Cover is the protection from the effects of weapon fires, direct, indirect and air to ground. Concealment is protection from observation, either from the air or from the ground. The key points to address when analysing Cover and Concealment are as fols: Analyse concealment in terms of ground and aerial observation. Analyse cover in terms of direct and indirect fire. Look at concealment and cover from both the friendly an enemy viewpoint.
An obstacle is any natural or manmade terrain feature that stops, impedes, slows or diverts movement. Some examples of obstacles to ground mobility are buildings, steep slopes, rivers, lakes, forests, swamps, cities, minefields, trenches and wire obstacles. An evaluation of obstacles leads to the identification of avenues of approach and key terrain.
Observation is the ability to see over a particular area to acquire targets. The words observation and visibility are often used interchangeably however, visibility is weather dependent or is a temporary phenomena. Observation is terrain dependent and is relatively permanent. Look for: Potential Kill Zones (i.e. locations where the enemy can be killed or where he can kill us). Defendable Terrain (i.e. the best location for either the friendly or enemy to defend from). Surveillance Positions (ie the best location for either the friendly or enemy to observe movement from).
Refers to the area a weapon can cover effectively from a given point. Remember that observation and positions for fire are not always equal. You may be able to see 25km, but if all you have is a rifle, your positions for fire will be limited to 400m. Analyse positions of fire in terms of the following: Employment of friendly weapon systems to maximum range. Placement of enemy weapon systems to achieve the maximum ranges, or where Forests, buildings, walls and general terrain irregularities could limit positions for fire. Where observation and positions for fire are good, concealment and cover are normally bad.
Analyse distances relevant to the deductions made above. Individual experience and doctrinal rates of movement must be used to determine how long it will take to conduct the patrol / movement / assault etc.