Infantry Drills

2-80: Weapons Squad Formation

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2-80. The weapons squad is not a rifle squad and should not be treated as such. During tactical movement the platoon leader has one of two options when it comes to positioning the weapons squad. The weapons squad can either travel as a separate entity, or can be broken up and distributed throughout the formation. The advantage to keeping the weapons squad together is the ability to quickly generate a support by fire and gain fire superiority under the direction of the weapons squad leader. The disadvantage to this approach is the lack of redundancy throughout the formation. The advantage to distributing the weapons squad throughout the rifle squads is the coverage afforded to the entire formation. The disadvantage is losing the weapons squad leader as a single mission command element and time required reassembling the weapons squad if needed.

2-81. When the weapons squad travels dispersed, it can either be attached to squads or attached to the essential leaders like the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and weapons squad leader. There is no standard method for its employment. Rather, the platoon leader places the weapons using two criteria: ability to quickly generate fire superiority, and protection for high value assets.

2-82. Like the rifle squad, the weapon squad, when traveling as a squad, uses either a column or line formation. Within these formations, the two sections can be in column or line formation.

Next: 2-83: Platoon Formation

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