Crew Drill

PREPARATION FOR DRILL

Crew drill gives squad and platoon members training in the fundamentals of maehinegun operation and confidence in their ability to put the gun into action with precision and speed- Rotation of duties during training insures that every member becomes trained in the duties of each crew position. Precision is attained by learning and practicing correct procedures, to include inspecting the gun before firing and observing safety procedures- Speed is acquired after precision has been developed.

PRECISION IS NEVER SACRIFICED FOR SPEED.

Crew drill can be conducted during transition firing, concurrently during other courses of fire, or anytime at the discretion of the unit commander. The organization for crew drill described in this chapter is for training crews in the fundamentals of maehinegun operation; it is not the organization to be employed in every tactical situation.

To instill realism and relate crew drill to actual situations, the unit leader should vary his method of instruction. Possible approaches to this include the following methods:

• Conduct crew drill from the prone position.

• Initiate crew drill from ail types of tactical formations.

• Perform crew drill under simulated tactical situations.

Crew drill, as discussed here, involves the leader and one machinegun crew. The machinegun crew will normally consist of at least two members (a gunner and an assistant gunner), but a complete crew consists of a gunner, an assistant gunner, and an ammunition bearer. There are two complete machinegun crews in the headquarters section of infantry, airmobile infantry, and airborne infantry platoons.

There are no assigned (dedicated) machinegun crews in the mechanized infantry platoon, but there are five M60 machineguns (two in the headquarters APC and one in each squad APC). It is imperative that squad members be designated for training in or&w rfrill welt as maehinpgun mm m m marksmanship.

All commands are given by a leader. This leader may be a team leader, squad leader, or someone placed in charge of the crew. The gunner and assistant gunner repeat all commands. After the gun is mounted, the assistant gunner transmits all signals from the leader to the gunner and from the gunner to the leader.

ASSIGNING CREW EQUIPMENT

In addition to individual arms and equipment, crew members carry equipment for both bipod and tripod training. The following is a suggested assignment of the equipment to the machinegun crew members:

• Leader {designated)----Binoculars, compass.

O Gunner-------Machinegun, three bandoleers (with dummy ammunition).

barrel case (spare barrel and accessories), traversing and elevating mechanism, and three bandoleers (with dummy ammunition)«

tripod, pintle assembly* and three bandoleers (with dummy ammunition).

If there is no ammunition bearer, the assistant gunner carries the spare-barrel case, the tripod, and the pintle assembly. He performs the duties of the ammunition bearer that pertain to those items of equipment.

FORMING FOR CREW DRILL (BIPOD OR TRIPOD MOUNT)

The leader commands, FORM FOR CREW DRILL. The crew forms in a file with five steps between men in this order: gunner,

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The gunner is five steps from and facing the leader. When the crew members reach their positions, each assumes the prone position and is ready for crew drill.

CREW IN PRONE POSITION FORMED FOR CREW DRILL

ROTATING DUTIES DURING

CREW DRILL

Duties are rotated during crew drill to train each man in the duties of all crew members.

The command to rotate duties is FALL OUT, GUNNER. At this command, the gunner becomes the ammunition bearer, the assistant gunner becomes the gunner, and the ammunition bearer becomes the assistant gunner. When crew members have assumed their new positions, they call out their new duties in order: AMMUNITION BEARER, ASSISTANT GUNNER, GUNNER,

BIPOD ASSEMBLY

INSPECTING

An inspection of equipment is made at the beginning of each exercise. After the crew is formed for crew drill, the leader commands,

INSPECT EQUIPMENT BEFORE FIRING, BIPOD. At this command, each crew member inspects his equipment as explained below.

Inspection by Gunner* The gunner inspects the ammunition first. He insures that the ammunition is properly linked and free of dirt and corrosion, and that the double link is up (ready for loading). After he inspects the ammunition, he reinserts the cardboard flaps in the bandoleers and places the cloth slings over his shoulder (except for one bandoleer, which he prepares for loading).

He then inspects the machinegun as follows:

• Holding the forearm assembly with his left hand, he reaches over with his right hand, pulls to the rear on the right bipod leg, and lowers it. Then, reaching under the right bipod leg, he lowers the left bipod leg and rests the gun on the bipod.

• Attaches the bandoleer to the machinegun.

• Places the safety lever on FIRE, pulls the cocking handle to the rear, pulls the trigger, eases the bolt forward manually with the cocking handle, and places the safety lever on SAFE.

• Calls for the cleaning rod and combination tool and receives them from the assistant gunner.

• Crawls forward and runs the cleaning rod through the barrel to insure that it is clear. While in this position, he visually checks the bleeder hole of the gas-cylinder extension to insure that it is clear.

• Checks the flash suppressor for cracks.

• Checks the front sight for tightness and for damage to the blade.

• Uses the combination tool to check the gas-cylinder extension, gas-port plug, and gas-cylinder nut for tightness, and insures that the retaining wire is secured.

• Checks the carrying handle to insure that it can be positioned so it will not be in the way during aiming and firing.

• Insures that the barrel-locking lever is down and the barrel is securely locked to the receiver.

• Returns the cleaning rod and combination tool to the assistant gunner.

• Moves to the rear of the gun and checks the moving parts in the feed cover.

Insures that the feed cam is clean and properly lubricated.

Pushes back and forth on the feed cam to check for freedom of movement.

Pushes on the belt-feed pawl to insure that it has spring tension.

Pushes on the cartridge guides to insure that they have spring tension.

• Pushes the belt-holding pawl to insure that it has spring tension.

• Lowers and latches the cover (without inserting the belt).

• Pulls the trigger to check the functioning of the safety.

• Places the safety lever on FIRE, pulls the cocking handle to the rear, pulls the trigger, eases the bolt forward manually with the cocking handle, and places the safety on

SAFE.

% Checks the rear sight, sets it at 500 meters and zero windage, then lowers the sight.

+ Checks the hinged shoulder rest for proper operation and leaves it in the down position.

This completes the gunner's inspection; he resumes his position parallel to the rnachinegun (his head on line with the feed way).

Inspection by Assistant Gunner. Remaining prone, the assistant gunner begins by inspecting his ammunition.

He takes the cleaning rod and the combination tool from the carrying case and assembles the cleaning rod.

He then takes the traversing and elevating mechanism from the case and prepares it as follows:

• Rotates the elevating handwheel, exposing 4 cm (1-1/2 inches or the width of two fingers) of threads above the elevating handwheel.

9 Rotates the traversing slide sleeve, exposing 4 cm (1-1/2 inches or the width of two fingers) of threads below the elevating handwheel.

• Centers the traversing mechanism as prescribed in chapter 8.

• Checks the locating pin of the elevating adapter to insure that it functions and has spring tension.

• Replaces the traversing and elevating mechanism in its case and removes the spare barrel from the spare-barrel case.

The assistant gunner next inspects the spare barrel as follows:

• Checks the barrel and the bleeder hole of the gas-cylinder extension to insure that they are clear.

• Checks the flash suppressor for cracks«.

• Checks the front sight for tightness and for damage to the blade.

• Checks the bipod assembly for proper operation.

• Uses the combination tool to check the gas-cylinder extension, gas-port plug, and gas-cylinder nut for tightness, and insures that the retaining wire is secure.

The assistant gunner's inspection is complete when he returns the spare barrel to its case; closes the case; disassembles the cleaning rod and returns it and the combination tool to the accessory pocket; and checks the ruptured-cartridge extractor, bore brush, chamber brush, receiver brush, and asbestos mitten for serviceability -

Inspection by Ammunition Bearer.

Remaining prone, the ammunition bearer inspects his ammunition as described above for gunner and assistant gunner. He then inspects the tripod and pintle assembly as follows:

• Insures that the legs are folded closely together.

• Checks the sleeve latch to insure that it has spring tension and will function.

• Inserts the pintle assembly into the pintle bushing and engages the pintle lock.

• Checks the pintle assembly to insure that it is locked into the pintle bushing and that the pintle rotates freely within the bushing.

ft Checks the front mounting lug to insure that it is free of dirt and pointing forward (checks the platform and pintle group, OLD

ISSUE).

• Lowers the platform lock (lowers the platform and pintle group, OLD ISSUE).

• Depresses the pintle platform latch on the OLD ISSUE, insuring that it is free of dirt and has spring tension.

This completes the ammunition bearer's inspection.

REPORTING COMPLETION OF

INSPECTION

When all members of the crew have completed their inspections of equipment, they call out their report, without command, starting from the rear:

• AMMUNITION BEARER COR^ RECT (or reports deficiencies).

• AMMUNITION BEARER AND ASSISTANT GUNNER CORRECT

(or reports the ammunition deficiences).

ft The gunner announces, ALL CORRECT (or deficiencies found during the inspections).

PLACING THE MACHINEGUN

INTO ACTION

To place the gun into action, the leader commands and signals, GUN TO BE MOUNTED HERE (pointing to the position where the gun is to be mounted), FRONT (pointing in the direction of fire), ACTION (raising fist to shoulder level and thrusting it several times in the direction of the selected position).

At the command ACTION, the gunner rises to his feet, grasps the carrying handle with his left hand, grasps the top of the stock with his right hand, raises the gun to a carrying position (muzzle to the front) and moves to the selected position.

GUNNER MOVING TO THE MACHINEGUN POSITION

Upon arrival at the position, the gunner places the gun on the ground. He then assumes the prone position to the rear of the gun, positions the carrying handle to the left so that it will not interfere during a barrel change or aiming and firing, alines the gun in the direction of fire, and raises the rear sight and hinged shoulder rest. He places the safety on FIRE, pulls the bolt to the rear, places the safety on SAFE, and returns the cocking handle to the forward position. He then raises the feed cover, places the first round of ammunition in the cartridge feed-tray groove, and closes the feed cover, insuring that the round does not slip out of the cartridge feed-tray groove. He then places the gun to his shoulder and puts the safety on

FIRE.

The assistant gunner times his movements so that he arrives at the position as the gunner is assuming the prone position. He lies prone on his left hip, feet to the rear, and on the left side of the gunner. He places

the spare-barrel case parallel to the gun with the zippered side toward the gun. He opens the case and removes the spare barrel- He extends the bipod legs and places the spare barrel on the case, muzzle to front and even with the muzzle of the gun-

GUNNER IN FIRING POSITION

AMMUNITION BEARER IN POSITION

CREW IN POSITION

The ammunition bearer times his movements so that he arrives at the position as the assistant gunner is assuming the prone position. He places the folded tripod one step to the left of the muzzle of the gun and on line with the gun. He unslings his bandoleers and places them next to the folded tripod legs. He then lies prone approximately 10 meters to the left and on line with the position, provides security, and prepares to fire into the target area with his rifle.

If the bipod legs must be adjusted, the assistant gunner crawls forward and supports the muzzle of the gun by holding the bipod yoke with his left hand. He adjusts the height of the bipod legs with his right hand. (The assistant gunner wears an asbestos mitten as required.)

When ready to fire, the gunner puts the safety lever on FIRE and reports, UP. The assistant gunner signals, READY, to the leader.

CHANGING THE BARREL

To insure proficiency and speed in changing barrels, the barrel-changing process is included in crew drill.

When the gunner has reported UP, and the assistant gunner has signaled READY, the leader commands, CHANGE BARRELS.

The gunner insures that the bolt is to the rear, puts the stock on the ground, and puts the safety lever on SAFE. He then pushes to the right on the barrel-locking-lever detent with his left hand and raises the barrel-locking lever with his right hand. Next, he moves his right hand to the top of the stock. He puts his left hand under the forearm assembly and raises the muzzle of the gun.

When the gunner raises the muzzle, the assistant gunner (wearing the asbestos mitten) grasps the gas system, removes the barrel, and puts it down with the barrel socket on the spare barrel case. He holds the spare barrel by the gas system and inserts it into the forearm assembly-

The gunner lowers the barrel-locking lever, moves the safety lever to FIRE, assumes the correct firing position, and reports, UP. The assistant gunner signals, READY, to the squad leader.

TAKING THE MACHINEGUN OUT OF ACTION

To take the gun out of action, the leader commands and signals OUT OF ACTION. The gunner and assistant gunner repeat the command.

At the command OUT OF ACTION, the ammunition bearer moves to the position,

slinging his rifle. He picks up and slings the bandoleers that he previously left there. He gets the tripod and moves 15 steps to the rear of the gun. He lies prone, facing the position with the tripod in front of him.

The assistant gunner closes the bipod legs on the spare barrel and places it and the asbestos mitten in the spare-barrel case. Before rising, he closes the spare-barrel case enough to retain the spare barrel and the traversing and elevating mechanism. He moves 10 steps to the rear of the position and lies prone, facing the position. At this time, he fully closes the spare-barrel case.

The gunner places the stock on the ground, insures that the bolt is to the rear, places the safety lever on SAFE, and raises the feed cover. He removes the ammunition from the tray, puts it into the bandoleer, and closes the bandoleer. The gunner examines the chamber to insure that it is clear; closes the feed cover; pulls the cocking handle to the rear; puts the safety lever on FIRE; pulls the trigger, easing the bolt forward; and puts the safety lever on SAFE. He lowers the shoulder rest with his right hand and the rear sight assembly with his left hand. He grasps the carrying handle with his left hand and the stock with his right hand. Rising, he pivots on his right foot; without turning the gun, he raises it to his left hip and moves five steps to the rear. He visually checks to^nsure that the ammunition bearer and the assistant gunner are in their proper positions. He lies prone, facing the position with the gun on his right. He folds the bipod legs alongside the barrel and reports, UP, to the squad leader.

TRIPOD MOUNT

The inspection of equipment for tripod training is the same as for bipod training except the leader's command to start the inspection of equipment is INSPECT EQUIPMENT BEFORE FIRING, TRIPOD.

Also, the gunner inspects the bipod legs and folds them to their position alongside the barrel.

PLACING THE MACHINEGUN

INTO ACTION

The leader commands and signals, GUN TO BE MOUNTED HERE, FRONT, ACTION, in the same manner as for bipod training.

Upon the command ACTION, the ammunition bearer rises to his feet, holds the tripod with his right hand, and moves forward to the position. He kneels on his right

knee and rests the shoes of the rear tripod legs on the ground, with the mount in a vertical position. Steadying the mount with his right hand near the tripod head, he raises the front leg with his left hand. He grasps the right shoe with his right hand and the left shoe with his left hand, and raises the tripod chest high. He separates the tripod legs with a quick jerk. Insuring that the sleeve latch engages the sleeve, he places the tripod on the ground with the front leg pointing in the direction of fire. He rises to his feet and stamps the rear shoes into the ground. He then unslings his bandoleers and places them on line with the front leg of the tripod, one step to the left. He moves approximately 10 meters to the left of the position, unslings his rifle, lies prone, provides security, and prepares to fire into the target area.

The assistant gunner times his movements and arrives at the position as the ammunition bearer leaves. He places the spare-barrel case (zippered side toward the tripod) parallel to and on line with the spot where the muzzle of the gun will be when it is mounted. He lies on his left side, with his hip near the left tripod shoe. He unzips the spare-barrel case and removes the spare-barrel and the traversing and elevating mechanism. He places the spare barrel on the spare-barrel case with the muzzle forward.

OPENING THE TRIPOD

MOUNTING THE MACHINEGUN

ATTACHING THE TRAVERSING AND ELEVATING MECHANISM

The gunner times his movements and arrives at the position as the assistant gunner assumes the prone position. He rises to his feet, holds the carrying handle in his left hand and the stock in his right hand, and raises the gun to the carrying position (muzzle to the front). He mounts the gun in accordance with chapter 3. He then positions the carrying handle to the left so it will not interfere with aiming and firing, raises the rear-sight assembly, and lies prone.

The assistant gunner hands the gunner the traversing and elevating mechanism and then steadies the gun. The gunner then positions and locks the traversing and elevating mechanism on the gun and the traversing bar.

The gunner places the safety on FIRE, pulls the bolt to the rear, places the safety on SAFE, and returns the cocking handle to the forward position. The assistant gunner places the first round of ammunition in the tray groove and supports the belt while the gunner closes the cover. The gunner takes the correct position and grip, places the safety lever on FIRE, and reports, UP, The assistant gunner signals, READY, to the squad leader.

CHANGING THE BARREL

When the gunner has reported, UPt and the assistant gunner has signaled, READY, the leader commands, CHANGE BARRELS.

The gunner puts the safety lever on SAFE and pushes to the right on the barrel-locking-lever detent with his left hand. He raises the barrel-locking lever with his right hand and keeps his hand at that position.

The assistant gunner grasps the bipod legs, removes the barrel from the gun, and places it on the carrying case. He then holds the spare barrel by the bipod legs and inserts it into the forearm assembly.

The gunner lowers the barrel-locking lever, moves the safety lever to FIRE, assumes a correct firing position, and reports, UP. The assistant gunner signals, READY, to the squad leader.

TAKING THE MACHINEGUN OUT OF ACTION

At the command OUT OF ACTION, the gunner insures that the bolt is to the rear, places the safety lever on SAFE, and raises the cover. The assistant gunner removes the ammunition from the tray, returns it to the bandoleer, and closes the bandoleer. The gunner inspects the chamber to insure that it is clear; closes the cover; pulls the cocking handle to the rear; puts the safety lever on FIRE; pulls the trigger, easing the bolt forward; and puts the safety lever on SAFE. The gunner removes the traversing and elevating mechanism from the tripod and hands it to the assistant gunner.

The assistant gunner puts the traversing and elevating mechanism into the spare-barrel case. He puts the spare barrel and mitten into the case and closes it enough to retain the contents. He rises, moves 10 steps to the rear of the position, and lies prone, facing to the front. At this time, he fully closes the spare-barrel case.

MACHINEGUN CREW GOING OUT OF ACTION (TRIPOD)

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After handing the traversing and elevating mechanism to the assistant gunner, the gunner rises to his feet, lowers the rear sight, and holds the carrying handle with his left hand. With his right hand, he depresses the pintle latch and removes the gun from the tripod. Holding the stock with his right hand, he pivots to his right as he raises the gun to the carrying position. Ho then moves five steps to the rear of the position and lies prone, facing to the front.

The ammunition hearer rises, siings his rifle, moves to the gun, and secures his bandoleers, timing his arrival so that the

CLOSING THE TRIPOD LEGS

gunner and assistant gunner will be clear of the tripod. He grasps the tripod with his left hand and moves five steps to the rear of the position. He turns, facing the front, and kneels on his right knee. He places the tripod in a vertical position with the rear shoes on the ground and supports it with his right hand near the head of the tripod. He reaches up with his left hand and lowers the front leg, slides his right hand down the right leg. and releases the sleeve latch. He then grasps the shoes and closes the tripod legs. He lowers the tripod to the ground, head to the left, lies prone behind it, and reports, CP.

PRONE POSITION

Crew drill, as it is described in the preceding paragraphs, is an excellent training vehicle for the machinegun crew. However, it is not realistic for any situation other than training. A continuation or second phase of crew drill (crew drill in the prime position) is outlined in this section. It should be used only as a technique for adding realism to training-

INSPECTING EQUIPMENT BEFORE FIRING

The inspection of equipment for crew drill from the prone position is the same as that for bipod training and tripod training.

PLACING THE GUN INTO ACTION

The leader commands and signals, GUN

TO BE MOUNTED HERE, FRONT,

ACTION, in the same manner as for bipod training.

The procedures for bipod training are the same, with one exception. Crew members do not get to their feet, and all movements are executed in the low crawl. Once in position, all actions are performed from the prone position.

TRAINING WITH THE TRIPOD

Upon the command ACTION, the ammunition bearer crawls forward to the designated position and extends the front leg of the tripod. Grasping the rear legs firmly, he em places the front leg. Applying downward pressure, he emplaces the rear legs- He then crawls to a position about 10

meters to the left of the machinegun and gets into a good firing position with his rifle.

The assistant gunner crawls forward, timing his movement to arrive as the ammunition bearer leaves. Positioning him-

EXTENDING FRONT LEG OF TRIPOD

ASSISTANT GUNNER POSITION

MOUNTING THE GUN

self on the left side and facing the tripod, he places the spare-barrel case alongside the tripod, unzips the case, and removes the spare barrel and the traversing and elevating mechanism-

The gunner crawls forward to the rear of the tripod. The assistant gunner grasps the forearm assembly with his left hand (while the gunner holds on to the stock) and guides the mounting pins into the pintle latch until the gun locks into place. The gunner takes the traversing and elevating mechanism from the assistant gunner and mounts it on the gun and tripod. The assistant gunner then loads the gun.

The procedures for taking the gun out of action remain the same except all are performed in the prone position and all movements are in the low crawl.

CHAPTER 7

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