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Chapter V: Armed Helicopter Missions(Continued)


G. Adjustment of Artillery Fire: At times it will be necessary for helicopter pilots to initiate and control an artillery fire mission. In order to accomplish this mission, all aviators must be familiar with the methods of artillery adjustment. first, establish a gun target line and set up an orbit away from this line, where you will have complete observation of the target. Secondly initiate a fire request and include the following items:

1. Warning Order: FIRE MISSION
2. Location of Target: COORDINATES YT 966 073
3. Nature of Target: TROOPS IN OPEN
4. Type of Adjustment: WILL ADJUST

Observe the strike of the first round, then adjust the fire to bring it on target. Always do all adjusting with reference to the gun-target line. Establish a bracket immediately, adding or dropping 400 or 800 meters, depending on the first round's location. Then split the bracket (200, 100 and 50 meters)until you are within 50 meters of the target; then request FIRE FOR EFFECT. The mission is terminated by you when you are satisfied that the target has been neutralized. If you are firing at a point target you will only send in sensing after fire for effect has been entered. FDC will control all corrections and you will terminate the mission when you feel the target has been destroyed. To terminate the firing you will give END OF MISSION followed by an analysis of target damage.

H. Emergency Reaction Force: The emergency reaction force is a term used to describe that type mission which results from a sudden enemy attack on a post or hamlet, an ambush of a ground or convoy unit, or a downed aircraft. Any one of these situations will probably result in the scramble of an armed helicopter element. Little information will be available and the "Briefing" may well be composed of grid coordinates and an F.M. frequency. Experience has shown that most emergency reaction missions occur in the late afternoon or evening and at night. Proper reaction to these missions requires considerable pre-planning.

1. The Alert Status (30 Min Stand-by): Fire teams and platoons are committed as the ground situation dictates. The elements that are not committed are then on alert in their quarters. The next fire team "up" is the one next to be called out and must be ready to become airborne in less than 30 minutes when scrambled. In order to meet this reqirement the fire team leader must have all of his elements in uniform and ready to move immediately with his ships pre-flighted in advance. He cannot react in time if one of his aviators is at the PX and one is in the motor pool. The fire team leader must have his team ready and alert. When the telephone rings at the quarters a memeber of the alert fire tieam should take the call. Lastly, the fire team leader must have a vehicle standing by at all times with which to get to the flight line.




2. The Scramble or Ready Reaction: When a call comes for the stand by fire team, it will be one of two types: an alert for a mission scheduled to depart in one or two hours etc., or it will be a life or death for someone in very serious trouble. The armed commander goes to operations to receive his mission and his team members go directly to the aircraft and "crank". After take off, the mission leader will give a fragmentary situation report over the radio. The fire team should be airborne within ten minutes of their alert. Company operations will want a situation report as soon as possible to determine what other actions are necessary. As armed helicopter commander you will soon be involved in the situation and supporting commanders will look to the fire team on station for a situation report and analysis. In a scramble remember to remain calm and think slowly. Mistakes are easy to make when you are in a hurry.



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