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071-430-0002 (SL2) - Conduct a Defense by a Squad

Standards: Accomplished preparation of a defensive position within the time specified in the platoon leader's order while maintaining security, camouflage, and concealment. Designated fighting positions for squad members. Designated alternate and supplementary positions for squad members. Ensured all squad members followed assigned priority of work. Maintained security. Continued work as rapidly as possible. Maintained camouflage and concealment (to include noise, light, and litter discipline). Constructed positions properly.

Conditions: Given a squad, a priority of work, and locations for the crew-served weapons designated by the platoon leader.

Standards: Accomplished preparation of a defensive position within the time specified in the platoon leader's order while maintaining security, camouflage, and concealment.

  1. Designated fighting positions for squad members.

  2. Designated alternate and supplementary positions for squad members.

  3. Ensured all squad members followed assigned priority of work.

  4. Maintained security.

  5. Continued work as rapidly as possible.

  6. Maintained camouflage and concealment (to include noise, light, and litter discipline).

  7. Constructed positions properly.

Performance Steps

1.   Designate primary positions.

a. Ensure each position has cover, concealment, and good fields of fire. Position weapons so their fires overlap, mutually support one another, and can be integrated, so you can place heavy surprise fire on the enemy. Watch closely any routes that could provide the attacker cover and positions from which he can mass his fire on your position. Be sure your entire squad sector is covered so you can repel any assault.

b. Consider the number of men available, then position each one so he can support the men on his right and left.  When the platoon's key weapons have been positioned, the men in the squad are positioned to protect those weapons from a dismounted assault. Each sector of fire must cross in front of another position at a point beyond hand grenade range. Site each fighting position using natural cover and concealment; then-

(1)  Clear fields of fire to allow each man to do the job for which he is positioned. DO NOT OVER CLEAR.

(2)  Build artificial cover, such as a parapet, if required.

(3)  Hide everything.

c. Ensure that all enemy approaches into your squad sector are adequately covered by automatic weapons fire.

d. Before digging in, move to the front of the position to ensure that each fighting position has frontal cover from enemy fire and all positions are mutually supporting.

Note. A good fighting position should allow you to see and fire to the front when not receiving effective direct fire; however, if effective direct fire is received, the soldier can move behind frontal cover and fire to the oblique.

e. To position each weapon of a rifle squad, follow the procedures below.

(1)  Automatic riflemen. Identify dismounted avenues of approach, such as ravines, draws, and heavily wooded or brushy areas that are not covered with the machine gun. In areas covered by the machine gun, find out what dead space the machine gun has and cover it with automatic rifle fire, if possible. If there is no dead space, assign a sector that will interlock with and overlap the machine gun's sector and final protective fire.

(2)  Grenadiers. Position grenade launchers to cover the dead space of the automatic weapon final protective fire. They must also be positioned to cover the entire squad sector.

(3)  Riflemen. Position riflemen between the remaining positions to give continuous observation and fire throughout the squad sector. They provide mutual support between positions and identify targets for the squad and platoon key weapons (grenade launcher, squad automatic weapons, machine gun, and Dragons).

(4)  Claymore mines. Use these to cover any dead space that cannot be covered with 40-mm grenade launchers, and to supplement the fire of your riflemen.

f. Select a position from which you can control the fire of your squad. Use your weapon only when necessary to protect yourself, to direct fire, or to influence the action at a critical point. Position yourself slightly behind the squad so you can observe and contact your squad, or at least your team leaders. If your squad strength is reduced, or the terrain does not permit you to establish a position to the rear, man a forward position. In this case, you may have to construct a single position to be able to observe your squad sector. You must be able to maintain contact with your platoon and fire team leaders from whatever position you select. Look for covered routes that you can use to move to the positions of your team leaders and platoon leader.

2.   Designate alternate positions.

a. Prepare alternate positions so they are ready for occupation by the squad when the primary positions are no longer defendable. The locations of alternate positions are highly dependent upon the terrain, cover and concealment, and existing enemy situation. They must be near enough to the primary positions so the squad can cover the same sectors of fire as from the primary positions, without sustaining excessive casualties. A soldier's alternate position may be to the flank or slightly to the rear of his primary position.

b. When selecting alternate positions, consider the following points:

(1)  Do they allow the weapon(s) or element(s) to accomplish the same mission as from the primary positions?

(2)  Do they provide-

(a)   Observation of the primary sector of fire?

(b)   Cover and concealment?

(c)   Maximum use of natural and artificial obstacles?

(d)   Control of the key terrain in the squad sector?

(e)   Cover of the avenues of approach into the sector?

(f)    Cover and concealment of withdrawal?

c. Pick squad alternate positions based on the alternate positions of key weapons (M60 machine gun, M249 machine gun, and Dragon).

d. Depending on their priority, prepare alternate positions immediately after the completion of the primary positions. Construct communication trenches between primary and alternate positions as time and terrain permit. When supervising the preparation of alternate positions, ensure that they are sited and constructed to take maximum advantage of the natural defensive characteristics of the terrain and the capabilities of organic weapons.

3.   Designate supplementary positions.

a. Orient supplementary positions, unlike alternate positions, in a different direction than the primary position normally, within 200 meters of the primary positions. As time and terrain permit, prepare communication trenches to provide covered routes between primary and supplementary positions.

b. When selecting supplementary positions, consider the following:

(1)  Do they allow the squad to defend as part of the platoon against enemy attack from the flank(s) and rear?

(2)  Do they cover the most dangerous avenues of approach, other than those into the primary positions?

(3)  Do they meet the same guidelines that apply to placement and construction of primary and alternate positions?

Evaluation Preparation:

Setup: Select an area in the field with varying terrain, cover, and concealment. Show the squad leader the squad's area of responsibility.

Brief Soldier: Tell the soldier that he is to select primary, alternate, and supplementary positions, in an area specified by the platoon leader, ensuring that the supplementary position is oriented in a different direction than the primary position.

Performance Measures

GO

NO GO

1.   Ensured the primary position met the following requirements:

--

--

a. Used natural cover and concealment.

 

 

b. Ensured all fighting positions and weapon emplacements were mutually supporting.

 

 

c. Marked primary positions and informed squad members where fighting positions were constructed.

 

 

d. Supervised construction of the fighting positions.

 

 

2.   Ensured the alternate position met the following requirements:

--

--

a. Provided observation of the primary sector of fire.

 

 

b. Provided cover and concealment.

 

 

c. Provided use of natural and artificial obstacles.

 

 

d. Provided cover of avenues of approach into the sector.

 

 

e. Provided covered and concealed routes of withdrawal.

 

 

3.   Ensured the supplementary position provided for and met the following requirements:

--

--

a. Allowed the squad to defend as part of the platoon against enemy attack from the flank(s) and rear.

 

 

b. Provided observation of the primary sector of fire.

 

 

c. Provided cover and concealment.

 

 

d. Provided natural and artificial obstacles.

 

 

e. Provided cover of avenues of approach into the sector.

 

 

f.  Provided covered and concealed routes for withdrawal.

 

 

g. Covered dangerous avenues of approach other than those into the primary position.

 

 

h. Provided the same guidelines in construction and placement of the supplementary position as in the alternate position.

 

 

Evaluation Guidance: Score the soldier GO if all performance measures are passed. Score the soldier NO GO if any performance measure is failed. If the soldier scores NO GO, show the soldier what was done wrong and how to do it correctly.

References

 

Required

Related

 

FM 7-7

 

 

FM 7-8