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Battle Drill #8: Conduct Initial Breach of a Mined Obstacle (Platoon) (7-3-D112)

TASK. Conduct Initial Breach of a Mined Obstacle (Platoon) (7-3-D112).

CONDITIONS. The platoon is operating as part of a larger force. The platoon's forward movement is stopped by a wire obstacle reinforced with mines, at night, that cannot be bypassed. The enemy begins to engage the platoon from positions on the far side of the obstacle.

STANDARDS.
1. The platoon makes a breach in the wire obstacle and moves all effective personnel and equipment through the breach within 45 minutes of entering the obstacle.

2. The platoon moves the support element and follow-on forces through the breach.

3. The platoon maintains a sufficient fighting force to secure the far side of the breach.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES.
1. The squad in contact reacts to contact.

2. The platoon leader, his RTO, the platoon FO, and one machine gun team move forward to link up with the squad leader of the squad in contact.

3. The platoon leader determines that he can maneuver by identifying the following through his AN/PVS-7B:
a. The obstacle and enemy positions through the assistance of the laser beam of the squad leader of the squad in contact.
b. The size of the enemy force engaging the squad (for example, the number of enemy automatic weapons, the presence of enemy vehicles, and the employment of indirect fires are indicators of enemy strength).
c. A breach point. The platoon leader conducts a brief terrain analysis.
d. A covered and concealed route to the breach point.

4. The platoon leader directs one squad to support the movement of another squad to the breach point. He indicates the base of fire position, the route to it, the enemy position suppressed, the breach point, and the route the rest of the platoon will take to it. He also gives instructions for lifting and shifting fires.

5. The platoon leader designates one squad as the breach squad and the remaining squad as the assault squad once the breach has been made. (The assault squad may add its fires to the base of fire squad. Normally, it follows the covered and concealed route of the breach squad and assaults through immediately after the breach is made.)

6. The designated squad moves to the breach point and establishes a base of fire. Like the previous battle drills, the squad leader designates targets and the left and right limits with his hand-held laser pointer. Team leaders control fires with AN/PAQ-4 while team members key in on the team leader's tracers with their AN/PAQ-4 to place accurate fires on the enemy positions.

7. The platoon sergeant moves forward to the base of fire squad with the second machine gun and assumes control of the squad. He uses his hand-held laser pointer to assign new sectors of fire.

8. On the platoon leader's signal, the base of fire squad:
a. Identifies the enemy's crew-served weapons by focusing on the enemy's rate of fire and muzzle flashes and destroys or suppresses enemy's weapons that are firing effectively against the platoon.
b. Obscures the enemy position with ir smoke (M203 or hand-held if MTETT allows). Employs ground illumination flares to mark the target area.
c. Continues suppressive fires at the lowest possible level.

9. The platoon leader designates the breach point with his hand-held laser pointer and leads the breach and assault squads along covered and concealed routes.

10. The platoon FO calls for and adjusts indirect fires as directed by the platoon leader.

11. The breach squad executes actions to breach the obstacle (footpath).
a. The squad leader directs one fire team to direct the movement of the other fire team to the breach point. The fire team leader in support SEEs through his AN/PVS-7B and picks up the targets designated by the base of fire squad leaders laser beam. He uses his AN/PAQ-4 to designate targets for his team. Additionally, team members SEE through their AN/PVS -7B to locate other enemy positions that can fire upon the breaching team.
b. The squad leader designates the breach point using his hand-held laser pointer.
c. The base of fire team continues to provide suppressive fires and to isolate the breach point.
d. The breaching fire team, with the squad leader, moves to the breach point using the covered and concealed route. The base of fire team identifies the breach team through AN/PVS-7B and shifts fires.
(1) The squad leader and breaching fire team leader employ ir smoke grenades to obscure the breach point (MTETT). The platoon base of fire squad also identifies the breach team and shifts direct fires away from the breach point and continues to suppress key enemy positions.
(2) The breaching fire team leader positions himself and the automatic rifle man on one flank of the breach point to provide close-in security.
(3) The grenadier and rifleman of the breaching fire team probe for mines and cut the wire obstacle, marking the four corners of the breach with four Phoenix Beacons as they proceed. (Bangalore is preferred, if available.)
(4) Once the obstacle has been breached, the breaching fire team leader marks the four corners of the entrance of the breach with four ir chemlights or Phoenix Beacons on tent stakes facing the friendly side and moves to the far side of the obstacle with the automatic rifleman and takes up covered and concealed positions with the rifleman and grenadier. They signal to the squad leader when they are ready to support.
e. The squad leader signals the base of fire team leader to move his fire team up and through the breach. He then moves through the obstacle and joins the breaching fire teams, leaving the grenadier and rifleman of the supporting fire team on the near side of the breach to guide the rest of the platoon through.
f. Using the same covered and concealed route as the breaching team, the base of fire team moves through the breach and takes up covered and concealed position on the far side.

12. The breach squad leader reports the situation to the platoon leader and posts guides at the breach point.

13. The platoon leader leads the assault squad through the breach in the obstacle and positions it on the far side to support the movement of the remainder of the platoon or to assault the enemy position covering the obstacle.

14. The platoon leader reports the situation to the company commander and directs his breaching squad to move up and through the obstacle. The platoon leader appoints guides to assist the company through the breach point.

15. The company follows up the success of the platoon as it conducts the breach and continues the assault against the enemy position.

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