--Movement by Water


5-148. Platoons avoid crossing water obstacles when possible. Before crossing, however, leaders should identify weak or nonswimmers and pair them with good swimmers in their squads.

5-149. When platoons or squads must move into, through, or out of rivers, lakes, streams, or other bodies of water, they treat the water obstacle as a danger area. While on the water, the platoon is exposed and vulnerable. To offset the disadvantages, the platoon─

  • Moves during limited visibility.
  • Disperses.
  • Moves near the shore to reduce the chances of detection.
Soldiers cross a small stream while on a foot patrol

Soldiers cross a small stream while on a foot patrol in order to secure the area.

5-150. When moving in more than one boat, the platoon─

  • Maintains tactical integrity and self-sufficiency.
  • Cross loads essential Soldiers and equipment.
  • Ensures the radio is with the leader.

5-151. If boats are not available, several other techniques can be used such as─

  • Swimming.
  • Poncho rafts.
  • Air mattresses.
  • Waterproof bags.
  • A 7/16-inch rope used as a semisubmersible, one-rope bridge, or safety line.
  • Water wings (made from a set of trousers).