Infantry Drills

H-116: Reduced Improvised Explosive Devices

Previous: H-115: Minimum Safe Distance Requirements

H-116. Soldiers must be aware of the threat presented by IEDs that can be found in an operational environment in which the platoon or squad might operate. The platoon and squad must receive sufficient training to recognize locations and items lending themselves to booby-trapping, striking a balance between what is possible and what is probable. (Refer to ATP 3-34.20 for more information.)

Whenever mission variables allow call EOD or engineers for removal of IEDs.

H-117. When dealing with IEDs, the following rules and safety procedures can save lives:

  • Suspect objects appearing to be out of place or artificial in its surroundings. Remember, what you see may well be what the enemy wants you to see. If you did not put it there, do not pick it up.
  • Examine mines and IEDs from all angles, and check for alternative means of detonating before approaching them.
  • Ensure only one man works on a booby trap.
  • Do not use force. Stop if force becomes necessary.
  • Do not touch a trip wire until both ends have been investigated and all devices are disarmed and neutralized.
  • Trace trip wires and check for additional traps along and beneath them.
  • Treat all parts of a trap with suspicion, because each part may be set to actuate the trap.
  • Wait at least 30 seconds after pulling a booby trap or a mine. There might be a delay fuse.
  • Mark all traps until they are cleared.
  • Expect constant change in enemy techniques.
  • Never attempt to clear IEDs by hand if pulling them or destroying them in place is possible and acceptable.

H-118. IEDs might be found in recently contested areas, so no items or areas that have not been cleared should be considered safe. By anticipating the presence of traps, it might be possible to isolate and bypass trapped areas. If this is not possible, employ countermeasures such as avoiding convenient and covered resting places along routes where mines or other explosive devices can be located. Collective training in booby-trap awareness and rapidly disseminating booby-trap incident reports to all levels is vital. This allows Soldiers to develop an understanding of the enemy’s method of operation and a feel for what might or might not be targets.

Next: H-119: Indications and Detections

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