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TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

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  • TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

    Hey what do you guys think of this as a starting point for new TGU content based on need to adapt to the jungles of Tanoa?

    LINK TO GOOGLE DRAWING

    I'm sharing this work in-progress to spur some discussion and input on how we adapt existing SOP for TGU. This formation above is supposed to be a platoon formation so we have attempted to scale it down to a squad level. Please pipe in with suggestions and help us get some great new content right the first time.
    |TG-189th| Unkl
    ArmA 3 Game Officer
    Dean of Tactical Gamer University
    189th Infantry Brigade Member
    SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
    "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

  • #2
    Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

    Well done, I was thinking in a similar direction with fireteam formations. In this environment our contact will be right in front of us so immediate suppressive fire and care with launched grenades are two points that come to my mind immediately.

    Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

    "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

    Friend of |TG| Chief

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    • #3
      Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

      I like this formation. Flanks are vital given how easy it is to pass an enemy without noticing.

      Something my Tanka experience so far has changed in my personal tactics is he use of RGOs. I carry a lot more going into the jungle, enevitably and use them all. Contact is often close (inside 30m) and visually obscured, making hand thrown grenades very effective. I don't even bother with the 40mm under slung and take more hand grenades in a jungle fight.

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      • #4
        Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

        Some constructive criticism here -- No disrespect intended.

        Firstly, I don't know what the point of the "Pace Man" is. If it's what I'm inferring, it's a person who keeps the pace. If that's true, wouldn't the point man also be the pace man? The formation does not pass the point man if the point man halts. That's because everyone follows that person, and if HE stops, everyone stops. Maybe I'm being ignorant, but I've never heard of a "pace man" in terms of platoon / squad formations. The closest I can think of is a battalion-wide march wherein the front of the formation is so far ahead from the rear that one person cannot physically manage to call cadence loud enough for everyone to hear.

        Second, you have what appears to be either a wedge or a line spanning the width of the entire platoon/squad on point. If your goal is to keep the formation strict and rigid in the jungle, you're automatically going to lose situational awareness just by virtue of how formations work in Arma (especially if you don't have TrackIR). All of a sudden people are more interested in staring at friendlies, making sure their formation looks pretty, instead of looking ahead and watching for the smallest clues that their team is about to walk into an enemy element. If you want this to work, you're going to need some way to display the position of all the men in close proximity to you and where they're facing. This makes up for the fact that you can't easily just glance over your shoulder to check your bearing. When you use free look, you sacrifice control of your weapon. If you turn your whole body, you sacrifice fine control of your direction of travel and pace.

        I suggest a squad column. The official Guidebook for Marines says, "The squad column, with fire teams arranged in succession one behind the other, is used to maintain speed and control when moving through thick terrain, such as a jungle or woods, during darkness or other periods of reduced visibility and along roads, trails or narrow routes of advance." (pg307-308, 20th edition)

        The advantage of this being, you can easily move around the jungle without fear of breaking formation. Simply hold "w" and keep glancing forwards to make sure you're in line. The rest of your time can be spent watching your sector.

        You can also easily scale this up or down.
        Last edited by Hummel; 09-11-2016, 05:32 PM. Reason: elaborating my suggestion

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

          Originally posted by Hummel View Post
          I suggest a squad column. The official Guidebook for Marines says, "The squad column, with fire teams arranged in succession one behind the other, is used to maintain speed and control when moving through thick terrain, such as a jungle or woods, during darkness or other periods of reduced visibility and along roads, trails or narrow routes of advance." (pg307-308, 20th edition)
          I think the difference here is that speed is not an element that this formation is designed to do. This is for movement through and area where visibility is extremely limited and the ambush is the expected type of attack. The speed of this formation is going to be slower but since the leading wedge sets the pace and the other two FT elements are in a file, it should be pretty easy to maintain a bearing and cover the sector easier than the stacked wedges of a squad column.

          I'll admit, I'm not sure why you would need a pace man in each team, but that existed in the Field Manual and was already present in the Squad Column diagram I adapted this one from. I'm sure there are many who can speak to this here.

          The manual I took this from is also talking about action on contact drills being essential and that the SOPs remain flexible. That a team must return fire effectively and immediately without order. Individual Movement Techniques must also be utilized since sight lines are vastly different with every step you take in that dense foliage. So, this requires more drills and refining SOPs in order for teams to learn to adapt to an almost endless amount of variation the jungle will require.

          We did use a squad column on the Running Blind event the other week and it proved to be very inadequate. Without a proper sight line to the very close enemy contacts, the stacked wedges just could not return effective fire for fear of shooting friendlies. That is what this jungle formation attempts to overcome. There is no reason (if your the only known squad within weapon range) to not being free to fire in all 360 degrees with almost all guns facing outwards. You don't have half of the team in the middle of the formation and unable to fire effectively until their team is maneuvered into position. This maneuver even if it is only 10 feet can be a world away in a jungle fire fight.

          So it is complicated. I agree that there is no one size fits all solution! Here is the manual I've been looking at. https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm90-5.pdf

          I'll be looking for more reference material so if there is more you guys can share I got my ears on.
          |TG-189th| Unkl
          ArmA 3 Game Officer
          Dean of Tactical Gamer University
          189th Infantry Brigade Member
          SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
          "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

            Originally posted by Unkl View Post
            This is for movement through and area where visibility is extremely limited and the ambush is the expected type of attack. The speed of this formation is going to be slower but since the leading wedge sets the pace and the other two FT elements are in a file, it should be pretty easy to maintain a bearing and cover the sector easier than the stacked wedges of a squad column.
            The issue I have with this is you still have one fire team that's more worried about keeping a good wedge than they're carefully watching what's in front of them. It's not an easy thing to balance ease of movement with reaction to contact. Therefor, instead of trying to make a formation that can respond to any situation, maybe we should focus on teaching our leaders to anticipate a likely direction of attack and plan accordingly.

            If you want to move through dense terrain efficiently, move in a file. If you're expecting contact, slow your pace and form up to meet resistence. If possible, try to avoid confrontation in a position of disadvantage. That means no patrols in vegetation which AI can see/shoot through.

            Without a proper sight line to the very close enemy contacts, the stacked wedges just could not return effective fire for fear of shooting friendlies.
            There is no reason (if your the only known squad within weapon range) to not being free to fire in all 360 degrees with almost all guns facing outwards.
            Perhaps I misunderstood, but I find this contradictory. What's the difference between:
            1- Only 1 fire team can engage without hitting friendlies, and
            2- Only 1 fire team can engage because everyone else is looking away from the fight?
            I agree that situational awareness is important, but when reacting to contact, it makes sense to get everyone in the fight. Therefor, if you're in a squad column and take contact from the front, your fire team leaders in the rear should already know to rush to either side of you in a squad line to engage the threat.

            This maneuver even if it is only 10 feet can be a world away in a jungle fire fight.
            This is the final thing I want to touch on. For some reason, people assume that there should always be a formation/maneuver to have memorized just in case situation A, B, C, etc. happens so you minimize the amount of thinking the leader has to do. If you get ambushed, it's because the enemy had the element of surprise or they got lucky, meaning NO MATTER HOW MUCH planning you did, you were still unable to forsee what came your way. In that case, it doesn't matter what formation you were in when you were attacked, out-flanked, decimated, etc.

            What matters is how you react to it.

            As you said, your lines of sight change drastically with every step you take in the jungle. There's no way we can possibly change that. So, you need to focus either on A) mobility to react to contact, or B) ease of movement so that you can more easily watch your surroundings so you're less likely to be jumped. When the lines are blurred, you can't be afraid to admit that it's out of your hands, and rely on your ability as a leader to think on your feet when the unexpected happens.

            Of course, there's no SOP for that, and that's why crickets chirp when someone asks for a leader to take over. Just my thoughts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

              Originally posted by Hummel View Post

              I agree that situational awareness is important, but when reacting to contact, it makes sense to get everyone in the fight. Therefor, if you're in a squad column and take contact from the front, your fire team leaders in the rear should already know to rush to either side of you in a squad line to engage the threat.
              Based on what we've seen in the jungles of Tanoa so far, the teams trying to get "on line" are likely to get disoriented in the undergrowth, or worse run into additional contacts while maneuvering. Unlike the relatively open fields of Altis, what seemed like a clear flank might not be in Tanoa - so a change in tactics is warranted.


              This is the final thing I want to touch on. For some reason, people assume that there should always be a formation/maneuver to have memorized just in case situation A, B, C, etc. happens so you minimize the amount of thinking the leader has to do. If you get ambushed, it's because the enemy had the element of surprise or they got lucky, meaning NO MATTER HOW MUCH planning you did, you were still unable to forsee what came your way. In that case, it doesn't matter what formation you were in when you were attacked, out-flanked, decimated, etc.
              This is backward thinking - we want planned formations and practiced maneuvers so people can react without having to wait for the leader to call positions for each person. This gives the leader ROOM to think and plan. If your squad leader is having to micro-manage positions, he can't be thinking about what to do *after* the contact lifts. No matter how much you plan, you might get ambushed - having a SOP so everyone knows what to do increases the units chance of survival.


              My understand is this isn't a traveling for speed formation, this is a moving through difficult terrain with enemy contact likely formation. It's meant to be used at a slow pace, with as many eyes out for contact as possible, and clear fields of fire for every team member.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                Hummel:
                I can’t find the book reference you indicate, but the Marine manual documents I could find regarding “Squad Column” showed more than one formation. Two stacked wedge formations as Unkl suggests and the other was how we do it here with a Wedge and a reverse Wedge in the back (basically the same as the proposed Jungle Squad movement proposed by Unkl). Post up the page you’re talking about or make a graphic to represent the formation you’re suggesting. Hard to discuss or support the thought without knowing what you’re talking about.

                Thoughts:
                In short – I think the goal is “moving 360” and the formation as suggested just about gets us there.
                Also – key take-aways (MHO) are:
                - Slower movement through the jungle - we already move pretty fast, we need to slow that down in the thick woods.
                - Less chatter - keep quiet and listen – we talk too much – hand signals would be helpful, but alas . . . it’s ArmA.
                - Moving 360 helps to prevent flanking surprises
                - Tighter formations but not on top of each other will help with situational awareness and help with supporting fire on contact

                The best suggestion I have read is from Noyava – “more RGOs and less GL”. Simple enough but actually brilliant. In the woods we’re inside of 50M on most contact. RGOs are perfect and better placed for this “action on contact”. I’d suggest that as a kit protocol if we know we’re in the woods for a good portion of any movement.

                Suggestions:
                Two suggestions - Place the TL of Blue at the 180 point during movement (the formation has AR and GL with a hole in the middle).

                I would also swap TL and AR for red team putting the TL’s for Red and Yellow abreast of the SL with only the TL of Blue possibly out of ear-shot on hasty halt.

                Reasons:
                Red TL as Point -I never like that because TL, even at the fireteam level, is still a command position and having that person on point could remove command and control on injury.

                Movement of Blue team TL on contact to the “six” position may not be possible given the fire and the local terrain, and if not able to move this may make “six” vulnerable if he is not already in place.

                Also, Blue Team TL on “six” – provides a solid set of command eyes at the rear and able to direct fire of both GL and AR on contact. Also provides some solid command survive-ability given "at distance" from forward contact (where the other two TLs are and the SL).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                  I know i don't have much room to speak here, but i agree with Hummel. A column or staggered column would provide the best movement through the jungle. Not only movement, but allow for rapid changes in formation to engage or set up 360. While the formation Unkl showed is solid, i wonder how well it could be performed in a dense section of jungle or over uneven ground. While speed may not be a concern, fluid movement and quick reactions are my personal preference.

                  I would also like to integrate the use of thermal optics more uniformly. If i had to choice i would place a tight 3 man wedge at the front with AR center flanked by 2 rifles. the rest of the squad or fireteam are moving in a staggered column behind the wedge. The AR does not use thermals as navigation is difficult with them. Only one of the rifles would be using thermals while the second rifle would be NVG/no optics to set spacing with the AR. The forth man in the column would be placed opposite of the thermal rifleman and would watch for forward contacts on their respective flank. The use of thermals would be restricted to every 4th person in the column as to avoid over use and the entire squad walking blindly.

                  Here is an example of my experience in a jungle assault. A few nights ago I lead a 7 man assault on the Tanoa Airport and Radio Tower 066078. (i have images and video, but not allowed :/ ). The first target was the Radio Tower on the hill just northwest of the airport. This tower was set on top of a hill in very dense Jungle. The team inserted west of the tower in a clear valley and moved in a loose column up a dirt trail. I say loose because i really don't have the leadership to keep a tight grip on the team. We met an enemy fire team immediately and were able to get a fire line up and eliminate them quickly. We resumed formation and moved in to the jungle proper and advanced to the tower. From here we moved almost in single file due to narrow nature of the trail and moving off the trail would have proved less efficient. We had UAV intelligence giving us the rough locations and lines of sights. Using this Intel we moved down the trail past the tower and approached from the opposite side then used a loose line to advance and engage the tower. This was another point where my inexperience showed through and i didn't get the team in a proper line like i had wanted but, given the rough, dense terrain a simple order to advance slowly on the tower still achieved the desired results with a capture within 50 seconds of initial contact. From there the team was split 3 ways so formations were abandoned.

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                  • #10
                    Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                    Here is a diagram of how I see fields of vision working while in motion, I think its helpful to visualize how it will work in terms of total front and side coverage. (before anyone asks, it doesn't much matter where the SL, RTO and Medic look. They are probably staring at their maps, or writing reports to command about how bad the Red Team Leader's feet smell...)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                      Originally posted by MadSoloSniper View Post
                      Hummel:
                      I can’t find the book reference you indicate, but the Marine manual documents I could find regarding “Squad Column” showed more than one formation. Two stacked wedge formations as Unkl suggests and the other was how we do it here with a Wedge and a reverse Wedge in the back (basically the same as the proposed Jungle Squad movement proposed by Unkl). Post up the page you’re talking about or make a graphic to represent the formation you’re suggesting. Hard to discuss or support the thought without knowing what you’re talking about.
                      It's not hard to support the thought. You were told what the formation was. It's a column of fire teams one behind the other. Each fire team travels in a jagged column. Total Marine rifle squad is 1 squad leader plus 3x 4-man fire teams for 13 people total.

                      This is backward thinking - we want planned formations and practiced maneuvers so people can react without having to wait for the leader to call positions for each person. This gives the leader ROOM to think and plan. If your squad leader is having to micro-manage positions, he can't be thinking about what to do *after* the contact lifts. No matter how much you plan, you might get ambushed - having a SOP so everyone knows what to do increases the units chance of survival.
                      It's only backwards if you think you can avoid ambushes 100% of the time. I don't believe that giving simple orders to your fire team leaders is micro-managing. I also doubt that people need orders to act in an emergency. I'm not saying you should waltz into the jungle unprepared -- That would be air-headed. But, if there was one magical formation to prepare us for all the evils of the jungle, the military would know. Apparently it's called a squad column.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                        Looks pretty good to me.


                        Pros:
                        In the thick jungle everyone has a good idea where all friendlies are and aren't. Allowing autorifles and MGs to effectively suppress, searching and traversing through the jungle.

                        Cons:
                        The only concern might be if engaged basically everyone is on the same location. Grazing fire from an enemy MG could effectively pin everyone. There is no element hanging back that can flex or flank contact without fighting out of the enemy's kill zone themselves.

                        However, at the end of the day the jungle is unforgiving. There is not one great way to handle close contact but I think your formation is great for command, control, and location of friendly units allowing your big guns to go to work without as much threat of friendly fire on close contact.
                        -----

                        Something my group adapted awhile back for Tanoa, its more on the react to contact side than a formation. (Basically we still run in a squad column or two fireteam files staggered off each other).

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                        • #13
                          Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                          [MENTION=36903]ogmogul[/MENTION] is a Marine and spent some time in Panama, if I recall.

                          Hey Mogul, do you have any insight on what you where taught during your preparation?

                          Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                          "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                          Friend of |TG| Chief

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                            Wow this is great input!

                            Wilco, you are 1 post away from being able to post links! I think you have hit upon some excellent points. First, this proposed Jungle Movement adaptation of an existing US Field Manual technique and it is not my procedure at all. What if on contact the TL does not return to the rear but the additional support elements such as medic or EOD take the rear position. The SL then can go where needed. The use of thermal may indeed be a great element, is there a thermal optic that is not magnified? Although, I think staggered column could be a dangerous proposal if the right fire team thinks they can simply turn left and fire through the left fire team. The jungle doesn't allow for this kind of strict movement, and frankly I've rarely ever seen it be attainable in game. Players seem unaware of how the staggered nature should allow you to turn both sides of the formation to fire in a "staggered" line. If you need more room to speak any time let me know and we will send the goons out with their elbows out ;)

                            In fact, the Jungle Movement technique is essentially two files like you suggest but has a wedge on the front to have multiple guns facing forward toward the most likely direction of enemy contact. The files on the side are prepared for flanking attacks...such as is normal of any L shaped ambush. This is why you want this coverage on your flank so your leading team or engaged team can concentrate on their direction with little worry about being flanked.

                            The direction of least likely enemy contact is from the rear while you are traveling, so that is why there is only a GL and an AR on that position. :D This is entirely different when the squad comes to a halt for longer than 7 seconds and you would need to fill that gap.

                            Noyava, could you add a sector of fire for both the AR and the GL on the rear to watch the six-o-clock as well as their respective flanks? Perhaps the second last man should watch the 90 degree flank to rear so that you allow the AR/GL on the rear to worry less about the forward flanks?

                            Ghost1Bravo, I will have to hit the headphones and watch this vid when the boss is away :D

                            To the group, how about we spool up a Zues mission and put some of these suggestions to the jungle test? Sounds like a good Battle Drill event for a week night no? Keep it coming....you guys got the wheels spinning...
                            |TG-189th| Unkl
                            ArmA 3 Game Officer
                            Dean of Tactical Gamer University
                            189th Infantry Brigade Member
                            SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
                            "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: TGU - Your Input Please - Jungle Movement

                              Things I have learned, read, heard, observed.

                              - As Ghost says no right or wrong way other than moving too fast, creating too much sign

                              - Column is good as it reduces your frontal visual signature and also allows your point man to control movement pace.

                              - Column is weak in that it reduces your immediate strength at point of contact when in 'contact front' in a 'bumped' scenario, stumbling on enemy. The Australian peel move originates from jungle patrolling (iircc) for a reason

                              - Jungle patrolling in large groups is ill-advised. Far better in small bricks of 4-8 man max. A large group is for a sweep, small groups find the enemy, big groups flush and kill em

                              - Formation is situational determined by numbers and terrain density. Big numbers can mean too strung out a column

                              - Take your expected rate of movement (in open terrain) and divide by 3 or 4 at least

                              - Your pattern of movement should be 2/3 rest and observation 1/3 movement. Keep irregular spacing but squad members should always remain in close visual range. Irregular spacing delays the human eye's (and human mind's) determination of a pattern, which is what it is seeking to identify a threat as nature is irregular


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