Infantry Drills

5-79: Defile

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5-79. A defile is a narrow passage that constricts the movement of Soldiers. It is the ideal ambush site. If a defile is encountered that forces the platoon to move in single vehicle file for a significant distance the platoon leader might choose to lead with dismounted Infantry. (See figure 5-9.) Common defiles for mechanized platoons are roads or trails across streams, though swamps or heavy forests, or narrow valleys in rolling or mountainous terrain. When clearing a defile, the dismount element clears each side far enough from the choke point to make sure that there are no ambushes. It also checks the surface for evidence of mines or IEDs. Because contact should be expected at defiles, the leading squad should use bounding overwatch.

Figure 5-9. Clearing a Defile

Next: 5-80: Enemy Contact at Danger Areas

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