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TASK ORGANIZATION

To maximize the efficiency of the row-mining process, the platoon leader must task-organize his platoon. The organization of the task, as a whole, is intricate and places great demands on the leader. Leave nothing to chance when planning and executing a row minefield, because each situation is different. Make allowances for transporting, handling, and controlling the mines. The officer in charge (OIC) and the squad leaders must be able to exercise control throughout the task under all conditions. Always observe safety.

Organize the platoon into four parties--siting and recording, marking, mine dump, and laying.

Siting-and-Recording Party

The platoon leader directs the party and is responsible for siting, recording, and reporting the minefield. This party consists of one or two soldiers and a vehicle to carry material. (If a vehicle is not available, increase the party to three soldiers.) Because siting is usually done in daylight, the party must take appropriate physical-security measures. The party starts well ahead of the actual laying, sets out control markers, and avoids using sharp turns. The party marks the vehicle traffic routes to and from the minefield rows.

When siting is complete, the OIC identifies one member of the party to be the recorder and assigns the remaining soldiers to other tasks. The recorder collects data from the laying party NCOIC and completes DA Form 1355 as outlined in Chapter 8. The OIC ensures that the DA Form 1355 is completed timely and accurately.

Marking Party

This party is composed of an NCOIC and personnel who are not working as members of other teams. After the minefield is sited, the marking party emplaces fence posts, wire, and marking signs.

Mine-Dump Party

This party is controlled by the platoon sergeant (PSG) and is composed of personnel who are not working as members of other teams. The mine-dump party accounts for all strip packages that arrive from other sources, sets up vehicle mine sets at the mine dump, and hauls supplies as required. The PSG places row packages in a location that maximizes speed and provides concealment for minefield emplacement, and he also ensures that the mine dump is prepared for night operations. The party marks the mine dump's entrance and exit and the routes to them. The PSG verifies the strip feeder reports with the squad leaders upon the completion of each row and passes the reports to the recording party. The PSG is not required to stay at the mine dump continuously; he has the flexibility to move around the area to perform other activities.

The mine-dump party creates vehicle sets by setting aside the number of mines and fuses that are required by each laying vehicle. The party loosens and then hand-tightens arming and shipping plugs, helps load the mines onto laying vehicles, and disposes of residue. Soldiers may also assist the marking party and provide local security. For initial vehicle loads, the mine-dump party may be assisted by the laying party.

Laying Party

This party consists of an NCOIC, four soldiers, and a vehicle to carry the mines. The NCOIC controls the movement of each laying vehicle. He directs each vehicle to start and stop laying and controls immediate-action drills. The NCOIC initiates a strip feeder report with the PSG or the mine-dump NCOIC, receives azimuths from the siting party, and directs his element to the correct row. He is responsible for replacing the temporary row markers with permanent markers and for ensuring that mines are laid according to the azimuths, mines are spaced correctly, and the strip feeder report is accurate. The NCOIC ensures that the end row marker is emplaced at the completion of each row, and he closes the strip feeder report with the PSG.

NOTE: Using tilt-rod fuses requires additional soldiers to stake mines, insert fuses, and arm mines.

When laying three rows at once, each laying party consists of an APC or an organic squad vehicle and a carrier, sapper, and digging team.

Carrier Team

This team is comprised of the APC driver and the track commander (TC). They ensure that the APC maintains the proper speed and stays on the proper course.

Sapper Team

This team is composed of the squad leader and the remaining squad members. It provides personnel to lay and arm mines. Each soldier carries wrenches and fuses. The squad leader supervises laying and tasks personnel who are not needed for laying to other parties.

Digging Team

The digging team buries mines. It consists of an NCOIC and several soldiers (may be soldiers from supported maneuver units) who are equipped with suitable digging tools. Increase the arming party by two to speed up the laying process or task personnel who are not needed to other parties. NOTE: If mines are surface-laid, there is no digging team.

SITE LAYOUT

Once the platoon leader has coordinated the location of the minefield(s) with the maneuver commander, siting in the minefield can begin. Siting is the first step in the actual laying process and is done for safety and control. Although the minefield may be emplaced at night or during limited visibility, the siting party should site the minefield under favorable conditions, preferably during daylight. Siting consists of identifying landmarks; establishing routes; and emplacing start, end, and intermediate row markers. Actual control measures (stakes or pickets) should not stand out to such an extent that they give away the minefield orientation, but they must be easily discernible to the laying party.

Certain features, like thick woods and deep, wide streams, are natural obstacles. Mine rows should be laid to reinforce terrain and increase the effectiveness of the minefield.

Mine Rows

Mine rows are labeled with a letter and should be laid in order. Row A is nearest the enemy, followed by rows B, C, D, E, and so forth. When laying tactical minefields, each row has permanent start and end row markers. Intermediate markers may be required, depending on the row length and the terrain. Platoon leaders determine the number of laying vehicles to be employed. The preferred technique is to use three vehicles so that three rows can be laid simultaneously. Using more than three vehicles is beyond the platoon's C 2 capabilities and is not considered. The distance between rows is determined by the following factors:

  • Depth and density of the minefield.
  • Terrain.
  • Suitability of the ground.
  • Desired obstacle intent.

NOTE: Rows are spaced 50 meters apart in standardized row minefields (discussed later in this chapter).

Mine Spacing

The minefield OIC determines the mine spacing. The desired density, the availability of laying vehicles, the number of rows, and the possibility of sympathetic detonation (Table 5-3) affect the distance between mines. NOTE: Mines are spaced 6 meters apart in standardized row minefields (discussed later in this chapter).

Control Measures

Control measures are temporary markers that are used to guide vehicles and troops during row-mining operations. Markers are constructed of different materials for different uses. For example, use VS17 panels on poles for start and end row markers, and use M133 hand-emplaced minefield marking set (HEMMS) poles with flags for intermediate markers. Use the following temporary markers:

  • Start row (does not replace the mandatory permanent marker).
  • Start laying (first intermediate marker after the start row marker).
  • Intermediate (used between the last row marker and the next visible point, not more than 100 meters away).
  • Change of direction or turning point (actually consists of three markers--warning, turning point, and new direction).
  • Stop laying.
  • End row (does not replace the mandatory permanent marker).

The following materials may be used to construct temporary markers:

  • U-shaped pickets.
  • HEMMS poles.
  • Wooden posts.
  • Steel rods.
  • Engineer tape.
  • VS17 panels.

Control measures for laying mines at night require lights or infrared (IR) equipment as follows:

  • Chem-lights placed in U-shaped pickets or hand-held.
  • Directional flashlights taped in U-shaped pickets or hand-held.
  • HEMMS lights used with U-shaped pickets or poles.
  • Lights from a minefield marking set number 2.
  • IR reflectors.

NOTE: The use of control measures should be incorporated into unit standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Procedures

The minefield OIC arrives on the site with the siting-and-recording party. He selects Landmark 1 and then sites the left (or right) boundary fence and start row markers (all start and end row markers are permanent markers). The siting-and-recording party takes distances and azimuths to be used in preparing the recording form. If the tactical situation permits and the marking party is ready, emplacement of the fence should begin.

If the minefield is to have an IOE row, the siting-and-recording party proceeds across the IOE and establishes I1, I1E, I2, I2E, and so on until it reaches the end. Personnel proceed down the right (or left) boundary and emplace start row marker A1. Proceeding from A1 to A2, they place intermediate markers as required. Personnel use different colored markers to identify each row (for example: Row A, red light; Row B, green light; Row C, blue light). For IR markings, they use multiple horizontal IR light sources that are spaced at least 6 inches apart (for example: Row A, one light; Row B, two lights; Row C, three lights). When they reach A2, they emplace an end row marker and repeat the procedure from B1 to B2, C1 to C2, and so on until they emplace all the required control measures (Figure 6-3). The siting-and-recording party establishes Landmark 2 and the left (or right) rear fence location. Personnel also assist the PSG in siting mine dumps near the minefield.

Figure 6-3. Site layout

MINE-LAYING VEHICLES

Soldiers normally lay row minefields from a tactical vehicle. Consider vulnerability, capacity, and trafficability when selecting a vehicle. Before emplacing the minefield and preparing the vehicle for mine laying, drive it in a random pattern across the minefield site. The random pattern deceives the enemy by masking the actual laying pattern. Load enough mines so that each vehicle can complete at least one entire row before reloading, but do not stack fused mines more than two-high.

LAYING A ROW MINEFIELD

The following drills demonstrate how to lay a minefield:

Drill 1

Squad vehicles arrive on the site and proceed down the left (or right) boundary of the minefield to their assigned row. (A separate party must be detailed to install the IOE.) At the start row marker, the squad vehicle moves into position and prepares to lay mines. The squad leader for Row A directs Vehicle 1 to move out.

Mines are laid on the ground at the required spacing, along the temporary markers positioned by the siting-and-recording party.

As mines are laid, the arming party moves behind the vehicle and arms the mines. Personnel remove temporary markers installed by the siting-and-recording party and replace the end row markers with permanent markers.

When Vehicle 1 moves a safe distance (approximately 25 meters) along Row A, Vehicle 2 begins to lay mines on Row B. When Vehicle 2 moves a safe distance along Row B, Vehicle 3 begins to lay mines on Row C.

The marking party continues to emplace the left and right boundary fences (Figure 6-4).

Figure 6-4a. Laying a minefield

The IOE party exits the minefield outside the left (or right) boundary after it completes the IOE.

When Vehicles 1 and 2 finish their assigned rows, they move past the end row marker and execute a left (or right) turn and wait for Vehicle 3 to complete its row. All vehicles move in column down the left (or right) boundary to the mine dump, load the next row's mines, and then move to their next assigned row. The process of laying and arming mines is repeated (Figure 6-4b).

Figure 6-4b. Laying a minefield (continued)

After the minefield is laid, all the vehicles exit down the left (or right) boundary and out the rear. The marking party completes the rear boundary fence, and the recording party completes DA Form 1355. The OIC or PSG ensures that the DA Form 1355 is complete and accurate and signs it.

Drill 2

This drill may be used to speed up mine laying; however, strict C 2 is vital to ensure security and safety. This method is difficult to use when the terrain is rugged or when weather or visibility is subject to change.

The drill is conducted by three squad vehicles, each laying one row. Row B has turning points and Rows A and C do not. If the minefield has six rows, Row E has turning points and Rows D and F do not. The squad leader (laying leader) in Row B (and Row E, if required) is in charge of the overall laying.

Squad vehicles arrive on the site and proceed down the left (or right) boundary of the minefield to their assigned row. Squad vehicles move into position at start row markers and prepare to lay mines.

The laying leader directs Vehicle 1 to move out on Row A. The sapper team lays mines on the ground at the required spacing. If an IOE is required, the Row A team emplaces the IOE concurrently with Row A and at the same spacing. When Vehicle 1 reaches the IOE short-row start marker, the laying party lays mines along an azimuth designated by the laying leader (Figure 6-5). After the IOE short row is laid, Vehicle 1 returns to Row A and continues laying mines.

Figure 6-5. Laying an IOE short row

After all the mines are laid, the arming party moves behind the vehicle and arms the mines. Personnel remove temporary markers and replace start and end row markers with permanent markers. The arming party must be distinguishable from everyone else. The last member of the arming party should wear a colored vest or carry a specific colored chem-light. No one is allowed behind the last member of the arming party.

The NCOIC completes a strip feeder report (Figure 6-6) and gives it to the recording party. The strip feeder report includes the number of mines laid, the type of mines laid, azimuths of IOE strips and turning points, AHDs emplaced (by cluster number), and any other information (such as omitted mines) the platoon leader requires.

Figure 6-6. Sample strip feeder report

Vehicle 1 moves down Row A and lays mines until the laying leader directs it to stop. (The laying leader chooses vehicle stops to coincide with the locations of turning points.) The laying leader then directs Vehicle 3 to begin laying mines along Row C. Vehicle 3 lays mines on Row C until the laying leader directs it to stop (somewhere well past Vehicle 1).

Vehicle 2 moves toward Vehicle 1 and begins to lay mines on Row B. He lays mines to within 15 meters of Vehicle 1. Vehicle 2 then turns toward Vehicle 3 and lays mines on Row B to within 15 meters of Vehicle 3. Vehicle 2 then turns back toward Vehicle 1 and continues to lay mines in this pattern until Row B is laid.

Figure 6-7 shows vehicle positions when using the above method to lay a row minefield.

Figure 6-7. Laying a row minefield

NOTES:

1. At night or during low visibility, Vehicle 1 has two red flashlights and Vehicle 3 has two green flashlights. The flashlights are held side by side, and pointed toward Vehicle 2. The driver of Vehicle 2 moves forward until he is within 15 meters of the lights or until the light holder turns the lights off.

2. If the platoon leader feels that low visibility or other reasons preclude the use of vehicle positions as turning points, he may have the siting party emplace turning-point markers (three intermediate markers) for Vehicle 2 to use as a guide. In this event, the three vehicles emplace mines simultaneously.

After Vehicles 1 and 2 finish their assigned rows, they move past the end row marker, execute a left (or right) turn, and wait for Vehicle 3 to complete its row. All the vehicles move in column down the left (or right) boundary to their next assigned row, if there is one, and continue to lay and arm mines. This process is repeated until the entire minefield is laid. All the vehicles then exit the minefield down the left (or right) boundary and out the rear. The marking party completes the rear boundary fence, and the recording party completes DA Form 1355. The OIC or PSG ensures that the DA Form 1355 is complete and accurate and signs it.

IMMEDIATE-ACTION DRILL

If the enemy attacks the platoon during minefield emplacement, the laying party should execute the following actions:

  • Sapper teams enter vehicles and recover spacing sandbags.
  • Vehicle 1 exits the minefield by making a wide turn around the front of the other two vehicles.
  • Vehicle 2 follows by making a wide turn around the front of Vehicle 3.
  • Vehicle 3 exits the minefield.
  • The three squads conduct the immediate-action drill as ordered by the platoon leader.

SQUAD DRILL

During row mining, the squad in each laying vehicle performs the following actions:

  • Squad leader.

  • - Directs the squad to start laying mines.
    - Supervises mine arming and placing.
    - Allocates a vehicle, if possible, to help remove spoil from the site.
  • Carrier team.

  • - Moves the APC to the row start point.
    - Lowers the APC ramp until it is horizontal or opens the rear door. (If using the APC ramp to distribute mines, chains the ramp open to support the weight.)
    - Moves the APC at a low speed (3 to 5 kph) in a straight line toward the row end point.
  • Sapper team.

  • - Soldier 1 ties the rope to the end of the lowered ramp or the tow pintle.
    - Soldier 2 ties the partially filled sandbag on the other end of the rope. (The rope length from the end of the ramp door to the sandbag is the correct spacing between mines [Figure 6-8]).
    - Soldier 3 (squad leader) positions the team members. Soldier 1 is at the rear of the compartment, Soldier 2 sits on the edge of the APC ramp or open door, and Soldier 4 walks behind the APC.

Figure 6-8. Measuring distances between mines with sandbags


    - Soldier 1 fuses a mine and passes it to Soldier 2. (Korea Only: If AP mines are also laid, they are given out simultaneously.)
    - Soldier 2 records all the mines issued.
    - Soldier 2 places the fused mine on the ground when the sandbag tied to the rope is even with the previously laid mine.
    - Soldier 3 (squad leader) walks behind the vehicle and supervises mine laying.
    - Soldier 4 walks behind the vehicle and arms mines.
    - After the mine row is armed and camouflaged, Soldier 4 buries pins, clips, and shipping plugs 30 centimeters to the rear of the start row marker.
    - The sapper team repeats the above steps until the end of the row is reached.
  • Digging team, if needed. (The NCOIC selects the mine to be buried by each soldier and supervises the operation.)

  • - Follows the laying party along the friendly side of the row.
    - Digs in mines but leaves them exposed until arming is complete.
    - Korea Only: Arms AP mines in a cluster before arming AT mines.

MARKING, RECORDING, AND REPORTING ROW MINEFIELDS

Marking procedures for row minefields are the same as those for other minefields (see Chapter 2).

Row minefields are recorded on DA Form 1355 (Figure 6-9a and Figure 6-9b). Reporting procedures for intent, initiation, status, and completion reports are detailed in Chapter 8.

Figure 6-9a. Sample DA Form 1355 for a row minefield (front)

Figure 6-9b. Sample DA Form 1355 for a row minefield (back)

Continue Chapter 6



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