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Chapter 5

Combat Service Support

This chapter gives an overview of the combat service support (CSS) system. It explains how aviation brigades coordinate for elements of the system. Aviation operations require a great deal of sustained logistics support. Rotary-wing and fixed-wing assets use vast quantities of CSS, particularly fuel and ammunition. They are also one of the primary suppliers of critical CSS to both ground and aviation units. Aviation brigades at division, corps, and echelons above corps (EAC) levels provide both routine and emergency movement of all classes of supply throughout the commander's battlespace. Their assets are not constrained by clogged resupply routes, rugged terrain, or lack of a modern road structure. This makes these brigade assets equally useful during both stability and support (SASO) and combat operations. CSS elements that support aviation brigades include supply, maintenance, transportation, personnel, and field services.


SECTION I. Logistics Principles



The planning required to provide CSS depends on mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T) and the intensity of the mission. For SASO the staff officers need time to task-organize the CSS base. They also need time to coordinate the use of storage facilities, the transport of personnel and equipment, and the development of a workable logistics system. As a rule, CSS and logistics requirements become increasingly standardized as the intensity of the mission increases. As support requirements become standardized, less time is needed for planning. However, each mission still requires time for planning support. Threat doctrine recognizes the importance of logistics support to aviation. Threat forces employ units to locate aviation support organizations. They know that destroying these organizations will render aviation assets combat ineffective. Threat forces also recognize that many friendly operations depend on aviation employment against threat armor, air defenses, and logistics support bases.

a. Planning CSS Organization. Aviation brigade units normally employ their CSS assets in echelons. Careful planning is required to ensure the success of this concept. CSS must adequately support forward-deployed aviation units. The battalion air lines of communication (ALOC) are considered the combat trains of most units. Division, corps, and theater aviation place their CSS to achieve the best support of their units. Normally, logistical assets are task-organized to support the mission. Command and staff sections position themselves where they can best execute the logistics plan. Each trains or support location contains the minimum number of personnel required to provide support, supervise personnel, and provide security. Paragraph 4 and the logistics annex of the operation order (OPORD) also address the support requirements and responsibilities of supported units. The use of SOPs and OPORDs identifies the capabilities of supporting units to supported units. Because of the complex and unique nature of aviation support, standing operating procedures (SOPs) and the use of the logistics annex are essential. SOPs should be continuously updated to clarify procedures for routine-

  • Resupply.
  • Maintenance.
  • Transportation.
  • Field services.
  • Health services.
  • Personnel services.

b. Planning Responsibilities.

(1) CSS organizations require-

(a) A clear understanding of both the supported commander's and the CSS commander's responsibilities.

(b) Familiarity with the responsibilities and capabilities of the higher, subordinate, and adjacent elements.

(c) Close contact and information exchange among these elements.

(2) CSS planning is a command responsibility. The commander-

(a) Weighs CSS considerations in deciding courses of action.

(b) Ensures that operational planners are informed of logistical capabilities and the logistics planners are kept informed of current and future plans.

(c) Directs that equipment issued to units or organizations be in serviceable and combat-ready condition.

(d) Enforces proper equipment use, accountability, and maintenance.

(e) Considers personnel readiness, replacement availability, and personnel loss estimates.

(3) The executive officer (XO) is responsible for administrative and logistical planning. He-

(a) Supervises the logistics support.

(b) Ensures that subordinate units prepare and forward administrative and logistical status reports.

(c) Integrates all staff sections so that staff members understand their responsibilities.

(d) Keeps the commander informed on materiel readiness.

(4) The commander, S3, and S4 must understand the capabilities of their supporting units. Many commanders develop alternate plans that allow for mission completion without overextending their supporting units. These plans reduce planning time because corrective actions-such as augmentation or task organization-are identified in the OPLAN before it is executed. The XO and S4 plan for each operation; they ensure adequate support is at the proper place at the proper time. Much of the logistics support must be coordinated before it is included in the OPLAN. The commander and his staff follow up often on the status of CSS assets so that support is provided as planned. CSS planners must anticipate requirements and integrate them into the OPLAN. They must plan for a responsive system that can provide continuous support; they must improvise when necessary.

c. Planning Principles. The tenets of aviation doctrine-initiative, agility, depth, versatility, and synchronization-are basic to successful operations. They also establish the framework for organizing logistics. An effective and efficient logistics system allows the aviation brigade to operate according to these tenets. CSS planners embody the precepts of continuity, anticipation, integration, responsiveness, and improvisation. There is no time to react to decisions and circumstances. Support is provided when, where, and in the quantities required. CSS planners should be flexible enough to respond rapidly to the commander's needs, not just to his orders. They must understand the commander's intent, as well as his orders, and must act to support his intent.

(1) CSS planning consists of the continuing and essential functions that support the mission and provide responsive logistics support to the supported force. CSS commanders and planners must know and understand the tactical mission and plans. After analyzing the tactical concept of operations, CSS commanders and planners must be able to predict support requirements. CSS planners must sustain the operation so that the commander can achieve the tenets of doctrine. They determine the type and quantity of support required and the priority of support by type and by unit.

(2) CSS planning is neither static nor finite; it has to accommodate the requirements of the supported force during all phases of the operation. The availability of critical supplies and munitions may decisively influence combat operations. Therefore, CSS planners must act on-rather than react to-support requirements.

d. Deception Planning. CSS assets and supplies also are required to support deception operations. Pre-positioning CSS assets at false locations is an excellent deceptive tactic. To aid the deception, personnel can use false containers and equipment to hide the real equipment. Deception operations are difficult to plan and execute. However, they enhance the element of surprise and further exploit the capabilities of aviation. Deception operations must be rehearsed and executed often according to the higher commander's intent. Support can be provided in more than one way. Innovative thinking and frequent training exercises-coupled with logistics wargaming simulations and artificial intelligence decision modeling-will improve the formulation of logistics requirements. CSS requires flexibility and responsiveness. The S4 must grasp the complex support requirements of aviation. He provides the support that enables the commander to integrate his assets into the scheme of maneuver.

e. Tactical Planning. The tactical plan and CSS plan are developed concurrently. Thus, tactical and CSS planners must establish communications links with each other. Normally, the tactical plan or concept of operation is not finalized until CSS planners have determined the supportability of proposed courses of action and have been allowed the opportunity to provide alternatives. When the supported force concept has been determined, the CSS planning requirements are projected and plans are developed to satisfy those requirements.

f. Planning Analysis. When planning the support of operations, CSS planners are continuously involved in risk analysis of various options. Detailed SOPs aid this process by allowing management by exception. The planning becomes easier as the unit builds historical data on supply expenditures and requirements. Contingency plans are also formulated to handle expected future courses of action. These plans reduce the time required to react to changing battlefield support requirements. Planners always have to balance the benefits of a support concept against the risks involved in the support provided; for example, deciding the location of the support areas. For each operation, commanders and CSS planners assess the situation, measure the risk, and select the best course of action. They recognize that every possible action has a degree of risk. After a course of action has been selected and the risk analysis is completed, detailed planning occurs before the operation is executed. The planning includes determining-

  • What support is required.
  • Where the support is needed.
  • What quantity of support is required.
  • Who provides the support.


On the battlefield, the organizations that provide CSS are varied and become more complex with each higher command level. CSS forces at corps and higher level are organized using a building block concept. The support force is tailored in size and variety to meet the needs of the force that it supports. At the division, the CSS force is structured based on standard table(s) of organization and equipment (TOEs) for similar units. These structures are tailored to the METT-T. Elements of these organizations locate where they can best fulfill their mission.

a. EAC Support Command. The Army Service component commander (ASCC) is the senior Army operational-level commander assigned to a unified command. The size of the EAC support command is tailored to mission demands; it varies from one theater to the next. The EAC support command is a flexible organization that commanders can tailor to provide support across the entire range of military operations. This support may include support functions previously performed by functional commands under the theater Army. Critical elements of the EAC support command can deploy rapidly into an area of operations (AO) to support entry operations and enhance the theater base's capability to receive and move forces forward. The tailored nature of its structure minimizes strategic lift requirements by allowing the commander to deploy only essential support elements. As much as possible , the EAC support command uses split-base operations by only deploying those elements of an organization actually required in the theater.

(1) Operational functions of the EAC support command may include-

  • Receiving forces.
  • Equipping, marshalling, staging, and moving units forward in tactical assembly areas.
  • Providing sustaining and reconstitution support to the Army force (ARFOR).
  • Helping establish and adjust theater lines of communications (LOCs).
  • Providing integrated materiel management and movement control to perform all other operational logistics functions.
  • Coordinating projection of support assets from continential United States (CONUS) or intermediate staging bases.

(2) Operational elements of the EAC support command are assigned or attached to meet the minimum essential support capabilities required for the operation. Capabilities may include:

(a) Petroleum-receipt of products in theater, distribution throughout the communications zone (COMMZ) and rear of the combat zone, and quality surveillance.

(b) Ammunition-port-level accountability and management, storage in the COMMZ, distribution to corps storage areas and ammunition supply points (ASPs), and issue to units operating in the COMMZ.

(c) Transportation-mode support, terminal operations, and cargo transfer.

(d) Personnel support-postal operations; replacement management; legal service support; command information; morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR); and personnel information management.

(e) Military police-circulation control, EPW, civilian internee operations, law enforcement, and area security.

(f) Explosive ordnance disposal-theater-wide support.

(g) Civil affairs-populace and resource control, foreign nation support, humanitarian assistance, military-civil actions, civil defense.

(h) NBC support-smoke, NBC reconnaissance and decontamination and large area biological alert detection to the command.

(i) Area support-to elements in the rear, including control of rear operations.

(3) The EAC support command includes both Active Army and Reserve components. It typically includes a central distribution management activity, a variable number of area support groups (ASGs), a logistics support element, and functional units required to provide support to all Army elements in the theater. Elements will be arranged with other elements as appropriate to provide flexibility. The commander will tailor the support structure to meet changing requirements.


SECTION II. Army Logistics Support Groups, Elements, And Commands



An area support group (ASG) is a tailored logistics organization in the COMMZ. It is subordinate to the EAC support command. It serves as a subordinate C2 element for the EAC support command with an area responsibility for supply-including petroleum support-field service support-including water purification and mortuary affairs-and maintenance-including aviation intermediate maintenance (AVIM). It provides NBC warning and reporting and controls rear operations in its assigned area. The ASG may include other capabilities to fulfill designated theater support responsibilities. Though it has no fixed structure, it may include civil affairs, supply and service, petroleum supply, and organize multifunctional logistics organizations to provide support for specific missions or organizations.


a. The logistics support element (LSE) is a flexible table of distribution and allowances (TDA) organization. It provides limited general support (GS)/commodity and depot-level logistics. It has a small peacetime cadre with the bulk of the positions being battle roster. The LSE may be under the operational control of the commander-in-chief (CINC). It usually is attached to the EAC support command. Its elements will retain technical lines with their major commands. The EAC support command commander will identify requirements and assign tasks and priorities to the LSE. The LSE will be rapidly deployed. Its structure will evolve during the course of the operation to adapt to changing requirements and capabilities of deployed organizations. The LSE can shorten the logistics pipeline by providing the same support in theater that AMC provides in the continential United States (CONUS).

b. Functions that the LSE may perform include:

(1) Receipt, storage, issue, and retrograde and redistribution of high-dollar, high-tech, low-density items and selected maintenance items.

(2) Limited commodity and depot-level maintenance to return items to the support system or to support the reparable exchange program. Capabilities include flexible, modular commodity weapon system-oriented teams from CONUS depots, and organic or contractor forward repair activities. The senior Army logistician will identify maintenance requirements to the LSE. The LSE assigns work loads to the attached and operational control (OPCON) maintenance units and activities.

(3) Depot-level maintenance in support of the theater aviation maintenance program.

(4) Technical, logistics, training, and other specialized services for theater ammunition functions.

(5) Logistics software management.

(6) Oversight of contractor-operated activities in the theater through the contracting officer's representative and administrative services to the representatives.

(7) Linkage between the theater and the technology base and other research, development, test, and evaluation (RDTE) resources. The LSE provides concrete assistance through interim materiel modifications, operational suggestions, and battle damage assessment report (BDAR).

(8) Army Oil Analysis Program support.


a. A corps support command (COSCOM) normally supports from two to five divisions. To support this varied number of forces, the corps support forces are tailored. The number and types of CS and CSS units vary with the number and types of divisions attached to the corps. Thus, CSS units are organized on the building block concept; existing companies are formed into units (battalions and groups) to assemble support. The COSCOM provides GS to divisions and direct support (DS) and general support (GS) to nondivisional units within the corps.

(1) Materiel management center and movement control center. The two major functional control centers within the COSCOM are the materiel management center (MMC) and movement control center (MCC). The MMC integrates supply and maintenance management of all GS-level supplies and maintenance within the corps. The MCC-

(a) Provides routine management for all transport or movement within the corps.

(b) Maintains the road network and traffic circulation plan.

(c) Allocates transportation assets throughout the corps.

(2) Personnel services unit. The personnel group sustains corps (or EAC) personnel readiness. It also manages critical systems and synchronizes the corps personnel network. This unit normally is a personnel group. The personnel group provides personnel support to assigned or attached tactical personnel units. It also task-organizes and deploys assigned personnel units to meet the situation. The personnel group provides liaison with divisions, corps, and the personnel command to fulfill all support requirements.

(3) Medical units. The medical brigade also is a tailored organization. Its units provide hospital, dental, psychiatric, laboratory, preventive medicine, and veterinary services. These units are assigned to a medical brigade or group. This brigade or group contains hospital units; ambulance units, both ground and air; and medical supply units.

(4) Transportation units. Normally, this is a transportation group. It works closely with the MCC to control transportation assets throughout the corps. The group focuses on corp wide transportation support of operations. It may include units performing both mode and terminal operations. A transportation group normally is required when the corps performs both tactical and operational transportation mode and terminal support. This may occur during the initial deployment of the corps when port opening and line haul transportation units are attached to the corps to perform functions normally associated with operational logistics.

(5) Supply and maintenance units (less Classes III and V). Normally, supply and service battalions and maintenance battalions are organized under a support group. A typical COSCOM has two forward support groups. These provide DS and GS and maintenance support to divisional and nondivisional units. The COSCOM also has one rear support group that provides DS and GS to the corps. The support group itself is a flexible organization; its size varies according to the size of the force it is supporting.

(6) Ammunition units. Normally, an ammunition group is assigned to each COSCOM. The group provides technical direction and C2 for both GS and DS companies. This group operates the corps storage areas and ASPs and also supports the ammunition transfer points in the divisions. They normally are augmented with theater Army (TA) assets for handling special ammunition.

(7) Petroleum units. Normally, these units are petroleum battalions. These units have their own Class III bulk-hauling capability. They support divisional and nondivisional units with bulk Class III line-haul. They also provide the corps with Class III bulk storage and distribution. When augmented, these units can perform terminal transfer and pipeline or rail operations.

(8) Civil affairs units. Normally, a civil affairs company is assigned to each COSCOM. It manages refugee control and helps coordinate host nation support.

(9) Explosive ordnance disposal units. Normally, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) control team is assigned to the COSCOM. This team has subordinate EOD detachments; these detachments provide EOD service throughout the corps area to reduce hazards from unexploded ordnance.

(10) Finance units. Corps finance units are part of a finance group. The commander has staff responsibility-as well as technical supervisory responsibilities-for all pay functions in the corps. The commander also has C2 for finance support units (FSUs) assigned or attached to the corps.

(11) NBC reconnaissance and decontamination units. Chemical units conduct decontamination. They may assist in unit sustainment decontamination operations. These units provide radiological monitoring. They clear and decontaminate critical areas to the extent possible. If possible, they also clear and decontaminate equipment before removing it from the battlefield.

(l2) Mortuary Affairs units. The mortuary affairs (MA) units provide C2 for from two to five companies. They establish collection points and process remains. The MA units establish, operate, and maintain military cemeteries. They also conduct area search and recovery operations.

b. Specific corps support group missions are listed in the COSCOM OPORD. The TOE for the corps support group (CSG) headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) is the same for forward and rear CSGs; however, basic missions of the CSG depend on whether it is employed in the forward or rear portion of the corps rear area. Subordinate CSG units supply weapons and ammunition to sustain the aviation brigade.

(1) Forward-employed CSGs. Forward-employed CSGs provide-

(a) Support to nondivisional corps forces operating in a committed division's area of operations (AO). Instead of returning to supporting units in the corps rear, the aviation brigade would be supported by logistics units or teams assigned or attached to forward CSGs and employed in the division support area (DSA).

(b) Area support to units behind the division's rear boundary. Support requirements vary as units move into and out of the CSG's area. Thus, the correct range and quantity of authorized stockage list (ASL) stocks are difficult to determine. Therefore, the COSCOM MMC requires intensive stock management.

(c) Backup support to the committed division. The amount of support depends on the type of division; the greatest amount normally is required for light infantry divisions.

(d) Support for a deep attack. Support requirements depend on the depth and length of the attack and whether ground LOCs are secure.

(2) Rear CSG. The rear CSG provides-

(a) Area support to units employed in or passing through its AO, to include divisions in reserve, separate brigades, and armored cavalry regiments (ACRs).

(b) Backup support to forward CSGs.

(c) Corps wide GS supply. For example, Class III (B) fuel normally is transported by throughput distribution to the division aviation brigade.

(d) Resources for reconstitution of degraded units.

(3) CSG allocation. The number of CSGs employed by the COSCOM depends on the-

(a) Number and type of divisions committed.

(b) Number and type of corps nondivisional units supported.

(c) Number of subordinate battalions requiring C2.

(d) Extent of host nation support available.

(e) Corps assets required to support a contingency or a deep attack.

(f) Factors of METT-T.

c. The COSCOM includes one rear CSG as well as one forward CSG for each committed division. There is no set structure for either type of CSG. FM 54-30 gives detailed information on both the CSGs and their subordinate centralized support bases (CSBs). Each CSG supports units operating in the forward portion of the corps rear area. Another CSG is allocated according to COSCOM. This rear CSG provides area support to units in or passing through the rear portion of the corps rear area. For a five-division corps with three divisions abreast, this equates to four CSGs per mature corps. If there are more than three organic divisions, a CSG supports more than one division. Depending on the intensity of battle and the number of subordinate battalions, a CSG with six or seven subordinate battalions may support two divisions.

(1) Area of responsibility. The COSCOM commander assigns forward-oriented CSGs an area of responsibility along the corps frontage behind the committed division rear boundary. He adjusts those areas of responsibility based on the density of supported units, intensity of combat, and forward or rear movement of division boundaries. He also assigns an area support sector to the rear CSG. That sector may encompass an area from the rear of forward CSGs to the rear boundary of the corps.

(2) Task organization. There is no standard CSG organizational structure. CSGs can provide command, control, staff planning, and supervision for from three to seven of the subordinate battalions. The number, type, and mix of subordinate elements vary based on force modernization and the tactical support situation. The COSCOM assistant chief of staff (ACofS) for security, plans, and operations will task-organize CSGs based on support mission requirements. In low-intensity conflicts, units normally employed in the communications zone (COMMZ) may be assigned or attached to a CSG. As the number and type of supported units change, CSGs change the way in which their subordinate battalions are organized to provide support. Thus, a CSG employed forward in support of nondivisional corps units operating in a heavy division AO differs from a CSG employed forward in support of a committed air assault division. CSGs task-organize subordinate battalions by assigning or attaching logistics units to provide the required support. When the supported division is relieved, the CSGs task-organize their assigned or attached logistics units to more effectively meet the requirements of the incoming division.

(3) Aviation maintenance battalion (AVIM). An aviation maintenance battalion (AVIM)) normally is assigned to each COSCOM. The COSCOM may assign the aviation maintenance battalion (AVIM) to the rear CSG for employment near a fixed facility. AVIM units are further described in this chapter and FM 1-500.

d. To enhance the ability to tailor logistics forces, force developers will pursue opportunities to develop modular logistics elements. Modularity will provide force elements that are interchangeable, expandable, and tailored to meet the changing missions and needs of the committed force. Modular units will combine the assets required to provide a support function or group of related functions. A module can be sent to support a deploying force without adversely affecting the ability of its parent unit to function at a reduced level.


a. The division support command (DISCOM) provides division-level logistics to all organic and attached elements of the division. DISCOMs consist of a headquarters and MMC, three forward support battalions (FSBs), a main support battalion, and an aviation support battalion (ASB) or an AVIM organization. The base of operations for the headquarters, MMC, and main support battalion (MSB) is the DSA. However, under a split-based arrangement, components of the MMC may remain at their home station. A corps support battalion also typically operates in the DSA. It supports nondivision elements operating in the division area. In addition, certain combat support units may locate in the DSA. These may include signal, military police, engineer, and chemical elements. The DSA normally is located in the division rear adjacent to air landing facilities and main supply routes (MSRs). FM 63-2 is the doctrinal manual for heavy DISCOMs, while FM 63-2-1 addresses light DISCOMs. The MSB of heavy DISCOMs is discussed in FM 63-21. The ASB manual is FM 63-23.

b. The DISCOM has six major functions. They are-

  • Supply.
  • Maintenance.
  • Transportation.
  • Health services.
  • Personnel services.
  • Field services.

c. The DISCOM provides logistics support through three methods-unit, area, and task support. Unit support is furnished to a designated unit or group of units. Command relationships for these units normally include OPCON, DS, and GS. Area support is furnished to all units within a designated geographic area. Task support is a type or an amount of a unit's support that is furnished to designated units or an area so that the unit can accomplish identified tasks.

d. Maintenance, supply, transportation, and medical assets are organized to form three forward support battalions and one main support battalion. The HHC and the division materiel management center (DMMC) are combined into one element.

e. The forward support battalion (FSB) has an HHC and a coordinating and technical staff, a supply company, a maintenance company, and a medical company. The FSB is organized to support a brigade-size force. With augmentation, each FSB can support other divisional units operating in the area such as signal, engineers,or military intelligence. Currently, the same concept is employed within the air assault and airborne divisions except that tailored support assets are referred to as forward service support elements (FSSEs). Forward area support coordinators (FASCOs) serve the same function in an FSSE as the HHC of an FSB.

(1) Supply company. The supply company operates an ammunition transfer point (ATP). At that point ammunition for all divisional units operating in the area is transferred from corps or division transportation assets to unit resupply vehicles or aircraft. Also, this company establishes and manages a Class I ration breakdown point; a Class II, IV, and VII issue point; and a forward Class III distribution point.

(2) Maintenance company. The maintenance company provides DS maintenance and backup unit maintenance support such as evacuation. Also, it may be augmented with maintenance support teams from the corps or divisional main support battalion (MSB) assets. These teams are weapon-system specific; they are assigned based on the type and mix of battalions assigned to the brigade.

(3) Medical company. The forward medical company consists of a company headquarters, an ambulance platoon, and a trauma treatment platoon with a 40-patient holding capability. The company provides both unit (Level I) and divisional (Level II) health service support. This company also has a limited capability for resupply of Class VIII items.

f. The MSB supply element provides supply support for units in the division rear. It also maintains the division's reserve supplies (classes I, II, III, IV, and VII) to support the FSB and division aviation support battalion (DASB) supply companies with supplies that can not be throughput to forward areas. It provides water purification and supply as well as salvage collection service. MSB maintenance companies perform division-wide maintenance tasks. The number and types of companies vary with the type of division. They provide field maintenance for division units in the division rear. They also provide support beyond the capabilities of the FSB or DASB maintenance companies. Besides their base operations in the DSA, they provide teams to work in the areas of supported units as needed. The main MSB functions are depicted below.

(1) Headquarters and headquarters detachment. The headquarters and headquarters detachment includes a coordinating and technical staff.

(2) Supply and service company. The supply and service company provides receipt, temporary storage, and issue of Class I, II, IV, and VII supplies except aircraft, maps, airdrop, and rail supplies. It can store and issue 299,000 gallons of bulk POL per day (to include a 1-day supply of JP8). It also can operate an ATP where ammunition can be trans-shipped daily from corps vehicles to the using unit transportation. The company provides such field services as MA and salvage collection to the supported brigades and separate battalions or companies. The company also maintains the divisional reserve of Classes I, II, IV, and VII.

(3) Transportation motor transport company. The transportation motor transport company provides truck transportation for unit distribution of Class I, II, III (packaged), IV, and VII supplies. It transports the division reserve. It also furnishes vehicles to assist divisional elements with a requirement for supplemental transportation, to include emergency unit distribution of Class V supplies. The company provides heavy equipment transportation for movement or evacuation operations.

(4) Light maintenance company. The light maintenance company plans and directs DS maintenance operations of divisional equipment for which the MSB is responsible. It maintains the divisional Class IX ASL. It also operates the reparable exchange service for selected repair parts and maintains the divisional operational readiness floats.

(5) Heavy maintenance company. The heavy maintenance company provides on-site and combat system-oriented maintenance support through maintenance support teams. DS maintenance support for-

  • Automotive equipment.
  • Artillery equipment.
  • Tank turrets.
  • Fire control systems.
  • Engineer equipment.
  • Small arms.

(6) Missile support company. The company stocks Class IX repair parts for the missile systems listed below. It also repairs and exchanges selected items for these systems. The company does not maintain aircraft missile or armament subsystems. The armament platoon at the AMC provides missile maintenance support for aircraft. The missile support company provides DS maintenance support for-

  • Dragon.
  • Vulcan.
  • Chaparral.
  • Ground TOW.
  • Forward area alerting radar systems.
  • Portable common thermal night sights.

(7) Medical company. The medical company operates the division clearing station. It provides unit (Level I) and divisional (Level II) health service support to units in the DSA. It consists of a company headquarters, an ambulance platoon, and a treatment platoon. The company has a 40-patient holding capability. It also has an optical section, a mental health section, and a preventive medicine section.

g. The aircraft maintenance company is either organic to the ASB or a separate company under the DISCOM. It provides AVIM support for the division aviation aircraft, aircraft armament, avionics, and aircraft peculiar items for ground support equipment. It also provides aircraft repair parts, aircraft end item support, and reinforcing aviation unit maintenance.

h. The MSB provides area CSS coverage to the aviation brigade. The aviation brigade also may coordinate with the DISCOM for area support from the FSB when aviation brigade units are in the forward area. When the aviation brigade is task-organized with other combat and CS units and is functioning as a task force (TF) headquarters, the DISCOM may organize the required CSS assets to form a service support element in DS of the aviation brigade.

i. Support from the DISCOM is coordinated between the aviation brigade and the support operations section of the DISCOM headquarters. Constant communication is maintained with this section so that the aviation brigade's needs are communicated quickly. Much of the support is provided on an area basis. The aviation brigade S4 continuously updates the DISCOM on the status of fuel and ammunition; the DISCOM alerts the appropriate support system. SOPs are established between the aviation brigade and the DISCOM; these SOPs speed resupply of critical items and cover the CSS for the aviation brigade when communications are lost.

j. Heavy divisions are fielding a structure that includes an aviation support battalion (DASB). Like an FSB, it is totally committed to 100-percent support to the maneuver unit; the aviation brigade. The DASB provides supply and ground maintenance. It also provides aviation intermediate maintenance to the division aviation brigade. It operates near the aviation brigade's base of operations. The DASB increases combat capabilities and allows the aviation brigade to be more responsive to the division and ground brigades. It allows longer time on station for the aviation assets. It also permits the aviation brigade to operate in forward areas; at the same time, it reduces the logistical burden of ground maneuver units. When the division aviation brigade has a DASB in support, the brigade S4 will funnel all logistics requirements to the DASB support operations. FM 63-23 addresses the operation of the DASB.


SECTION III. Supply Operations

Supply is the procurement, distribution, maintenance (while in storage), and salvage of supplies, including determination of type and quantity. Supplies are the commodities required to equip, maintain, and operate a military force.



Aviation brigades require and use the established 10 classes of supply. Definitions and examples of each class of supply are discussed below. Miscellaneous supplies include water, maps, captured enemy materiel, and salvage materiel. Supplies are further divided into subclasses. These subclasses denote requirements, such as aviation parts-designated as Class IX(A)-used by system-specific assets.

a. Class I-Subsistence items and gratuitous health and welfare items (B-rations, meals ready to eat (MREs), and fresh fruits and vegetables).

b. Class II-Equipment, other than principal items, prescribed in authorization and allowance tables (individual equipment, clothing, tentage, tool sets, and administrative supplies).

c. Class III-Petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL), further defined as packaged and bulk POL. Class III (packaged) includes hydraulic and insulating oils, chemical products, antifreeze compounds, and compressed gases. Class III (bulk) includes multi-fuels and gasoline.

d. Class IV-Construction and barrier materials (lumber, sandbags, and barbed wire).

e. Class V-Ammunition such as small arms, artillery projectiles, antitank missiles, explosives, mines, bombs, and special ammunition including chemical and nuclear munitions.

f. Class VI-Personal-demand items normally purchased through the exchange system such as candy and cigarettes. Class VI normally is requisitioned and distributed with Class I supplies.

g. Class VII-Major end items (vehicles, self-propelled artillery pieces, missile launchers, aircraft, and major weapon systems).

h. Class VIII-Medical material (medicine, stretchers, surgical instruments, and medical equipment repair parts).

i. Class IX-Repair parts and components, including kits and assemblies, and items required for support of all equipment (batteries, spark plugs, and fuel lines).

j. Class X-Materiel required to support civil affairs operations such as a commercial-design tractor for use by local civilians.


Supplies are requested and issued using three categories of supply: scheduled, demanded, and regulated.

a. Scheduled. Scheduled supplies may be reasonably predicted. Requisitions usually are not required for replenishment. Requirements are based mainly on troop strength, equipment density, forecasts, or daily usage or a combination of these factors. Scheduled supplies normally are shipped to users based on preplanned distribution schemes. Classes I, III (bulk), V, and VI are typically scheduled supplies. Classes I and VI are based on troop strength; Class III (bulk) is based on long-range forecasts, equipment densities, and historic usage factors; and Class V is based on densities of weapons and the mission.

b. Demanded. A requisition must be submitted for demanded supplies. Items in Classes II, III (packaged), IV, VII, and IX are considered demanded supplies.

c. Regulated. Regulated supplies may be scheduled or demanded. However, the commander and his staff must closely control these supplies because of scarcity, high cost, or mission needs. Any item or group of items may be designated as regulated; normally some items in Classes II, III (bulk), IV, V, and VII are regulated. If an item is regulated, the commander who so designated it, must approve its release before it is issued. Items designated as command-regulated are identified in operation plans and orders.


Supplying units distribute supplies to using units by two methods: supply point distribution and unit distribution. Aviation brigades use both methods.

a. Supply Point Distribution. In supply point distribution, the supplying unit issues supplies from a supply point to a receiving unit. The receiving unit must go to the supply point and use its own transportation in moving the supplies to its area.

b. Unit Distribution. In unit distribution, the supplying unit issues supplies and delivers them to the receiving unit's area in transportation assets that the supplying unit has arranged. Throughput is a form of unit distribution in which shipments bypass intermediate supply points or installations. Throughput eliminates the need for double handling. Thus, throughput reduces exposure to pilferage and damage. It results in more efficient use of transportation assets; it is also more responsive to the needs of users. Aviation brigades and subordinate units often employ the unit distribution method of supply.


a. Class I (and Class VI when applicable).

(1) The class I supply system is similar to the system used to distribute other classes of supplies. During the initial phase of the conflict, the system pushes rations. Personnel strength, unit location, type of operations, and feeding capabilities determine the quantities and type of rations ordered and pushed forward. As the battlefield stabilizes, the supply system converts to a pull system. Rations are throughput as far forward as possible.

(2) Class I ration requests are consolidated by subordinate battalions and separate companies. They are forwarded through the aviation brigade or the appropriate support area, if operating independently, to the appropriate MMC. These requests are based on personnel strength.

(3) The supporting Class I distribution point forwards requests to the MMC. The MMC has the rations shipped to distribution points; there the units can pick up the rations via supply point distribution. Normally, a water point is collocated with the Class I point. Rations are segregated in unit lots or item piles; or the truck-to-truck method may be used. Extra rations are usually not available at distribution points. Therefore, ration requests must accurately reflect personnel present for duty, to include any attached personnel.

(4) The brigade S4 generates ration replenishment requests for basic loads. He also monitors the operational ration requests. Figure 5-1 illustrates the requisition and distribution of Class I supplies.

b. Classes II, III (packaged), IV, and VII.

(1) Units normally requisition these items. The requisitions originate at the battalion. They are consolidated at the brigade unless the battalion is operating under another headquarters. The requests are then compiled at the next support echelon such as a CSG, an MSB, or an FSB. These requests are then forwarded to the applicable MMC. Normally, the items are authorized for shipment to the supply point in the support area via unit distribution. The items are then distributed to the battalion using supply point distribution. In some cases, the items may be distributed by throughput distribution from the theater, corps, or division to subordinate battalions.

(2) The greatest activity for requesting and distributing these items occurs before combat operations begin. Many of these items are "command-controlled" because of their criticality. Figure 5-1 also shows the typical flow of Classes II, III (packaged), IV, and VII.

(3) A special management system-weapon system replacement operations-replaces critical pieces of equipment for Class VII major weapon systems. The weapon system, to include personnel and ancillary equipment as well as the major end item, is selectively replaced consistent with available resources and priorities. Associated with weapon system replacement operations are the ready-for-issue weapon system, the linkup, and the ready-to-fight weapon system. A ready-for-issue weapon system has been removed from preservation. All ancillary equipment-such as fire control, machineguns, radio mounts, and radios-has been installed. The vehicle has been fully fueled and ammunition has been stored. Basic issue items are packed in boxes. The linkup joins a ready-for-issue weapon system with a trained crew that results in a ready-to-fight weapon system. The ready-to-fight weapon system is a completely processed weapon system with crew. The receiving unit is then responsible for local SOP mission training.

(4) The battalion or TF executive officer is the weapon system manager for the battalion; he coordinates the efforts of the S1, the S4, and other CSS assets. The XO allocates weapon system resources to companies that are supervised by the battalion S1 and S4 and their counterparts at the next higher level of command. A situation report is kept current by spot reports. The SITREP provides information to the commander and staff on the status of weapon systems within the companies. When losses occur, the appropriate requisition is placed into the system.

(5) The aviation brigade XO normally is the weapon system manager for the brigade. The brigade is a tactical headquarters that influences combat power largely through task organization. It is not just an administrative headquarters. The weapon system manager at the brigade level monitors weapon systems; however, he does not directly allocate them to the battalions.


Figure 5-1. Requisition and distribution of Class I, Class II, Class III (P), IV, and VII supplies


c. Class III (bulk).

(1) Units normally use fuel forecasts to requisition bulk POL. Units submit requisitions to higher headquarters to cover estimated fuel usage for a specified period. Companies and battalions estimate the amount of fuel they will require based on projected operations, usually for the period covering 72 hours beyond the next day. The battalion S4 consolidates these estimates. He then forwards them through the brigade S4 or supporting unit to the appropriate materiel management center (MMC); the MMC coordinates to have the fuel available in or near the support area when it is needed by the units. Annex J has further information on this subject and FARP operations.

(2) Bulk POL is delivered to the support area Class III supply point by unit distribution. The battalion fuel trucks may be issued the fuel at this supply point. Then they return to the battalion area either as a part of logistics packages or to refueling points in battalion FARPs.

(3) The basic load of Class III (bulk) for the battalion is the hauling capacity of the unit's fuel vehicles and the capacity of the fuel tanks on all the battalion's vehicles. Topping off vehicles when possible, regardless of the fuel level of the vehicle, is essential to continuous operations.

(4) A key exception to this principle is refuel-on-the move operations. Though these operations may use unit assets, typically they involve use of equipment of supporting fuel units. The purpose is to ensure a unit's vehicles and bulk fuel assets are topped before an operation. Details are in FM 10-71.

(5) Class III (B) for the division and corps aviation brigade is delivered by corps assets. The division can store a 1-day supply of Class III (B) with division assets. This fuel is stored and distributed from collapsible bladders or a 5,000-gallon tanker trailer. Class III (B) normally is delivered to the MSB and routinely delivered by corps as far forward as the BSA for the aviation brigade as a wholesale customer. However, it may be delivered as far forward as combat trains (FARP) in specific situations. Figure 5-2 illustrates Class III (bulk) supply operations for aviation brigades.


Figure 5-2. Class III (bulk) supply operations for aviation brigades


d. Class V and Class V(A) (conventional ammunition).

(1) Effective and efficient ammunition support requires integrated information and distribution management at all levels from the combat user to the CONUS sustaining base. Ammunition managers use combat loads rather than the previously used days of supply. Combat loads measure the amount of Class V a unit can carry into combat on its weapons system.

(2) Conventional ammunition-Class V and Class V(A)-is the standard ammunition associated with conventional weapons such as M60 machineguns for the UH-60 Black Hawk and weapon systems mounted on the AH-64 Apache. These classes include standard explosives such as hand grenades, claymores, and C-4 and pyrotechnics (flares, star clusters, and smoke grenades). Special ammunition includes nuclear ammunition and special missile warheads and rocket motors such as Lance missiles.

(3) The required supply rate (RSR) is the estimated amount of ammunition needed to sustain the operations of a combat force without restrictions for a specific period. RSR is expressed in rounds per weapon per day. This RSR is used to state ammunition requirements. The S3 normally formulates the RSR.

(4) The controlled supply rate (CSR) is the rate of ammunition consumption that can be supported for a given period. The CSR is based on availability, facilities, and transportation. It is expressed in rounds per unit, individual, or weapon system per day. CSRs are established by the commander for his subordinate units. A unit may not exceed its CSR for ammunition without authority from higher headquarters. The S4 matches the CSR against the RSR; he then remedies shortages by requesting more ammunition, suballocating ammunition, or prioritizing support to subordinate units.

(5) The basic load is the quantity of ammunition authorized by the theater commander for wartime purposes and required to be designated for and carried into combat by a unit. The basic load provides the unit with enough ammunition to sustain itself in combat until the unit can be resupplied.

(6) Ammunition is normally requested by the battalion S4 on a DA Form 581 (Request for Issue or Turn-in of Ammunition); this form is forwarded to the appropriate MMC or designated ATP representatives. Once the request has been authenticated, the ammunition is issued by supply point distribution to the battalion or brigade Class III/V platoon trucks either at the ATP or at the corps ASP consistent with the CSR in effect.

(7) At the division, all FSBs can run one ATP. These ATPs are located in the BSA and contain high-tonnage, high-usage ammunition to support all the division units operating in the brigade area. The ammunition is brought to the ATP by throughput distribution from the corps on stake-and-platform trailers. The ammunition is then transferred to the battalion trucks or off-loaded for future transfer. All other ammunition is found in the ASP in the corps support area; this area is normally located directly behind the rear of the division area. In the heavy division, small arms ammunition normally is found in the ASP; tank and TOW missile ammunition is found in the ATPs. Figure 5-3 shows the flow of Class V for aviation brigades.

(8) For maintenance and accountability, the theater normally stocks chemical ammunition. Chemical ammunition is deployed based on national policy and theater directives. When deployed, chemical ammunition will normally be issued at a chemical ASP that is collocated with the conventional ASP.

(9) FM 9-6 details the doctrinal layout of a mature ammunition system in a developed theater.

e. Class V and Class V(A) (special ammunition). Nuclear ammunition requires special authorization and handling. Nuclear ASPs are set up by theater and corps special ammunition units to store and distribute nuclear ammunition. A firing unit is given a prescribed nuclear load (PNL). This load tells the unit the amount of nuclear ammunition that the unit is authorized to carry. These allocations allow the commanders to plan the number and type of strikes they will be authorized for a given time. The establishment of these PNLs and allocations do not constitute authority to fire the ammunition. These allocations also do not mean that the commander has physical custody or possession of the ammunition. It takes a command directive to stock or replenish PNLs. All special ammunition is controlled by the NCA through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Stringent physical security and technical maintenance requirements apply to all nuclear ammunition.


Figure 5-3. The flow of Class V supplies for aviation brigades


f. Class VI. Class VI supplies are Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) items for sale to troops and authorized individuals. Class VI supplies may be available through local procurement, transfer from theater stocks, or requisitioning from AAFES in CONUS. Available shipping space dictates Class VI supply to the theater. Class VI supply responsibilities differ significantly from other classes of supply. Health and comfort items (formally referred to as ration supplement sundry packages) are class VI supply items managed by the Defense Personnel Supply Center. They have a national stock number and are issued through the standard supply system (normally class I supply channels) without cost to soldiers in the early stages of a deployment. They contain items such as disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal care items. AR 30-7 and DLA Regulation 4145.36 have additional information on these packages.

g. Class VII. Class VII supplies consist of major end items such as launchers, tanks, vehicles, and aircraft. A major end item is a final combination of end products which is ready to use. Because of their importance to combat readiness and their high costs, class VII items usually are controlled through command channels. If not, the supporting MMC controls them. Each echelon intensely manages the requisitioning, distribution, maintenance, and disposal of these items to ensure visibility and operational readiness. Units will report losses of major items through both supply and command channels. Replacement of losses requires careful coordination and management. As discussed earlier, weapon system managers at each command level work to maximize the number of operational weapon systems. Replacement requires coordination among materiel managers, Class VII supply units, transporters, maintenance elements, and personnel managers.

h. Class IX and Class IX(A).

(1) The MMC normally manages Class IX. The maintenance units at the various levels of command no Within the subordinate aviation battalions, the AMC (AVUM) maintains prescribed load lists (PLLs) of repair parts; these lists are based mainly on demand-supported stockage criteria. These PLLs allow the units to have on hand high-usage, high-demand items; thus, quick repairs can be made. An authorized stockage list of repair parts is main tained at the DS or AVIM level. The ASL is a list of all items authorized to be stocked at a specific level of supply. This ASL becomes the supply point from which the units can maintain their stockage of PLL items at authorized levels. These supply units also provide a direct exchange service for repairable components. The MMC calculates stockage levels for the ASL.

(2) Class IX requisition begins with the unit's filling requisitions from its PLL. If the item is not stocked on the PLL or is at zero balance, the requisition is passed to the supply unit. This unit will fill the request from the ASL stocks or pass the requisition to the MMC. The ASL Class IX for ground equipment is normally maintained by the light maintenance company of the maintenance support battalion. The AMC maintains the Class IX(A) ASL for aviation repair parts. Figure 5-4 shows the requisition and distribution for Classes IX and IX(A).


Figure 5-4. The requisition and distribution for Classes IX and IX (A)


(3) The unit PLLs are highly mobile and travel with the units. Some ASL stockage of high-turnover repair parts may accompany forward support elements in the support area.


Logistics and transportation may be provided by host nation organizations and facilities. Common classes of supply may be available and obtained from local civilians. Items may include barrier and construction materials, fuel for vehicles, and some food and medical supplies. Requisition and distribution are coordinated through logistics and liaison channels.


SECTION IV. Maintenance Operations

Tactical success on today's battle field demands that equipment be maintained, recovered, repaired, or replaced as quickly as possible. Good maintenance practices, forward positioning of maintenance units, effective repair parts and equipment replacement systems, and clear priorities for recovery and repair are vital.



a. Maintenance is a combat multiplier. When opposing forces have relative parity in numbers and quality of equipment, the force that combines skillful use of equipment with an effective maintenance system has a decided advantage. It has an initial advantage in that it enters battle with equipment that is operational and likely to remain so longer. It has a subsequent advantage in that it can return damaged and disabled equipment to the battle faster. Gaining these advantages is the real purpose of a maintenance system.

b. Forward maintenance elements are critical to the tactical operational success of the maintenance concept; elements at all levels must work together in concert to ensure the attainment of the unit goals and objectives. They must have the proper personnel, equipment, tools, and replacement parts. Personnel must be well trained in the theory and principles of systems and capable of diagnosing and correcting faults. In addition, they must have immediate access to high usage parts. Readiness level maintenance units must concentrate on the rapid turn around of equipment to the battle, while sustainment level maintenance units repair and return equipment to the supply system. METT-T and command policy restrict the type or level of repairs each unit performs; units should not strictly adhere to arbitrary repair time intervals.

c. Traditionally and correctly, fixing is viewed primarily as a CSS function; it is central to tactical and operational success. A viable maintenance system is agile and synchronized to the combat scheme of fire and maneuver. It anticipates force requirements. A commander who has 70 percent of his aircraft operational may wisely delay an attack if he can realistically expect the fixing process to have 90 percent ready within 24 hours. As an alternative, he can weight the battle by allocating replacement systems as discussed earlier.


The maintenance system is organized around forward support. All damaged or malfunctioning equipment should be repaired on-site or close to the site. Thus, timely repairs can be made, which keeps most equipment operationally ready. Maintenance normally is performed at four levels-unit, DS, GS, and depot. The principles used to implement this concept are discussed in the following paragraphs.

a. Flexible Unit Structure. In a flexible unit structure, maintenance forces are tailored to the weapon systems they are supporting. For example, maintenance support teams-formed from DS maintenance units-are weapon- system specific; these teams are placed forward to support the brigade. Another example is the formation of BDA teams within company and battalion trains for quick, accurate assessments. These teams expedite rapid vehicle recovery or evacuation to the level of support needed to correct the problem. Individual operators and users of assigned equipment perform unit maintenance. Each piece of equipment requires preventive maintenance checks and services. This maintenance category also requires scheduled and unscheduled inspections and replacement of some components. Unit maintenance maximizes the operational readiness of equipment by preventive maintenance and early diagnosis of problems. This level of maintenance is found in companies and battalions.

b. Direct Support. In DS, maintenance units are organized to repair weapon systems quickly. These repairs enable systems to be operationally ready. DS maintenance units offer one-stop maintenance service to the supported units. They provide extensive maintenance expertise and capabilities and repair parts supply support to units in the brigade. DS maintenance units are tailored to weapon systems within the brigade. They have extensive component repair capabilities. This level of maintenance is normally found in the maintenance company of the ASB, FSB, and MSB of the DISCOM and in corps and COSCOM maintenance units.

c. General Support. In GS, maintenance units repair items in support of the supply system. GS maintenance is characterized by extensive component repair capability. It supports the supply system within the theater by repairing damaged systems for issue through the supply system as Class II, VII, or IX items. This level of maintenance normally is found in corps and US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) assets. In wartime, GS maintenance may be selectively curtailed to free personnel for DS work.

d. Depot Maintenance. Overhaul and rebuilding operations characterize depot-level maintenance. This category of maintenance is normally associated with US Army Materiel Command activities. This command supports the overall DA inventory management program. These activities are normally confined to CONUS-based depots; however, limited depot maintenance is found in AMCOM.


FM 20-22 describes technical aspects of recovery. The recovery manager coordinates recovery operations with the overall repair effort to best support the commander's priorities and the tactical situation. The goal is timely return of equipment to operation with the least expenditure of resources.

a. Recovery Principles. The general principles below apply to recovery operations.

(1) The preferred method of recovery is for the unit to recover its own equipment. The unit is responsible for recovering its own disabled equipment with wreckers, tow bars, and recovery teams. When it lacks the physical means to recover an item, the unit requests assistance from the supporting maintenance element.

(2) Management of recovery operations is centralized at the battalion whenever possible. This centralization does not preclude delegating recovery authority for specific operations to company maintenance teams.

(3) The commander organizes the recovery resources to best support the unit mission. Changes in the type and quantity of supported equipment, as well as the tactical situation, may require reorganization of recovery assets.

(4) Recovery operations are coordinated with the maintenance effort. Maintenance personnel repair equipment as far forward as possible within the limits of the tactical situation, amount of damage, and available resources. Repair or recovery decisions are based on maintenance time guidelines. The estimated repair time helps determine the maintenance activity to which the item should be recovered.

(5) A 24-hour capability is required. Operations require continuous, responsive recovery support. Roadside recovery operations on an area basis may be rotated among maintenance units to provide recovery support beyond the capability of using units.

(6) The proper recovery equipment is used for the recovery mission. Wreckers normally recover wheeled vehicles; tracked recovery vehicles recover track equipment. However, the best available recovery vehicle is used to support an increasing workload with a limited number of recovery assets. For example, if a lighter recovery vehicle is not available, a heavier vehicle, such as a medium recovery vehicle (M88), may have to recover an armored personnel carrier.

(7) Recovery vehicles return equipment no farther to the rear than necessary, usually to the maintenance collection point of the supporting maintenance unit. Thus recovery vehicles are kept available in the forward areas. DS units use heavy equipment transporters to evacuate heavy items received from using units.

(8) Accurate location information is provided to the recovery manager and crews. Ground guides may be required when specific location information is not available or where the tactical situation is not well defined.

(9) Route selection for the towing of multiple vehicles is important. Safe operation requires that the combined load not exceed the recovery vehicle's braking ability on a steep grade.

(10) Recovery missions that might interfere with combat operations or compromise security are coordinated with the tactical commander concerned. When recovery assets are limited, the commander sets the priority based on his need for the item and the tactical situation. The type of disability also affects the priority when two or more like items must be recovered. In general, combat vehicles are recovered first.

b. Priority Sequence. The following sequence usually provides the maximum return for recovery effort expended:

  • Classified items.
  • Terrain-stuck items.
  • Items with failed or damaged components needing little repair.
  • Items requiring long recovery and repair times before they are returned to service.
  • Contaminated items.
  • Uneconomically repairable items.
  • Enemy materiel.

c. Alternatives. Local options are considered and tried before a recovery mission is attempted. Field-expedient repair and self- or like-vehicle recovery may do the job without a recovery vehicle.

d. Recovery Support. Recovery support is provided on a unit or an area basis. Using units normally provide support on a unit basis. Maintenance units may have an area support mission for using unit backup support for out-of-sector units operating in the area.

e. Recovery Initiation. Equipment recovery begins where the item became disabled.

(1) When the equipment operator or crewmember detects an inoperable condition, he assesses the damage. He then acts based on his analysis and the tactical situation.

(2) The equipment operator or crewmember informs the chain of command. The unit SOP prescribes notification procedures; these vary based on the type of unit, equipment, communications available, tactical situation, and location of equipment. Combat vehicles usually have radio communications. Other means may have to be used for reporting on disabled tactical and administrative equipment. Lack of communication for out-of-sector equipment requires the operator or crew member to act independently; he may have to coordinate directly with other units in the area or with the supporting maintenance unit for repair or recovery support.

f. Ground Support Equipment Maintenance.

(1) Commanders are aware of the readiness status of their GSE at all times. This equipment assists maintenance personnel in performing their maintenance tasks. A poor state of maintenance may be due to repair and operation of the equipment by untrained personnel. Commanders and maintenance personnel watch for signs of equipment neglect such as-

  • Overdue inspection dates.
  • Little or no stockage of repair parts.
  • Missing maintenance records.
  • Storage of end items for long periods.
  • Leaks and missing parts.
  • Improperly marked or painted equipment.
  • Dirty equipment.
  • Missing BII.
  • Malfunctioning equipment.

(2) Though not all-inclusive, these indicators provide the commander and maintenance personnel with a general idea of the status of the GSE of the unit. Equipment often continues in a nonmission-capable status because parts are difficult to obtain. Supervisory personnel ensure that this shortage does not result from poor supply requisitioning procedures and uncontrolled cannibalization. All personnel should be aware of the importance of GSE to the overall mission. They must ensure that GSE is properly operated and maintained.

(3) The light maintenance company of the MSB provides DS for GSE in the aviation brigade.

(4) The maintenance company of the DASB provides DS for GSE in the aviation brigade of the heavy divisions.


On the modern battlefield, aviation maintenance is performed on a 24-hour-a-day basis. The governing concept is to "replace forward, repair rear" so that aviation units can rapidly return aircraft to meet immediate battle needs. Damaged or inoperable aircraft that require time-consuming repair actions are handled in more secure areas toward the rear. Aviation maintenance is divided into two categories-scheduled and unscheduled.

a. Scheduled Maintenance. Scheduled maintenance includes predetermined cyclic inspections of aircraft systems and replacement of components. These recurring events are scheduled either on a calendar or flying-hour basis. The frequency of inspections or replacements is listed in each aircraft technical manual. The intervals stated in these manuals are maximum intervals that will not be exceeded except during critical combat operations when authorized by the unit commander. All-inclusive airframe and subsystem inspections are performed (in different depth) at daily and phased intervals. The exact calendar or flying-hour scheduled maintenance intervals may differ by type of aircraft. During critical battlefield situations, the potential of grounding aircraft or overflying scheduled maintenance events should be avoided. All imminent scheduled maintenance should be accomplished before deployment or entry into surge operations. This consideration includes aircraft being initially deployed to the battlefield or those already there that are being prepared for surge operations. The guidelines, standards, and limitations for early action are included in SOPs governing specific operations. The following options should be considered when scheduled maintenance is delayed:

(1) Evaluate resources available (people, parts, tools, and time) and adjust them accordingly.

(2) Seek help. The supporting AVIM company can augment unit maintenance personnel during surge activities. AVIM repairers can perform inspections and repair and replacement operations at the AVUM location.

(3) Reduce nonproductive time. Exempt necessary maintenance personnel from other duties. Reduce maintenance distractors such as equipment shortages or insufficient parts and publications.

(4) Reverse the work schedule to perform night maintenance. Establish split shift maintenance operations.

(5) Reduce the mission load. Slow daily missions to allow time for collective/corrective maintenance.

(6) Defer maintenance according to TM 1-1500-328-23.

b. Unscheduled Maintenance. Unscheduled maintenance is maintenance that is generated by premature or unexpected aircraft system or component malfunction or failure or that is required to correct damage incurred from improper operation or battlefield activity. Because it is not predictable, units must be doctrinally and organizationally prepared to apply responsive corrective action on an as-needed basis. The aircraft combat maintenance and battlefield damage repair concept, discussed in paragraph 5-14, applies to such occasions. FM 1-500 covers Army aviation maintenance in more detail.


The support system is composed of a three-level structure: aviation unit maintenance, aviation intermediate maintenance, and depot maintenance. AVUM and AVIM organizations are found on the battlefield; they are addressed in the maintenance allocation charts. Specific organizational structures vary somewhat, depending on whether they are in a division (light or heavy) or corps. The basic concepts of aircraft maintenance are discussed below. These include tasks and procedures within AVUM and AVIM organizations and AVUM-AVIM unit coordination. The repair manual for each aircraft contains allocation charts that give specific tasks assigned to each level.


a. All operational aviation units are responsible for AVUM. Unit maintenance operations should ensure that the maximum number of reliable, fully mission-capable aircraft are available to the battlefield commander. The general concept is for crewchiefs assigned to specific aircraft to perform daily servicing, daily inspections, limited troubleshooting, and high-frequency, remove-and-replace aircraft repairs. Normally, an AVUM element within the organization performs scheduled maintenance (other than daily inspections) and the more time-consuming operator-level repairs. In the attack battalion, for example, attack company personnel perform crewchief maintenance. AVUM assets within the battalion, normally the Delta company, accomplish the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and longer-duration repairs. Specific structures differ among different organizations, including battalions and companies within the same division.

b. During operations, most AVUM platoons or companies are located in the forward portion of the support area. However, depending on the situation, elements of the AVIM may be found in the appropriate support area, battalion trains, or battalion FARP. The AVUM maintains aircraft brought to rear areas; it also sends teams forward to assist with on-site aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repairs and to recover downed aircraft.

c. In some situations, normal maintenance procedures must be expedited to meet battle objectives. In such cases, the unit commander authorizes the use of aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair procedures. Aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair is an AVUM responsibility with backup from supporting AVIM units. The concept uses specialized assessment criteria, repair kits, and trained personnel. Thus, damaged aircraft can be returned to the battle as soon as possible. Often, such "return to battle" repairs are only temporary. Permanent repairs may be required when the tactical situation permits. The aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair system multiplies force capability in a combat environment by augmenting the existing peacetime maintenance system.

d. The aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team is formed from AVUM platoon assets. A typical team has a trained inspector (MOS 67) for damage assessment, two or three repairers (MOS 67/68), and a maintenance test pilot (MTP). The makeup of a team for a specific mission depends on the maintenance work anticipated.

e. The team uses aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair manuals. These manuals contain revised aircraft damage assessment criteria and repair procedures. The manuals are formally processed, validated publications for use only in combat environments and as authorized by the unit commander. They are prepared for each type of aircraft and contain combat damage inspection and assessment techniques. They provide combat area maintenance serviceability and defer criteria and expedient repair procedures for quick-fix or temporary repairs. They also contain cannibalization techniques for quick removal of critical components and structures from nonrepairable and nonrecoverable aircraft.

f. The aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team will use specially designed combat repair kits for repairing major aircraft systems. These suitcase-size toolkits can be carried by one person. The tools and materials will permit the team to make quick and temporary combat damage repairs.

g. An aircraft may be forced down on the battlefield. In this case, the aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair procedures below apply as time and security allow.

(1) The aircraft commander, or one of his crew, uses the aircraft radio, if it is operable and the tactical situation permits, to notify the parent AVUM commander of the problem. He requests aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair assistance. This information may have to be relayed through other aircraft operating in the area. The information includes-

(a) The location of the down site, an assessment of security, and the adaptability of the site-to include existing weather conditions-for inserting an aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team.

(b) The existence or evidence of chemical contamination.

(c) The enemy situation to include the ADA threat.

(d) An evaluation of aircraft damage so that aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair personnel, equipment, and parts requirements can be estimated.

(e) The condition of the crew and passengers and their ability to continue the mission or assist in repair ing the damage. For example, the aircraft commander may be able to fly the aircraft out; therefore, an aviator would not be needed on the aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team.

(f) The accessibility to the downed aircraft.

(2) The AVUM unit commander authorizes the dispatch, of an aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team to the site. The team will carry manuals, repair kits, materials, and repair parts.

(3) The initial on-site inspection by the team will determine the extent of damage. It also will provide the information necessary for a decision on whether to-

(a) Clear the aircraft for immediate return to battle, deferring any damage repairs to a later time.

(b) Apply permanent repairs, returning the aircraft to a completely serviceable condition.

(c) Apply temporary repairs that will safely allow return of the aircraft to meet immediate battle needs, deferring higher standard permanent repairs to a later time.

(d) Repair the aircraft to allow a one-time flight back to a more secure and better equipped maintenance area.

(e) Rig for aerial or ground recovery and make the necessary recovery arrangement.

(f) Cannibalize critical components and abandon or destroy the aircraft, if directed.

(4) One of the assessor's primary tasks is to determine the location of the damaged aircraft in relation to the battlefield and the extent of the threat. AD threats may make aerial recovery in forward areas of the battlefield impractical or of an unacceptably high risk. The assessor must be able to rapidly determine whether a one-time flight is feasible or if a quick-fix repair is possible. Thus, aircraft may not have to be destroyed (in place) to prevent capture or compromise. Once the battle subsides, maintenance decisions are based on standard operational maintenance practices. Deferring maintenance tasks is a "fly now, pay later" concept. Postponing maintenance increases availability for short periods only.


a. Preparing and Performing Recovery Operations. Aircraft recovery operations move inoperative aircraft from the battlefield to a maintenance facility. When an aircraft cannot be fixed for self-powered evacuation from the down site, it is prepared for movement directly to the first appropriate maintenance activity, using another aircraft or a surface vehicle. FM 1-513 contains detailed procedures for preparing for and performing recovery operations for specific aircraft.

b. Efforts Required for Recovery Operations. The aviation operational unit, using its AVUM assets, is responsible for aircraft recovery. Supporting AVIM units provide backup recovery support when aviation units are overloaded or complex aircraft disassembly is required. When medium helicopter support is required, corps assets normally are requested. Recovery operations require a highly coordinated effort. The effort required includes-among the owning organization-its AVIM support, the ground element in whose area the recovery takes place, and any organization providing aircraft or vehicle assets to complete the recovery. Overall coordination control of the recovery rests with the aviation brigade staff. In most cases, the aviation brigade will have to task subordinate lift elements to provide support or request assistance from the corps CH-47 Chinook battalion.

c. Aircraft Recovey Team. Each AVUM organization prepares for aircraft recovery contingencies by designating an aircraft recovery team to be dispatched to downed aircraft sites as the situation requires. This team consists of maintenance personnel, an MTP, and an aircraft inspector, who are trained in preparing aircraft for recovery. The team chief ensures that appropriate rigging and recovery equipment is identified, available, and prepared for short-notice recovery missions. The size and composition of the team depend on the type and size of the disabled aircraft, type of recovery aircraft or vehicle used, and length of time the recovery area remains accessible. The aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair team and the recovery team are sometimes the same.

d. Surface Recovery. When a downed aircraft cannot be flown out under its own power, the recovery team determines the best method of recovery and implements that recovery action. The basic decision is whether to use surface or aerial means to recover the aircraft. Surface recovery and evacuation use ground equipment and wheeled vehicles to deliver a disabled aircraft to a maintenance facility. The planning of a surface recovery follows logical steps. First is an evaluation of the aircraft to be recovered, the type of equipment and transportation means required for the recovery, and thorough reconnaissance and evaluation of available ground routes to and from the recovery site. Further considerations include the characteristics of the recovery site and factors concerning the tactical situation. These factors include likely enemy avenues of approach, mine fields, actions to minimize the danger of boobytraps in downed aircraft, tactical cover, and the need for escort troops or aerial security to protect against ambush. Surface recovery, when compared to aerial recovery, has both advantages and disadvantages.

(1) The advantages are-

(a) Enemy forces are unable to detect the movement of recovery assets unless enemy forces are relatively near those movement routes.

(b) Recovery equipment malfunction is unlikely to result in total loss of the aircraft during transport.

(2) The disadvantages are-

(a) The overall lapsed time for the recovery operation is much greater than that for aerial recovery. For example, recovery personnel and equipment assets are tied up for a long time; the threat is increased because of relatively long exposure time on the battlefield with slow-moving equipment.

(b) Often, a great amount of aircraft disassembly or modification is required to adapt the aircraft to surface travel. For example, shortening of height dimensions may be required to accommodate overhead road clearances.

(c) Ground routes must be accessible.

(d) Reconnaissance of the route must be meticulous.

(e) Surface recovery may tie up route security assets that are greatly needed elsewhere.

(f) Loading procedures and rough terrain travel can further damage the aircraft.

e. Aerial Recovery. Aerial recovery is accomplished by preparing the aircraft for movement, attaching suitable airlift recovery equipment and connecting it to the lifting helicopter, and flying the aircraft to the maintenance area. Planning for aerial recovery entails thorough analysis of the recovery site characteristics and the threat associated with relatively slow air movement over the battlefield. Aerial recovery, when compared to ground recovery, has both advantages and disadvantages.

(1) Advantages.

(a) It is much faster, minimizing the time consumed by recovery assets and reducing battlefield exposure time.

(b) Route reconnaissance requirements are considerably less.

(c) Less aircraft disassembly is required.

(d) Recovery site accessibility requirements are not as rigid.

(e) Security escort requirements are usually less.

(2) Disadvantages.

(a) Aircraft can be completely lost if recovery equipment fails. For example, the aircraft could be dropped because of faulty slings or improper hookup procedures.

(b) Although exposure time is less, the distances from which recovery is detectable are much greater.

(c) Loss of recovery assets through enemy action will more severely degrade total force fighting capabilities. Degradation occurs because of the versatility and relatively few numbers of utility and cargo helicopters, particularly chinook helicopters, in comparison to ground recovery vehicles.


a. Frequent and rapid relocation is typical of unit operations on the battlefield. This is particularly true for assault and attack helicopter assets. The AVUM element is normally separated from these companies, reducing the comparative number of moves. However, the AVUM commander still prepares to relocate the unit, or portions of it, often. During surge operations, these moves may be made as often as every 24 hours, based on METT-T. Frequent relocation of the platoons greatly affects maintenance operations. Critical assets-FARPs and aviation maintenance contact teams-move throughout the battlefield similarly. They are organized and equipped to ensure 100 percent transportability and mobility. Thus, maximum support is provided to aviation forces.

b. Mobility-related factors must be taken into account. The major ones are discussed below.

(1) The AVUM normally move at a rapid pace. AVUM and HHC assets are typically located in the brigade rear area and require 100-percent mobilization and 100-percent transportability. The frequency and rapidity of moves again depend on METT-T. An AVUM or a supporting asset may not be able to sustain maintenance support for aviation operations if it moves every 24 hours.

(2) Maintenance capabilities are greatly reduced during moves. At least a 4-hour loss of productive maintenance time can be anticipated at each end, plus actual movement time. Work should continue on critical aircraft repairs while other elements prepare the unit for movement. When movement is likely, aircraft requiring repairs that cannot be completed within 2 hours should be evacuated to AVIM.

(3) As a rule, during movements, communication and coordination between the AVUM element and the companies it supports are extremely difficult.


Aviation maintenance companies (AVIM) provide support-level maintenance for AVUM and operating organizations. AVIM units are either divisional or nondivisional. In terms of maintenance responsibility, they serve as the bridge between units that own and operate aircraft on the battlefield with the production line and overhaul depots located away from the battlefield. The goal of AVIM units in combat is the same as that of AVUM units: to provide the battlefield commander with the maximum number of fully mission-capable aircraft. Divisional and nondivisional AVIM units perform similar support functions.

a. Divisional AVIM Units. A divisional aviation maintenance company (AVIM) is assigned as a separate company, or as subordinate company in the Aviation Support Battalion, organic to the DISCOM. This company is structured to support the specific aircraft assigned to the division. These aircraft are usually observation, utility, and attack helicopters. It supports the aviation brigade by providing AVIM and reinforcing AVUM-level support at its base location in the Aviation Brigade Support Area, BSA, and forward team support in the operating unit areas.

(1) Base area maintenance. The main body of the AVIM unit is located in one of the rear support areas, usually the BSA. The unit performs extensive on-aircraft systems maintenance, including structural and airframe repairs. It repairs components for immediate reinstallation on aircraft or to support a repairable management program. It also performs AVIM level scheduled maintenance. The unit may serve as the next-level processing agency for aviation brigade supply transactions under an automated system, including the receipt, storage, and issue of repair parts and the control and distribution of aviation intensive management items. This will occur if the unit is established as a separate company, and not as a ASB configuration. When the work load for an AVIM unit becomes too great, some of the work load may be cross-leveled, or transferred, to a nondivisional AVIM unit.

(2) Forward team maintenance. The AVIM unit dispatches teams forward to assist operating units with AVUM overload situations, aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair actions, and aircraft recoveries. The functions of AVIM aircraft combat maintenance and battle damage repair and recovery teams are the same as those for AVUM-level teams. Such forward support is on an as-requested basis. When a commander encounters or anticipates a need for AVIM forward assistance, he makes the request through procedures prearranged and detailed in external support agreements or SOPs. The commanders at AVUM and AVIM levels prepare SOPs and coordinate them with all organizations concerned, ensuring that they are updated upon situational changes. Guidance includes--

  • Request procedures and criteria.
  • Communication nets.
  • Team composition requirements.
  • Tactical considerations.
  • Equipment requirements.
  • Team administrative support provisions.
  • Any data unique to the requirement circumstances.

b. Nondivisional AVIM Units. The primary mission of the nondivisional aviation intermediate maintenance companies (AVIM) is to provide the full scope of support services to corps nondivisional aviation units. A secondary mission is to reinforce divisional AVIM companies. This reinforcing support may include forward team maintenance and back-up recovery actions. Under the ARI structure, "pass-back" activities must be kept to a minimum. The robustness of the corps aviation maintenance battalion, which can control from two to eight nondivisional AVIM units, will determine the extent of reinforcing support provided to divisional AVIM units. When adequately manned, nondivisional AVIM units can perform all functions normally tasked to divisional AVIM units. The cross-leveling of nondivisional work is managed by the corps aviation maintenance battalion. The divisional AVIM employment discussed above also applies to the nondivisional AVIM unit, except for differences in the organizational and battlefield placements of divisional and nondivisional AVIM maintenance elements.


a. AVIM units are located to meet the requirements, and be responsive to, the aviation brigade. Frequent and rapid moves may disrupt maintenance activities. AVIM elements are required to be 100-percent transportable and 50-percent mobile to provide critical and rapid support to aviation units. AVIM units may have to relocate to the corps rear area, particularly during defensive operations, to ensure adequate facilities and time to complete heavy maintenance requirements such as phases. Normally, divisional AVIM units move every 3 to 7 days and corps AVIM units, every 8 to 10 days. However, METT-T and the commander's intent may dictate otherwise.

b. Major mobility-related factors should be considered. These are discussed below.

(1) Maintenance capabilities are greatly reduced during moves. At least a 6-hour loss of productive maintenance time can be anticipated, plus actual movement time.

(2) When movement is likely, provisions are made for the disposition of aircraft requiring repairs that cannot be completed within 4 hours. Depending on the specific situation, this disposition entails coordination with corps for use of medium-lift helicopters for air evacuation and preparation of aircraft for one-time flights. This requirement poses a significant problem; most of the aircraft at AVIM level are in for repairs that require more than 4 hours. Upon arrival at a new location, an AVIM commander assesses the capability of conducting the next move. Then he coordinates the necessary support for the move prior to the requirement, particularly the evacuation of inoperable aircraft.


a. Army doctrine calls for full around-the-clock aviation operations. This doctrine requires 24-hour-a-day aircraft maintenance capabilities. Working on aircraft day and night appreciably shortens calendar repair time for aircraft undergoing major maintenance. Maintenance completed at night on aircraft that have flown all day allows those same aircraft to be assigned to missions early the next day.

b. Light discipline is imperative to night maintenance activities on the modern battlefield. When a unit operates close to the FLOT, light suppression precautions must be more restrictive. Maintenance actions should be centered around performing tasks inside closed blackout shelters (when available), as opposed to working outside with subdued lighting devices. Units work with self-powered light under lightweight portable blackout enclosures that can be easily moved from one aircraft or location to another. Forward night maintenance inside large (full aircraft) lighted blackout shelters is only performed if enough internal lighting can be provided without the need for noise-producing power generators.

c. The scenario plays a major role in determining the extent of night maintenance that can be performed safely and effectively. The open desert terrain of the Mideast scenario lends itself to long-distance visibility of the faintest light; that same light is not detectable from a comparable distance in the forested, hilly European scenario.

d. Certain tasks can be done at night if light discipline is used. However, maintenance jobs that require rotor blade turning or engine run (rotor track, fuel control adjustment) are done outside and generally require significant area lighting. Thus adequate light discipline is imposed and tasks are delayed until daylight.

e. There is no single, all-encompassing definitive concept for night aircraft maintenance operations. Each organization establishes and alters its plan for implementing night operations as specific environmental conditions and changes in threats are encountered. That is, as a unit moves forward into more open terrain, its night maintenance considerations are considerably different from when it moves rearward or into a more closed environment.

f. In developing procedures and criteria, the safety-of-flight standards must be maintained at the same level as those for daytime maintenance; also the security of the unit must not be compromised. FM 1-500 contains detailed night maintenance considerations. Commanders establish comprehensive, flexible procedures for conducting night maintenance operations. The procedures include-

  • Light discipline criteria.
  • Production control adjustments.
  • Quality control requirements.
  • Changes of day-night shift transitions.
  • Impact of human factors.


a. Commanders are aware of the unique implications of performing aircraft maintenance in unusual environments. They ensure that preparations are made before operating in such areas. Often, maintenance procedures employed in one environment are not appropriate for another. Operations may be conducted in climatic or terrain extremes.

b. FM 1-500 lists special considerations for operating in such areas. Commanders look at the effect of the environment on factors such as-

  • Modifications to normal repair parts stockage levels (for example, increased numbers of filters, bearings, and seals when operating in wind and sand).
  • Mobility and transportation restrictions (mountains, heavy foliage, ice).
  • Personnel and equipment performance degradation (altitude, excessive heat or cold).
  • Light discipline requirements for night operations.
  • Communications restrictions.
  • Special shelter requirements.
  • Modifications to normal scheduled and preventive maintenance schedules.
  • Specialized equipment and clothing requirements.


a. Transportation is the movement of personnel, materiel, and equipment from origin to destination. As a rule, it is expressed in tonnage (or number of personnel) and distance. Every logistics or personnel requirement generates at least one transportation requirement.

b. The three types of transportation operations within the theater are movement management, terminal transfer operations, and modal operations.

(1) Movement management. MCCs in the EAC Support Command, COSCOM, and DISCOM manage movement. Movement management consists of staff planning and coordination for effective use of the transportation system.

(2) Terminal transfer operations. These operations consist of shifting cargo from one mode of transport to another or shifting cargo from one type of transport in a mode to a different type. Shifting occurs at any intermediate point along the transportation system.

(3) Modal operations. Modal operations encompass the movement of personnel and materiel on a transportation conveyance. Four basic modes of transportation support these requirements: motor, air, water, and rail.

c. Transportation planning consists of five steps. These steps are in the following paragraphs:

(1) Determination of requirements. Initial transportation requirements are expressed in tonnages (or number of personnel) and distances. Requirements also are modified to include time or special handling requirements such as required delivery dates or oversized loads.

(2) Determination of available resources. Transportation resources are assessed. The type of transportation assets available and their characteristics and capabilities are considered.

(3) Balancing of requirements against resources. This process weighs various factors against resources available to support the stated requirement for additional transportation. Factors consist of the required workload capacity, command priorities, and availability of both organic and supporting resources. Decisions are made as to the amount and type of support to be provided; for example, whether to make two round trips with organic trucks or one trip with external support because the supplies exceed organic hauling capability and no other trucks are available.

(4) Determination of critical points. This process looks at the transportation plan. It identifies critical points when additional planning is needed to preclude bottlenecks and to ensure that the transportation system is operating at maximum capacity. Alternate plans are devised to accept various contingencies and to add flexibility to the plan.

(5) Coordination and refinement of the plan. All planners must coordinate so that support is integrated. After initial coordination takes place, constant coordination and feedback are needed. Thus all contingencies that may arise because of changing situations and the fluid nature of the battlefield can be handled.


a. Requirements.

(1) Aviation brigade units begin training for their combat mission from the time they are activated. The mission may include actively engaging the enemy or providing support. In either case, units deploy to where they can best accomplish their mission. Unit deployment training is necessary if units are to move in the most efficient manner. Whether a unit is deploying from CONUS or 3 kilometers (kms) on the battlefield, if it cannot move within its operational requirements, the success of the mission is jeopardized. Frequent training and exercising of unit deployment plans reduce the chances of such an occurrence.

(2) Aviation, unlike other forces, has some self-deploying capabilities. With preparation, some aircraft, personnel, or equipment or a combination of these can self-deploy from CONUS stations to almost anyplace in the world. Aviation forces must plan and train for self-deployment. Because aviation forces can self-deploy, they free other transport assets for other missions. The commander and his staff must thoroughly plan all aspects of the movement if self-deployment is the chosen method of transportation. Appendix E further describes self-deployment.

(3) Units that plan, train, and validate their movement plans will greatly increase their chances of success. All unit personnel are involved at some phase of a unit movement; key personnel must become knowledgeable of all phases. The more familiar each soldier becomes with the unit's movement plans and operations, the more efficient the movement becomes.

(4) Aviation units often move throughout the battlefield because of the demands of tactical operations. The frequency depends on METT-T; however, they may move as often as twice a day. To conduct movements of supplies, equipment, and personnel, aviation units are equipped with organic wheeled vehicle assets that will expedite aviation operations. These assets will carry equipment required to support, sustain, and survive during deep, close, and rear operations. Units that are operating in their entirety forward of the DSA, even for short periods, require rapid and total unit mobility (100 percent) to survive and sustain combat operations.

(5) Operational aviation units require organic mobility for several reasons. First, mobility is the primary means of avoiding detection and targeting of aviation support assets by threat acquisition devices. Thus survivability of vital aviation support assets is increased. Second, mobility reduces dependence on the supporting transportation system. Third, mobility allows assets to be relocated quickly, often over relatively great distances; therefore, adequate and timely support is provided.

b. Responsibilities.

(1) Commanders are responsible for the movement of the personnel and equipment of their units. They also-

(a) Review and validate movement plans, SOPs, and load plans often.

(b) Supervise the operation of subordinate units.

(c) Establish policies for air lines and sea lanes of communications operations.

(d) Coordinate with other headquarters for technical data and logistics support.

(e) Ensure compliance with directives, policies, and regulations.

(f) Appoint a unit movements officer.

(g) Review equipment authorization documents and recommend changes.

(2) Staffs ensure that the commander's directives are carried out. They develop unit movement plans, which include-

(a) Planning and supervising unit movement training.

(b) Determining and coordinating logistics support requirements.

(c) Establishing training programs for unit movement personnel.

(d) Recommending improvements to the commander.

(e) Ensuring compliance with directives, policies, and regulations.

(f) Ensuring that subordinate unit movement plans, load plans, and SOPs are accurate and current.

(3) Unit movement personnel plan and conduct unit moves. They also-

(a) Develop unit movement plans, SOPs, and load plans.

(b) Conduct unit movement training.

(c) Ensure that proper support and logistics requirements are requested.

(d) Validate movement plans.

(e) Inspect and inventory equipment before and after a unit movement.

(f) Ensure that personnel and equipment are properly prepared before a movement.

c. Planning and Preparation.

(1) Aviation forces must plan and prepare to arrive at designated locations in the area of operations and begin tactical missions at the same time. Modes of movement and deployment are designated in orders. Unit movement orders are delivered in several formats. These orders are provided in an OPORD, a movement order, or a FRAGO. Because of the complexity of unit movements, the movement order is preferred. Movement orders provide detailed information such as transportation support, movement tables, and clearance numbers. The least preferred method is the FRAGO.

(2) The information below will assist planners in preparing directives and SOPs.

(a) The movement directive is the basic document, published by DA, that directs units to prepare to move from home stations in one of the following categories:

  • Category A-a move from a home station with all equipment that is authorized to that unit.
  • Category B-a move from the home station with minimum essential equipment only.
  • Category C-a move from the home station with less than minimum essential equipment. Specific guidance as to what is to be taken will be given in the movement directive.

(b) In an administrative move, enemy contact is not likely. Units are relocated into secure areas and ports of embarkation. The G4 or S4 has staff responsibility for such movements.

(c) A tactical move requires a combat-ready posture and organization during all phases even though the purpose is relocation and not enemy contact. The G3 or S3 has staff responsibility for these operations.

(d) Movement instructions consist of detailed instructions for executing a movement. They are issued as an implementation of the movements program and represent accepted procedures to be followed.

(e) Movement orders are instructions for the movement of personnel and prescribed equipment from one location to another within a stated period of time.

(f) The movement plan is up-to-date logistics data reflecting a summary of transportation requirements, priorities, and limiting factors incident to the movement of one or more units or a special grouping of personnel by highway, marine, rail, or air transportation. FM 101-5 contains an example of a movement plan.

(g) The load plan is a preplanned method for loading personnel and equipment on transport equipment.

d. Self-Deployment.

(1) Because airlift and sealift assets are limited, selected aviation brigade units may need to plan to self-deploy. Studies and operations have established the feasibility of this option; the extended-range fuel system enables aviation to self-deploy.

(2) The UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and CH-47 Chinook aircraft currently are provided with the fuel, ALSE, navigation, and communication systems for self-deployment. They will move from continential United States (CONUS) stations to designated departure points to prepare the aircraft. Pre-stationed ground and aerial support and maintenance teams provide stopover point assistance. Self-deployment flights terminate at destination points where ferry equipment is removed and arrangements are made for its return for reuse. Self-deployment applies only to aircraft transferred when other transport assets are not provided; these aircraft may transport a small amount of equipment and personnel.

(3) A command structure must exist to integrate the self-deploying aircraft and crews into the theater of operations. This integration will enhance the availability and effectiveness of these aviation assets in their operational area. Again, Appendix E contains detailed information about self-deployment.

e. Airlift.

(1) Air movement is an operation executed according to prepared plans designed to ensure air transport of supplies, equipment, and personnel. A unit must be able to package, document, load and off-load, and tie down equipment. Air movement is the only military transportation that can respond as rapidly as the situations of the world demand. Air movement of units requires planning by all levels of command. Units are trained not only in mission accomplishment but also in the skilled execution of airlift deployment.

(2) The Air Mobility Command (AMC) provides the air assets (C-141, C-17, C-5) to move personnel and materiel in emergencies or to meet operational requirements. These assets are limited in number and availability. AMC aircraft accept only equipment that is within their space and weight limits. AMC aircraft are spread around the world to support existing requirements. All Army rotary-wing aircraft can be transported by air. Table 5-5 depicts an airlift loading chart.

(3) The unit movement officer is the key to executing the unit's movement and loading plans. He supervises and conducts training and maintains updated movement data. Because operational requirements may exceed airlift capacity, the unit movement officer maintains plans for other types of transportation. FM 55-9 contains detailed information on unit air movement planning.

(4) Specific planning and support requirements for each unit vary. The unit movement officer is aware that in case of a contingency there is only minimum time to plan. To prepare the unit for movement operations, he identifies requirements and routinely develops and validates exercise plans.

f. Rail Movement.

(1) The division or installation transportation officer or DISCOM movement control officer assists movement officers with planning and identifying unit rail loading requirements. He provides information to minimize planning time. He also provides training material and current procedures for transporting equipment.

(2) When available, rail shipment moves heavy and outsized items to the port of embarkation. Because rail shipment can damage sensitive aircraft components, aircraft are flown to those areas for airlift purposes.

(3) The aviation unit is responsible for internal administration and preparation of unit assets for rail movement as with other forms of movement. Plans and SOPs address all rail requirements such as loading, tie-downs, organization, and safety. Rail movement plans are completed as required by the controlling transportation agency.

(4) FM 55-20 assists the unit movement officer in planning and preparing equipment for rail transport. It also provides background information on requirements for foreign countries.

g. Sealift. Only minimum sealift planning and training can be performed. This is due mainly to the many types of merchant vessels. Planning and training are limited to on-site surveys and data on ports of embarkation and debarkation and, to a limited extent, the vessels likely to be employed. The deploying unit will have to prepare accurate cargo loading movement data. Because there are limited planning requirements, higher headquarters should provide guidance and assistance in sealift planning. Particular planning considerations must be considered such as protection for aircraft during sea movement; for example, shrink-wrap.

h. Convoy Movements.

(1) A convoy is always organized for a specific purpose and according to a specific plan. For aviation, it may be a part of an overall plan to relocate before an attack or a movement from the home station to the port of embarkation. A convoy is defined as a group of two or more vehicles organized for control under a single commander. The convoy commander may be the battalion commander or executive officer, a company commander, a platoon leader, or an NCO, depending on the size of the convoy.

(2) Unit moves by convoy require a great deal of time and practice. Much of the time will be used for planning. Movement officers should become familiar with FM 55-30 for assistance in planning unit moves by wheeled vehicles. The manual will assist them in planning and conducting convoys and in determining organizational requirements.

(3) Control of motor movement can be exercised in two ways. It can be exercised by the organization making the movement; or it can be exercised by the commander of an area through which the convoy will proceed.

(4) Organizational control is always exercised during motor movements. The unit SOP addresses many of the control measures. These measures eliminate the need to consider some topics when the movement order is issued. Subjects in the unit SOP include-

  • Staff actions.
  • Route reconnaissance.
  • Convoy commander's briefing.
  • Halts.
  • Release point.
  • Fire support coordination.
  • Coordination with other combat forces.
  • Messing en route.
  • Maintenance en route.
  • Refueling en route.
  • Medical support en route.
  • Convoy organizations.
  • Preparation of vehicles and equipment in an NBC environment.
  • Vehicle load plan requirements.
  • Route selection and clearing.
  • Liaison.
  • Movement C3.
  • Advance party procedures.
  • Night movement operations.

(5) The planning and coordination involved in a convoy operation require aggressive staff actions. However, a unit SOP can eliminate much of the burden.

i. Training. There are no special training requirements for unit movement personnel. However, personnel designated on orders must sign DD Form 1387-2 (Special Handling Data/Certification) certifying that hazardous cargo is properly prepared for shipment. The Joint Military Packaging Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, instructs in the preparation for transport of hazardous cargo; or one of their mobile training teams provides this training locally. Also, the USAF conducts the Military Airlift Command (MAC) airload planner's course, which benefits unit movement officers in planning movements using USAF assets. The Army training catalog, AR 351-1, lists other training. Publications on unit movement, which are not all-inclusive, are listed in the References.


SECTION V. Personnel Service Support



Personnel service support is the personnel-oriented CSS function. It affects the personnel replacement operations of units and their missions as well as the morale and welfare of their soldiers. Normally, the unit S1 coordinates personnel services. PSS is divided into critical and essential personnel functions as discussed below.

a. Critical Personnel Functions.

(1) Personnel accounting and strength reporting. Personnel accounting and strength reporting accounts for soldiers and reports their duty status as the foundation for critical battlefield decisions. This function includes operating a C2 strength reporting system (both hasty and deliberate) to manage the personnel combat power of the tactical force. The reporting system reconciles deliberate personnel accounting and hasty strength reporting information over time and supports the Army's personnel life-cycle function of sustainment. The brigade S1-

(a) Receives and consolidates hasty strength information from the battalions.

(b) Advises the commander on personnel strength matters.

(c) Compares the results of C2SRS processing against the hasty strength information for each battalion. He identifies obvious discrepancies between hasty and data base information and directs reconciliation, if appropriate.

(2) Replacement operations. Replacement operations encompass the coordination of support and delivery of replacements and return-to-duty soldiers. These operations include orders issuance, personnel accounting, logistics support, processing, and transportation. They also support the Army's personnel life-cycle function of distribution. The brigade S1 ensures that transportation requirements are satisfied for the movement of replacements forward of the BSA.

(3) Casualty management and casualty operations. Casualty operations include records, reports, and accounting for casualties in an expeditious manner. Casualty management coordinates personnel and logistical processes involved in these operations at all levels. Both casualty management and casualty operations support the Army's personnel life-cycle function of sustainment. The brigade S1 is responsible for the following functions in support of personnel:

  • Collecting hasty and written casualty feeder and witness reports.
  • Recording duty status changes in the personnel data base.
  • Submitting casualty reports to the personnel service company (PSC).
  • Managing open cases (for example, missing and evacuated) until final disposition is made.
  • Preparing letters of sympathy.
  • Accepting and forwarding changes to emergency data information.

(4) Strength management. Strength management assesses personnel combat power, plans for future operations, and assigns replacements on the battlefield. It predicts the need for replacements; it provides a mixture of individuals and small units as replacements to sustain combat power. It also supports the Army's personnel life-cycle function of distribution. The brigade S1-

  • Continually collects and correlates critical personnel strength information.
  • Advises the commander on the personnel status of the brigade.
  • Recommends replacement priorities.
  • Provides brigade replacement priorities to the division G1 or AG.

(5) Personnel data base management. Personnel data base management consolidates current and projected personnel information on soldiers and units in a number of command data bases (Standard Installation/Division Personnel System (SIDPERS)). These serve as the basis for command decisions and projected battlefield requirements. The brigade S1-

  • Receives updates from all battalions.
  • Plans for and manages all continuity of operations plans requirements.
  • Backs up electronic files.
  • Delivers updates to the supporting PSC by way of the G1 or AG (rear area).

(6) Medical services. Medical services are those services performed, provided, or arranged for despite location. Medical services promote, improve, conserve, or restore the mental and physical well-being of individuals or groups.

(7) Combat Health Support. The combat health support system consists of levels of support or echelons of care. They extend rearward throughout the theater to the CONUS base. Each level of support contains the same capability as the lower levels plus a new capability that sets it apart from the lower level. Each command level also has the same capability as the lower level. The CHS is divided into five levels. Medical capabilities increase from lower to higher.

(a) Level I (Unit Level). The emphasis of this level is on those measures-maintain airway, stop bleeding, prevent shock-necessary to stabilize a patient for evacuation to the next echelon of care. Soldiers receive training in first aid procedures that emphasize lifesaving tasks. Selected individuals in nonmedical units receive enhanced training. They are called combat lifesavers. All combat units and some CS and CSS units have combat lifesavers. Their primary duty does not change. They perform additional duties of combat lifesavers when the tactical situation permits. The combat medic is the first individual in the CHS chain who makes decisions based on medical MOS-specific training. The treatment squad provides advanced trauma management (ATM) to battlefield casualties and routine sick call when not engaged in combat. Within the division, most combat battalions have a medical platoon that can run a battalion aid station, and provide medics to the companies and some ambulance support.

(b) Level II (Division Level). Clearing stations provide Level II care. They evaluate a patient's status to determine his priority for continued evacuation. They continue emergency care/resuscitation and provide initial urgent surgery. This level of care also includes limited dental, laboratory, optometry, preventative medicine, health service logistics, and mental health services. Medical companies and troops of divisions, separate brigades,ACRs, and area support medical battalions provide this care. Division health service support includes evacuation of patients from unit treatment stations to initial resuscitative treatment in division medical facilities. It also includes tailgate medical support and division medical support on an area basis to units without organic medical personnel. The medical companies of the medical battalion or MSB and FSB set up treatment stations in the BSA and DSA to provide this support. These treatment stations coordinate the care and evacuation of patients. They generally have a physician on hand to perform the surgery necessary to stabilize the patient for evacuation.

(c) Level III (CORPS Level). This level includes area medical support, hospitalization, air and ground MEDEVAC, health service logistics, dental services, preventative medicine services, veterinary services, and combat stress control. Combat support hospitals admit and treat all categories of patients. They either RTD patients or evacuate them to an echelon IV hospital. The mobile army surgical hospital provides early resuscitative surgery for those patients who require surgical intervention to stabilize them for evacuation. It usually locates in the division rear area.

(d) Level IV (COMMZ Level). Echelon IV hospitals provide general and specialized medical care. Their are two different hospitals at Level IV. One reconditions and rehabilitates soldiers who can return to duty within theater evacuation policy. The other treats and stabilizes patients for evacuation to Echelon V (CONUS base). The focus of level IV support is on the forward deployed corps.

(e) Level V (CONUS Level). Definitive care to all categories of patients characterizes Echelon V care. CONUS based DOD and Department of Veterans Administration hospitals provide this care. During mobilization, the National Disaster Medical System may be activated. Under this system, civilian hospitals care for patients beyond the capabilities of DOD and DVA hospitals. Strategic and operational planning and deployment of CHS assets also take place at this level.

(8) Evacuation. Patients with wounds of lesser severity may not need to pass through all echelons of care. They are returned at the lowest level that meets their need. The patient's condition and METT-T are important factors in selecting the evacuation platform. Centralized management and matching the patient's condition and urgency of movement with the available evacuation assets ensure the effective and efficient usage of scarce medical resources. In the main battle area, patients normally do not bypass Echelon I or II MTFs. This ensures that they have a better chance to be stabilized for further evacuation. Despite the exceedingly unfavorable circumstances of war, the system usually moves patients from one echelon of care in the main battle area to another within 1 hour or less.

(9) Medical supplies (Class VIII). Class VIII is a commodity-oriented system. It follows a more direct distribution path to the user than would otherwise be provided by the general supply system. The management, to include requisition and distribution, is accomplished within the medical system at all echelons.

b. Essential Personnel Functions.

(1) Legal services. Legal services are normally handled by judge advocate general officers within the division. These officers interpret and prosecute war crimes, provide legal defense services, and act as judicial officials for courts-martial.

(2) Chaplain activities. Chaplains are normally assigned to aviation brigades. They provide religious, morale, and counseling services to units and individuals.

(3) Financial management. Overall resource management is provided by the corps or division resourse managers. Some nondivisional aviation brigades may have their own resource management cells performing limited functions like tracking expenditures. The Brigade S1 arranges for and coordinates finance support to the brigade. This support is provided by units of the corps finance group. Typically, a finance detachment from a finance battalion supports a brigade. Finance support can be provided at the unit location by finance support teams or at the finance detachment. This support includes-

(a) Paying local procurement requirements.

(b) Funding paying agents.

(c) Replenishing imprest funds.

(d) Providing combat payments to soldiers.

(e) Providing pay support (inquiries, allotment changes, leave and earning statements (LESs)).

(f) Cashing personal checks.

(4) Morale, welfare, and recreation support. MWR gives soldiers' commanders access to and use of morale, welfare, and recreation activities to assist in relief from mission stress, subject to combat intensity. These services include-

  • Recreational equipment.
  • Reading material.
  • Motion pictures.
  • Live entertainment.
  • Retail sales.

(5) Public affairs. This service includes censorship of information for operations security (OPSEC) reasons. It also includes press releases and newspaper publication to inform military personnel and civilians.

(6) Postal services. Postal operations provide for the management and operation of a postal network to move, deliver, and collect mail in the deployed force, which contributes to the fighting will of soldiers. These operations deliver official mail, to include critical spare parts and medical supplies, and are an alternate delivery system for personnel information. These operations also support the Army's personnel life-cycle function of sustainment.

(7) Administrative services. These services include reproduction, distribution, publication distribution, and classified documents control.

(8) Other personnel services. FM 12-6 has details on other personnel services. These include:

  • Awards and decorations.
  • Officer and noncommissioned officer evaluations.
  • Officer and enlisted promotions.
  • Line of duty investigations.


Field services are logistics support functions required to support an armed force, excluding supply, maintenance, and transportation. The two categories of field services are discussed below. Normally, the field service capability organic to the division includes clothing exchange and bath supplies; graves registration; and salvage, when augmented. The COSCOM provides the rest of the field service support for the division.

a. Primary Field Services. These services include airdrop and mortuary affairs (MA). They support combat operations.

(1) Airdrop. The division receives its airdrop support from a quartermaster airdrop supply company normally assigned to the COSCOM. These companies are organic to the airborne and air assault divisions. They are able to rig loads for airdrop and low-altitude parachute extraction system operations by USAF cargo aircraft. FM 100-17 covers airborne insertions in detail.

(2) Mortuary Affairs.

(a) The Army always takes proper care of its dead. MA units operate collection points, a mortuary, and a personal effects depot at the operational level. All commanders are responsible for the search, recovery, tentative identification, care, and evacuation of remains to the nearest collection point or mortuary. MA personnel initially process remains in theater. Then they arrange to evacuate remains and personal effects, usually by air, to a CONUS point of entry mortuary. Recent wars and SASO have shown this policy is quite effective. Each division has a small MA element (two to three personnel) organic to the DISCOM. They train division personnel to perform initial search, recovery, identification, and evacuation of human remains. During hostilities, MA personnel organic to the division operate the initial collection point. The recovery and return of the human remains to a collection point remains a basic unit function. This procedure continues until the division receives additional MA personnel or a MA unit. A MA unit assigned to the COSCOM supports nondivisional units on a area basis. This unit operates collection points throughout the corps, division, and brigade areas. These points receive remains from the maneuver units, assist and conduct search and recovery operations, and arrange for the evacuation of remains to a mortuary or temporary burial site.

(b) Deceased personnel may have to be buried by their fellow soldiers on or near the site of death (for example, NBC-contaminated remains). For hasty burials, the next higher headquarters should be informed of the location of the burial site.

(c) MA teams are formed in the units to search for and identify remains and to transport them to MA collection points. Team members have a compass for determining azimuths, a map of the search area, paper for sketching the recovery area, entrenching tools, and paper tags with string or wire fasteners for tagging remains. Team members are also issued personal effects bags, human remains pouches (body bags), NBC agent tags, and MA forms.

(d) Personnel carry remains feet first at all times. An attitude of reverence and respect is maintained during loading. Remains are loaded on trucks feet first; on fixed-wing aircraft, remains are loaded head first. On helicopters, remains are loaded feet first, if possible. Care is taken that no remains, or litter, are touching another remains or litter. The vehicle transporting the remains is always covered. Personal effects and identification tags are kept with the remains during evacuation. An escort is sent with the remains during evacuation to provide security against theft and unauthorized entry to the vehicle. This escort should comprise personnel who witnessed the circumstances of the death of the individuals.

b. Secondary Field Services. These services include clothing exchange and bath, laundry and reimpregnation, bread baking, light textile and clothing renovation, and salvage. Secondary field services are not immediately critical to combat operations; deferring them does not materially interrupt combat operations.

c. Force Provider. The Army's Force Provider will provide the frontline soldier with a brief respite from the rigors of a combat theater. It is also ideally suited for supporting SASO, particularly disaster assistance and humanitarian aid operations. This system-which can provide support for 3,000 persons-is modular in design. Each modular can operate independently and support 550 people. The unit includes billeting facilities with heating and cooling, kitchens, latrines, showers, laundries, power generation, and water storage and distribution.

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