Infantry Drills

FM 3-21.8 – Appendix D – Vehicle Employment Considerations

Appendix D

Vehicle Employment Considerations

Employing combat vehicles with Infantry platoons and squads increases their combat power.  Combining combat vehicles and Infantry to achieve complementary and reinforcing effects has proven to be a significant advantage. Operations that integrate combat vehicles and Infantry forces combine the advantages of the vehicle’s mobility, protection, firepower, and ability to use their information platform. They also increase the Infantryman’s ability to operate in restricted and severely restricted terrain.

Infantry units conduct operations with a variety of combat vehicles. The principles for integrating combat vehicles with Infantry are similar regardless of the specific vehicle type. Combat vehicles that most often work with Infantry forces include the M1 Abrams tank, the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle (BFV), the Stryker Infantry carrier vehicle (ICV), and multiple versions of the assault high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV). This appendix is written from the perspective of an Infantry platoon leader controlling a combat vehicle section or platoon. However, the technical and tactical information addressed in the following pages is also generally valid for Infantry platoons attached to mechanized/heavy units.



D-1.      The primary roles of the combat vehicles discussed in this appendix are to provide Infantry platoons with mobility to allow them to maneuver. Combat vehicles also provide bases of fire; protection, breaching capabilities, enhanced communication platforms, and a variety of sustainment assets that include re-supply and MEDEVAC capabilities. Effective integration of these forces provides complementary and reinforcing effects to Infantry and mounted forces.

Principles of Employment

D-2.      There are three general principles for employing combat vehicles with Infantrymen:

(1)     So the combat power capabilities of the vehicle can support the maneuver of the Infantry.

(2)     So the combat power of the Infantry platoon can support the maneuver of combat vehicle sections or platoons.

(3)     The wingman concept. To achieve mutual support, combat vehicles almost always work in this concept. The wingman concept is similar to the buddy team concept Infantrymen employ (operating in two-vehicle sections). Just like Infantrymen never fight alone, combat vehicles never operate without the mutual support and evacuation capability the combat vehicle wingman provides.

General Employment Considerations

D-3.      Employment of combat vehicles requires thorough understanding and integration of the vehicle and the Infantry unit.  The following paragraphs focus on general employment considerations.

Combat Vehicles Supporting the Infantry

D-4.       Combat vehicles support Infantry units by leading Infantrymen in open terrain and providing them a protected, fast-moving assault weapons system. They suppress and destroy enemy weapons, bunkers, and tanks by fire and movement. They may provide transport when the enemy situation permits.


D-5.      The following is a list of the primary mobility functions that combat vehicles provide an Infantry platoon during combat operations:

– Assist opposed entry of Infantry into buildings or bunkers.

– Breach or reduce obstacles by fire.

– Provide mobility to the dismounted force.

– Provide enhanced communication platforms and multiple communications systems.

– Sustainment (MEDEVAC and re-supply).


D-6.      The following is a list of the primary firepower functions that combat vehicles provide an Infantry platoon during combat operations:

– Speed and shock effect to assist the Infantry in rapidly executing an assault.

– Lethal and accurate direct fire support (support by fire).

– Suppression of identified sniper positions.

– Heavy volume of suppressive fires and a mobile base of fire for the Infantry.

– Employment of technical assets (thermal viewers and range finders) to assist in target acquisition and ranging.

– Neutralization or suppression of enemy positions with direct fire as Infantry closes with and destroys the enemy.

– Attack by fire any other targets designated by the Infantry.

– Accurate direct fires even while the vehicle is moving at high speeds with stabilized gun systems.

– Destruction of enemy tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs).


D-7.      The following are ways that combat vehicles protect an Infantry platoon during combat operations:

– Dominate the objective during consolidation and reorganization to defeat a counterattack and protect Infantry forces.

– Protect the movement of advancing Infantry through open terrain with limited cover and   concealment.

– Secure cleared portions of the objective by covering avenues of approach.

– Establish roadblocks or checkpoints.

– Provide limited obscuration with smoke grenades and smoke generators.

– Isolate objectives with direct fire to prevent enemy withdrawal, reinforcement, or counterattack.

Infantrymen Supporting Combat Vehicles

D-8.       Infantrymen support vehicular forces by finding and breaching or marking antitank obstacles. They detect and destroy or suppress enemy antitank weapons. Infantrymen may designate targets for armored vehicles and protect them in close terrain.


D-9.      Mobility functions that Infantry provide to units with vehicles during combat operations include:

– Seize and retain terrain.

– Clear defiles and restrictive urban terrain ahead of vehicular forces.


D-10.   Firepower functions that Infantry provide to units with vehicles during combat operations include:

– Actions on the objective (clear trenches, knock out bunkers, enter and clear buildings).

– Employ AT systems (Javelin) to destroy armored threats.


D-11.   Ways Infantry protect units with vehicles during combat operations include:

– Provide local security over dead space / blind spots that weapon systems on combat vehicles cannot cover.

– Consolidate and reorganize (perform EPW procedures and direct MEDEVAC).


D-12.   Infantry leaders must have a basic understanding of the technical capabilities of combat vehicles.  These include vehicle characteristics, firepower and protection.

Vehicle Characteristics

D-13.   To win in battle, leaders must have a clear understanding of the capabilities and limitations of their equipment. The tank, Bradley, Stryker ICV, and assault HMMWV each have their own capabilities, limitations, characteristics, and logistical requirements. Even though their role to the Infantry is virtually the same, these vehicles provide support in different ways. To effectively employ combat vehicles, leaders must understand the specific capabilities and limitations of vehicles that may be attached/OPCONed to their unit. The following information is a brief overview of the combat vehicles’ characteristics as they apply to combat power. Table D-1 displays vehicle characteristics. (*Specifics vary by vehicle  and modifications.)

Table D-1. Mobility characteristics of combat vehicles.

Tracks/Wheels Wheels Wheels Tracks Tracks
Length 196.5″ 275″ 254″ 312″
Width  86″ 107″ 126″ 144″
Height 74″ (without wpn) 104″ 117″ 96″
Weight 5,600 lbs 38,000 lbs 50,000 lbs 68.7 tons
Speed 78 mph 60 mph 42 mph 42 mph


D-14.   The weapons and ammunition of vehicular units are designed to defeat specific enemy targets, though many are multi-purpose. An Infantry leader with a basic understanding of these weapons and ammunition types will be able to better employ vehicular units to defeat the enemy. Table D-2 lists the basic weapons and ammunition types offered by vehicular units that generally support Infantry platoons.

Table D-2. Weapons, ammunition, and targets.







Target Weapon


Target Weapon


Target Weapon


Blast Munition 40mm MK 19

Max area: 2,212m

Max point: 1,500m

Trucks, troops, bunkers, buildings 40mm MK 19

Max area: 2,212m

Max point: 1,500m

Trucks, troops, bunkers, buildings 25mm (HE)

Max effective: 3,000m

Trucks, troops, bunkers, buildings 120mm (HEAT)

Max effective: 3,000m

Trucks, troops, bunkers, buildings, APCs








Cannon None None None None 25mm (sabot)

Max effective: 2,500m

APCs 120mm (sabot)

Max effective: 3,000m

APCs, tanks
Machine Gun M249 5.56mm

Max area: 800m

Max point: 600m

M240B 7.62mm


Max area: 1,100m

Max point: 800m

M2 .50 caliber

Max area: 1,830m

Max point: 1,200m

Troops, trucks, eqpmnt M2 .50 caliber

Max area: 1,830m

Max point: 1,200m

Troops, trucks, equipment M240C 7.62mm*

Max effective: 900m

Troops, trucks M240C 7.62mm

Max effective: 900m

M2 .50 caliber

Max area: 1,830m

Max point: 1,200m

Troops, trucks, eqmnt
TOW Missile Max effective:  3,750m Tanks Max effective: 3,750m Tanks, helicopters, bunkers Max effective: 3,750m Tanks, helicopters, bunkers None None
*The BFV does not have a heavy machine gun.


D-15.   All combat vehicles offer varying degrees of protection from direct and indirect fire. Figure D-1 illustrates the generally-progressive degrees of protection offered by combat vehicles.


Figure D-1. Comparative levels of ballistic protection.

Tanks (M1)

D-16.   The M1-series tank provides rapid mobility combined with excellent protection and highly lethal, accurate fires. They are most effective in generally open terrain with extended fields of fire.

Mobility Advantages

D-17.   The tank’s mobility comes from its capability to move at high speed both on and off road. The tank’s ability to cross ditches; ford streams and shallow rivers; and push through small trees, vegetation, and limited obstructions allows effective movement in various types of terrain.

Mobility Disadvantages

D-18.   Tanks consume large quantities of fuel. They are very noisy and must be started periodically in cold weather or when using thermal night sights and radios to ensure the batteries stay charged. The noise, smoke, and dust generated by tanks make it difficult for the Infantry in their vicinity to capitalize on stealth to achieve surprise. Tanks cannot cross bodies of water deeper than four feet without deep water fording kits or bridging equipment. Due to the length of the tank main gun, the turret will not rotate if a solid object such as a wall, post, or tree is blocking it. Tracked vehicles can also “throw track.” This occurs when the track loses tension on the sprockets and/or support arms and the track becomes disconnected from the tank. Repairing the track can be a lengthy process.

Firepower Advantages

D-19.   The tank’s main gun is extremely accurate and lethal at ranges out to 4,000 meters. Tanks with stabilized main guns can fire effectively even when moving at high speeds cross-country. The tank remains the best antitank weapon on the battlefield. The various machine guns (M1 tank commander’s caliber .50 and 7.62-mm coax and the loader’s 7.62-mm MG) provide a high volume of supporting fires for the Infantry. The target acquisition capabilities of the tank exceed the capability of all systems in the Infantry battalion. The thermal sight provides a significant capability for observation and reconnaissance. It can also be used during daylight hours to identify heat sources (personnel and vehicles), even through vegetation. The laser range finder provides an increased capability for the Infantry force to establish fire control measures (such as trigger lines and TRPs), and to determine exact locations.

Firepower Disadvantages

D-20.   The normal, basic load for the tank’s main gun is primarily armor piercing discarding sabots (APDS) antitank rounds. These rounds are not as effective against light armored or wheeled vehicles, bunkers, trench lines, buildings, or enemy personnel. They also present a safety problem when fired over the heads of exposed Infantrymen due to the discarded sabot pieces that fall to the ground.  HE ammunition provides better destructive effects on the above-mentioned targets except enemy personnel, which the tank’s machine guns are most effective against. The resupply of all tank ammunition is difficult and requires logistic support from the heavy battalion. The main gun of an M1A2 can only elevate +20 degrees and depress -9 degrees.  Figure D-2 illustrates M1A2 fields of fire on the urban terrain.

Figure D-2. M1A2 fields of fire on urban terrain.

Protection Advantages

D-21.   Generally, tank armor provides excellent protection to the crew. Across the frontal 60-degree arc, the tank is impenetrable to all weapons except heavy AT missiles or guns and the main gun on enemy tanks. When fighting with the hatches closed, the crew is impenetrable to all small arms fire, artillery rounds (except a direct hit), and AP mines. The tank’s smoke grenade launcher and on-board smoke generator provide rapid concealment from all but thermal observation.

Protection Disadvantages

D-22.   The tank is most vulnerable to lighter AT weapons from the flanks, top, and especially the rear. The top is especially vulnerable to precision-guided munitions (artillery or air delivered). AT mines can also destroy or disable the vehicle. When fighting with hatches closed, the tank crew’s ability to see, acquire, and engage targets (especially close-in Infantry) is greatly reduced.

Information Advantages

D-23.   FBCB2, global positioning systems (GPSs), and inertial position navigation (POSNAV) systems allow today’s tanks the mobility to virtually any designated location with greater speed and accuracy than ever before. Use of visual signals and the single channel ground/airborne radio system (SINCGARS) facilitates rapid and secure communication of orders and instructions. This capability allows tank crews to quickly mass the effects of their weapon systems while remaining dispersed to limit the effects of the enemy’s weapons. On-board optics and sighting systems enable tank crews to acquire and destroy enemy tanks, armored vehicles, and fortifications using the main gun, and to suppress enemy positions, personnel, and lightly armored targets with the tank’s machine guns

Information Disadvantages

D-24.   Not all tanks are equipped with digitally enhanced systems (FBCB2). Additionally, at present, the situational awareness and enemy situation acquired by the FBCB2 cannot be easily shared with Infantry units on the ground.

M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV)

D-25.   The M2 BFV provides good protection and mobility combined with excellent firepower to support Infantry units with direct fire.


D-26.   The mobility of the M2 is comparable to the tank. In addition to the three-man crew, the vehicle is designed to carry seven additional Infantrymen with a combat load.


D-27.   The M2 consumes significant quantities of fuel, but less than a M1. The BFV is louder than the M1, and like the M1, its engine must be started periodically in cold weather or when using the thermal night sight and radios to ensure the batteries stay charged. Like all heavy vehicles, the noise, smoke, and dust generated by the M2 makes it difficult for the Infantry to capitalize on its ability to move with stealth and to avoid detection when moving on the same approach. Improvised barricades, narrow streets and alleyways, or large amounts of rubble can block BFVs in an urban area. Heavy woods will restrict their movement in a rural area. The 25-mm cannon does not project out over the front of the Bradley like a tank, but it does protrude over the sides of the Bradley when the gunner is aiming at 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock. This will cause some problems for the Bradley when trying to negotiate narrow avenues of approach. Attaching and removing rucksacks to the exterior of the vehicle can be a lengthy process, and the rucksacks are exposed to enemy fire.

Firepower Advantages

D-28.   The primary weapon on the M2 is the 25-mm chain gun that fires APDS, high explosive incendiary with tracer (HEI-T), and TPT. This weapon is extremely accurate and lethal against lightly armored vehicles, bunkers, trench-lines, and personnel at ranges out to 2,000 meters. The stabilized gun allows effective fires even when moving cross-country. The TOW provides an effective weapon for destroying enemy tanks or other point targets at extended ranges to 3,750 meters. The 7.62-mm coax provides a high volume of suppressive fires for self defense and supporting fires for the Infantry up to 800 meters. The combination of the stabilized turret, thermal sight, high volume of fire, and the reinforcing effects of weapons and ammunition makes the M2 an excellent suppression asset supporting Infantry assaults. The thermal sight provides a significant capability for observation and reconnaissance. It can also be used during the day to identify heat sources (personnel and vehicles) even through light vegetation.  Figure D-3 shows the 25-mm supporting Infantry in an urban setting.


Figure D-3. BVF 25-mm infantry support.

Firepower Disadvantages

D-29.   When operating the thermal sight with the M2engine off, a “clicking” sound can be heard at a considerable distance from the vehicle. The resupply of ammunition is difficult and requires external logistic support.

Protection Advantages

D-30.   Overall, the M2 provides good protection. When fighting with the hatches closed, the crew is well protected from small-arms fire, fragmentation munitions, and AP mines. The M2 smoke-grenade launcher and on-board smoke generator provide rapid concealment from all but thermal observation.

Protection Disadvantages

D-31.   The vehicle is vulnerable from all directions to any AT weapons and especially enemy tanks. AT mines can destroy or disable the vehicle. When the crew is operating the vehicle with the hatches open, they are vulnerable to small-arms fire.

Information Advantages

D-32.   The target acquisition capabilities of the M2 exceed the capability of the other systems in the Infantry battalion. The thermal sight provides a significant capability for observation and reconnaissance. It can also be used during the day to identify heat sources (personnel and vehicles) even through light vegetation. Many models of the BFV are now equipped with the FBCB2.

Information Disadvantages

D-33.   Bradley vehicle crewmen have poor all-round vision through their vision blocks. They are also easily blinded by smoke or dust. Therefore, the Bradley vehicle should not be approached while it is in contact because the crew may have difficulty seeing Infantryman outside of the vehicle. The Bradley commander (BC) must be informed where the dismounted Infantry are located to prevent any accidents on the battlefield.

Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV)

D-34.    There are two variants of the Stryker: the Infantry carrier vehicle (ICV); and the mobile gun system (MGS). The primary design of the Stryker is found in the basic ICV. This troop transport vehicle is quite capable of carrying nine Infantry Soldiers and their equipment, a crew of two, a driver, and a vehicle commander. There are eight configurations of the ICV that provide comprehensive sustainment. The eight ICV configurations include: command vehicle; reconnaissance vehicle; fire support vehicle; mortar carrier vehicle; antitank guided missile vehicle; engineer squad vehicle; medical evacuation vehicle; and nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance vehicle. The MGS incorporates a 105-mm turreted gun and autoloader system. The Stryker can greatly reduce the amount of inventory and logistical support for combat brigades, while at the same time increasing the Infantry’s ability to deploy.


D-35.   The Stryker vehicle enables the team to maneuver in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain, and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.


D-36.   With 4×8- and 8×8-wheel drive, the Stryker is designed for all-weather use over all types of terrain and can ford hard-bottomed bodies of water to a depth of 67 inches. Stryker vehicles have a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour and a range of 300 miles on a tank of fuel. The vehicles are swift, easily maintainable, and include features designed for the safety of Soldiers. The Stryker’s has run-flat tires that can be inflated or deflated from inside the vehicle to adapt to surfaces ranging from deep mud to hardtop. It also has a built-in fire suppression system, and a self-recovery winch. The vehicles run quieter than current armored personnel carriers, increasing their stealth. Steel-belted tires with run-flat liners enable vehicle mobility for 5 miles (8 km) with all tires flat.


D-37.   For vehicles weighing 10-20 tons, wheels are inferior to tracks in crossing sand, mud, and snow. Driving more than five miles on a flattened tire can cause a fire. Improvised barricades, narrow streets and alleyways, or large amounts of rubble can block Stryker vehicles in urban areas. Dense forests can block it in rural areas.

Firepower Advantages

D-38.   The ICV has a remote weapon station with a universal soft mount cradle that can mount either a .50-caliber M2 machine gun, MK 19 40-mm grenade launcher, or M240B 7.62-mm machine gun. It is also armed with four M6 smoke grenade launchers. Stowed ammunition includes:

– 32 66-mm smoke grenades.

– 3,200 7.62-mm rounds.

– 2,000 .50 cal rounds or four hundred thirty MK 19 rounds.

D-39.   Troops carry—

– 2,240 5.56-mm ball ammunition.

– 1,120 5.56-mm linked ammunition.

Firepower Disadvantages

D-40.   The ICV loses some of the ammunition effects that tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles can provide to the Infantryman. For this reason the ICV can suppress light skinned vehicles, bunkers, buildings, and enemy Infantry, but is not as effective as a BFV or tank against enemy light-armored or armored vehicles.

Protection Advantages

D-41.   The basic ICV provides armored protection for the two-man crew and a squad of nine Infantry Soldiers. The ICV’s armor protection will stop .50-caliber bullets and protects against 152-mm airburst shells. The basic armor package on every Stryker vehicle is a steel hull that protects against 7.62-mm bullets; and a ceramic, added-on appliqué that gives protection against 14.5-mm machine guns. Hull floor plate and fuel tank armor protect from blast and fragment effects of antipersonnel mine detonations. Low silhouette and low noise output make the vehicle a difficult target to detect and engage.

Protection  Disadvantages

D-42.   The ICV is vulnerable to all AT fires and tanks. The effectiveness of RPG fire can be mitigated with a slat-armor application (cage) that causes a premature detonation of the RPG warhead away from the hull of the ICV.


D-43.   Just as with the tank and Bradley, the Stryker ICV vehicle crewmen have poor all-round vision through their vision blocks. They are also easily blinded by smoke or dust.

Assault High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)

D-44.   The HMMWV is a light, highly mobile, diesel-powered, four-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. Using components and kits common to the M998 chassis, the HMMWV can be configured as a troop carrier, armament carrier, TOW missile carrier, or a Scout vehicle.

Mobility Advantages

D-45.   The HMMWV rests on a four-wheel chassis. Its four-wheel drive enables it to operate in a variety of terrain and climate conditions. It is capable of fording water up to 30 inches in depth, and can   ford depths of up to 60 inches with the deep water fording kit. The HMMWV’s size allows it to travel in the narrow streets of urban terrain with minimal damage to the infrastructure. Some models of the HMMWV (M1026, M1036, M1046, and M1114) employ a winch that aids in self recovery and recovery of similar vehicles.

Mobility Disadvantages

D-46.   Although generally equipped with run-flat tires, the HMMWV’s tires are very susceptible to enemy fire. HMMWVs have much less ability to breach obstacles than tracked vehicles. The HMMWV can be blocked by hasty and complex obstacles.  I can also be easily rolled, especially with the armored M114.

Firepower Advantages

D-47.   The HMMWV can employ a variety of weapon systems that offer excellent direct fire support to Infantry forces. The TOW, .M2, MK 19, M240B, and M249 can all be mounted in HMMWV models with turrets. The capabilities of these weapon systems are discussed in greater detail in Table D-2.

Firepower Disadvantages

D-48.   In almost all instances, the HMMWV can only mount one weapon system. This makes it less effective than tanks or BFVs that can employ antitank and antipersonnel weapons simultaneously.

Protection Advantages

D-49.   The M1114 is an up-armored HMMWV that provides ballistic, artillery, and mine blast protection to vehicle occupants. The M1114 can protect occupants from 7.62-mm assault rifle armor-piercing rounds and 155-mm artillery airburst, and provides 12 pounds front and 4 pounds rear antitank mine protection. Other protection features include complete perimeter ballistic protection, mine blast protection, and a turret shield for the gunner. Supplemental armor packages are now available for many models of the HMMWV. This armor has been shown to be effective against improvised explosive devices.

Protection Disadvantages

D-50.   All models other than the M1114 offer extremely limited protection from direct or indirect fire. Leaders should not plan or direct the use of these vehicles for cover from enemy small arms, indirect fire, or rocket-propelled grenades. Gunners are exposed while manning their weapon system to direct and indirect fire. The lack of internal space causes difficulties if transporting a casualty.

Information Advantages

D-51.   The HMMWV has a variety of features that make it excellent for gathering and managing information. The crew and passengers of the HMMWV generally have excellent situational awareness due to a large front windshield and large windows located on the door at each seat. HMMWVs can carry two SINCGARS-class FM radio systems. They can also employ a power amplifier to extend the communications range to 35 kilometers in open terrain. The HMMWV can be configured to carry many digital devices to include the FBCB2 and PLGRs. The weapon systems of the HMMWV can employ sites with night vision, thermal, and range-finding capabilities with high resolution and magnification in some systems.

Information Disadvantages

D-52.   Many of the digital and electronic devices of the HMMWV require constant power sources. The need to start the HMMWV to keep the batteries charged can present a tactical problem if stealth is desired during an operation.

Size and Weight Considerations

D-53.   Infantry leaders must consider the size and weight of combat vehicles operating in units before conducting an operation (Table D-3). Terrain that supports the movement of Infantrymen may or may not support the movement of combat vehicles. Structures of particular concern are bridges, overpasses, and culverts as structural failure could be deadly to the Soldiers in the vicinity. Many bridges in North America and Europe are marked with signs that state the load bearing capabilities of that structure. In other areas, Infantrymen should rely on route reconnaissance overlays that show the carrying capabilities of the routes being used. In the absence of such information, Infantry leaders should always use the cautious approach and avoid suspect infrastructure.

Table D-3. Vehicle size and weight classification.







M1 Tank 68.7 tons 10.14 143.75
BFV with reactive armor 33 tons 11.3 142.2
BFV without reactive armor 28 tons 11.3 130
Stryker ICV 38,000 lbs. 104 107
ASLT HMMWV 6,780 lbs. 74 85

Surface Danger Areas

D-54.   Infantry leaders must consider the surface danger zones (SDZ) of combat vehicle weapon systems that are operating with their units. This information is crucial for the leaders to develop safe and effective direct fire control plans. Effective application of SDZs prevents fratricide and maximizes direct fire upon the enemy.

D-55.   Each weapon system has a unique SDZ. SDZs are the minimum safe distances and angles that must be considered when operating in close proximity to weapon systems. SDZs take into consideration a round’s maximum distance, lateral dispersion, and backblast (if applicable). This information allows leaders to plan for safe and effective maneuver of their forces. Reference Section III, Appendix B for a detailed analysis of SDZs for weapon systems associated with combat vehicles in this appendix.

tactical capabilities

D-56.   Light Infantry units may have combat vehicle sections attached for combat operations. Table D-4 shows a list of tasks that these combat vehicle sections may perform while attached or under the operational control of Infantry units.

Table D-4. Tasks of combat vehicles in Infantry operations.

Infantry Operations

Combat Vehicle Tasks

Movement to contact Support by fire; attack by fire; assault; breach; follow and support; reserve; route clearance; convoy escort; checkpoint/roadblock operations.
Attack Support by fire; attack by fire; assault; breach.
Exploitation Serve as security force (screen); lead the exploitation (assault or attack by fire).
Pursuit Serve as enveloping force, reserve (attack by fire or assault), or security force (screen); lead direct pressure force (support by fire, attack by fire, or assault).
Security (screen, guard, cover) Screen; guard; defend; delay; attack by fire; assault.
Defend Screen; guard; defend; delay; attack by fire (counterattack); assault (counterattack).
Retrograde (delay, withdraw, retire) Defend; delay; screen; guard; attack by fire (counterattack); withdraw.
Break out from encirclement Serve as rupture force (assault or attack by fire) or rear guard (delay).


D-57.   Infantry units may be attached to mechanized/armored units during combat operations. Table D-5 shows a list of tasks that Infantry units may perform while attached or under the operational control of combat vehicular units.

Table D-5. Tasks of the Infantry in combat vehicle operations.

Combat Vehicle Operations

Infantry Tasks

Attack by fire Secure an ABF position (reconnoiter an area or attack); provide local security or act as the blocking force (defend).
Support by fire Secure an SBF position (reconnoiter an area or attack); provide local security; conduct overwatch/support by fire.
Bypass Serve as the fixing force (defend); perform linkup with follow-on forces.
Assault Attack; assault; breach; overwatch/support by fire; knock out a bunker; clear a trench line; clear a building.
Clearance in restricted terrain Attack; assault; overwatch/support by fire; knock out a bunker; clear a trench line; clear a building; breach, clear AT teams.
Defend Defend; defend in urban operations/building; construct an obstacle.
Screen/guard Perform surveillance or screen.
Breach Breach; overwatch/support by fire; assault.
Hasty water/gap crossing Cross water obstacles; assault; overwatch/support by fire.
Delay Delay; break contact.
Withdrawal Break contact; serve as advance party (assembly area procedures).

Tactical Movement Rates

D-58.   Leaders of combat vehicle units often fail to recognize the speed with which the Infantry can move when operating dismounted. Numerous factors can affect the rate of march for the Infantry forces including, tactical considerations, weather, terrain, march discipline, acclimatization, availability of water and rations, morale, and individual loads. Table D-6 summarizes dismounted rates of march for normal terrain. The normal distance covered by an Infantry force in a 24-hour period is from 20 to 32 kilometers, marching from five to eight hours at a rate of 4 kph. A march in excess of 32 kilometers in 24 hours is considered a forced march. Forced marches increase the number of hours marched; not the rate of march. Absolute maximum distances for dismounted marches are 56 kilometers in 24 hours, 96 kilometers in 48 hours, or 128 kilometers in 72 hours.

Table D-6. Dismounted rates of march (normal terrain).

Day 4.0 kph 2.4 kph
Night 3.2 kph 1.6 kph

Carrying Capacities of Combat Vehicles

D-59.   There may be times when combat vehicles and Infantrymen must move quickly from one place to another to accomplish their mission. In such cases, and depending on the enemy threat and the level of training, Infantrymen should ride in or on combat vehicles.

D-60.   Riding on the outside of the vehicles is hazardous. Therefore, Infantry should only ride on vehicles when the need for speed is great. By riding on, not in, vehicles, the Infantry gives up its best protection—the ability to move with stealth and avoid detection. Soldiers riding on the outside armored vehicles are vulnerable to all types of fire. Also, Soldiers must watch out for obstacles that may cause tanks to turn suddenly; tree limbs that may knock them off; and for the traversing of the turret gun, which may also knock them off.

D-61.   The only advantages the Infantry gains from riding in or on combat vehicles is speed of movement and increased haul capability. In this case, the following apply:

– Avoid riding on the lead vehicle of a section or platoon. These vehicles are most likely to make contact and can react quicker without Soldiers on top.

– Position the Infantry leaders with the combat vehicle leaders. Discuss and prepare contingency plans for chance contact or danger areas. Infantry should dismount and clear choke points or other danger areas.

– Assign air guards and sectors of responsibility for observation. Ensure all personnel remain alert and stay prepared to dismount immediately. In the event of contact, the armored vehicle will immediately react as required for its own protection. The Infantry on top are responsible for their own safety. Rehearse a rapid dismount of the vehicle.

– Consider putting rucksacks, ammunition, and other equipment on vehicles, and have the Infantry move on a separate avenue of approach. This can increase Infantry mobility by allowing them to move through more suitable terrain.


D-62.   Riding on tanks reduces tank maneuverability and may restrict firepower. Infantrymen may be injured if the tank must slew its turret to return fire on a target. Consequently, Soldiers must dismount to clear danger areas or as soon as enemy contact is made.

D-63.   Soldiers ride on tanks by exception and depending on the likelihood of contact. There are several tactical and safety considerations that must be considered before Infantrymen ride on a tank. The M1 series tank is not designed to carry riders easily. Riders must not move to the rear deck. Engine operating temperatures make this area unsafe for riders (Figure D-4).


Figure D-4. Mounting and riding arrangements on an M1-series tank.

D-64.   One Infantry squad can ride on the turret. Soldiers must mount in such a way that their legs cannot become entangled between the turret and the hull by an unexpected turret movement. Rope may be used as a field-expedient Infantry rail to provide secure handholds.

D-65.   Everyone must ride to the rear of the smoke grenade launchers. This automatically keeps everyone clear of the coaxial machine gun and laser range finder.

D-66.   The Infantry must always be prepared for sudden turret movement. Leaders should caution Soldiers about sitting on the turret blowout panels. This safety knowledge is critical because 250 pounds of pressure will prevent the panels from working properly. If there is an explosion in the ammunition rack, the panels blow outward to lessen the blast effect in the crew compartment.

D-67.   If enemy contact is made, the tank should stop in a covered and concealed position and allow Infantry time to dismount and move away from the tank. This action needs to be practiced before movement.

D-68.   The Infantry should not ride with anything more than their battle gear. Personal gear should be transported elsewhere.

Bradley Fighting Vehicle

D-69.   The BFV is designed to carry six Infantrymen and a crew of three: a Bradley commander (BC), gunner (GNR), and driver (DVR). The troop compartment of the BFV carries six Infantrymen in combat gear. Rucksacks are generally carried on the outside of the vehicle. Prior to riding in the vehicle, Infantrymen who are not familiar with the BFV should be thoroughly trained on its exit points, fire drills, and rollover drills. The major difference in carrying capacity between the M2A1 and the M2A2/ODS/M2A3 is the seating configuration. The M2A1 has six individual seats, while the M2A2/ODS/M2A3 has two benches that are on the left and right sides of the troop compartment. Figures D-5 and D-6 illustrate the carrying capacity of the BFV-series combat vehicles.

Figure D-5. M2A1 seating diagram.

Figure D-6. M2A2, ODS, and M2A3 seating diagram.

Infantry Carrier Vehicle

D-70.   The Stryker Infantry carrier vehicle is designed to carry a nine-man Infantry squad in combat gear, a driver, and a vehicle commander (VC). Rucksacks are generally carried on the outside of the ICV. Infantrymen who are not familiar with the ICV should be thoroughly trained on its exit points, fire drills, and rollover drills prior to riding in the vehicle. Figure D-7 illustrates the carrying capacity of the ICV.


Figure D-7. Seating diagram for the ICV.

Assault HMMWV

D-71.   The ASSLT HMMWV class of vehicles is designed to carry five Soldiers in combat gear, a truck commander (TC), a gunner, a driver, and two Soldiers in the rear passenger seats. Rucksacks are generally carried on the outside or in the rear cargo storage area of the ASSLT HMMWV. Infantrymen who are not familiar with the ASSLT HMMWV should be thoroughly trained on its exit points, fire drills, and rollover drills prior to riding in the vehicle. Figure D-8 illustrates the carrying capacity of the ASSLT HMMWV.

Figure D-8. Seating diagram for the ASSLT HMMWV.

Section II — Operations

D-72.   The intent of this section is to familiarize leaders with conducting operations with combat vehicles. The section is divided under three subsections: plan, prepare, and execute.


D-73.   Employment of combat vehicles requires thorough understanding and integration of the vehicle with the Infantry unit.  The following paragraphs focus on planning considerations for combat vehicles and dismounted Infantry integration.

Task Organization Options

D-74.   A combat vehicle platoon or section would normally be OPCONed to an Infantry company during combined arms operations at the company team level. However, in the COE, Infantry platoons may receive combat vehicle platoons or sections to conduct operations. There are four basic techniques of task-organizing the combat vehicle section into the Infantry company for combat operations: combat vehicle platoon as a maneuver element; combat vehicle sections under Infantry control; combat vehicle sections under company and platoon control; and Infantry squads under combat vehicle control. This concept holds true for all combat vehicle units.

Combat Vehicle Platoon as a Maneuver Element

D-75.   The combat vehicle platoon leader is responsible for maneuvering the vehicles IAW the company team commander’s intent. Likely missions for the combat vehicles with this task organization are support by fire (SBF), or overwatch of the Infantry’s movement. The combat vehicle platoon leader can choose to maneuver the platoon by sections to execute the mission. This maneuver provides greater flexibility in supporting the Infantry during the close fight.

Combat Vehicle Sections Under Infantry Platoon Control

D-76.   Combat vehicles are broken down into two sections. Each section is placed under the OPCON of an Infantry platoon and maneuvered IAW the company team commander’s intent. The commander relinquishes direct control of the combat vehicle maneuver to his subordinates. This technique is very effective in maintaining the same rate of progress between the combat vehicles and the Infantry. Leaders have the additional responsibility of maneuvering combat vehicles. The general lack of experience with combat vehicles and the overall battlefield focus of the leaders can affect this technique. This technique is best suited for when contact with the enemy is expected and close continuous support is required for movement or clearing buildings.

Combat Vehicle Sections Under Company and Platoon Control

D-77.   Combat vehicle platoons can be broken down into two sections: one under company control; the other under platoon control. The selected maneuver Infantry platoon would have a combat vehicle section available to support the close fight. With this technique, the company team commander has a combat vehicle section to deploy. This task organization still allows support to the Infantry close fight while keeping additional support options in reserve for the commander to employ. The disadvantages to this technique are Infantry platoon leaders instead of the combat vehicle platoon leaders are maneuvering vehicles, and vehicles directly available to the company team commander are cut in half. This technique requires detailed planning, coordination, and rehearsals between the Infantry and combat vehicle sections.

Infantry Squads Under Combat Vehicle Platoon Control

D-78.   The company team commander has the option of placing one or more Infantry squads under the OPCON of the combat vehicle platoon leader. He may also retain all combat vehicles under the control of the combat vehicle platoon leader, or place a combat vehicle section under the OPCON of an Infantry platoon leader. This provides the company team commander with a fourth maneuver platoon. It also involves the combat vehicle platoon leader in the fight. It can work well when a mobile reserve that needs Infantry protection is required.


D-79.   None of the techniques described are inherently better than another one. The task organization must be tailored to accomplish the mission. Regardless of the technique selected, the following guidelines should be followed.

D-80.   It is preferable for combat vehicles to operate as sections. This is an integral component of how combat vehicle units train and fight. If the company commander is controlling the combat vehicles, he needs to move forward to a position where he can effectively maneuver the combat vehicles in support of the Infantry.

D-81.   Combat vehicles should be used to shield squads and teams (minus the unarmored versions of the ASSLT HMMWV) from building to building. As part of the maneuver plan, the leader of the forward element controls the combat vehicles.

D-82.   The task organization should support the span of control. If the company commander is going to control the combat vehicles, there is no reason to task-organize the tanks by section under Infantry platoons.

D-83.   Combat vehicles need Infantry support when the two elements are working together. Do not leave combat vehicles alone because they are not well suited to provide local security during the operation. Combat vehicles are extremely vulnerable to dismounted attack when operating in urban terrain. They are most vulnerable and need local security when Infantry are in the process of clearing buildings.

Risk Management

D-84.   Infantry leaders must identify and implement controls to mitigate risks associated with conducting operations with combat vehicles. These risks are divided into two categories: tactical and accidental risk. Table D-7 contains a basic list of risks and control measures leaders should consider when conducting operations with combat vehicles. Table D-8 contains a list of possible accidental hazards and control measures.

Table D-7. Risk management matrix for tactical hazards.

Tactical Hazards Control Measure
Enemy Direct Fire Wear individual body armor (IBA), reinforce vehicle (sand bags), use proper scanning techniques, and engage in marksmanship training.
Enemy Indirect Fire Practice mounted react to indirect fire drills, vary speed and distance to avoid a trigger from an enemy indirect fire system.
Mines Maintain situational awareness (SA), maintain current obstacle overlay for AO, remain on cleared areas, be proficient in mine removal.
IEDs Scan, use WARLOCK (anti-remote-detonation IED system), use up-armor, and avoid predictability.
Sniper Attacks Scan, maintain SA, avoid predictability, use DVR techniques, engage in tactical movement (MVT) training.
Media Exploitation Train leaders; refer to PAO; adhere to the ROE, Soldier’s Creed, Law of War, and the Geneva Conventions.
VBIED Gunner and Infantrymen riding on vehicles use proper scanning techniques, maintain SA, avoid predictability, use DVR techniques, and engage in tactical MVT training.
Ambush Scan, maintain SA, avoid predictability, use DVR techniques, engage in tactical MVT training.


Table D-8. Risk management matrix for accidental hazards.

Accidental Hazards Control Measure
Vehicle Collision Ensure DVR is qualified and TC is alert.
Vehicle Fire Conduct fire drills, keep fire extinguishers present and serviceable, perform proper PMCS.
Vehicle Rollover Ensure DVR/TC/dismount situational awareness, train and rehearse with vehicles, know SOPs for communication between vehicle and dismounts. Secure loads.
Vehicle Striking Dismount Train on high decibel danger zones and wear hearing protection.
Vehicle Malfunction Perform proper PMCS, ensure BDR kit is available.
Hearing Damage Train on high decibel danger zones and wear hearing protection.
Eye Damage Verify eye protection during PCI, leaders enforce it during execution.
Burns Be aware of TOW backblast and high heat exhaust zones, wear gloves when riding or operating equipment and weapons (changing barrels).
Falling From Moving Vehicle Have proper load plan, use tie downs with snap links (M1 turret), wear seat belts (HMMWV, LMTV, 5-Ton), and ensure DVR is qualified.
Drowning After Water Entry Train on vehicle exits and ensure Soldiers have passed the Combat Water Survival Test (CWST).
Fratricide by WPN System of Vehicle Use day/night friendly recognition systems and proper fire control measures.
Disorientation Ensure map is present, TC is briefed, and graphics are current.

D-85.   Many Infantrymen are not familiar with the hazards that may arise during operations with combat vehicles. The most obvious of these include the dangers associated with main-gun fire, and the inability of combat vehicle crews to see people and objects near their vehicles. Leaders of heavy and Infantry units alike must ensure that their troops understand the following points of operational safety.

Discarding Sabot

D-86.   Tank 120-mm sabot rounds and 25-mm BFV rounds discard stabilizing petals when fired, posing a downrange hazard for Infantry. The aluminum petals of the tank rounds are discarded in an area extending 70 meters to the left and right of the gun-target line out to a range of 1 kilometer (Figure D-9). The danger zone for plastic debris from BFV rounds extends 60 degrees to the left and right of the gun-target line, and out to 100 meters from the vehicle (Figure D-10). Infantrymen should not be in or near the direct line of fire for the tank main gun or BFV cannon unless they are under adequate overhead cover.


Figure D-9. M1 tank danger zone.


Figure D-10. BFV danger zone.

Ground Movement Hazards

D-87.   Crewmen on combat vehicles have very limited abilities to see anyone on the ground to the side or rear of the vehicle. As a result, vehicle crews and dismounted Infantrymen share responsibility for avoiding the hazards this may create. Infantrymen must maintain a safe distance from heavy vehicles at all times. In addition, when they work close to heavy vehicles, Infantry Soldiers must ensure that the vehicle commander knows their location at all times, by establishing communication.


NOTE: Mounted and M1-series tanks are deceptively quiet and may be difficult for Infantrymen to hear as they approach. As noted, vehicle crews and Infantrymen share the responsibility of eliminating potential dangers in this situation.

M1 Exhaust Plume Hazard

D-88.   M1-series tanks have an extremely hot exhaust plume that exits from the rear of the tank and angles downward. This exhaust is hot enough to burn skin and clothing. Infantrymen should therefore avoid the rear exhaust of the M1.

TOW Missile System

D-89.   The TOW missile system can be employed on the BFV, the ASSLT HMMWV, and the ICV. The system has a dangerous area extending 75 meters to the rear of the vehicle in a 90-degree “cone.” The area is divided into a 50-meter danger zone and a 25-meter caution zone (Figure D-11). In the 50-meter zone, serious casualties or fatalities are likely to occur from the blast and flying debris. Soldiers are safe in the 25-meter zone, provided they do not face the aft end of the launcher.


Figure D-11. BFV TOW backblast danger zone.


D-90.   Key to planning operations with combat vehicles are rehearsals that gain the trust and confidence of vehicle crews and Infantryman.

Rehearsal Techniques

D-91.   A rehearsal is a session in which a staff or unit practices expected actions to improve performance during execution (FM 6-0). They are the cornerstone to any successful operation. Leaders are responsible to ensure that all combat vehicles attached to their units are incorporated into rehearsals. Rehearsals should include the tactical movement plan, and actions on the objective. Integration of combat vehicles is crucial because the relationship between vehicle crew men and Infantrymen may not be routine. Thorough rehearsals ensure that—

– Communications are established between the crewmen in the vehicles and Infantrymen prior to execution.

– Infantrymen are familiar with the technical capabilities and tactical movement of the vehicle.

– Vehicle crewmen understand the spatial relationship between the Infantrymen on the ground and their sectors of fire.

– Infantrymen understand the spatial relationship between the combat vehicles on the ground and their sectors of fire.

D-92.   Following are five types of rehearsal techniques that can be used with combat vehicles: full-dress, reduced-force, terrain-model, sketch-map, and map.

Full-Dress Rehearsal

D-93.   A full-dress rehearsal produces the most detailed understanding of the operation. It involves every participating Soldier, system, and combat vehicle. If possible, organizations execute full-dress rehearsals under the same conditions the force expects to encounter during an actual operation (weather, time of day, terrain—with use of live ammunition). The full-dress rehearsal is the most difficult to accomplish at higher echelons. At those levels, commanders develop a second rehearsal plan that mirrors the actual plan but fits the terrain available for the rehearsal. Mounted rehearsals involve actual movement of the combat vehicles along with the Infantrymen. Advantages of full-dress rehearsals include:

– Maintenance, communications, and weapon systems of the vehicles are checked during the rehearsal.

– Vehicle crewmen and Infantrymen gain a greater understanding of the battle space and spatial relationship of their operations.

– Leaders can ensure their graphic control measures are safe and effective.

D-94.   The disadvantage of the full-dress rehearsal is it requires a larger area to conduct properly. Nevertheless, when METT-TC allows, leaders should always conduct a full-dress rehearsal.

Reduced-Force Rehearsal

D-95.   A reduced-force rehearsal involves only key leaders of the organization and its subordinate units (squad leaders and vehicle commanders). It normally takes fewer resources than a full-dress rehearsal. Terrain requirements can be the same as for a full-dress rehearsal even though there are fewer participants. The platoon leader first decides the level of leader involvement. The selected leaders then rehearse the plan while traversing the actual or similar terrain. Leaders often use the reduced-force rehearsal technique to rehearse fire control measures for an engagement area during defensive operations. It may be used to prepare key leaders for a full-dress rehearsal, and may require developing a rehearsal plan that mirrors the actual plan, but fits the terrain of the rehearsal.

Terrain-Model Rehearsal

D-96.   The terrain-model rehearsal takes less time and fewer resources than a full-dress or reduced-force rehearsal. (A terrain-model rehearsal takes proficient Soldiers to execute to standard.) It is the most popular rehearsal technique. An accurately-constructed terrain model helps subordinate leaders visualize the commander’s intent and concept of operations. When possible, leaders place the terrain model where it overlooks the actual terrain of the area of operations (AO). However, if the situation requires more security, they place the terrain model on a reverse slope within walking distance of a point overlooking the AO. The model’s orientation coincides with that of the terrain. The size of the terrain model can vary from small (using markers to represent units) to large (on which the participants can walk). A large model helps reinforce the participants’ perception of unit positions on the terrain.

Sketch-Map Rehearsal

D-97.   Leaders can use the sketch-map technique almost anywhere, day or night. Procedures are the same as for a terrain-model rehearsal, except the leader uses a sketch map in place of a terrain model. Effective sketches are large enough for all participants to see as each participant walks through execution of the operation. Participants move markers on the sketch to represent unit locations and maneuvers.

Map Rehearsal

D-98.   A map rehearsal is similar to a sketch-map rehearsal, except the leader uses a map and operation overlay of the same scale used to plan the operation.

Exchange Information

D-99.   Task organizations of units are likely to change during combat operations. When this occurs, some basic exchange information must occur to ensure success. First, an area must be chosen that provides security for the exchange to take place. The METT-TC may dictate the exchange must occur over FM or digital communications. However, when possible, leaders should meet and speak face to face.  General exchange information includes:

– Number of personnel in the unit.

– Number of vehicles in the unit.

– Sensitive items list.

– Weapons capabilities.

– Logistical capability (particularly Class I, III, and V).

– Status/problems with logistics.

– Radio frequencies, call signs, and time hack.

– Graphics and overlays.

– Soldier uniform types.

– Day/night marking systems.

– Enemy situation updates.

– Terrain/route information.

Precombat Checks/Precombat Inspections

D-100.Infantry leaders may not always be proficient with the combat vehicles that are attached to their units for combat operations. Nevertheless, leaders are still responsible for ensuring that the combat vehicles and Soldiers in their unit are prepared to begin combat operations. Table D-9 contains a generic pre-execution checklist leaders can use to ensure that combat vehicles in their unit are prepared for combat operations.

Table D-9. Sample vehicle pre-execution checklist.

Vehicle Preparations ·      Configured according to the secure load plan (personnel and equipment).

·      Vehicle refueled.

·      Water cans full, Class I stowed.

·      Equipment cleaned and stowed.

·      First-aid kit/combat-lifesaver bag complete and stowed.

·      Eye protection (sun, wind, dust goggles) stowed for exposed Soldiers.

·      Fire extinguisher secured and serviceable.

·      Slave cable secured and operational (at least one for each vehicle type).

·      One tow bar or recovery strap stowed for every two like-vehicle types.

·      Vehicle dispatched, technical manual (TM) present, vehicle tool kit stowed.

·      Basic load of ammunition stowed.

·      Rollover drill (water & land) complete.

·      CASEVAC drill complete.

·      Fire escape drill complete.

·      A basic Class IV load stowed (concertina wire, sandbags, pickets).

·      Battle damage repair kit (BDR) stowed.

·      Map of AO with current graphic control measures stowed.

Communications Equipment ·      Radios operational, mounted, and secured; connections and receptacles cleaned and frequencies set.

·      Internal communication operational.

·      Extra hand microphones stowed.

·      Dismount kit for radios stowed.

·      Force XXI Battle Command, brigade and below (FBCB2); Blue Force Tracker (BFT); precision lightweight global positioning system receiver (PLGR); and inertial navigational system are operational, loaded with current graphics (if applicable), and communicating with other digital systems.

·      FM, integrated communications (ICOM), and communications checks are complete with higher, adjacent units, and subordinate units.

·      Vehicles’ internal communication is operational.

·      Antennas present and operational, connections clean.

·      COMSEC (ANCD) equipment operational.

·      Telephones operational and stowed.

·      OE-254 complete, operational, and stowed.

·      All required nets entered and monitored.

CBRN ·      M11 decontamination apparatus mounted and operational.

·      Hasty decontamination kit with DS-2 and nitrogen bottles stowed.

·      Automatic chemical alarm operational and mounted.

·      M256 kits stowed.

Optics ·      Night-vision devices and binoculars cleaned, operational, and stowed for DVR/TC/GNR (night vision goggles [NVGs]) and driver’s night vision block (VVS2 for BFV).

·      Weapons’ optics operational, zeroed, clean, with extra batteries (if needed).

Maintenance ·      Preventive maintenance checks (-10) and services conducted on all equipment.

·      DA Form 2404, Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Worksheet,  completed on all equipment.

Firepower ·      Weapons’ mounts and turrets are operational and move freely.

·      Boresight complete (if needed).

·      All weapons cleaned and test-fired.


D-101.Security must be maintained at all times during combat operations. Combat vehicles and Infantrymen provide complementary effects to one another with respect to security.

Combat Vehicles Securing Infantry

D-102.Combat vehicles can provide security to Infantrymen in many ways. In patrol bases and assembly areas, combat vehicles can use their weapon systems and night vision/thermal sights to provide early detection and a high volume of fire. During movement, combat vehicles can move to the front, rear, or flanks of the Infantry to provide protection from direct fire (tank, BFV, ICV, M1114 ASSLT HMMWV) and antipersonnel mines. They can also use their sights and weapon systems to detect and engage the enemy. On the objective, combat vehicles can dominate the terrain, provide security, and defeat a counterattack while the Infantrymen conduct actions on the objective.

Infantry Securing Combat Vehicles

D-103.Infantrymen can provide security to combat vehicles throughout an operation. In patrol bases and assembly areas, Infantrymen can secure the perimeter while combat vehicles conduct maintenance. During movement, Infantrymen can move to the front, rear, and flanks of combat vehicles to eliminate antiarmor threats and detect antitank mines. Infantrymen also clear defiles and other terrain that restrict the movement of combat vehicles. On the objective, Infantrymen can clear buildings, trenches, and bunkers while conducting EPW searches.


D-104. Infantry leaders should be aware of the robust logistical requirements of combat vehicles during combat operations. Normally, the leaders of attached vehicular units are responsible for bringing the majority of their logistical needs with them due to the austere and very different logistical support system of light Infantry units. Table D-10 provides leaders an overview of some logistical planning factors for combat operations.

Table D-10. Classes of supply considerations for combat vehicles.

Class I Class I food requirements are determined based on the vehicular unit’s personnel strength reports. This process may be complicated by unique mission requirements imposed on the team. This could include rapid changes in task organization or dispersion of subordinate team elements over a wide area.
Class II Many Class II items required by tank and BFV crews such as specialized tools and flame retardant clothing may be difficult to obtain in a light organization. These items will usually come with the combat vehicles and should be checked by Infantry leaders.
Class III The fuel and other POL products required by vehicular units are extremely bulky, so they present the greatest sustainment challenges in planning and preparing for light/heavy operations. Transportation support must be planned carefully. Planners must consider the placement of fuel heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks (HEMTTs) during all phases of the operation. Also, leaders must know their locations and the resupply plan. They must focus on general-use POL products such as lubricants that are not ordinarily used by light organizations. Vehicular units should stock their basic load of these items and make necessary resupply arrangements before attachment to the light Infantry unit.

Table D-10. Classes of supply considerations for combat vehicles (continued).

Class IV Vehicular units do not have any unique requirements for barrier or fortification materials. The main consideration is any Class IV materials the vehicle commanders want may need loading and transport prior to attachment. Infantry leaders should be aware of the increased load capacity of combat vehicles and plan to utilize this asset to carry larger volumes of Class IV items such as sandbags, concertina wire, and pickets.
Class V Along with POL products, ammunition for vehicular units presents the greatest transportation challenge in light/heavy operations. Class V requirements may include TOW missiles, 120-mm main gun rounds, 25-mm rounds, 40-mm MK19 rounds, .50 cal rounds, 7.62-mm link, 5.56-mm loose, and smoke grenades for smoke grenade launchers. Planning for Class V resupply should parallel that for Class III. Key considerations include anticipated mission requirements, and the availability of HEMTTs. Ammunition may be pre-stocked based on expected consumption rates.
Class VI Vehicular unit operations create no unique requirements for personal demand items and sundries.
Class VII Class VII consists of major end items. This includes entire vehicles such as a “float” tanks or BFVs units require as replacements for organic vehicles. The handling of these items requires thorough planning to determine transportation requirements and positioning in the scheme of the operation. Class VII items include smaller, but mission-essential items such as the boresight telescope for the BFV.
Class VIII Vehicular units involved in light/heavy operations have no unique requirements for medical supplies. However, vehicular units may be capable of carrying more Class VIII supplies and provide standard/non-standard CASEVAC for combat operations.
Class IX Class IX products (repair parts) are crucial to the sustainment of combat vehicles attached to Infantry units. Repair parts are essential during combat operations. Requirements for items on the team’s parts load list (PLL) and ASL must be carefully considered before light/heavy operations begin. The vehicular unit may find it advantageous to prestock selected items in anticipation of its operational needs.

D-105.Combat vehicle sections attached to Infantry units may also receive resupply through a LOGPAC (logistical resupply) from their parent unit. These LOGPACs generally occur in the tailgate or service station method.

D-106.As directed by the commander or XO, the first sergeant establishes the company resupply point. He uses either the service station or tailgate method, and briefs each LOGPAC driver on which method to use. When he has the resupply point ready, the first sergeant informs the commander. The company commander then directs each unit or element to conduct resupply based on the tactical situation.

Service Station Method

D-107.The service station method allows vehicles with their squads to move individually or in small groups to a centrally-located resupply point (Figure D-12). Depending on the tactical situation, a vehicle, section, or platoon moves out of its position, conducts resupply operations, and then moves back into position. This process continues until the entire platoon has received its supplies. When using this method, vehicles enter the resupply point following a one-way traffic flow. Only vehicles that require immediate maintenance stop at the maintenance holding area. Vehicles move through each supply location. The crews rotate individually to eat, pick up mail and sundries, and refill or exchange water cans. When all platoon vehicles and crews have completed resupply, they move to a holding area. There, time permitting, leaders conduct a precombat inspection (PCI).


Figure 9-1. Service station method.

Figure D-12. Service station method.

Tailgate Method

D-108.In assembly areas, the first sergeant normally uses the tailgate method (Figure D-13). Combat vehicles remain in their vehicle positions or back out a short distance to allow trucks carrying Class III and V supplies to reach them. Individual Soldiers rotate through the feeding area. While there, they pick up mail and sundries and refill or exchange water cans. They also centralize and guard any EPW, and take Soldiers killed in action (KIA) and their personal effects to the holding area. Once there, the first sergeant assumes responsibility for them.

Figure 9-2. Tailgate method.
Figure D-13. Tailgate method.

Emergency Resupply

D-109. Occasionally (normally during combat operations), the unit might have such an urgent need for resupply that it cannot wait for a routine LOGPAC. Emergency resupply could involve CBRN equipment as well as Classes III, V, VIII, and water.

Prestock Resupply

D-110.I n defensive operations, and at some other times, the unit will most likely need restocked supplies, also known as pre-positioned or “cached” resupply. Normally, the unit only pre-positions Class IV and V items, but they can also pre-position Class III supplies. However, they must refuel platoon vehicles before they move into fighting positions, while first occupying the battle position, or while moving out of their fighting position to refuel.

D-111. All levels must carefully plan and execute prestock operations. Every leader, down to vehicle commanders and squad leaders, must know the exact locations of prestock sites. During reconnaissance or rehearsals, they verify these locations. Leaders take steps to ensure the survivability of prestocked supplies. These measures include selecting covered and concealed positions and digging in the prestock positions. The leader must have a removal and destruction plan to prevent the enemy from capturing pre-positioned supplies.

D-112. During offensive operations, the unit can pre-position supplies on similar combat vehicles well forward on the battlefield. This works well if the unit expects to use a large volume of fire, with corresponding ammunition requirements, during a fast-moving operation.

Maintenance and Recovery

D-113. Recovery operations and maintenance are crucial components of the leader’s plan when working with combat vehicles.


D-114. Leaders must plan for regular maintenance halts throughout extended operations. Combat vehicles require regular maintenance to perform consistently throughout combat operations. Combat vehicles can become non-mission capable (NMC) due to a number of variables including, direct and indirect enemy fire, mines and IEDs, vehicle accidents, and parts failure. Infantry leaders should enforce regular preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) of all combat vehicles attached to their unit. PMCS is operator-level maintenance conducted before, during, and after equipment operations. Comprehensive PMCS identifies actual and potential problems and ensures repairs are made in a timely manner to minimize vehicle downtime. Early detection and correction of these faults can decrease the possibility of the combat vehicle breaking down during combat operations and prevent minor faults from deteriorating into major faults. It is the vehicle crew’s responsibility to conduct PMCS. It is the leader’s job to ensure the PMCS is conducted regularly and to standard.

D-115. Leaders should plan vehicle security for the vehicle crews as they conduct PMCS, based on the enemy situation. Additionally, leaders should establish a maintenance rotation to ensure that all of their combat vehicles are not conducting maintenance at the same time. This will maximize the combat power of the unit. Leaders should also—

– Verify that all current and updated technical manuals and references are available or requisitioned for unit assigned equipment.

– Verify that all tools, POL, personnel, and other resources are available for PMCS.

– Observe operators performing PMCS at prescribed intervals.

– Review maintenance forms and reporting procedures for accuracy and completeness.

– Verify that the operator has correctly identified and corrected, or recorded, faults on DA Form 2404, Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Worksheet.

– Confirm that NMC faults are corrected before dispatch.

D-116. Leaders should also plan for the possibility of combat vehicles requiring maintenance at a level greater than the crew is equipped or trained to conduct. This often requires specially trained mechanics and equipment that is organic to the parent unit of the combat vehicle attachment. Leaders should plan for two possibilities. One, the maintenance team moves to the combat vehicles. This may require additional security and or escorts from the Infantry. Two, the combat vehicles must move to the maintenance team. Maintenance teams are often located at the parent unit’s UMCP (unit maintenance collection point). Infantry leaders may have the responsibility of providing security or escort duties. Additionally, leaders should plan on the NMC vehicles to be absent from their task organization if a major maintenance fault is discovered.

Recovery Operations

D-117. Leaders are responsible for recovery operations that occur within their units. However, leaders should consult the senior officer or non-commissioned officer of the attached vehicular unit for the technical aspects of the recovery operation. Infantry leaders must have a thorough recovery plan that ensures their combat vehicles can be recovered throughout the operation. Recovery operations extricate damaged or disabled equipment and move it to locations where repairs can be made. Recovery is the primary responsibility of the using unit. The primary role of the Infantry during recovery operations is to provide security and assist with the recovery under supervision of the vehicle crew.

D-118. Recovery operations can be very dangerous. Recovery should be conducted under the supervision of the Infantry leader, using the experience and technical competence of the combat vehicle crew. The general rule in recovering a vehicle that is simply NMC in simple terrain is like vehicles can recover each other. For example, tanks recover tanks, and BFVs recover BFVs. However, there are vehicles specifically designed for recovery operations. These vehicles should be used if vehicles become stuck, flipped over, or severely damaged. The M-936 medium wrecker can be used to recover some wheeled vehicles, to include the assault HMMWV. The M88A1 medium recovery vehicle (MRV) is a full-tracked armored vehicle used to perform battlefield rescue and recovery missions. The M88A1 MRV performs hoisting, winching, and towing operations in support of recovery operations and evacuation of heavy tanks and other tracked combat vehicles. It has a fuel/defuel capability and is fully equipped to provide maintenance and recovery support for the main battle tank family and similar vehicles. These functions can be performed in all types of terrain during all weather conditions.

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