Infantry Drills

FM 3-21.8 – Chapter 6 – Section III – Resupply Operations

Section III – Resupply Operations

6-35.     Resupply operations fall into one of three classifications: routine, emergency, or prestock. The platoon SOP specifies cues for each method. The platoon should rehearse or conduct resupply operations every time they conduct field training. The actual method selected for resupply in the field depends on METT-TC factors.

Routine Resupply

6-36.     Routine resupply operations primarily include Classes I, V, and IX; mail; and other items requested by the platoon. When possible, the platoon should conduct routine resupply daily. Ideally, it does so during periods of limited visibility.

6-37.     The LOGPAC technique offers a simple, efficient way to accomplish routine resupply operations. The key feature of LOGPAC, a centrally organized resupply convoy, originates at the battalion trains. The convoy carries all items needed to sustain the platoon for a specific period (usually 24 hours) or until the next scheduled LOGPAC. The battalion SOP will specify the LOGPAC’s exact composition and march order.

6-38.     As directed by the commander or XO, the 1SG establishes the company resupply point. He uses either the service station method (Figure 6-1), the tailgate method (Figure 6-2), or the in-position method (Figure 6-3). He briefs each LOGPAC driver on which method to use. When he has the resupply point ready, the 1SG informs the commander. The company commander then directs each platoon or element to conduct resupply based on the tactical situation.

6-39.     The service station method allows the squads to move individually to a centrally located resupply point. This method requires the Soldiers to leave their fighting positions. Depending on the tactical situation, a squad moves out of its position, conducts resupply operations, and moves back into position. The squads rotate individually to eat; pick up mail, Class IX supplies, and other supplies and sundries; and refill or exchange water. This process continues until the entire platoon has received its supplies. The technique is used when contact is not likely and for the resupply of one or several classes of supplies.


Figure 6-1. Service station resupply method.

NOTE:  The platoon order should state the sequence for moving squads or portions of squads out of position. Companies may vary the technique by establishing a resupply point for each platoon and moving the supplies to that point.

6-40.     In AAs, the 1SG normally uses the tailgate method (Figure 6-2). Individual Soldiers rotate through the feeding area. While there, they pick up mail and sundries and refill or exchange water cans. They centralize and guard any EPW. They take Soldiers killed in action and their personal effects to the holding area (normally a location downwind and out of sight of the platoon/company), where the 1SG assumes responsibility for them.


Figure 6-2. Tailgate resupply method.

6-41.     During operations when contact with the enemy is imminent, the in-position resupply method (Figure 6-3) may be required to ensure adequate supplies are available to the squads. This method requires the company to bring forward supplies, equipment, or both to individual fighting positions. The platoon normally provides a guide to ensure the supplies are distributed to the most critical position first. This method—

– Is used when an immediate need exists.

– Is used to resupply single classes of supply.

– Enables leaders to keep squad members in their fighting positions.


Figure 6-3. In-position resupply method.


NOTE:  If resupply vehicles cannot move near platoon positions, platoon members may need to help the resupply personnel move supplies and equipment forward.

Emergency Resupply

6-42.     Occasionally during combat operations, the platoon may have such an urgent need for resupply that it cannot wait for a routine LOGPAC. Emergency resupply may involve Classes I (usually water), V, VII, VIII, and CBRN equipment. Emergency resupply can be conducted using either the service station or tailgate method, but more often uses the in-position method. The fastest appropriate means is normally used, although procedures may have to be adjusted when the company is in contact with the enemy. In the service station method, individual squads may pull back during a lull in combat to conduct resupply and then return to the fight. With tailgate resupply, the company brings limited supplies forward to the closest concealed position behind each element.

Prestock Resupply

6-43.     In defensive or stay-behind operations and at some other times, the platoon may need prestocked supplies (also known as prepositioned or cached resupply). Normally, the platoon only prepositions items directed by the company.

6-44.     All levels must carefully plan and execute prestock operations. All leaders, down to squad leader level, must know the exact locations of prestock sites. They verify these locations during reconnaissance or rehearsals. The platoon takes steps to ensure the survivability of the prestocked supplies. These measures include selecting covered and concealed positions and digging in the prestock positions. The platoon leader must have a removal and destruction plan to prevent the enemy from capturing prepositioned supplies.

6-45.     During offensive operations, the company can preposition supplies on trucks well forward on the battlefield. This works well if the company expects to use a large volume of fire, with corresponding ammunition requirements. It allows the platoons to quickly resupply during consolidation or during lulls.


6-46.     Aerial sustainment is an aviation mission that consists of moving personnel, equipment, materiel, and supplies by utility, cargo, and fixed-wing assets for use in operations. Overland resupply might not work due to terrain, distance, or the existing enemy threat. The platoon must initiate a request for resupply and must push it through company to battalion. The platoon must prepare to receive the supplies at the specified time and location.

6-47.     A aerial sustainment with speed balls is a technique with preconfigured loads to resupply Infantry platoons in urban areas (Figure 6-4).  Sustainment personnel prepackage supplies in aviation kit bags, duffle bags, or other suitable containers.  Helicopters fly as close to the drop point as possible, reduce speed, drop supplies, and leave the area quickly.  Supplies should be packaged in bubble wrap or other shock-absorbing material to minimize damage.

Figure 6-4. Speed ball delivery.

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