CUTT Maneuver: Patrol Formations & Actions on Contact

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        This is intended as a follow-up to recent posts on the Citizen Unconventional Tactical Team (CUTT):

        These posts should also be read as background:

        The Flank

        More on the Squad and the Assault Cycle

        The Squad: Size and Organization

        I have also created a permanent page that will be updated with information on this concept, under a new ‘Operations’ tab:

        ‘CUTT: Citizen Unconventional Tactical Team ORBAT.’

        In this post, I will do what I can with PowerPoint schematics to outline some maneuver concepts. The main patrolling technique that I illustrate is ‘satellite patrolling’ which is a technique where the patrol is split into its respective fire teams. I explain this in detail in ‘Contact: A Tactical Manual for Post-Collapse Survival’. This isn’t something that I made up, it is an adaptation of a technique used to great effect by the British Army (and thus by myself) for counter insurgency patrolling. It adapts readily to a post-collapse environment patrolling scenario. You can adjust the number of teams, and number of personnel in the teams, to suit what you have.

        Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

        You don’t have to go as far as satellite patrolling to employ these techniques. Satellite patrolling is where you split you CUTT into teams and then move them separated along a common axis. They are mutually supporting but separated. How for apart is not an absolute, but they must not be out of effective small arms range from each other – so a separation between teams of anywhere from 100 to 300 meters, ballpark. Just like the distance of a ‘tactical bound’ between teams, it “depends on the ground.” You don’t even need radios to coordinate this, because you will move on an axis and via a series of pre-determined rally points. If comms  go down, or you are radio silent, just meet at the next rally point, It takes trust and familiarity to get this right.

        If you planned and  briefed your patrol, you may have a series of tasks to conduct along the way. You will nominate which team(s) will do the task at each location, and the other teams will go into overwatch to protect them. You will also have briefed your ‘actions on’, to include enemy contact. Now you are moving as a larger CUTT, not just a single 4 man team, so you may decide on a call between assault and break contact depending on the assessment of the team leader and CUTT leader on the ground. To a large extent, that depends on the enemy you face, and their usual SOPs.

        This takes competence, training and trust. You have to allow ‘mission command’ and for the subordinate team leaders to ‘command in their own sphere,’ within the limits of the overall mission. But the team leaders must trust the CUTT leader, and the CUTT leader must trust the team leaders, so that each trusts the other’s call. You will notice when you look at the diagrams that there is a certain amount of freedom where teams will move up to bring the enemy under fire, under their own volition and without waiting for orders. Once the enemy is under fire by team(s) the CUTT leader can make assessments and decisions on who to maneuver and in what direction.

        But as a team leader, don’t be a dick about it. Mission command doesn’t mean run around the battlefield trying to win medals. It means act with initiative and aggression within the higher commanders intent. If you are out of control, the CUTT leader will having a hard time, and you will likely get people killed. Because at the end of the day, it’s really all about fire and maneuver, and the CUTT leader has be be availed of his teams to allow him to sequentially maneuver them either towards or way from the enemy.  It works both ways: if, for example, the point team leader walks into something too hot to handle, he may make a call to break contact. The CUTT leader can’t tell him to stay there; he needs to trust the call of the man on the ground. What the CUTT leader will do is maneuver his other assets to support that withdrawing team. Then assess the situation and make a plan as to what to do next – the break contact may have been just to get off the X to better ground, and the team leader may now go firm in a support by fire position, allowing the CUTT leader the option of offensive action. Or the CUTT leader, following an assessment (combat estimate), may decide to move the whole CUTT out of there (break contact).

        Of course, ego and power plays are the death of that. Petty jealousies in a civilian/militia type environment would kill it. It kills trust. Is the team leader withdrawing just to make the CUTT leader look bad? Is the team leader going on the flank attack on his own for personal glory and because he thinks he should be in charge? Just play your part in the team and all will be well.

        Below we see some examples of patrol formations. The idea of ‘One Up’ and ‘Two Up’ is not set in stone, but is rough triangular formation as the CUTT crosses the ground. For these examples I have shown a 4 team CUTT as follows:

        (Note: some of the terms are taken from the post: ‘Citizen Unconventional Tactical Team (CUTT): Order of Battle‘ and refer to the .308 concept, which caliber is not required to employ these maneuver techniques).

        Potential ORBAT, 4 Teams, 16 personnel total.
        1) HQ TEAM


        CUTT Leader – Battle Rifle

        CUTT Senior Medic – Battle Rifle



        Designated Marksman – DM Rifle (DMR)

        Support Gunner – Medium Support Weapon (MSW)



        Team Leader/Second in Command – Battle Rifle

        Rifleman  (Breacher/Grenadier) – Battle Rifle


        Rifleman (Team medic) – Battle Rifle

        Support Gunner – Medium Support Weapon (MSW)

        3) DELTA FIRE TEAM:


        Team Leader – Battle Rifle

        Rifleman (Breacher/Grenadier) – Battle Rifle


        Rifleman (Team medic) – Battle Rifle

        Support Gunner – Medium Support Weapon (MSW)

        4) ECHO FIRE TEAM:


        Team Leader – Battle Rifle

        Rifleman (Breacher/Grenadier) – Battle Rifle


        Rifleman (Team medic)  – Battle Rifle

        Support Gunner – Medium Support Weapon (MSW)

        Below we have ‘One Up’ satellite patrolling:



        Below we have ‘Two Up’ satellite patrolling:



        Below: a more traditional travelling overwatch, with tactical bounds between each team:



        Below, a ‘One Up’ patrol has its point team contacted. It is important to note that due to the triangular formation, any team can be contacted from any direction and the drill works the same. In this example, the follow teams both automatically go ‘hard and fast’ towards the depth/flank. This is very effective with an enemy that tends to ‘shoot and scoot’ because it both pushes them off their firing point, and also gives you a chance to get in depth and kill or capture them. You have to be able to MOVE though! If the enemy wants to stay and fight, this drill will have the effect of bringing at least one other team up to bring the enemy under additional fire, preferably from the flank, and thus supporting the team in contact.


        Below: Here, Echo and Delta having moved up on each flank, the CUTT leader has deployed the MSG to support Charlie, and Echo is now up on the left flank also bringing the enemy under fire. Delta protects the right flank, or alternatively pushes up to interdict squirters.


        Below: the CUTT leader decides to push Echo through the enemy position from the left flank: ‘Fight Through!’ Charlie and the MSG provide support by fire (SBF), shifting fire right as the assault goes in.


        Below: Alternatively, under the pressure of the cross fire, with a  team (Echo) on the flank, the enemy is psychologically forced to withdraw.


        Below: Here we look at the satellite patrol method in conjunction with a more traditional hasty attack drill. When Charlie comes under effective enemy fire, the CUTT leader pushes up to assess, while Echo and Delta move up to security positions, ready to be launched.


        Below: In this case, the CUTT leader deploys the MSG and moves Echo up to the left flank. Delta also moves out to the left flank as reserve/flank protection, and thus is ready to assault in echelon after Echo has completed their assault.
        <h3 style=”text-align: center;”>9</h3>
        <h3 style=”text-align: center;”></h3>
        <h3 style=”text-align: center;”>Assault Cycle:</h3>
        <h3 style=”text-align: center;”>ASSAULT – FIRE SUPPORT – RESERVE</h3>

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        Below: This is a  ‘Two Up’ satellite patrol. Delta is closer to the action and able to quickly maneuver to support Charlie once they come under fire. HQ moves up to assess, Echo moves up to a security position ready to be launched.


        Below: Delta is now up on the right flank, the MSG is deployed in support, and Echo is ready in reserve to be tasked. The CUTT leader can launch Delta into the assault.

        <h3 style=”text-align: center;”> Options, Options, Options.</h3>
        Below:  A ‘One Up’ satellite patrol has Charlie, the point team, contacted. Charlie starts its team break contact drill.  Echo moves up to support, Delta moves back to secure the rally point.



        Below: Here Echo and the MSG are deployed as SBF while the CUTT leader controls and directs. Charlie continues to break contact supported by the other teams. Once Charlie is out, the other teams break contact back to the rally point. If there are causalities, the CUTT leader will need to organize resources to recover them.


        There are many different permutations of these drills. You will train, drill and brief what you want your response to be.   Either way, the flank should be used, with teams moving up to support the team in contact, whether to assault or withdraw. Once we are starting to suppress the enemy, the CUTT leader is able to do a combat estimate, make an assessment, and decide on a course of action. That course of action will involve the sequencing of his resources (Teams and the MSG) in order to fire and maneuver either away from the enemy, or to assault.

        Implied tasks in all of this:

        • Communication, as part of Shoot, Move and Communicate.
        • Coordination: of fire and movement by the CUTT Leader.
        • Aggressive Action by Team Leaders to move up to the sound of the contact in order to bring the enemy under fire; whether to subsequently assault or break contact, it makes no difference. Support the other teams.
        • Mobility: tactical fitness, and realistic combat loads, to allow individuals and teams to maneuver effectively towards and away from the enemy.
        • Accurate, effective fire.
        • Leadership.
        • Training.

        Note: this concept does not always have to be applied to a CUTT moving as a satellite patrol. It can equally be applied as a response to a team in contact, such as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) responding to a security patrol that comes under fire. Here is a video of that:

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