101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Gold Book

APP 7 - Artillery Raid


To outline the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) within the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for the planning, preparation, and execution of artillery deep attack operations.


a. References.

(1) FM 90-4 Air Assault Operations.

(2) FM 6-50 TTP for the Field Artillery Cannon Battery.

(3) 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) SOP.

(4) 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Gold Book.

(5) 101st Division Artillery Air Assault SOP.

(6) CAM Reg 385-5.

(7) Memorandum dated 07 OCT 96, Subject: 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) SOP.

b. Task. Conduct an air insertion of a firing battery (+) in a cross-FLOT operation to attack designated enemy HPTs with lethal indirect fires. Be prepared to extract the firing battery (+) and return to TAA.

c. Conditions. Given a target in enemy area of operations, lift assets, six howitzers, a degraded FDC, and a security force.

d. Standards. Position artillery to attack a HPT and conduct an immediate extraction. The operation is executed using internal loads or external sling loads and may include prime movers. The firing battery prepares equipment for sling load operations or internal load operations. Equipment and personnel are staged at the PZ and air assaulted into a LZ. ADVON personnel insert prior to the main body. The firing battery conducts a hasty occupation and engages the target with indirect fires. The firing battery prepares the equipment for sling load operations and is extracted.


a. Deep Operations. The artillery deep attack is a high risk operation, extremely short, and should not involve sustained operations. Detailed planning and speed in execution are key in its success. Minimal equipment should be taken. Normal air assault tactics, techniques and procedures apply and should not be deviated from. The ground tactical plan (GTP) is the driving force behind air mission planning.

(1) It is recommended to compute firing data prior to assuming PZ posture. The data may then distributed to the section chiefs prior to PZ departure. LZ location should be determined based on map recon, aerial recon (if possible), METT-T, and consideration given to using the highest charge possible to increase standoff range.

(2) Division FSE plans the SEAD using available artillery assets. If the operation is out of range for friendly artillery, attack aviation may provide direct fire SEAD along the air corridor. SEAD may be planned using both friendly artillery and attack aviation. False insertions may be used, dependent on time constraints.

(3) A laager site must be established for the aircraft during fire missions. The site is designated by the aviation unit’s S3. The artillery commander ensures that the laager site allows for rapid extraction of aircraft. Time of aircraft flight and aircraft fuel requirements for the mission may require establishment of a FARP. The FARP location is designated by the aviation unit’s S3 and movement of aircraft in and around the FARP is controlled by a pathfinder team. Once the mission is fired, howitzer crews rig the loads for extraction. Personnel from each section must provide security at this time. When sling loads are complete, the ADVON aircraft are recalled from the laager site. Advanced party personnel act as the hook up teams for the main body.


a. Planning. Air assault parallel planning begins immediately upon receipt of a mission involving a sling load operation. Planners should conduct continuous coordination with the TF S-3 during COA development. The target is likely to be perishable, therefore the planning phase must be short. The initial steps in the planning process follow:

(1) Notification. The TF S3 receives the mission to conduct an artillery deep attack from higher headquarters. The information to begin planning must be specific.

(2) Mission analysis. The mission is planned using the reverse planning sequence and addresses the five air assault phases. The number of howitzers to be used in the attack is determined by target analysis, joint munitions effects matrix (JMEMs), the commander’s attack criteria, and aircraft availability. Abort criteria and mission essential conditions must be determined early and applied throughout the operations (final conditions check and decision points).

(3) Warning order. The S3 issues a warning order (WARNORD) to the battery commander(s) as soon as possible. The WARNORD contains the following:

(a) Type mission.

    1. Number/type of aircraft for the mission.

(c) PZ location and time.

(d) LZ location and time.

(e) Ammunition required.

(f) Time and location of AMC.

(g) Units attending AMC.

(h) Azimuth of fire/target location.

(i) Special instructions.

(j) Aviation resources available (AH-64, OH-58D).

(k) Attachments/detachments.

* If known at the time of publication of the WARNORD.

Lift Requirements







6 x UH-60 or 2 x CH-47

Battery Advance


Infantry (if attached)

ADA (Stinger Tm)

Forward Observers

Survey Tm


Can sling under ADVON (W/less ACL) or use additional aircraft

Est./Mark LZ

Orient Circles

Est. FDC




2 x AH-64 on station


Security/ Respond to threat


6 x UH-60 (no prime movers)

2 x UH-60 (Additional if required to sling ammo)

Or 6 x CH-47

6 x M119 W/ Crew

6 x M1097

Remainder Battery leaders

A22 Bag MAX -


10K Net MAX -


Position/ RTF

Deliver fires/extract


As required

As required



(1) Responsibilities.

(a) FA battalion.

(1) Planning operation.

(2) PZ control/organization.

(3) Air mission coordination (AMC).

(4) Air mission brief (AMB).

(b) Battery commander.

(1) Act as AATF commander (if senior ground force commander).

(2) Plan and execute actions on the LZ.

(3) Delivery of fires.

(c) Aviation.

(1) Designate the air mission commander (AMC).

(2) Conduct air crew brief (ACB).

(3) Construct air movement table (AMT).

(4) Plan air routes.

(5) Synchronize aviation assets to support raid.

(2) Capabilities/Limitations.

(a) Battery configuration:

    1. (1) Deep attack with prime movers: Moving gun and prime mover, FDC vehicle and trailer by helicopter from a secure PZ to a secure LZ that is not the final FP. This requires additional air assets.
    2. (2) Deep attack/raid configuration: Moving a battery’s firing capability to attack a high payoff target and return to the PZ. Characterized by taking only mission essential equipment-high risk. Load configurations advantages and disadvantages are based on METT-T.

      1. External load. Movement using either CH-47 OR UH-60 where the howitzers are moved using external sling loading. This technique requires hook-up teams on the initial PZ. ADVON personnel complete hook-ups on the extraction PZ.

      2. Internal load. Movement where all howitzers and ammunition are internally loaded in a CH-47. This technique allows for increased aircraft speed (combat speed is 100 kts), a lower AGL, and allows for a more covert operation. Download of equipment and the battery’s ability to achieve ready to fire status is accomplished much quicker than when external sling loads are used.

      (b) Communications.

    3. (1) High frequency (HF) radios and tactical satellite (TACSAT) communications are considerations due to the range of the operation. Digital communications may not be possible due to extreme distances.
    4. (3) Logistics. The artillery deep attack is relatively short in duration. Logistical support is minimal.

      (a) Class I: Each soldier carries two one quart canteens and one two quart canteen is stored in the rucksack. Each soldier stores two MREs in the rucksack.

      (b) Class III: The aviation unit determines the amount of fuel that would be used based on total mission time. Establishment of a FARP may be necessary to conduct the operation.

      (c) Class II and IX: No requirement.

      (d) Class V: 105mm HE forecast through normal channels.

      (e) Class IV: Internal loads have dunnage and shoring requirements. The amount of Class IV necessary for each load will vary.

      (f) A qualified combat medic is tasked internally. Aeromedevac is prepositioned in a laager site and remains on station for the duration of the mission.

      (g) Request for lift assets are made through normal aviation channels.

      (h) Request for ADA and infantry support are made through the appropriate MUC.

      (4) H-hour sequence.


    FA TF receives mission, conducts mission analysis and develops:

    Ground tactical plan.

    Landing plan.

    Air movement plan (tentative).

    Staging plan.

    Requests fire support (SEAD) based on the ADA threat and friendly assets available.


    FA TF issues warning order to battery:

    Number/type of aircraft.

    Primary and alternate PZ and LZ location and time.

    Ammunition required IAW JMEMs and Cdr’s criteria

    Time, location, attendees for AMC and AMB.

    AZ of fire.

    Target location and description.

    Number of aim points.


    Battery Commander conducts recon of PZ/LZ:

    Produces PZ/LZ sketches.

    Battery begins PCIs.




    Conduct rehearsals.


    PZ is operational.

    Battery TF assumes PZ posture.

    Loads staged, rigged, and inspected.

    PAX/equipment staged.

    Hook-up teams ready.


    Attack aviation conducts final sweep of LZ and provides overwatch.


    ADVON arrives at LZ.

    ADVON A/C move to laager site.

    AP sweeps, secures, and marks LZ (If pathfinder team is not used).

    Pathfinder or BC establishes terminal guidance.

    AP emplaces aiming circles, FDC and communication with forward observers are established.


    Main body arrives.

    Mainbody A/C move to laager site.

    Battery achieves "Ready to Fire."

    Fire mission.

    Rig loads and call for extraction/extract.

    b. Preparation and coordination.

    (1) PCIs. Batteries immediately conduct PCIs for air assault operations and begin section rehearsals. Pre-rigging loads (without losing firing capability or mobility) is recommended. (Firing data is prepared prior to execution.)

    (2) Reconnaissance. An aerial recon may be conducted by the TF S3, battery commander, and the air mission commander (AMC) based on METT-T and the distance to the area of operations. If an aerial recon is not feasible, a detailed map and photo reconnaissance is conducted. The use of AH-64 gun cameras provide the opportunity to view the area of operations. The reconnaissance results in:

    (a) PZ selection:

    1. Large enough to support the mission.

    2. Free of obstructions.

    3. Trafficable.

    4. Defensible / provides for concealment.

    (b) LZ selection:

    1. Large enough to support the mission.

    2. Free of enemy and off high speed avenues of approach.

    3. Free of obstructions.

    4. Allows for rapid extraction.

    5. Makes use of highest charge possible (maximizes standoff range).

    (3) Air mission coordination meeting (AMCM). The purpose of the AMCM is to complete coordination between the artillery unit and the aviation unit to ensure the GTP is adequately supported. This meeting follows the development of the GTP. At the AMCM, the battery commander briefs the GTP; specifically, the composition of personnel and equipment to be delivered (air assault) and where (LZs/FPs). Attendees include: Arty bn S3, S3 Air, S2, BC(s)/XO(s), the BAE (or representative), the air mission commander (AMC), the forward observers (FA and AVN), and other staff officers as required. The air movement table, an updated timeline specifying the schedule of events, and all information needed for the AMB are produced at the conclusion of the AMCM. The air mission coordination meeting (AMCM) coordinates:

  1. (a) Number of aircraft by type.
  2. (b) Tentative lift and serial composition.

(c) Suitable PZs, LZs, FARP location, and aircraft laager sites.

(d) Air routes (if confirmed).

(e) LZ/FP imagery (if available).

(f) Aviation scheme of maneuver and radio net structure.

(g) Size of security forces attached (if available) and plan of execution.

(4) Air mission brief (AMB). The AMB is an operations order to the aviation unit(s) providing support for the mission. The term "AMB" means both the written product and the briefing itself. All units involved in the air assault should attend the AMB and receive a copy of the order.

NOTE: If reduced planning is in effect and time is critical, the AMB may be done "plane side" at the PZ. However, more time on the PZ must be allocated to allow the necessary information to be disseminated to both the aviation and artillery unit.

(5) The air crew brief (ACB). The ACB provides aviation unit leaders with an operations order specific to aviators. The Arty bn S3 or S3 Air should attend to act as the artillery unit representative. The ACB may be combined with the AMB to save time and expedite preparations.

(6) Artillery advance party.




TACSAT, RT 1523, Map, Chemlites, Strobe, Compass, Pyro, VS-17 Panel, XO Handbook, NVGs, PLGR, 1 A/C, CONE FLASHLIGHT


UHF, BUCS, Raid Chart w/equip, TFT, RDPS.


RT 1523, OE-254, Map, Poncho


Aid Bag


1 A/C, Chemlites, VS-17, Cone flashlight, Map, PLGR, NVGs, XO Handbook


1 - M-60, Flashlights, NVGs/NODs, 6 x compass, (INF/ADA w/equip per SOP)


1 A/C Battery, Extra handset, Lay Data Card

NOTE: If two ADVON aircraft are used, add FDO and Smoke to 2d aircraft with the commo man and additional security. FDO will bring in a second BUCS and TFT. Consider using a NBC NCO with a M-8 alarm and/or CAM if the NBC threat warrants.

(7) Artillery main body.




1 A/C, Map, Flashlight, XO Handbook


PLGR, Compass


PLGR, Compass


1 RT 1523, OE-254, Poncho



Gunner’s Quadrant, RT 1523, Extra firing pin


Sight Box, Flashlight (Lens per SOP), Reckoning Tool, Extractor




Fuse Wrench, 4513s

NOTE: 3d Section will carry ramming staff and bell rammer and PLGR.

Personnel designated to hook-up loads during extraction must have goggles, gloves, and static probe (if a reach pendant is not used).

(8) Rehearsals.

(a) Ground tactical rehearsal.

1. The ground tactical rehearsal begins with the air movement and landing plan, then covers the GTP and extraction plan . It is designed to ensure synchronization of all efforts. This is a full, detailed rehearsal with all key personnel in attendance. A terrain model of the area of operations is required.

(b) Commex.

1. The Commex should mirror the signal requirements of the mission. Ensuring assignment of nets, equipment capabilities, range, retrans requirements and COMSEC requirements. All elements participating in the mission participate in the commex, to include the aeromedevac. The commex is normally conducted prior to the PZ rehearsal. The use of a TF COMMCARD is highly recommended and allows for a quick reference guide to frequencies and call signs.

(c) PZ rehearsal.

1. The bn XO presides over the PZ rehearsal. All pilots flying the mission, the PZ NCOIC, and the battery commander(s) attend. The staging, loading, and air movement plans are rehearsed in detail. The rehearsal includes the pilots’ actions in and around the PZ. A terrain model of the PZ(s) with a depiction of aircraft and loads is recommended.

(d) Conditions check.

1. Prior to execution, G3 makes a final analysis of the mission and existing conditions and the decision is made to continue with or abort the mission. Conditions are established early, using each BOS component, and reviewed continuously during the military decision-making process (MDMP). One of the most important considerations is the transition time (dusk/dawn) in relation to flight time. Ample time must be allotted to the pilots to don/remove NVGs and adjust their eyesight.

(e) The PZ update brief/conditions checks.

1. The PZ update brief is the final assembly of key leaders prior to conducting the air assault. The purpose of the brief is to disseminate the most current operational and intelligence information. It is conducted on the PZ after the A/C arrive so pilots can attend. The following are reviewed: enemy situation update, operations update (target location), commo update, time hack, commander’s comments. At the conclusion of the brief, division HQs is contacted for the final decision to proceed or abort the mission.

c. Execution.

(1) PZ operations.

(a) General. The HSB element provides PZ support to the air assaulting battery, establishing PZ control, marking the PZ, and providing PZ NCOIC and hook-up personnel.

(b) Actions on the PZ.

1. Establish security.

2. Mark PZ IAW AMB/Establish PZ control.

3. Move to PZ in load order to facilitate occupation. Position loads.

4. Rig loads for sling operations/load aircraft internally.

5. Inspect loads.

(c) Personnel organization.


2. Advance party.

3. Main body.

4. Hook up teams.

(d) Communications.

1. The aviation and artillery SIGOs coordinate the fill, HF frequencies, and TACSAT . They establish frequencies for the air battle net (ABN), command and control, the FARP, fires control net, and PZ control net. It is important that the PZ control net is free of unnecessary traffic. The same frequency that is used on the initial PZ may be used on the extraction PZ. Once frequencies and call-words are determined, the SIGOs create a TF commo card and disseminate it to the TF.

2. Call-words are in accordance with the commo card. At a minimum it will include:

a. PZ control.

b. LZ control (GTC or his representative).

c. AMC.


e. FDC.

f. GTC.

g. Aviation leads (lift and attack assets).

h. FARP (if used).

(e) PZ execution.

1. Staging. Loads are staged IAW with the AMB, normally in TRAIL, STAGGERED TRAIL, or ON-LINE. When practical, the PZ should mirror the LZ since the LZ becomes the PZ for extraction. This dispenses with the need for additional rehearsals and alleviates confusion during hours of low visibility. Loads will be separated in line 50 m daylight or 75 m limited visibility and 50 m laterally. Whenever possible, chalks will stage on their loads and move from their loads to the aircraft for loading. Each chalk leader (normally the section chief) provides 3x5 card with LOAD = (load type), LZ NAME, and LZ GRID on one side, and PAX manifest on the other to the crew chief upon entering the aircraft.

2. Marking. Lead touchdown point is marked IAW the AMB, normally with an inverted Y and each subsequent point with an single light for limited visibility operations. In daylight, the lead touchdown point is marked with a VS-17 panel.

3. Hook-up. Hook-up teams require two men per hook; one to hook and one to stabilize the hook-up man. A third, static probe man must be used for any load not using a reach pendant. The teams wear helmet, goggles, and gloves (one team member wears NVGs during night time operations) and face the aircraft at all times. A red chem light may be used to mark the load for sequence of hook-up and on the reach pendant to facilitate hook-up. Once the load is hooked, the team will move outside the rotor danger area, but will continue to observe the load for misrouted legs/entanglements until the load lifts. Each team must have the knowledge and equipment to repair a frustrated load.

(2) Advance party operations.

(a) Standards. Prior to execution, each AP man will inventory required advanced party equipment to ensure it is present. The 1SG and/or GSG will check AP equipment and brief all personnel on the following prior to AP SP:

1. Enemy situation

2. AZ of fire

3. LZ landing plan

4. Position formation/layout

5. Challenge/password

6. Nonstandard conditions/actions

(b) Personnel. The AP battle drill starts when they land on the LZ and stops when the gun lands. The drill is to be completed in order until the main body arrives. The AP man will complete remaining tasks after leading his section into position.

(3) Howitzer advance party drill.

(a) Secure immediate area. If required mine sweeper is employed by COMMO AP man. Gun guides 1 and 2 as a minimum provide mine sweeper security. 1SG signals direction of sweep.

(b) Sweep position. 1SG leads AP sweeps using fire team wedge(s). M-60 may be emplaced in overwatch. BC conducts recon, directs aiming circle location to GSG. As area secured, GSG erects aiming circles. After sweep AP gets equip moves to aiming circle (aircraft).

(c) Select position. BC selects and orients gun positions. AP Man will check for level from rear stake AP Man will check for level ground, crests, and visibility to aircraft.

(d) Align guide posts. Emplace stakes and tape on AOF. Rear stake is position of the breech. From rear stake AP takes one step along AOF and one step left and emplaces the pantel marker.

(e) Communication. If wire is used. Stake wire at left or gun and run wire to terminal board return to marker at chest height facing aircraft. Record data from aircraft. Conduct radio check on PRC-1.

(f) Initial DF, sub-tense, VA (If refinement data is determined). AP stands behind pantel marker with M16A2 centered over marker at chest height facing A/C. Record data from aircraft on AP Card, read back and announce "RECORDED."

(g) Mark touch down points and provide terminal guidance.

(4) Howitzer AP battle drill (night). Drill is modified at night as follows:

(a) Communication. Use strict noise and light discipline.

(b) Initial DF, sub-tense, VA (If needed). AP Man holds M16A2 with flashlight at each end of the weapon and orient the aiming post light on the pantel marker towards the aiming circle. As AP data is recorded, he will turn off lights. GSG turns off A/C light when all data is recorded at circle. AP will turn on pantel marker light prior conducting recon orienting it to aid finding his position again.

(5) FDC AP battle drill.

(a) Secure immediate area. Same as howitzer AP.

(b) Sweep position area. Same as howitzer AP.

(c) Select Position. Maximize cover/concealment and OE-254 positioning.

(d) Communication. AP MAN #1 AP MAN #2

o Stake wire* o Run wire to TB*

o Lay out OE- 254 o Hook up TA 312/get commo with aircraft*

o Erect OE- 254 o Help w/OE254.Move to A/C with BUCS AP card. **

*if wire is used

**if refinement data is calculated

(e) Position improvement.

1. Check OE- 254 w/BC radio.

2. Provide security.

(6) Commo AP drill.

(a) Sweep. Use mine detector.

(b) Communication (if wire is used). Emplace terminal board to rear of gun 3 and 4 (At night mark with chemlite.) Assist in TB hook up and stake and tag wire. Run wire from aircraft to TB, stake at aircraft, hook up and test phone.

(c) INT DF/SUB/ VA: COMMO act as aircraft to data on lay data card. Assist FDC #2 transmit data to FDC. If erected, use OE- 254.

(d) Conduct recon. If BOC/C2 vehicle (if used) location selected by 1SG (mark at night). Wait at aircraft rally signal. BCD- drive 1SG/BC to guide main body from touch-down point as directed.


(7) Main body occupation.

(a) Deliberate occupation will be defined as any occupation that the AP has > 30 min. prepare the position. The battery’s total during occupation is to achieve firing capability : 1. battery in order 2. two independent means of fire direction 3. FDC COMMO with the guns and observers. 4. Ammunition prepared on the guns (minimum 1 rd HE) and 5. XO minimum QE is announced. The howitzer 15:00 drill starts when first howitzer stops in its positions and stops when the gun is in order.

(8) Howitzer occupation drills.


1. Guide gun into position over AZ stakes next to pantel marker (Deliberate AASLT only).

Ensure gun is on AZ of fire

2. Emplace howitzer IAW TLABSPAP.

Ensure stays properly connected cant is < 90 mils

3. Aiming PT identified (goal 2 min. )

COMMO with aircraft use of proper commands

4. Laid using proper commands

Final sight picture verified

5. Emplace collimator, ammo prepared

Final sight picture to collimator ammo verified, clutch engaged at 3200. collimator bubble level, at least 1 RD prepared.

6. Measure sight to crest. Report to A/C after battery is laid.

L/R 400 mils, distance. Reported quickly, accurately

7. Howitzer safed by safety circle

Switch to safe frequency. Final sight pictures verified; emplace aiming posts (if used).



10. Announce "Gun #, site to crest / PTC range.

Ensure gun is in order.


Check hook up/self-test


(9) Hasty Occupation Drill.

(a) A hasty occupation requires the same battle drill as a deliberate occupation, except that certain unfinished AP tasks must be completed upon arrival. Exceptions are:

1. Battery will lay by radio on battery internal net (SC PT).

2. As gun is laid gunner will hold M16A2 for subtense (only if firing data is to be refined).

3. Once "in order" is reported, gun will safe on net.

4. The use of AN/PRC 127s (if available) will optimize speed.


(10) Fire mission.

(a) The fire mission is run the same as an AMC mission. The FDC pre-computes the firing data and provides the data to the howitzers chiefs either at the PZ or digitally at the LZ. If the mission is shot as a TOT, the FDC alerts the guns by voice that it is a TOT mission and provides time warnings as required prior to firing. Crews report when the howitzer is laid on the target(s) and report the target number(s). The target is fired voice from the FDC. During the fire mission, the howitzer crews simultaneously prepare for sling load operations. Once the fire mission is complete, the BC initiates the on order extraction mission. Aircraft transition from the laager site and the LZ becomes the PZ.

(11) Reporting.

a. All elements monitor the fires control net during the fire mission (s).

b. OBCOs, SITREPs, SHELLREPs, SALUTE, MIJI, and fire reports transmitted to artillery commander on OF1. Check fires announced on the fires control net.