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Battle Positions. Selecting and fighting . DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS .

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battle positions

Battle Positions

Selecting and fighting

defensive operations


The immediate purpose of any defensive operation is to defeat an enemy attack. Military forces defend until they gain sufficient strength to attack. Additionally, defensive operations are undertaken to gain time, to hold key terrain, to preoccupy the enemy in one area so friendly forces can attack elsewhere, and to erode enemy resources at a rapid rate while reinforcing friendly operations.

3 levels of preparation of a platoon battle position
3 Levels of Preparation of a Platoon Battle Position
  • Reconnoiter - A ground or map recon
  • Prepare - Planning and preparation phases
  • Occupy - the complete preparation of the BP
  • It is critical that the platoon leader understands where the commander wants to kill the enemy.
  • It is also essential that he identify platoon sectors of fire and tentative platoon BP’s as well as TRP’s that define the company engagement area.
primary concerns of the plt
Primary Concerns of the PLT
  • Select fighting positions that allow the Platoon to concentrate and mass lethal fires into designated sectors of fire.
conditions needed for a deliberate defense
Conditions needed for a Deliberate Defense
  • Adequate time is available
  • The enemy is not expected or has not been located within direct fire range
  • A friendly element forward of the BP provides security for the platoon
moving to hide position
Moving to Hide Position
  • Conduct a Tactical movement to the Hide Position
  • Assume a Herringbone formation and establish local security
  • Vehicles occupy and Shut down simultaneously
preparing for a recon
Preparing for a Recon
  • PL briefs reconnaissance group
  • PSG designates, briefs, and inspects security element
  • PL designates NCOIC for elements left in the hide on the following
    • Security and Maintenance
    • Contingency plan in event of enemy contact
preparing for a recon cont
Preparing for a Recon cont.
  • PL, PSG, and security element move to the BP
conducting reconnaissance
Conducting Reconnaissance
  • PL, PSG, TCs, and security element mark the BP covering the following elements
    • Engagement Area
    • General layout of the BP and surrounding terrain
    • Key Terrain corresponding to the Platoons graphic control measures
    • OP locations to cover possible enemy avenues of approach
conducting reconnaissance cont
Conducting Reconnaissance cont.
    • Existing obstacles and possible locations for reinforcing obstacles
    • Key locations in the BP and Engagement area marked using limited visibility materials\
  • Following the Reconnaissance of the BP and surrounding area, confirms, reviews the following
    • Company team scheme of maneuver
conducting reconnaissance cont12
Conducting Reconnaissance cont.
  • Platoon scheme of maneuver, to include trigger points, break points, and disengagement/displacement criteria
  • Platoon sector of fire
  • Covered and concealed routes into, out of, and within the BP and to subsequent BPs
conducting reconnaissance cont13
Conducting Reconnaissance cont.
  • PL emplaces Ops as necessary and briefs the following
    • Overwatch responsibilities
    • Contingency plans, covering actions to be taken if the platoon does not return on time or enemy contact
    • Displacement criteria and signals
conducting reconnaissance cont14
Conducting Reconnaissance cont.
  • PL coordinates with adjacent units and confirms the following
    • Location of OP
    • Overlapping sectors of observance and direct fire
    • Dead space
    • Locations and types of obstacles
    • Indirect fire data
conducting reconnaissance cont15
Conducting Reconnaissance cont.
    • Communications information and procedures
    • Routes into, out of, and between platoon and adjacent unit BP
  • Reconnaissance group moves back to the Hide
  • Plt Ldr and TC will Identify Primary BP
  • Plt Ldr and TC will Identify Alternate BP
  • Plt Ldr and TC will Identify Supplementary BP
subsequent and supplementary bp
Subsequent and Supplementary BP
  • Subsequent BP’s are those that orient on sectors of fire along the same avenue of approach as the primary/alternate positions.
  • Supplementary BP’s are orientated on sectors of fire along different avenues of approach.
occupying the bp
Occupying the BP
  • Vehicles start simultaneously and move covered and concealed routes to the Hide positions on Order
  • On PL order vehicles move simultaneously into turret-down positions “LOWSKY”
turret down position
Turret Down Position
  • Position allow the tanks to fire only their caliber .50 or loader's M240 machine gun.
occupying the bp cont
Occupying the BP cont.
  • On PL orders vehicles move simultaneously into hull-down positions “TOPHAT”
hull down position
Hull Down Position
  • Tank crews orient on the engagement area and complete their sketch cards.
  • Main Gun and Coax Machine gun clear the berm.
occupying the bp cont22
Occupying the BP cont.
  • TCs and gunners develop vehicle sketch cards
  • Once sketch cards are completed vehicles back down to hide positions and shut down their engines
  • TCs provide a copy of sketch cards to the PL
occupying the bp cont23
Occupying the BP cont.
  • PL consolidates the sketch cards and finalizes the platoon fire plan
platoon sketch card
Platoon Sketch Card
  • Individual tank positions.
  • Platoon sector or engagement area.
  • TRPs.
  • Range lines, trigger points, and break points (these may coincide).
  • OPs (if used).
  • Obstacles (if used).
  • Indirect fire targets, including final protective fires (FPF), if allocated.
  • Dead space.
improving the bp
Improving the BP
  • PL updates the platoon and commander on changes to the occupation plan and implements actions to complete occupation
    • Changes as a result of coordination and commanders guidance
    • Vehicle maintenance and prep to fire checks
improving the bp cont
Improving the BP cont.
  • PL directs and/or supervises improvement activities
    • Establish thermal TRPs
    • Locations of M8/M8A1
    • Emplacement of obstacle IAW Cos guidance
    • Emplacement of decoys
improving the bp cont27
Improving the BP cont.
  • PSG conducts following improvements
    • Camouflaging of vehicles and equipment
    • Installation of Hotloop
    • Direct emplacement of prestock ammunitions and other supplies
improving the bp cont28
Improving the BP cont.
  • TCs conduct the following
    • Ensure that vehicle positions afford clear fields of fire
    • If engineers are available, supervise and proof construction of dug-in fighting positions
    • Direct emplacement of M8/M8A1 alarms
selecting battle position
Selecting Battle Position
  • TC should be responsible for the improvement of his firing position.
  • He must ensure the location, orientation, and depth of the hole are correct before the engineer departs for the next fighting position.
  • He should also be aware of the importance of selecting a site with a background that will break up the silhouette of his vehicle this helps to prevent skylining.
completing occupation
Completing Occupation
  • Conduct rehearsals
    • Special rehearsal (individual/crew tasks)
    • Map rehearsal
    • Communications rehearsal
    • Key Leader rehearsal
    • Sand table/terrain model rehearsal
    • Force on force rehearsal
    • Rehearsal with all crews observing designated platoon vehicle as it moves in the engagement area
completing occupation cont
Completing Occupation cont.
  • Complete occupation activities and priorities of work
  • Complete the occupation to ensure the platoon is prepared to defend by the time specified
  • Execute the Defense