A Phase in combat
is usually a period within a military operation
Military operation is the coordinated military actions of a state in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a military plan to resolve the situation in the state's favor. Operations may be of combat or non-combat types, and are referred to by a code name for the purpose...
of a longer duration that is a part of a serial chain of logically connected activities planned to culminate in a defined objective
A military objective is a clearly defined desired result in a given campaign, major operation, battle, or engagement set by the senior command for their formations and units to achieve. Military objectives can be set within a three-tier scale of combat structure of tactical, operational and...
A phase is usually marked by achievement of significant intermediary objectives, such as tactical
A tactical objective is the immediate short term desired result of a given activity, task or mission, usually entrusted to the lower positioned management in a three-tier organisation's structure of field or front desk, middle and executive management....
within an engagement
A military engagement is a combat between two forces, neither larger than a division and not smaller than a company, in which each has an assigned or perceived mission...
. A phase may be either limited by time allocated for its execution, or unlimited in time, and defined only by achievement of the objective.
At the strategic
Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked...
level, a phase continue for years. Not all phases of combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....
include fighting between armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...
. Phases can, and usually do overlap, and sometimes can be planned for parallel execution, often as part of deception planning.
Phases typically found in offensive military operations
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal...
- Intelligence gathering
Intelligence assessment is the development of forecasts of behaviour or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organization, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by the leadership...
- Operations planning phase
- Logistics management
The term Logistics Management or supply chain management is that part of Supply Chain Management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective, forward, and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption...
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth . Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment...
Counterintelligence or counter-intelligence refers to efforts made by intelligence organizations to prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence against them. National intelligence programs, and, by extension, the overall defenses of...
- Assembly phase
- Initial (combat assault) phase
A breakthrough occurs when an offensive force has broken the enemy defensive line, and is rapidly exploiting the gap.Usually, large force is employed on a relatively small portion of the front to achieve this...
- Follow-on (support) phase
- Pursuit phase
- Objective security phase
- Position consolidation phase
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...
- Reorganisation phase
- A lull in combat (usually unplanned)