Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military



APPENDIX A

HELICOPTER DOOR GUNNERY

This appendix contains the tactics, techniques, and procedures required for training and employing door gunners for utility and cargo helicopters.

Section I. Door Gunnery Training Strategy

A-1. DOOR GUNNERY OVERVIEW

MISSION. Utility and cargo helicopter units will conduct annual live-fire door gunnery qualification according to this appendix on range facilities where target hits can be objectively scored.

    a. Door gunners on utility and cargo helicopters are concerned with threats to the helicopter and crew on board, whether the helicopter is in the air or on the ground. Door gunners must be able to acquire and engage a wide variety of targets from many different flight profiles. Evaluation of door gunners includes a time standard to acquire, engage, and hit the target.

    b. Door gunners are normally helicopter crew chiefs. They may also be soldiers from within or outside the unit. Crew coordination is critical between the door gunners and the helicopter's pilots. The door gunners and pilots maintain communication and work as a team to acquire targets, as well as safely fly the helicopter.

    c. The door gunner's primary weapon is the 7.62mm M60D machine gun. The M60D is a direct fire weapon system. The configuration of the M60D is similar for all cargo and utility helicopters and differs mainly in the helicopter gun mount and auxiliary equipment.

A-2. DOOR GUNNER DUTIES

    a. Door gunners provide direct fire as protection for the aircraft and crew. To effectively employ their weapon, door gunners must:

      Thoroughly understand weapon system's functional characteristics and operation, as well as its capabilities and limitations.

      Have a thorough knowledge of tactical helicopter employment.

      Be prepared to act independently, based on the threat, and engage targets without a specific command from the pilot.

      Act as observers to assist the pilot and copilot in safe operation of the helicopter.

    b. The door gunner will perform the inspections of their weapons and weapon subsystem(s) on the aircraft unless specified otherwise by unit SOP or directives.

      (1) The door gunner will perform operator level maintenance on the aircraft weapon system. The door gunner is responsible for ensuring that the correct type and amount of clean and serviceable ammunition is on board the aircraft for the mission.

      (2) The door gunner will normally assist in the daily inspection, preflight, postflight and other maintenance operations involved with the aircraft. Additional duties and/or aviation specific duties required of the door gunner (not crew chief) should be specified by the unit SOP.

    c. Door gunners must act as observers to help the pilot and copilot operate the aircraft safely.

      (1) During flight and ground operations, door gunners will maintain a watch for hazards and obstructions to flight. These obstructions may vary from high tension wires and other aircraft along the flight path to obstacles such as tree stumps in the landing zone.

      (2) Reporting potential or actual targets to the pilot/copilot is a specified task of the door gunner. From the gunners side of the aircraft, the primary observation sector is normally 60 degrees off the nose of the helicopter all the way to the rear.

      (3) During both combat operations and training, door gunners must maintain situational awareness. They must know the location of friendly troops, the location of other aircraft in their formation (including escorting attack helicopters), and the classification and location of the target(s) to be engaged. A door gunner may also be required to mark a ground location with smoke grenades or tracers.

      (4) The unit SOP should have procedures for crews to follow during an emergency landing. The door gunners must know the procedures for removing weapons, electronic equipment (radios, COMSEC devices), or other sensitive equipment or items (such as maps and SOIs) from the helicopter. The gunner must know how to destroy or assist in the destruction of sensitive equipment, if necessary, to prevent capture.

A-3. DOOR GUNNER TRAINING PROGRAM

This program is progressive and has training gates similar to the gates found in the attack helicopter qualification program. The purpose of this training program is to give the door gunner the skills necessary to perform door gunner duties in a crew. The training program consists of 10 training tables. These tables progress in numerical order from individual marksmanship training to multiship live-fire. The training tables support the commander's METL and the unit's MTP. The door gunnery training tables are as follows:

    a. Basic Gunnery. Tables I-IV are the initial M60 ground qualification.

      Table I - 10 meter practice fire.

      Table II - 10 meter record fire.

      Table III - Transition practice fire.

      Table IV - Transition record fire.

      (1) Tables I-IV qualify the door gunner on the ground M60 machine gun according to FM 23-67. The philosophy of ground qualification is to instill confidence in the door gunner and also in the soldiers transported in the helicopter. Soldiers flown into combat by the assault or cargo helicopter crew will know that the door gunners are not only qualified to the Army standard on the ground M60, but are also trained on the M60D. Door gunners are capable of placing direct fire on threats while in the air or on the landing zone.

      (2) The ground M60 tasks in FM 23-67 require that the weapon be fired from both the tripod and bipod. If standard M60s cannot be used during Tables I-IV, the tasks that normally require firing the weapon from a tripod must be modified for the M60D with bipod firing substituted for tripod firing.

      (3) If standard M60s are not available in the unit, the unit has the option to arrange with another unit in the battalion/squadron or brigade to use their M60s for initial weapons training. "Piggy backing" door gunners on ranges with other units that conduct M60 machine gun training is also recommended.

      (4) When newly assigned to a unit, the door gunner candidate must complete ground qualification according to FM 23-67 prior to progressing to air qualification and full door gunner qualification. Ground qualification is a training gate. During his assignment to a specific unit (battalion or separate company), the door gunner must ground qualify only once. However, if 12 months pass and the door gunner has not fired an M60D from an aircraft on a qualification range as a trainee, he must requalify on the ground M60 before progressing to air qualification.

      (5) Before firing the basic tables, the door gunner candidate will receive premarksmanship instruction on the M60 machine gun. Figure A-1 shows the minimum instruction required for Tables I-IV.

      (6) Units may conduct live-fire training from helicopter cabin mock-up during basic gunnery. Many units build helicopter cabin mock-up for training their door gunners. They approximate the dimensions of the immediate area of door gunner's station in the helicopter's cabin and allow the door gunner trainee to fire his weapon using a sight picture very similar to that used in the actual aircraft. These "simulators" range in complexity from simple 20-foot towers to those mounted on 2 1/2-ton trucks, simulating aircraft movement during engagements. While there is currently no standard design, units may develop their own design for enhancing door gunnery training.

    b. Intermediate Gunnery.

      (1) Table V. Table V is the Door Gunnery Skills Training and Test table. During this table, the door gunner will learn skills needed to execute his duties. The commander will use this table for assessing the readiness of the door gunners prior to Table VI.

        (a) Training program.

          Table V program contains two parts--training and assessment. The training program prepares the door gunner for Intermediate live-fire tables. To fill both door gunner positions, the commander may designate a noncrew chief. If this is the case, Table V training must include instruction on the basics of the aircraft.

          At a minimum, Table V will include academic instruction on the subjects outlined in Figure A-2 and a Door Gunnery Skills Test of at least 50 questions. Subject areas for the questions will be selected by the commander, but will include questions on the academic instruction with emphasis on weapon function, ballistics, target acquisition, and aircraft procedures. Door gunners will score at least 70 percent on the DGST. Door gunners must complete the DGST within 180 days prior to starting intermediate gunnery.

        (b) Aircraft orientation is applicable only to door gunners who are not crew chiefs or who are not familiar with the unit aircraft.

        (c) This program is intended to be ongoing, which the reason the tactical subjects are included in the training program. A good gunnery program does not start just prior to the qualification range.

      (2) Table VI. If the door gunner successfully completes Table V to standard, he will progress to Table VI. Table VI is the initial aircraft live-fire table. During this table, the door gunner will fire the M60D from the aircraft for the first time.

        (a) The table consists of 5-day tasks, of which one is an NBC task.

        (b) The tables serves to verify the function of the door gunner's assigned weapons.

Training Objective: To provide initial M60 qualification for personnel assigned
to door gunnery positions.

SUBJECT

DESCRIPTION

REFERENCE

Operation and Function of the M60

Class to provide the basic knowledge of how the components of the M60 function during operation

FM 23-67,

TM 9-1005-224-10

Assembly, Disassembly, and Nomenclature of the M60

Demonstration and practical exercise on the general and detailed assembly, disassembly, and nomenclature of the M60 machine gun.

FM 23-67,

TM 9-1005-224-10

Malfunctions, Immediate Action, and Maintenance

Class to provide information concerning abnormal operation, corrective action, and maintenance.

FM 23-67,

TM 9-1005-224-10

Range Estimation

Class and practical exercise to provide information on methods of determining the distance between gunner and target.

FM 23-67, FM 1-140, TM 9-1005-224-10

Fire Control/

Fire Commands

Class to provide information on the methods used in controlling and delivering fires.

FM 23-67

M60 Machine Gun Practice and Record Fire

Briefing on the conduct and standards of Tables I-IV.

Unit SOP, Range SOP, FM 23-67

Figure A-1. Basic weapon qualification

Training Objective: Door gunner qualification

SUBJECT

DESCRIPTION

REFERENCE

Duties of the Door Gunner

Class on the duties of door gunners

Unit SOP, Appendix A, FM 1-140

Aircraft

Orientation

Class and practical exercise to familiarize the student with the capabilities and limitations of the unit's aircraft

Appropriate aircraft operator's manual

Techniques of Fire and Employment

Class on principles and techniques of helicopter machine gun firing

Appendix A, FM 1-140,

FM 23-67

Ballistics

Aerial ballistics for spin stabilized projectiles

Chap 4, FM 1-140, Chap 7, FM 23-67

Armament System Introduction

Class and practical exercise on the M60D to include safety procedures, and operator maintenance

TM 9-1005-262-13

Aviation Battlefield Survivability

Class to provide an overview of Threat defense systems that aircrews may face

Bde/Bn S2 brief

Visual Search and Target Detection

Class on techniques of visual search, to include limitations and procedures of target detection

FM 1-116, Chapter 6,

FM 1-140

Crew Member Emergency

Procedures

Class and demonstration of duties and actions taken by the door gunner during in-flight and forced landing emergencies

Aircraft operator's manual and unit SOP

Night Gunnery

Class on techniques and procedures of night firing

TC 1-204, Range SOP

First Aid Training

Class on principles of first aid

FM 1-301, FM 21-11

Protective Mask

Class and practical exercise on the description, characteristics, and procedures for wearing the protective mask during engagements

TM 3-4240-280-10

Door Gunnery Qualification

Briefing on the conduct and standards of Tables VI-VIII.

Range SOP,

TM 9-1005-224-10,

TM 9-1005-262-13

Figure A-2. Table V, intermediate gunnery training

        (c) The NBC task is fired in mask and gloves only. This task has no requirement for a MOPP suit.

      (3) Table VII. Table VII is a day/night practice table for Table VIII. The table consists of 8 tasks (5 day/3 night) of which one is an NBC task. The table is completed from the aircraft in a variety of flight modes.

      (4) Table VIII. Table VIII is the qualification table. The table consists of the same number of tasks as Table VII. Table VIII contains both day and night tasks, and is the gate for advanced table gunnery.

    c. Advanced Gunnery.

      (1) Table IX. Table IX is multiship gunnery using MILES/AGES and blanks with the M60D. This table will give the door gunners that successfully completed intermediate gunnery qualification the first opportunity to participate in training with more than one aircraft.

      (2) Table X. Table X is multiship live-fire gunnery. The intent of Table X is for units to fire the table at CTCs or large range complexes. The large surface danger zone of two M60D prohibits multidoor gunner gunnery at most installations. The maximum recommended number of aircraft participating in Table X gunnery is five.

A-4. UNIT TRAINING STRATEGY

    a. Commanders will designate in writing a door gunnery unit trainer. The door gunnery unit trainer should be a senior noncommissioned officer with considerable experience in door gunnery. The UT is the commander's point of contact and subject matter expert on door gunnery. The UT is responsible for training new personnel and conducting sustainment training for personnel already qualified. The UT will--

      Be a qualified door gunner.

      Organize all training in coordination with the S3.

      Supervise the preparation and execution of all instruction.

      Supervise initial qualification and annual qualification from the aircraft.

      Evaluate qualification tables.

      Maintain qualification records on all door gunners according to Chapter 2, FM 1-140.

    Assistant UTs may be designated by the commander. The UT will work closely with the commander and the S3 to administer and evaluate the unit door gunner training program.

    b. After designating a UT, the commander will complete, in conjunction with the UT, a unit training assessment according to Chapter 2 of this manual.

    c. Once the assessment is complete, the commander will outline his objectives for the door gunnery training program. His guidance must include the desired training end state for the program. For example, "two qualified door gunners per UH-60 in A Company." This requirement is based in large part on available resources.

    d. Once the objectives for the gunnery are clear, the S3 and UT will begin planning the conduct of the training program. It is recommended that door gunner training be incorporated into the unit training plan as a continual program.

    e. Door gunnery training should be incorporated into a written program with clear objectives and training goals throughout the training year. Door gunnery subjects are relevant for "Sergeants Time" or "Prime Time" training programs common to most active Army units.

    f. Door gunners will be designated in writing by the unit commander. The commander will accomplish this with a memorandum similar to standard additional duty appointment orders.

    g. The door gunnery section of this appendix defines the requirements for conducting and evaluating live-fire door gunnery tables. Units that have night missions as part of their METL will complete the night tasks. The door gunners will use NVGs while firing from the aircraft.

    h. Once the intermediate gunnery is complete, the UT will document the training and maintain records for a minimum of 24 months, according to Chapter 2, FM 1-140.

NOTE: Door gunners should be allowed to fire from both sides of the aircraft for familiarization if resources are available. However, some range controls have specific instructions for door gunnery. For example, firing is allowed from the right side of the aircraft only.

A-5. CREW COORDINATION

Crew coordination is critical for door gunnery because of the personnel turnover and turbulence in utility and cargo helicopter units. Crew chiefs stay with their aircraft, but they are an integral part of the crew. The crews and crew chiefs should maintain a habitual flying relationship. Because of personnel turnover and maintenance, the pilot and copilot may not always fly the same aircraft or fly with the same crew chief. Training will focus on standardization of cockpit communication and procedures.

A-6. WEAPONS CONTROL AND FIRE COMMANDS

Before departure on a mission, the pilot in command of the aircraft will brief the crew on the situation and mission. The briefing is mission dependant, but will normally include the friendly situation, enemy situation, rules of engagement, possible target areas, marking of targets, mission specific fire commands, and other mission specific information. Loading ammunition in the aircraft weapons systems should be dictated by the unit SOP or parent unit operating procedures or directives.

    a. Standard Weapon Control Measures.

      (1) The following are the standard weapon control measures:

        Weapons hold. The door gunner's weapons will remain in a stowed position. Enemy contact is not likely or is an administrative measure by the PC.

        Weapons tight. The door gunner's weapon would be placed in a position to fire. However, firing would only be executed on order of the PC. Enemy contact is possible.

        Weapons free. Door gunners make the decision to fire. Based on the mission brief where enemy contact is expected.

      (2) The door gunner will acknowledge the weapon control status to the PC. If the weapon status is in other than "hold", the gunner will announce that the weapon is in a condition and position to fire. The door gunner will report "GUN READY."

    b. Crew Weapon Sequence. A standard sequence for engagements is important (See Chapter 6). The following is the standard weapon sequence for utility/cargo crews. The intent of the sequence is for it to follow a logical progression for the crew member. If the pilot, copilot, or other crew members acquire a target, the observing crew member will alert the other crew members. The standard weapon sequence is:

      Which crew member should know? (Left/Right Gunner, Pilot.)

      What is it? (Target, Bandit.)

      Where is it? (Clock position and range.)

      Who is it? (Target type.)

      Action. (What are you doing or what should the other crew members be doing?)

      (1) The following is a typical weapon sequence:

    "Left Gunner, target, eleven o'clock, six hundred meters, soldiers in treeline, engage."

The right side door gunner, upon acquisition, would announce:

    "Tally, firing."

      (2) Chapter 6 lists standard phrases for crew communication. The following are phrases specifically for door gunnery.

        Open fire. Instructs the gunners to start firing at an obvious threat to the aircraft. May also apply to a specific gunner. For example, "right gunner, open fire."

        Cease fire. Instructs the gunners to stop firing. May also apply to a specific gunner. For example, "right gunner, cease fire."

        Ready. Indicates guns are ready to fire.

        Right gun/left gun jam. Indicates a gun is jammed and cannot fire. Right/left indicates which side the gun is on.

        Right gun/left gun out. Indicates the door gunner is out of ammunition. Right/left indicates which side the gun is on.

NOTE: "Back gunner" or "back gun" indicates the rear door gunner and will be used on CH-47s with the third door gunner.

A-7. SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

    a. Flight Equipment. ALSE (such as flight helmet, Nomex flight suit, gloves) and other pieces of equipment specified by regulations and/or directives will be worn by door gunners during flight operations. The commander may direct that additional hearing protection be worn due to the increased sound pressure levels generated during weapons firing. For increased eye protection, lower helmet visors during any firing operations.

    b. Seat Belt/Safety Harness. The door gunner should remain strapped in his seat during normal aircraft operations. A safety harness ("Monkey strap") will permit additional movement inside the aircraft, particularly during engagements.

    c. Ejected Brass. Spent brass that collects on the floor of the aircraft can make footing hazardous. Ejected brass from a firing weapon can be carried by the aircraft's slipstream into the aircraft, causing damage. Ejection control bags ("Brass catchers") control spent brass and should be used.

    d. Barrel Change. The airflow around a helicopter in flight helps to cool the machine gun barrel. However, a barrel change may still be necessary, depending on the rate of fire. A barrel change is normally a team effort (gunner and assistant gunner) on a standard M60. However, on board an aircraft a barrel change will more than likely be performed by the individual door gunner. Although barrel removal and replacement is relatively simple, safety dictates that additional emphasis be placed on standardization of the procedure. The unit SOP should specify when, where, and how an extra barrel will be carried and secured and how to accomplish barrel changes. FM 23-67 recommends barrel change based on the following rates of fire:

      Sustained (100 rounds per minute): Change barrel every 10 minutes.

      Rapid (200 rounds per minute): Change barrel every 2 minutes.

      Cyclic (550 rounds per minute): Change barrel every minute.

A-8. AMMUNITION

DA Pamphlet 350-38 allocates ammunition to train one door gunner per aircraft. This ammunition is an important consideration and will be an important factor when determining the number of door gunners to train. Chapter 7, DA Pamphlet 350-38 states, "Current authorizations fill one gunner position per aircraft. Total rounds per aircraft will double when second gunner position is authorized." Ammunition for the M60D is standard 7.62mm mix. Units may have success drawing additional ammunition. However, the initial planning must be for the DA Pamphlet 350-38 allocation. Figure A-3 shows the ammunition allocation per table.

A-9. GUNNERY TABLES

Figures A-4 through A-8 (gunnery tables VI, VII and VIII) provide the framework for the door gunnery training program. Commanders may vary the engagement sequences, conditions, and target arrays within the tables to meet mission training requirements or to fit resource constraints such as range layout. Modified tables must be no less demanding than those in the manual, and such modifications will be temporary. Commanders must work continuously with installation or regional range authorities to upgrade and improve gunnery ranges. Commanders may allocate additional ammunition to Table VI for weapons calibration, if available.

    a. Tables VII and VIII are based on eight tasks. Five tasks must be qualified, and a minimum of 350 points must be scored on Table VIII for the door gunner to be qualified. You may use the score sheet in Chapter 2 to help score the engagements.

GUNNERY TABLES

# ROUNDS
TRC A / C

I

10 meter practice fire

117 / 117 ball

II

10 meter record fire

119 / 119 ball

III

Transition range practice fire

182 / 182 mix

IV

Transition range record fire

154 / 154 mix

V

Door gunner training and assessment

VI

Aircraft transition/weapons calibration

150 / 150 mix

VII

Aircraft practice

240 / 240 mix

VIII

Aircraft qualification

240 / 240 mix

IX

Section/platoon training (MILES)

200 / 200 blank

X

Section/platoon training

200 / 0 mix

TOTALS:

7.62mm Ball: 236/236
7.62mm Mix: 1,166 (TRC A) 966 (TRC C)
7.62mm Blank: 200/200

NOTES:

1. Refer to DA Pamphlet 350-38 for current ammunition authorizations.

2. The unit METL and MTP determine whether night training and qualification tables are conducted. Night door gunnery is designed for door gunners and crew to use NVGs.

Figure A-3. Annual ammunition allocation per gunnery table

TASK

CONDITION

STANDARD

NO     DESCRIPTION

MODE        RANGE    TARGET

(METERS)

TARGET     AMMO
EFFECT

1

Engage stationary target, NBC

Ground

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

2

Engage stationary target

Take off

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

3

Engage moving target

Hover

400-600

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

4

Engage moving target

Moving

400-500

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

5

Engage stationary target

Running

800-300

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

Figure A-4. Table VI. Door gunner transition course

TASK

CONDITION

STANDARD

NO     DESCRIPTION

MODE       RANGE     TARGET

(METERS)

TARGET     AMMO
EFFECT

1

Engage stationary target, NBC

Ground

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

2

Engage stationary target

Take off

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

3

Engage moving target

Hover

400-600

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

4

Engage stationary target

Moving

400-500

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

5

Engage stationary target

Running

800-300

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

Figure A-5. Table VII. Day door gunner practice course

TASK

CONDITION

STANDARD

NO     DESCRIPTION

MODE       RANGE     TARGET

(METERS)

TARGET     AMMO
EFFECT

1

Engage stationary target

Ground

250-350

Troops

1 Hit

30

2

Engage stationary target

Hover

400-500

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

3

Engage stationary target

Moving

400-600

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

Figure A-6. Table VII. Night door gunner practice course

TASK

CONDITION

STANDARD

NO     DESCRIPTION

MODE       RANGE     TARGET

(METERS)

TARGET     AMMO
EFFECT

1

Engage stationary target, NBC

Ground

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

2

Engage stationary target

Take off

300-500

Troops

1 Hit

30

3

Engage moving target

Hover

400-600

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

4

Engage stationary target

Moving

400-500

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

5

Engage stationary target

Running

800-300

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

Figure A-7. Table VIII. Day door gunner qualification course

TASK

CONDITION

STANDARD

NO     DESCRIPTION

MODE       RANGE     TARGET

(METERS)

TARGET     AMMO
EFFECT

1

Engage stationary target

Ground

250-350

Troops

1 Hit

30

2

Engage stationary target

Hover

400-500

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

3

Engage stationary target

Moving

400-600

Vehicle

3 Hits

30

Figure A-8. Table VIII. Night door gunner qualification course

    b. Engagement Time Standards. Using the point calculation table below, scorers can determine a numerical score for each engagement. To use Table A-1:

      Time the engagement using the methods outlined in Chapter 2 of this manual.

      Find the time of the engagement in the "Time" column below. Read down to the "Points" column to determine score.

      If the engagement time is exactly halfway between two times, figure the number in between the two scores the engagement time falls between. For example, if the engagement time is 10.5 seconds, the score is 95 points.

      Always round down to get the score. For example, if the engagement time is 11.7 seconds, the score is 93. (Rounded down to 11.5 seconds).

Table A-1. Point calculation for Tables VII and Table VIII

Time

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

24

27

30

Points

100

98

96

94

92

90

88

86

84

82

80

78

76

74

72

70

50

30

NOTE: A full-size version of this point calculation table is located in Appendix C.

Section II. Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

A-10. FIRE CONTROL FUNDAMENTALS

Fire control is the name given to the observations, calculations, and actions involved in firing a weapon. Fire control is the method of directing munitions so they will hit the target with a minimum expenditure of ammunition.

    a. Most gun systems contain the same basic elements. The line of sight is the direction from the gun to the target. The line of aim is offset from the LOS by an amount determined by the following:

      Target motion.

      Helicopter motion.

      Range to target.

      Projectile drop.

      Wind effects.

      Projectile and gun characteristics.

    b. The muzzle of the weapon must be aimed so that when the weapon is fired, the projectile will hit the target. The gunner must estimate all the factors that determine the amount of compensation required. He estimates range and lead for an initial burst and corrects for elevation and deflection by adjusting the rounds on target. This techniques is known as applying "burst on target". The ballistic factors for door guns (flexible mode) are covered in Chapter 4 of this manual.

A-11. RANGE ESTIMATION

Range estimation is covered in Chapter 6. Door gunners will normally use the recognition method for range estimation. When the door gunner uses the recognition method, the following factors effect the accuracy of the range estimation process.

    a. Objects seem closer when:

      Viewed from altitude.

      Looking down a straight road or railroad track.

      Objects are in bright light.

      Looking over smooth terrain.

      Color of object contrasts sharply with color of background.

    b. Objects seem farther away when:

      Looking from low altitude to higher terrain.

      Looking over rough terrain.

      There is poor light or fog.

      Only a small part of the object can be seen.

A-12. WEAPON ENGAGEMENT RANGE

    a. The maximum range of the M60 machine gun with the 7.62mm round is 3,725 meters. Maximum range means that, with the necessary elevation applied to the weapon with standard ball ammunition over "flat earth," the projectile should travel 3,725 meters.

    b. The maximum effective range of the M60D is published as 1,100 meters. The planning maximum effective range is 900 meters, based on probabilities of hit and tracer burnout.

A-13. FIRING TECHNIQUES

    a. The door gunner must understand the challenges of firing a machine gun from a helicopter in flight. These challenges include variable airspeeds, ranges, firing angles, and ballistics. Some of these complexities, as compared to a ground gunner, are explained below.

      (1) The door gunner's firing platform is normally moving; the ground gunner usually fires from a stationary platform.

      (2) The door gunner normally has only his eyes to estimate range. The ground gunner can use range finders, maps, or known ground reference points to more easily determine range.

      (3) The door gunner is usually autonomous regarding fire control and ammunition conservation. The ground gunner receives fire control instructions from his section leader and ammunition conservation assistance from the assistant gunner.

    b. Range estimation is the door gunner's first consideration when preparing to fire at a target. Door gunners must be able to estimate range quickly and accurately and should practice range estimation throughout their training.

    c. Proper aim points for target engagement from a moving helicopter vary with airspeed, altitude, bank angle, and rate of turn.

      (1) As a rule of thumb, the point of aim is to the near side of the target (the side of the target closest to the firer). Aim point is, in part, due to the motion of the aircraft and the effects of projectile drift that carry the bullet forward.

      (2) Another accepted method of initial target engagement is to aim low when firing from the left side of the aircraft and to aim high when firing from the right side. Bank angles, approach angles, turns, and other aircraft motion will also be factors in aiming the weapon and placing effective fire on a target (see Figure A-9).

Figure A-9. Aiming points

A-14. FIRE ADJUSTMENT

    a. Observation and adjustment of fire must be continuous throughout the engagement. Initial delivery of long bursts will normally help the gunner adjust the subsequent bursts.

    b. For moving targets or targets that are likely to move (vehicles or personnel) the gunner must try to anticipate movement (or quickly react to the movement) and shift fire in the direction of the movement.

    c. The use of 4 to 1 (ball/tracer) ammunition will normally provide enough tracers for positive adjustment of fire. At engagement ranges beyond tracer burnout, other factors must be considered. Tracer burnout of 7.62 mm ammunition is approximately 900 meters. At ranges beyond 900 meters, the firer could observe tracer burnout and believe that he aimed low when, in reality, the projectile continued along its trajectory and struck beyond the target.

    d. The M60D machine gun has a tendency to climb when firing. Caution must be exercised to prevent this tendency. A climbing muzzle could reach an angle where other aircraft, or even the main rotor blades of the firing aircraft, could be hit.

    e. When firing with the M60D, placing the horizontal cross hair and front sight blade on line with the target corrects for bullet drop at ranges up to 750 meters. The weapon must be aimed higher at ranges beyond 750 meters.

    f. When correcting for lead effect, the gunner must align the target, front sight blade, and the approximate point on the horizontal cross hair. This alignment is only an estimated point of aim since aircraft speed and/or movement will make accurate aiming difficult. When firing from the right side of the helicopter, the gunner will use the right hand section of the sighting rings according to target location and aircraft speed. When firing from the left side of the helicopter the gunner will use the left side of the sighting rings. Refer to Figures A-10 and A-11 for more information on the lead effect.

A-15. OVERVIEW

    a. This section describes the tactics, techniques and procedures for planning and conducting multihelicopter door gunnery operations. It is designed for use in establishing M60D multihelicopter door gunnery training programs in aviation units assigned utility or cargo helicopters.

    b. This section is applicable to commanders, platoon leaders, crew members, and nonrated crew members of aviation units who conduct air movement and air assault missions. It is not intended to replace aviation unit door gunnery training manuals or SOPs. It provides planning and training requirements for aerial door gunnery that are not in doctrinal publications or ATMs.

    c. The TTP applies to the UH-1, UH-60, and CH-47 helicopters. However, these principles are applicable to all aviation units that conduct multihelicopter air movement and air assault operations.

A-16. MULTIHELICOPTER DOOR GUNNERY

Multihelicopter door gunnery consists of the techniques used to acquire and engage targets from helicopters flying in formation at terrain flight altitudes.

    a. Aircrews and door gunners in the formation must use effective crew coordination procedures to visually acquire, identify and engage targets. Both aircraft and passengers are vulnerable to attack during air movement operations and throughout all phases of air assault operations. Therefore, it is imperative that door gunners respond by delivering direct and indirect fires on these targets. This section discusses crew coordination procedures, gunner employment, and firing techniques to be used during multihelicopter operations.

    b. Prerequisites. Before conducting multihelicopter door gunnery, the aircrews and door gunners must be qualified in the techniques and skills of basic door gunnery and they must complete crew qualification, Table VIII, according to this appendix.

Figure A-10. Sight picture, right side of aircraft

Figure A-11. Sight picture, left side of aircraft

Section III. Advanced Table Tactics, Techniques,
and Procedures

A-17. CREW COORDINATION

    a. Aircrew Duties. Before departing on a mission, the pilot-in-command must orient his crew on the situation and the mission. This orientation will include the friendly situation, rules of engagement, possible target areas, fire commands, the location of emergency medical and survival equipment, and other available information essential to mission success.

    b. Coordination Between Aircraft. Detailed procedures for communicating during live-fire (training and combat) will be standardized and specified by the unit SOP. Crew members must clearly understand one another. In addition, positive communication between aircrews must specify commence fire and cease fire procedures and firing azimuths of overlapping or sector fires for the flight. For example, lead calls formation "cease fire" upon landing in LZ.

A-18. DOOR GUNNER EMPLOYMENT IN FORMATION

    a. Sectors of Fire. A sector of fire is an area to be covered by fire that is assigned to an individual, a weapon, an aircraft, or a unit. Door gunners are normally assigned two sectors of fire: a primary sector and a secondary sector. Door gunners must know the traversing limits and the definitions that apply when calculating sectors of fire in formation. Traversing limits are addressed in the aircraft operators manual.

    b. Definitions.

      (1) Inboard gunner. Gunner whose position is on the inboard side of a formation and usually has another aircraft in his field of fire. Figures A-12 through A-16 show examples of inboard gunner positions.

      (2) Outboard gunner. Gunner whose position is on the outboard side of a formation that does not have another aircraft in his field of fire. Figure A-12 through A-16 show examples of outboard gunner positions.

      (3) The safety limit. An imaginary line from the gunner's position to a point in space that is no closer than two rotor diameters (day) and three rotor diameters (night) from another aircraft.

      (4) Permissible sector of fire. The sector of fire of the door gunner that is limited by the traversing limits of the weapon system or by the amount of deflection he can traverse based upon the safety limit or any other factors (such as friendly troops or equipment) that prevent him from firing toward another aircraft in the formation. For safety reasons, the door gunner should not fire any closer than a lateral distance of two rotor diameters (day safety limit) and three rotor diameters (night safety limit) from another aircraft. This distance will be determined by the gunner. However, the figures in this section show the approximate angles for the sectors of fire for different aircraft when allowing for the safety limit. The permissible sectors of fire will constantly change due to changes in position of aircraft during formation flying.

A-19. FORMATION CONSIDERATIONS

    a. Multihelicopter door gunnery training operations should be performed with a minimum of two aircraft and maximum of five aircraft in formation.

    b. Aircrews conducting formation flight must do so with an extreme sense of responsibility and with constant vigilance. The employment of door gunners in formation adds another responsibility to the entire aircrew. In addition to being concerned with separation from other aircraft they must concentrate on permissible sectors of fire and when firing can commence and when it must cease. Any aspect of formation flying while employing door gunners can be fatal if principles are violated.

      (1) Aerodynamic interference. Aircrews, especially door gunners, should anticipate aerodynamic interference between helicopters during formation flight. Aircrews flying trailing aircraft may encounter wake turbulence if they permit their aircraft to get below leading aircraft. Flight in the turbulent air may result in rapid attitude (pitch), roll, and yaw changes. Power may also have to be increased to maintain a proper position in a formation. Door gunners must be aware of the possibility of aerodynamic interference.

      (2) Aircraft separation. The distance between helicopters or formations of helicopters can be greatly increased to fit the tactical situation. At higher altitude, helicopters should be positioned far enough apart to prevent a burst of antiaircraft fire from destroying the entire flight. At terrain flight altitudes, aircraft may be spread out to take advantage of the terrain. Additionally, flying loose and extended formations are less fatiguing to the pilot than flying close formations. Door gunners must be familiar with the techniques for maintaining proper aircraft separation. Understanding these techniques will aid door gunners in determining their permissible sectors of fire while in formation.

      (3) Aircraft maneuvering. An aircraft is normally maneuvered with primary reference to only one other aircraft in the formation. The constant effort required to detect any change in altitude, airspeed, or heading of the reference aircraft precludes watching aircraft other than the reference aircraft. If all aircraft guide correctly to their reference aircraft, then all aircraft have adequate distance and altitude separation for safe operation of the flight as well as door gunner employment. In those formations requiring a relative position to more than one aircraft (staggered trail), the aviator must use peripheral vision to the maximum, while concentrating on his reference aircraft. The pilots must also keep a constant mental picture of his door gunners' permissible sectors of fire as well as keeping track of locations of other aircraft in the formation. Gunners will also play a role in determining when they do and do not have permissible sectors of fire. It is possible for a gunner on one side of the aircraft to have a permissible sector of fire when the gunner(s) in another position(s) do not and vice versa.

      (4) Maneuvers. Aircrews that will be conducting formation flight must also be familiar with the many different maneuvers normally associated with multihelicopter operations. They must be aware of how those maneuvers could change the permissible sectors of fire or in some cases restrict the gunners' fire altogether. Maneuvers they must be familiar with include:

        Formation takeoff.

        Formation turns.

        Formation changes en route.

        Rendezvous and join up.

        Tactical formation breakup.

        Formation landing.

        Night formation landing.

        Evasive actions.

      The procedures for these maneuvers are explained in TC 1-201. The tasks, conditions and standards for some of the maneuvers, particularly evasive maneuvers, are found in the appropriate ATM for each aircraft.

      (5) Listed below are commonly used formations and their permissible sectors of fire.

        (a) Echelon left/right. This formation allows rapid deployment of the flank and allows unrestricted fires by outboard gunners in the lead and trail aircraft. It somewhat restricts suppressive fire by inboard gunners of lead and trail aircraft as well as the inboard and outboard gunners of other aircraft within the formation. Figure A-12 shows echelon left. Figure A-13 shows echelon right.

        (b) Trail. Allows rapid deployment of forces to the flank; somewhat restricts fires by all gunners. Separation is two rotor disks during day and three rotor disks at night. Figures A-14 and A-15 show trail formations for day and night.

        (c) Tactical free cruise. Free cruise is a technique that permits the wingman in a two-ship section or greater to freely maneuver in the zone extending 45 degrees on either side and to the rear of the leader's tail. Within the zone, the wingman may vary vertical separation, airspeed, and distance from the leader. The distance the wingman trails the leader varies and depends upon visibility and terrain. The wingman must maintain visual contact with the leader. However, he must exercise caution not to overtake the leader. The flexibility of free cruise enables the wingman to change his position behind the leader at will without radio communication. The wingman is able to choose his own flight path to avoid obstacles, use terrain to the maximum advantage, or to provide fires against known or suspected enemy positions. Free cruise is best suited for tactical situations. This formation causes continuous changes in the permissible sectors of fire. Depending upon aircraft position in the flight, it sometimes allows unrestricted fires of gunners while restricting fires of other gunners within the formation. Figure A-16 shows tactical free cruise sectors of fire.

NOTE: Tactical free cruise is the most challenging formation for controlling fires from door gunners. Because of the constant change involved in the formation, employment of door gunners during free cruise requires a great deal of training and command and control.

A-20. FIRING TECHNIQUES.

    a. Fire Control Requirements. Fire control includes all actions of the aircrews in planning, preparing and actually applying fire on a target. These actions include:

      The ability to select and designate targets.

      Open fire at the instant desired.

      Adjust fire and regulate the rate of fire.

      Shift from one target to another.

      Overlap fires with other gunners.

      Cease fire.

    Failure to exercise fire control results in ineffective employment of the weapon systems and can result in danger to friendly troops or aircraft. It also results in an inability to engage a threatening target; loss of surprise; premature disclosure of positions, fire on unimportant targets, loss of time in adjusting fire, and wasted ammunition

Figure A-12. Sectors of fire, echelon left

Figure A-13. Sectors of fire, echelon right

Figure A-14. Trail formation, day

Figure A-15. Trail formation, night

Figure A-16. Tactical free cruise

    b. Target of Opportunity. The requirement for immediate fires arises from targets of opportunity or changes in the tactical situation. Immediate fire targets may be acquired by any door gunner(s) in the formation. However, all immediate fires require close coordination between other aircraft in the formation and, if the situation dictates, with the ground commander or his fire support coordinator.

    c. Target Acquisition. Targets are acquired by all available means. Targets acquired by the aircrews are engaged and controlled under the direction of the pilot-in-command, pilot, air mission commander or with the ground commander to support the ground tactical plan. Engagement of targets acquired by other means will be according to existing directives or policies of the supported headquarters.

      (1) Target identification under natural light conditions at night may be difficult. The factors of METT-T and the tactical situation (such as cross-FLOT) also apply to night operations. As with all operations, friendly positions must be positively known before commencing firing.

      (2) Night acquisition. At night or during periods of low visibility, target acquisition becomes more difficult and crew responsibilities take on added importance. Proper crew training and knowledge of techniques available can turn the operation into an advantage for the door gunners. Aids to night target acquisition include--

        (a) Artificial illumination.

        (b) Night vision devices.

        (c) Enemy fire. By spotting muzzle flashes or tracers, enemy fire may often be spotted from the air. However, the observer must rapidly pinpoint the muzzle flash or tracer location before it disappears.

    d. Principles of Application of Fire. Application of fire consists of the methods crews use to get complete and effective coverage of a target area. Training in the methods of applying fire can be accomplished only after the aircrews and door gunners have learned to recognize the different types of targets they may find in combat, how to properly distribute, overlap and concentrate their fire, and how to maintain the proper rate of fire.

      Airspeeds 80 to 120 knots. Airspeeds en route should not exceed 120 knots if door gunners are to be employed. Airspeeds exceeding 120 knots can cause the M60D machine gun to be ineffective.

      Targets. The door gunner may have to engage a wide variety of targets during a mission. Suppression is a self-defense engagement and is intended to allow friendly helicopters to bypass the threat. Door gunners do not shoot at targets they do not intend to hit. Therefore, coordinated fires from all aircraft in the formation will enhance the probability of destroying the target.

      Overlapping fires. Gunners should initiate overlapping fires to provide the maximum fire available to destroy or suppress targets encountered en route.

      (1) Fires en route. Techniques and procedures for engaging targets (for example, SA-14 team, observation post, small arms fire) en route will be specified by the unit to enhance mission security. Targets identified en route will be visible for a short duration therefore door gunners must be prepared to respond immediately to this threat.

      (2) Approach to landing. Aircrews and troops are most vulnerable during landing. Therefore, procedures for gunners to coordinate and employ simultaneous fires must be developed.

      (3) On the ground. Door gunners must fire without delay or continue firing to suppress or destroy targets while troops disembark.

        (a) During troop egress. Procedures for gunners firing within the aft 75 degrees (UH-60) fan must be carefully developed to prevent fratricide. Situations may occur that require continued suppression while troops egress. Soldiers will have to egress toward the aft part of the helicopter and immediately take the prone position. This technique is potentially very dangerous. It takes a great deal of training and should be practiced during Table IX training.

        (b) Overlapping or sector fire. After landing, enemy fires may be expected from any direction. Therefore, door gunners must use their discretion regarding fire control. To provide the most effective engagements techniques gunners should use overlapping fires or sector fires.

      (4) Departure. Gunners must be trained according to FM 90-4 in troop dismounting and movement procedures from all aircraft landing formations. The gunner's ability to suppress targets is dependent upon troop actions and movements from aircraft in different formations. Depending on the threat in the landing zone, door gunners may be required to continue suppression to assist the inserted soldiers while they organize their actions during the ground tactical plan.

Section IV. Advanced Tables and Range Training

A-21. TABLE IX

Table IX is the first opportunity for door gunners to participate in multiship door gunnery. Units will use Table IX to train the TTP necessary to progress to multiship live-fire. The commander selects the specific tasks he wants to train during Table IX. This table is the commanders training and assessment event prior to live-fire multiship door gunnery. Follow these guidelines when firing Table IX.

    a. A maximum of 5 aircraft should participate in multiship door gunnery formations. The S3 and UT should select a route for the flight on which the door gunners can engage targets en route and in the LZ.

    b. OPFOR should be available to engage the aircraft and provide targets for the door gunner. The OPFOR should be soldiers with infantry MILES equipment. The OPFOR must have weapons capable of engaging the aircraft.

    c. The crews involved in exercise will be thoroughly briefed and will rehearse the mission.

    d. Because the door gunners will not be shooting live mix ammunition, adjusting fires onto the targets may be difficult. This situation is unavoidable. The training value is in rehearsing formations and fire commands.

    e. The objectives of the training are to--

      (1) Allow units to refine fire discipline.

      (2) Expose door gunners to multiship door gunnery.

      (3) Exercise command and control with blanks.

      (4) Train gunners to place fires on target.

      (5) Uncover multiship door gunnery weaknesses within the unit.

A-22. TABLE X

Commanders conduct Table X at Combined Training Centers. Table X is the live-fire "graduation exercise" for unit door gunnery training.

    a. The primary reason for firing Table X at a CTC is that the surface danger area for a helicopter with two door gunners firing is almost 6,500 meters wide. Because of this fact, most units cannot conduct this training on their home station range. However, if commanders have the resources and adequate range facilities they can fire Table X at their home station.

    b. Commanders will use the same premission planning procedures, with additional emphasis on safety, for Table X as for Table IX.

    c. The CTC will dictate the scenario, but it will have the following characteristics:

      (1) OPFOR en route and in the LZ.

      (2) No troops onboard the aircraft--crew only.

      (3) Maximum of five aircraft in the formation.

      (4) For initial live-fire, trail is the mandated formation

    d. Table IX must be completed no earlier than 180 days prior to the conduct of Table X.

    e. The unit commander must decide whether his unit is ready for live-fire. A thorough risk assessment must be completed prior to the exercise.

A-23. GUIDES FOR SUCCESSFUL TRAINING

Units must thoroughly prepare for door gunner qualification ranges. The following are recommendations for range training:

    a. Pilots must practice the flight profiles required by the tables prior to the range. Running fire and takeoff will present the greatest challenge to the pilot. In addition, the helicopter should hover only high enough to give the door gunner intervisibility with the target. Extremely high hovers present unrealistic training for the door gunner.

    b. Engagement timing is very important. To make the timing objective:

      (1) Make sure the pilot of the firing aircraft is ready prior to target presentation.

      (2) Make sure the soldiers timing the engagements practice the calls to the firing aircrew and timing sequences to ensure uniform scoring.

      (3) Make sure the pilots understand the required flight profile for the engagement.

    c. Refer to the running fire diagram in Chapter 2. Adopt this method to door gunner running fire. The running fire engagement must start and stop at the same point for all qualifying door gunners. In addition, the door gunner must have intervisibility with the target during the running engagement.

    d. The AWSS may be used in the near future for door gunnery scoring. At the time of publication of this manual, the AWSS is undergoing testing to determine its ability to score door gunnery. Until the AWSS is the standard for door gunnery, door gunners must qualify on MPRCs or other ranges that can objectively score target effect.

    e. Targets.

      (1) Door gunners must engage both troop and vehicle targets during qualification. The recommended vehicle targets are BMP silhouettes. For troop targets, units have several options.

      (2) Figures A-17 and A-18 show the proper use of 3D and "E" silhouettes on the door gunnery range. TC 25-8 contains the dimensions of the targets.

Figure A-17. Troop target with 3D silhouettes

Figure A-18. Target lifter with troop silhouettes



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list