Infantry Drills

6-69: Equipment

Previous: 6-68: Orders, Briefings and Rehearsals

6-69. Equipment carried by the patrol will be environment- and task-specific and should cover—

  • Radios and electronic warfare equipment. Radios and electronic warfare equipment should be checked prior to every patrol ensuring it is serviceable and operates correctly. Batteries must be taken for expected duration of the patrol plus some extra for backup. Patrol members must be trained in the operation of all electronic warfare and radio equipment. It is the patrol leader’s responsibility to ensure radios and electronic warfare equipment is switched on and working and communication checks are conducted prior to leaving the base location.
  • Weapons. All weapons must be prepared for firing prior to departure from the larger unit. Slings should be used to ensure weapons do not become separated from Soldiers who became incapacitated. This also ensures a weapon cannot be snatched away from a distracted Soldier while he is speaking with locals and used against him.
  • Ammunition. Sufficient ammunition, signal pyrotechnics, obscurants, and nonlethal munitions must be carried to enable the patrol to conduct its mission. The amount a patrol carries may be established by the unit’s tactical SOP or by the patrol leader based upon an evaluation of the situation the patrol faces.
  • Load-carrying equipment. Patrol members should carry sufficient team and personal equipment to enable them to accomplish other missions such as reassignment to a cordon position before returning to the larger unit for resupply. The unit’s tactical SOP should establish the standard amount of equipment and supplies to be carried. The leader carefully considers the burden being placed on Soldiers going on a foot patrol, especially in extreme weather conditions or rugged terrain.
  • Documentation. Team leaders are responsible to the patrol leader for ensuring appropriate documentation is carried by individuals for conducting the mission. Under normal circumstances, Soldiers should carry just their identification card and tags. The unit tactical SOP may prohibit or require the carrying of other appropriate theater specific documentation such as cards with rules on EOF or ROE.

6-70. A number of equipment checks should be conducted prior to the patrol departing. These checks can include the following:

  • Individual equipment check. It is the responsibility of every patrol member to check their individual equipment. Soldiers should ensure all loose items of carried equipment are secured.
  • Team leader’s equipment check. Leaders must ensure individual team members limit what they carry to which is required for the patrol. Team equipment must be checked for serviceability.
  • Patrol leader’s equipment check. Patrol leaders should check individual and team equipment from each team prior to deploying, paying particular attention to the serviceability of mission specific equipment.

Next: 6-71: Pre and Post Departure Preparation Activities

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