CLOSE COMBAT / EMPLOYMENT CONSIDERATIONS

CLOSE COMBAT

1-75. Infantry platoons and squads normally operate as part of a larger force. They habitually benefit from the support of organic mortars, artillery, close air support, Army attack aviation, air defense, and engineers. They may additionally receive support from elements of armored or Stryker formations. They provide their own suppressive fires either to repel enemy assaults or to support their own maneuver. During close combat, platoon leaders determine how to employ their squads by considering the following objectives:

  • Support the rifle squads with direct fires.
  • Suppress or neutralize enemy elements or positions using indirect fires, Army attack aviation, or close air support.
  • Destroy enemy armored vehicles with Javelin fires.

1-76. Success in operations requires seamless coordination of platoons and rifle squads in close combat. It depends on their ability to react to contact; employ suppressive direct and indirect fires; maneuver to a position of reletive advantage; and assault to defeat, destroy, or capture an enemy. For success the Infantry platoon relies on the ability of leaders and Soldiers to-

  • Maximize the use of restricted and complex terrain to achieve a position of advantage while mitigating the Infantry platoons lack of inherent protection.
  • Use limited visibility to their advantage to maximize the effect of surprise complemented with aggressive maneuver.
  • Operate their weapons with accuracy and deadly effect.
  • Outthink, outmaneuver, and outfight the enemy.

 

EMPLOYMENT CONSIDERATIONS

1-77. Infantry units can operate in all terrain and weather conditions. They might be the dominant force because of rapid strategic deployment. In such cases, they can take and gain the initiative early, seize and retain or control terrain, and mass fires to stop the enemy. Infantry units are particularly effective in restricted or urban terrain, where they can infiltrate and move rapidly to the rear of enemy positions. The leader can enhance their mobility by using helicopters and airlift.

1-78. Squads and platoons fight through enemy contact at the lowest possible level. Upon enemy contact, all Soldiers and leaders must act at once. Battle drills are the standard procedures that help the platoon take immediate action.

1-79. Before they can maneuver, squads or platoons in contact must establish effective suppressive fires and gain fire superiority. If the platoon or squad cannot move under its own fires, the leader must request support from the commander. Once fire superiority is achieved, they maneuver against an enemy position. Infantry platoons and squads must optimize the use of terrain to its greatest advantage masking avenues of approach to maximize surprise and shock during the assault.