6. Engagement Principles. The decision to fire is the unit commander's and is based on
his judgment of the situation. The techniques for delivering fire are standard. Volume fire is the
key to effective small arms fire against air threats. Every weapon (M16, M60, M246, M2), must
be used to engage the target with the goal of placing as many bullets as possible in the enemy's
flight path. That does not mean that everyone fires in some random direction. Instead, each
individual selects an aiming point in front of the target and fires at that point. This aiming point is
determined using the football field technique.
a. Football field technique.
The football technique is a simple method of estimating lead distance. The theory is that
most people have played or watched football and have a concept of how long a football field is.
When told to lead the target by one football field, everyone aims at approximately the same point in
space. One person's error in making the football field estimate will be offset by another person's
error. The variation in aiming points will ensure that massed fire is delivered into a volume of
space in front of the target rather than on a small point. Also, the differing perspectives from
which the soldiers view the target will act to further distribute the fire over a volume of space.
Figures 26 and 27.
Figure 26. Jet Aiming Points