When a target has been located, the soldier should mark its location in relation to visible terrain or a man-made feature. If the soldier observes several targets at one time, he can fire on only one of them; therefore, he must mark the locations of the others for later engagement. To mark the location of a target, the soldier uses an aiming or reference point. An aiming point is a feature directly on line between the soldier and target, such as a tree trunk, which is usually the most effective means of delivering accurate fire. Using a reference point or aiming point to mark targets moving from one location to another depends on the following factors:
Number of Targets. If several targets appear and disappear at the same time, the point of disappearance of each is hard to determine.
Exposure Time. Usually, moving targets are exposed for only a short period; therefore, the observer must be alert to see the point of disappearance for most of the targets.
Target Spacing. The greater the distance between targets, the harder it is to see the movements of each. When there is a great distance between targets, the observer should carefully locate and mark the one nearest his position first.
Aiming Points. Aiming points can be either good or poor. Good aiming points are easily determined in the nearby terrain. Targets disappearing behind good aiming points, such as man-made objects and large terrain features, can be easily marked for future engagement. Poor aiming points are not easily distinguishable within the surrounding terrain. Targets disappearing behind poor aiming points are hard to mark and are easily lost, and they should be engaged first.
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