There are 6 section battle drills
Reaction to effective enemy fire
Location of the enemy
Winning the fire fight
1.PREPARATION FOR BATTLE
You might be preparing for battle, but what if the
enemy is ready now? While you and your men get
sorted out, put a sentry out, ready to warn you if
the enemy approaches. Get everyone under cover
Distribute and then re-supply ammunition. Fill and
check magazines. One man in each fire team or
section can prime the grenades for the whole unit
at a safe distance away from everyone else. The
section second in command should carry a
reserve of ammunition if possible and ensure you
have the correct ammunition for the task. Make
sure you can get at your ammunition while lying
down; if you hang your ammo pouches on the front
of your belt, you will have to roll on to your side to
get at them, presenting the enemy with the biggest
Check, clean and camouflage your weapons. Set
your sights at 300 meters.
Make sure that your personal camouflage matches
the sort of vegetation you are going to be moving
through. You’ll want enough camouflage to break
up your silhouette, but not so much that you can’t
get at your equipment. Check your webbing does
not restrict your movement either, and make sure
everything is secured so you don’t rattle as you
Ensure it is serviceable, do you need to exchange
any items, and it’s too late once you are on the
Check all radios are working and that you have
spare batteries. Flat batteries or radios on the
wrong net have caused more disasters in the last
fifty years than almost any other single factor.
(Take Bravo 20, an SAS unit who didn’t check
their radios, their batteries, forgot to take jumpers
fleeces, and paid the ultimate price for it?)
Check that you have the correct quantities of
rations and water and that any transport
arrangements are still firm. Check and test any
specialist equipment from night-vision devices to
first aid kit ropes to ladders.
2. REACTION TO EFFECTIVE ENEMY FIRE
Effective enemy fire is fire which is causing casualties, or likely
to do so if the advance is continued. Section i/c to decide if
effective or not.
The aim is to get out of enemy killing area ASAP and into
On words of command "Take cover"
Keep looking out for cover as you move along. So when
the enemy opens fire, you don’t have to stop and look for
cover and dash like mad to get behind it.
Don’t dash for more than about five meters or you will get
shot. Get down.
Once you are down, crawl along a bit before firing back. If
an enemy had you in his sights when you hit the deck, he
will be aiming at that spot.
Now you must find out exactly where the enemy is. There
is no future in simply hiding, nor is there any point in
shooting indiscriminately. Don’t ‘spray and pray’ you will
rarely hit anything. Look for shape, shine, shadow, sky
lining, silhouette and smoke.
When you see the enemy, set your sights to the correct
range. In the heat of a battle this is often forgotten, so it
has to be an automatic response and part of your drills.
Fire aimed rounds at the enemy. ‘spraying and praying’ is
not enough; you have to hit the target.
3.LOCATING THE ENEMY
Locating the source of enemy fire can be very difficult, and is
vital to a successful attack. When firing live rounds, there are
two sounds: the crack of the bullet passing by, and the thump
of the noise of the weapon being fired. The time difference
between these sounds can show the distance at which the
enemy is - a time difference of a second means the enemy is
around 600 metres away. However, this method is not used in
cadet training for obvious reasons, and other methods must be
used to find the enemy.
Study the obvious areas of cover in the direction you
think the enemy fire is or was coming from. Look for
smoke or muzzle flashes coming from weapons, and for
areas of disturbed vegetation. The enemy might be
visible, as may their equipment. Remember the basics of
camouflage, and why things are seen. Also remember to
use all the equipment available to the section: sights or
binoculars can provide an invaluable aid.
If the enemy ceases fire and still has not been located,
the section commander can choose to fire into likely
enemy positions. This is an unreliable method, however
is better than wildly firing into the distance, or not firing at
If the enemy has still not been located, the section
commander may choose to draw fire by movement. This is
done my a man from the section moving forward for a short
distance. Although this is dangerous, a fast moving target
that suddenly appears is very difficult to accurately shoot.
This may trigger a response from the enemy, and they can
be located by observation. If this does not result in further
firing, the enemy may have retreated or have been shot.
Therefore, the section can proceed with caution.
When the enemy have been located, it is vital that this
information can be accurately conveyed to both the section
commander, and then on to everyone else in the section. This
is done by target indication.
4.WINNING THE FIRE FIGHT
Once enemy located, Section Commander will shout stop and
give a fire control order. This brings the full weight of the
sections firepower down on the enemy position and should win
the fire fight. The fire fight is won when the enemy fire becomes
sporadic or dies out completely
For easy delivery and understanding, a fire control order is
always delivered in the same way. This can be remembered
using the mnemonic GRIT:
G Group: "Gun group", "Delta Fire team", "Section",
"LSW" The group that the FCO refers to - those that need to
take action as a result of it.
R Range: "200m" The range of the target away from the
I Indication: "Left of axis" The location of the target, in
relation to the section, using one of several target indication
T Type of Fire: "Rapid fire", "Delayed Fire", "Ripple Fire"
The type of fire that is employed in engaging the target.
At the end of the fire control order, the final command "fire"
signals that it is to be carried out at that point.
A fire control order should also always be delivered in the same
way. This can be remembered by the mnemonic CLAP:
C Clear It must be given, clearly, calmly, and concisely, to
ensure correct understanding.
L Loud The section may be dispersed and the noise of
battle can be very loud. It must be heard.
A As an Order The FCO must be given as a command.
P With Pauses Pause’s allow for clearer understanding, as
well as time to adjust sights and acquire targets.
Types of Fire Control Order
There are four different types of fire control orders. These can
be remember through the mnemonic FBID:
F Full These are given when the section commander has
had time to fully appreciate the situation.
B Brief These are given when there is little time, or the
target is obvious.
I Individual These are given for individual members of the
section to act upon.
D Delayed These are given in anticipation of enemy
movements or activity
5. THE ATTACK
Quick battle orders
Direction of assault
Who is doing what (i.e. Charlie right flanking etc.)
Movement and timings (delta fire,…Charlie move)
Section Commander leads assault group, 2 i/c leads to cover
group at their fire base. Acts on own initiative but observes
section commander for signals.
Movement by one group always covered by the other.
Each fire team commander controls that teams fire and
movement. i.e 2ic is responsible for delta fire team.
Must go in as quickly as possible Members of section not
involved in the assault must give covering fire for as long as
THE FIGHT THROUGH
Keep going forward
Watch your flanks
Do not converge
Work as a team
Listen for direction things change in the heat of battle
6. THE RE-ORG
Covering group must rejoin the remainder of the section as
quickly as possible and re- org in all round defence (at limit of
exploitation) as quickly as possible. A re - org is only to be done
when the section commander is happy that there are no
positions behind the current enemy position, i.e that there are
not multiple positions. If there is time to do so, then the
covering fire team follow the assault team's route. However, if
they are required to assault a position in depth, they will simply
double up over the shortest possible route.
Re-org drill (2 i/c)
Same route in (same as the assault group)
All round defence
Allocate arcs (2ic)
Number off giving CASAM status
Ammo replen / redistribute
Casevac if needed
Dispatch POWs to platoon HQ
Re-org drill (Section Commander)
Sit rep to platoon HQ (ic)
Await new orders
Prepare to move. And whole order starts again.