Infantry Drills

Section III: Actions at Danger Areas

Previous: 5-62: Designate Rally Points

5-64. When analyzing the terrain through METT-TC during the TLP, the platoon leader may identify danger areas. When planning the route, he marks the danger areas on his overlay. The term danger area refers to areas on the route where the terrain could expose the platoon to enemy observation, fire, or both. If possible, the platoon leader plans to avoid danger areas, but sometimes he cannot. When the unit must cross a danger area, it does so as quickly and carefully as possible. During planning, the leader designates nearside and far-side rally points. If the platoon encounters an unexpected danger area, it uses the en route rally points closest to the danger area as far-side and near-side rally points. Examples of danger areas include:

  • Open areas. Conceal the platoon on the near side and observe the area. Post security to give early warning. Send an element across to clear the far side. When cleared, cross the remainder of the platoon at the shortest exposed distance and as quickly as possible.
  • Roads and trails. Cross roads or trails at or near a bend, a narrow spot, or on low ground.
  • Villages. Pass villages on the downwind side and well away from them. Avoid animals, especially dogs, which might reveal the platoon’s presence.
  • Enemy positions. Pass on the downwind side. (The enemy might have scout dogs.) Be alert for trip wires and warning devices.
  • Minefields. Bypass minefields if at all possible, even if it requires changing the route by a great distance. Clear a path through minefields only if necessary.
  • Streams. Select a narrow spot in the stream offering concealment on both banks. Observe the far side carefully. Emplace near- and far-side security for early warning. Clear the far side and cross rapidly but quietly.
  • Wire obstacles. Avoid wire obstacles. (The enemy covers obstacles with observation and fire.)

Next: 5-65: Crossing Danger Areas

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