A smoke curtain, Figure 14, is a dense, vertical development of smoke rather than a horizontal
blanket over an area. It is placed between friendly and enemy positions. It is used to obscure or restrict
enemy ground observation of friendly positions and activities. It does not prevent enemy aerial
observation. Aircraft-mounted smoke systems are best for producing hasty smoke curtains. Lapse
conditions are favorable for the use of smoke curtains.
Figure 14. Smoke curtain.
Learning Event 4
IDENTIFY THE USES OF SMOKE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF COVER AND CONCEALMENT
You can use smoke on the battlefield to obscure, screen, deceive, identify, and signal.
Obscuring smoke is employed on enemy positions. It degrades the enemy's vision both within and
beyond his location. Smoke delivered on an enemy antitank guided missile (ATGM) position may
prevent the enemy from seeing or tracking targets, thereby reducing effectiveness. Employment of
obscuring smoke on an attacking armored force may cause it to reduce speed, change direction, deploy
prematurely, and/or rely on nonvisual means of command and control. Obscuring smoke may also be
employed on forward observers to limit target acquisition capability.
Screening smoke is used in friendly operational areas or between friendly and enemy forces. It
degrades enemy ground and aerial observation and helps defeat or degrade enemy electro-optical
systems. Screening smoke also is employed to conceal ground maneuver, breaching and recovery
operations, key assembly areas, and supply routes.