When assessing the area around your position always put yourself in the shoes of the attacker. Think about what direction he would most likely approach your position to conceal his movement and to cover his force from direct fire. The multiple approaches the enemy is likely to take are called Avenues of Approach (AA). The term avenues is plural due to the many different ways a threat could attack your position or move toward your position to assess your resources. Identifying threat avenues of approach or routes the enemy is likely to come from allows you to establish a AA observation plan that provides early warning of an approaching force. In addition to allocating resources for AA observation, group's allocate obstacle material to either deny an enemy an avenue or to slow him down to allow for the concentration of fire power to cause maximum damage before the threat arrives at your perimeter. Target reference points are allocated along avenues for range determination and fire distribution. Most avenues of approach for vehicles, or mounted threats, are avenues that provide speed such as roads, large open areas (fields) and trails. Most avenues of approach for dismounted threats are routes that provide cover such as avenues near stream beds, along valleys and behind hills that provide cover up until the last moment prior to arriving at your position. Also, always consider the effects weather has on terrain to adjust for changes in seasonal conditions. A stream that is passable in the winter to vehicles may not be passable in the spring during rainy conditions. The same can be said about trails that are muddy and impassable to wheeled vehicles during the fall but are passable when the ground freezes. Always assess and adjust your AA coverage plan accordingly.  Finally, AA are to be marked on your area sketches with a brief AA description to include likely threat to use avenue, azimuth and the distance to each of the AA.

 


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