Infantry Drills

D-36: Physical Layout

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D-36. A checkpoint should consist of four areas: canalization zone, turning or deceleration zone, search zone, and safe zone. (See figure D-8, page D-16.)

Figure D-8. Physical Layout

D-37. The checkpoint should be sited in such a position as to prevent persons approaching the site from bypassing it or turning away from the checkpoint without arousing suspicion. Ideal sites are where vehicles already have had to slow down. It should be remembered on country roads vehicles will need extra room to slow down and halt, (particularly large heavy vehicles). The sighting of the checkpoint must take into consideration the type and number of vehicles expected to be using part of the road where the checkpoint will be sited. Areas where there are few road networks enhance the checkpoint effectiveness.

D-38. The site should allow for a vehicle escape route and include plans to destroy a hostile element using such a route. If the checkpoint is completely sealed off, enemy forces may attempt to penetrate it by attempting to run over obstacles or personnel.

D-39. Location should make it difficult for a person to turn around or reverse without being detected. Soldiers establish hasty checkpoint where they cannot be seen by approaching traffic until it is too late for approaching traffic to unobtrusively withdraw. Locations on which to set up hasty checkpoint include:

  • Bridges. (Near either or both ends, but not in the middle.)
  • Defiles, culvert, or deep cuts. (Either end is better than in the middle.)
  • Highway intersections. (These must be well-organized to reduce the inherent danger.)
  • The reverse slope of a hill. (Hidden from the direction of the main flow of traffic.)
  • Just beyond a sharp curve.

Next: D-40: Canalization Zone

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