BASIC FORMATIONS AND MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES
The company uses a variety of mounted and dismounted formations and movement techniques to maneuver on the battlefield. This appendix gives examples of many of the basic formations and movement techniques the company commander could use. It is not designed to be all encompassing. For more information on these topics, see FMs 7-8, 5-34, and 71-1.
MOUNTED MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES
The mounted engineer company must be proficient in moving with its maneuver counterpart. In the following paragraphs, formations, movement techniques, and actions taken during movement for the mounted engineer company are discussed.
The engineer company almost always maneuvers as part of another larger formation. Normally, this will either be the parent engineer battalion or TF. Figure E-1
shows the formation that the company is most likely to use. The company wedge provides the most defensible formation with the easiest C2. Ordinarily, the company follows a maneuver company. The company might lead if it is part of the engineer battalion formation. In either case, the wedge is the best formation to use if enemy contact is likely.
The company will also have organic, and possibly task-organized, support equipment. These could include the ACE, CEV, or tank or infantry platoons from other companies/teams. These additional vehicles can strain the company's C2 capability. All of the heavy support vehicles are tethered to individual engineer platoons. Each platoon leader has the responsibility of assisting with the C2 of a heavy equipment asset. This improves the company's C2 and provides each heavy asset with a security element as it moves across the battlefield. Any vehicles that are not METT-T required to complete a mission will fall under the control of the engineer company XO/1SG.
shows a company wedge formation. Note where the key leaders in the company are. While the platoon sergeant is forward, his M998 should move with the engineer company XO/1SG but be prepared to move forward to support changing mission requirements.
depicts a column formation. This formation is used when enemy contact in not expected. This formation maximizes C2 and the speed of the formation. Normally, the company transitions from the column to the wedge as enemy contact becomes more likely.
shows the company in a line formation. This formation is designed to maximize the company's forward firepower. The company transitions from the wedge to the line as enemy contact becomes eminent. Engineer companies do not generally use this formation. However, if the company is tasked to suppress a dismounted threat while another company maneuvers, this formation works well.
The echelon formation is used when the company is on the flank of the battalion/TF and the enemy threat is also from the flank. Figure E-5
shows an echelon right formation. The echelon formation can also be used on the left flank of the battalion and, in that case, it would be the mirror image of Figure E-5. This formation maximizes the company's firepower to the flank.
The V formation is a variation of the wedge. It is used when there is a significant threat of command-detonated mines or explosives. The formation shown in Figure E-6
could be used during a route-clearance operation. It allows the company to secure the flanks of the road while a platoon clears the route. This formation also identifies command-detonated-mine firing wires or ambushes before the enemy can attack the element on the route. It is not generally used when there is a significant enemy threat.
DISMOUNTED MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES
The dismounted engineer company must be proficient in moving with its maneuver counterpart. In the following paragraphs, formations, movement techniques, and actions taken during movement for the dismounted engineer company are discussed.
Company formations are built from multiple platoon formations. These formations include the company column, line, V, and wedge. The company commander selects the best formation based on his METT-T analysis. Table E-1 shows a comparison of each formation and its use.
The dismounted wedge is used when the enemy situation is vague and enemy contact is likely (see Figure E-7).
This formation allows a large volumn of fire around the formation. Generally, at least one platoon or element will be free to maneuver from the wedge after contact.
The column formation is the company's primary movement formation (see Figure E-8)
. It provides good dispersion both laterally and in depth and simplifies control. The lead platoon is the base platoon for fire control.
The line formation allows the delivery of maximum fire to the front but little fire to the flanks (see Figure E-9).
This formation is hard to control and does not lend itself well to rapid movement. It is the basic company assault formation during an attack.
The V formation has two platoons up front to provide a heavy volume of fire on contact (see Figure E-10).
It also has one platoon in the rear that can either overwatch or trail the other platoons. This formation is hard to control and movement is slow.
The file formation gives maximum control to leaders and is used for speed during movement. (see Figure E-11)
The dismounted engineer company supporting a maneuver TF normally travels as part of one of the larger maneuver elements. When breaching assets are needed forward with the lead company, the engineer company travels behind the lead company for security (see Figure E-12).
If each maneuver company needs a breaching capability, the dismounted engineer company can be broken into platoon-sized elements, where each platoon travels with a maneuver company. In this case, the company headquarters travels with either the battalion tactical operations center or the main effort for C2.
During many operations, the company has to use hand-and-arm signals for C2. See FM 5-10 (ST 5-10-1), Appendix A, for these hand-and-arm signals.
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