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Posted on Nov 10, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 021 – Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield in Urban Operations

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

Cover and Concealment
• An urban area has limitless possibilities for cover and concealment.  Almost anything can be used, including cars, dumpsters, etc….
•  Again, cover and concealment can come from surface, supersurface, and subsurface areas.
• Most urban areas will have numerous trees and different types of vegetation which can be used for cover and concealment.
• Certainly, the lighting systems of an urban area will effect cover and concealment.
• Obviously, buildings will add to cover and concealment.

Below you will find an excellent chart (click for a larger version)



After analyzing terrain, it is time to consider the impacts of weather on urban operations.



Just as in any environment, we want to analyze the impacts of weather on urban operations. Remember military effects during urban operations are similar to any operational environment.  We will look at the impacts of visibility, wind, precipitation, cloud cover, and temperature (humidity) on the urban battlefield. 

• Night navigation in urban terrain can be just as difficult as other environments.
• Don’t discount the moon’s illumination on night urban operation.  It can be just as important as in other environments.
• Combinations of bad weather dramatically impact visibility.
• City smog certainly hinders visibility.

• Street patterns can greatly alter wind speeds and wind impact.  These patterns can cause swirling wings and consequently effect the use of smoke.
• High winds can all but shutdown rotary wing operations.
• Winds can reduce the effectiveness of communication systems.

• Significant rain can impact road networks.  
• Significant rain can impact sewer systems and impact subsurface operations.
• Sewage overflow can create a humanitarian crisis.
• Significant rain can flood low lying areas and can all but eliminate their use for maneuver.
• Winter precipitation (snow and freezing rain) can paralyze transportation systems.

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