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PostSubject: TACTICS 101   Tue May 11, 2010 7:28 pm

The words “Military Tactics” are commonly used words among airsoft
players, paintball players, and obviously, military personal. In this
article there will be basic military tactics information and how to
apply them to your team or just for yourself. In later issues, there
will be more in-depth articles on tactics, but before one can learn the
advance, one must learn the basics. Again, these are the basics many of
the readers will know, but for the people new to the sport, we thought
we should start at the beginning. The words “military tactics” refer
to: methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Throughout
time, military tactics have changed extensively under the influence of
philosophy and technology. Up until the 19th century, military tactics
were mainly on battle warfare concerning how to maneuver units in
battle on open terrain. If you think about it, most battles around the
19th century and before were conducted when both armies met on open
fields and fought, especially in the European wars and battles. In
modern terminology, tactics refer more to the operational application
of forces to a situation. Don’t get this confused with military
strategy which is concerned with more long-term results. There are many
levels on which tactics can be brought up on: from room clearing to how
to clear miles of terrain. Common military tactics would include the
following: frontal assaults, flank (rear) assaults, ambushes, etc. Now
let’s talk about some different basic types of tactics for you and/or
your team to use.

is the military term for gathering information about the enemy. This
could include: where they are located, how large their force is, their
intentions, the best way to insert and extract into and from an enemy’s
AO (Area of Operation), etc. Basically: you are gathering all the
information you can about the enemy and how best to complete your
assigned tasks and mission. This provides the solid building blocks for
the intelligence side of the operation. Reconnaissance is often
referred to as “recce” or “recon” depending on the role of the
reconnaissance mission.

Patrolling is
another tactic. Small groups of units or individuals (depending on how
many men are needed) are sent from a larger formation to complete a
certain objective and then return. There are many types of patrols,
each depending on a different objective. The most common patrol is
collecting intelligence by carrying out a reconnaissance mission. The
patrol may try to remain covert and record info on the enemy without
being detected. Some reconnaissance patrols are actually overt, which
is the exact opposite of covert. Their mission may be to interact with
the civilian population and receive information concerning the enemy
they are fighting. A fighting patrol is a group with a good substantial
amount of men (platoon or company) and equipment to raid or ambush a
specific enemy. Don’t get this confused with an attack because in a
raid or ambush you do not hold the ground in which you acquire after
defeating the enemy. A clearing patrol is a brief patrol around a newly
occupied defensive position to ensure the area is secure. These kinds
of patrols are sent on missions called “screens” which means to patrol
a certain area.

is another military tactic used for quite some time where the ambushing
force uses cover, or concealment, to attack an enemy at a certain point
when they pass by. The ambushers strike from a concealed position such
as dense bushes or behind hills. This tactic is usually used to gather
information or to establish control over an area. Ambushing is most
often used by ground troops up to a platoon size against enemy targets.
Ambushes are multi-phase operations and usually should be planned in
some detail from insertion to extraction (hint: always have a plan B,
always then have a plan C, etc). Since ambushing is used frequently, I
thought I should outline the basics for planning for, setting of,
executing of, and extracting from an ambush. The first step is
planning. The first step is to designate a kill zone. This is a
reasonable position in which there is cover and a vantage point that
all your team members or you can see when the enemy is in range. The
next step is setting the ambush. To be successful in an ambush, a
patrol must deploy into the area covertly and establish secure and
covert positions overlooking the kill zone. If your squad has enough
men, think about a cut-off group. This is a group which “scouts” ahead
of the kill zone, radios the man in charge of the operation when the
enemy is approaching, and prevents any enemies from escaping once the
ambush is initiated. The main thing during setting the ambush is the
man in charge should make sure that none of his men are directly in
each other’s line of fire. Once your team, or you, is set up, you need
to then wait for the enemy to come into sight. The next step is pretty
simple: eliminate the enemy - the execution phase. Again, the coming of
the enemy should be signaled by the cut-off unit. Once the enemy is in
range or in the middle of the ambush kill zone, the commander should
initiate the ambush with either shots from his weapon, an explosive
devise, a hand signal, or a simple whistle blast. Once that has
happened, it’s up to everyone in the unit to shoot straight and shoot
fast. The final part of this step is to check the enemy for
intelligence, taking prisoners, checking for bodies, and if you are
nice, treating the wounded enemy. The final step is extraction. Your
squad being compromised, there should be an extraction plan to get out
of the AO as soon as possible before assisting enemy units arrive.

Now let’s talk about a frontal assault
in more detail. A frontal assault is also called a suicide strike. Why?
Well, it is basically a direct, hostile movement of forces towards the
enemy in a large number in attempt to defeat them. This should always
be the commander’s last resort. During the 19th century, this type of
warfare was popular on horses, but as the range and accuracy of weapons
improved, it proved to be suicidal. This type of tactic was also used a
great deal in the American Civil War and World War I in trench warfare,
being one of main reasons for the large number of casualties during
trench warfare also. Now these are the very, very basic military
tactics. Later on, there will be a more in depth look at some tactics
that you and your team can apply more directly to airsoft.
Now that
the basics were covered, I want to discuss a more in-depth look on how
you can apply these to your team. You may want to modify them to adjust
to your team’s situation, or you may not. Regardless of that, here are
some more in-depth tactics of the “101’s” of military tactics.

Basic Field Operating Procedures:
Infantry Minor Tactics or IMTs
are the very basic tactics that are employed at the squad, section, or
platoon level. They are, generally speaking, reasonably similar across
most modern armies. In most situations, except static defense, IMTs are
based on the principle of "fire and movement" - that is firing and
moving, often in pairs. One soldier is firing to suppress or neutralize
the enemy while the other soldier moves either toward the enemy or to a
more favorable position to attack/counter-attack. The movement often
uses only 5-10 feet per move. This technique is sometimes referred to
as "pepper-potting" (British) or "fire team rushes"(US). IMTs are
typically taught to all arms and services both in basic training and
often also whilst undergoing non-infantry specialty training. In some
military forces, such as the Australian Army and the United States
Marine Corps, all units in the field force regardless of corps,
regiment, trade, or specialty are supposed to undergo annual refresher
training in IMTs, on the basis all soldiers in a conflict can be
expected to be involved at least providing local security for their
unit or formation. Most IMTs are taught in the form of a drill – i.e. a
series of choreographed steps that occur in reaction to a certain
stimuli, such as sighting an enemy to the front, or being engaged by
enemy from flank etc. The initial stages of the drill are reutilized,
and therefore, action doesn't require full appraisal of the situation
by individual soldiers or unit commanders. Such stimulus-response
training allows coordinated responses without the need for direct
orders. In combat, this allows the first few moments of the engagement
to occur almost automatically and gives the soldiers a way to respond
appropriately and predictably (i.e. take cover and start returning
fire, or shift the flanks to becoming in enfilade to a surprise attack)
while the unit commander assesses the actual situation and issues
orders further orders. Perhaps the most basic of all IMTs is the "Basic

The Basic Drill
is the drill all individual soldiers are supposed to perform if they
come under "effective fire". The basic drill is: • Run two or three
steps • Drop to the ground or into cover • Crawl a few yards (or move
under concealment/cover) • Observe • Shoot (identified targets of
opportunity within effective range) • Move • Observe • Shoot • Move •
Repeat until issued orders. The basic drill is designed to provide the
soldier with simple steps to follow under the stress of combat. The
essential goal of the basic drill is to move the soldier into cover,
remove him from the last position where he was likely to be seen by the
enemy, and keep him "positively engaged” (identifying and shooting)
with any targets in his effective area until his commander makes an
appraisal and issues instructions. Fire and movement is the basic
military tactic used by small unit commanders on the modern
battlefield. It uses the power of suppressive fire to decrease the
enemy's firepower, organization, intelligence, and morale. This tactic
has been brought to a new level with the advent of automatic weapons,
but also has been used in its basics since ancient times with slingers
and archers providing covering fire for advancing infantry and cavalry.
Fire and movement work on the basis of suppressing an enemy with an
appropriate level of fire, while at the same time advancing. This will
take the form of two units of whatever size appropriate - two soldiers
or larger. Base of Fire One unit will provide a base of fire from a
position in order to suppress the enemy. This will take the form of
sustained fire on the enemy position as to prevent movement or return
of fire on the advancing unit. Suppression Heavy and continuous fire
keeps an opponent suppressed and therefore limits the overall firepower
of a unit (if a platoon has 30 soldiers, but only 15 are shooting back
because the other 15 are being suppressed, you have tactically limited
that unit's firepower by 50%). It also builds up confusion and
sometimes panic for undisciplined forces. The fire cuts down on an
enemy's intelligence in that they are not able to assess the situation
as clearly. Finally the suppressive fire hurts an enemy's morale by
scaring them, for the fire is continuous. In actuality, it scares more
then it kills, but an enemy who hesitates the least bit is at a great
disadvantage. Advance While a base of fire is set up, the second unit
will advance to cover in front, in the process setting up a new base of
fire at this point. After a new base of fire has been set up the first
unit will advance, under cover of the new fire base, to a new position
and set up another fire base there. This continues on and on till the
enemy is either captured or killed.

In modern warfare, overwatch is the state of one small unit supporting
another, while they are executing fire and movement tactics. An
overwatching, or supporting unit has taken a position where it can
observe the terrain ahead, especially enemy positions. This allows it
to provide effective covering fire for advancing friendly units. The
term overwatch originates in U.S. military doctrine. An ideal overwatch
position provides cover for the unit and unobstructed lines of fire. It
may be on a higher piece of ground or at the top of a ridge, where a
vehicle may be able to adopt a hull-down position. If the overwatching
unit is in a position to fire over advancing friendly units, great care
must be taken not to let fire fall short. The friendly units should be
within tracer burnout (the range at which tracer rounds are visible).
Overwatch can be performed by platoons during company fire and
movement, infantry sections, in platoon fire and movement, or even by
fire teams or individual soldiers, in the final stages of an assault.
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PostSubject: Re: TACTICS 101   Mon May 17, 2010 8:48 am

Good one. Lets put it on a use.
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