squads, and crew-served weapons are assigned
A fighting position is a location on the ground
Alternate Fighting Position
from which fire is delivered by an individual, a fire
unit (squad or fire team), or a crew-served weapon.
Alternate positions are not normally assigned to
Before you select a fighting position, the assigned
individuals or squads within the platoon. They are
sector of fire is carefully examined from various
used primarily by crew-served weapons. An alternate
locations. Examining is done in the prone position to
position is located so that a crew-served weapon can
ensure effective coverage of the sector of fire. The
continue to cover the original assigned sector of fire
positions must provide the following:
when the primary position becomes unsuited for
Desired support of the sector
carrying out that mission.
Good fields of fire
Supplementary Fighting Position
M a x i m u m use of available cover and
Supplementary positions are prepared to guard
against attack from directions other than those from
Facilitate effective fire control by the unit leader
which the main attack is expected. A supplementary
Carefully examine assigned sectors of fire from
position is a secondary position that does not cover the
the prone position, and then select a fighting position
same sector of fire as the primary position.
to ensure effective coverage of the sector. Primary,
Supplementary positions are for security reasons and
alternate, supplementary, and battle fighting positions
ensure protection, when occupied against surprise
must be established (fig. 4-4).
enemy attack from an unexpected direction.
Movements to supplementary positions and concealed
NOTE: Range cards must be completed for each
routes are covered to avoid enemy detection.
fighting position. Range cards will be discussed
further in this chapter.
Primary Fighting Position
The battle position is where the main effort of
defense is concentrated. Companies and platoons are
The primary fighting position is the best
assigned battle positions. The battle position is made
a v a i l a b l e position from which the assigned
up of a series of sectors of fire that support and
sector of fire can cover. Individuals, fire teams,
interlock one another. Based on the battle position of
the company, platoon battle positions are assigned a
right and left limit of fire in which gunfire can be
PRINCIPAL DIRECTION Of FIRE (PDF)
A principal direction of fire (PDF) is a specific
direction within a sector of fire of a flat trajectory
weapon including crew-seined weapons. The PDF is
designated as the primary fire mission for that weapon.
Never assign more than one PDF per weapon.
Assign a PDF using a terrain feature. Using a stake to
guide the PDF during reduced visibility is vital to the
The PDF is used as follows:
1. To cover a gap in a final protective line (FPL)
of a crew-served weapon
2. To cover a specific terrain feature endangering
Figure 4-4.--Defensive firing positions.
the company or platoon battle position, such as draws,