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FM 34-81: Weather Support for Army Operations



While in the field, WETMs supporting Army tactical organizations depend totally on the supported Army unit for CSS. This includes food service, maintenance, supply, and other CSS functions required to sustain WETMs. Support responsibilities are established in AR 115-10/AFR 105-3. In the field, all tactical equipment is supplied on an Army tables of organization and equipment (TOE) or TDA and maintained beyond operation levels by Army CSS units. The Air Force provides specialized meteorological equipment, and the maintenance and supplies required to support it. No AFCC personnel accompany WETMs to the field.


At each echelon, Army units provide the tactical equipment required by WETMs. This is the HHC unit. This equipment includes--

  • Communications.
  • Camouflage.
  • Electrical power generation.
  • Weapons.
  • Illumination.
  • Tactical vehicles.
  • NBC.


At each tactical level supported by a WETM, the Army provides the common equipment required for that WETM. The quantity of equipment is based on the TOE of the Army unit providing support.

The MTOE authorizes personnel and equipment for each particular unit. It is tailored to meet specific conditions required to carry out the wartime mission. The WETM equipment is authorized in the MTOE of the HHC at each supported echelon. The remarks sections of the TOE and MTOE identify weapons, mission-oriented protection posture (MOPP) gear, or other items in sufficient quantity for the WETM. Definitions for the remarks are in the last section of the TOE and MTOE.

The SWOs actively participate in MTOE modifications to ensure the MTOE provides adequate support for their WETM. WETM requirements are determined by the SWO based on the missions of the WETM and the supported command. The SWO ensures that all necessary modifications are included in the request submitted by the supported command to DA.

MTOE modifications requested by the SWO and approved by the supported Army command must be coordinated with the SWO assigned to each level of coordination. Coordination is required to ensure that Air Force WETM resources and the requested changes are compatible. The MTOE is not provide all the equipment needed by tactical units. The CTA augments the MTOE and authorized items such as tents, safes, and heaters which are common to most tactical users. The G4 or S4 of the supported command is responsible for the CTA and issues equipment authorized by it. CTA equipment required by the WETM is requested from the G4 or S4 by the SWO through the G2 or S2. AR 310-49 describes the CTA process.


At corps and division, the WETMs are supported by the HHC. Communications equipment authorized for the WETM is in the corps and division HHC's MTOE. Maintenance is provided through normal CSS channels.

WETM elements operating away from the corps and division main CP areas may receive unit and intermediate direct support (DS) from nearby units. This support is coordinated by the SWO through logistic channels prior to deployment. The SWO ensures these requirements are stated in the appropriate logistic annexes to OPLANs or OPORDs. The WETM is responsible for normal operator maintenance.

WETMs supporting separate brigades, aviation brigades, ACRs, and SOF are supported logistically by headquarters elements from which they have drawn their TOE equipment. Elements of these echelons provide the common equipment required by the WETMs' unit maintenance and evacuate equipment requiring higher levels of maintenance.


The corps signal brigade provides intermediate DS maintenance for corps WETM communication equipment. Organizational maintenance for communication security (COMSEC) equipment is also included in the support.

Intermediate DS and general support (GS) maintenance for all power generators, vehicles, and other Army common equipment is provided through normal CSS channels.

COMSEC equipment requiring intermediate DS maintenance is evacuated by the corps HHC to the corps signal brigade. Equipment requiring intermediate GS maintenance is further evacuated by the corps signal brigade to the theater Army COMSEC logistic support unit.


Intermediate DS and GS maintenance of equipment (except COMSEC) is provided by the division support command. HHC is responsible for Evacuation of WETM equipment requiring intermediate DS or GS maintenance. COMSEC equipment requiring intermediate DS maintenance is evacuated by the division HHC to the division signal battalion. Equipment requiring intermediate GS maintenance is further evacuated by the division signal battalion to the theater Army COMSEC logistic support unit.


Supply support for WETMs parallels maintenance support. Each supporting Army unit at EAC, corps, division, ACR, aviation brigade separate brigade, and SOF provides the common supplies needed by the teams. This includes normal expendable such as paper, pens, and special paper for tactical communication equipment. Supplies needed by the WETMs are provided for and issued through the supply section of the unit supporting that WETM and include the following Class I through Class VIII items:

  • Class I - Rations.
  • Class II - Clothing.
  • Class III - Petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL).
  • Class IV - Construction.
  • Class V - Ammunition.
  • Class VI - Personal demand items.
  • Class VII - Major end items.
  • Class VIII - Medical.

On occasion, minor Class IX--Repair Parts--may be issued to the WETM. These repair parts are usually limited to operator-replaceable items such as light bulbs and cables.

Most supplies are issued directly to the WETM by the responsible company's supply section. Other materials such as bulk POL or major end items are usually delivered to the WETMs. Mobile equipment is refueled at fuel distribution points. Refueling of WETM generators and vehicles in relatively fixed positions is performed by fuel tankers of the HHC.

WETM elements deployed to divisional brigades, corps, and division landing sites may receive some supply support such as fuel, food, and ammunition from other units. The Army unit supporting the WETM coordinates for such support.


Food service support will be provided to WETMs at the same facilities as the supported unit. When possible, tactical units establish field dining facilities to provide hot meals. When such facilities cannot be established, the WETMs are provided combat rations through supply channels.

WETM personnel deployed to corps or division airfields and LZs are provided food service by the supported aviation unit. Prior coordination with the HHC S4 is required to ensure availability of support at the airfield.

WETMs deployed with divisional brigades are supported by the brigade. ACRs, separate brigades, aviation brigades, and SOF WETMs receive food service support from the HHC field dining facilities established near their respective TOCs. The SWO should coordinate with the HHC S4 to ensure meals are available at the TOC and for their WETMs located at locations other than at the TOC.


Air Force WETM personnel do not appear on the Army TOE or MTOE. Army radio operators are the only personnel included in the TOE or MTOE and their numbers are specified on the MTOE of the supported Army unit. The number of radio operators are in the TOE or MTOE.


AWS provides and supplies all tactical meteorological observing equipment used by WETMs supporting Army tactical commands. Equipment provided to WETMs is designed to meet Army criteria for--

  • Mobility.
  • Physical signature.
  • Electronic signature.
  • Cross-service maintainability.

Accountability of Air Force meteorological equipment is the responsibility of the issuing AWS unit.

Maintenance of Air Force meteorological equipment is an AFCC responsibility. The parent AWS unit, through coordination with AFCC, arranges for onsite maintenance or evacuation of equipment for each WETM.

AWS issues to each WETM all specialized supplies required for tactical meteorological observing and forecasting functions. Such supplies include replacement of tactical meteorological equipment, weather expendable supplies (such as weather charts and graphs), and repair parts. When necessary, AWS ensures that each WETM maintains sufficient quantities of expendable supplies to meet tactical requirements.

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