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Crossing a Danger Areas ( Trail or Road) from tacticalmarkers.

com The object of this drill is to have the team cross the danger area in the formation and location specified by the team leader leader. On the far side of the danger area, team personnel and equipment are accounted for. The team continues the mission.

This is done in a series of steps. Below is directly out of the US Army FM 7-8 What i want to do here is first leave the Army doctrine in place and then after you finish reading this Ill explain how it really works.

Army speak starts here:

(1) When the lead team signals "danger area" (relayed throughout the platoon), the platoon halts.

(2) The platoon leader moves forward, confirms the danger area, and determines what technique the platoon will use to cross. The platoon sergeant also moves forward to the platoon leader.

(3) The platoon leader informs all squad leaders of the situation and the nearside and far-side rally points.

(4) The platoon sergeant directs positioning of the near-side security (usually conducted by the trail squad). These two security teams may follow him forward when the platoon halts and a danger area signal is passed back.

(5) The platoon leader reconnoiters the danger area and selects the crossing point that provides the best cover and concealment.

(6) Near-side security observes to the flanks and overmatches the crossing.

The squad leader relays the message to the platoon leader. crosses the danger area where the platoon crossed. (11) The platoon leader selects the method the platoon will use to cross the danger area. the platoon leader directs the farside security team to cross the danger area. (9) The far-side security team leader establishes an OP forward of the cleared area.(7) When the near-side security is in place. (10) The far-side security team signals to the squad leader that the area is clear. (16) The platoon leader ensures accountability and resumes movement at normal speed. the main body begins moving slowly on the required azimuth. (14) The near-side security element. controlled by the platoon sergeant. (8) The far-side security team clears the far side. (15) The platoon sergeant ensures everyone crosses and sends up the report. They may attempt to cover any tracks left by the platoon. (13) Once across the danger area. . (12) The platoon quickly and quietly crosses the danger area.

This is the type we all love to play. The crossing . We are in a scenario game that has a decent size field. Games with an objective. ( like a power line easement) to cross. in the paintball field it works the same way. Well my team of real soldiers didn't. Throughout this site I'm sure you have noticed that I preach practice and practice as a team. let's break this down. So. That means you really get to use tactics and skill. A game that lasts a while. Not quite as big as a normal infantry squad but close enough. This simple little drill was practiced maybe 50 times before it really worked the way it should and we were suppose to know what we were doing. These areas are fairly open and clear. So. there are trails and paths or maybe even a road. End of Army Speak!! Ok. run in the middle and spray paint game.NOTE: The same principles stated above are used when crossing a smaller unit across a danger area. and you all understand it completely. They make natural boundaries and natural places to really get smoked. Do the little things and get them down. This is not the 15 min . Our field is a wooded area. enough jaw jacking. We have eight members. a mission or task to complete. Then start putting those small tasks and drills together and build into a real formidable team. everybody got that? Sure. let's set some other parameters. cold. And. For our purposes we are going to use a medium sized team.

From your side of the road you can't really see into the other side woods more than a few feet. So. the far side c. Where is the danger on this danger area? Is it: a. There are woods on either side. the near side Actually it's all three. the road b. An Army acronym called METT-T will determine how this happens.So your team is moving through the woods and comes upon a path. but you knew that. ( about the same as a two lane road). It is about 20 feet wide. How is your team organized? There are three basic formations (organizations) for moving your team through the bush. I want you would-be team leaders to ask yourself a question. what do you want to do? Normally in paintball the team will either run across or maybe even try to cross all at once in a mad dash. For your learning pleasure as per the US Army: METT-T . Also we need to back up a bit here and talk about how you get to this danger area. You have to get your team across this path.

Key terrain directly impacts the success or failure of an operation. equipment. Units are employed according to their capabilities and perform the functions of the battlefield operating systems. Enemy. providing a significant advantage to the force controlling it. Terrain and Weather. Commanders pass to their subordinates a clear concise statement of what is to be done and for what purpose. Time. capabilities and probable courses of action. Can be used to assault through the other teams position. doctrine. Weather and visibility conditions can provide concealment from enemy forces and opportunities for friendly forces. They aggressively seek enemy weaknesses. Reference: FM 100-5 The Line All members move in a line abreast of each other. Timing is critical to the synchronization of the battlefield operating systems. Commanders exploit terrain to provide maneuver opportunities and cover and concealment. A time is specified to coordinate actions of various subordinate units. Whenever possible commanders assign subordinates an objective and a zone with few restrictive measures. This is hard to control but give the most firepower forward. Commanders consider the enemy's dispositions. acting inside his decision cycle. Requires a constant active and predictive intelligence effort oriented on critical units and areas.Mission. . Rapid execution is key to conducting operations that keep the enemy off balance. Choosing which units for which types of actions is vital to success and is influenced by the status of the units' training and the experience of their leaders. The number and type of friendly troops available affect the tactical plan. Troops Available.

The Wedge Good moving formation with pretty good security all around. weak to front and rear. Position #1 The team approaches the danger area As mentioned before we will use this road depicted in the diagrams below. This allows a lot of flexibility. . If your team has voice activated radios and they are quiet these work real well too. Click this thumbnail to see the larger view of this formation These formations are controlled by hand signals most of the time. The formation I try to use the most is a combination of wedge and file This is shown on the left side of the illustration above "column with teams in wedges". An eight person team will use two wedges The File Easy to move through heavy brush or on trails. Below are my terrible artist's renditions of what is happening. Good firepower to flanks.

He signals with hand signals that security is to come to him. 1. Several decisions are to be made. 4. It is important that each team member passed the signal. How will the team cross ( if the decision has been to to cross). Is there time to detour or will this affect the overall plan (mission).Can the team go around and not expose itself to observation 3. The guy in back may be 20-30 yards or more from the danger area and all they know is the formation has stopped.The forward element of the team ( A1) signals to the team leader (TL) that a danger area is ahead. The TL will normally move forward to observe the situation and decide of a plan of action. The team leader after deciding to cross ( decision takes only a second or two) signals that rear security needs to report to him. Below is ONE way to do it. Does the team cross the danger area? 2. So our TL decides to dross the team. The signal is passed back down the line by every team member. ( I can't stress this enough) . Communicate. Not only does this get the message passed but it also lets each member to know what is going on.

Click this thumbnail to see the larger view of this formation As the team crosses the path B3 covers the path from his side as each team member come across. The TL points out the crossing area and sets the security to work B3. B4 move to the departure point in the near side of the crossing. B3 motions the team across. B4 remains at the farthest point on the recon and acts as a guide for the rest of the team to move to.Click this thumbnail to see the larger view of this formation Rear security (B3 and B4) move up through the team and report. When all the team has crossed the A team once again takes up the lead and the B . This is done quickly as this is when they are most vulnerable. The team normally crosses in pairs. A2 and A3 give the B3. The A team members will move up and the rear B members will take their place. Click this thumbnail to see the larger view of this formation B3 and B4 cross the danger area and immediately recon the far side. B3 returns to the crossing point and checks that the main body of the team is ready.B4 team cover as they cross.

Click this thumbnail to see the larger view of this formation Now once again excuse the artwork but you should get the idea. How is that done? . As the team moves past the forward B4 member. It moves so fast that it looks to the casual observer like nothing happened at all but it did. It this is a open road with a long view up and down it may be best to cross the team ( once the far side security has been set by the B3 and B4 team members) all at once. At the start of this drill I mentioned the TL signals for rear security to move up to him. This drill. he remains and moves out when his team passes once again taking rear falls in the rear resuming the formation and positions before the crossing. As the team crosses the path B3 covers the path from his side as each team member come across. This will give someone looking down the road only one chance to see the team cross instead of 5 or 6 separate crossings. Terrain will dictate this. With practice this drill is seamless. like all others depends on a clear understanding of what to do and practice.

Tell the TL . First. There are a couple of situations that are glaringly open to questions here. The far side security team knows the main team is behind it so they concentrate on front and sides. Question #1 What if my security team runs into the opposing team on the other side of the danger area? That's why you send a small security force. Their safety and the rest of the team's depends on how well they do the job. It has to watch out for each other. (3 stripes) What Happens if something goes wrong? Goes wrong? That never happens right? In fact it darn near ALWAYS happens. quietly move back to the main body. They should . Let's try to answer those. Ok. if unseen. Question #2. your whole team isn't committed into something they don't want ( like an ambush) and second. Pointing to the eyes and then putting three fingers on the upper arm told everyone that the security ( the eyes) needed to go to the SGT. the security team is watching out but they run into a large force on the other side when they are doing the recon. your remaining team may be able to support the security force somewhat but the main thing is the security force is really on its own.My squad used a couple signals.

reload and regroup. On the other hand. the whole team can start movement back to a safe rally point to adjust what is happening. If in fact you end up with a team that is half on one side and half on the other side of a danger zone. dumping paint back at the attackers. anyone figure this might take some preplanning?) . Move out of the kill zone. they should break and run.what they found and the TL will then need to adjust either plan of travel or action to remove the opposing threat . try to move against your attackers. If the far side is secure them move there if not then don't but try not to get too split up. Question #3 What is my team gets caught in the middle of the crossing? Answer? RUN. Cardinal rule when getting shot at. OR attack the security teams pursuers if it is a small patrol or just a couple players They may think the 2 security team members are all there is. (since that would be normal in paintball play) and run headlong into your now setup hasty ambush. (Hmmm. Question #4 What is we are getting creamed? Break contact and move to the designated rally point . Once the security team is back across and joined up with the team. The rest of the team should come online at the far side of the danger area and lay down covering fire to help the now running security force back to safety. either the last or the next. if seen and the paint hits the air. yelling all the way. One half of your team will most likely be able to keep them occupied as the other side ( the unengaged half) of your team can move to flank the attacking players.

Get a drink and wait for the next game. Do not pass Go. Do Not collect two hundred dollars.Question #5 What if we get all messed up and all our players are getting hit? Go immediately back to the start point. After Action Review. AAR?. . But DO have an AAR.