as
longer effective.                        originates from four basic smoke        a series of smoke generators set up
  The diffusion of smoke particles       source configurations:                  crosswind).
into the atmosphere just above the          Continuous point sources (such          Area sources (such as munitions
earth’s surface obeys physical laws.     as smoke release from a smoke gen-      that scatter smoke-generating sub-
Wind speed, turbulence, atmos-           erator or smoke pot).                   munitions like the armored vehicle
pheric stability, and terrain all           Instantaneous point sources (such    smoke grenade launchers).
govern diffusion of smoke. Smoke         as bursting of a WP projectile).

                                         Natural Obscurants
  Natural obscurants are produced        can operate at near-normal efficien-    ly effectively obscure all observation
by nature and are therefore no           cy during periods of reduced            and target acquisition devices with
drain on our assets. However, they       visibility or darkness.                 the possible exception of ground
are uncontrollable and may aid the                                               surveillance radars and other re-
enemy as much as friendly forces.                         Fog                    lated devices operating in the
We can use natural obscurants to                                                 microwave region of the electromag
our advantage if we accurately             Fog can be an effective form of       netic spectrum.
predict the weather and if there is a    obscuration for use on the bat-
firm understanding of the impact of      tlefield. Fog has the capability of                Precipitation
that weather on the battlefield.         providing a good obscurant on the
Natural obscurants will create large     battlefield because it will attenuate     Precipitation can definitely
recognition and identfication            visual and near infrared signals in     obscure battlefield viewers depend-
problems. Examples of natural            the same manner as visual smoke.        ing on the concentration. Rain,
obscurants are darkness, fog,            Ice fog can also be a very effective    mist, sleet, or snow will degrade bat-
sandstorms, and precipitation.           obscurant because it degrades sys-      tlefield visibility greatly. When these
                                         tems that operate by the use of a       elements are present in heavy con-
             Darkness                    longer wavelength such as thermal       centration, there is no need to
                                         imagers. Fog also degrades laser        produce smoke. These elements can
  Darkness is the most common            range finders and target designators.   reduce visibility by themselves. The
form of obscuration found on the                                                 use of image intensfiers, active in-
battlefield. Darkness will degrade                Sandstorms                     frared systems, thermal imagers,
visual observation and target-acquisi-                                           laser range finders, and ground sur-
tion devices that are not equipped        Sandstorms are encountered in          veillance radars can be degraded
with active infrared, image inten-       arid and semiarid regions and can       and possibly defeated when the con-
sification, or thermal imaging. Sys-     have a dramatic effect on military      centration of precipitation is heavy.
tems equipped with these devices         operations. These storms will usual-

FM 3-50                                                                                                            93
                                           By-Product Obscurants
  By-product obscurants that                    Degrading performance of
produce concealment are a result of         precision-guided
other activities associated with bat-       munitions and EO
tlefield operations. They are often          sensors. HE dust
inadvertent; however, when under-            can be used to in-
stood, they may be planned and               terfere with the tar-
used to the advantage of friendly           get acquisition
forces. Examples of by-product              sequence or to
obscurants are smoke from burning           break "lock-on" of
vehicles and buildings and dust             an acquired target.
caused by vehicular movement and               Dust, depending
artillery/mortar fire.                      on how it is
                                            produced, can
     By-Product Smoke                       obscure different
                                            portions of the
  Smoke produced by fire on the             electromagnetic
battlefield will obscure viewers. This      spectrum, in either
fire can be man-made or naturally           the visible, infrared
produced by elements such as light-         millimeter wave, or
ning. Other methods of generating           radar portions.
fires that may result from a man-           Dust is often
made device are fires produced by           produced inadver-
mortar or artillery rounds. Whether         tently by bombing,
naturally produced or man-made,             gunfire, and
this obscurant will decrease visibility     vehicular move-
on the battlefield.                         ment. However, we
                                            can plan and use
                 Dust                       dust to the ad-
                                            vantage of friendly
  Battlefield dust is like the prover-      forces. Dust
bial two-edged sword: its presence          degrades the per-
 and use can cut both ways. For ex-         formance of sen-
ample: dust can be used for —               sors and
    Concealing details of military for-     precision-guided
ces and movement. Dust is often an          munitions.
indicator of movement of troops
and equipment. If the amount of
dust generated is large (perhaps
deliberately so), details of troop
movement can be obscured. If no
dust is desired, a simple expedient
is to keep the road wet, which can
be done if sufficient equipment and
ample water are available.
    Blinding enemy observation
points to deprive him of the oppor-
tunity to adjust fire. Artillery volleys
or naval salvos can be used to tem-
porarily obscure a narrow field of
view for a short period of time. HE
dust clouds are generally only effec-
tive as obscurants for several
seconds but may be effective up to
a minute or more.

94                                                                         FM 3-50
    Munition-Produced Dust               and infrared portions of the             weather conditions. Dust clouds
  When HE munitions are used,            spectrum.                                created by HE have three succes-
dust will be produced. The amount          As a rule of thumb for drier soils,    sive phases: impact, rise, and drill
produced depends on the size of          dust generally has less effect on IR     and dissipation.
the munition, its point of detonation    sensors than on visual sensors such          Impact phase. Upon munition im-
(above or below the surface), and        as the eye. For moist or very sandy      pact, two parts of a dust cloud are
the state of the soil. The initial ex-   soils, the two sensors are often af-     created instantaneously. One part is
plosion throws up a variety of           fected equally, and under some con-      the hot dust or fire ball, which has
crater materials. From small clumps      ditions the IR sensors are obscured      an initial size of 4 to 6 meters and
down to individual soil particles,       more than the visual sensors. In         is close to the surface. The dust or
obscuration will occur at all frequen-   general, infrared sensors will usually   fire ball is initially several hundred
cy bands of the electromagnetic          offer some advantage over visible-       degrees hotter than its surround-
spectrum (assuming the explosion is      radiation sensors when looking           ings. Most of the dirt and dust are
on or near the line of sight).           through dust.                            contained in this initial dust or
Obscuration times are generally 3           Figure 20, at left, shows the         fireball. The second part is the dust
to 10 seconds in the millimeter          phases of a munition dust cloud.         skirt, which has a greater horizontal
wave portion of the spectrum; this       The initial phase lasts only a few       extent of 6 to 10 meters high, and
is the amount of time required for       seconds and quickly blends into the      has nearly the same temperature as
the small clumps and large particles     rise phase that lasts about 10           its surroundings.
to fall back to the ground. The          seconds or less. The degree and              Rise phase. The initial dust or
remaining airborne dust that forms       time of obscuration depend on the        fireball begins to rise and expand,
the drifting dust cloud continues to     dust cloud drift and dissipation         cooling as it rises. The dust cloud
provide obscuration in the visible       phase of the dust cloud with             top may reach heights of 10 to 30
                                         respect to the line of sight and the     meters in less than 10 seconds. The
                                                                                  dust skirt does not rise but will con-
                                                                                  tinue to diffuse outward.
                                                                                     Drift and dissipation phase. The
                                                                                  entire dust cloud, both the buoyant
                                                                                  part and the nonbuoyant dust skirt,
                                                                                  begin to drift. Wind causes the
                                                                                  upper portion to move out ahead
                                                                                  while the lower dust skirt lags be-
                                                                                  hind. As the dust cloud drifts, it dif-
                                                                                  fuses, becoming thinner and
                                                                                  gradually dissipating.
                                                                                            Vehicular Dust
                                                                                    The amount of dust produced by
                                                                                  vehicular traffic depends on the
                                                                                  weight of the vehicle, the number of
                                                                                  wheels (or tread area), the speed of
                                                                                  the vehicle, and the state of the
                                                                                  soil. Because vehicles kick up the
                                                                                  smaller particles present on the soil
                                                                                  surface, vehicular dust does not ef-
                                                                                  fectively attenuate the radar or the
                                                                                  millimeter wave portions of the
                                                                                  spectrum. However, vehicular dust
                                                                                  clouds can provide effective obscura-
                                                                                  tion in the visible and infrared por-
                                                                                  tions of the spectrum. Vehicular
                                                                                  dust can be divided into two
                                                                                  phases: generation and drift and dis-
                                                                                  sipation (Figure 21).
                                                                                     Generation phase. In this phase,
                                                                                  the dust is thrown up or lifted off
                                                                                  the surface by the vehicle’s wheels

FM 3-50                                                                                                               95
   or treads and is swept up in the tur-     Drift and dissipation phase. After       depend on the position of the dust
bulent air under and behind the            the dust has been swept up behind          trail with respect to a line of sight
vehicle. The total amount of dust          the vehicle, it begins to drift and dif-   and the weather conditions.
produced increases with the speed          fuse with the wind. As before, the
of the vehicle.                            degree and duration of obscuration

                                           Artificial Obscurants
  We cannot control the behavior           ces into the air where it condenses        phorous particles being highly incen-
of natural and by-product                  into a dense white smoke. This             diary. This makes phosphorous
obscurants with the degree of cer-         smoke can produce effective                smoke excellent for harassing
tainty required to defeat enemy            obscuration of the visual through          enemy personnel and starting fires,
RSTA efforts. While natrual and by-        near-infrared portions of the              as well as its having excellent smoke
product obscurants block or at-            electromagnetic spectrum.                  properties.
tenuate portions of the                                                                Phosphorous smoke burns so hot
electromagnetic spectrum, we must              Hexachloroethane Smoke
produce obscurants artificially to at-       HC is a pyrotechnic composition
tack enemy electro-optical systems.        of hexachloroethane, zinc oxide,                         Caution
We classify US obscurants as visual,       and aluminum powder. A pyrotech-            Phosphorous smoke produces
bispectral, multispectral, and spe-        nic starter mixture usually ignites         phosphoric acid. Soldiers must
cial..                                     the burning reaction. The smoke             wear respiratory protection, such
  While 98 percent of all current bat-     produced is zinc chloride during            as protective masks, if exposed to
telfield viewers operate in the visual     burning. This zinc chloride reacts          phosphorous smoke.
portion of the spectrum, future sys-       with the moisture in the air to form
tems will acquire and engage, using        a zinc chloride solution in tiny
IR and millimeter wave tech-               droplets: smoke. When first                 that it tends to form a pillar of
nologies. This will require integra-       produced, HC smoke is very hot              smoke, which rises rapidly. While
tion of each class of US obscurant         but cools rapidly and has little ten-      this pillaring reduces the efficiency
to attack and defeat these systems.        dency thereafter to rise. HC muni-          of phosphorous smoke, the by-
The following portions of this ap-         tions generally have definite burn         product of the heat is that it
pendix describe the militarily sig-        times, which are useful for planning        obscures from the visual through
nificant, artificially producted           purposes.                                   the far-infrared portions of the
obscurants.                                                                            electromagnetic spectrum. The
                                                 Phosphorous Smoke                    three phosphorous smokes are WP,
        Visual Smoke                                                                  PWP, and RP.
                                                                                        WP is a spontaneously flammable
 Many years of experience with                                                        natural element. It ignites on con-
smoke technology has shown white                        Caution                       tact with air and is relatively un-
smoke to be superior to black               HC is carcinogenic. Soldiers must         stable in storage. WP burns at 5,000
smoke for most applications. Cur-           wear respiratory protection (for ex-      degrees Fahrenheit, making it the
rently we have no black smoke                                                         most effective smoke agent to
production agents, although the US          ample, a protective mask) while in
                                            HC smoke.                                 defeat thermal imagery systems.
Navy does have black smoke                                                              PWP is a formulation of white
production capability. The three                                                      phosphorus and some other agents
principle agents for producing white         Phosphorus is a flammable solid          (for example, butyl rubber) to stabi-
smoke are oils (SGF2 and diesel),          that burns to form solid particles of      lize the smoke agent fill and slow
HC, and phosphorous.                       phosphorous pentoxide in the air:          the burning. This slowed burning
                                           smoke. The phosphorous pentoxide           tends to produce a more coherent
              Oil Smoke                    then reacts with moisture in the air       smoke cloud with less pillaring.
  We make oil smoke by vaporizing          to form phosphoric acid. We use              RP is not spontaneously flam-
fuel oils in mechanical smoke gener-       phosphorous smokes in instan-              mable, requiring ignition to burn
ators or engine exhausts. The gener-       taneous-burst munitions (for ex-           and make smoke. RP burns at a
ator or engine exhaust vaporizes           ample, artillery and rifle grenades),      lower temperature – 4,000 degrees
either SGF2 or diesel fuel and for-        with the showers of burning phos-          Fahrenheit – which produces a

96                                                                                                                 FM 3-50
more coherent smoke cloud with          the visual and infrared portions of   degrade multiple portions of the
less pillaring. It is less incendiary   the spectrum. Other bispectral        electromagnetic spectrum. Challen-
than either WP or PWP, making it        capabilities include type III IR      ges associated with this technology
safer for use in smaller cartridges     obscurant, which is a micropul-       include preventing the inadvertent
(for example, 40-millimeter             verized metal compound. Currently     suppression of friendly force EO
grenades). Some munitions such as       we use this bispectral obscurant in   systems. In the mid-term we will
the M825 155-millimeter howitzer        self-defense systems only (for ex-    have and use multispectral
cartridge use felt wedges saturated     ample, the M76 smoke grenade for      obscurants.
with RP to produce an even dis-         armored vehicle grenade launchers).
tribution of smoke agent around the     In the near term we will have and        Special Obscurants
point of burst.                         use a large-area bispectral
                                        obscurant capability.                  Special obscurants will defeat
 Bispectral Obscurants                                                        specific portions of the electromag-
                                                Multispectral                 netic spectrum.
  Bispectral obscurants defeat or
degrade two portions of the                     Obscurants
electromagnetic spectrum simul-          AS implied by the name, multi-
taneously. As previously stated,        spectral obscurants will defeat or
phosphorous smokes defeat both

FM 3-50                                                                                                         97
FM 3-50, C1

                       Appendix H


FM 3-50, Cl

FM 3-50,C1

FM 3-50, Cl


  New reference material is being published all the         3-101, Chemical Staffs and Units
time. Present references, as listed below, may become       6-20, Fire Support in the AirLand Battle
obsolete. To keep up to date, see DA Pam 25-30 (on          17-95, Cavalry Operations
microfiche).                                                25-100, Training the Force
                                                            34-1, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations
              Required Publications                         71-3, Armored and Mechanized Infantry Brigade
 Required publications are sources users must read to       71-101, Infantry, Airborne, and Air Assault Division
understand or comply with this publication.                   Operations (HTF)
                                                            100-2-1, Soviet Army Operations and Tactics
Field Manuals (FMs)                                         100-2-2, Soviet Army Specialized Warfare and Rear
3-6, Field Behavior of NBC Agents (Including Smoke           Area Support
 and Incendiaries)                                          100-2-3, The Soviet Army Troops Organization and
100-5, Operations                                             Equipment
101-5, Staff Organization and Operations                    101-5-1, Operational Terms and Symbols
               Related Publications                         Soldier Training Publications (STPs)
  Related publications are sources of additional informa-   3-54B1-SM, Soldier’s Manual, MOS 54B, Chemical
tion. They are not required to understand this                Operations Specialist, Skill Level 1
publication.                                                3-54B2-SM, Soldier’s Manual, MOS 54B, Chemical
Army Regulations (ARs)                                        Operations Specialist, Skill Level 2
310-25, Dictionary of United States Army Terms              3-54B34-SM-TG, Soldier’s Manual, Skill Levels 3/4 and
310-50, Authorized Abbreviations and Brevity Codes            Trainer’s Guide, MOS 54B, Chemical Operations
Field Manuals (FMs)
3-100, NBC Operations

98                                                                                                       FM 3-50

AA – assembly area.                        spectrum (such as visual and in-       DEW – directed-energy weapon
                                           frared).                                 (such as high-energy microwaves,
AAR – after action report.                                                          lasers).
                                         blanket – See smoke blanket.
abn — airborne                                                                    DISCOM – division support com-
                                         BMNT – beginning morning nauti-            mand.
ACR – armored cavalry regiment.            cal twilight.
ACRV – artillery command and                                                      DPICM – dual-purpose improved
                                         bn – battalion.                            conventional munition.
 reconnaissance vehicle.
                                         BSA – brigade support area.              DS – direct support.
aerosol — fine particles of solids or
  liquid suspended in air.               build-up phase – the second stage        DSA – division support area.
                                           of smoke cloud production; oc-
AD – air defense.                          curs when the individual smoke         EA – engagement area.
AG – advanced guard.                        streamers start to merge.             EENT – ending evening nautical
AICV – armored infantry combat           CAS – close air support.                    twilight.
  vehicle.                               CCA – Combat Command A.                  eff — effective.
AirLand battle imperatives – key         CEOI – Communications-                   electro-optical system — a device
  operating requirements for suc-           Electronics Operation Instructions.      that detects targets by converting
   cess on the battlefield to ensure                                                 the electromagnetic radiation
   unity of effort; anticipate events     CEV – combat engineer vehicle.             (visible, infrared, microwave)
   on the battlefield; concentrate        CFL – coordinated fire line.               given off by the target into
   combat power against enemy vul-                                                   electric current; this current is
   nerabilities; designate, sustain,      CFV – cavalry fighting vehicle.            amplified, then used to power a
   and shift the main effort; press       CLOS – command to line of sight.           viewer or targeting system; this
   the effort; move fast, strike hard,                                               devise can detect targets not
   and finish rapidly; use terrain,       CMO – civil military operations.           visible to the naked eye.
   weather, deception, and OPSEC;         COSCOM – corps support com-
   conserve strength for decisive ac-                                             EMP – electromagnetic pulse.
   tion; combine arms and sister                                                  EO – electro-optical.
   services to complement and rein-       CP – command post.
   force; understand the effects of                                               EW – early warning.
                                          CRP – combat reconnaissance
   battle on soldiers, units, and            patrol.                              FA – field artillery.
                                          CRSTA – counterreconnaissance,           far infrared – electromagnetic ener-
 AMC – Army Materiel Command.                surveillance, and target acquisi-        gy with wavelengths of 8 to 14
 APC – armored personnel carrier.            tion.                                    micrometers.
 arty – artillery.                        CSS – combat service support.            FASCAM – family of scatterable
 ASG – area support group.                curtain – See smoke curtain.
                                                                                   FDC– fire direction center.
 ASP – ammunition supply point.           DAG – division artillery group.
                                                                                   FEBA – forward edge of the battle
 ATGM – antitank guided missile.          decon – decontamination.                    area.
 attenuate — reduce the effective-        deliberate smoke – characterized by      FFL – free fire line.
    ness, amount, or force of.               integrated planning; may be used
                                             for extended periods for station-     flank wind – a wind that blows
 bispectral obscurant – an obscurant         ary or mobile missions.                  directly across a line between the
    that blocks or attenuates two por-
    tions of the electromagnetic          det – detachment.

 FM 3-50                                                                                                             99
  smoke objective and the smoke          HE – high explosive.                      found. For smoke operations, the
  source.                                HMMWV – high-mobility multipur-           state is defined as unstable. This
FLIR – forward looking infrared.           pose wheeled vehicle.                   condition is normally the most un-
                                                                                   favorable for the release of smoke.
FLOT – forward line of own troops.       head wind – wind blowing away
                                           from the smoke objective and          LC – line of crossing.
fog oil – petroleum compounds of
  selected molecular weight and            directly toward the smoke source.     LD – line of departure.
  composition to facilitate forma-       HUMINT – human intelligence.            LIC – low-intensity conflict.
  tion of smoke by atomization or
  combustion; the resultant smoke        ICM – improved conventional muni-       LOGPAC – logistics package.
  is white.                                tion.                                 LRP – logistics release point.
FScell - fire support cell.              IFV – infantry fighting vehicle.        LTOE – living table of organization
FSCOORD – fire support coor-             IMINT – imagery intelligence.             and equipment.
  dinator.                               individual streamer – the initial       m – meter(s).
FSE – forward security element.            phase of a smoke cloud, before        marking smoke – smoke employed
                                           the streamers from the point sour-
FSO – fire support officer.                ces merge.                              to relay prearranged communica-
                                                                                   tions on the battlefield.
g – gram.                                inversion — an increase of air            Frequently used to identify tar-
gen – generator.                           temperature with increase in            gets, evacuation points, and
                                           height (the ground being colder         friendly unit perimeters.
GS – general support.                      than the surrounding air); this
                                           condition usually occurs on clear     MBA – main battle area.
GSR – ground surveillance radar.           or partially clear nights and early   mech – mechanized.
G/VLLD – ground/vehicle laser              mornings until about one hour
  locator designator.                      after sunrise, but sometimes per-     METT-T – mission, enemy, terrain,
                                           sists longer. When stable               troops, and time available.
hasty smoke – characterized by min-
  imal planning; used for short            conditions exist, there are no con-   mid-infrared — electromagnetic ener-
 periods to counter enemy action           vection currents and, with wind         gy with wavelength in the range
  or anticipated enemy action of           speeds below 5 knots, little            of 3 to 8 micrometers.
 concern to the commander.                 mechanical turbulence. Therefore,
                                           stable conditions are the most        min – minute(s).
haze – a light concentration of            favorable for ground-released         mm – millimeter(s).
 obscuration that restricts accurate       smoke.
 enemy observation from the air                                                  MOGAS – motor gasoline.
 and ground. This prevents ac-          IPB – intelligence preparation of
                                           the battlefield.                      MOUT – military operations on ur-
 curate enemy target acquisition,                                                 banized terrain.
 but does not disrupt friendly          IPE – individual protective equip-
 operations that require limited          ment.                                  MRB – motorized rifle battalion.
 visibility, such as river crossings.                                            MRC – motorized rifle company.
 A smoke haze allows limited            ir — infrared.
 visibility that reduces the recogni-   ITV – integrated TOW vehicle.            MSR – main supply route.
 tion of personnel and equipment                                                 MTOE – modified table of or-
 from 50 to 150 meters.                 k – knot(s)
                                                                                  ganization and equipment.
HC – a pyrotechnic smoke-produc-        km– kilometer(s).
                                                                                 multispectral obscurant — an
 ing composition of                     kmph – kilometer(s) per hour.             obscurant that blocks or at-
 hexachloroethane, zinc oxide, and                                                tenuates more than two portions
 aluminum powder employed in            LAMPSS – large-area mobile
                                          projected smoke system.                 of the electromagnetic spectrum
 certain smoke munitions; has a                                                   (such as visual, infrared, and mil-
 sharp, acid odor; toxic if released    lapse – a marked decrease of air          limeter wave).
 in sufficient quantities in enclosed     temperature with increasing al-
 places; the smoke is cool burning        titude (the ground being warmer        NAI – named areas of interest.
 when contrasted to white phos-           than the surrounding air). During      NBC – nuclear, biological, and
 phorus.                                  unstable or lapse conditions,           chemical.
                                          strong convection currents are

100                                                                                                         FM 3-50
NBCC – nuclear, biological, and         OPSEC – operations security.              enemy forces to degrade enemy
 chemical center.                                                                 ground and aerial observation;
                                        PD – proximity detonator.                 used to conceal ground
NCO – noncommissioned officer.          phases of smoke – see individual          maneuver, breaching, and
near infrared — electromagnetic           streamer, build-up phase, uniform       recovery operations, as well as
 energy with wavelengths of 0.7 to        phase, and terminal phase.              key assembly areas, supply routes,
 3 micrometers                          PHOTINT – photographic intel-             and logistic facilities.
neutral – a meteorological condi-         ligence.                              selected area – as used in this
 tion that exists when conditions       PIR – priority intelligence require-      manual, an area to be concealed
 are intermediate between lapse           ment.                                   by smoke.
 and inversion; neutral conditions                                              SG – smoke generator.
 tending toward lapse favor             PL – phase line.
 production of smoke curtains;          plt – platoon.                          SGF2 – smoke generator fog num-
 neutral conditions tending toward                                                ber 2; also called fog oil.
 inversion favor smoke blankets or      POL – petroleum, oils, and              signature — the visible or audible ef-
 hazes.                                   lubricants.                             fects produced when firing a
night-vision device — a viewer ena-     protection smoke – smoke                  weapon or operating a piece of
 bling an operator to see in the          produced to defeat or degrade           equipment, such as noise, smoke,
 dark; also called night-observa-         target acquisition or guidance sys-     flame, heat, or debris; also, an
 tion device.                             tems or the effects of                  electronic emission subject to
NFL – no fire line.                       directed-energy weapons.                detection and traceable to the
                                        PWP – plasticized white phos-             equipment producing it.
NTC – National Training Center.           phorus.                               silhouette – the outline or general
OB – order of battle.                   quartering wind – a wind that             shape of something contrasted
                                          blows between tail and flank            against a lighter background.
obj — objective.
                                          winds, toward the smoke objective.    SLAR – side-looking airborne radar.
obscurant – chemical agent that
 decreases the level of energy avail-   RAG – Regimental Artillery Group.       smoke – a particulate of solid or liq-
 able for the functions of seekers,     rd – round.                               uid, part of low-vapor pressure
 trackers, and vision-enhancement                                                 that settles out slowly under
 devices.                               recon — reconnaissance.                   gravity; in general, smoke par-
obscuration smoke – smoke placed        red phosphorus – a form of phos-          ticles range downward from
 on or near enemy positions to            phorus not spontaneously                about 5 micrometers in diameter
 minimize enemy observation both          flammable.                              to less than 0.1 micrometer in
 within and beyond the position                                                   diameter; also means the suspen-
 area.                                  RFL – restrictive fire line.              sion of small liquid or solid
                                        RISTA – reconnaissance, intel-            particles in air; the filling for
oil smoke – see fog oil.                  ligence, surveillance, and target       smoke munitions, such as bombs,
OP – observation point.                   acquisition.                            shells, and grenades; to produce
                                                                                  signaling or screening smoke with
OPCON – operational control.            RP – red phosphorus.                      any munition; generally, any artifi-
                                        RPV – remotely piloted vehicle.           cial aerosol.
operational continuum – the
 strategic environment within each      RSTA – reconnaissance, surveil-         smoke blanket – a dense concentra-
 theater, consisting of a variety of      lance, and target acquisition.          tion of smoke established over
 political, military, and economic                                                and around friendly areas to
 conditions and a range of threats      S1 – adjutant.                            protect them from visual observa-
 that result in a wide range of         S2 – intelligence officer.                tion from the air and visual
 operations conducted within a                                                    precision bombing attack, or es-
 continuum; consists of three           S3 – operations officer.                  tablished over an enemy area to
 general states: peacetime competi-     S4 – logistics officer.                   protect attacking aircraft from air
 tion, conflict, and war.                                                         defense fire. Blankets can also be
OPLAN – operation plan.                 screening smoke – smoke employed          used at night to prevent enemy-
                                         in areas of friendly operation or        observed air attack by flare light,
OPORD – operation order.                 in areas between friendly and            A smoke blanket reduces visual

FM 3-50                                                                                                          101
 recognition of personnel and           process of situation development         TOC – tactical operations center.
 equipment to less than 50 meters.      and intelligence preparations of         TOE – table of organization and
                                        the battlefield.                          equipment.
smoke control officer — the officer
 designated by the maneuver unit       SOP – standing operating proce-           TOW – tube-launched, optically
 commander to coordinate and            dure.                                     tracked, wire-guided.
 control the smoke operation.          sophisticated weapons — precision-        TPU – tank and pump unit.
smoke curtain – a vertical develop-     guided munitions, equipped with
 ment of smoke that reduces the         infrared, electro-optical, or laser      TVA – target value analysis.
 enemy’s ability to clearly see what     seekers/trackers with or without        uniform phase–phase of smoke
 is occurring on the other side of       command links; munitions with            during which the uniformly
 the cloud; visual recognition           high accuracy and, hence, high           obscuring cloud exists – the
 depends on the curtain width and        probability of kill against a target.    streamers have joined and
 smoke density.                        special smoke — an obscurant that          breakup of the cloud has not
smoke generator – a mechanical          blocks or attenuates a specific           begun.
 device that vaporizes fog oil and       portion of the electromagnetic          unstable — see lapse.
 releases it to condense in the air      spectrum (such as visual, in-
 as a white smoke.                       frared, and millimeter wave).           UTM – universal transverse mer-
smoke haze — a light concentration     spt – support.
 of smoke placed over friendly in-                                               VEESS – vehicle engine exhaust
 stallations to restrict accurate      sqd – squad.                               smoke system.
 enemy observation and fire, but       stable — see inversion.                   visibility – the distance at which it
 not dense enough to hamper            streamer – the smoke cloud formed           is possible to distinguish a
 friendly operations; density of         by a single smoke source.                 prominent object against the back-
 haze is equivalent to that of light                                               ground with the unaided eye.
 fog.                                  synchronization — the coordination
                                         of activities in time, space, and       visibility criteria — the unit
smoke munition — a device that is        purpose to achieve maximum com-           commander’s requirement for
 either discharged from a weapon         bat power at the decisive point.          minimum visibility in a smoke
 or thrown and that makes smoke.                                                   cloud. For example, in obstacle
                                       TAA – tactical assembly area.               emplacement by engineers, the
smoke point source — the point
 from which a smoke munition or        TAACOM – theater Army area                  maneuver brigade commander
 smoke device generates an in-           command.                                  may want to conceal the engineer
  dividual streamer of smoke.          TAC – Tactical Air Command.                 operation without hindering their
                                                                                   work. He establishes a visibility
smoke position – location of a         TAI – target areas of interest.             criteria (such as 150 meters) for
  smoke pot or mechanical smoke                                                    the smoke.
  generator.                           tail wind – a wind that blows
                                         toward the smoke objective from         visible spectrum — the portion of
smoke pot – an expendable bucket-        behind the smoke source.                  the electromagnetic spectrum
  or pot-like ammunition that                                                      lying between 0.4 and 0.7
  produces a dense smoke by burn-      temperature gradient – comparison           micrometers.
  ing a smoke mixture.                   of the air temperature at .5
                                         meters above the ground with the        white phosphorus — a spontaneous-
smoke projectile – any projectile        air temperature at 4 meters               ly flammable solid that burns to
  containing a smoke-producing           above ground; see also inversion,         form solid smoke particles of
  agent that is released on impact       neutral, and lapse.                       phosphorus pentoxide; the phos-
  or upon bursting; also called                                                    phorus pentoxide then reacts with
  smoke shell.                         terminal phase – that stage of a            moisture in the atmosphere to
                                         smoke cloud when the cloud has            form droplets of phosphoric acid;
smoke shell – see smoke projectile.      thinned out and the cover is no
                                         longer effective; see also smoke          the dilution depends on the rela-
smoke target analysis — the process                                                tive humidity.
  of selecting the optimal smoke         blanket.
  delivery system to attack specific                                             WP – white phosphorus.
  EO systems.                          thermal infrared – electromagnetic
                                         energy with a wavelength range
smoke target development — the           of 3 to 20 micrometers.

102                                                                                                          FM 3-50

                 A                      Countermeasures, US                      Obscurant effects, 73.
                                          See Threat, US countermeasures.        Particle beams, 76.
Applications                            curtain                                  Radar wave sensors, 75.
 See Obscuring, screening, protect-       See Screening smoke.                   Sensors and effects, 72,
  ing, marking.                                                                  Sensors and viewers, 73.
Artillery smoke                                             D                    Terminal homing missiles, 75.
 See Smoke sustainment, Ammuni-         Darkness                                 Thermal viewers, 74.
  tion consumption.                       See Obscurants, how they work.
                                        Deception, 50.                                            F
                                        Deliberate smoke operations, 7.         Fog
Battlefield, 11.                                                                 See Obscurants, how they work.
 Close operations, 12.                  Delivery systems, 14.
                                          Armored vehicle grenade               Fog oil consumption
 Deep operations, 11.                       launchers, 14.                       See Smoke sustainment, Fuel con-
 Rear operations, 12.                                                             sumption.
Battlefield applications                  Generated smoke, 14.
 Obscuring, 13                            Generators, 14.                                         G
 Screening, 13                            Mobile smoke, 14.
                                          Projected smoke, 14.                  Guide, smoke pot spacing
 Protecting, 13                                                                  See Smoke sustainment.
 Marking, 13                              Self-defense smoke, 14.
Blanket                                   Smoke pots and hand grenades, 14.                       H
 See Screening smoke.                     Stationary smoke, 15.
                                          VEESS, vehicle engine exhause         Hasty smoke operations, 7.
Breakout from encirclement, 45.                                                 Haze
Building effects                            smoke system, 14.
                                          Weather and terrain effects, 15.       See Screening smoke.
 See Terrain effects, Obstructions.                                             HC smoke
By-product smoke                        Delivery, means of
                                          Aircraft-delivered smoke, 79.          See Obscurants, how they work.
 See Obscurants, hews they work,                                                Hill masses effects
   By-product.                            Armored vehicle grenade
                                            launchers, 81.                       See Terrain effects.
                  C                       Artillery munitions, 78.              Historical perspective, 5.
                                          Generators, 81.                       How and where to use smoke, 6.
Chemical battalion                                                               See also Uses of smoke and
 See Command and control head-            Mortar munitions, 78.
                                          Rifle grenades, 79.                      obscurants.
  quarters.                                                                     Humidity
Chemical brigade                          Rockets, 79.
                                          Smoke pots and smoke hand              See Weather effects.
 See Command and control head-
  quarters.                                 grenades, 80.                                            J
Chemical staff officer responsi-          Vehicle engine exhaust systems, 81.   Jungle effects, 46
  bilities, 17.                         Description of smoke and
Chemical unit task organizations, 84.        obscurants, 6.                                       L
Cloud cover                             Desert effects, 49                      Linkup operations, 44.
 See Weather effects.                   Dust
Command and control headquarters          See Obscurants, how they work.                         M
 Chemical battalion, 83.                                    E                   Marking smoke, 13.
 Chemical brigade, 83.                                                          MOGAS consumption
Conditions, special, 46.                 Electro-optical systems, 72.            See Smoke sustainment, Fuel
 Deserts, 49.                              Command-guided missiles, 74.            consumption.
 Jungles, 46.                              Directed-energy weapons, 76.         Mortar smoke
 Mountains, 46.                            Electromagnetic pulses, 77.           See Smoke sustainment, Ammu-
 NBC conditions, 50.                       High-power microwaves, 76.              nition consumption.
 Urban terrain, 47.                        Lasers, 76.                          Mountains effects
 Winter zones, 49.                         Millimeter wave sensors, 75.          See Terrain effects.

FM 3-50                                                                                                        103
                   O               Security, 53.                           Smoke units, 15.
Obscurants, how they work, 92.     Situation and target development, 8.     Chemical staff officer’s respon-
  Artificial Obscurants, 96.       Smoke estimate format, 55, 57.            sibilities, 17.
  Bispectral obscurants, 97.       Smoke mission coordination check-        See also Smoke organizations.
  By-product obscurants, 94.         list, 56.                              Command and support, 16.
  By-product smoke, 94.            Smoke target list work sheet, 55, 59.    Commander’s responsibilities, 17.
  Characteristics, 92.             Supplies, 52.                            Organization and principles, 16.
  Darkness, 93.                    Support plan development, 8.             Responsibilities, 17.
  Dust, 94.                        Support plan execution, 9.               Tactics, techniques, and
  Fog, 93.                         Supporting units, 52.                     procedures, 15.
  HC smoke, 96.                    Sustainment, 51.                         Unit guidelines, 16.
  Multispectral obscurants, 97.    Target analysis, 55.                    Special conditions
  Natural obscurants, 93.          See also Smoke sustainment.              See Conditions, special.
  Oil smoke, 96.                  Precipitation                            Spectrum of conflict, 11.
 Percipitation, 93.                See Obscurants, how they work.
 Phosphorous smoke, 96.            See also Weather effects.                                  T
 Special obscurants, 97.          Protecting smoke, 13.                    Tactics, defensive
 Visual smoke, 96.                                                          See Operations.
                                                     R                     Target analysis
Obscuring smoke, 13.
Obstacle breaching, 46.           Reconnaissance, surveillance, and         Situation & target development, 8.
Obstructions                       target acquisition, 18.                  Procedures, 55.
 See Terrain effects.              Aerial recon, 19.                        Target list, 55.
Oil smoke                          Ground recon, 19.                       Terrain effects, 90.
 See Obscurants, how they work.    Artillery recon, 20.                     Flat, unbroken and over water, 90.
Operational concept               Relief in place, 43.                      Large hill masses and mountains, 91.
 Command and staff considera-     Retrograde, 42.                           Obstructions, 91.
   tions, 10.                      Delay, 43.                               Slopes and valleys, 91.
 Operational level of war, 10.     Retirement, 43.                         Threat, 18.
 See also Operations.              Withdrawal, 43.                          Aerial recon, 19.
 Tactical level of war, 10.       River crossings, 45.                      Artillery recon, 20.
Operational continuum, 10.                                                  Defensive smoke, 22.
                                                   S                        Ground recon, 19.
 Conflict, 10.                    Safety, 82.
 Peacetime, 10.                                                             Offensive smoke use, 21.
 War, 11.                         Sandstorms                                Smoke tactics, 20.
Operations                         See Obscurants, how they work.           US countermeasures to Threat
 Defensive, 36.                   Screening smoke, 13.                     smoke use, 25.
 Defensive tactics, 37.            Smoke blanket, 13.
                                   Smoke curtain, 13.                                        U
 Offensive phases, 29.             Smoke haze, 13.
 Offensive tactics, 28.                                                    Urban effects, 47
 Operational concept, 9.          Slope and valley effects                 Uses of smoke and obscurants, 6.
 See also Battlefield.             See Terrain effects.                     See also How and where to use
 See also Hasty and deliberate.   Smoke and obscurants,                      smoke.
                                   Categories of, 7.
                   P              Smoke Capabilities, 85.                                    W
Passage of lines, 44.             Smoke estimate                           Weather effects, 89.
Phosphorous smoke                  Preparation, 8.                          Cloud cover, 90.
 See Obscurants, how they work.    Format, 55.                              Humidity, 90.
Planning, 7.                      Smoke generator units, 83.                Percipitation, 90.
 Basic load, 52.                  Smoke organizations, 83.                  Temperature gradients, 89.
 Estimate preparation, 8.         Smoke sustainment, 86.                    Wind, 89.
 Fire support, 53.                 Ammunition consumption, 88               See also Terrain effects, Large hill
 Fog oil resupply, 52.             Fuel consumption, 87.                     masses and mountains, Slopes &
 Logistics, 52.                    Smoke pot consumption, 86.                 valleys.
 Maintenance, 52.                  Smoke pot consumption guide, 86.        Winter zones, 49
 Personnel sustainment, 53.        Smoke pot spacing guide, 86.

                                                                                                        FM 3-50
                                                                                                     FM 3-50
                                                                                            4 December 1990

By Order of the Secretary of the Army:

                                                                                  CARL E. VUONO
                                                                             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 12-11E-R, require-
ments for FM 3-50, Smoke Operations (Qty rqr block no. 743.

                                                           C U.S. Government Printing Office 1993—342-421/81771
PIN: 023613-000

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