Version 3 / 3min read / Updated Sun 08 May 2022 / 1665 views / of verified
Weapons Control Status
A weapon control status is a condition set typically by a Platoon leader. It describes the condition under which it's elements can engage valid targets. Under normal conditions a rifleman or element would Contact Report a target and await permission or authorisation to fire. A weapon control status modifies this condition, and allows those elements to fire using self authorisation under certain conditions, based on target identification criteria. The Platoon Leader sets and adjusts the weapons control status based on friendly and enemy disposition, and clarity of the situation.
Weapon control status is a temporary condition and is not the same as Rules of Engagement (ROE) or Law of arm conflict (LOAC) which always apply and are covered next. Generally speaking, the higher the probability of fratricide and friendly fire, the more restrictive the weapons control status. The three levels, in descending order of restrictiveness, are—
The first of the more specific Rules Of Engagement is "Weapons Red". When in "Weapons Red" mode only engage if there is an imminent threat to you or a fellow team member and only continue to engage if necessary. If an element comes under effective enemy fire, they are authorized to return fire in order to achieve fire superiority and suppress or eliminate the enemy. If it is not effective enemy fire, the element is expected to hold fire and wait for their leader to issue further commands.
Weapons Red is generally used by a team leader to restrict their element's fire in situations where stealth is paramount.
Under weapons red and if essential an element should request authorisation to fire where possible.
Only engage positively identified enemy targets and get clearance from your team leader before firing the initial shots of a contact. This ROE is used when civilian contact is likely. "Positive identification" often comes from the uniform being worn, presence of a weapon, and firing in the direction of friendly forces, and in accordance with LOAC. Weapons orange is the most common state.
"Weapons Green" means that you are free to engage anything that you have reasonable certainty is a hostile target within LOAC. Weapons Green abides by the Rules Of Engagement concepts and LOAC, with the difference being that it is generally issued once things have really heated up, with less emphasis on calling contacts before engagement and gaining authorisation, and more emphasis on rapidly engaging any enemy threats as soon as they present themselves and can be effectively engaged.
UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP) are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)
(P3-6) Setting up and using radios