Infantry Drills

E-75: Tanks

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E-75. Riding on tanks reduces tank maneuverability and may restrict firepower. Infantry Soldiers may be injured if the tank slews its turret to return fire on a target. Consequently, Soldiers must dismount to clear danger areas or as soon as enemy contact is made.

E-76. Soldiers ride on tanks by exception and depending on the likelihood of contact. There are several tactical and safety considerations before Infantry Soldiers ride on a tank. The M1-series Abrams tank is not designed to carry riders easily. Riders must not move to the rear deck. Engine operating temperatures make this area unsafe for riders. (See figure E-4.)

Figure E-4. Mounting and riding arrangements on the outside of an M1-series
Abrams tank

Note. If at all possible due to the danger of riding on an M1-series Abrams tank, it should be considered a last resort.

E-77. One Infantry squad can ride on the turret. Soldiers must mount in such a way their legs cannot become entangled between the turret and hull by an unexpected turret movement. Rope may be used as a field-expedient rail to provide secure handholds.

E-78. Everyone must ride to the rear of the smoke grenade launchers. This automatically keeps everyone clear of the coaxial machine gun and laser range finder.

E-79. Infantry Soldiers always must be prepared for sudden turret movement. Leaders should caution Soldiers about sitting on the turret blowout panels. This safety knowledge is critical because 250 pounds of pressure will prevent the panels from working properly. If there is an explosion in the ammunition rack, the panels blow outward to lessen the blast effect in the crew compartment.

E-80. If enemy contact is made, the tank should stop in a covered and concealed position and allow Infantry Soldiers time to dismount and move away from the tank. This action needs to be practiced before movement.

E-81. Infantry Soldiers should not ride with anything more than their battle gear. Personal gear should be transported elsewhere.

Next: E-82: Bradley Fighting Vehicle

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