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A weapons company, sometimes called a manoeuvre support company is a company-sized military unit attached to an infantry battalion to support the rifle companies of the battalion. It usually possesses some combination of machine-guns, mortars, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, reconnaissance vehicles, and sometimes assault pioneers (infantrymen specially trained in the assault role).
In the British army, the maneuver support company possesses an Anti-Tank platoon armed with Javelin, a reconnaissance platoon, a mortar platoon (with 8 81 mm mortars), a machine gun platoon (with 9 GPMGs, but only in Light Role battalions) and an assault pioneer platoon.
United States Marine Corps
In the United States Marine Corps, the weapons company is tasked with providing supporting fire for the three rifle companies that make up the remaining balance of the battalion. The weapons company provides organic fire support coordination, mortar, anti-armor, and heavy machine gun support.
The company is often organized into four distinct elements: company headquarters, mortar platoon (utilizing the M252 81mm mortar), anti-armor platoon (utilizing the FGM-148 Javelin and BGM-71 TOW missile systems), and a heavy machine gun platoon (equipped with the M2 .50 caliber machinegun, MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher, and M240 machine gun).
Often, assets from the anti-armor and heavy machine gun platoons are used to form one or several Combined Anti-Armor Teams (CAAT). A CAAT platoon is highly mobile, utilizing Humvees and occasionally a few Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. A typical organization would have three squads with five vehicles each, three armed with machine guns and two vehicles with the TOW. The remaining anti-armor unit is often trained as an ad hoc assault, demolitions, and breaching unit.
The 81mm mortar platoon also gives the battalion a heavier organic artillery, as it supplements the smaller M224 60mm mortars found in each rifle company. Company commanders can often expect to receive organic mortar support in less time than artillery would normally take to receive orders, plot position, target guns, and fire. The heavier machine guns also allow the commander heavier fire (in both volume and caliber) than is possible with the M249 squad automatic weapon found in a rifle company.
- "Company". GlobalSecurity.org. 4 June 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Describes the types of USMC companies, including a weapons company.