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Basic fire team drills
*A fire team is made up of 3 men. 2 fire teams are a squad. 4 squads make a platoon.*
As a member of a fire team, you must learn these drills until they become second nature. There will be both hand signals and verbal commands for each drill.
The purpose of these drills is to make it possible for you and your team mates to move as a group, rather than as individuals.
The most basic drill is called the wedge.
This formation is used for patroling in areas where you are uncertain whether or not the enemy is present.
While in this formation, you must maintain a 'safe' distance between you and your team mates. This distance will of course vary depending on terrain, but the following things should always be considered:
Each person in the wedge covers the logical area for them. the man on the right covers the left flank, the man on the left covers the right flank, and the pointman covers the front.(If possible it's a good idea to have a left-handed person on the right side, and vise versa.)
- Stay far enough apart and to the side so that one grenade or one machine gun burst could not hit 2 persons at once. (10 yards is good.)
- Stay close enough together to ensure that you will see hand signals or hear verbal commands from the team leader.
While in the wedge formation, if the pointman makes contact with the enemy, he will signal for you to go into the cover postion. If the enemy is to your front, you will move as pictured here:
In this position you are able to to fire upon the enemy without firing past you team mates.
If the enemy is all around you, you might go into the prone covering position, pictured here:
In this position, you are able to cover all directions.
If the enemy is to your front, and you are in the cover position, you may need to move left or right without breaking off from the enemy. This can be done by flanking:
This of course can be done to the right or left. One person at a time moves, starting from the side opposite where you want to go. The benefit of this is that 2 of your men are always providing covering fire, even while you move.
I want to stress again that while performing any of these manuvers, it is critical that you maintain your 'safe spacing' with your team mates. You must never 'bunch up'. Maintain your 10 yard or greater distance at all times!
- Wedge: a fire team formation for patroling in uncertain territory. Comprised of 3 men, one pointman in front, and 2 men in to his rear flanks.
- Flank: military term for something to one side, or to circle to one side of the enemy force to gain advantage.
- Fire team: a group of 3 soldiers. the smallest breakdown of units.
- Squad: 2 fire teams. 6 men.
- Platoon: 4 squads, 24 men.