adequate reserves and follow on and support forces are provided, vulnerable rear area facilities are
protected, logistic resources are moved forward, and combat forces project tactical operations deep into
the enemy's vulnerable areas.
(3) Elasticity in the defense is achieved and maintained when resources and forces are
deployed in depth; adequate reconnaissance is provided beyond areas of immediate concern; reserves
are positioned in depth with adequate maneuver room to strike critical blows at exposed enemy forces;
uncommitted enemy forces are delayed or prevented from interfering with the defense of forward
deployed or counterattacking forces; and adequate air protection is provided. Also, the enemy's
command and control system is disrupted, vulnerable rear area facilities are protected, and defending
forces aggressively concentrate combat power in critical areas.
(4) In tactical actions, commanders fight the enemy throughout the depth of his dispositions
with fires and with attacks on his flanks, rear, and support echelons. Such operations in depth degrade
the enemy's freedom of action, reduce his flexibility and endurance, and upset his plans and
coordination. Commanders retain reserves and adjust their main efforts to exploit tactical opportunities
and carry the fight into the depths of the enemy's formations or defenses. At the same time, they guard
their own freedom of action by protecting their rear areas and support forces.
(5) In pursuit of operational objectives, large-unit commanders observe enemy movements in
depth and protect their own vulnerabilities throughout the theater. In conjunction with air and naval
operations, they employ maneuver, fires, and special operations to attack enemy units, facilities, and
communications throughout the theater and to force the enemy to fight battles on their terms. Following
battle, theater operations in depth are used to extend the advantages gained by tactical success or to limit
(6) Exploitation of depth in operations demands imagination, boldness, foresight, and
decisiveness in leaders. Commanders must see beyond the requirements of the moment, actively seek
information on the area and the enemy in depth, and employ every asset available to extend their
operations in time and apace. They must also capitalize on natural and man made obstacles by using
less mobile forces to exploit these obstacles, thereby freeing mobile forces to maneuver over more
(1) Synchronization is the arrangement of battlefield activities in time, space, and purpose to
produce maximum relative combat power at the decisive point. Synchronization is both a process and a
result. Commanders synchronize activities; they thereby produce synchronized operations.