ELEMENT: INFANTRY BATTALION, OR COMPANY
TASK: REACT to enemy contact in a landing zone (hot LZ).
CONDITION: The brigade, battalion, or company has been assigned a mission that involves insertion by air assault. The initial or subsequent serials in the lift encounter enemy direct, and/or indirect fires, or passive denial measures.
a. The unit plans and executes air assault IAW the Gold Book and ARTEP 7-10/20-MTP
b. The unit encounters enemy fire or denial measures while landing; unit in contact reacts to the enemy.
c. The ground commander orders actions that neutralize or destroy the enemy threat.
d. The unit moves off the LZ to objectives within 10 minutes of landing with a minimum of 75 percent of all personnel and equipment (or the minimum force required as stated in the OPORD).
e. The unit sustains less than 30% casualties.
f. The unit sustains no casualties from friendly fires.
SUBTASKS AND STANDARDS:
1. In addition to standard planning, the unit addresses the following items during the air mission brief (AMB):
a. Integration and fire control of direct and indirect fire assets (UH60, AH64, Mortars, and Artillery) through LZ engagement area management. Mission specific techniques will be IAW standards for fire control subtask (subtask #9). NO ILLUMINATION ROUNDS USED ON LZ.
b. Communications plan between flight crews and transported unit; signals and/or codes for alternate door exit, alternate LZ landing, actual location of the LZ (six digit grid) if different from planned location, etc.
c. Signals/markings to be used by ground forces in the LZ to designate friendly and enemy forces.
d. Casualty evacuation plan to include markings and position of aircraft and casualty collection point.
e. Downed aircraft procedures, to include "zeroing" of COMSEC equipment, location of first aid kits and fire extinguishers, and recovery plan.
f. Abort criteria are established (delay, divert, abort).
g. Plans for in-flight communications between chalks/serials, C2 aircraft, assault aircraft, and attack aircraft using organic assets and/or assets on the aircraft (e.g., external antenna).
2. Upon landing, the initial serial encounters passive denial measures (minefields).
a. All personnel in the minefield stop.
b. Unit recovers casualties and "backtracks" out of the minefield.
c. Unit commander assesses the situation to determine if an alternate route off the LZ is possible. Moves along alternate route and recommends to AATFC to divert subsequent serials or to continue to land on same LZ.
d. If an alternate route is not available, ground commander clears a lane using available assets. AH64 support with 30mm cannon fire to clear a lane in the minefield.
e. Unit proofs, clears, and marks the lane, and makes recommendation to the AATFC to land subsequent serials on the LZ or move to an alternate LZ.
3. Upon landing, subsequent serial(s) encounters passive denial measures.
a. Unit performs steps 1a-c above.
b. If alternate route not available, unit proofs, clears, and marks the lane. AH64 support cannot be used to help clear the lane if risk to friendly forces already off the LZ.
c. Ground commander recommends to AATFC to land subsequent serials on the LZ or to divert to alternate LZ.
4. Upon landing, the initial serial encounters enemy indirect fires.
a. Unit moves out of the impact area a designated (SOP, IAW OPORD/FRAGO, or as directed on the ground by unit commander) distance and direction.
b. Ground commander attempts to find and destroy enemy OP/forward observers.
c. Ground commander recommends to AATFC to land subsequent serials in the LZ or to divert to alternate LZ.
d. Ground commander attempts to determine caliber and type of indirect asset being used; directs AH64/OH58D to search likely firing points within the range of the suspected weapon system.
e. If ground commander unable to move unit out of impact area, or to find and destroy OP, recommends to AATFC to land reinforcements on off-set LZ to destroy enemy forward observer or to destroy enemy indirect assets (mortar platoons/batteries).
5. Subsequent serials land in LZ and encounters enemy indirect fires.
a. Unit performs steps 3a-d above. Ground tactical commander clears fires to prevent fratricide.
b. If unable to move chalk(s) out of impact area, ground commander assesses situation and recommends to AATFC where to land subsequent serials: alternate LZ to complete mission, or divert to LZ's where they can destroy enemy indirect assets not destroyed by attack helicopters or counter fire.
6. During ingress of the initial serial, AATFC learns of enemy direct fire/ambush assets on the LZ.
a. Prior to reaching the RP, flight crews relay to assaulting units which door/side of aircraft to move to upon landing (based on enemy situation, to put pax out on the side opposite of enemy forces).
b. Door gunners on the enemy side of the aircraft engage targets to destroy or suppress enemy forces during off-load and egress. Additionally, gunners on the side of contact employ smoke grenades to conceal ground troops as the aircraft depart (simulated only during training missions).
c. Ground unit obscures its movement with smoke, breaks contact with enemy, and employs indirect fire assets to destroy/suppress enemy unit.
d. Ground unit consolidates and reorganizes, prepares for CASEVAC as necessary.
e. Ground commander makes recommendation to AATFC to abort, reinforce, or change assault objective.
7. Upon landing, initial or subsequent serials encounter enemy direct fire/ambush.
a. Unit executes steps 5a-e listed above if fire is ineffective. Subsequent lifts will be in weapons tight status and only engage targets cleared by the ground commander.
b. If enemy fire is effective:
(1) Forces (chalks) taking effective fire react to ambush (take cover/return fire/suppress the enemy).
(2) Ground commander directs obscuration of enemy by use of hand/M203/or Mortar emplaced smoke. If mortars are employed, ground commander must notify AATFC to de-conflict A2C2. Ground commander employs fire support assets against enemy forces on the LZ
(3) Forces (chalks) not taking effective fire suppress the enemy and maneuver to gain an exposed flank.
(4) Stationary forces (chalks) in kill zone shift fires as assaulting forces fight through enemy ambush position.
(5) Units consolidate and reorganize and conduct CASEVAC.
(6) Ground commander makes recommendation to AATFC to abort, reinforce, or change assault objective.
8. Heavy assets landing in support of unit air assault operation react to enemy contact.
a. Considerations for Heavy LZ:
(1) All forces OPCON to Heavy LZ commander.
(2) All forces rehearse and execute using a common frequency
(3) Heavy LZ commander constitutes a Quick Reaction Force from OPCON elements
a. Forces on the "Heavy" LZ encounter passive denial measures:
(1) All vehicles in the mine field stop.
(2) Unit recovers casualties and equipment and backtracks out of mine field.
(3) Heavy LZ commander designates an alternate route out of the LZ, and/prepares to clear, proof, and mark a lane through the mine field.
(4) Heavy LZ commander makes recommendation to the ground commander to abort, or to divert to alternate LZ.
b. Forces on the "Heavy" LZ encounter indirect fires.
(1) Vehicles and personnel move a specified distance and direction off the LZ (SOP, OPORD rally point, or as directed by the ground commander).
(2) Heavy LZ commander attempts to find and destroy enemy OP/forward observers.
(3) Heavy LZ commander recommends to ground commander to land subsequent serials in the LZ or to divert to alternate LZ.
(4) Heavy LZ commander attempts to determine caliber and type of indirect asset being used; directs AH64/OH58D to search likely firing points within the range of the suspected weapon system.
c. Forces on the heavy LZ encounter direct fires/ambush.
(1) Designated crew member provides covering fires with SAW or M203 while other crew members de-rig load. If tandem (shotgun) load, crew members covering de-rigging face 180 degrees out from each other.
(2) Once de-rigged, vehicles move off the LZ to a covered and concealed position. Heavy LZ commander directs vehicles to position in assembly area, directs counterattack against enemy on LZ, or moves along covered and concealed route to link-up with forces on "light" LZ.
(3) Heavy LZ commander deploys QRF to fire and maneuver against an exposed flank of the enemy if necessary.
(4) Heavy LZ commander controls attack helicopter fires in the vicinity of the heavy LZ once ground commander clears.
(5) Heavy LZ commander recommends to ground commander to abort, divert to alternate LZ, or to reinforce units on heavy LZ.
9. Fire control measures.
a. During initial serial insertion, AATFC controls all fires. Attack aviation, fire support, and door gunners engage targets as planned in the initial order and AMB. Prior to first serial arriving on the LZ weapons status is free IAW the fire plan and control measures (RFA's, NFA's, etc.).
b. Once troops are on the ground, the ground commander controls and clears all fires in and around the LZ
c. Status of all weapons on subsequent serials is "tight." Use of target designators, A/N PAQ4 and GCP-1A/B, is also "tight" with specific control by the ground commander.
d. Each chalk carries primary and alternate day/night markers to designate their position. Markers must be visible to both ground and air observation. Examples include VS-17 panel, smoke, glint tape, IR Strobe-lights, MRE heaters, etc.
= Decision point for AATFC or ground commander
INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK