The following illustrations are from a terrain model rehearsal using labeled poker chips to show specific squad member actions by identifying the Patrol Leader (PL), Alpha Team Leader (ATL), Bravo Team Leader (BTL), Automatic Rifleman (SAW), Grenadier (203) and Rifleman (R). This simple rehearsal provides team members a visual representation of how the fight/Battle Drill unfolds during the React to Contact drill and allows further discussion on who is moving to each other's flanks. The second set of illustrations depicts the React to Contact drill from SH 21-76 Ranger Handbook which must be the foundation of any group SOP.
React to Contact - If visual contact is made with the enemy force, without compromising friendly positions, leadership must decide their coarse of action (COA), based on the size and capability of enemy force. Leader's COA will lead to the destruction of the enemy with a hasty ambush or an immediate assault through the enemy position using one of the following actions.
1. Hasty Ambush:
a. Unit leader determines that the enemy has not seen the unit.
b. Unit leader signals team members to occupy best available firing positions.
c. The leader initiates the ambush with the most casualty producing weapon available, immediately followed by a sustained, well aimed volume of effective fire.
d. If prematurely detected, the individuals aware of the detection initiates the ambush.
e. The unit destroys the enemy or forces him to withdraw.
f. The unit leader reports the contact to higher headquarters.
2. Immediate Assault:
a. The unit and the enemy simultaneously detect each other at close range.
b. All individuals who see the enemy should engage and announce "Contact" with a clock direction and distance to enemy, for example, "Contact three o'clock, 100 meters."
c. Elements in contact immediately assault the enemy using fire and movement.
d. The unit destroys the enemy or forces him to withdraw.
e.The unit leader reports the contact to higher headquarters.
3. React to Enemy Direct Fire:
a. Individuals under direct fire immediately return fire and seek the nearest covered positions. Then, they call out distances and the orientation of direct fire (Figure 8-2).
b. Element leaders locate and engage known or suspected enemy positions with well aimed fire and pass information to the unit leader.
c. Element leaders control their individual’ fire by (Figure 8-3)
(1) Marking targets with lasers.
(2) Marking the intended target with tracers or M203 rounds.
d. Team members maintain contact (visual or oral) with the individuals on their left or right.
e. Individuals maintain contact with their team leader and relay the location of enemy positions.
f. The element leaders (visually or orally) check the status of all team members.
g. The element leaders maintain contact with the unit leader.
h. The unit leader reports the contact to higher headquarters.
a. The unit leader designates an element to suppress the enemy with direct fire as the base of fire element. The unit leader orders distance, direction, a terrain feature, or last rally point for the movement of the first element.
c. The unit leader calls for and adjusts direct and indirect fire to suppress the enemy positions.
d. The base of fire element continues to suppress the enemy.
e. The bounding squad/team uses the terrain and/or smoke to conceal its movement, and bounds to an overwatch position.
f. The bounding element occupies their overwatch position and suppresses the enemy with "well aimed fire" (Figure 8-5).
g. The base of fire element moves to its next covered and concealed position. (Based on the terrain and volume and accuracy of the enemy's fire, the moving element may need to use fire and movement techniques (Figure 8-6).
h. The unit continues to suppress the enemy and to bound, until it is no longer in contact with enemy.
i. The unit leader reports the contact to higher headquarters.