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Appendix D

Combat Search and Rescue

Aviation units must be prepared to conduct combat search and rescue (CSAR) in support of their own operations and to provide support to both intra- and inter-service levels. CSAR planning should begin before forces deploy or immediately after arrival in the area of operations. Aviation units must develop a complete CSAR posture using a planning process that is fully complementary to ongoing operational planning. CSAR plans must be designed with the flexibility to employ all Joint CSAR-capable resources, in the most efficient and effective manner. For detailed planning of CSAR operations, units should refer to FM 90-18.


SECTION I. Command Responsibilities



The commander of the Army Force (COMARFOR) has primary authority and responsibility to plan and conduct CSAR in support of his own forces. To plan such operations, he will consider the capability of his own forces as well as those of other service components, if available. He will execute his CSAR responsibilities through the following actions:

a. Rescue Coordination Center (RCC). Establish an RCC* to-

(1) Coordinate/monitor all subordinate unit CSAR activities.

(2) Coordinate all Army-external CSAR requirements as necessary with the Joint Search and Rescue Center (JSRC).

(*As an option, designate RCC responsibilities to a lower subordinate echelon (for example, the senior aviation tactical commander).

b. Intra-Service Support. Ensure that-

(1) Army forces (ground and aviation) are aware of existing CSAR capabilities within the total force structure.

(2) Subordinate Army unit commanders understand the parameters within which CSAR forces will operate; i.e., factors based on mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T); available assets; weather; etc.

(3) Army forces are knowledgeable of the procedures for requesting CSAR.

(4) Both command and coordination channels are actively involved in the execution of intra-service CSAR operations.

c. Signal. Ensure that-

(1) Subordinate units equipped with survival radios are provided signal operating instructions (SOIs).

(2) Deconfliction of frequency usage is enforced throughout the command.

(3) CSAR-only code words and radio frequencies are established for common usage across the component, if not provided by Joint headquarters; for example, frequency modulation (FM), ultra high frequency (UHF), very high frequency (VHF), and satellite communications (SATCOM).

(4) If the Joint headquarters does provide CSAR-only code words and frequencies, information is disseminated to subordinate commands.

d. Joint Support.

(1) Provide mutual CSAR support to other service components when tasked through the joint search and rescue center (JSRC).

(2) Ensure that both the command and coordination channels are actively involved in the inter-service planning and execution of Joint CSAR operations, and that unity of effort is maintained throughout.

(3) In the same context, ensure that interoperability requirements-such as communications compatibility, fuel types/standards, refueling equipment, and map series-are consistent with Joint requirements.

e. Augmentation Personnel.

(1) Provide personnel as tasked from the JSRC to support JSRC operations. The number of personnel provided will be based, preferably, upon an equal percentage of personnel provided from other service components.

(2) Ensure that augmentation personnel are familiar with Joint Publications 3-50.2 and 3-50.21.

f. Aircraft Destruction Authority. Establish a policy designating aircraft destruction authority in the event of probable enemy retrieval.

g. Training.

(1) Task organize combined-arms forces to develop and promote habitual CSAR relationships and an understanding of CSAR tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

(2) Request and coordinate Joint level training to prepare for CSAR contingency operations.


Unit commanders must-

a. Conduct CSAR operations to support their own operations.

b. Provide mutual CSAR support at both the intra- and inter-service levels.

c. Ensure CSAR contingencies are incorporated into all mission plans; be prepared to generate CSAR support requests as required.

d. Complete the following actions before or immediately after deployment:

(1) Standard operating procedures (SOPs). Develop SOPs including TTPs to be used to conduct CSAR operations; ensure unit personnel are familiar with associated CSAR publications. TTPs must encompass CSAR operations across the full spectrum of military operations within the theater of deployment. As a minimum, CSAR SOPs should include-

  • Isolation preparation packets (ISOPREP) with pictures and verbal identification information.
  • Evasion plans of action.
  • Signaling procedures.
  • CSAR alert procedures (horizontally/vertically).
  • Task organizing procedures (attachments/detachments).
  • Threat update procedures.
  • Search techniques.
  • Reporting requirements.
  • Notification/authentication techniques.
  • Recovery procedures.

(2) Signal. Ensure that personnel who may be operating search and rescue/survival equipment-

(a) Are technically proficient (for example, that certain aviation personnel know how to operate the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Personnel Locator System (PLS), and crew survival radios).

(b) Are knowledgeable of the SOI procedures that support those technical systems.

(3) Training.

(a) Task organize unit forces to develop and promote habitual CSAR relationships and an understanding of CSAR TTPs.

(b) Request and coordinate combined arms training to prepare for CSAR contingencies.


The on-site commander is the person in charge of executing a mission in a given area when an isolated personnel situation develops in that same area. He may not be the unit commander, as elements of a given unit may not be operating within the unit commander's immediate sphere of influence. He must-

a. Make a rapid assessment of the situation to determine his actions.

b. Report the isolated personnel's situation as soon as possible to the next higher command. With information that may not be readily available to the on-site commander, the next higher command can influence the on-site commander's decision to execute the recovery. This information may include other friendly forces operating in the same area, or a new development in the tactical situation requiring immediate action which may or may not support immediate recovery.


SECTION II. Command, Control, and Communications



a. The Army component commander retains command and control (C2) over all component assets within an area of operations (AO). These assets do not include those under the operational control (OPCON) of other components. Unit commanders retain OPCON over their assets; however, initial control of CSAR operations rests with the on-site commander. If immediate recovery of isolated personnel is not feasible, C2 passes up through the chain-of-command. This is true also if the ability to construct the CSAR operation exceeds the capability of the on-site assets. C2 of the CSAR effort remains in Army channels until a request for support is accepted by the JSRC. The JSRC has OPCON of all assets once the request for support is accepted. The JSRC maintains OPCON of CSAR resources augmented to the center.

b. The example scenario begins with a downed aircraft/isolated personnel situation. The air mission commander (AMC), or acting AMC, is the on-site commander. The on-site commander must decide-based on METT-T-whether to execute an immediate extraction of the isolated personnel or waive the operation. As the process is elevated to higher echelons, the necessity to request Joint support may arise. Once Joint support is requested, the RCC will transmit/receive and monitor all information pertinent to the operation. Key to any well-run CSAR operation is the information flow along both command and coordination channels.


a. Radios.

(1) Secure voice communication is the primary method to command, control, and coordinate CSAR operations. Commanders need to be aware that nonsecure communications can jeopardize the status of the isolated personnel as well as that of the rescue forces.

(2) Commanders need to understand communications capabilities within the context of CSAR operations. Secure radios, or radios expected to have secure capability in the near future, include-

(a) Satellite Communications (SATCOM). SATCOM provides the longest range (transcontinental) and most flexibility to the commander. Distance and geographics become nonfactors in the communications sequence. SATCOM equipment is easily transportable; it can be quickly assembled. Because of the possibility of simultaneous and multiple user situations, channel accessibility may become an issue.

(b) High Frequency (HF). HF is a non-line of sight (LOS) radio primarily used for air-to-air and air-to-ground communications. Range/clarity limitations occur in direct proximity to the aircraft's relationship (altitude) above the ground. Ground-to-ground HF communications can be extremely unreliable.

(c) Very High Frequency (VHF). VHF is a LOS communications capability. VHF is used primarily as a civilian administrative wave band. All military aircraft have VHF capability. However, most tactical operations centers (TOCs) do not use this system.

(d) Ultra High Frequency (UHF). UHF is a LOS communications capability with greater range than the VHF system. UHF is primarily used for aircraft-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-control tower communications. Most tactical operations centers (TOCs) do not use this system.

(e) Frequency Modulated (FM). FM is a LOS communications capability. FM is the most widely used communications forum with capabilities found in most military aircraft and TOCs.

b. Landline. Secure telephones (STU-III/STU-III plus) provide the commander with "HOTLINE" capability; they may prove critical in the initial phases of a CSAR alert to higher headquarters. However, the tactical situation could prevent practical usage of this type equipment because of landline connections (limitations) over large distances.

c. Computer Networks. A local area network (LAN), established both vertically and horizontally, facilitates the flow of critical CSAR information between the various echelons and components. The RCC should have access to the LAN to expeditiously receive/coordinate essential information on the inter- and intra-staff levels.


SECTION III. Rescue Coordination Center



The RCC is the hub of a deployed Army force CSAR operation. Preparing to conduct CSAR operations requires the execution of certain organizational, operational, and administrative procedures. This section provides guidance on these procedures.


a. RCC Responsibilities. The COMARFOR will establish the RCC. The COMARFOR has the authority to delegate RCC responsibilities to the branch senior tactical commander of any maneuver force under his command. However, that commander may not further delegate RCC responsibilities to a subordinate unit within his command. For example, a battalion-size aviation task force commander may be the senior (aviation) tactical commander. He may be delegated RCC responsibilities from the COMARFOR, but may not delegate RCC responsibilities down to the company/troop level.

b. RCC Location. The RCC will be collocated with the operations center of the command echelon to which it has been assigned. For example, an aviation brigade may be assigned as a subordinate unit within a larger Army force; the COMARFOR may delegate RCC responsibilities to the aviation brigade. If so, then the RCC must be collocated with the aviation brigade's operations center. The RCC may not be collocated with an operations center subordinate to the brigade's operations center.

c. RCC Personnel. Persons assigned to the RCC should be trained to plan and coordinate CSAR missions at the appropriate command level; i.e., the command level responsible for RCC operations. These persons should be trained before they arrive at the RCC, but they may receive on-the-job training. In addition, they must be trained and ready to interface with the JSRC. This means they must study applicable reference material. They should have a working knowledge of service-unique doctrines such as the Navy's "strike rescue" or the Marine's tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel (TRAP). A sufficient number of personnel should be assigned to the RCC to conduct/monitor 24-hour operations.


a. RCC Communications.

(1) The RCC needs communications equipment to support coordination both horizontally and vertically. Communications equipment required by the RCC includes both radios and landlines. If the Joint force and/or Army force headquarters are using a computer network, the RCC should also have this capability.

(2) Most CSAR communications will be backed up by message traffic. Much of the intelligence and information required to plan and conduct CSAR missions will be provided by message. CSAR mission taskings will also normally be transmitted in this mode.

b. Air Tasking Order/Special Instructions (ATO/SPINs). In a Joint environment, all airspace usage is coordinated through the airspace coordination authority (ACA). The ACA publishes an ATO/SPIN, which all aviation units operating within the Joint force should receive and monitor.

(1) Air tasking order. The ATO tasks assigned and attached aviation units to accomplish specific missions. The windows (allotted time frames) for requests/taskings (input/output) may vary according to a theater. The RCC will monitor the ATO. The RCC will stay abreast of all Army subordinate unit missions that may place personnel in an isolated situation.

(2) Special Instructions (SPINs). The nature of CSAR presupposes short-notice, contingency-like operations. The RCC needs to ensure that every ATO provides enough (a reserved block) transponder codes for an Army aviation CSAR task force. These transponder codes are found in the SPINs section of the ATO. They are needed for air-tracking in a Joint environment. Preplanned transponder codes are tagged for CSAR-only missions. These codes will ensure that monitoring Airborne Command and Control platforms-such as the Navy E-2 Hawkeyes or the Air Force Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS)-recognize immediately the nature of the CSAR mission in progress. These high-altitude C2 platforms should be notified of an Army CSAR mission through normal command and/or coordination channels; however, preselection of transponder codes-dedicated to an Army CSAR force-ensures fewer administrative procedures once a CSAR alert has been initiated. Fewer administrative procedures equate to a more timely operation.

c. Alerts.

(1) The RCC will-

(a) Receive and log any planned or executed CSAR operation conducted by an Army unit; receive all status reports; update the commander/operations officer as required.

(b) Alert all Army subordinate commands operating in, and around, the isolated personnel's area and appraise those commands of the current situation.

(c) Alert the JSRC whenever a CSAR operation has been planned, executed, or is ongoing within the Army component; update the JSRC as required.

(d) Receive and log any Joint CSAR operational information transmitted from the JSRC.

(e) Receive all Army CSAR taskings from the JSRC.

(2) During the alert phase of a CSAR operation, certain critical information must pass from the RCC to Army subordinate CSAR forces or to the JSRC. An example of critical information on a downed aircraft situation follows:

  • Identification of downed aircraft (type/call sign)
  • Crew radio identifier code (if available)
  • Location of downed aircraft
  • Status of personnel (injuries/mobility)
  • Estimate of aircraft damage
  • Evidence of chemical contamination
  • Accessibility to downed aircraft (terrain/weather)

d. Isolation preparation packets. Once the RCC has been alerted of an "isolated personnel" situation, the RCC will-

(1) Request an ISOPREP from the owning unit by the fastest secure means available.

(2) Be prepared to provide this information to an Army CSAR task force or to the JSRC.

(3) Ensure that the ISOPREP form (DD Form 1833) has been fully completed before accepting/transmitting the information from/to another staff.

e. Requests for Support. The RCC is the focal point for all Army CSAR support requests, generated up from Army subordinate units or tasked from the JSRC.

f. Taskings.

(1) Tasking Authority. The RCC will-

(a) Have tasking authority over all available CSAR assets within a deployed Army force structure.

(b) Coordinate subordinate unit taskings with the commander/operations officer of the echelon to which the RCC is assigned before tasking a subordinate unit.

(2) Tasking Procedures. The RCC will notify-

(a) The unit tasked to conduct the CSAR operation.

(b) The unit tasked as to the number and type equipment required; the unit assuming C2 of the operation if the CSAR force is to be task organized; for example, different type airframes from different type units.

g. Intelligence/Information. The RCC-

(1) Will be responsible for passing intelligence/information to the Army CSAR task force or to the JSRC. The RCC may receive intelligence/information from any or all of the following in to portray as accurate a threat situation as possible:

  • G2/S2 staff officer.
  • G3/S3 staff officer.
  • Unit of the isolated personnel.
  • Ground/aviation units.
  • JSRC.

(2) Must keep the JRCC in the "loop" during all phases of the CSAR operation. An isolated personnel situation generates top-down and bottom-up threat analysis focused on the targeted area of CSAR operations.


The RCC should-

a. Review all Army force operations plans (OPLANs) and operations orders (OPORDs).

b. Ensure that CSAR annexes are included. (These annexes should be detailed as far as precise actions, executable by the various potentially involved echelons.)


SECTION IV. Planning CSAR Operations



a. CSAR Planning. CSAR planning should begin when the Army force deploys or immediately after it arrives in the AO. The Army force should-

(1) Develop a complete CSAR posture.

(2) Use an orderly, logical planning process fully complementary to ongoing operational planning. (This concurrent planning approach should ensure a concept of CSAR operations and support that details specific responsibilities and authority.)

(3) Design Army CSAR plans with flexibility to employ, first, all Army CSAR-capable resources-second, all Joint CSAR-capable resources-in the most efficient and effective manner.

(4) Consider CSAR policies set by higher echelons, and any planned or ongoing operations that may assist or otherwise support a CSAR mission.

(5) Consider reversing the airspace conflict.

(6) Consider combined arms support and coordination.

b. CSAR Policy. Normally, the theater commander develops and distributes a theater CSAR policy that provides broad, general guidance on the level of effort and the conditions under which additional resources may be committed to CSAR. The Army force commander must then implement the theater policy by establishing-

(1) Basic GO/NO-GO criteria that indicate under what conditions and circumstances he is willing to risk additional assets to conduct a CSAR mission.

(2) Conditions that require the use of Joint CSAR-capable resources.

c. Planned/ongoing operations.

(1) Planned/ongoing operations. These operations can contribute to a CSAR mission. They can divert enemy activity from the area of the isolated personnel. They can provide on-scene resources that may complement a CSAR effort. Complementing resources may include-

  • Aircraft (fixed-wing and rotary-wing) returning from a mission with unexpended ordnance.
  • Helicopter lift assets capable of hauling personnel/equipment.
  • Airborne C2 platforms.
  • Other Joint/combined-arms units whose weapon systems/personnel can influence the CSAR AO.

(2) Other friendly force coordination benefits. These may include-

  • Friendly force coverage or planned coverage of the intended search area during an other-than-CSAR type mission.
  • Fratricide prevention.
  • Disruption of friendly operations.

(3) Artillery. Artillery fire support can be planned for all phases of the CSAR operation. Planned fire missions may include-

  • Suppression.
  • Diversion.
  • Illumination.
  • Smoke.

d. Army Airspace Command and Control (A2C2). A2C2 will play an important role in concurrent CSAR mission planning. Critical to the CSAR mission will be the ability of the Army force commander to-

(1) Alert appropriate friendly forces as to the impending CSAR operation; for example, providing air defense (AD) units critical information on friendly aviation units operating in a given area.

(2) Notify the JSRC of intentions to operate aircraft/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) within a given area.

(3) Reserve blocks of transponder codes for the synchronization of airspace usage.

e. Day/Night Operations. When planning CZAR operations, commanders must consider available CSAR-capable resources. Daytime CSAR operations offer the advantage of improved visibility when conducting searches. The disadvantage is an environment that enhances threat visual contact and weapon's engagement capabilities. Nighttime CSAR operations provide the advantage of a reduced threat visual acquisition, but can severely degrade visual recognition between rescuing forces and isolated personnel.


Precautionary CSAR planning-

a. Is planning and propositioning aircraft and/or ground forces before an operation to provide CSAR assistance, if needed?

b. May be conducted concurrently with the Army force's operational plan.

c. May be conducted as a corollary planning effort when Army CSAR-capable resources are tasked to provide support for another component in the Joint force.


Any or all of these Army forces may be available to the COMARFOR for the conduct of CSAR operations:

a. Rotary-wing aviation units.

b. Special operations forces (SOF).

c. Long-range surveillance units (LRSU).

d. Ground maneuver forces.

e. Army watercraft units.


Army Regulation (AR) 525-90 stipulates that evasion plans of action ( EPAs) will be filled out by aircrew members flying in a hostile environment. SOF and LRSU personnel also need to develop EPAs because of the nature of their missions. EPAs may need to be adjusted on a mission/AO basis. Refer to FM 90-18 for EPA considerations.


SECTION V. CSAR Decision/Execution Process



This section addresses the key events, decisions, and actions that comprise a successful CSAR operation. CSAR is an event-driven operation that requires quick analysis and timely decision making. Commanders involved in CSAR operations must weigh all associated risks. They must decide how many personnel and how much equipment are worth placing in potentially isolated situations for the rescue of those currently isolated. In other words, commanders must judge whether the cost of executing the CSAR operation justifies the resultant benefits.


The CSAR decision/execution process is the same at all levels of command. Commanders decide if, when, and how to execute CSAR based on current mission impact, CSAR mission analysis, and available assets. An explanation of these key elements follows:

a. Mission impact. Mission impact is the first gate in the commander's decision/execution cycle. The current tactical situation and future operational plans will influence the commander's decision as to the "if" and "when" the CSAR operation can be conducted. CSAR must never supplant or hinder the unit's primary mission. Commanders must ensure that unit focus remains trained on current operations; and, only after the success of any planned future operations is reasonably ensured, can the decision process continue.

b. CSAR mission analysis. CSAR mission analysis is the next step in the CSAR decision/execution process. CSAR mission analysis includes an assessment of the following:

(1) Location of isolated personnel. The known or unknown location of isolated personnel will indicate the amount of time a CSAR force can expect to stay on station. This, in turn, will affect both the probabilities of detection by threat forces ( survivability) and the logistics (primarily fuel) of the operation.

(2) Threat.

(a) Situation. The threat situation in the area of the isolated personnel is the single most important factor affecting CSAR mission analysis. The threat situation will-first and foremost-dictate whether a CSAR mission will be conducted or not. If a CSAR operation will be conducted, the threat situation will influence the who, what, when, and where of the executing CSAR task force. The threat can range from electronic warfare (EW) to enemy fixed-wing aircraft; rotary-wing aircraft; small arms; armored vehicles; man-portable and vehicle-mounted AD systems; and the local civilian populace.

(b) Location of military/civilian threat. The CSAR force commander must consider all personnel-military and civilian-and all weapon systems within the CSAR AO. He must determine the appropriate rescue vehicle and mode of operation. The intelligence chain (G2/S2) must, therefore, seek as much current information/intelligence as possible on the location of the military/civilian threat. The current location of the military/civilian threat in proximity to the isolated personnel shapes the CSAR commander's decisions by influencing the-

  • Timeframe within which certain decisions must be made.
  • Probabilities of isolated personnel capture.
  • Abilities of isolated personnel to execute EPA.

(c) Strength of military/civilian threat. The strength of the military/civilian threat shapes the CSAR commander's decisions by influencing the-

  • CSAR task force organization.
  • Search and recovery procedures.

(d) Threat air defense. Assessment of threat AD capabilities will impact the-

  • Decision to use aerial recovery assets.
  • Extent to which aerial assets from other service components can be expected to operate in the same area.
  • Aerial ingress, search, and egress procedures.

(e) Enemy courses of action. The probable enemy course of action will affect the tempo of the decision/execution process. Future proximity of the threat in relation to the isolated personnel's location-or intended extraction point-will help the commander decide the best time and right mix of forces to execute the operation.

( 3) Isolated Personnel Status.

(a) Injuries. Injured isolated personnel can hinder the CSAR operation in numerous ways. Initially, injuries may prevent isolated personnel from establishing contact with other friendly forces. Injured personnel may not be able to comply with established evasion and recovery plans. Injuries affect the organization of the CSAR task force; for example, the incorporation of medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) assets.

(b) Captivity. Intelligence resources may indicate a high probability of capture. If so, the personnel and equipment the commander is willing to risk in the CSAR operation will be proportionately constrained.

(4) Environmental Factors.

(a) Weather. Current and shifting weather patterns in the isolated personnel's area will impact the GO/NO-GO criteria of the operation. Preferably, weather will be acceptable not only in the targeted or expected area of personnel and/or equipment recovery, but throughout the entire search grid. Weather information should include-

  • Temperature.
  • Precipitation.
  • Humidity.
  • Visibility at ground level.
  • Winds.
  • Fog.
  • Cloud cover.

(b) Astronomical data. Astronomical data can play an important role in determining when the CSAR operation will be conducted. Astronomical data includes sunrise, sunset, moon rise, and ambient light.

(c) Terrain. Isolated personnel and/or equipment must be accessible by the system used for recovery. CSAR task forces will operate in different modes according to terrain and natural and man-made obstacles.

c. Resources.

(1) The next step in the decision/execution process is the assessment of unit resources. Commanders must decide if they have the resources within their units to conduct the CSAR operation. Naturally, access to resources increases the higher the operation is elevated.

(2) Resources are formed into a CSAR task force. This task force will search for and recover isolated personnel and/or equipment. In addition, the CSAR task force must be able to provide organizational security while en route to the isolated personnel's area, and maintain security during the recovery and return to assembly area phases of the operation.

(3) Task organization. The factors that make up a CSAR operation preclude a standard CSAR task force organization. Commanders must look at the requirements of the mission, assess their own unit's capabilities, and request external support as necessary.

(a) Table D-1 illustrates an example of an aviation task force organized with assets from several different type units. This organization is assuming the mission of personnel rescue at a downed aircraft site with the additional intent of airframe recovery. The terrain is rugged and sparsely vegetated. The enemy situation is some lightly armored vehicles and tanks operating within the area. Crew personnel at the downed aircraft site have been injured and are unable to execute an EPA.

(b) After assessing all the factors involved, the aviation task force commander decides to task organize according to the following justifications:


Table D-1. Aviation unit task organized by mission

UH-60 1 Command and control
UH-60 1 Security force lift
AH-64 5 Antiarmor
UH-60 1 Personnel recovery
CH-47D 1 Airframe recovery
Troops 11 Ground security

NOTE: Crash rescue personnel (corps engineer support) must be considered in all CSAR operations requiring extrication of personnel from downed airframes.


SECTION VI. Search and Recovery Procedures



a. Immediate Actions. Isolated personnel actions are critical to the SAR procedure. Isolated personnel must make every attempt-within the context of the current situation-to contact the on-site commander or other friendly personnel. Prohibitions to this action may include personal injury, the threat, communications capabilities and/or communications failure. If voice communications can be established, isolated personnel must provide location, personnel injuries, threat status, and intentions to the receiver.

b. Signaling

(1) In a situation when Army personnel presume isolation in the immediate future, they must try to establish radio contact on the last frequency used. In a hostile environment, transmissions should be as brief as possible to avoid detection/location by threat forces. In a permissive environment, transmissions should be long enough to enhance the use of friendly direction finder (DF) equipment (see para D-1c). In either case, once contact with friendly forces is made, isolated personnel should announce (by use of a code word) switching to a predesignated CSAR operations frequency. This is true if immediate recovery is impossible.

(2) Isolated personnel using emergency or CSAR-only frequencies may receive transmitted responses from both Army component and Joint aviation assets. Refer to FM 90-18, Appendix I, for a complete description of Army radio survival equipment.

(3) Initial radio contact with isolated personnel may occur on any number of radio bands. If the isolated personnel are disoriented-and the tactical environment permits-one option is to establish contact on the FM band. This would allow any Army aviation elements in the area to establish an azimuth to the isolated personnel from a known location (i.e., the position of the aircraft). If immediate recovery of isolated personnel is not possible by the aviation element, a probable search area can be referenced for future CSAR operations. Aviators must consider the tactical situation when conducting FM Homing operations. This includes reception altitude restrictions relative to the AD threat.


Isolated personnel will fall into one of two categories-their location is either known or unknown. The assumption can not be made that isolated personnel have successfully executed their EPA and will be at the extraction point at a given time. Therefore, unless confirmation of the isolated personnel's location has been established, CSAR force commanders will assume that their missions will require extensive searching procedures.

a. Isolated Personnel Location Known. This situation usually will result from some form of contact (electronic/visual) between the isolated personnel and another friendly force, and the isolated personnel is able to provide exact location. Search procedures then become a matter of tactical extraction procedures used by the type unit involved. For example, an air assault aviation unit might conduct this extraction as a one or two ship mission, using the same TTPs as any other given air assault mission under the same tactical circumstances.

b. Isolated Personnel Location Unknown. The search procedures for locating isolated personnel whose location is not known are considerably more complex than in a known location type situation. The following is a breakdown of the various types of search techniques:

(1) Ground search. Terrain, vegetation, weather, and/or the threat may prevent search by aviation assets. When this happens, elements of maneuver ground forces or SOF may be required to conduct search operations for isolated personnel. The ground force can complete a detailed search of an area without drawing much attention. In addition, the logistics (fuel requirements) supporting extended search time on-station are considerably less demanding. Once isolated personnel have been found, ground forces can return to friendly positions or call for helicopter extraction.

(2) Aerial search. Aviation assets can cover significant tracks of land in very condensed time periods. Aerial search is a method of search to be used when time and terrain are significant factors in the CSAR operation.

(3) Methods. Most Army operations consider terrain to be a critical element in mission planning. EPAs may include parameters and/or objectives based on terrain. Terrain provides orientation, enhances navigation, and offers protection. Search procedures also use terrain in a systematic approach to locating isolated personnel. A list of terrain-oriented approaches to executing aerial search follows:

(a) Boundary method. CSAR forces conduct the operation by first designating the entire search area within the confines of prominent geographical features. The next step is to further reduce the area into subelements also defined by identifiable geographical features. From the larger to the smaller scales, terrain features-such as mountains, rivers, small towns/villages, highways, secondary roads, and natural and man-made objects/obstacles- can be used to piecemeal the operation. The search track will be conducted systematically within the shape of the terrain parameters until the isolated personnel have been acquired or all the subelements of the greater search area have been scanned.

(b) Grid method. CSAR forces conduct the operation by designating boundaries and search patterns using eight digit grid coordinates. All elements conducting the search must be using the same series map sheets. If non-CSAR forces are conducting operations in the intended search area, confirmation of like-series map sheets must be accomplished with those non-CSAR forces. This confirmation will ensure the intended accuracy of any positional/coverage type information passed between the non-CSAR forces and the CSAR task force.

(c) Track line method. CSAR forces conduct the operation by planning search routes along what is estimated to be the isolated personnel's ground track from isolation point to extraction point. These search areas will consist of a series of connected rectangular boxes-defined in terms of length and width-initiating at the isolation point and continuing to the planned extraction point.

(d) Feature trace method. CSAR forces conduct the operation by searching along specific terrain features estimated to be used by the isolated personnel. The features may include rivers, valleys, roads, etc. Threat lines-of-communication and other potentially high-volume traffic routes should be avoided.

(e) Automatic direction finding. Aviation CSAR forces conduct the operation based on azimuths generated from the radio signal of the isolated personnel and the relative heading indicated by radio instruments inside the cockpit. If two or more aircraft are involved in the transmission/reception process, resection plotting can establish a more accurate isolated personnel location.


a. Authentication. Authentication of isolated personnel in contact with friendly forces may be initiated several times throughout a CSAR operation. The on-site commander may request authentication, as well as Joint assets and recovering CSAR forces. Authentication procedures with isolated personnel may be electronic or visual, depending on the current situation. A list of authentication procedures/techniques follows:

(1) Personal identification. Positive identification of isolated personnel by personnel who know them is the best method of authentication. If possible, CSAR task forces should include at least one person from the isolated personnel's unit to verify identification.

(2) Isolation preparation packages. Isolated personnel will have prepared ISOPREPs before their mission. Much of the information in these data sheets (DD Form 1833) is personal in nature and known only to the individual completing them. Isolated personnel should not be requested to transmit the same ISOPREP information more than once during a CSAR operation.

(3) Code words. CSAR code words will be provided by the Joint command or the COMARFOR. Code words should be memorized; no copy of these words should accompany personnel into hostile territory.

(4) Visual signals. Visual signals may be the only method isolated personnel can use either to identify themselves to friendly forces, or indicate their intentions of other actions. Visual signals must be distinct in contrast to the background environment.

b. Security. Protection of the CSAR task force and the isolated personnel is inherent to the operation. The TTPs employed by the CSAR task force will be the commander's decision. Once the precise location of the isolated personnel has been identified, security of the area must be established. The guidelines for the recovery phase of a CSAR operation are as follows:

(1) Spread. The CSAR task force commander should ensure that elements of the task force do not mass, encroach upon, overfly, or continuously circle the extraction site. These actions may draw too much attention to a single area. In addition, too many friendly forces in a confined area provide an advantage to relatively small amounts of threat weapon systems/personnel.

(2) Extraction/Recovery priorities. The CSAR task force commander will execute the extraction of personnel followed by the recovery of equipment. This is true when both personnel and equipment are at the same location. Aircraft extracting personnel (for example, UH-60) should be cleared into the extraction site immediately after the area has been secured. Equipment recovery operations (for example, CH-47D) may be conducted simultaneously with the personnel extraction operation or delayed until the personnel extraction aircraft has egressed the extraction site. In either case, any aircraft ingressing the extraction/recovery site will remain off-station until specifically cleared for the approach by the CSAR task force commander. Conversely, any aircraft egressing the extraction/recovery site will remain at the site until cleared for departure by the CSAR task force commander.

(3) 360 coverage. Forces conducting security should ensure that a ring of protection is formed around the isolated personnel/equipment extraction site. Give special attention to threat vantage points overlooking the extraction site, as well as high-speed avenues of approach.

(4) Reporting. CSAR task force commanders must never be out of contact with higher headquarters. CSAR task force commanders must alert higher headquarters immediately upon successful/unsuccessful extraction of the isolated personnel. This reporting process alerts the next higher as to the necessity for continued CSAR planning.


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