Defence Forces Weapons - Army Weapons
Platoon Level Weapons
In the Irish Army a platoon is an infantry unit sometimes referred to as a Rifle Platoon. The Rifle Platoon is made up of 3 sections of 9 soldiers, each of which is commanded by a Corporal. The platoon is commanded by a Lieutenant (or Second Lieutenant) with a Platoon Sergeant acting as Second in Command (2I/C). In a fire fight the Platoon Commander will rely primarily on the fire power available within the platoon. The weapons within the platoon range from the Steyr AUG, personal weapon of every Irish soldier, to the disposable anti-tank weapon the SRAAW. If this fire power proves insufficient the Platoon Commander can request assistance from the Company Commander.
Company Level Weapons
In the Irish Army a company is an infantry unit sometimes referred to as a Rifle Company. The Rifle Company is commanded by a Commandant and is made up of 3 Rifle Platoons and a Weapons Platoon. The Weapons Platoon consists of a GPMG SF section, a 60mm Mortar section and an 84mm Anti-Tank section, with each section containing 3 detachments. The Weapons Platoon gives the Company Commander extra fire support with which to support the Rifle Platoons. Although commanded by a Lieutenant the Weapons Platoon is considered a company asset and as such the Company Commander may give instructions for the platoon to be broken down and for control of the detachments to be distributed to the Rifle Platoon Commanders. In such cases the Weapons Platoon Commander will co-locate with Company HQ in order to assist with the company’s fire plan. The Company Commander also has the option of requesting fire support from the Battalion Commander.
Battalion Level Weapons
In the Irish Army a battalion is an infantry combat unit. The Battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and is made up of 3 Rifle Companies, a HQ Company and a Support Company. The Support Company contains the heavy weapons the Battalion Commander needs to support the Rifle Companies and complete the Battalion mission. The Support Company consists of a Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) Platoon, an 81mm Mortar Platoon and an Anti-Armour Platoon. In addition to these platoons, Support Company HQ also contains 2 Sniper Pairs. Depending on the situation, Support Company can be broken down into elements with command of these elements being passed to the Rifle Company Commanders. In such a scenario the Support Company Commander will normally co-locate with Battalion HQ and assist in co-ordinating the Battalion Fire Plan. The Battalion Commander also has the option of requesting fire support from the Brigade Commander.