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Appendix L

Site Selection


L-1. Site selection and shop layout principles remain the same regardless of the intensity and type of conflict. Conflicts will be fought on a variety of terrain. The environment may range from mountain to desert or from urban to rural. Regardless of environment, maintenance managers must be able to apply site selection principles to the situation, not only to perform the mission most effectively but also to safeguard troops. Whenever possible, AVIM commanders and leaders should participate in supported units' site selection planning.

L-2. The site chosen must meet the following requirements:

  • Compatible with organic vehicle off-road capability.
  • Adjacent to the COSCOM or DISCOM AVIM to assure fast, effective support.
  • Accessible around the clock in all types of weather.


L-3. The maintenance CO will assign a general area for the maintenance site on the map. A map reconnaissance is made first. Only routes that the unit is likely to travel over will be selected. Next, an aerial reconnaissance is made to check the size, suitability, natural cover, and road network of each possible site. Finally, a ground reconnaissance is made of each proposed area to select the best location for the unit. The ground reconnaissance team should include members of each platoon or section that will occupy the selected area.


L-4. An ideal maintenance site has the following features (not all of which are normally found at any one site):

  • Close proximity to the aircraft AA for the unit/units supporting.
  • Close proximity to the AVIM providing its support.
  • Should be located in a wooded area or an area that provides good concealment.
  • Existing roads should lead into and through the site, and be large enough to accommodate the unit's largest vehicle. Also, the road network into the area should be concealed. (Vehicles should not have to cross open fields to reach the company or platoon area-vehicle and aircraft tracks on bare, cultivated, or grassy ground are highly visible from the air.)
  • Good drainage to preclude the area's turning into a swamp during rainy weather.
  • Buildings that provide concealment, with existing roads or paths leading to them that will not be considered unusual when viewed from the air. (The natural surroundings of the buildings should be left intact if possible.)
  • Proximity to a main supply route with existing roads leading into the storage, issue, and shop sections and with access routes for the maintenance platoon or section. (A complete turn-around, or loop, is desirable to move traffic directly through the area.)

L-5. Additional factors to consider when selecting a site are the following:

  • Surface material that will support operations in all kinds of weather.
  • An area that will accommodate unit vehicles and shop facilities and allow dispersion.
  • Adequate aircraft parking with enough area so that aircraft operation will not interfere with maintenance.
  • Ready access to external road nets and landing areas.
  • An area suitable for aircraft landing, defueling, and armament testing.
  • Security, including cover and concealment.
  • Host nation support/concerns.



L-6. After a location is selected, an advance party is sent ahead to prepare for the main unit's arrival. Each platoon or major section of the company furnishes people for the advance party. These individuals select locations for their elements. Members of the advance party serve as route and area guides when the company moves to the area. The guides must position the vehicles quickly to avoid convoy stoppage in open areas.


L-7. Efficiency is the primary goal when organizing company elements within the selected area. Work areas and facilities must be located to obtain the most efficient workflow. However, some compromises, which will somewhat reduce efficiency, may be necessary to meet RAP or RACOs requirements. The company's elements must be positioned so that they can defend themselves and offer mutual defense support to each other.


L-8. Figure L-1 shows a typical AVIM unit in a wooded area. Each element is located for easy access to the aircraft AA and landing area. This area should be approximately 300 to 500 square meters. METT-TC will be considered when dispersing the unit sections. The following items should be considered:

  • PC and QC elements should be near each other and the maintenance area.
  • The storage and issue section should be close to the airfield for easy access but near the area's outer boundary to minimize traffic through the maintenance area. It should have a road network capable of handling truck traffic and have an area large enough to allow for dispersion.
  • The shop platoon headquarters should be near PC because the two sections must coordinate their work.
  • The shop sections should be far enough away from the airfield that dust, dirt, and rotor and propeller blast do not blow into the shop area. Shop sections should not be placed for convenient access to customers. Any contact between the shop platoon and its customers should be made through the PC office.
  • Each maintenance section should be in an area large enough for dispersal of its equipment.
  • The shop supply section handles repair parts and tools for the shop section and the maintenance platoons and, therefore, should be near them. The storage and issue section should also be near the shop supply section.
  • The supply platoon headquarters should be close to its own sections to assist in control and supervision. It should also be near PC.
  • The aviation electronics (avionics) section and the armament platoon are located with the shop section and the allied trade shops. The electronics and avionics section shelters should be as near to the allied trade shops as practical.
  • The company headquarters element should be centrally located because it is responsible for overall company operations.
  • The unit may be augmented with a heavy helicopter repair section, a fixed-wing repair section, and an additional avionics repair section, if required, to support OV-1 or U-21 reconnaissance aircraft. These sections should be located with the shop platoon and avionics/armament platoon elements adjacent to the airfield.

Figure L-1. Layout of Typical AVIM Unit

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