Air mobile & pathfinder's opn (agos heliborn)

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  • OBJECTIVESTo provide the students an overview of what airmobile operation is, its missions for airmobile forces, its limitations, training and operation.

  • SCOPEDEFINITION OF AIRMOBILE OPERATIONSMISSIONS FOR AIRMOBILE FORCESLIMITATIONS OF AIRMOBILE OPERATIONAIRMOBILE TRAININGPATHFINDER OPERATION

  • Airmobile Operation (Heliborne Operation) is an offensive operation in which combat forces and their equipment move about in the battle field aboard air vehicles under the control of the ground force commander, to engage in ground combat.

  • LIMITATIONS OF AIRMOBILE OPERATIONS 1. Adverse weather conditions may curtail the use of helicopters.2. Limited support weapons, heavy equipment and means of communication.3. Limited capability to engage to sustained combat.4. Lack of vehicular mobility.5. Vulnerability to enemy action during landing, assembly and pick-up.6. Loss of the element of surprise if air-mobile operation is often resorted to by the commander, since the enemy may learn to counter-act such operation.

  • MISSIONS FOR AIRMOBILE FORCES 1. Reconnaissance and security operations to block and screen enemy avenues of approach as: a.Covering force. b.Flank guard. c.Rear area security force.2. Anti-Airborne, Anti-Airmobile and Anti-Dissident operations.3. Seizure and retention of key terrain.4. Feints, demonstrations and other diversionary actions.5. Economy of force missions.6. Counter-attack of enemy penetrations.7. Long-range combat patrols.8. Raids.9. Counter guerillas operations.

  • AIRMOBILE TRAINING 1. Helicopter Team Organization - a helicopter team, also referred to as heliteam consists of combat equipped troops lifted in one helicopter at one time. In forming heliteams, the following principles are considered:a. Unit Integrity - this means that unit organization of forces are preserve whenever possible. b. Tactical Spread - key personnel and important equipment are judiciously distributed on the different aircraft to forestall their total loss in the event that some aircraft will not successfully reach the landing zone.

  • Heliteam Organization and Seat Designation SQUAD LEADERTeam Leader Team Leader

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A Fire Team B Fire Team542319876C/CAPPP PilotAP Asst. PilotC/C Chief Crew - Direction ofSeatNote: If seats are not arranged for airmobile operation,the gunner seats at no. 1.

  • The size of the heliteam is determined by the weight carrying capability of the helicopter and the weight of the troops and equipment to be transported. The allowable cargo load (ACL) of the helicopter is affected by its type, the elevation of pick-up and landing sites, the humidity and weather conditions and its fuel load. Since most of the helicopters available for use of AFP have the ACL of nine combat equipped personnel (equivalent to 240 lbs each), it would be best to organize AFP units into heliteams of 9 men composed of:1 Squad leader (heliteam commander)2 Fire team leaders (A and B)6 members of A and B fire teams and their equipment. The more senior fire team leader is the assistant heliteam commander. He familiarizes himself with the duties of the heliteam commander and assists him in his duties aside from controlling his own fire team. He assumes command when it becomes necessary.

  • 2. Heliteam Commanders Responsibility - the senior commissioned or non-commissioned Army Officer of the Heliteam is the heliteam commander and he has the following responsibilities:

    A. Inspect each individual member of the heliteam for proper uniform, equipment while in the assembly area.B. Musters the members of the heliteam in the assigned assembly area prior to enplanning.C. Checks all equipment assigned to the heliteam and sees to it that they are properly located before the team is called to the loading zone.

  • Heliteam Commanders Responsibility Cont.D. Ensures that all weapons are in safe position, all loose gears of the men are properly secure and they do not carry anything higher than their heads.E. Leads his heliteam from the assembly area to the control point and ready circle in the loading zone.F. Supervises the enplaning of his heliteam.G. Supervises the deplaning of his heliteam personnel and equipment at the landing site.

  • 3. Loading Procedure - within the loading site, troops will be assembled at an assembly area. Here orders are issued and administrative matters are completed. Troops are then group into heliteams and heliteam commanders make their final briefing. When directed, the heliteams are moved to the control point and from the control point, the loading supervisor directs them to the ready circles. The ready circles are alert points from which the heliteam are called to be enplanned.

  • 4. Enplanning Procedure - helicopter loading is conducted with the maximum speed commensurate with safety. In enplanning helicopters, the following procedures may be used as guides:On signal from the troop loading officer or the signalman who marshaled the helicopter to land, the heliteam commander leads his team on the double from the ready circle to the aircraft. The heliteam commander ensures the team members are in proper sequence within the column to facilitate rapid enplanning and loading of equipment. They dash to the helicopter at port arms keeping their heads low.

  • Enplanning Procedure cont.Upon reaching the aircraft, the heliteam commander takes position near the skid of the helicopter and assist team members to enplane.Personnel enter the helicopter carrying rifles in their hands and seat on positions indicated in figure 104.Crew-served weapons maybe loaded in parts. The light machinegun is loaded in its three main groups, each carried by individual members. The 81MM mortar is loaded into component loads; the complete base plate, the tube and bipod assembly. The 60MM mortar maybe loaded as a whole. Care should be taken such that the weight of the load is equally distributed on the starboard and port side of the aircraft.

  • Enplanning Procedure cont.When seated, each army places his rifles between his knees, fastens his seatbelts and raises his right arm to signal the heliteam commander that he is ready for take off period. When the heliteam commander sees that all members are strapped and ready to be airborne, he either gives the crew chief a thumbs-up signal or taps the pilots shoulder and signals him to take off.

  • 5. Enplanning Procedure Aboard Ship - the basic procedure in enplanning aboard the ship is the same as the procedure when enplanning ashore. The size of the loading site may differ due to the limitation of a ship deck, but generally heliteam loading procedures remain the same.6. Deplanning Procedure - when approaching the landing zone, the pilot or crew chief will orient the heliteam commander as to the direction of north, south, east and west. They must also try to establish for the heliteam commander his position in relation to an object that is well known to him on the ground.

  • PATHFINDER OPERATION An Army Troop Leader must know the basic pathfinder techniques to guide aircrafts to his units position, to conduct close air support, to deliver vital supplies or to pick-up casualties. Likewise, he must know how to select and prepare an appropriate drop or landing zone for a particular aircraft. Pathfinder operation may include:

    A. DROP ZONE OPERATION Here, cargoes or paratroopers will be dropped on specified areas selected and prepared by a pathfinder. If the aircraft to conduct the drop is on the ground of known location, the pathfinder may give him terminal guidance thru the radio.

  • 1. Factors in Selection of Drop Zonea. Access to area by supported units.b. Obstacles.c. Altitude (Actual) of aircraft during delivery.d. Type of aircraft employed. e. Type of loads, which could be personnel, equipment or combination of both.f. Adequate aircraft approach and departure routes. It is desirable to direct aircraft to fly into the wind during the air delivery since the slower ground speed gives it more time over the drop zone and assures a more compact delivery pattern.g. Method of drop, which could be high velocity drop (last minute deployment) low velocity drop (early deployment) and free drop.

  • 2. Drop Zone Formulasa. Required Length of Drop Zone:

    D=RTD-Distance in metersR-Rate of aircraft (ground speed) in meters per secondT-Time required for release of cargo in seconds. b. Conversion of knots 2 meters per second

    Knots x 0.51=meters per second

  • 2. Drop Zone Formulas cont.c. Time over Drop Zone: T=D/Rd. Forward Throw of Dropped Cargo:

    FT=R/2FT-Forward throw in metersR-Rate of aircraft (ground speed) in meters

  • 2. Drop Zone Formulas cont.e. Wind drift: D=KAV

    D Drift in metersK Constant: personnel parachutesA Altitude of drop (actual altitude) in hundreds of feetV Velocity of surface winds in knotsNote: This formula assumes that the surface winds and winds aloft are the same and that jumpers do not perform anti-drift action while airborne.

  • 3. Expedient Methods Of Determining Wind Velocitya. Grass Drop Method - extend arm straight out and drop dry grass from hand. Point extended arm at dropped grass on the ground. The angle formed between the arm and the body, divided by 4, is the wind velocity in knots.b. Angle Of Smoke Method - make a small bonfire and observe the smoke blown by the wind. If the smoke goes: (1) Straight up = No wind(2) 30 degrees from vertical wind 3-5 knots(3) 60 degrees from vertical wind 5-7 knots(4) Along the ground = wind in excess of 8 knots

  • 4. Exit Point Determination by Vector Count Method -the vector count method is the basic way for a jumpmaster aboard an aircraft to determine the exit points over the drop zone for his jumpers to hit the desired impact areas. Following are the procedures for this method:a. A drift parachute, streamer or a dummy jumper is dropped on the aircrafts first pass over the desired impact point (IP).b. The aircraft then turns to allow the jumpmaster keep the drop zone and the drift parachute, streamer or jumper in sight. The pilot then adjusts his flight pattern so that his flight path passes over the parachute or streamer that had hit the ground in line with the desired impact point for the first jumper.

  • Exit Point Determination by Vector Count Method cont.c. As the aircraft passes over the parachute or streamer on the ground, the jump master starts a count of about one second interval (one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.), stopping the count directly over the desired IP for the first jumper.d. He then immediately begins a second count as the aircraft moves over and away from the desired IP for the first jumper. When the second count equals the first count, the aircraft is over the exit point for the first jumper.e. The pilot then maneuvers the aircraft to fly parallel to the long axis of the drop zone and over the exit point. And additional passes necessary to drop all jumpers or cargoes aboard the aircraft are flown over the same exit point. Slight adjustment of flight paths may be made based on the observed impact points of preceding jumpers.

  • 5. Drop Instruction to Aircraft of Known Location. Following is an example of radio instruction given to an aircraft on drop mission: a. HORNET (aircrafts call sign) This is JAGUAR (your call sign).b. HEADING TO DROP ZONE DEGREES (reckoned from location of aircraft)c. DROP HEADING ______ DEGREES (recommended flight heading over DZ)d. DROP ALTITUDE _____FEET, DROP SPEED _____KNOTS (recommended altitude and ground speed of aircraft over DZ)e. BE ADVICE ______ (include approximate dimensions of DZ, enemy situation, wind condition and other pertinent information to aid pilot)

  • 5. Drop Instruction to Aircraft of Known Location. Cont.f. CONTINUE APPROACH FOR VISUAL GUIDANCEg. HORNET, STAND BY (when aircraft approach exactly as desired and you wish to give the signal for jumpers or cargoes to exit from the aircraft. This morning is given 5-10 seconds prior todrop).h. EXECUTE, EXECUTE, EXECUTE. (jumpers or cargoes exit at every word)i. NO DROP, NO DROP(if not safe to drop).

  • B. PICK-UP ZONE OPERATION In the conduct of airmobile operation, an Army Officer or NCO may be tasked to assist in the control of aircraft and in the loading of personnel and supplies in pick-up zones. They may also be required to select and prepare pick-up zone. In this kind of duty, knowledge of the basic pathfinder techniques involved in pick-up zone operation will be very useful.

  • 1.Factors to Consider in Selection of Pick-up Zone. a. Size of Landing Area - the pick-up site should be free of tall trees, telephone or power lines or similar obstruction on the approach or departure ends. Obstacles which cannot be eliminated must be clearly mark and the pilot should be properly warned about them during approach. For planning purposes on obstacle ratio of 10-1 should be used.b. Number and Type of Aircraft. c. Landing Formation of Aircraft.d. Surface Condition (dusty, muddy, etc) - loose debris must be removed.

  • e. Ground SlopeZero to 7 percent --- Land up-slope7 percent to 15 percent --- Land side-slopeMore than 15 percent --- No landf. Approach or Departure Direction - over lowest obstacles and into the wind if possible.g. Winds - maximum allowable for utility helicopters:Crosswinds -------- 10 knotsTailwinds ----------- 5 knotsHeadwinds ---------- 40 knotsh. Loads. i. Obstacles - remove obstacles if possible. Mark all obstacles not apparent to aircraft. Obstacle ratio must be at least 10 feet horizontal distance to 1 foot vertical distance.

  • 2. Pick-up Instruction to Aircraft of Unknown Location Following is an example of radio pick-up instruction given to an aircraft of unknown location:

    HORNET, THIS JAGUAR. WILL GIVE VISUAL GUIDANCE TO PICK-UP ZONE (when aircraft comes to view).TURN RIGHT/LEFT (which ever is appropriate) TO HEADING ______ DEGREES (reckoned from position of aircraft).STEER RIGHT/LEFT (which ever is appropriate)... ON COURSE (aircraft will continue turning right/left until the pilot hears the command ON COURSE which you will give the moment the aircraft face your direction).

  • Pick-up Instruction to Aircraft of Unknown Location cont.BE ADVICE PICK-UP ZONE IS ABOUT 200 BY300 METERS, SURFACE MUDDY, TALL TREES NORTH OF PZ, WILL MARK POSITION WITH RED SMOKE (include other pertinent information to guide pilot).WIND_______DEGREES AT ____ KNOTS (when aircraft approach to land)LAND_______DEGREES (recommended landing direction).CLEAR TO LAND. WILL POSE SIGNAL MAN TO ASSIST IN LANDING.

  • C. LANDING ZONE OPERATION 1. Landing Zone Plans - there are two general maneuver plans for airmobile assaults that differ primarily in the proximity of the landing zones to the initial objectives assigned to the heliteams. They are the following:Landing Assault Forces Immediately Adjacent to Initial Objectives. Landing Forces which Assemble and Reorganize Before Attack of Initial Objectives.

  • C. LANDING ZONE OPERATION cont. 2. Consideration in the Selection of Landing Zones.In the first type of assault, the landing sites are selected to capitalize on the element of surprise and capability of small forces to land as a unit on almost of any type of terrain.In the other type, the selection of landing zones is premised on the suitability for landing, assembling and reorganizing larger units without enemy interference.

  • 3.Hand and Arm Signals to Assist in Landing - all AFP should be familiar with the standard hand and arm signals to be able to assist helicopters pilots in landing. Normally, familiarity with this hand and arm signals will be adequate, for most of them could be easily remembered. Signals at night may be given with flashlights held in each hand. a. Assume guidance j. Land b. Hover k. Stop c. Move Ahead l. Take Off d. Move Back m. Sling-load, Hook-up Complete e. Move Upwards n. Sling-load, Unhook Load f. Move Downwards g. Move Left h. Move Right i. Spot Turn

  • summaryDEFINITION OF AIRMOBILE OPERATIONSMISSIONS FOR AIRMOBILE FORCESLIMITATIONS OF AIRMOBILE OPERATIONAIRMOBILE TRAININGPATHFINDER OPERATION