Case 6

Chapter 6

Civil Disturbance Formations

Control force formations, when properly employed and executed against a crowd, are some of the most practical methods of crowd control. The riot baton has been the weapon of choice for the control force. With the development of NLW, the commander now has more options at his disposal. Before NLW, the only other choices were chemical irritants, MWDs, and lethal force. Now commanders can create a standoff distance with NLW that reduces the risk of close fighting with the mob. During any crowd control operation, the commander must protect the control force with lethal overwatch. This overwatch may be in the form of marksmen and observer teams (sniper with observer) and a response force with lethal capabilities.

Overview

6-1. With advances in NLW, it is possible to create an effective standoff distance of 15 to 100 meters between the crowd and the control force formation. It is now possible to advance and disperse the crowd without coming into direct contact with it. Some NLW may also be used to assist in the identification and apprehension of instigators.

6-2. Control force formations are used to disperse, contain, and/or block a crowd. These formations are more effective in urban areas than in open areas, such as parks or fields. When control force operations are employed in urban areas, it is easier to split a crowd into smaller segments, isolate instigators, or funnel the crowd into the desired location by using buildings and other man-made structures. Commanders must be mindful of the fact that well-organized crowds may attempt to move to the flanks of a formation and/or get behind the formation to gain a tactical advantage.

6-3. Commanders must be aware of the limitations of control force formations. They are not the answer to all civil disturbance situations. Do not expose the formation to sniper fire and/or unnecessary violence simply for a show of force. Control force formations should be used when it is decided that a crowd poses a threat and must be dispersed or moved to a specified area. Before dividing a large crowd, the commander must consider that this might not solve the problem. It may worsen the problem by creating smaller elements that may engage the control force in small-mob tactics, such as sniping, looting, burning, and attempting to envelop the control force. Commanders must anticipate that breakaway crowds may engage in small-mob tactics. These tactics can be defeated by area control measures, such as building searches, saturation patrolling, and other tactics. After dispersing the crowd, the control force must not assume that there will be an immediate return to peaceful activities. The use of formations is only part of the total dispersal effort.

6-4. Commanders must assess and secure the areas of operations (AOs). This may be accomplished with the use of helicopter overflights and by visually securing rooftops, high elevations, and advantage points. Designated marksmen teams may be used to secure the rooftops and provide lethal overwatch for the control formation. The control force commander must be aware that designated marksmen teams are positioned on rooftops.

6-5. Crowd control formations and their support teams have more capabilities than just crowd dispersal. They also have the capability to apprehend and detain certain members of the crowd that the commander feels may instigate the crowd to further violence. Commanders must analyze the threat, determine the mission of the control force, and decide which control force formations will accomplish the mission according to METT-TC.

6-6. During CONUS operations, there are usually no enemy forces. However, commanders must analyze and prepare for any potential opposition. The formations discussed in this chapter are guidelines and may be adapted to fit any mission or situation. Whatever the modification, soldiers must stay in position and on line. Only through training and rehearsals will soldiers become proficient in basic formation movements and be able to adjust to changing situations. Soldiers must also be prepared to employ NLW. Figure 6-1 is used as a key to identify soldiers within crowd control formations.

Figure 6-1. Symbols for a Formation Element

Actions Before Movement

6-7. Before moving the control force to the civil disturbance area and into a potentially hostile urban environment, the commander and his staff must review the preincident plans and expand them (as needed) based on current information. Because of the employment of forces against ambiguous threats, IPB becomes critical. Information is the key to developing an appropriate response to civil disturbances.

6-8. Civil disturbance training must be part of the annual unit training plan. If a soldier is deployed to an area where civil disturbances are a recurring event, sustainment training must occur more frequently. Before moving the control force to the rally point, an intense rehearsal must be conducted by the leadership and the control force. A top-down review of the rules of engagement (ROE/rules for the use of force (RUF) must be accomplished. The ROE/RUF must be part of the unit training plan and each soldier must be trained to standard (see Chapter 8). The use of NLW (type specific) must be granted to the on-site commander from the approval authority.

6-9. Information is the key to developing plans for appropriate responses to a civil disturbance, and IPB is crucial to the success of the mission. During the planning phase (see Chapter 2), the information provided by the IPB will aid the staff in selecting various routes and rally points. The selection of ingress and egress routes must include a variety of ways in and out of the area. Direct and indirect routes and those with cover and concealment are necessary. The rally point must be cleared and secured by an advanced party capable of controlling the area.

Rally Point Actions

6-10. Once at the rally point, the commander makes contact with the local police, civil authorities, or military officer. He then assesses the situation, decides the next COA, and issues orders, as appropriate. The platoon sergeant (PSG) forms the platoon into a column formation and places team leaders directly in front of their teams (see Figure 6-2). Team and squad leaders make last minute checks of their soldiers and await orders.

6-11. The commander places his lethal overwatch (designated marksmen [DM] teams) in areas that overlook the control force and the mob. They may be to the flanks and slightly to the front of the formation. It is their responsibility to protect the formation from lethal fire by constantly scanning the crowd.

6-12. When the commander receives word that DM teams are in place, he forms the control force into a crowd control formation and moves them quickly from the rally point to where the crowd is assembled. Depending on the situation, movement should be in a column formation or one of the three basic control force formations. Reserve forces are left at the rally point until ordered forward as additional lethal overwatch or to reinforce the formation.

Figure 6-2. Column Formation

Control Force Formations

6-13. Control force formations, when properly employed and executed against a crowd of limited size, are one of the most practical methods of crowd control. Experience has indicated that the most frequently used control force formations are the line, echelon, and wedge. The two lesser-used formations are the diamond and circle. Descriptions of all the formations are as follows:

·         Line formation. The line is the basic formation and it is used more often because of its offensive and defensive applications. As an offensive formation, the line is used to push or drive crowds straight back, across an open area, or up a city street. As a defensive formation, the line is used to hold the crowd or to deny access to areas.

·         Echelon formation. The echelon is an offensive formation used to turn or divert groups in open or built-up areas and to move crowds away from buildings, fences, and walls.

·         Wedge formation. The wedge is an offensive formation that is used to penetrate and split crowds into smaller groups.

·         Diamond formation. The diamond, when used as an offensive formation, is used to enter a crowd and is the formation of choice for extraction teams. As a defensive formation, the diamond is used when all-around security is required in open areas. The decision to use this formation is based on the conformation of the crowd.

·         Circular formation. The circular formation is used for the same purpose as the diamond formation. The decision to use this formation is based on the conformation of the crowd.

6-14. There are many suitable variations of control force formations that may be employed, but appropriate commands and signals must be created to execute the formations. Because of their somewhat complicated nature and the coordination required for these formations, new variations must be trained, practiced, and rehearsed before they are used in a civil disturbance.

Vehicles And Formations

6-15. Vehicles may be employed with troops in control force formations, especially when a large riotous crowd is on hand. Although vehicles add strength to formations, certain precautions must be taken. Covering the windshield with sturdy, close mesh fencing and the standard safety glass will offer some level of protection to the occupants. Shields and/or mobile barriers may be built by mounting a wooden or metal frame strung with barbed wire across the front of a vehicle. Members of the formation should walk as near to the front corners of each vehicle as possible to keep rioters from attacking the sides and rear of the vehicles.

6-16. Up-armored HMMWVs, ASVs, or armored vehicles may be employed with the control force formation when determined by METT-TC. They present a strong psychological effect and offer protection for the occupants. Wheeled armored vehicles are best because they do not deface the pavement. Whenever vehicles are used in a crowd control formation, the commander must ensure that he is still able to see and control the formation. This may require him to occupy a position in a similar vehicle behind the formation or command subordinate leaders to move away from the front line and into line-of-sight (LOS) control. This will require additional hand-and-arm signals to allow the commander and subordinate leaders to communicate. Commanders can effectively use vehicles as primary communication tools by using horns and lights as signals to organize movement or actions. However vehicles are used, it takes a good measure of training and practice to be effective.

Elements Of A Control Force Formation

6-17. Four elements make up the basic crowd control formation. They are as follows:

·         Base element. The base element is made up of two ranks. The first rank is shield holders, while the second rank contains the NLW. This is the front line of the formation.

·         Support element. The support element forms up in a column formation behind the base element and has a variety of uses. It may be used to replace base element members as needed, provide lateral or direct support, or perform extraction team operations. The support element helps the base element by performing the following three essential tasks:

§         General support. The general-support element is formed from an uncommitted squad in the platoon (generally the 2d squad). When a company is tasked as the control force element, one of the platoons becomes the general-support element. The element is in a column formation centered on and behind the main formation. From this formation, the general-support element can move to lateral or direct support, as needed.

§         Lateral support. The lateral-support element is used to protect the flanks of the formation. This is done by moving a set number of teams forward from the general-support element or by using the end teams in the formation; however, this will make your formation smaller. Once in position, these teams become part of the formation, with their riot shields facing the flanks of the formation.

§         Direct support. When direct support is ordered, the general-support element moves forward as they form their own formation. While moving forward, the squad and team leaders from the control force formation step back and allow the riot shield holders from the support element to step behind riot shield holders of the original formation. This allows the support riot shield holders to form up between and behind the riot shield holders of the original formation. Now there are two lines of riot shield holders between the crowd and NLW firers. This formation is the strongest of the formations and requires more planning and practice to master.

·         Command element. The command element contains several different members. A general configuration for the command element is the platoon leader, the PSG, a radio operator, a video recorder operator (if required), and an interpreter (if required). This element does not have a fixed location within the formation and moves about as needed.

·         Lethal overwatch element. The lethal overwatch element is a team formed from reserve security forces.

6-18. The reserve support element is not part of the control force formation until it is brought forward from the rally point to join the formation. It remains until released by the formation commander. Lethal overwatch teams are formed from the reserve force. Once lethal overwatch teams are deployed and in position, they are under the control of the formation commander. Communication between the lethal overwatch team and the formation commander is a priority because he approves target selection and engagement.

Weapon Positions

6-19. At the commander's discretion, members of the control force formation may carry their weapons in any of the positions prescribed in FM 3-21.5. However, the primary method of carrying weapons in the control force formation is at the safe-port position (see Figure 6-3). It allows the soldier to control both ends of the weapon while moving in and out of the formation and advancing on the crowd.

6-20. High-port position (see Figure 6-3) is a position of complete readiness. It is used whenever troops are in contact with a crowd that is showing resistance or not withdrawing. This is a tiring position and is hard to maintain for extended periods. Commanders must rest their troops at every opportunity by using less tiring positions.

Figure 6-3. Weapons Positions

Photo Unavailable Photo Unavailable
Safe-port arms
High-port arms

Commands

6-21. Commands are given to the control force formation orally or with hand-and-arm signals. Oral commands for the on-guard position are given in one count. All other commands are given in two counts, a preparatory command followed by a command of execution. However, oral commands cannot be relied on completely, so commanders must plan to use hand-and-arm signals too. When vehicles are part of the formation, radios become an alternate method for relaying commands. To improve communication, commanders may use hand-and-arm signals (see Figure 6-4) with oral commands. The basic commands used in control force formations are outlined in Table 6-1. These commands can be added to or combined to form more complex commands, therefore forming more complex formations.

Movements

6-22. Control force formations move in the same manner as regular formations. This allows the commander to more precisely maneuver the formation by commanding the number of steps it should move and in what direction, such as "Five Steps, Forward March." The normal rate of march for entering and leaving a control force formation is double-timing. The half-step march is used when the formation is in direct contact with the crowd. This slows the formation down and allows for better command and control. The squad and team leaders echo preparatory commands and provide cadence while in control force formations.

Interval and Distance

6-23. Interval is the lateral space between elements. Distance is the space between elements in a column. The usual interval and distance between soldiers in control force formations is 30 inches. The interval and distance can be adjusted based on METT-TC. If the crowd has to be physically pushed back, a close interval is preferred. This allows the riot shields to be overlapped, creating a stronger wall. During peaceful demonstrations, the interval could increase to double arm width, allowing the formation to cover more area and still control the crowd. The interval and distance could change several times during the course of operations before the crowd is dispersed.

Figure 6-4. Hand-and-Arm Signals

 

Table 6-1. Basic Commands

Commands for

Command

Given by

Purpose

Formations

Platoon On Line

Platoon leader and/or commander

To form a line formation.

Platoon Wedge

Platoon leader and/or commander

To form a wedge formation.

Platoon Echelon

Platoon leader and/or commander

To form an echelon formation.

Platoon Diamond

Platoon leader and/or commander

To form a diamond formation.

Platoon Circle

Platoon leader and/or commander

To form a circular formation.

Move

Platoon leader and/or commander

As a command of execution.
NOTE: The platoon leader and/or commander also identifies the location for the formation by pointing his arm to the desired location for the formation.

Support

General Support

Platoon leader and/or commander

To place a specified unit in the rear of the base element.

Lateral Support

Platoon leader and/or commander

To place support elements on the left or right flank of the base element.

Direct Support

Platoon leader and/or commander

To move support elements forward to strengthen the base element.

Open

Extraction team leader

To open a space in the formation.

Up

Extraction team leader

To inform the extraction team to start moving back to the main formation.

Fire

 

Weapon System Gunners, Number of Rounds, Type of Round, and Prepare to Fire

Platoon leader and/or commander

To ready NL gunners to fire weapons; for example, M203 gunners, three rounds, area target, prepare to fire.

Shield Down

NL gunners

To tell riot shield holders to get down on one knee and lower the riot shield to the ground.

Shield Up

NL gunners

To tell riot shield holders to stand and raise the riot shield.

Weapons

Port Arms

Platoon leader and/or commander

To use when not in contact with the crowd.

High Port

Platoon leader and/or commander

To tell NL gunners what position to hold their weapons in while the formation is in physical contact with the crowd. This allows for rapid targeting and firing of NL munitions.

 

Extraction Team Operations

6-24. The extraction team is a squad (see Figure 6-5) that is generally formed from the support element, but could also be formed from reserve security forces. Once the team is formed, it is OPCON to the formation commander until the team's mission is complete and it returns to the rear of the formation. This team provides the riot control formation with the means to employ NL and lethal cover forward of the formation. It also provides the formation with the ability to remove and detain rioters downed by munitions.

Figure 6-5. Extraction Team Formation

 

The extraction team—

  • Extracts vehicles or personnel that are in immediate danger from the crowd.

  • Detains and escorts downed rioters to the rear of the formation.

  • Restrains and searches subjects.

  • Covers confined or congested areas where a full riot control formation cannot be inserted.

6-25. The extraction team is usually a squad. While the recommended distance for deploying the extraction team from the control force formation is no farther than 10 meters, this may change based on METT-TC. The control formation protects the extraction team and provides immediate support, if necessary.

6-26. The extraction team may deploy from anywhere within the formation. When given orders to deploy, the squad leader of the extraction team gives the formation commands, identifies at least two personnel in the squad to conduct the search and apprehension of the subject, and leads the squad to the base line of the formation. He then extends his arm between the two riot shield holders and commands, "Open," while tapping the riot shield holders on the side of the shoulder. The two riot shield holders take one step backward and one step to the right or left. This clears a path for the extraction team. The extraction team leader then states the number of personnel leaving the formation, such as "Ten security personnel leaving." As the last extraction team member exits the formation he states, "Last Man." The two riot shield holders then return to their original position in the formation. The adjacent base element squad and/or team leaders pass the number of personnel in the team through the formation.

6-27. As the extraction team approaches an instigator or incapacitated demonstrator, the riot shield holders envelop the target and face in the direction of the nearest threat. NL gunners on the left and right cover their respective areas. The search and apprehension team immediately controls and restrains the target. To avoid confusion, one team member concentrates on controlling the subject while another team member applies a restraining system. When the search and apprehension team has the subject under control, the extraction squad leader sounds off with, "Up." Upon hearing the "Up" command, it is repeated by all extraction team members. Team members then grab a shoulder of the team member in front of them to backtrack into the formation. As the extraction team approaches the formation, the nearest base element leader will extend his arm and command, "Open," while tapping the riot shield holders on the side of the shoulder. The riot shield holders move one step backward and to the right or left to open the formation. As he enters the formation, the extraction team leader sounds off with the number of personnel entering the formation, such as "Ten security personnel and one demonstrator." The adjacent base element leader counts the number of personnel as they enter the formation. When the last man enters the formation, he states, "Last Man." The riot shield holders then return to their original places in the formation. The adjacent squad and team leaders in the base element pass information through formation that the extraction team has returned.

Lethal Overwatch Teams

6-28. During a NL engagement, the use of a DM team provides confidence and safety to those facing the mob. If a lethal threat is presented, the DM team in an overwatch position (armed with a standard infantry rifle that is mounted with a high-powered scope) can scan the crowd, identify agitators and riot leaders for apprehension, or fire lethal fire if so ordered or warranted. It is also ideally suited for flank and countersniper operations.

6-29. The DM team sets the security overwatch and provides real-time intelligence and reporting that is vital to mission success. It provides coverage during the entire approach to the crowd, and its ability to select positions and provide cover fire (if and when warranted) is critical to the safety of the control force. Successful execution requires training, practice, and rehearsal with the control force formation.

6-30. The DM team is organized from a standard three- or four-man team. Each individual on the team is equipped with a standard-issue weapon. One individual has an infantry rifle with a scope, another has a set of binoculars, and two other individuals provide security for the team. Each team is equipped with a radio for communication with the HQ element of the control force formation.

6-31. The teams must have a visual advantage over the crowd to provide lethal protection to the formation. This is best accomplished by placing them on nearby rooftops, in the upper floors of buildings, and on hilltops. They must have the optical equipment to identify mob leaders, instigators, and/or individuals with weapons. Team integrity must be maintained. In organizations with three-man teams, one individual becomes the marksman, another the observer, and another the security. When teams have a 4th member, that individual becomes the video camera operator. This will help identify individuals for later apprehension and provides a record of events.

6-32. Two teams should be deployed to cover the flanks of the formation. Each team should be deployed to a position that is in front of the formation and in an overwatch position. As the formation moves forward, the teams leapfrog forward from the formation.

6-33. The reserve forces, located at the rally point, can provide another lethal force of some size that can be brought forward, as needed. Each soldier in the control force formation should have a sidearm (9-millimeter pistol) or an M16 or M4 rifle. The rifle is slung diagonally across his back with the rifle butt over his left shoulder and the muzzle below his right hip. Lethal munitions are in a separate ammunition pouch that is isolated from NL munitions. This is to prevent the mixing of NL and lethal ammunition.

6-34. Once the lethal overwatch teams are deployed, they are under the OPCON of the formation commander. The lethal overwatch element must have direct and secure communications with the formation commander. The number of teams deployed is based on METT-TC. Teams will leapfrog to keep ahead of the advancing control force formation with one team in the overwatch position at all times.

Reserve Forces

6-35. A large reserve of soldiers should be maintained during civil disturbance operations. Knowing that a large reserve force is available provides confidence and safety within the control force and helps prevent them from overreacting to provocative acts with disorderly and criminal elements in the crowd. When determining the number of reserve forces required, it should be resolved in favor of a large number. Lethal overwatch teams, forces to augment the control force, and apprehension teams come from the reserve forces.

6-36. Apprehension teams are a must when it is likely that a large number of people will be apprehended. These teams provide an organized response to what could be a chaotic situation. The teams can be organized at the team or squad level, depending on the number of apprehensions expected. These teams usually operate behind the base element. During peaceful demonstrations, these teams can be sent forward to remove demonstrators who refuse to disperse.

6-37. Each team consists of an apprehension, movement, and security element (added if the control force cannot provide security); a recorder; and a video or still photographer. The apprehension element is an officer or NCO and a civilian police officer (CONUS or OCONUS) or US marshal. It decides who will be apprehended, informs the subject of the reasons, supervises the handling of the subject, and ensures that the apprehension is properly conducted and documented. The apprehension team is responsible for the overall apprehension process, limiting the number of individuals appearing in court to document the apprehension. The movement element helps the apprehension element handle the subject. They move, restrain, and search the individuals being apprehended under the supervision of the apprehension element. The security element prevents the crowd from interfering with the mission. The recorder documents the apprehension on DD Form 2708 . When possible, the video and/or still photographer recorder photographs each subject with the apprehension element. This provides the apprehension element with the necessary documentation for use in court. One individual may need to conduct many of the duties of an apprehension team based on METT-TC.

6-38. The video and/or still photographer record the situation before, during, and after the apprehensions. These images may also be used as pictorial documentation for use in court. It is possible that the presence of video and still cameras actively recording the situation can cause crowd members to be less prone to unruly or criminal acts.

6-39. The behavior of the selected individual to be apprehended is observed to decide if the subject is violent, cooperative, or passive. Unless there is good reason to believe otherwise, the subject must be considered dangerous. The mood of the crowd is observed to estimate what it might do. Is it only curious onlookers or does it support the individual targeted for apprehension? Will it interfere?

6-40. When apprehending an individual, the actions must be kept as simple as the situation allows. The element of surprise can give the apprehension team an advantage over the apprehended individual. It is best not to use surprise if the individual might panic and injure someone. Select an area for the apprehension that is to the advantage of the team and not the individual. Avoid apprehensions in crowded areas as these areas provide many avenues of escape and contain supporters of the apprehended individual.

6-41. All verbal commands given to the apprehended individual must convincing authority with short, clear, and distinct commands. Voice, attitude, and deportment must convey an expectation that the apprehended individual will comply.

6-42. The individual should be searched immediately; however, circumstances (violence or sympathizers for the individual being apprehended) may dictate temporarily postponing the search until the individual can be moved to a safer area. Flex-Cufs or hand irons may be applied .

Squad Formations

6-43. Civil disturbance training is a collective task. Using team and squad concepts, team leaders instruct their teams and squad leaders instruct their squads. Safety is key when using force on force training for the control force formation. Soldiers must understand that serious injuries may occur if they do not follow guidelines set by the commander.

6-44. The smallest formation is a squad formation, which is used in back of the main formation to cover side streets. Squad members must know their positions regardless of which control force formation they are in, squad to company.

6-45. Training must enforce soldiers' understanding of the need to stay informed for individual protection. Individual soldiers are much more vulnerable to attack when they break ranks and chase after crowd members. When an individual soldier breaks ranks he not only puts himself in danger, but the entire formation.

6-46. When moving a squad into a crowd control formation from a column formation, the squad leader takes one or more steps to the right of the squad and faces it. He gives the command and hand-and-arm signal for the formation he wants. Then he indicates where he wants the formation located by pointing in that general direction. The A team leader commands, "Follow Me." He places the baseman at the position indicated by the squad leader. The squad forms on the baseman position.

Line Formation

6-47. The command for forming a squad in a line formation is "Squad Line Formation, Move." On the command of execution, the A team leader leads the baseman to the place indicated by the squad leader. The squad members align themselves in sequence with the baseman at normal intervals (see Figure 6-6). Based on the situation, the squad leader may designate a specific interval. He does this when he gives the preparatory command. If no interval is specified, the squad automatically forms using the normal interval.

Figure 6-6. Squad Line Formation

Echelon formation

6-48. The command for having a squad form in an echelon formation is "Squad Echelon Right (or Left), Move" (see Figure 6-7). On the command of execution, the A team leader places the baseman at the location indicated by the squad leader. The squad members align themselves in sequence with the baseman, one pace to the side and one pace to the rear.

Figure 6-7. Squad Echelons Left and Right Formations

Wedge formation

6-49. The command for moving a squad formation into a wedge formation is "Squad Wedge, Move." On the command of execution, the A team leader moves the baseman to the place indicated by the squad leader. The A team lines up to the left of the baseman, one pace to the left and one pace to the rear of each preceding man. B team members align themselves with the baseman, one pace to the right and one pace to the rear of each preceding man. C team members align themselves in the same way to the left of the baseman (see Figure 6-8).

Figure 6-8. Squad Wedge Formation

Assembly

6-50. When assembling a squad from the line formation, the squad leader takes a position a sufficient distance to the rear of the squad and commands, "Squad Assemble." At the same time, he raises his right hand in the air and makes a circular motion. Squad members, who hear the command, automatically come to the port arms position. The A team leader and the baseman do an about-face movement.

6-51. The other squad members face toward the baseman. On the command of execution "Move," the squad leader points to the place where he wants the squad to assemble. The A team leader double-times to the designated spot, and the other members of the squad follow him. Team leaders fall into the file in their designated positions as they move to the AA. To assemble from a squad echelon formation, the steps are the same as a line formation.

6-52. To assemble from a squad wedge formation, the squad leader takes the same steps as for the line and echelon formations. B team members do a half left face, and the A team and C team members do a half right face. The C team pauses at the baseman position and allows the B team to clear the formation before moving to the AA.

Diamond And Circle formations

6-53. The diamond and circle formations are used during extraction team operations. They are small formations used to penetrate the crowd or cover small areas. The decision on which formation to use is based on METT-TC and the ability of the squad to perform.

6-54. Commands for forming a squad in a diamond or circle formation is "Squad Diamond (or Circle), Move." On the command of execution, the A team leader moves the baseman to the place indicated by the squad leader. The A team lines up to the left of the baseman, covering the 8 to 12 o'clock positions. B team members align themselves to the right of the baseman, covering the 12 to 4 o'clock positions. C team members align themselves covering the 4 to 8 o'clock positions (see Figure 6-9).

Figure 6-9. Squad Diamond or Circle Formation

6-55. To assemble from a squad diamond or circle formation, the squad leader takes the same steps as he would for a line formation. The A team leads the squad to the AA followed by the B team and then the C team. Teams fall into a column formation as they file back to the AA.

Three-squad Platoon Formations

6-56. The platoon HQ consists of the following individuals: the platoon leader, the PSG, and a messenger or radio operator. When directed by the platoon leader, other individuals such as the selected marksman, interpreter, RCA disperser operators, and firefighters may augment the platoon HQ. In forming all control force formations from the column, the platoon leader moves to the right of the platoon and faces them when giving his commands. He gives the hand-and-arm signal and the preparatory command. On the command of execution "Move," he points to the approximate location where he wants the platoon to form. The platoon leader pauses between the preparatory command and the command of execution to allow each squad leader to issue a preparatory command to his squad.

Platoon Line Formation

6-57. The command for forming a platoon line is "Platoon on Line, Move." Immediately following the platoon leader's preparatory command, the squad leaders of the 1st and 3d squads give the command, "Follow Me." The leader of the 2d squad gives the command, "Stand Fast." On the platoon leader's command of execution, the 1st and 3d squads move forward to the point designated by the platoon leader. The 1st team member of the 1st squad is the baseman for the platoon formation. The 1st squad forms a squad line to the left of the baseman while the 3d squad forms a squad line to the right of the baseman and dresses with the 1st squad. After the 1st and 3d squads have cleared the platoon, the 2d squad leader gives the command, "Follow Me." The 2d squad splits and the A and B teams form a line to the right of the 3d squad. The C team (with the squad leader) forms a line to the left of the 1st squad (see Figure 6-10).

Figure 6-10. Platoon Line Formation

Assembling From a Platoon Line Formation

6-58. When assembling the platoon from the platoon line formation, the platoon leader and his HQ personnel take a position to the rear of the platoon. He then gives the command, "Platoon Assemble," while raising his right arm and making a circular motion above his head. Platoon members automatically assume the port arms position. The 1st squad leader and the baseman do an about face. The 3d squad leader moves to the head of his squad. All other members do an about-face movement toward the baseman. On the platoon leader's command of execution, the platoon leader points to where he wants the platoon to assemble. The 1st squad leader gives the command, "Follow Me," and moves his squad toward the AA. The squad moves to make a single file line to the baseman position followed by the C team of the 2d squad. As the 1st squad clears the baseman position, the 2d squad leader comes to a halt at the baseman position. The 3d squad leader gives the command, "Follow Me," and leads his squad to the AA followed by the A and B teams of the 2d squad. The A team leader of the 2d squad comes to a halt at the baseman position. Once the 3d squad has cleared the baseman position, the 2d squad leader gives the command, "Follow Me," and leads his squad to the AA. The 2d squad reassembles into their original column formation as they move to the AA. As the 1st squad comes to a halt (facing the crowd) in the AA, the 3d squad dresses with the 1st squad and leaves space for the 2d squad to return to its place in the formation. Once the platoon is formed into a column formation, HQ personnel take their position in the formation. The PSG then gives the command, "Countercolumn March," and moves the platoon to the rally point.

Platoon Line Formation With General Support

6-59. Whenever the command for establishing a crowd control formation contains the phrase "In Support" (without modification), it means that the support element is to remain in general support.

6-60. The command for forming a platoon line with the 2d squad in general support is "Platoon Line, 2d Squads in Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads of the platoon line with general support execute the line, while the 2d squad remains in the column (see Figure 6-11). To assemble a platoon with a squad in general support, the procedure is the same as the platoon line, except that the 1st and 3d squads dress with the 2d squad.

Figure 6-11. Platoon Line Formation With General Support

Platoon Line Formation With Lateral Support

6-61. The command for forming a platoon line with one squad in lateral support is "Platoon Line, 2d Squad in Lateral Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads execute the line as before, and the 2d squad stands fast. After the line has been formed, the 2d squad leader gives the command, "Follow Me." The A and B teams move to the right flank while the squad leader and the C team move to the left flank of the formation. The 2d squad forms columns behind the last men on the line formation. If no direction is given, the 2d squad splits to cover both flanks. A squad may be used to cover one flank by giving the command, "2d Squad Right (or Left) Lateral Support" (see Figure 6-12).

Figure 6-12. Platoon Line Formation With Lateral Support (Right)

6-62. The 2d squad may be moved from general to lateral support at any time by the platoon leader. The platoon leader commands, "2d Squad, Lateral Support, Move." To have the 2d squad join the line from either support position, the platoon leader commands, "2d Squad, Extend the Line, Move." The 2d squad leader commands, "Follow Me." On the command of execution, the squads set up individual lines, closing and dressing on the existing line. To assemble the platoon from a platoon line with lateral support, follow the same steps as for the platoon line.

Platoon Line Formation With Direct Support

6-63. The command for forming a platoon line with one squad in direct support is "Platoon Line, 2d Squad in Direct Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads execute a line as before. The 2d squad executes a squad line directly to the rear and centered on the 1st line. The men in the supporting line cover the intervals between the men in the 1st line. To do this, the squad and team leaders of the 1st and 3d squads must take two steps to the rear to allow space for the 2d squad to move into place. After seeing the squad and team leaders move back from the line, the 2d squad leader commands, "Follow Me," and leads his squad into position (see Figure 6-13).

Figure 6-13. Platoon Line Formation With Direct Support

6-64. To assemble a platoon with direct support, the procedure is the same as the platoon line, except that the 2d squad moves to the AA first. To assemble the support squads from any position to general support, the platoon leader commands, "2d Squad in Support, Move." The 2d squad then returns to a column behind the line formed by the other two squads.

Platoon Echelon Right and Left Formations

6-65. The command for forming a platoon echelon right is "Platoon Echelon Right, Move." After the platoon leader's preparatory command, the squad leader of the 1st squad commands, "Follow Me." The squad leaders of the 2d and 3d squads command, "Stand Fast." On the command of execution, the 1st squad moves out and executes an echelon right at the location designated by the platoon leader. As the 1st squad clears the column, the 3d and 2d squads extend the echelon. The 2d squad performs support to this formation in the same ways it supports a line formation.

6-66. The command for forming a platoon echelon left is "Platoon Echelon Left, Move." The platoon echelon right is formed in the same manner as the echelon left (see Figure 6-14). Figures 6-15, 6-16, and 6-17 show support formations in a left echelon.

Figure 6-14. Platoon Echelon Left Formation

 

 

Figure 6-15. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With 2d Squad in
General Support

 

 

Figure 6-16. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With 2d Squad in
Lateral Support

 

 

Figure 6-17. Platoon Echelon Left With 2d Squad in Direct Support

6-67. To assemble the platoon, the commander takes his position to the rear of the formation with the platoon HQ. On the preparatory command, "Platoon Assemble," the 1st squad leader does an about-face movement while all other members assume the port arms position and face the baseman. On the command, "Move," the 1st squad moves first, followed by the 3d and 2d squads. Each squad dresses with the 1st squad as it reaches the AA. The assembly of the echelon right formation is the same as the echelon left.

Platoon Wedge Formation

6-68. The command for forming the platoon wedge formation is "Platoon Wedge, Move." After the platoon leader's preparatory command, the squad leaders of the 1st and 3d squads command, "Follow Me." At the same time, the 2d squad leader commands, "Stand Fast." On the platoon leader's command of execution, the 1st and 4th squads move directly to the front. The 1st squad executes an echelon left on the baseman while the 3d squad executes an echelon right. When the last man of the 1st and 4th squads clear the 2d squad, the 2d squad leader commands, "Follow Me," and moves out to the left and right. The 2d squad splits and the A and B teams go to the right and the C team goes to the left to extend the formation (see Figure 6-18). Assembly of the wedge formation is the same as the platoon line.

Figure 6-18. Platoon Wedge Formation

Platoon Wedge Formation With General Support

6-69. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d Squad in Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads execute the wedge while the 2d squad remains in a column formation (see Figure 6-19).

Figure 6-19. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d Squad in General Support

Platoon Wedge Formation With Lateral Support

6-70. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with lateral support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d Squad in Lateral Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads execute the wedge while the 2d squad stands fast. After the 1st and 3d squads have cleared the column, the 2d squad leader commands, "Follow Me." If no direction is given, the 2d squad splits to cover both flanks. A squad may be used to cover one flank by commanding, "2d Squad Right (or Left) Lateral Support" (see Figures 6-20 and 6-21).

Figure 6-20. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d Squad in Lateral Support

 

 

Figure 6-21. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d Squad in Right Lateral Support

6-71. To move the 2d squad from general support to lateral support, the platoon leader commands, "2d Squad, Lateral Support, Move." To have the 2d squad join the wedge from general or lateral support, the platoon leader commands, "2d Squad, Extend the Wedge, Move." To extend the wedge, the 2d squad splits and the teams move to the left and right, respectively.

Platoon Wedge Formation With Direct Support

6-72. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with the 2d squad in direct support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d Squad in Direct Support, Move." The 1st and 3d squads execute a wedge. The 2d squad waits for the squad and/or team leaders to move to the rear, as in the line formation, before executing a wedge directly behind and centered on the main formation. The individuals in the supporting wedge cover the intervals between individuals in the leading wedge (see Figure 6-22).

Figure 6-22. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d Squad in Direct Support

Platoon Diamond and Circle Formations

6-73. These formations are used in open areas or where the crowd may be able to envelop the formation. The diamond and circle formations are primarily defensive in nature and difficult to maneuver. The decision about which formation to use is based on the ability of the platoon to perform them. The command for having a platoon form in a diamond or circle formation is "Platoon Diamond (or Circle), Move." On the command of execution, the 1st squad leader moves the baseman to the place indicated by the squad leader. The baseman becomes the 12 o'clock position while the 1st squad lines up to the left of the baseman covering the 8 to 12 o'clock positions. The 3d squad aligns itself to the right of the baseman, covering the 12 to 4 o'clock positions and the 2d squad aligns itself, covering the 4 to 8 o'clock positions (see Figures 6-23 and 6-24).

Figure 6-23. Platoon Diamond Formation

 

 

Figure 6-24. Platoon Circle Formation

6-74. To assemble from a platoon diamond or circle formation, the HQ element takes the same steps as that of a line formation. The 1st squad leads the platoon back to the AA followed by the 2d and 3d squads. Squads fall into a column formation as they file back to the AA.

Relief ELEMENTS IN PLACE

6-75. During crowd control operations, the platoon leader may rotate his squads to give them a rest. He is not limited to using only those squads specified in the preceding examples as the lead elements of the formations. He can replace the base elements by commanding direct support to the 1st squad and then directing the 1st squad into general support. The support element (the 2d squad) then passes through the 1st squad. Once the 2d squad is formed directly behind the 1st squad, the 1st squad leader commands, "Right Face." The members of the 1st squad do a right-face movement and the 2d squad steps quickly though the 1st squad and forms the base formation. The 1st squad leader then commands, "Follow Me," and leads his squad to the general support position. This procedure is often necessary when protective masks are used and chemical irritants employed. The 1st squad then replaces the 3d squad in the same manner. Platoons participating in company operations are relieved in the same manner.

Four-Squad Platoon Formations

6-76. When forming control force formations from the column, the platoon leader moves to the right of the platoon and faces it when giving his commands. He gives the hand-and-arm signal and the preparatory command. On the command of execution, "Move," he points to the approximate location where he wants the platoon to form. The platoon leader pauses between the preparatory command and the command of execution to allow each squad leader to issue a preparatory command to his squad.

Platoon Line Formation

6-77. The command for forming a platoon line formation is "Platoon Line, Move." Immediately following the platoon leader's preparatory command, the squad leaders of the 1st and 4th squads command, "Follow Me." The squad leaders of the 2d and 3d squads command, "Stand Fast." On the platoon leader's command of execution, the 1st and 4th squads move forward to the point designated by the platoon leader. The 1st A team member of the 1st squad is the baseman for the platoon formation. The 1st squad forms a squad line to the left of the baseman and the 4th squad forms a squad line to the right of the baseman with all lines dressed to the right. After the 1st and 4th squads have cleared the platoon, the 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me." The 2d squad forms a squad line to the left of the 1st squad. The 3d squad forms a squad line to the right of the 4th squad. All squads dress with the 4th squad (see Figure 6-25).

Figure 6-25. Platoon Line Formation With Four Squads

Platoon Line Formation Assembly

6-78. When assembling from the platoon line formation, the platoon leader and his HQ personnel take a position to the rear of the platoon. He then gives the command, "Platoon Assemble," while raising his right arm and making a circular motion above his head. Platoon members automatically assume the port arms position. The 1st squad leader and the baseman do an about-face movement. All other platoon members do an about-face movement toward the baseman. On the platoon leader's command of execution, he points to where he wants the platoon to assemble. He commands, "Follow Me," and moves his squad toward the AA. The 1st squad files to the baseman position, followed by the 2d squad. As the 2d squad clears the baseman position, the 4th squad leader then commands, "Follow Me," and leads his squad to the AA, followed by the 3d squad. As the 1st squad comes to a halt facing the crowd in the AA, the 2d squad assumes its position to the right of the 1st squad. As the 4th squad assembles, it dresses on the 1st squad, leaving space for the 3d squad to return to its place in the formation. Once the platoon is formed into a column formation, HQ personnel take their position in the formation. The PSG then commands, "Countercolumn, March," and moves the platoon to the rally point.

Platoon Line Formation With General Support

6-79. Whenever the command for establishing a crowd control formation contains the phrase "In Support Without Modification," it means that the support element is to remain in general support. The command for forming a platoon line with two squads in general support is "Platoon Line, 2d and 3d Squads in Support, Move." The 1st and 4th squads execute the line, while the 2d and 3d squads remain in the column (see Figure 6-26). To assemble a platoon with two squads in general support, the procedure is the same as that of the platoon line, except that the 1st and 4th squads dress on with the 2d and 3d squads.

Figure 6-26. Platoon Line Formation With d and 3d Squads in General Support

Platoon Line Formation With Lateral Support

6-80. The command for forming a platoon line formation with two squads in lateral support is "Platoon Line, 2d and 3d Squads in Lateral Support, Move." The 4th and 1st squads execute the line as before, and the 2d and 3d squads stand fast. After the line has been formed, the squad leaders of the 2d and 3d squads command, "Follow Me." The 2d squad forms a column behind the last man of the 1st squad. The 3d squad forms a column behind the last man of the 4th squad (see Figure 6-27).

Figure 6-27. Platoon Line Formation With 2d and 3d Squads in Lateral Support

6-81. Squads may be moved from general support to lateral support at any time by the platoon leader. He commands, "2d and 3d Squads, Lateral Support, Move." To have the 2d and 3d squads join the line from either support position, the platoon leader commands, "2d and 3d Squads, Extend the Line, Move." The 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me." On the command of execution, the squads set up individual lines, closing and dressing with the existing line. To assemble the platoon from a platoon line with lateral support, the procedure is the same as that of the platoon line, except lateral support squads face forward until they move to the AA.

Platoon Line Formation With Direct Support

6-82. The command for forming a platoon line with two squads in direct support is "Platoon Line, 2d and 3d Squads in Direct Support, Move." The 1st and 4th squads execute a line as before. The 2d and 3d squads execute a 2d line directly to the rear and centered on the 1st line. The members in the direct support line cover the intervals between members in the baseline. To do this, the squad and team leaders of the 1st and 4th squads must take two steps to the rear to allow space for the 2d and 3d squads to move into place. After seeing the squad and team leaders move back from the line, 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me," and lead their squads into position (see Figure 6-28).

Figure 6-28. Platoon Line Formation With 2d and 3d Squads in Direct Support

6-83. To assemble the support squads from any position to general support, the platoon leader commands, "2d and 3d Squads in Support, Move." The 2d and 3d squads then return to a column behind the line formed by the 1st and 4th squads. To assemble the entire platoon, the procedure is the same as that of a platoon line, except that the 2d squad moves to the AA first, followed by the 3d, 1st, and 4th squads.

Platoon Line Formation With One Support Squad

6-84. The command for forming a platoon line formation with one squad in support is "Platoon Line, 3d Squad in Support, Move." The 1st squad moves out and executes a squad line. The 2d and 4th squads form a line on the side of the left and rights sides of the 1st squad. The 3d squad remains in column formation. The support squad may be used in lateral support on one or both sides of the formation or in direct support of any segment of the formation. To assemble the platoon, the procedure is the same as that of a platoon line, except that all squads dress with the 3d squad.

Platoon Echelon Right and Left Formations

6-85. The command for forming a platoon echelon right formation is "Platoon Echelon Right, Move." After the platoon leader's preparatory command, the squad leader of the 1st squad commands, "Follow Me." The squad leaders of the 2d, 3d, and 4th squads command, "Stand Fast." On the command of execution, the 1st squad moves out and executes an echelon right at the location designated by the platoon leader. As each squad clears the column, the next successive squad moves out and extends the echelon that has been formed. To assemble the platoon, the procedure is the same as that of a platoon line, except that all squads file back in order.

6-86. The command for forming a platoon echelon left formation is "Platoon Echelon Left, Move." The platoon echelon left is formed in the same manner as the echelon right, but in reverse order (see Figure 6-29). To assemble the platoon, the procedure is the same as that of an echelon right. See Figures 6-30, 6-31, and 6-32 for examples of echelon formations with support.

Figure 6-29. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With Four Squads

 

 

Figure 6-30. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With 2d and
3d Squads in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-31. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With
2d Squad in Lateral Support

 

 

Figure 6-32. Platoon Echelon Left Formation With 2d and 3d Squads in Direct Support

Platoon Wedge Formation

6-87. The command for forming the platoon wedge formation is "Platoon Wedge, Move." After the platoon leader's preparatory command, the 1st and 4th squad leaders command, "Follow Me." At the same time, the 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Stand Fast." On the platoon leader's command of execution, the 1st and 4th squads move directly to the front. When the last members of the 1st and 4th squads clear the 2d and 3d squads, the 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me," and move out to the left and right. The 1st squad executes an echelon left on the baseman and the 4th squad executes an echelon right. The 2d squad forms an echelon left on the last man of the 1st squad. The 3d squad forms an echelon right on the last man of the 4th squad. This completes the wedge formation (see Figure 6-33). To assemble the platoon, the procedure is the same as that of a platoon line.

Figure 6-33. Platoon Wedge Formation With Four Squads

Platoon Wedge Formation With General Support

6-88. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with two squads in support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d and 3d Squads in Support, Move." The 1st and 4th squads execute the wedge while the 2d and 3d squads remain in column formation (see Figure 6-34).

Figure 6-34. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d and 3d Squads in General Support

Platoon Wedge Formation With Lateral Support

6-89. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with lateral support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d and 3d Squads in Lateral Support, Move." The 1st and 4th squads execute the wedge while the 2d and 3d squads stand fast. After the 1st and 4th squads have cleared the column, the 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me," and move out to the left and right. The 2d squad forms a column formation behind the last man of the 1st squad. The 3d squad forms a column formation behind the last man of the 4th squad (see Figure 6-35).

Figure 6-35. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d and 3d Squads in Lateral Support

6-90. To move the 2d and 3d squads from general to lateral support, the platoon leader commands, "2d and 3d Squads, Lateral Support, Move." To have the 2d and 3d squads join the wedge from general or lateral support, the platoon leader commands, "2d and 3d Squads, Extend the Wedge, Move." The 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me," and move out to the left and right to extend the wedge on the 1st and 4th squads.

Platoon Wedge Formation With Direct Support

6-91. The command for forming a platoon wedge with two squads in direct support is "Platoon Wedge, 2d and 3d Squads in Direct Support, Move." The 1st and 4th squads execute a wedge. The 2d and 3d squads execute a wedge and close in on the leading wedge. The members in the supporting wedge cover the intervals between members in the leading wedge. To do this, the squad and team leaders of the 1st and 4th squads must take two steps to the rear to allow space for the 2d and 3d squads to move into place. After seeing the squad and team leaders move back from the line, the 2d and 3d squad leaders command, "Follow Me," and lead their squads into position (See Figure 6-36). To move the 2d and 3d squads back to general support, the platoon leader commands, "2d and 3d Squads Support, Move." Then the 2d and 3d squads move to their general support positions. To assemble a platoon from a platoon wedge with direct support, the procedure is the same as that of a platoon wedge, except that the 2d squad assembles first, followed by the 3d, 1st, and 4th squads.

Figure 6-36. Platoon Wedge Formation With 2d and 3d
Squads in Direct Support

Platoon Wedge Formation With One Support Squad

6-92. The command for forming a platoon wedge formation with one squad in support is "Platoon Wedge, 3d Squad in Support, Move." The 1st squad moves out and executes a squad wedge. The 2d and 4th squads form echelons left and right on the 1st squad. The 3d squad remains in the column formation.

Platoon Diamond and Circle Formations

6-93. The platoon diamond and circle formations are used in open areas or where the crowd may be able to envelop the formation. They are primarily defensive in nature and hard to maneuver. The decision concerning which formation to use is based on the ability of the platoon to perform them. The command for having a platoon form in a diamond or circle formation is "Platoon Diamond (or Circle), Move." On the command of execution, the 1st squad leader moves the baseman to the location indicated by the squad leader. The baseman becomes the 12 o'clock position. The 1st squad lines up to the left of the baseman covering the 9 to 12 o'clock positions. The 4th squad aligns themselves to the right of the baseman covering the 12 to 3 o'clock positions. The 3d squad aligns itself covering the 3 to 6 o'clock positions. The 2d squad aligns itself covering the 6 to 9 o'clock positions.

6-94. To assemble a platoon from a platoon diamond or circle formation, the HQ element uses the same procedures as that of a line formation. The 1st squad leads the platoon back to the AA followed by the 2d, 3d, and 4th squads. The squads fall into a column formation as they file back to the AA.

COMPANY FORMATIONS

6-95. When a company commander orders his company into control force formations from a column, he moves to the left near the head of the column so he can be seen by the platoon leaders. He then faces the company. As he gives his preparatory command, he points to where he wants the formation. If he does not indicate a location, the company forms immediately in front of the lead platoon.

Relieving Elements in Place

6-96. During crowd control operations, the platoon leader may rotate his squads to give them a rest. See paragraph 6-76.

Company Line in Depth Formation

6-97. The command for forming a company line in depth formation (see Figure 6-37) is "Company Line in Depth, Move." After the company commander's preparatory command, each platoon leader gives the command, "Platoon Line." The squad leaders follow with their commands to their squads to form the platoon line. On the command of execution, each platoon establishes a platoon line immediately to its front.

Figure 6-37. Company Line in Depth Formation

6-98. If the commander wants a more formidable formation, he commands, "2d Platoon, Direct Support, Move." The squad and team leaders from the 1st platoon take two steps backward. The 2d platoon moves forward and covers the intervals between the members of the lead platoon. The platoon leader of the 3d platoon then moves his platoon forward to occupy the position formerly held by the 2d platoon.

6-99. If the 3d platoon is called on to support the company line, it moves forward and takes up a position directly behind the 2d platoon in the same manner. Platoon leaders and PSGs help each other in controlling the company.

Company Line in Mass Formation

6-100. The command for forming a company line in mass formation is "Company Line in Mass, Move" (see Figure 6-38). The company line in mass is the same as a company line with both platoons in direct support. Instead of forming it in stages, the company commander indicates his desire for this formation in his initial command. The platoons each form a line, and the 2d and 3d platoons close on the 1st platoon without further command.

 

Figure 6-38. Company Line in Mass Formation

Company Line Formation With Support

6-101. In company formations, the 1st platoon usually forms the lead element and the 2d and 3d platoons provide support (see Figures 6-39, 6-40, and 6-41). The support platoons can be employed in the same manner as the support squads in platoon formations. One platoon can be relieved from the lead element by another platoon while in formation by having a support platoon pass through the lead platoon.

 

Figure 6-39. Company Line in Mass Formation With One Platoon in Depth

 

 

Figure 6-40. Company Line in Mass Formation With One Platoon in Lateral Support

 

 

Figure 6-41. Company Line, One Platoon in Lateral Support and
One Platoon in General Support

Company Echelons and Wedge Formations

6-102. Company echelons (see Figures 6-42, 6-43, 6-44, and 6-45) and company wedge formations (see Figures 6-46; 6-47, 6-48, and 6-49) are formed in the same manner and with the same variations as the company line formation. A company assembles from a crowd control formation in the same manner as a platoon or a squad does. However, due to the size of company formations, the commander must consider the area that the company is operating in when he assembles the company. If he follows the guidelines of platoon assembly, he will have no difficulty. When assembling the company, the commander takes a position to the rear of the formation and commands, "Company Assemble." The platoon leaders take charge of their respective platoons. Usually, the 3d platoon assembles first, just behind the formation. After the 3d platoon is assembled, the 2d platoon assembles in front of the 3d platoon and the 1st platoon assembles in front of the 2d. All platoons assemble facing the commander. The 2d and 3d platoons then dress with the 1st platoon. As each platoon is assembled, they are ordered to port arms by the platoon leader to await further orders from the commander. If four platoons are used, the 4th platoon assembles first.

Figure 6-42. Company Echelon Right Formation With One Platoon in Lateral Support and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-43. Company Echelon Right in Mass Formation With One Platoon in Lateral Support and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-44. Company Echelon Right in Mass Formation With One
Platoon in Lateral Support

 

 

Figure 6-45. Company Echelon Right in Mass Formation With
One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-46. Company Wedge Formation With Two Platoons in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-47. Company Wedge Formation With One Platoon in Lateral
Support

 

 

Figure 6-48. Company Wedge Formation With One Platoon in Lateral
Support and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-49. Company Wedge Formation With One Platoon in Lateral Support and One Platoon in General Support

Company and Platoon Formations With Vehicles

6-103. The commands for vehicles and foot troops are the same as those for foot troops alone. Because of the additional noise and distances involved, the company commander gives the hand-and-arm signal for the line. The command and the signal apply to the lead platoon only. The other platoons remain in general support until further directed (see Figures 6-50, 6-51, 6-52, 6-53, 6-54, 6-55, and 6-56).

 

Figure 6-50. Company Column Formation With Vehicles

 

 

Figure 6-51. Company Line Formation With Vehicles and Two Platoons in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-52. Company Line Formation With Vehicles, One Platoon in Lateral Support, and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-53. Company Echelon Right Formation With Vehicles, One Platoon in Lateral Support, and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-54. Company Line in Mass Formation With Vehicles and One Platoon in General Support

 

 

Figure 6-55. Platoon Line Formation With Vehicles

 

 

Figure 6-56. Platoon Line Formation With Direct Support and Vehicles

6-104. The motor section moves out with vehicle number two moving to the right. Vehicle number two passes the lead vehicle and establishes the position for the center of the line. At the same time, the 3d and 4th vehicles swing out to the left and right. They form to the left and right and slightly to the rear of vehicle number two. The 1st and 4th squads of the lead platoon then move forward and form lines to the left and right, on the front end of vehicle number two. As soon as the troops are in position, the 3d and 4th vehicles close in on the squads and tighten the formation. The 2d and 3d squads of the lead platoon then form a line to the left and right of the 3d and 4th vehicles to complete the company line. The command vehicle (vehicle number one) takes up a position behind the line where the commander can direct and control the unit. The 2d and 3d platoons move forward and are used in general, lateral, or direct support. In some instances, foot troops move into position first and vehicles join the formation, as needed.

6-105. To form a company echelon or a company wedge with vehicles, the company follows the same procedures used for company formations without vehicles. Vehicles are moved into the appropriate positions using procedures similar to those used for a company line.

6-106. To assemble troops and vehicles, the command vehicle moves to a position behind the formation. The commander faces the formation and gives the vehicle section the signal for assembly. Immediately, the vehicles return to their proper positions in column formation behind the command vehicle while the troops stand fast. The second in command then assembles the troops in the usual manner.

 

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