Infantry Drills

H-47: Minefield Reduction and Clearing Equipment

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H-47. Minefield reduction and clearing equipment is broken down into explosive, manual, mechanical, and electronic. While chiefly an engineer task, the platoon or squad might need to reduce a minefield depending on the situation. The leader masses reduction assets to ensure they will create as many lanes as necessary to ensure the rapid passage of the assault force through the obstacle system. If necessary, the leader must carefully plan and synchronize the creation of additional lanes to reduce the potential for fratricide with assaulting troops. The distance between lanes depends on the enemy, the terrain, the need to minimize the effects of enemy artillery, the direct-fire plan of the support force, command control, and reduction-site congestion.

H-48. The breach force should be organized and equipped to use several different reduction techniques in case the primary technique fails. Additional reduction assets should be present to handle the unexpected. Normally, 50 percent more reduction assets than required for obstacle reduction are positioned with the breach force. Mechanical and electronic reduction techniques and equipment are employed by engineers and can be found in ATP 3-34.20.

Next: H-49: Explosive Minefield Reduction

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