Air Assault Operations
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What is the Reference for Air Assault Operations?
Define Air Assault Operations
Operations in which assault forces, using the mobility of rotary- wing assets and the total integration of available firepower, maneuver under the control of a ground or air maneuver commander to engage enemy forces or to seize and hold key terrain.
Capabilities of Air Assault Operations
- Attack enemy positions from any direction
- Delay a much larger force without becoming decisively engaged
- Fly over or bypass barriers obstacles or enemy positions and strike objectives in otherwise inaccessible areas
- Rapidly secure and defend key terrain
Limitation to Air Assault Operations
- Adverse weather (extreme hot and cold; blowing snow and sand that limit flight operations)
- Availability of suitable LZ/PZs due to mountainous, urban, or other complex terrain
- Initial reliance on air resupply and lines of communication
- High fuel and ammunition consumption rates
- Reduced ground mobility after insertion
Vulnerabilities of Air Assault Operations
- Attack by ground, air artillery on PZ/LZ
- Attack by A/C or Air Defense Artillery (ADA) during movement
- Attack by Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) weapons
- Electronic warfare
- Small arms fire
Tactical Employment for Air Assault Operations
- Mass or shift combat power rapidly
- Use of surprise
- Flexibility, mobility, speed
- Gain and maintain initiative
What is infantry?
Nucleus of Air Assault Task Force (AATF)
What is aviation?
- Under the Control of the AATF Commander.
- UH-60 (Assault): Provides tactical mobility for troops, equipment & weapon systems by internal & external loads; aerial re-supply by internal & external loads; and back-up medical evacuation.
- AH-64 (Attack): Protects lift helicopters from the PZ/LZ; Suppress enemy ADA & other weapons; Provides preparatory fires in the vicinity of LZs or objectives.
- OH-58 (Reconnaissance): Recon of PZ flight routes, LZ, and objectives; Screens forward of ground forces to provide limited security and early warning; Provides downed aircraft safety.
- CH47 (Assault Support): Provides movement of artillery, vehicles, supplies, & personnel from secured PZ to secured LZ.
What is artillery?
Provides fire support.
What is engineer?
Emplace/breach obstacles and minefields
What is Air Defense Artillery?
Ground-to-air fire support
What is Military intelligence?
Conduct electronic warfare, collect and disseminate information
What is Reserve Forces?
AATF requires fewer reserve forces due to superior mobility, flexibility, and speed
What is combat support?
Mission specific support
Mission, Objective, H- Hour, Task organization, Location, Size of Reserve Force, Fire Support
What is Division level?
Lowest level with assets for an Air Assault Operation
What is Battalion level?
Lowest level at which an Air Assault Operation can be planned or coordinated
What is company level?
Lowest level with a command headquarters to execute an Air Assault Operation
Five stage Reverse Planning Sequence
- Ground tactile plan
- Landing plan
- Air movement plan
- Loading plan
- Staging plan
What is Ground tactical plan?
- Ground tactical plan: Actions on the objective area.
- ***H-Hour: Time that first A/C of the first lift touches down on the LZ. All planning times are derived from H-Hour***
What is landing plan?
- Actions on the LZ. Must support Ground Tactical Plan. Ensures units arrive at designated locations and times prepared to execute the ground tactical plan.
- ***General considerations:
- (1) Availability, location, and size of LZs
- (2) Elements land with tactical integrity
- (3) Troops are kept informed of changes
- (4) Supporting fires must be planned
- (5) The plan includes re-supply and medical evacuation by air
- (6) Alternate LZs planned for each primary LZ***
- Unloading sequence: 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) Gold Book standard is 2 minutes to load A/C and 30 seconds to unload A/C
- Sling load: 2 minutes to load & unload A/C.
What is Air movement plan?
- Start point, false insertions, primary and alternate routes, check and control points, RP: Release point.
- Flight routes: Maps or overlays containing flight route information are prepared at AATF headquarters and disseminated to subordinate and support units.
- Air movement Table: Tasking list organizing aviation to mission. Detailed list of units, aircraft, routes, PZ/LZs, and times. All times are derived from H-Hour.
- Terrain flight modes: Nap of the Earth, Contour, Low level.
- Nap of the Earth: Varying speeds and altitudes while flying as near as possible to the earth’s surface.
- Contour:Varying speeds and altitudes while generally conforming to the earth’s surface
- Low level: Constant speed, heading, and altitude
What is a Loading Plan
- Ensures troops, equipment, and supplies are loaded on the correct aircraft. It is based on the Air Movement Plan.
- Cross Loading:Ensures key personnel/equipment not on same A/C and spread throughout lift.
- Bump Plan:Ensures key personnel/equipment arrive on LZ first. Bumped personnel/loads arrive later. Ensures key personnel/equipment not left on PZ. Bump Plan is executed if fewer A/C are available than planned because of maintenance, accidents, or enemy fire
- PZ Control Party: OIC, NCOIC, RTO, chalk guide, signal person, hook up team, straggler control.
- Serial: Two or more A/C separated by time or space from other tactical groupings within the same lift
- Load/Chalk:Personnel or equipment designated to be moved by a specific A/C
- Actions prior to mission, Troops, equipment, and supplies at the PZ are in the proper order for movement.
- Air loading table: Detailed tasking list assigning personnel/load to a specific A/C.
- Air Mission Brief (AMB): Last meeting of key persons in an air assault mission to finalize details of the plan.
Staging Plan Consideration
- Air Loading table
- Chalk organization
- Movement to PZ/ Assembly area
Platoon Leader duties:
- (1) Overall responsible for mission
- (2) Plans operation
- (3) Issue operations order and conducts rehearsals
- (4) Briefs leaders
- (5) Maintains communication with HQ
Platoon Sergeant Duties
- (1) Overall responsible for PZ
- (2) Set up PZ
- (3) Briefs chalk leaders
- (4) Devises and disseminates bump plan
- (5) Ensures everything has cleared the PZ
- (6) Rides in last A/C for control purposes
Chalk Leader Duties
- (1) Ensures his personnel know their tasks and position on the A/C
- (2) Ensures lights or panels for A/C are emplaced
- (3) Assigns area of security to personnel, supervise area of security
- (4) Supervises everyone on A/C while in flight
- (5) Ensures safe, rapid off loading and security for the A/C
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