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  *FM 3-21.38 (FM 57-38)
Field Manual
No. 3-21.38
Headquarters
Department of the Army
Washington, DC, 1 October 2002

 

FM 3-21.38

PATHFINDER OPERATIONS

 

Table of Contents

COVER  
PREFACE  

CHAPTER 1.

INTRODUCTION
1-1. Employment
1-2. Capabilities
1-3. Limitations
1-4. Equipment
1-5. Communications Security
1-6. Training

CHAPTER 2.

OPERATIONS
Section I. Planning
2-1. Warning Order
2-2. Initial Preparation
2-3. Coordination
2-4. Linkup with Supported Unit
2-5. Final Preparations
Section II. Organization for Combat
2-6. Insertion
2-7. Overland Movement
2-8. Stay-Behind Operation
Section III. Conduct of Operations
2-9. Daylight Assault
2-10. Night Assault
2-11. Extraction
2-12. Staging Areas
2-13. Artillery Displacement
2-14. Support of Ground Operations
2-15. Support of Air Force
2-16. Mixed Operations
2-17. Radio Communications
2-18. Terminal Guidance by Supported Units
Section IV. High-Threat Environment
2-19. Control and Navigation
2-20. Tactical Instrument Flights
2-21. Air Routes

CHAPTER 3.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
Section I. Pathfinder Air Traffic
3-1. Safety
3-2. Voice Control
3-3. Formats
3-4. Numbers
3-5. Phrases and Terms
Section II. Landings
3-6. Traffic Patterns
3-7. Methods of Entry
3-8. Traffic Pattern Legs
3-9. Advisory Service
3-10. Spacing Techniques
3-11. Final Landing Instructions
3-12. Taxiing Aircraft
3-13. Minimum Aircraft Separation Requirements
Section III. Ground-To-Air Communications
3-14. Electronic Warfare Environment
3-15. Ground-To-Air Transmissions

CHAPTER 4.

HELICOPTER LANDING ZONES
Section I. Selection of Landing Sites
4-1. Requirements
4-2. Alternate Sites
4-3. Landing Points
Section II. Organization and Duties
4-4. Control Center
4-5. Landing Site Party
Section III. Landing Site Operations
4-6. Communications
4-7. Flight Formations
4-8. Landing Zone and Obstacle Marking
4-9. Air Assaults
4-10. Intercept Heading
Section IV. Landing Zone Operations
4-11. Communications Checkpoint
4-12. Air Control Points
Section V. Night Operations
4-13. Tactical Landing Lights
4-14. External Loads
4-15. Multihelicopter Operations
4-16. Night Vision Goggles
Section VI. Environmental Considerations
4-17. Pilot Input
4-18. Cold Weather
4-19. Jungle
4-20. Desert
4-21. Mountains
Section VII. Approach Path Considerations
4-22. Vertical Air Currents
4-23. Escape Routes
4-24. Terrain Contour and Obstacles
4-25. Position of the Sun

CHAPTER 5.

EXTERNAL LOADS
5-1. Landing Points
5-2. Types of Loads
5-3. Unit Responsibilities
5-4. Equipment
5-5. Service Life of Aerial Delivery Slings
5-6. Aircraft Load Limitations
5-7. Standard Weights
5-8. Air Items Required for Common Standard Loads
5-9. Slingload Theory
5-10. Hookup and Release Procedures
5-11. Slingload Inspection Record

CHAPTER 6.

DROP ZONES
Section I. Selection Factors
6-1. Airdrop Airspeeds
6-2. Drop Altitude
6-3. Estimation of Drop Zone Time Requirement
6-4. Methods of Delivery
6-5. Obstacles
6-6. Access
6-7. Size
6-8. Approach and Departure Routes
Section II. Drop Zone Support Team
6-9. Organization
6-10. Missions
6-11. Equipment Familiarization
6-12. Coordination
6-13. Support Requirements
6-14. Drop Zone Support Team Leader's Duties
6-15. Control Center
6-16. Signals
6-17. Determination of Release Point Location
6-18. Ground-Marking Release System
6-19. Army Verbally Initiated Release System
6-20. Air Force Verbally Initiated Release System
6-21. Air Force Computed Air Release Point
6-22. Assault Zone Availability Report
6-23. Drop Zone Survey
6-24. Tactical Assessment
6-25. Control Log for Airdrop, Airland, or Extraction Zone

APPENDIX A.

OPERATIONAL FORMATS

APPENDIX B.

ARMY HELICOPTER SPECIFICATIONS

APPENDIX C.

DIGITIZATION SUPPLEMENT

GLOSSARY  
REFERENCES  
AUTHENTICATION
DA Form 7461-R, Internal Net Record

DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION:

Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.


*This publication supersedes FM 57-38, 9 April 1993



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