TANK PLATOON ARTEP TASKS (ARTEP 17-237-10-MTP)

CONDUCT A PLATOON DEFENSE

CONDITION: The platoon has completed occupation of a battle position as part of a company team or cavalry troop defense or in preparation for a perimeter defense. The platoon leader has prepared a platoon fire plan and has received displacement criteria from the commander. The platoon observes an advancing enemy element, or it is alerted to an enemy unit by a SPOTREP or contact report from the commander or another element.

TASK STANDARD: The platoon destroys, blocks, or canalizes the enemy force or begins displacement in accordance with the commander's intent. If necessary, the platoon moves to a successive battle position before being overrun by the enemy force in its sector.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES:

1. Platoon reacts to enemy contact.

a. TC making initial contact alerts the rest of the platoon with a contact report or SPOTREP.

b. Platoon leader or platoon sergeant sends a SPOTREP or enemy contact to the commander.

OR

c. Platoon leader or platoon sergeant acknowledges incoming SPOTREP from commander or another element.

2. If contact results from a report by another unit, platoon leader analyzes incoming SPOTREP and /or contact report.

a. Identifies mounted/dismounted avenues of approach he expects enemy to use to enter platoon sector.

b. Based on the information available, determines the enemy's capabilities and objectives.

3. Platoon leader disseminates information from the contact report/SPOTREP to TCs and OPs.

a. Identifies enemy's expected avenues of approach and projected capabilities and objectives.

b. Provides other tactical information as available.

4. Platoon prepares for the enemy's arrival.

a. Platoon leader adjusts REDCON level as necessary.

b. On platoon leader's signal, starts engines simultaneously and moves to turret-down positions.

c. If applicable, withdraws from dismounted positions and remounts vehicles.

d. Scans for targets and enemy activity.

5. Platoon leader or platoon sergeant employs indirect fire to force the enemy to button up and deploy.

a. Requests indirect fire in accordance with the defensive fire plan and/or OPORD/FRAGO.

b. Adjusts indirect fire as necessary.

6. Platoon leader issues a platoon fire command, including hte following elements as a minimum:

a. Specifies alert --- addresses the vehicle(s) which are to fire.

b. Specifies target description by number, type, and activity of enemy elements.

c. Specifies orientation to target by reference point, terrain feature, or direction.

d. Specifies execution, e.g., "FIRE" or "AT MY COMMAND".

7. Vehicle crews prepare to engage.

a. TCs lay main gun for direction.

b. TCs issue crew fire commands.

c. Weapons loaded.

d. TCs orient gunners on proper targets.

e. TCs report when ready.

8. Platoon leader directs the platoon to engage with direct fire.

a. Directs the platoon to move simultaneously into hull-down positions within primary fighting positions.

b. Directs the vehicles to engage targets within their sector in accordance with the platoon fire plan.

c. Orders "FIRE" when the enemy crosses the trigger line.

d. With platoon sergeant, coordinates sections' movement to alternate positions so that only one tank per section moves at a time.

e. Issues additional fire commands, as necessary, to destroy all enemy targets within the platoon sector while controlling overkill and ammunition expenditure.

f. Directs all or a portion of the platoon to move to supplementary fighting positions, as necessary, to destroy enemy forces moving through different sectors of fire or avenues of approach.

9. If enemy has been destroyed or halted, platoon continues to defend from its present location.

a. Terminates direct fire engagements when platoon leader announces "CEASE FIRE".

b. Backs into turret-down positions as directed by the platoon leader.

c. Scans for additional enemy targets.

d. Platoon leader sends a complete SITREP to the commander.

10. If the enemy elements advance in sufficient force to meet the displacement criteria specified in the commander's guidance and/or OPORD/FRAGO, platoon displaces to a successive or alternate battle position.

a. If the displacement is covered by an overwatch element, the platoon moves as a unit to the next battle position, keeping weapon systems oriented toward the enemy.

b. If overwatch is not available, the platoon displaces by section, with one section covering the displacement and movement of the other section, then moving to the next battle position when overwatch is no longer needed. The platoon may be required to use the bounding overwatch technique, bounding by sections, during displacement.

c. Platoon leader sends a complete SITREP to the commander when displacement is completed.

11. Platoon conducts consolidation and reorganization.

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