Infantry Drills

5-148: Movement by Water

Previous: 5-145: Air Movement

5-148. Platoons avoid crossing water obstacles when possible. Before crossing, however, leaders should identify weak or nonswimmers and pair them with good
swimmers in their squads.

5-149. When platoons or squads must move into, through, or out of rivers, lakes, streams, or other bodies of water, they treat the water obstacle as a danger area. While on the water, the platoon is exposed and vulnerable. To offset the disadvantages, the platoon—

  • Moves during limited visibility.
  • Disperses.
  • Moves near the shore to reduce the chances of detection.

5-150. When moving in more than one boat, the platoon—

  • Maintains tactical integrity and self-sufficiency.
  • Cross loads essential Soldiers and equipment.
  • Ensures the radio is with the leader.

5-151. If boats are not available, several other techniques can be used such as—

  • Swimming.
  • Poncho rafts.
  • Air mattresses.
  • Waterproof bags.
  • A 7/16-inch rope used as a semisubmersible, one-rope bridge, or safety line.
  • Water wings (made from a set of trousers).

Next: 5-152: Movement During Limited Visibility

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