groups of people Movement

How to conduct group mission movement (how to capture an enemy or avoid detection while moving)

Bounding movement techniques

On any mission, it will be significant to plan and execute correct group movement so as to avoid harmful or dangerous areas. This consists of movement of people inside the group as well as teams (or squads) which act as smaller subsets of the group. The identical rules army specialists use for troop movement may be utilized to any movement of individuals in a dangerous or high-risk area.

Earlier than discussing the three main group movement methods (touring, Travelling Overwatch, and Bounding Overwatch), we must first understand the forms of formations obtainable to shifting teams of personnel.

Types of movement formations - column/file, line, echelon, wedge, and veeFormations describe how parts (individuals and groups) are organized when shifting. Formation shapes might be utilized to people in a group or to groups within a bigger unit. There are five kinds of formations – Column, Line, Echelon, Wedge, and Vee. As with movement methods, every formation provides benefits and drawbacks when it comes to velocity, flexibility, and security.


Although it supplies little security advantages, the column formation is used when velocity is important to the mission. It’s the easiest formation to information and control and supplies good security to the aspect. The formation requires every individual comply with instantly behind the individual in front of them.


The Line formation is beneficial when the group/group is crossing a big open area. It offers protection to the front and rear however little safety for the edges. It is troublesome to control and one of the troublesome formations to transition to different formations. The Line formation requires persons transfer abreast of each other and are dispersed laterally.


The Echelon formation is used when the group requires safety or clear statement of the groups sides. It offers wonderful security, notably in the front however is troublesome to management, particularly in rough terrain. The Echelon formation requires someone’s type a diagonal line. A lead takes the primary place with every subsequent individual situated to the rear and out of doors of the individual in entrance of them.


The Wedge formation is an effective defensive formation and is used when the enemy state of affairs is unknown. It offers wonderful protection for the front while still sustaining good protection to the edges. The Wedge formation requires a lead individual with remaining persons positions to the rear of and out of doors the lead individual.


The Vee formation offers even better protection for the front members while nonetheless sustaining good safety for the flanks. It is straightforward to transition to other formation but troublesome to management. The Vee formation requires a center individual situated on the rear of the formation with remaining individuals situated to the entrance of and out of doors the middle individual.

The routes the group intends to take as well as the formation the group will keep throughout movement have to be decided, communicated to group members and adhered to by all the workforce. The route and group formation used is essential as a result of during group movement, the staff must all the time keep 360-degree safety. Routes and formations also be sure that if enemy contact is made during movement, it’s made with the smallest variety of group members as attainable while nonetheless making certain the security and security of all members. It’s also required that management measures are dictated and used throughout movement of the group. Management measures will embrace periodic head counts as well as designated rally points.

Teams composed of a number of teams should use a lead squad for safety and navigation. The purpose man of the squad is answerable for the security of the squad while the navigator ought to be tasked with compass (navigation) and tempo (movement velocity) duties.

Stealth, cowl, and concealment techniques must be used during group movement. Techniques embrace not only typical camouflage methods but in addition timing issues. For example, the group might time their movements to coincide with different operations which will distract the enemy target.

Groups and groups should plan for help. This is crucial even when the group thinks it is probably not needed throughout movement.

In open areas, people must be extensively dispersed. It’s the only broad individual group members can present help for his or her allies.

An attack workforce (aka hearth or squad group) must be placed in the rear of the group. The attack group is liable for rear safety and attack help providers. The members of the staff have to be spaced in order that the whole group doesn’t turn out to be engaged if enemy contact is made. Nevertheless, assault group members should not be so extensively dispersed that they can’t keep visible contact with members of the group. To maintain staff members recent, the assault group should periodically rotate with the lead squad.

Group and staff leaders ought to transfer contained in the formation the place they will keep good visual contact with all members, monitor members, and keep management of the group/workforce.

When deciding the place to transfer, you will need to think about where the enemy is probably going to be. Movement methods typically use a place referred to as “overwatch”. An overwatch place is one that supports another workforce throughout movement. That is completed by positioning the group where it could observe the terrain as well as doubtless enemy positions throughout group movement.

For an overwatch group to be effective, it’s essential to contemplate one of the best potential routes to the subsequent overwatch place, the vary of weapons or communication length between the overwatch group and each the enemy and different groups.

Travelling movement method

Groups should estimate the probability of enemy contact. This estimate dictates which movement method must be used. When enemy contact isn’t probably, the Touring movement method may be used.

The travelling movement method gives extra management than the Travelling Overwatch method but much less control than the Bounding Overwatch method. It offers maximum velocity but minimum security and group member dispersion. Within the Travelling overwatch method, members transfer along with no overwatch place established. The space between group/staff members must be about 10 yards with 20 yards between teams. The method is characterised by steady movement of group/workforce members which offers most movement velocity.

Travelling Overwatch movement method

Travelling Overwatch movement technique

When enemy contact is feasible (but unlikely nor expected), the Travelling Overwatch movement method ought to be used. This is probably the most commonly-used movement method. The method provides good management, dispersion, velocity, and ahead security and is characterized by a lead workforce that moves constantly ahead of the group. The space between members ought to be maintained at about 20 yards with about 50 yards separating teams inside the group.

The lead group have to be far enough forward of the remainder of the group to detect or interact the enemy before the enemy can hearth upon the primary group. Nevertheless, the lead group have to be shut sufficient to be supported by the attack workforce (sometimes spaced about 50-100 yards away). To take care of this spacing, trailing groups might periodically halt to watch the lead staff’s movement.

Bounding Overwatch movement method

Bounding Overwatch movement technique

When enemy contact is predicted, the Bounding Overwatch movement method must be used. This system provides maximum management, dispersion, and safety but at a a lot slower velocity. The group has a binding factor and an overwatch component. The bounding component moves while the overwatch aspect occupies an overwatch place that can shield the route of the bounding component during their movement. The size of the sure can range however the distance between members ought to be maintained at about 20 yards.

Earlier than each sure, the chief provides instructions to workforce members such because the path of the enemy (if recognized), the place of the overwatch component(s), the subsequent overwatch place, and the route of the bounding factor. The leader may also instruct members what to do after the bounding component reaches its next position (and how all parts will receive their subsequent orders). While bounding, the overwatch component will scan terrain for enemy targets and supply warnings and/or cowl hearth for the bounding aspect.

Forward observers and leaders ought to stick with the overwatch squad.

There are two ways to execute the bounding movement. An Alternate Bounds dictates the lead aspect transfer ahead to set up an overwatch place (while being coated by the path factor). The path factor will then advance previous the lead group to assume the subsequent overwatch position. This technique provides the quickest Bounding Overwatch movement velocity.

With Successive Bounds, the trail aspect covers the lead component which moves forward and establishes an overwatch position. The trail aspect then advances to the overwatch workforce’s place but does *not* cross it. The lead aspect then advances to the subsequent overwatch position while the trail factor offers cover and help. This technique avoids having the path aspect advance previous the lead factor. This technique is safer, but slower than the Alternate Bounds technique. This technique permits the group to keep a constant collection of members inside the lead staff (which may be necessary if the group’s members possess distinctive navigation skills).

Combine and match movement methods

Numerous movement methods could be mixed and used by teams and the general group. As an example, one group might use Bounding Overwatch while two teams use Travelling Overwatch methods.

Teams should think about that their formation and movement method are impacted with limited visibility. Movement with restricted visibility requires leaders transfer closer to the front while the group reduces velocity. The spacing between parts ought to be lowered and given the potential for members to stray from the group, a daily headcount ought to be carried out.

Navigation with limited visibility requires use of lifeless reckoning (figuring out your position by way of calculations utilizing course and velocity of movement) and terrain association. If potential, transfer parallel to easy-to-see terrain features (e.g. aspect of hill or a roadway).

To take care of stealth and security during movement with restricted visibility, guarantee group members make no noise and emit no mild. Use camouflage and terrain to avoid detection. Cease steadily and pay attention.

Hazard areas are areas which will expose the group to enemy remark or assault. This consists of open areas, roads and trails, cities, enemy positions, or obstacles akin to fences or streams. Earlier than shifting by means of a hazard space, designate close to and much aspect rally points. Be sure that all sides of the group are secured (close to aspect, rear aspect, left and right flank). Start by conducting recon on the far aspect (aspect closest to the hazard area).

Group shifting by way of linear hazard area (LDA) akin to river or freeway

How to move through a linear danger area (e.g. river, highway)

When a group strikes via linear hazard area, the group leader should acknowledge the linear hazard area and shortly ship a hand and arm signal to the remaining group members (or workforce leaders).

Trailing teams or individuals might determine they need to sure across (overlap the group chief to setup a supporting position). The trailing group members would move throughout the LDA first. A separate unit of people should arrange to the fitting or left of the LDA to present an overwatch place for the crossing group(s). Leaders inside the group ought to direct members/teams to cross.

As soon as members or groups attain the far aspect of the LDA, they should arrange an overwatch position to permit the primary overwatch members safety during crossing.

Groups shifting by way of a open hazard area

How to move a team through an open danger area

The group leader should recognize the open hazard area, stop the group, and use hand and arm alerts to alert members to the potential danger area. A smaller staff ought to transfer forward to assess the state of affairs and ensure the hazard space. Near and much aspect rally factors and designated.

In many instances, a detour movement can be used to cross an open area. A lead group would transfer 90 levels (sideways left or proper) while counting paces. After shifting laterally to the hazard space, members resume their forward pace until they have handed the hazard space. Then members would move 90 degrees (other way of their first detour movement) the variety of paces required to put them back on the unique path.

Sources: U.S. Military Ranger Handbook
Print Friendly, PDF & Email