Infantry Drills

F-151: M240-Series Medium Machine Guns in the Defense

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F-151. In the defense, the medium machine gun provides sustained direct fires covering the most likely or most dangerous enemy dismounted avenues of approach. It protects friendly units against the enemy’s dismounted close assault. The platoon leader positions his machine guns to concentrate fires in locations where he wants to inflict the most damage to the enemy. He also places them where they can take advantage of grazing enfilade fires, stand-off or maximum engagement range, and best observation of the target area. Machine guns provide overlapping and interlocking fires with adjacent units and cover tactical and protective obstacles with traversing or searching fires. When FPFs are called for, machine guns (aided by M249 fires) place a barrier of fixed, direct fire across the platoon or squad front. Leaders position machine guns to—

  • Concentrate fires where they want to kill the enemy.
  • Fire across the platoon and squad front
  • Cover obstacles by direct fire.
  • Tie in with adjacent units.

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