101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Gold Book


1. The following is an extract from the XVIII Airborne Corps Regulation 95-1: Section II,

Fighter Management:

    1. PURPOSE.
    2. a. Fighter management is a combat multiplier. Successful mission accomplishment depends on a soldier that is fit and whose performance is not degraded by fatigue. Endurance considerations must be made at all levels. Commanders and supervisors must be knowledgeable of the individual endurance factors and avoid allowing fatigue to influence safe mission accomplishment. Ultimately, individuals are responsible for, and the best judge of, their own physical and mental preparedness to accomplish the mission successfully and safely.

      b. The basic limits specified herein (without extensions) are maximum limits beyond which safe mission accomplishment may be compromised. Commanders must apply sound risk management principles when making extension decisions.

    3. GENERAL.
  1. This section prescribes duty and endurance requirements for both garrison and other

than garrison operations. Policies may be adjusted during actual combat situations. The provisions of this section apply to all aircrew members, non-crewmembers, and any other personnel associated with the safe operation and maintenance of the Corps’ aviation and ground support equipment.

b. Deviations from established fighter management limits are authorized on case-by-case basis for specific limits as stated in this regulation. Deviations other than specified herein require approval of the first Colonel (06) in the chain of command.


a. Fighter management. Management of human resources to maximize combat effectiveness by providing for individual rejuvenation, both physically and mentally, from stress or fatigue resulting from work activities and environmental factors.

b. Aircrew member. Personnel authorized to perform flight duties IAW AR 95-1, AR 600-105 and AR 600-106.

c. Non-flight personnel. Personnel that are performing or are directly supervising hands-on aircraft maintenance and/or armament/POL servicing.

d. Duty. Performance of military obligations or functions such as stand to formation, physical training, briefing, preflight, mission planning, etc.


(1) Duty period (garrison). Time period which begins when required to report to place of duty and ends immediately after being released from duty. Soldier is considered to be in garrison when off duty time may be spent at his/her residence

(2) Duty period (other than garrison). Starts when the soldier reports for the beginning of a military duty and ends when the soldier has completed all job-related tasks associated with the mission and/or is released from duty to individually manage his/her own time.

e. Rest period. Off-duty personal time with no interruptions which precedes or follows a duty period. The rest period begins when the soldier has completed all job-related tasks associated with the mission and/or has been released from duty to individually manage his/her own time. If an interruption occurs during sleep, a new rest period is started at the end of the interruption. An interruption is when an individual is required to perform/report for an obligating duty. A phone call in garrison and/or a momentary awakening during non-garrison is not considered an interruption.

f. Reverse cycle. A duty cycle which interrupts the normal circadian rhythm. Reverse cycle is when the individual is required to alter the normal duty schedule by 6 hours or more for 72 hours or more.


a. The following table will be used to plan and monitor aircrew member resources. It is important to realize that duty and rest periods have no relation to a 24 hour period. Example: Personnel who are assigned 10 hours duty and provided 10 hours of rest may begin another duty period. Conversely, personnel may be extended to 16 hours of duty and then provided 10 hours of rest. Neither example completes a rest/duty cycle in a 24 hour period.





DA FORM 2408-12 HRS

24 HRS


12 HRS *25







3 HRS – MOPP 3 OR 4


160 HRS



360 HRS


b. Missions will not be planned to exceed table 2-1 flight and duty hour maximums. If it is determined that the aircrew(s) cannot accomplish the mission within the limits, then a plan will be formulated for crew exchange during the execution of the mission. During execution if the planned mission exceeds table 2-1 maximum values, the senior, on site aviation commander, will assess the involved aircrew’s ability to execute the mission within the extension guidelines of paragraph 2-8e.

c. A 10 hour rest period will be provided for aircrew members prior to beginning a new duty period. The rest period can by be reduced to 8 hours for no more than two consecutive days by bn/avn task force commander (O5 or above). An 8 hour rest period will be provided for non-flight personnel prior to beginning a new duty period.

d. If a 14 day duty, or flight limit is reached, a 24 hour rest period is required before conducting aviation duties. When a 30 day duty, or flight hour limits are reached, a 48 hour rest period is required. Any 24 hour rest period within the 14 day duty, or 48 hour rest period within the 30 day duty time will reset the duty day clock.

e. Extension authority. Extensions will not be granted on a "blanket" basis. They will be approved only on a "case-by-case" basis. Extension authority is outlined below:

    1. Avn co cdr + 2 hours duty not to exceed 14 hours + 1 additional flight hour.
    2. Bn/avn task force cdr (05 or above) + 2 hours duty not to exceed 16 hours + 1

additional flight hour.

(3) The 1st COL (06) beyond 16 as necessary. (May be delegated to 05 cdr for a specified period.)

f. Personnel performing 24 hour duties will be provided a 20 hour rest period, prior to beginning a new duty period.

  1. Aircrew members will:

(1) Be restricted from operating an aircraft within 2 hours of concluding physical training.

(2) Be restricted from flight duties for a minimum of 2 hours after unprotected exposure to riot control agents and/or until all residual side effects have worn off, whichever is later.

(3) If identified as being susceptible to "simulator sickness" be restricted from crewmember duties for a minimum of six hours following a visual simulator training period, with visuals on.

(4) Immediately notify and consult with their chain of command when it becomes apparent that fighter management limits will be exceeded and an extension will be needed. The length of the mission and expected or possible delays should be considered so that the extension request can be managed prior to the expiration or existing limitation.

h. Commander will plan adequate time for personnel to adjust when assigned to new time zones or environmental areas. Readjustment periods will be determined by the commander, in consultation with a flight surgeon.


1. Medical evacuation uses purpose-built, specially manned, unarmed aircraft. Casualty evacuation uses standard mission aircraft to move the wounded. Both are planned for every air assault operation. Here are seven standards always used to employ these important assets:

a. MEDEVAC Planning.

(1) Forward support MEDEVAC team leader (FSMT) does all MEDEVAC planning for AASLT’s and sustained operations with BDE S-1, BDE S-3 Air, BAE, CHSSO and forward support medical company CDR.

(2) FSMT CDR should brief the MEDEVAC plan at AMCM’s, AMB’s and CHS rehearsal.

(3) BDE S-1 casualty estimate drives how many MEDEVAC aircraft will support the AASLT.

(4) Limited assets, every NVG hour and drop of fuel counts.

(5) MEDEVAC aircraft should be in PZ posture next to main PZ control during daylight (in order to not waste any NVG hours).

(6) Don’t put MEDEVAC aircraft into the ROZ too early (wastes NVG time).

(7) ROZ’s should only be used for long AASLT’s (METT–TC).

(8) Short AASLT’s should be supported from the PZ’s or BSA.

(9) Plan MEDEVAC ROZ abeam of the last ACP (ideally 10k from LZ’s).

(10) Plan the FARP to stay open past the end of the AASLT to fuel MEDEVAC still supporting the operation.

(11) Plan MEDEVAC routes to level II or III health care and ensure they are briefed to all aircrews participating in the AASLT.

(12) Casualty collection points (CCP’s) should be placed in the bottom right corner of the LZ (METT-TC dependent).








4 litter configuration

6 litter configured





















Figure 5-1, UH-60A MEDEVAC capabilities

c. Commitment of MEDEVAC and CASEVAC aircraft involves combined arms combat operations. The following are keys to a successful MEDEVAC/CASEVAC:

(1) Deconflict airspace through the AMC, who controls the MEDEVAC operation.

(2) Use lethal and non-lethal SEAD.

(3) Integrate attack aviation escort and/or PZ overwatch.

(4) Ensure PZ security.

(5) Ensure terminal guidance into the PZ.

(6) Ensure CCP’s are planned at each LZ and annotated on the AMB’s LZ Diagrams.

(7) Send MEDEVAC aircraft only into secure PZ’s.

d. The AMC normally has launch authority, although the AATFC can retain this authority himself.

(1) When task organized to the infantry brigade TF, MEDEVAC aircraft work for the FSB when not involved in air assaults. The crews are available for air assault orders, rehearsals, and, preparations.

(2) A check will be made over the CAN1 with the AMC before committing MEDEVAC/CASEVAC aircraft into the operational area.

(3) Units request MEDEVAC/CASEVAC using an abbreviated 4-line format.

(4) If the Division emergency aircrew extraction (EAE) aircraft are unavailable, MEDEVAC can be called for the extraction of injured downed aircrews. However, the MEDEVAC’s primary mission for the AASLT is in support of the ground troops.

e. Allocate UH-60 air ambulances for MEDEVAC and stretcher-configured CH-47Ds for CASEVAC. The numbers depend on the scale of the air assault (Avn Bde TF or Avn Bn TF).

(1) Consider ground evacuation means.

(2) Echelon aid stations and ATLS teams to sustain life during evacuation. Ideally, ATLS capability must be at both PZ and LZ, with medics aboard all MEDEVAC/CASEVAC helicopters.

(3) Minimum of two flight/ground medics will fly on each CASEVAC CH-47D.

f. MEDEVAC and CASEVAC aircraft are OPCON to the AMC during air assault operations.

(1) MEDEVAC crews receive all air assault operation orders and aviation support from the AMC.

(2) The AMC clears all MEDEVAC/CASEVAC aircraft movements, to include launch and landings, using ABN. Launch authority may be retained by the AATFC, but the AMC is responsible for execution.

g. Request MEDEVAC/CASEVAC over the CAN1 net for the duration of the air assault operation, until the evacuation net is established.

(1) This ensures good coordination of fires and airspace.

(2) When the air assault operation ends, the MEDEVAC/CASEVAC aircraft revert to FSB control, and MEDEVAC/CASEVAC requests come over the brigade forward support medical company command net (evacuation net) primary, alternate is bde. A/L net.

(3) The medical company Commander must be actively involved in directing the efficient control of MEDEVAC/CASEVAC operations.

(4) Requesting units mark, secure, and provide aid and litter teams at the PZ's.

h. Select LZ’s that are level and clear of debris (commo wire, engineer tape, loose equipment) for a 50 meter radius.

(1) Preferred methods of marking LZs:

Day = smoke (do not pop until instructed), panel marker

Night = strobe, chemlight (blue/green not visible under aviation NVGs)

(2) Keep vehicles and personnel, except signalman, clear of area until instructed otherwise by aircrew. A well marked LZ and inexperienced signalman is better than a poorly marked LZ and experienced signalman.

(3) Keep all other light sources away from LZ (they will shut down aviators’ NVGs) unless instructed otherwise by aircrew.

(4) Once aircraft is inbound, expect an estimated time of arrival call from the crew. The person on the radio at the site must have visual on the LZ to confirm signal, if required, or to assist crew in positioning.

(5) Once landed, keep personnel away from the aircraft, the medic will come to the patient. The unit must provide personnel to assist in loading the patient on the aircraft (under direction of the medic).

(6) Weapons and pyrotechnics will not be evacuated (real-world casualties).

(7) CAUTION!!! Aircraft produce high velocity winds that can throw debris or rocks injuring personnel or damaging equipment. Protect your eyes and your patient’s eyes.

i. Back haul planning.

(1) Back hauling is the use of AASLT lift aircraft for casualty evacuation off of LZ’s.

(2) Will almost always cause delays in AASLT flow.

(3) Has to be very controlled and planned to minimize the disruption of the AASLT.

(4) All casualties will still go to the LZ CCP.

(5) Primarily for priority and routine casualties.

(6) Call goes to C2 aircraft on CAN1, CHSSO will relay the request to AATFC. If request approved, the AMC will direct the next serial’s last 2 aircraft (# METT-TC), after dropping off PAX, to relocate to the LZ CCP to pick up casualties.

(7) All casualties from back haul will be taken back to the PZ or FARP.

(8) Back haul aircraft with casualties will notify PZ control or FARP control that they are inbound with casualties.

(9) The last serial of the final lift will pick up casualties as required before the conclusion of the AASLT.

2. The MEDEVAC request: Figure 5-2 is the 9-line MEDEVAC request format. The 4-line format uses only lines 1, 2, 3, and 5.












1 Location

Transmit the grid coordinates of the pickup site

From map

Unit leader; check with GPS PLGR

Required so aircrew

knows where to

pickup casualty.

Also so that unit

Coordinating the

mission can

approve and clear

the route for the



2 Radio


call sign

and suffix

Transmit the freq of the radio at the pickup site (not a relay freq). The call sign of person to be contacted at the pickup site may be transmitted in the clear.

From SOI


Required so

aircraft can contact

requesting unit

while enroute.

3 Number of




Report only applicable information and the brevity codes.

A = urgent

B = urgent-surgical

C = priority

D = routine

E = convenience

If two or more

categories must be

used in the same

request, insert the

word "break"

between each


From assessment of casualties

Medic, combat life saver, or unit leader

Required by


controlling the

aircraft to assist

in prioritizing


4 Special



Send the applicable

brevity codes.

A = none

B = hoist

C = extraction equipment (jaws of life)

D = ventilator

From senior medic or combat life-saver

Medic, combat life saver, or unit leader

Required so that the

equipment can be

placed on board the

aircraft prior

to takeoff.

5 Number of


by type


Report only applicable information and send

the brevity code. If requesting MEDEVAC for both types, insert

the word "break" between the litter entry and ambulatory entry.

L + # of casualties - litter

A + # of casualties - ambulatory

From assessment of casualties


Medic, combat life saver, or unit leader

Required so that the

appropriate number

of appropriately

configured aircraft

may be dispatched

to the PZ.


6 Security of






N = no enemy troops in area.

P = possible enemy troops in area.

E = enemy troops in area.

X = enemy troops in area; PZ under fire. (request armed escort)

From evaluation of situation

Unit leader

Required to orient and protect inbound aircrews..

6 Number

and type of

wounded, injury or




Specific information regarding

casualty wounds by type. Report serious bleeding, along with patient blood type, if known

From assessment of casualties


Medic, combat life saver, or unit leader

Required to permit more rapid and effective treatment of casualties.

7 Method of



Send brevity codes:

A = VS-17 panels.

B = pyrotechnic signal.

C = smoke signal.

D = none.

E = other (then describe).

Based on situation SOP, and availability of materials

Unit leader

Required to assist aircrew on final approach to PZ. Do not transmit color of panels, smoke, or pyro; make inbound aircrew identify the color on final approach.

8 Patient


and status

The number of casualties in each category need not be transmitted.

Send only the applicable brevity codes.

A = US military

B = US civilian

C = Non-US military

D = Non-US civilian


From assessment of casualties


Medic, combat life saver, or unit leader

Required to alert destination aid stations and hospitals of inbound patient load, and to alert guards for EPWs. Ensure at least one rep at the PZ speaks English.






Include this line only when

applicable. Send the applicable

brevity codes.

N = nuclear

B = biological

C = chemical

From evaluation of situation

Unit leader

Required to protect and orient inbound aircrews.

9 Detailed






Include details of terrain features

in and around LZ. If possible, describe relationship of site to prominent terrain

feature (lake, tower, mountain,


From evaluation of situation

Unit leader

Required to reduce risks on final approach,. especially if hoist will be used.

Note: Mission items are normally used in hostile-fire situations, training for the same with simulated casualties, or any case where mission accomplishment takes priority over preserving life, limb, or eyesight. Lifesaving lines are used when conditions are not hostile and priority goes to savings life, limb, and eyesight rather than mission accomplishment.

Figure 5-2, 9-line and 4-line MEDEVAC Request Formats

3. Combat health support rehearsal.

a. Combat health support (CHS) requires its own distinct rehearsal to get it right. This is distinct from the CSS rehearsal. The brigade XO runs the CHS rehearsal. Brigade participants include:

Brigade S1 (OIC)

Brigade Surgeon

Brigade S3 Air (PZ Control representative)

Brigade FSE representative or FA Battalion XO/S1/S4

Heavy Assault Aviation LNO

Assault Aviation LNO

Attack Aviation LNO

Attack Aviation Escort Element OIC

FSB Logistics Operations Officer

FSB Health Services Support Officer

FSB Medical Company Commander


FSB Ground Ambulance Platoon Leaders

50th Air Ambulance Forward Support Medical Team Leader

Division Medical Operations Center Representative

Infantry Battalion S1s

Infantry Battalion Medical Platoon Leaders

b. The rehearsal of the CHS plan includes review of the enemy and friendly situation and command and control relationships. It rehearses communications, casualty collection, casualty treatment, evacuation, and the use and manning of MEDEVAC and CASEVAC aircraft for each phase of the air assault operation using the Brigade Air Assault Execution Checklist. Specific points that will be covered include:

(1) A walk through of casualty collection from point of injury to CCPs.

(2) Locations and markings of CCPs.

(3) Insertion of medical treatment teams (ATLS).

(4) Proposed changeover codeword and timing for MEDEVAC requests to shift from the CAN1 to the forward medical support company evacuation net. This is planned for the conclusion of the air assault, but may have to occur earlier if METT-TC demands. It is always addressed at the rehearsal.

(5) Transmission of 4-line MEDEVAC request format.

(6) Tracking of casualties and MEDEVAC/CASEVAC missions from the point of injury to treatment facilities.

(7) Procedures for contacting, manning, and calling forward MEDEVAC/CASEVAC aircraft, to include link-up of attack escort and/or LZ overwatch.

(8) Airspace control, to include PZs, LZs, routes, and SEAD plans. If a Restricted operating zone (ROZ) orbit is planned, it will be discussed here.

(9) Planned location and daytime/nighttime marking of the MEDEVAC pad located near the forward support medical company.

(10) Post-air assault MEDEVAC/CASEVAC procedures.

(11) Communications exercise plan and timings. MEDEVAC/CASEVAC communications will be rehearsed using actual means.

(12) Litter exchange.

(13) Class VIII resupply.

4. Medical pad. The forward support medical company commander ensures the MEDEVAC pad is appropriately marked and easily identifiable for pilots conducting day and night MEDEVAC/CASEVAC operations. Once the FSB establishes a dedicated MEDEVAC pad, the location of the pad will be disseminated throughout the brigade TF and relayed to the Division Medical Operations Center. This pad will be within the BSA perimeter, also the forward support medical company commander will have a PZ control node running the medical pad and tracking all MEDEVAC/CASEVAC missions of the company HQ.


1. Attack aviation, to include air cavalry operating in the attack role, brings superb firepower, speed, and shock effect to an air assault operation. Normally, the Division employs the bulk of these powerful forces in deep operations under command of the 101st Aviation Brigade in order to generate mass and momentum. One exception involves the requirement to provide attack aviation to ensure success of brigade air assaults. Air assaults always include attack/cavalry aviation supporting the Air Assault Task Force.

2. Attack aviation allocations.

a. The Division currently has three AH-64 equipped attack helicopter battalions (ATKHBs) totaling 72 Apache helicopters. The Division also has the 2-17th Cavalry squadron equipped with 32 OH-58D Kiwa Warriors. The typical allocation of attack helicopters to a brigade-size air assault task force is one ATKHB. The normal command relationship is OPCON to the AATF. The ATKHB may come under the OPCON of the AATF as much as 96 hours prior to the air assault. The ATKHB will be OPCON NLT 24 hours prior to the air assault to provide minimum planning and preparation prior to the operation. On some occasions, the 2-17th Cavalry will also be task-organized to a brigade for an air assault operation. For this discussion, cavalry fighting in the attack role will also be described as attack aviation.

b. Each ATKHB is equipped with 24 AH-64s, split into three line companies with eight Apaches each. For planning, NMT 18 of these aircraft will be available for a mission (approximately 6 available per company). The AATF should normally plan on employing these aircraft in company elements. This technique provides a good balance of capabilities in terms of aerial reconnaissance capability in the area of operations (AO), the ability to ‘mass’ Apache fires sufficient to destroy up to a battalion-sized mechanized force (or equivalent), the ability to conduct distributed attack helicopter operations in up to 3 separate locations and/or to maintain a continuous presence. The AH-64 can be employed in as small an element as two-ship teams if the requirement for continuous presence outweighs the requirements for mass. The company, however, is the lowest level that plans/coordinates operations. During an air assault, the attack/cavalry elements are directly controlled by the AMC until the air assault is completed.

3. Employment of attack aviation in air assault operations.

a. Typically, the ATKHB is employed in support of an air assault about 48 hours prior to H-hour (i.e. the night of D-2) in order to set conditions for the air assault. METT-T will determine the actual length of time for ‘conditions setting’ prior to an air assault. In order to better coordinate and orchestrate its deep operations, the Division may consolidate all three ATKHBs under the 101st AVN BDE for the conduct of D-2 and D-1 operations. While this is METT-T driven, the general conditions setting operations remain the same whether commanded and controlled by the AATF or the 101st AVN BDE.

b. Following the standard conditions setting template, the ATKHB conducts terrain oriented armed reconnaissance on D-2. The purpose of this armed reconnaissance is to destroy high pay-off targets of opportunity, confirm or deny the suitability of flight routes and LZs, gain information on the ground routes from LZs to the objectives, and gain information on the objective area. The ATKHB will begin to confirm or deny the enemy template and will destroy select high pay-off targets. The focus of D-2 operations is on armed reconnaissance and a shift to emphasize attack operations exclusively requires a deliberate decision by the commander, usually to destroy an enemy force of great criticality. Upon completion of the D-2 reconnaissance, the ATKHB provides its reconnaissance products to the AATFC (even if employed under the 101st AVN BDE). Typical products the AATF can expect include: AH-64 VRS tapes, LZ and key terrain sketches, route and objective area sketches, photo telesis imagery, LRSD backbriefs, and crew debrief products.

c. D-1 operations are normally executed as a movement to contact with the purpose of setting the air defense, maneuver, fires, and intelligence conditions for the air assault. In its operations, the battalion refines the intelligence picture in the AO and attacks to destroy high pay-off targets in zone in order to set conditions for D-day operations. At the end of D-1 operations, enemy forces in the AO that can affect the air assault should be destroyed or definitely located for targeting and attack prior to the air assault.

d. On D-day the focus of the ATKHB’s operations is to finalize setting conditions for the air assault and then providing close support fires and security for the air assault itself. After the initial lift is in, the focus of the attack battalion shifts to securing the airhead and/or providing supporting fires to the GTC. A typical pattern for attack helicopter operations on D-day begins with attacks to destroy located/templated forces that can affect the air assault in order to finalize setting conditions. This is normally a company operation. This stage ends with the LZs confirmed clear "ice" and with AH-64s in overwatch of the LZs. Typically, the lead company will BHO to a second company who will perform the actual overwatch. This second company will overwatch the initial lift into each LZ and then either push out beyond the airhead line into the security zone or provide close supporting fires to the GTC. The third company usually cycles in to extend the duration of the security zone mission and/or the supporting fires.

e. If the LZs are hot, the AATFC may decide to delay, divert, or abort the mission (see abort criteria). Here, aggressiveness by the AATFC and attack aviation may be the only way to set conditions to "ice". This will require close coordination between the AATFC and attack aviation to avoid fratricide and to minimize risk to the aircrews. The AATFC must be aware of the time that is used to clear the LZs, and must adjust the mission accordingly.

f. While the ATKHB can perform many tasks in support of air assault operations, it can not perform all possible tasks. The AATFC must prioritize the tasks he needs to have accomplished and select those that are truly essential for the ATKHB to perform. Giving the ATKHB too many tasks will "dilute" the effectiveness of the AH-64s by forcing a piecemeal commitment of the battalion. Additionally, the AATFC must prioritize when he wants Apaches available to support his operations. "Continuous presence" can only be maintained for about 24 hours and forces a sequential employment of teams of two aircraft. The result is that the ATKHB loses the flexibility to mass effects in time/space and trades away any redundancy in the fight.

g. For planning purposes, an attack helicopter company can perform no more than one task at a time. Depending on the duration of a particular task, attack companies may be able to conduct two tasks sequentially as long as they are related efforts (i.e. transitioning from LZ overwatch to airhead security or close supporting fires). The limiting factor for conducting sequential tasks is crew endurance. The battalion’s missions and the time allocated to accomplish them should be planned in accordance with the planning considerations written above. Figure 5-3 below is a brigade employment task matrix.

Setting The Conditions


Basic Task: Force-oriented armed zone reconnaissance (under AATFC command)


Subtask 1. Route reconnaissance (purpose = validate air movement and landing schemes)

aviation focus: flight routes, RPs, SPs, ACPs, proposed attack aviation positions, enemy ADA in range of flight routes and LZs

ground focus: clear, usable routes to primary and alternate LZs


Subtask 2: Area reconnaissance (purpose = validate landing scheme)

aviation focus: LZ viability, LZ obstacles, enemy ADA ranging LZs

ground focus: LZ viability, enemy forces near LZ, enemy indirect fire units ranging LZ, enemy mobile reserves ranging LZ


Subtask 3: Hasty attacks (purpose = destroy selected enemy forces)

aviation focus: enemy ADA

ground focus: enemy forces defending or supporting defenses on or near LZs


Subtask 4: Deliberate attacks (purpose = destroy selected enemy forces)

aviation focus: enemy ADA, artillery, and mechanized forces


Air Assault Operations


Basic Task: Protect air assault operations (under AMC command)


Subtask 1: LZ overwatch (purpose = dominate LZs by fire and maneuver to permit unhindered landing operations)

aviation focus: suppress all enemy ADA to permit unhindered ingress, landing, and egress

ground focus: close combat attacks to destroy enemy forces


Subtask 2: Screen (purpose = detect and attrit enemy forces moving toward LZs)

aviation focus: suppress all enemy ADA to permit air assault to continue

ground focus: delay and disrupt enemy mobile reserves and indirect fire means to prevent them from influencing the operations of friendly ground forces


Subtask 3: Close combat attacks (CCA) (purpose = destroy designated enemy forces to permit ground forces to execute assigned tasks)

aviation focus: employ discriminate fires to expedite ground force operations

ground focus: employ attack aviation in direct fire attacks to destroy enemy forces


Subtask 4: Escort (purpose = to ensure the safe landing or extraction of key assets)

aviation focus: direct close support to a designated serial, suppressing all enemy enroute or at the LZ or PZ

ground focus: none, unless CCA required

Figure 5-3, Brigade Employment Task Matrix

4. Close combat attacks (CCA).

a. The devastating fires of Apaches and Kiowa Warriors provide tremendous advantages in any engagement. The Division uses CCA procedures to ensure that these attack aviation fires destroy the enemy with minimal risk to friendly forces.

b. To work, CCA requires ground soldiers and aviators to understand and drill hard on the following techniques:

(1) CCA requests.

(2) CCA unit and target marking.

(3) CCA target hand-over.

c. CCA requests.

(1) CCA requests from the ground forces come up from squad through platoon to company to battalion to brigade over normal command radio nets. Battalion requests CCA during an air assault on CAN1.

(2) As attack aviation is a maneuver arm, CCA will not be requested or conducted over fire nets except in emergency cases. This leaves the fire nets clear for fire missions and fire support coordination. It also ensures that attack commanders talk directly to ground commanders.

(3) The AATFC directs attack aviation to respond based on planned priorities or on-the-spot decisions. If CCA cannot be made available, the brigade FSO immediately arranges for alternate fire support means to attack the enemy target.

(4) The infantry battalion Commander can request AH-64 support by calling the brigade Commander and giving the code-words "Request APACHE". If the brigade Commander decides to commit the AH-64’s in close support of the infantry, he will give the code-word "GO APACHE" in support of (infantry call-sign) to the Apache leader on CAN 1. The Apache leader will then drop to the battalion frequency , and establish communications. This keeps the CAN 1 clear. When the threat to the infantry is destroyed, the Apache leader will inform the brigade Commander on CAN 1 by giving the code-word " APACHE COMPLETE". The infantry battalion Commander will continue his assault mission after the AH-64’s have destroyed the threat interfering with the attack/mission. During the close support, the AH-64 team is TACON to the battalion Commander. On completion of that specific mission, the AH-64 team immediately reverts to brigade control.

d. The following is an example of an "APACHE REQUEST":

(1) Brigade Commander, this is Battalion Commander, request APACHE, over.

(2) Battalion Commander, this is Brigade Commander, roger your request for APACHE, break… Apache leader, this is Brigade Commander, go APACHE in support of (infantry call-sign), over.

(3) Brigade Commander, this is Apache leader, wilco, switching to Battalion Commander push, over.

(4) Apache leader, this is Brigade Commander, roger out.

(5) Battalion Commander, this is Apache leader reporting for APACHE call, your push, over.

e. The following is an attack helicopter call for fire:


(1) (helicopter) this is (infantry unit),

fire mission. My location is

(6 digit grid), marked with

(smoke, strobe, BUD light,

etc.), over. Roger, I identify (color smoke,

strobe, chemlite, over)

(2) From my location target is (degrees)

at (meters), (target description, terrain

orientation), marked with (PAQ 4 spot

laser or ground tactical commander

pointer). (optional) Target identified, over.

(3) Cleared hot, over. Engaging with (ordinance).

Attack complete, over.

(4) End of mission, (target effects), over. Roger, end of mission, out.

5. CCA unit and target marking.

a. Marking targets for arriving attack aircraft is very difficult. Most CCA occur within 500 meters and may occur within 50 meters of friendly troops. Based on Apache and Kiowa thermal sights and NVGs, the following marking means are available. They are noted for effectiveness for day and night (NVG and thermal):

Unit Marking Day Night NVG Night Thermal

VS-17 panel go no go no go

smoke go no go no go

mirror go no go no go

IR strobe no go go no go

MRE heaters no go no go maybe


Target Marking Day Night NVG Night Thermal

tracer bullets go go no go

AN/PAQ-4C no go go no go

briefing pointer no go go no go

GCP no go go no go

G/LLVD go no go go

M-203 Illum go go go


b. The best advice for marking is to have multiple means available, and talk it out over the radio.

c. CCA cannot be conducted without positive ID of friendly and enemy forces. Both aviation and ground must agree that they know where everybody is before the Apaches/Kiowas open fire.

6. CCA target hand-over Before the friendlies mark the target, the inbound aircraft approaches, holds in a secure area nearby, and contacts the friendly unit (platoon leader or company commander, on the company command radio net). Except in emergencies, the ground "actual," not the RTO, will talk. This call initiates target handover. The target handover has seven steps:

a. Confirmation of the frago ‘Go Apache".

b. Attack inbound summary, which explains the weapons and aircraft mix.

c. Attack aviation on station; friendlies positively identified.

d. Final target hand-over conducted, passing the target from the ground force to the aircraft.

e. Marking target.

f. Engaging target.

g. Battle damage assessment (BDA) (and end of mission or re-attack).


1. The fundamental purpose of the cavalry is to perform reconnaissance and to provide security. During air assault operations, the air cavalry is suited to perform the basic task of zone reconnaissance (subtasks 1, 2, and 3) and subtask 1 (area security) [from Brigade Employment Task Matrix, p. 5-21 to 5-22] for the AATFC. These missions help the AATFC determine how to allocate attack assets to destroy the enemy and assists in course of action development through the location and determination of suitability of landing zones. The reconnaissance products (videotapes, phototelesis, and LZ sketches) also assist planning operations in and around the LZ(s). The air cavalry can conduct deliberate attacks and air assault escort; however, as with attack aviation performing reconnaissance, these missions do not maximize the use of aircraft capabilities.

2. Air cavalry allocations.

a. The cavalry is organized into four troops of eight aircraft (six for planning) each. These assets perform several diverse missions for the Division, the 101st Aviation Brigade, and/or


a supported infantry brigade. METT-T determines which missions the cavalry will conduct, and for whom they will conduct them. The cavalry uses two or three-ship teams, troops, and/or the entire squadron to execute missions. Generally, one three-ship team can conduct any of the subtasks under the reconnaissance basic task. For security missions, it generally requires more than just one team per subtask.

b. Due to other mission requirements, the cavalry supports a brigade air assault with the entire squadron, or any portion [troop(s), team(s)] required. If the entire squadron supports the mission, a command and control element (TAC) will go forward with the air assault and/or the squadron commander or S-3 will ride in the C2 UH-60. To maximize aircraft capabilities and best serve the AATFC, a task-organization with both cavalry and attack assets provides with the greatest versatility.

3. Employment of the air cavalry in air assault operations.

a. The cavalry is ideally suited to conduct reconnaissance and security missions. These missions, done in conjunction with attack aviation, provide greater flexibility to the AATFC.

b. At H-48 (or earlier), the cavalry conducts terrain-oriented reconnaissance of possible FARP sites, the objective, possible attack aviation positions, deception objectives, primary and alternate LZs, etc. to determine suitability. The cavalry also conducts route reconnaissance to validate air routes and determine if any enemy ADA can influence movement along the routes. If any enemy is found, the cavalry will develop the situation and provide information for the commander to utilize while making his decisions. METT-TC determines whether the cavalry then uses supporting deep fires (artillery, CAS), organic fires, or passes the target over to attack aviation (whether task-organized or not) to destroy.

c. The cavalry next (approximately H-24) conducts force-oriented reconnaissance. This identifies remaining enemy elements that may influence the air assault. (Again, METT-T determines means of destruction). Reconnaissance assists the commander in determining if the conditions are set.

d. During the actual conduct of the air assault, the cavalry performs one or more of the following missions:

(1) Task: Air route security.

Purpose: Prevent the enemy from influencing movement along the air route(s).

This task may include establishing the forward passage lane for follow-on attack/lift assets, hasty attacks, etc.

(2) Task: Area security (objective).

Purpose: Deny enemy the ability to influence friendly actions vicinity the LZ(s)/objective(s). This task may include establishing OPs to overwatch the LZ(s), providing the "cherry/ice" call, establishing a screen, hasty attacks, reconnaissance of ground routes from LZ to objective, etc.

(3) Task: Screen.

Purpose: Prevent the enemy from surprising friendly forces vicinity the LZ(s)/objective(s). The screen line may be established OTR to trigger attack assets or closer in to assist the ground maneuver elements. Task may include hasty attacks.

e. METT-TC determines the assets required to perform each mission. The higher/supported commander provides the cavalry commander his intent (how far out to establish screen, where to focus, duration of security/screen, etc.) to allow the cavalry commander to best utilize his limited assets in accomplishing several missions.

f. The cavalry may also perform other missions during or immediately following the air assault. These missions include area security (FOB), reconnaissance of follow-on objectives, establishing screen lines, conducting route reconnaissance/security (GLOC), etc. Throughout these missions, as with all missions, the cavalry is prepared to conduct target/battle hand-overs to attack aviation elements, conduct CCAs, assist with command and control, and provide reconnaissance information and products.

g. When employing the cavalry during the air assault operations, consider the following to ensure success:

(1) Assault aviation assets (establish FARPs, DART)

(2) Attack aviation assets (destroy found enemy)

(3) Communications (to ensure rapid reporting, phototelesis transmissions, digital communications with artillery (when applicable))

(4) Infantry (FARP security, CSAR)

(5) Field artillery priority targets and/or priority of fires

(6) Air defense assets (FARP protection)

(7) Engineers (FARP survivability)


1. Responsive, lethal indirect fires for air assault operations depend heavily on the use of towed 105mm and 155mm howitzers. Because of the depths at which most air assault operations take place, the only fire support assets that can normally provide close supporting fires, effective counter-fires, or lengthy suppressive fires are 105mm or 155mm towed howitzers that are air assaulted to within range of the targets.

2. There are three primary techniques used when employing air assault artillery, each used for different missions or scenarios. The three techniques are:


3. The Offset Battery technique consists of a deliberate air assault of a firing battery into a position offset or away from the objective or target area, normally before arrival of the main force. This technique is used when fire support will be needed in the target area or objective for an extended period of time, and available prior to or immediately at the start of an operation.

Offset Battery Technique




  • SEAD targets near objective are able to be attacked prior to aircraft arrival
  • Close support fires and counter-fire immediately available at the objective
  • Properly resourced, battery can provide support for extended periods


  • Higher risk of mission compromise and loss
  • Early insertion before H-hour affects aircraft availability & air crew endurance
  • Additional security force


  • ENGR dig assets may be required for survivability


  • Minimum of a PLT-size security force required
  • Long range commo assets required
  • Addition of Q-36 adds significant counter-fire capability
  • Prime movers generally not needed immediately, but will be needed within 36-48 hours, sooner if survivability moves required






Offset Battery Technique

Aircraft Requirements

Aircraft requirements (105mm btry-6 hows):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

8 x CH-47 to lift hows, FDC, C2

and ammo

11 x UH-60 to lift 6 hows,

FDC, C2, & 3 x ammo (total 288 rds)

2 x CH-47 to lift Q-36

Aircraft requirements (155mm plt-4 hows):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

8 x CH-47 to lift 4 hows (80 rds) + 3 x ammo (max 384 rds) FDC, C2

2 x CH-47 to lift Q-36


a. In the offset battery technique, the firing unit is inserted at a distance from the objective or target area that is within the range capabilities of the predominant ammunition and propellant to be used for the operation, and yet far enough away from the objective that the battery’s insertion does not compromise the entire operation.

A good rule of thumb is to use 2/3 to 3/4 of the max range for the mission’s predominant ammunition and propellant as the battery’s offset distance from the objective.

b. Since one of the criteria for using this technique is that fire support be immediately available at the start of the operation, the battery must be inserted early enough so that it can be established and secure prior to mission execution. A good rule of thumb is to insert the battery main body no sooner than 2 hours prior to first mission firing. This allows the area security plan to be established and also allows for time to correct the inevitable problems encountered when conducting air assault operations.

c. As the offset battery will be inserted prior to the main operation, long range communications will be needed between the battery and the AATFC. No long range communications assets are organic to the artillery firing batteries, so the unit will need to be augmented with and trained on these assets.

d. Because the offset battery will be the first large element in hostile territory, additional security will be required. As a minimum, an infantry platoon should be attached to the battery for security. If a high value asset, such as the Q-36 radar, will be with the battery, consideration should be given to attaching an infantry company to the battery. A clear delineation of command and responsibilities is required between the security force and the artillery unit commander.

e. Consideration should also be given to attaching engineer dig assets to the offset battery to enhance survivability, particularly if the unit is expected to occupy the position for a long period. The engineer assets are especially important to the survivability of the Q-36 radar.

f. The larger the inserted element becomes, the more difficult it becomes to control. One technique is to insert a small C2 element from the artillery battalion (possibly based out of a radio-equipped HMMWV) with the battery to coordinate security, engineers, and any other attached elements (ADA, etc.). The C2 element will coordinate with the higher HQs, thus allowing the battery commander to focus on firing battery operations.

g. With this technique, the battery will hopefully have been positioned where there is a minimal threat, and adequate security is provided. Therefore, the need to move the battery should be low, and so the howitzer prime movers are generally not needed immediately. The unit will need to link up with its prime movers within 36-48 hours, but this may need to be sooner if survivability moves are required.


4. The accompanying battery technique consists of a deliberate air assault of a firing battery simultaneously with the arrival of the main force. This technique is used when fire support will be needed in the target area or objective for an extended period of time, and other assets can provide immediate fire support for the assault force until the battery is established.

Accompanying Battery Technique




  • No early insertion of battery reduces risk of loss or mission compromise
  • Insertion with assault force places no additional strains on crews or aircraft

  • Battery can secure itself since assault echelon forces are nearby
  • Properly resourced, battery can provide support for extended periods


  • SEAD targets vic objective may not be suppressed when aircraft arrive
  • Counter-fires not readily available until Q-36 & battery established
  • Until the battery is established, the assault force has only mortars for close support fires


  • Prime movers should be AASLTed with howitzers to facilitate positioning flexibility
  • Addition of Q-36 adds significant counter-fire capability


Accompanying Battery Technique

Aircraft Requirements

Aircraft requirements (105mm btry-6 hows):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

8 x CH-47 to lift hows, FDC, C2

and ammo

11 x UH-60 to lift 6 hows,

FDC, C2, & 3 x ammo (total 288 rds)

2 x CH-47 to lift Q-36


Aircraft requirements (155mm plt-4 hows):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

8 x CH-47 to lift 4 hows (80 rds) + 3 x ammo (max 384 rds) FDC, C2

2 x CH-47 to lift Q-36



a. In the accompanying battery technique, the firing unit is inserted within the airflow of the main assault force. The firing unit is generally inserted within a lodgment area, with nominal security already established. Because the assault forces are fairly close by, the unit can generally secure itself without augmentation.

b. Since immediate field artillery support is not required, the unit has the time to select and move to the optimum firing position for their mission, rather than having to settle for wherever the helicopters set them down in the LZ. Therefore, consideration should be given to air assaulting the battery’s prime movers with the howitzers. This gives the battery the flexibility to relocate and position where it can best support maneuver.

c. Consideration should be given to attaching the Q-36 to a firing battery for security. Q-36 radar crews have a difficult time securing themselves and performing 24 hour operations.

d. Consideration should also be given to attaching engineer dig assets to the accompanying battery to enhance survivability, particularly if the unit is expected to occupy the position for a long period. The engineer assets are especially important to the survivability of the Q-36 radar.

5. The artillery raid technique consists of air assaulting a firing element forward to fire a specific mission, and then extracting the element via helicopter immediately after the mission is completed. This is usually done as a mission separate from a maneuver air assault. The artillery raid technique is used when a stationary, high value target requires attack by indirect fires, the fires are needed for a short time only, and adequate observation of the target is provided. Quick and timely execution (‘in and out") is of the essence. Target analysis will determine the number of howitzers and the amount of ammunition required for the raid.




















Artillery Raid Technique




  • Provides the element of surprise
  • Minimizes exposure of high value assets to risk; no permanent footprint established
  • Security forces may also be able to participate in main air assault
  • When performed separate from a maneuver AASLT, may not detract from aircraft and crew availability for main AASLT


  • Risk of loss and mission compromise
  • Additional security force required
  • Nature of mission does not allow for large amounts of ammunition to be taken in.
  • Minimal number of targets may be attacked
  • Ammunition amounts restrict effects against certain targets and limits duration of attacks


  • Observation of target is


  • Useful in SEAD and condition-setting missions
  • Can be used as a diversionary tactic
  • Pathfinder support may enhance security, speed position selection, and hasten insertion and extraction




Artillery Raid Technique

Aircraft Requirements

Aircraft requirements (105mm):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

Target analysis will determine number of howitzers required for the raid.



Aircraft requirements (155mm plt-4 hows):

2 x UH-60 for advance party

and security platoon

Target analysis will determine number of howitzers required for the raid.




a. When using the artillery raid technique (refer to Annex G. Appendix 7 for TTP), a thorough mission analysis must be performed. Some of the elements to consider include:

- Is the target suitable for attack by FA ?

- Can the target be attacked by other FS means ?

- Is the amount of howitzers and ammunition required feasible for an AASLT raid ?

- Can the force sustain the loss of artillery, ammunition, and aircraft ?

- Will the target(s) be observed ? (If not, we may be risking assets that will have had no effect on the target.)

b. For planning, allow 20-30 minutes from the time of last main-body aircraft take off from LZ until first round down range. Allow 20 minutes from last round fired until element is ready for extraction.

c. Firing element advance party and security force will prepare and secure the LZ. These elements also serve as the extraction hook-up crew and are the last elements extracted.


Note: Two Stinger teams are required for LZ security in all three techniques, METT-TC dependent.


1. References: ARTEP 7-92 MTP, FM 7-92

2. Concept: The objective for the pathfinder insertion is to gain human intelligence of the proposed landing zones and provide release point marking or terminal guidance from the RP or LZ, METT-TC dependent.

3. Insertion plan: To accomplish their mission the pathfinders will ideally be inserted 72-96 hours prior to H-hour (72 hours optimum #) at a distance of 5 - 10 kilometers away from the planned LZs. The aircraft package for insertion will normally consist of 3 x UH-60s and 2 x AH-64s, METT-TC dependent. False insertions will always be conducted. The assault aviation will be the AMC for the insertion.

4. Actions after insertion: The pathfinders will infiltrate to the LZs and send back the conditions, suitability, and enemy situation on the LZs and continue to observe the primary LZs for changing situations. The primary and alternate LZs must be confirmed for suitability and the information relayed back to the team sergeant in the brigade TOC (Co-located with the BAE) NLT H-48 hours. The team sergeant must notify the bde S2 and BAE as Intel is received. Prior to the brigade air assault the pathfinders will maintain surveillance on the LZ until approximately H-24 hours. At approximately H-24 hours the pathfinders will exfiltrate to and mark the release point (3-5 km away from LZ), if the LZ is on or next to the objective. For LZs away from the objective, the pathfinders will provide terminal guidance to the assault aircraft. During the operation the pathfinders must establish 8 digit grid coordinate NFAs (200 meter radius) and be located in the NFAs when the AH-64 Apaches are on station. When the Apaches are on station they will establish communications with the pathfinders on the BDE O/I Net. During the commo window prior to the arrival of the Apaches, the pathfinder team sergeant will inform the pathfinder team(s) of the time(s) the Apaches will be on station. The Apaches will receive a commo check and real time SITREP from the pathfinders at the RP or LZ at approximately H-24 hours. The Apaches may be on station for recons at approximately H-48 and H-24 hours and again from approximately H-5 to H-3 hours (recon by fire), METT-TC dependent. It is imperative that the Apaches maintain commo with the pathfinders in order to confirm the location and movements of the pathfinders on the ground. Typically the pathfinders will be extracted on the first aircraft of the last lift into the LZ or conduct an exfiltration from the area on foot and conduct follow-on missions. If the pathfinders are going to conduct follow-on missions, those missions should be planned prior to their initial insertion, if possible. The pathfinders will monitor their internal net from H-6 to H-hour in order to give guidance and information to the assault aircraft. The assault aircraft will drop down to the pathfinder internal net and establish communications with the pathfinders to receive a real time SITREP.

5. Communications plan: The primary means of communication will be SATCOM, followed by FM, and finally HF. The primary net used for communication will be the brigade O/I net. To keep radio transmissions to a minimum and to conserve battery power, the pathfinders use communications windows while on missions. The communications windows are every six hours for one hour beginning on the hour of the team(s) insertion. If more than one team is inserted at the same time, the order of windows will be established in the OPORD. If three teams are inserted the communications windows will be H+6, H+7, and H+8. The commo window is the opportunity for the inserted team(s) to send important information to the brigade TOC. This information can include: Human FAXs, enemy activity, enemy contact, resupply requests, etc. During the hour of a team’s commo window, there are time blocks used in case of communications problems. For the first 30 minutes of the hour, radios will be set to frequency hop/cypher text. For the next 15 minutes the radios will be set to frequency hop/plain text. For the last 15 minutes of the hour, the radios will be set to single channel/plain text. If communication is not made, the team will work on their communications problem throughout the entire window. If all fails, the team will wait until their next commo window and follow the above procedures once again. If the team fails to make two consecutive communications windows, they will move to the coordinated no commo PZ where they will wait 24 hours for extraction. If a Pathfinder team fails to make a mandatory commo window, assault aviation will be alerted by the BAE to initiate preparations and planning for an emergency extraction. If the team misses its second consecutive commo window, assault aviation will be ordered to initiate the extraction. If they are not extracted within 24 hours, the pathfinders will initiate their ground E&E plan. Due to the fact that missions may change after the pathfinder team(s) have been inserted, the team(s) will monitor their radios for the first 10 minutes of every hour between 0900-2100 hours. No communications checks will be made during that time. This time is used for the brigade to send important information to the team(s).

6. Extraction plan: If the pathfinders do not have follow on missions they will be extracted from the area at the RP or LZ. The preferred method of extraction will be to extract the pathfinders at the LZ on the first aircraft of the last lift. The pathfinders will be debriefed by the assault aviation bn S2 upon arrival at the assault aviation BN TOC. The assault aviation bn S2 will relay pertinent information to the bde S2.

7. Emergency extraction: Emergency extraction will be initiated by the pathfinders in the event that they are compromised and cannot continue their mission. The pathfinders will notify their team sergeant that an emergency extraction is required, break contact and move to the LZ for extraction. The team sergeant will notify the brigade air cell that an emergency extraction is required. The BAE will notify the assault aviation to initiate the extraction. Assault aviation will conduct the extraction with two AH-64 Apaches and two UH-60s. A pre-planned SEAD mission will be called by the bde FSO to support the extraction mission. The extraction mission will be commanded and controlled by assault aviation. The aircraft will make communications with the pathfinders on the bde O&I Net. After the extraction is complete, the aircraft with the pathfinders will return to assault aviation TOC. The pathfinders will be debriefed by the assault aviation bn S2.


1. Concept: The objective of the scout insertion is to gain human intelligence and maintain surveillance of the objective and NAIs determined by the brigade S2/S3.

2. Insertion plan: To accomplish their mission the scouts will typically be inserted at H-48 hours in pre-planned LZs. The scouts will receive the pathfinders’ frequency, restricted area(s), and pathfinder area of operation prior to insertion. The aircraft package for the insertion will consist of 3 - 6 x UH-60s and 2 x AH-64s. False insertions will always be conducted. Assault aviation will be the AMC for the insertion.

3. Actions after insertion: The scouts will conduct operations IAW the BDE/BN R & S collection plan and report back enemy activity IAW the R & S plan. The Apaches may be on station for recons at approximately H-48 and H-24 Hours, and arrive on station at approximately H-5 to H-3 to conduct aggressive conditions setting of the objective and LZs. When the Apaches are on station it is critical that the scouts and Apaches coordinate on the bde O/I Net, and the Apaches know the location and movements of the scouts. To aid in the prevention of fratricide the scouts must establish 8 digit grid coordinate NFAs (200 meter radius) for their locations in the objective area, and be located in the NFAs prior to conditions setting of the objective and air assault. The scouts will coordinate their pre-planned NFAs with their bn FSO who will ensure the NFAs are given to the brigade FSO. An alternate plan will be to have the scouts move to a NFA away from the objective at approximately H-3, before the AH-64s arrive on station, and conduct polar call for fire missions to vector the Apaches to targets. If the scouts require close support from attack aviation they will implement the attack helicopter close combat attack call for support.

4. Communications plan: The primary means of communication will be FM, the alternate means will be HF or TACSAT. If commo windows are going to be used for the scouts they will be established in the brigade OPORD.

5. Extraction plan: If the scouts do not have follow on missions and are to be extracted from the objective area they will move to pre-planned PZs and be extracted after H-hour.

6. Emergency extraction: If a situation arises that requires emergency extraction of the scouts communication and coordination will be made through the bde TOC. The same procedure will be used as for pathfinder emergency extraction, with the addition of 1-4 X UH-60s as required. The net used for the extraction will be the brigade O/I net.


1. In order to conduct a successful mission, a concerted effort must be coordinated between the brigade S3, brigade S2/S3 Air, BAE, ATK LNO, ALO, brigade FSO, pathfinders, infantry battalion S3/S2, scouts, and the aviators. This planning process has to begin immediately after receiving the mission.

2. Warning order received: When the warning order is received, immediate planning has to be initiated for the identification of proposed landing zones for the bde air assault so a coordinated scout/pathfinder insertion can be accomplished. Proposed landing zones will be identified by the brigade S3, brigade S2, and BAE using all available intel such as map recon, satellite imagery and Apache gun tapes if available.

a. Insertion coordination meeting: Depending on enemy situation and time constraints, a coordination meeting will be conducted at the bde TOC. The attendees for this meeting will be: bde S3, bn S3s from attack aviation and assault aviation, bde S2, bde SIGO, bde FSO, bde S3 Air, the BAEs, attack aviation LNO, ALO, flight lead(s), the pathfinder team leader, a representative of the IN bn staff (bn S2), and the scout platoon leader(s). These personnel will make-up the brigade planning cell. At the meeting the following will be covered:

(1) BDE S3/S3 Air/AS3 Plans.

(a) Friendly situation.

(b) Higher mission and intent.

(c) Brigade mission and intent.

(d) Concept of the operation.

(e) Proposed landing zones.

(f) Communication plan/reporting information (window, required information).

(g) False insertions/fire false LZs/ (No predictable pattern).

(h) Rehearsal (primary) bde TOC, (Alternate) assault aviation TOC.

(2) Bde S2.

(a) Weather and light data from insertion to extraction + 24 hours.

(b) Terrain analysis (obstacles, key terrain, routes, LZs). Imagery will be reviewed if available.

(c) Recent enemy/civilian activity in the area.

(d) Expected enemy activity during insertion through extraction.

(e) Enemy capabilities (intelligence collection assets, weapons capabilities, etc.).

(f) Review of draft R&S plan, PIR (NAIs, indicators, times).

(3) BAE aircraft package and time separation (3-6 X UH-60 & 2 X AH-64 for pathfinder/scout survivability).

(4) BDE FSO.

(a) SEAD plan.

(b) Fire support assets available.

(c) Fire base requirements (fire base commander).

(d) Fire base location.

(e) HPTs, NFAs, and RFAs.

(5) ALO.

(a) Pre-planned fix-wing sorties (CAS).

(b) Fix-wing assets available.

(c) J-SEAD.

b. Figure 5-7 is a checklist that will be used to plan and coordinate the insertion of pathfinders and scouts:



Command and Control

Controlling Headquarters for


-Emergency Extraction



Aircraft Package

Based on # PAXs and availability of A/C

Commo Plan

Primary Means: FM, HF, TACSAT

-Pathfinder Frequency:

-Scout Frequency:

-Scout Frequency:

Alternate Means:


-Scout Frequency:

-Scout Frequency:

Commo Windows:



Flight Route Plan

Developed by the BAE and/or Flight Leads and will include ACP Grids, RP and SP Grids, ALT Flight Routes

Enroute Security Plan

Developed by the Attack Bn Flight Leads

SEAD Plan/False LZ Prep

Developed by the BDE FSO

False Insertion Points



Pathfinder Insertion Points

Primary Grid(s):

Alternate Grid(s):

Pathfinders Tentative Route to LZ and RP

SP Grid:

CP # 1:

CP # 2:

CP # 3:

CP # 4:

RP Grid:

Scout Insertion Points

Scout Primary Grid:

Scout Alternate Grid:

Scout Primary Grid:

Scout Alternate Grid:

Scout Tentative Route to Objectives and NAIs

Scout 1

SP Grid: NAIs

CP # 1: -

CP # 2: -

CP # 3: -

CP # 4: -

RP Grid:


Scout 2

SP Grid: NAIs

CP # 1: -

CP # 2: -

CP # 3: -

CP # 4: -

RP Grid:



Radius (200 meters):

NLT Time for PFDRs/ Scouts to be in RP/NFAs


Attack Aviation Station Times

Time Frames

Planned Extraction Points





Emergency Extraction Points





No Commo PZ



PZ Posture Plan


Grid to PZ Location:

Figure 5-7, Pathfinder and Scout Insertion Checklist


1. Command responsibilities:


(1) Plan, coordinate, and conduct air assaults.

(2) Approve, disapprove, or modify the five component air assault plans (ground tactical, landing, air movement, loading, and staging).

(3) Establish abort criteria.

(4) Conducts air mission brief.

(5) Establish/control PZs.

(6) Integrate fire support, electronic warfare, and J-SEAD.

(7) Develops an aviation laager plan, including security, as required.

(8) Plans for deception.

(9) Establishes priority of movement.

b. AMC.

(1) Commands all aviation elements, including attack, medium lift, and MEDEVAC.

(2) Responsible for mission execution from PZ to LZ.

(3) Plans and briefs the air movement plan and landing plan.

c. Ground tactical commander.

(1) May be the AATFC.

(2) Plans and briefs the ground tactical plan, loading plan, and staging plan.

(3) Ensures that the AMC's landing plan reflects the requirements of the around tactical plan.

2. Responsibilities of other key command group personnel.

a. ABC.

(1) Controls all aviation fires in and enroute to the LZ(s).

(2) Controls surface fires to the LZ(s).

(3) Controls JAATS.

b. ALO.

(1) Plans and conducts USAF close air support.

(2) Provides liaison with forward air controllers.

c. FSO.

(1) Plans and conducts indirect fires.

(2) Coordinates use of the "quick fire" net during air movement.

d. S2. Intelligence plans and execution.

e. S3. Operations plans and execution.

3. Command group locations.

a. 2nd aircraft, 1st lift: GTC.

b. 2nd aircraft, 2nd lift: Alternate GTC.

c. 3rd aircraft, 2nd lift: Alternate AATFC, alternate AMC.

4. Communications: Ground forces involved in air assault operations will utilize two primary, secure nets: the combat aviation net, and the PZ control net.

a. Combat aviation net. Two CAN nets have been assigned in combat aviation SOI extract. The primary CAN net will be CANT, the alternate is CAN2. The alternate net, CAN2 will be reserved for utilization as an air assault operation anti-jamming net. The primary purpose for the CAN net will be to provide a common net for communications among the AATFC, the ground tactical commander, the AMC, and the PZCO. Additionally when required, terminal guidance may be from PZ and LZ control to individual flight leads.

b. PZ control. The primary purpose for the PZ control net will be to facilitate ground element communications in staging the PZ, executing the "bump" or straggler control plan, and disseminating mission critical changes related to the air assault operation. The battalion AJ will be used for PZ control. On brigade-level operations using a single PZ for multiple battalions, the last lifted infantry battalion's AJ will be used for PZ control. All lifted units must enter the PZ control net thirty (30) minutes prior to the units PZ time. Additionally, depending on the PZ formation, certain chalks must monitor the PZ control net (see ANNEX F). For operations with planned radio listening silence, face-to-face coordination between lifted unit and the PZCO is mandatory. Prior to exiting the PZ control net and boarding the aircraft, lifted units will report "PZ clean" to PZ control. PZ control will respond with "permission to exit the net."

c. Communications matrix. The following matrix depicts frequency monitoring requirements for key stations in an air assault operation:



















































































5. Command and control aircraft.

a. The UH60 C2 aircraft contains a command console and a map board that can function as an airborne CP, providing communications in both secure and non-secure modes. The C2 aircraft provides the AATFC with:

(1) VHF/AM or FM secure communications.

(2) FM SINGARS frequency hopping/secure communications.

(3) HF secure with have quick I and II communications.


(5) HF non-secure communications.

b. The C2 aircraft is configured with a C2 console in the front of the aircraft. The C2 console contains the radio sets, console controls, and six ICS boxes for internal aircraft communications and receiving/transmitting on the console radio systems. The back row of the UH60 contains a map board with 4 additional ICS boxes, allowing 10 personnel to be hooked up to the console’s radio systems. The C2 console is NVG compatible, allowing the commander to conduct C2 operations at night. The C2 console runs off of aircraft power and internal aircraft antennas. Figure 5-8 on next page shows the configuration with C2 console installed:














































































c. C2 aircraft capabilities:

(1) With external fuel tanks installed and operational, the C2 aircraft can provide the commander with 4 to 6 hours of on-station time.

(2) The C2 aircraft console provides retransmission capability for VHF, UHF, and SINGARS, increasing the communications range for the supported unit.

(3) VHF/AM and UHF radio can store up to 30 preset frequencies.

(4) C2 aircraft console provides VHF and UHF scanning of up to four frequencies.

(5) C2 console can store two SATCOM preset channels.

(6) See chart 5-8 on page 5-38 for recommended seating charts for the C2 aircraft.


d. C2 aircraft limitations:

(1) An individual trained in the operation of the console is required to run the system. The crew chiefs of the aircraft are not C2 system operators. The supported brigade task force SIGO is responsible for providing a trained C2 system operator.

(2) With only one SINGARS radio, the console can only load six FM frequency hop sets at a time. This limits the commander’s ability to communicate on all the FM channels that he needs, and retransmission capability is lost.

6. Signal operations.

a. Signal operations during brigade air assaults will be conducted IAW the ground tactical plan and phased properly to ensure synchronization on the battlefield. The brigade signal officer (SIGO) will ensure that each phase is properly supported with signal assets.

b. Signal teams in direct support of the brigade are, for technical purposes, under the command and control (C2) of their parent signal unit. The bde retains C2 of signal assets during initial phases of air assault operations or as specified by bde OPORD’s. Signal teams will deploy with 72 hours of their basic load. The bde will re-supply Class I, III, and V after 72 hours.

c. Brigade commo will establish signal systems to provide positive command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) throughout every phase of the air assault. The brigade signal officer ICW the brigade S3 is the staff proponent for all planning and coordination of brigade signal support.

7. The challenge of supporting deep air assaults requires detailed communications planning. Some deep air assault communications planning factors include:

a. HF communications:

(1) HF is directional, for long distance communication.

(2) Left side of aircraft must face towards distant station.

(3) Cannot communicate secure. Aircraft KY-75 not compatible with ground KY-99.

b. TACSAT communications:

(1) TACSAT communication is dependent on azimuth and elevation to the satellite.

(2) Elevation of satellite determines use of horizontal or vertical antenna.

(3) TACSAT communication is best with 90 degree flight to direction of satellite.

c. UHF/VHF SINCGARS communication:

(1) The UHF/VHF and SINCGARS antennas are on the underside of the aircraft.

(2) Deep operations conducted at low altitude will limit the range of LOS radios.

8. The next three slides demonstrate communication operations during all phases of brigade AASLT’s. Prior to each phase, A COMMEX IAW APPENDIX 8, to ANNEX IIB, to the 101st Abn Div (AASLT) TACSOP must be executed.