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MACHINE GUN TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT The basic unit of machine gun employment in defense is the squad. Machine gun squads consist of a squad leader and two four-man machine gun teams. Machine guns used on the FEBA are normally used by squads.

Employment of Machine Guns Machine gun squads used on the FEBA are normally assigned a final protective line (FPL) and a sector of fire or a principal direction of fire (PDF). Both machine guns of the squad fire the same general FPL and sector of fire from positions a minimum of 35 meters apart.

Based on terrain, it may be necessary to split some squads to provide effective machine gun coverage. A machine gun squad is split when each of its guns has been assigned a different firing mission; that is, a different final protective line or principal direction of fire and sector of fire. A machine gun squad is split

only when necessary. If the squad is split, the two guns should be used as close to each other as the machine gun fire plan will allow. This action ensures interlocking fire, ease of control, and supplies (fig. 4-15).

Machine Gun Final Protective Lines Effective final protective fire is characterized by the following:

1. Flanking: Maximum flanking fire is desirable. The more frontal the fire, the less effective the coverage of the company front.

2. Interlocking: Interlocking fire adds to the effectiveness of the fire plan. Such fire reduces the number of gaps in the final protective lines and provides mutual support between adjacent units.

3. Grazing: Final protective lines are located to obtain maximum grazing fire. Grazing fire is fire in which the trajectory of the bullets does not rise above the height of a man, standing. On flat or uniformly sloping terrain, machine gun fire grazes to a maximum range of 700 meters from the gun. Figure 4-16 shows a proper technique for graphically displaying final protective fire and gaps in its grazing fire on an overlay or sketch.

Machine Gun Sector of Fire A sector of fire is assigned to each machine gun squad. A machine gun sector of fire does not normally exceed 800 roils (45 degrees). Adjacent machine gun squad sectors should overlap. Preferably, the final protective line comprises the near boundary of the sector. It maybe located within the sector when the grazing fire is slightly more frontal than desirable and machine gun fire coverage closer to the FEBA is required.

Machine Gun Principal Direction of Fire When the terrain does not allow for an effective final protective line, machine guns on the FEBA may be assigned principal directions of fire for covering dangerous avenues of approach. In such situations, the principal direction of fire may fall within the sector of fire or comprise either of its boundaries.

NOTE: A machine gun cannot be assigned a final protective line (FPL) and a principal direction of fire (PDF).

Machine Gun Communications Whenever possible, the primary positions of the machine gun squad are provided with sound-powered telephone communications on the company wire net

Figure 4-15.- Machine guns split.

Figure 4-16.- Machine guns FPL and grazing fire. to the weapons platoon commander. If time permits, wire is laid to alternate and supplementary positions. Messengers are used when wire communications are inoperative or have not been installed.

AT4 TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT The assault squad is the basic unit for the tactical employment of the AT4 antitank weapon. Because of the short range of the AT4, they are normally positioned with the frontline platoons to provide close-in antitank defense. The weapons platoon commander normally uses a messenger to communicate with the assault squads.

Positions of Assault Squads The location of the best observation and fields of fire covering the avenues of approach for armor vehicles dictates the positioning of assault squads. A primary and several alternate firing positions are prepared from which each avenue of approach can be covered. When the armor threat develops, the squad moves by covered routes to the previously prepared positions.

AT4 Sectors of Fire Each assault squad is assigned sectors of fire to ensure that all avenues of approach for armor vehicles are covered and to provide overlapping areas of antimechanized responsibility. The size of the sector is limited only by the available observation and fields of fire. The assignment of a sector of fire does not preclude firing at targets outside the sector. When the squad is used as a unit, both assault teams are assigned the same sector. When the squad is split, the two teams may be physically located in proximity but are responsible for separate sectors. Fire planning should avoid splitting assault squads unless absolutely necessary.



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