Smoke support of offensive operations. Before beginning the offense the maneuver forces will
consolidate in respective assembly areas to complete and disseminate operational plans, to refuel, and to
rearm. It is important to conceal the forces at this time so that the enemy cannot locate them, determine
their structure and size, and possibly engage them with indirect fire. Smoke used at key intersections
and bridges along the maneuver route from the assembly area to the attack positions will deny the
enemy intelligence concerning the operational plan, thus denying the enemy the capability to properly
react to the operation.
a. Once the friendly maneuver force begins its operation, it attempts to make and sustain
contact with the enemy. It does so by a movement to contact. Smoke units can support the movement
to contact by providing smoke screens along the flanks of the maneuver force (Figure 1-17). The flank
smoke screen degrades the ability of the enemy to locate and engage the maneuver force from the flank.
This impact on the enemy enables the maneuver commander to position those elements normally
assigned to flank screening operations into forward screening operations, giving the maneuver
commander more "fingers" with which to reach out to, touch, and hold the enemy.
Figure 1-17. Smoke screen of a maneuver flank