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Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE)

Definition The term Assault Follow-On Echelon (AFOE) refers to the second phase of forces and resources in a military operation, specifically amphibious assaults. The AFOE is deployed after the initial assault waves have secured a foothold on the objective area. It serves to support, reinforce, or relieve the initial assault forces, ensuring continued strength and […]


The term Assault Follow-On Echelon (AFOE) refers to the second phase of forces and resources in a military operation, specifically amphibious assaults. The AFOE is deployed after the initial assault waves have secured a foothold on the objective area. It serves to support, reinforce, or relieve the initial assault forces, ensuring continued strength and progress in the mission.

Key Takeaways

  1. Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE) refers to the secondary waves of units, personnel, and equipment that provide support and reinforcements to the initial assault forces during a military operation.
  2. The AFOE’s main purpose is to strengthen and sustain the momentum of the attack, ensuring continuous pressure on the enemy and maintaining a high tempo of operations. This includes providing additional combat power, logistical support, and resources based on the evolving situation on the battlefield.
  3. Proper coordination and communication between the initial assault forces and the AFOE is crucial for a successful operation. This ensures smooth transitions, effective resource allocation, and timely response to emerging threats and operational requirements.


The military operations term “Assault Follow-On Echelon (AFOE)” is important because it represents a crucial phase in executing a well-coordinated and successful military mission.

An AFOE is composed of additional forces, equipment, and supplies that are dispatched to support the initial assault forces.

These forces play a critical role in strengthening and securing the beachhead or objective area that has been seized by the initial assault teams.

The prompt arrival and effective deployment of AFOEs can greatly enhance the combat capability of the assaulting troops, ensuring their ability to hold and exploit any gains made during the attack.

This ultimately contributes to the overall success of the military operation by providing the necessary reinforcements to maintain momentum, achieve mission objectives, and minimize casualties.


Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE) represents a crucial component in military operations designed to ensure the continuous flow of support and reinforcements during an assault. The primary purpose of AFOE is to facilitate the rapid arrival of combat-ready forces and essential materials to the area of operation, ultimately consolidating gains made by the initial assault units.

By providing immediate reinforcements, AFOE helps in maintaining the momentum of an offensive and securing a tactical advantage, effectively preventing the enemy from regrouping and countering the assault. Furthermore, it ensures a sustained presence of forces in the area, which may deter adversaries from launching counterattacks on key strategic objectives.

Additionally, AFOE plays a critical role in optimizing the distribution of logistical resources during an assault, such as supplies, transportation, and medical support. The AFOE enables commanders to effectively allocate their resources according to the evolving operational priorities and needs of the frontline troops.

By streamlining the supply chain, AFOE contributes to enhancing the responsiveness and agility of the assault force, ensuring that units can maintain their combat effectiveness over a prolonged period. Overall, the assault follow-on echelon serves as the bridge between the initial assault and the subsequent phases of the operation, vital in sustaining the momentum, operational tempo, and combat power essential for successful military operations.

Examples of Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE)

Assault Follow-On Echelon (AFOE) refers to the additional troops, equipment, and resources that are required to follow or support the initial assault force during military operations. These units typically arrive after the main attack and provide various support functions to secure the objective and maintain momentum. Here are three real-world examples of AFOE in military operations:

Operation Overlord (D-Day Landings) – June 6, 1944: During the Normandy landings of World War II, Allied forces conducted a massive amphibious assault on the coast of Nazi-occupied France. The initial assault force, consisting of thousands of soldiers, established a foothold on the beaches. Following the initial assault, AFOE units arrived to provide additional manpower, vehicles, artillery, and logistical support to consolidate and expand the beachhead, allowing for the eventual breakout and further advance into France.

Operation Desert Storm – January 17 – February 28, 1991: The Gulf War saw a massive coalition air campaign and ground assault against Iraq. AFOE units played a pivotal role in this operation by providing additional manpower, equipment, and logistics support to the initial air and ground assaults. These AFOE units allowed for rapid consolidation of captured objectives, as well as maintaining the supply lines and communication networks necessary for the sustained offensive.

Battle of Mosul (2016-2017) – Iraqi and coalition forces launched a major operation to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS control. After an initial assault, AFOE units arrived to provide reinforcement and support services to the frontline combat units. They facilitated the transportation of supplies, provided medical care, and assisted in the rebuilding process for the city. This operation’s success relied on the effective integration of AFOE units, enabling the rapid advance and consolidation of objectives.

FAQ – Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE)

What is an Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE)?

An Assault follow-on echelon (AFOE) is a term used in military operations to describe a second wave of troops and equipment following the initial assault force. The AFOE is responsible for reinforcing and supporting the first wave of troops, which typically carries out the main attack and secures the objectives.

What is the primary purpose of an AFOE?

The primary purpose of an AFOE is to provide additional manpower, resources, and capabilities to the initial assault force. This includes the provision of combat support and combat service support elements, as well as the capability to exploit the success of the initial assault, expand the beachhead, and conduct follow-on operations as needed.

What elements are usually included in an AFOE?

An AFOE may consist of a variety of elements depending on the mission and specific requirements. These can include additional infantry units, armored and mechanized forces, artillery and air defense units, engineer and logistics support, medical and maintenance personnel, and headquarters and command elements.

How is an AFOE typically deployed?

An AFOE can be deployed by a variety of means, including air, sea, or ground transportation. The method of deployment will depend on factors such as the operational objectives, the distance to the area of operations, the available transportation assets, and the level of enemy resistance. In some cases, an AFOE may be pre-positioned in a staging area close to the area of operations, ready to be deployed as soon as the initial assault force has secured a foothold.

What role does an AFOE play in joint military operations?

In joint military operations, the AFOE is a crucial component of the overall force structure, providing essential support and reinforcement to the initial assault force. The AFOE enables the joint force commander to maintain momentum in the operation, exploit the success of the initial assault, and rapidly transition to follow-on operations, such as securing additional objectives or conducting stability operations.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Expeditionary warfare
  • Amphibious assault
  • Combat logistics support
  • Force projection
  • Tactical mobility

Sources for More Information

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