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Chapter I : Definition Of Terms


1. Airmobile Assault: The airlifting of troops from a staging area to a prepared landing zone Armed helicopters will normally be responsible-possible for the pre-strike, mark and reconnaissance of the intended landing zone prior to the assault. During the assault the armed helicopters are primarily responsible for protection of the lift element.

2. Armed Platoon: The armed platoon is composed of three fire teams and two M-3/M-5 weapons aircraft. The mission of the full strength armed platoon is the same as the platoon minus. The additional heavy fire team provides greater depth and flexibility of employment.

3. Armed Platoon Minus: The platoon minus is composed of two fire teams and one M-3/M-5 weapons aircraft if available, the platoon minus is normally employed in a escort role in support of air landed operations, the M-3/M-5 weapons ship will reinforce the fire teams as necessary.

4. Attack considerations: Those elements which must be considered for every engagement of a target, i.e., wind, sun, terrain, friendly positions, enemy disposition aid weapons capability, etc.

5. Beaten zone: The area on the ground in which the greatest killing factor is obtained. The beaten zone is the area on the ground that is hit after the trajectories of the guns have crossed.

6. Deadman Zone: That area between the ground and 500 feet, where you and the aircraft are in the most vulnerable position for enemy ground fire to be effective.

7. Extraction: The removal, by air, of the troops that were lifted into a specific area.

8. Fire Mission: Is the command given by the fire team leader or platoon commander to his elements when preparing to engage a target. The following elements should be included: warning order, target identification, direction of attack, amount of ammo to expend and the direction of the break.

9. The Fireteam: The fireteam consists of two armed UH-1C helicopters, armed with XM-16, XM-21, or XM-5/3. The fireteam is commanded by fireteam leader, usually a Cpt. or l/Lt. The fireteam is the basic element of the armed platoon and is the smallest element employed tactically.

10. Firing Pass: A planned attack on an enemy position or suspected enemy position, with the purpose of destruction or neutralization by suppressive fires.

11. Heavy Fire Team: The heavy fire team consists of a additional armed helicopter added to the basic element, this armed helicopter is usually armed with the M-3/M-5 weapons system. The M-3 system provides for carrying forty eight 2.75" folding fin aerial rockets. The M-5 system mounts a grenade launcher capable of carrying l50 rounds or more of 40MM HE grenades. The addition of the M-3/M-5 weapons ship to the basic element gives the heavy fire team a neutralization capability, whereas the fire team has mainly a suppressive capability. A M-16 or XM~21 weapons ship may be used as a substitute in place of the M-3/M-5 ship if one is not available.

12. M-3 System: Consists of two pods, of which, each will hold 24 folding fin aerial rockets. A pod is installed on each side of the aircraft. It also has explosive bolts installed for the purpose of jettisoning the system.

13. XM-16 System: Consists of four mounted M-60C machine guns (7.62) plus l4, 2.75" folding fin aerial rockets. The machine guns can be fired by the pilot in a static position or by the co-pilot with a flexible sight which allows limited movement of the guns in all directions.

14. XM-21 System: Consists of two gatling type, electric drive 7.62 weapons, mounted one on each side in conjunction with two seven round 2.75" rocket pods. Sighting and firing is identical to that of the XM-16 system.

15. Mark of Landing Zone: Is the placing of smoke at the 12 o’clock positions of the landing zone for ease of identification by the troop carrying elements.

16. 180 degree Position: Flying directly over the same ground track of the lead helicopter.

17. Position: Being in position refers to that relative position of the lead gunship to the troop lift formation or wingman to his lead so that effective covering fire can be given at any time.

19. Pre-strike: Is the placing of fire in and around the landing zone prior to the landing of the unarmed helicopter (slicks). Its purpose is to neutralize the area to allow the unarmed elements to land free of enemy fire and to observe all terrain features so as to advise the troop carrying elements on the best approach and departure routes.

19. Reconnaissance: Is the study of the land in a particular area. It consists of' careful evaluation of all terrain features such as roads, trails, creeks and tree lines, possible target areas and routes of possible retreat.

20. Orbit: A flight path of circular shape normally used by a light fire team. This is not to be confused with a "race track" or "daisy chain" method of coverage.

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