Military


Platoon

Platoons consist of two or more squads, sections, or crews. In Armor, a Platoon consist of four tank crews; in Infantry, a platoon consists of three rifle squads and a weapons squad or section. Lieutenants lead ,most platoons, and the second-in-command is generally a Sergeant First Class.

The tank platoon is organized to fight as a unified element and consists of four main battle tanks organized into two sections, with two tanks in each section. The platoon leader (Tank 1) and platoon sergeant (Tank 4) are the section leaders. Tank 2 is the wingman in the platoon leader's section, and Tank 3 is the wingman in the platoon sergeant's section. The tank platoon is organic to tank companies and armored cavalry troops. The platoon may be cross-attached to a number of organizations, commonly a mechanized infantry company, to create company teams. It may also be placed under operational control (OPCON) of a light infantry battalion.

The mechanized infantry platoon is equipped with four APCs. It is organized with a platoon headquarters and three rifle squads. The platoon leader and his headquarters are mounted in one APC, and the squads are mounted in the other three.

As of 1994, the light armor platoon was supposed to consist of four M8 light tanks and 12 personnel organized into two sections of two M8s each, though it should be noted that the M551 has since been retired and that the decision was since made not to field the M8. Although the light armor platoon is an integral part of the light armor company, it is capable of detaching from the company and then operating with a light infantry battalion. When the platoon operates with its parent light armor company, its fundamental employment is similar to that of an armor platoon.

The mechanized infantry platoon is equipped with four APCs. It is organized with a platoon headquarters and three rifle squads. The platoon leader and his headquarters are mounted in one APC, and the squads are mounted in the other three.

The Avenger platoon is organic to divisional ADA battalions, armored cavalry regiments, and ADA brigades. The platoon must support a wide variety of missions dependent on the supported unit. The Avenger platoon is configured into two different organizational structures. The Avenger Platoon Organization illustration depicts an Avenger platoon that consists of a platoon headquarters (HQ) and three Avenger sections. Units may configure their platoons into two sections of three squads, based on METT-T, but the next two illustrations depict the correct doctrinal platoon structure. The platoon HQ consists of the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and two driver-radio operators. The Avenger section consists of two squads with one FU per squad. The senior sergeant is the section leader and is also a squad leader for one of the squads, Each squad consists of a driver and gunner.

The reconnaissance platoon in light infantry, airborne, and air assault battalions consists of 1 officer and 18 enlisted soldiers that are organized into a platoon headquarters and three squads. The reconnaissance platoon is equipped with individual weapons, night vision devices, and communications equipment. There are a total of 16 M16A2 rifles and 3 M203 grenade launchers (one per squad). The reconnaissance platoon's mission and geographic location may require a modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE). The reconnaissance platoon is organized, equipped, and trained to conduct reconnaissance and limited security tasks for its parent battalion. The platoon's primary mission is to provide battlefield information. The reconnaissance platoon also assists in the tactical control, movement, and positioning of the battalion's companies and platoons. The reconnaissance platoon is employed under battalion control, but it may be detached for a specific operation.

There are several types of scout platoons in the force, including light and heavy division cavalry platoons, air cavalry platoons, and those in separate cavalry troops. The two most prominent types, however, are the CFV scout platoon and the HMMWV scout platoon. Both types consist of one officer and 29 enlisted soldiers. The platoons are organized by tables of organization and equipment (TOE) into a headquarters element and two or four scout sections. When executing missions, the scout platoon is organized according to the factors of mission, enemy, terrain (and weather), troops, time available, and civilian considerations (METT-TC) into an appropriate tactical organization consisting of a variable number of scout sections or squads.

The aeroscout platoon consists of four aircraft, led by a lieutenant. It includes a flight examiner, instructor pilot, and individual aircraft pilots. Its primary mission is to conduct armed reconnaissance and surveillance missions. The primary aircraft in air cavalry units is the OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warrior. This helicopter provides the maneuver commander with a versatile platform; it can be armed with various weapon systems and is suitable for employment in numerous types of situations and operations.



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