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BST Infantry Skills – Defend a Position

Defend a position 

Training Support Package (TSP) for the Marine Battle Skills Test (BST)

 

TASK: Understand the fundamentals of defending a position

CONDITION: Without aid of reference

STANDARD: Describe the elements of defending a position

ESTIMATED TIME TO TRAIN: 20 minutes

ESTIMATED TIME TO TEST: 5 minutes per Marine

 

PERFORMANCE STEPS: 

  1. Describe the defensive missions of Marine Rifle Squad
  2. Describe how to report information within the sector of fire as necessary
  3. Describe how to respond to fire commands
  4. Describe alternate or supplementary position
  5. Describe continuing actions throughout the duration of the defense

REFERENCES: 

  1. MCRP 3-10A.1 – Infantry Company Operations
  2. MCRP 3-10A.3 – Marine Rifle Squad

SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS: NA

PERFORMANCE STEP 1: Describe the defensive missions of Marine Rifle Squad

Defensive missions of squads are normally one of three missions: the front-line squad, the squad as part of the reserves, and the squad as a security element.

The Front Line Squad. The mission of the front line squad is to stop the enemy by fire forward of the platoon battle position and to repel him by close combat if he reaches the platoon battle position.  The mission requires that the squad be assigned a fighting position and a sector of fire.

Squad as Part of the Reserves. As part of the company reserve platoon, the squad is normally assigned a fighting position to the rear of the frontline units and supports them by fire.  The fighting position and sector of fire is assigned to concentrate fire in the rear, on the flanks, or into a gap between frontline platoons.  The squad as part of company’s reserve platoon may participate in a counterattack to expel the enemy from the company battle position.

Squad as a Security Element. During the defense the squad may serve as part of the security element located forward of the platoon battle position.  The squad’s mission in this capacity is to gain information about the enemy and to deceive, delay, and disorganize his advance.  An example of a security element would be security patrols.

PERFORMANCE STEP 2: Describe how to report information within the sector of fire as necessary.

Sector of Fire. A sector of fire is an area required to be covered by an individual, fire team, squad, or a crew-served weapon.  It is a pie-shape area enclosed by two lateral limits and a forward limit.  Marines will report any activity within their sectors of fire to their higher headquarters.

PERFORMANCE STEP 3: Describe how to respond to fire commands.

Opening Fire and Fire Control. The squad holds fire until the enemy reaches the forward limit.  Squad members open fire on command of the squad leader or when the enemy reaches a predetermined line.

ADDRAC. When a target is discovered, leaders and squad members must define its location rapidly and clearly.  Precedence of targets will be determined by threat, size, and disposition.  There are six elements to the ADDRAC:

  1. A
  2. D
  3. Target D
  4. R
  5. Target A
  6. Fire C

Final Protective Fires (FPF). Final protective fires are the final attempt to stop the enemy attack before he reaches the platoon’s battle position.  When final protective fires are called for, all squad members fire in their assigned sectors.  Service rifles and grenade launchers continue to fire at the average rate; the automatic riflemen will increase their volume of fire to the rapid rate.

PERFORMANCE STEP 4: Describe alternate or supplementary position.

Fighting Position. A fighting position is a location on the ground from which fire is delivered by an individual, a fire unit (squad or fire team), or a crew served weapon:

  1. Primary Fighting Position. The primary position is the best available position from which the assigned sector of fire is covered.
  2. Alternate Fighting Positions. An alternate position is located so that a crew-served weapon can continue to accomplish its original mission when the primary position becomes untenable or unsuited for carrying out that mission.
  3. Supplementary Fighting Positions. These positions are oriented in a different direction than the primary positions.

 

PERFORMANCE STEP 5: Describe continuing actions throughout the duration of the defense. 

SAFESOC. Priorities of defensive operations can be remembered using the acronym SAFE SOC.

  1. S-security
  2. A-automatic weapons/avenues of approach
  3. F-fields of fire
  4. E-entrenchment
  5. S-supplementary and alternate positions
  6. O-obstacles
  7. C-camouflage & cover and concealment

Security. To prevent surprise attacks and deny the enemy information.  All-around security and protection against surprise are gained by:

  1. Posting a sentinel for surveillance
  1. Enforcing noise and light discipline
  1. Keeping movement in the fighting positions to a minimum

Automatic weapons/avenues of approach. Automatic rifles are positioned to cover the most likely avenues of approach. Their positions should enable them to cover the fire team’s sector of fire, provide support for adjacent fire teams, and effectively deliver final protective fires.

Fields of Fire. Clear fields of fire forward of each fighting position to allow maximum firepower to be delivered on the enemy entering the battle area.

Entrenchment. Fighting holes are dug by Marines at their fighting positions. Fighting positions provide excellent protection against small arms fire, shell fragments, aircraft strafing and bombing, effects of nuclear detonations, and the crushing actions of a tank.

Supplementary and Alternate Fighting Positions.  Supplementary and alternate fighting positions provide flexibility to the defensive line. They are used in the event that the enemy attacks from a different location other than that which the primary positions are oriented.

Obstacles. Obstacles are designed to break up the enemy’s attack, canalize him into heavy weapons fire, and disorganize his assault.

  1. The squad is ordered to construct obstacles such as barbed wire, log, brush barriers, ditches, and hasty protective minefields. They are also ordered to improve natural obstacles such as creek beds and riverbanks.
  1. Trip flares and smoke grenades can be placed and give visual early warning

Camouflage. Concealment from enemy ground and aerial observation is very important in selecting and organizing each fighting position. Camouflage measures begin from the moment the position is occupied and are continued as long as the Marines are there. The ‘C’ also stands for “Continuing Actions”. You should always be improving your positions in the defense.

Specific camouflage measures are:

  1. Use the same turf or topsoil removed from the fighting hole
  1. Replace natural material used before it wilts
  1. Avoid littering

Cover. Cover is made of natural or man-made materials, gives protection from bullets, fragments of exploding rounds, flame, nuclear effects, biological and chemical agents, and enemy observation.

Concealment. Anything that hides you from enemy observation is considered concealment.  Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire.  Natural concealment includes bushes, grass, and shadows.  If possible, natural concealment should not be disturbed because they are already prepared, seldom attract enemy attention, and need no replacement.

 

Defend a Position

Evaluation checklist

 

EVALUATOR(S):

MARINE TRAINED:

DATE:

SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS: NA

EVALUATOR NOTE: Marines must answer or perform all the questions below without error in order to pass this event. The evaluator will guide the Marine being tested through the checklist by asking questions.

 

Performance Step Instructor Notes Pass or Remediate
1. Describe the defensive missions of Marine Rifle Squad. Marine should know the duties of the front line squad, squad in reserve, and squad a security element.

 

2. Report information within the sector of fire Marine should describe a sector of fire mentioning lateral and forward limits.
3. Respond to fire commands 1. Marine should provide an ADDRAC.  For example

A – “Squad”

D – “Contact Font”

D – “Enemy troops in a bunker”

R – “100 meters”

A – “Prepare to Rush”

C – “Rush”

4. Describe alternate or supplementary positions

 

Marine should describe an alternate and supplementary positions:

1. Alternative positions are located so that a crew-served weapon can continue to accomplish its original mission when the primary position becomes untenable or unsuited for carrying out the mission.

2. Supplementary positions are positions are oriented in a different direction than the primary positions.

Describe continuing actions throughout the duration of the defense.

 

Marine should state the definition of the acronym SAFE SOC:

S-security

A-automatic weapons/avenues of approach

F-fields of fire

E-entrenchment

S-supplementary and alternate positions

O-obstacles

C-camouflage & cover and concealment

 

Defend a position 

Training Support Package (TSP) for the Marine Battle Skills Test (BST)