Infantry Drills

3-169: Positions Formed by Natural Terrain

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3-169. Positions formed by natural terrain are usually best because they are easy to modify. If preparation is necessary, extensive engineer support is required. Each position is camouflaged with either natural vegetation or a camouflage net, and the spoil is flattened out or hauled away. All fighting positions for fighting vehicles (tanks and BFVs) are planned as deliberate positions. Since the lack of time usually does not allow full construction of a deliberate position, only some parts of the position are prepared. For example, the complete fighting position for a BFV requires the construction of a hull defilade, turret defilade, concealed access ramp or route, and hides location all within the same position. The maneuver team commander uses organic and engineer earthmoving assets and usually constructs part of the fighting position.

3-170. Digging hide locations and concealed routes between fighting positions is
normally not practical due to the lack of engineer assets and time. Engineer assets are used to dig the hull and turret defilade positions. The ramps and concealed routes require only partial clearing and leveling with blade tanks or engineer equipment because natural concealed routes and hide locations are used. If time permits, the commander expands the fighting position to all four parts, to include a hide and turret defilade location. The access ramp from the hide location to the hull defilade position usually provides turret defilade for a vehicle at some point on the ramp. This location can be marked with engineer tape and a chemical light so the driver knows when to stop.

Next: Section V: Engagement Area Development

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