A bayonet assault course has a series of lanes to accommodate several soldiers negotiating the course at the same time. The course has targets to attack and obstacles to overcome; it should be laid out on rough, preferably wooded terrain. The length of the course should be 300 meters; however, less space is acceptable if terrain dictates. (See paragraph 2-7.) Natural obstacles (such as stream, ravines, ridges, and thickly wooded areas) and artificial obstacles (such as dirt mounds, craters, wire entanglements, fences, log wall, hurdles, and horizontal ladders) should all be a part of the course.
a. Objectives. Instructors may also use the bayonet assault course as a qualification course to test the rifle-bayonet fighter's degree of skill. When used as a part of rifle-bayonet training, the course—
(1) Aids in developing speed, strength, endurance, coordination, and accuracy.
(2) Provides rifle-bayonet fighting under combat-like conditions.
(3) Offers a challenge to the soldier's determination and will power that is so essential in combat.
(4) Provides a means for establishing good habits in group action and teamwork.
(5) Measures skill in rifle-bayonet fighting.
(6) Provides a means for maintaining skill by continued training and practice.
b. Negotiation. Instructors should explain and demonstrate the method of negotiating the assault course before the soldiers are required to run the course. Instructors should emphasize the importance of swift and continuous bayonet attack. Soldiers run the course with their rifles in the attack position, and they attack without hesitation.
(1) Practice running. While practicing, soldiers first negotiate the course at a moderate pace and then increase their speed as technique and physical condition improve. The instructor must maintain discipline and organized control. He and his assistants station themselves along the course to observe the methods of attack and to make corrections when necessary.
(2) Targets. The unit running the course should construct different types of targets. Soldiers should gain experience on four basic targets before running the qualification course. These targets are the thrust, parry thrust, parry butt stroke to the groin, and parry butt stroke to the head (Figure 2-3). These targets are durable and, if used properly, will not damage rifles. If substitution must be made, the unit should not use hard objects or materials for butt stroke heads or target faces that will cause rifle damage.
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