PART A - AREAS OF OPERATIONS/INTEREST
Commanders think in terms of time and space necessary to defeat or bypass an enemy
force before it can be reinforced. This space is known as areas of operations and
interest. These areas are important because this is where the enemy is capable of
affecting the operations of the unit. The exact dimensions of a unit's areas of
operations and interest will vary with METT-T and commander's guidance.
Area of Operations (AO) is defined as the geographical area where the commander has
been assigned the responsibility and authority to conduct military operations. It
is assigned to a commander by higher headquarters. The assigned area of operations
is based on the factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available
(METT-T) and must be of sufficient size to allow completion of the assigned
mission. Commanders at each level are normally assigned areas of operations which
extend beyond the forward line of own troops (FLOT)(or objective). Figure 2-1
shows the planning consideration times for establishing the AO for the echelons of
battalion through EAC.