Target Engagement Direct

When fire is under direct control of a leader, he designates the midpoint and flanks or ends of a target unless they are obvious to the gunners. In the case of an area target, the gunner on the left applies his fire to the left half of the target, and the gunner on the right takes the right half. Each gunner must be prepared to engage the entire target. Gunners continue to fire until the target is neutralized or until signaled to do otherwise by the leader. To aid in fire control, SAWs employed in pairs are designated number 1 SAW (right position) and number 2 SAW (left position). To ensure that gunners react quickly and properly when they detect a target or when a target is designated by the leader, standard methods of applying fire to the various types of targets are used. Point targets are engaged with fixed fire (also called "point fire"). If the target moves after the initial burst, gunners keep fire on the target by following its movement. Linear targets are engaged with traversing fire.

a. SAWS IN PAIRS. The target is divided at the midpoint with the right SAW (normally, number 1) firing on the right half and the left SAW (normally, number 2) firing on the left half. The point of initial lay and adjustment for both SAWs is on the midpoint. After adjusting on the midpoint, the right SAW traverses right, firing a burst after each change in direction, until it reaches one aiming point beyond the right flank (this ensures complete target coverage). The left SAW traverses to the left flank in the same way. Both gunners then reverse their directions and return to the midpoint. It is important to select aiming points for each burst rather than "spray" the target area.

If one part of the target is a greater threat, fire can be concentrated on the greater threat by dividing the target unevenly. The special division of the target is done with subsequent fire commands after firing begins. To preclude confusion, the gunners initially lay on the midpoint regardless of the special division to be made.

b. ONE SAW. A single gunner must engage the entire width of a linear target. The point of initial lay is on the midpoint. The gunner then manipulates to cover the rest of the target.

c. HARD-TO-IDENTIFY LINEAR TARGETS. If a linear target is hard to identify, the leader may designate the target by using a reference point. When this method is used, the leader determines the center of mass of the target and announces the number of fingers from the reference point that will cause each gunner to lay on the center mass. The reference point may be within or adjacent to the target; however, it should be on line with the target for best effect. After the command to fire has been given, the leader maintains and controls the fire by subsequent fire commands.

Example of a fire command with the reference point OUTSIDE the target area: FIRE MISSION FRONT

REFERENCE: CHIMNEY, RIGHT FIVE, CENTER MASS TARGET: TROOPS 600

TRAVERSE AT MY COMMAND FIRE

State Tennessee

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ENGAGING HARD-TO-IDENTIFY LINEAR TARGETS WITH A REFERENCE POINT OUTSIDE THE TARGET AREA

Example of a fire command with the reference point INSIDE the target area: FIRE MISSION LEFT FRONT

REFERENCE: BURNED-OUT TANK, CENTER MASS

TARGET: TROOPS EXTENDING LEFT FIVE ZERO, RIGHT FIVE ZERO

TRAVERSE AT MY COMMAND FIRE

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