rear of the vehicle reacts with air flowing over the top, throwing smoke up in the air. This makes a highly visible
smoke rooster tail. Tactical, dash-speed, smoke-screening maneuvers should be considered only when success of
the main body is at dire risk and projected screening smoke is not available. In such situations, plan, coordinate,
and have on-call immediate direct and indirect suppressive fire support.
Limited visibility conditions. All limited visibility conditions cause movement to slow down and cluster. Just
as fog on a highway causes traffic to bunch and slow to a crawl, smoke could do the same thing to the supported
force. To maintain control and distribution of fires, maneuver forces habitually try to maintain visual contact with
the elements on their left and right. Smoke makes them reduce their spacing. Smoke support must be closely
coordinated with supported force. You need to be familiar with the supported unit's scheme of maneuver, concept
of operations, and commander's intent.
. The M1059 has distinct visual infrared (IR) and thermal
number of mechanized
smoke systems available to each heavy division is severely restricted. Given the limited number of M1059s and
their distinct signatures, opposing forces may try to orient on the mechanized smoke platoon to determine the
main combined arms effort. Mechanized smoke units must habitually operate over covered and concealed routes,
use terrain masking whenever possible, and employ camouflage whenever idle. Terrain orientation and dead
reckoning skills are critical for each driver and tank crew. Rigid camouflage discipline is key to survival.
Limited supplies. The M1059 systems on-board stores of fog oil and MOGAS are limited. Each system can
produce smoke for about an hour before it needs resupply. Make sure the unit you are supporting includes
enough SGF-2, MOGAS, and diesel to support the platoon during LOGPAK resupply. Your systems may need to
be resupplied more frequently than other vehicles.
The following are the different formations for movement of the mechanized smoke platoon.
formations are essentially the same typical formations used by mechanized units.
Wedge or column of wedges.
Vee or split vee.
Echelon (right or left).
There are three basic techniques used by the mechanized smoke platoon to produce smoke screens - line,
bounding, and circular. Each technique has several variations. The type of mission, the degree of certainty
required, the extent of the smoke support, the number of vehicles and personnel available for the mission, the time
available, and the climatic conditions (winds) are all factors that will impact on which of the techniques is best
suited to conduct the mission. Combinations of the techniques may be used at the same time.
The mechanized smoke platoon may be employed as a platoon (6 x 1) made up of two squads. The company
commander and the mechanized smoke leader use METT-T to determine the type of formation used. The
formations used most