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Encyclopedia > Fireteam

A fireteam is a small military unit of infantry. It is the smallest unit in the militaries that use it and is the primary unit upon which infantry organization is based in the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force Security Forces, Canadian Forces, Australian Army and British Army. Fireteams generally consist of four or fewer soldiers and are usually grouped by two teams into a squad or section. A military unit is an organisation within an armed force. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ... The Canadian Forces (French: Forces canadiennes), abbreviated as CF (French: FC), are the unified armed forces of Canada. ... The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... In the fire service a Squad is a Engine Company with a compliment of rescue tools. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


The concept of the fireteam is based on the need for tactical flexibility in infantry operations. A fireteam is capable of autonomous operations as part of a larger unit. Successful fireteam employment relies on quality small unit training for soldiers, experience of fireteam members operating together, sufficient communications infrastructure, and a quality non-commissioned officer corps to provide tactical leadership for the team. A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ...


These requirements have led to successful use of the fireteam concept by more professional militaries. It is less useful for armies employing massed infantry formations, or with significant conscription. Conscription makes fireteam development difficult, as team members are more effective as they build experience over time working together and building personal bonds.


The creation of effective fireteams is seen as essential for creating an effective professional military as they serve as a primary group. Psychological studies by the United States Army have indicated that the willingness to fight is more heavily influenced by the desire to defend and avoid a loss of face among other members of the fireteam and the squad than by abstract concepts. Historically, nations with effective fireteam organization have had significantly better performance from their infantry units in combat than those limited to operations by larger units. The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ...


In combat, while attacking or maneuvering, a fireteam generally spreads over a distance of 50 m, while in defensive positions the team can cover up to the range of its weapons or the limits of visibility, whichever is smaller. In open terrain, up to 500 m can be covered by an effective team, although detection range limits effectiveness beyond 100 m or so without special equipment. A team is effective so long as its primary weapon remains operational. A team is often reduced to only two men in combat.

Contents

National variations

United States Army

The United States Army particularly emphasizes the fireteam concept, as do most special operations units. The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... Special Forces (SF) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) are highly-trained military units that conduct specialized operations such as reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counter-terrorism actions. ...


A United States Army Rangers fireteam consists of four soldiers equipped with a personal weapon and special equipment based on position: The 75th Ranger Regiment—also known as the United States Army Rangers—is an elite light infantry special operations force of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia. ...

A Grenadier (French for Grenademan) was originally a specialized assault soldier for siege operations, first established as a distinct role in the mid to late 17th century. ... M203 generally refers to the United States Army designation for a single shot 40 mm grenade launcher that attaches to the M16 assault rifle or the M4 Carbine. ... A grenade launcher is weapon that fires or launches a grenade to longer distances than a soldier could throw by hand. ... The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (M249 SAW) is the United States military designation for a sub-family of the FN Minimi squad automatic weapon (from Mini-mitrailleuse French: mini-machine gun. Both are 5. ... It has been suggested that Spray and pray be merged into this article or section. ...

United States Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps summarizes its fireteam organization with the mnemonic "ready-team-fire-assist", the following being the arrangement of the fireteam when in a column: The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ...

  • Rifleman: acts as a scout for the fireteam; called "Ready";
  • Team Leader (M203): also works as the grenadier; called "Team";
  • Automatic Rifleman (M249 SAW): also serves as second in command for the fireteam; called "Fire";
  • Assistant Automatic Rifleman: carries extra ammunition; called "Assist";

Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944 Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ... M203 generally refers to the United States Army designation for a single shot 40 mm grenade launcher that attaches to the M16 assault rifle or the M4 Carbine. ... The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (M249 SAW) is the United States military designation for a sub-family of the FN Minimi squad automatic weapon (from Mini-mitrailleuse French: mini-machine gun. Both are 5. ... Boxes of ammunition clog a warehouse in Baghdad Ammunition is a generic military term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ...

Fireteam rush

The United States Marine Corps fireteam is organized around the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Upon receiving fire, the fireteam can organize in a methodical way to engage the enemy with fireteam "rushes". Fireteam rushes are movement by one part of the team during cover by fire by the other part of the team. Generally, first the Rifleman and Team Leader will move ahead, being covered by the Automatic and Assistant Automatic Riflemen, then the Automatic and Assistant Automatic Riflemen will move up to the Rifleman and Team Leader, being covered by the Rifleman and Team Leader. The process is repeated until no forward progress is possible without serious risk to the entire fireteam. This theoretically increases the safety of the team members during movement. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ...


When finally upon the objective, the fireteam assumes a "hasty 180", where the Automatic Rifleman covers 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock (12 o'clock being the most likely avenue of enemy approach), with the Rifleman and Assistant Automatic Rifleman covering 9 to 11 and 1 to 3 respectively. The Team Leader is next to the Automatic Rifleman to complement his fire with grenade rounds and to assign targets for the M249. Once a frontal enemy counterattack is deemed unlikely, the fireteam then will assume a "consolidated 360" to ensure the flanks of the fireteam are protected. The position of Marines in the fireteam is sometimes called RTFA (Ready - Team - Fire - Assist) because of one of the fireteam formations that are possible. “Flanking” redirects here. ...


British Army

The British Army also uses the fireteam. An infantry section of eight men contains two fireteams (Charlie and Delta), each comprising an NCO (Corporal or Lance-Corporal) and three Privates. The NCO will carry an SA80 with Under-slung Grenade Launcher, with one of the privates carrying an SA80 rifle, one an LMG (FN Minimi) and one an Light Support Weapon. In some units SOPs vary with one of the team members rather than the Fireteam Commander carrying the UGL. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... This article is about the military rank. ... Lance Corporal (LCpl or L/Cpl) is a military rank used by some elements of the British, Commonwealth, and U.S. armed forces. ... A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank (equivalent to Nato Rank Grades OR-1 to OR-3 depending on the force served in). ... Under-Slung Grenade Launcher (UGL) is the under-barrel 40 mm grenade launcher used by the British Army in conjunction with the SA80 A2 Rifle, and in small numbers with the Diemaco C7 Rifle used by the SAS. It is designed and built by Heckler and Koch (HK) and is... SA80 (Small Arms for the 1980s) is a family of related arms that include the British Armed Forcess standard combat rifle. ... The FN Minimi is a squad automatic weapon — the name coming from Mini-mitrailleuse (French: mini-machine gun. It is a 5. ... A squad automatic weapon, (abbrev. ...


Other nations

In the Canadian Army "fireteam" refers to two soldiers, with two fire teams forming a group and two groups forming a section of eight soldiers. Many other armed forces see the squad as the smallest military unit; some countries' armies have a "pair" consisting of two soldiers as the smallest military unit. In others a fireteam is composed of two pairs of soldiers (fire and maneuver team) forming a fireteam. Canadian Forces Land Force Command (LFC) is responsible for army operations within the Canadian Forces. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A fireteam, in the United States Army, is one of two elements, normally consisting of 4-5 soldiers apiece, that constitute a squad. ...


History

Fireteams have their origins in the early 20th century. From the Napoleonic War until World War I, military tactics involved central control of large numbers of soldiers in mass formation where small units were given little initiative. This resulted in a trench warfare stalemate on the Western Front. In order to combat this stalemate, the Germans developed a doctrinal innovation known as infiltration tactics, in which small, autonomous teams would covertly penetrate Allied Forces lines. The Germans used their assault troops (Stosstruppen) organized into squads (Kameradschaft) at the lowest levels to provide a cohesive strike force in breaking through Allied lines. The British and Canadian troops on the Western Front started dividing platoons into sections after the Battle of the Somme in 1916. This idea was later further developed in World War II. In the inter-war years, United States Marine Corps Captain Evans F. Carlson went to China in 1937 and observed the Communist Chinese 8th Route Army in action against the Japanese invaders. The Napoleonic Wars lasted from 1804 until 1815. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defence. ... In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. ... In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. ... Brigadier General Evans Fordyce Carlson (26 February 1896 - 27 May 1947) was the famed U.S. Marine Corps leader of the World War II Carlsons Raiders. ... Communist Party of China flag The Communist Party of China (Simplified Chinese: 中国共产党; Traditional Chinese: 中國共産黨; pinyin: Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng) is the ruling party of the Peoples Republic of China. ...


Carlson and Merritt Edson are believed to have developed the fireteam concept in the Nicaraguan campaign. At that time the U.S. Marine squad consisted on a Corporal and 7 Marines all armed with a bolt action M1903 Springfield rifle and an automatic rifleman armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle. With the introduction of close combat weapons such as the Thompson submachine gun and shotguns and the thick vegetation that could provide a quick overrun of a patrol, a team of 4 men armed with these weapons had more firepower and maneuverability than the standard 9 man squad. He later brought these ideas back to the U.S. when the country entered World War II. Under his command, the 2nd Marine Raider battalion were issued with the semiautomatic M-1 Rifle and was organized in the fireteam (although it was called firegroup) concept, 3 firegroups to a squad with a squad leader. A firegroup composed of a M1 Garand rifleman, a BAR and a submachine gunner. After sustaining severe wounds, Carlson was replaced and his battalion later disbanded and reorganized under conventional Marine doctrine of 10-man squads. Later, Carlson's fireteam concept was re-adopted. Meanwhile, the Communist Chinese established the 3-man fireteam concept as the 3-man cell when they organized a regular army and its organization seemed to have been disseminated throughout all of Asia's communist forces. Perhaps the most famous of which are the PAVN/NVA (People's Army of Vietnam/North Vietnamese Army) and the Viet Cong. Major General Merritt Austin Edson (April 25, 1897 – August 14, 1955), known as Red Mike, was a general in the United States Marine Corps. ... In the fire service a Squad is a Engine Company with a compliment of rescue tools. ... The Springfield M1903, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber . ... The Browning Automatic Rifle (commonly known as the BAR; properly pronounced bee ay are) is a family of automatic rifles (or machine rifles) and light machine guns used by the United States and other countries during the 20th century. ... It has been suggested that Paul Thompson be merged into this article or section. ... Remington pump-action shotgun held by a Florida Highway Patrol cadet shotgun, see: Shotgun (disambiguation). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Marine Raider insignia The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct amphibious light infantry warfare, particularly in landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. ... The M1 Garand (more formally the United States Rifle, Caliber . ... The Browning Automatic Rifle (more formally first as the Rifle, Caliber . ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is the term used by the Vietnamese for their armed forces. ... A Viet Cong soldier, heavily guarded, awaits interrogation following capture in the attacks on Saigon during the festive Tet holiday period of 1968. ...


Variation

Fire and maneuver team

A fire and maneuver team is the smallest unit above the individual soldier. It consists of two (2) soldiers with one soldier acting as senior of the two fighters (decided amongst the two or their superior). A fire team in turn consists of at least two fire and maneuver teams and a squad of two or more fireteams.


The concept is not widely utilized. The United States and most Commonwealth armies rely on the concept of fire teams forming a squad. In the Finnish Defense Forces squad is formed by four (4) fire and maneuver teams.


According to SoldF (Swedish Army field manual), a trained fire and maneuver team is as effective as four (4) individual soldiers of same quality. However, the efficiency of fire and maneuver team has been challenged by many experts as it has been claimed to be insufficient in close quarter situations where many fighting techniques have been designed for larger units, minimum three fighters.


See also

Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... Military science concerns itself with the study of the diverse technical, psychological, and practical phenomena that encompass the events that make up warfare, especially armed combat. ...

External links

  • Fireteamleader.net: A resource for team leaders

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gamasutra - Features - "Postmortem: Multitude's Fireteam" [01.05.00] (1068 words)
Equally important to the Fireteam experience is the lobby, where players can view other players’ statistics, chat between games, and find squad mates and enemies for their games.
The last component of Fireteam is the community web pages, which display players’ complete statistics and provide support for Fireteam Companies (which are similar to Quake Clans).
Fireteam uses the Elemedia SX2.0 Voice Codec to do its voice compression and decompression.
Fireteam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (984 words)
A fireteam is a small military unit of infantry.
Fireteams generally consist of four or fewer soldiers and are grouped into squads or sections.
A fireteam is capable of autonomous operations as part of a larger unit.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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