Lesson 29 – Squad Drills

In the previous lessons I have discussed the planning, firing, maneuvering and thinking aspects of squad operations. DRILL, DRILL, DRILL these until they become second nature. Crawl – Walk – Run is basic military training doctrine. It’s very similar to the way many sports teams train. I am going to use a football analogy to demonstrate this.

    Crawl Phase: Starts with a basic understanding of the principles – Squad Tactics Lessons 1-28. From these basic principles develop a squad playbook – just like the playbook for a football team. Use your poker chips to figure out how you want to operate as a squad. Use a classroom setting with chalk talks, sand tables and instruction on the principles.

    Walk Phase: Before you take your squad into the woods, get them on an open field to walk through the plays. Make sure you abide by local laws – you don’t need your airsoft guns to do this. Get everyone used to the spacing and movement as a squad. Just like a football team practices plays to split second precision – over and over and over again.  The rule of thumb for spacing of members in your squad is - NOT MORE THAN 1/3 THE RANGE OF YOUR WEAPONS, depending on terrain and foliage. 

    Run Phase: It’s scrimmage time. Take your squad into the woods with full kit. It’s amazing how trees will make everyone forget what they have learned. METT-T and OCOKA are your audibles – adapt your plays to the situation.

    Game Time: Test your squad’s proficiency in a local, regional or national event against other teams that have been doing the same thing. Conduct an after action review (AAR) to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Polish your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses – never rest on your laurels. The other teams will be doing the same thing and will show up better prepared next time. Will you?

   Here are some additional squad tasks provided in a sequence of events format. There are no hard and fast rules on each of these. You have to determine what to do with your squad based on the principles you have learned. Add these to your playbook when you figure it out:

   1. Patrolling sequence of events:

  - Assembly area (AA)

  - Initial Rally Point (IRP)

  - Forward passage of lines

  - Security/listening halt

  - Designate rally points along route

  - Objective rally point (ORP)

  - Actions at the objective

  - Return to objective rally point

  - Designate rally points along route

  - Reentry rally point (RRP)

  - Rearward passage of lines

  - Assembly area (AA)

  - Report


 2. Conduct a deliberate ambush sequence of events:

  - Analyze mission using METT-T

  - Determine ambush organization

  - Issue OPORD

  - Move to and occupy objective rally point

  - Conduct leader’s recon

  - Deploy assault, support and security teams

  - Conduct ambush to destroy enemy

  - Return to objective rally point

  - Report


 3. Conduct a hasty ambush sequence of events:

  - Squad member alerts squad that enemy is in sight and gives direction

  - Leader decides to conduct hasty ambush

  - Leader gives arm and hand signals to position personnel in hasty fighting positions

  - Leader initiates ambush

  - Conduct hasty search of kill zone

  - Withdraw from the ambush site

  - Report

  - Continue mission


 4. Knock out enemy bunker sequence of events:

  - Organize into assault and support elements

  - Support element suppresses enemy position

  - Leader leads assault element using fire and maneuver

  - Clear and search bunker

  - Consolidate and reorganize

  - Report


 5. React to a near ambush sequence of events:

  - Personnel in the kill zone assault through the ambush using fire and maneuver

  - Use fire and maneuver to eliminate or break contact with the enemy

  - Reorganize

  - Report


 6. React to a far ambush sequence of events:

 - Personnel in the kill zone assume prone firing positions and immediately return fire

 - Use fire and maneuver to eliminate or break contact with the enemy

 - Reorganize

 - Report


 7. React to sniper/observation post (OP) sequence of events:

  - Immediately assume best covered position

  - Return fire in the direction of the sniper/OP

  - Leader assess the situation

  - Decide on appropriate course of action:

     -1. Use fire and maneuver to eliminate enemy position;

    -2. Use fire and maneuver to withdraw from your position;

    -3. Withdraw quietly if you haven’t been seen; or

    -4. Maintain observation on the enemy position if you haven’t been seen.

  - Execute course of action

  - Report


  8. Conduct an area reconnaissance sequence of events:

  - Occupy objective rally point

  - Organize into recon and security teams

  - Conduct leader’s recon

  - Issue a five point contingency plan

  - Emplace security team

  - Issue fragmentary order (FRAGO)

  - Conduct reconnaissance

  - Gather information

  - Disseminate information to all squad members

  - Return on time

  - Report


 9. Conduct a meeting engagement sequence of events:

  - Identify the enemy

  - Make an estimate of the situation (METT-T & OCOKA)

 - Select a course of action:

    -1. Use fire and maneuver to attack the enemy if their element is smaller than yours; or

    -2. Use fire and maneuver to withdraw if the enemy element is larger than yours.

  - Execute course of action

  - Develop the situation

  - Consolidate

  - Report







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