Infantry Drills

B-85: Range Cards

Previous: Section V – Range Card and Sector Sketches

B-85. A range card (DA Form 5517, Standard Range Card) is a sketch of the assigned area for a direct fire weapon system on a given sector of fire. (Refer to TC 3-21.75 for more information.) A range card aids in planning and controlling fires and aids the crews and squad gunners in acquiring targets during limited visibility. Range cards show possible target areas and terrain features plotted with a firing position. The process of walking and sketching the terrain to create a range card allows the individual Soldier or gunner to become more familiar with his area of operation. He should continually assess the area and, if necessary, update his range card. The range card is an aid for replacement personnel or platoons or squads to move into the position and orient on their area of operation. The individual Soldier or BFV gunner should make the range card so that he becomes more familiar with the terrain in his area of operation. To prepare a range card, the individual Soldier or BFV gunner must know the following information:

  • Sectors of fire. A sector of fire is a piece of the battlefield for which a gunner is responsible.
  • Target reference points. Leaders designate natural or man-made features as reference points. A Soldier uses these reference points for target acquisition and range determination.
  • Dead space. Dead space is an area that cannot be observed or covered by directfire systems within the sector of fire.
  • Maximum engagement line. The maximum engagement line is the depth of the area and is normally limited to the maximum effective engagement range of the weapons systems.
  • Weapons reference point. The weapons reference point is an easily recognizable terrain feature on the map used to assist leaders in plotting the vehicle, squad, or weapon position.

B-86. The individual Soldier or gunner prepares two copies of the range card. If alternate and supplementary firing positions are assigned, two copies are required for these as well. A copy is kept with the vehicle or weapons position, and the other given to the section leader for his sketch. The Soldier or gunner prepares the range card according to TC 3-21.75.

B-87. An example range card for a BFV is shown in figure B-9 (page B-28). It incorporates all of the standard components of a range card but with more detail for the maximum engagement line and data section.

Next: B-88: Maximum Engagement Line

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad