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OAKOC – a method of terrain analysis

OAKOC is an acronym used in terrain analysis. It is used for describing the military aspects of a piece of land in a way that clearly identifies the locations necessary to defend or seize a particular area.

O = Observations and Fields of Fire – Where would you place your troops to gain the maximum visibility and fire cover? How would you overlap them?
A = Avenues of Approach – Where would troops normally come from when approaching the position? Where would they expect resistance?
K = Key Terrain – What must be held and what can be given up?
O = Obstacles – What natural or artificial barriers to movement exist, and what can be constructed?
C = Cover and Concealment – What can be used for cover, and what for concealment? What caliber would be necessary to defeat each? If no natural cover exists, what can be improvised?

When using the OAKOC method, you analyze a piece of land in terms of each aspect for both sides – what are your observation posts, what are your enemy’s observation posts, etc. etc. These points of analysis will have an effect on each side, which can be used to determine what action and counter-action to take.

This week’s homework: from the map you developed in the past two weeks, pick a point near one of the military crests/reverse slopes and examine it, evaluating the OAKOC aspects of the position.

See also: FM 3-21.91, Tactical Employment Of Antiarmor Platoons And Companies

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  1. 29 April 2011 at 14:02
  2. 27 February 2012 at 23:28

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