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MANPAD Defense in Non-ADA Units

MANPAD systems are allocated to non-ADA units to provide self-defense protection against air attack. This need has developed because of the improved capability of threat air forces to destroy our maneuver units. MANPAD systems in the self-defense role can be used to protect these non-ADA units when they are displacing, traveling in a convoy, or during other critical periods when the units come under air attack. This chapter discusses how MANPAD systems are employed, in general terms, to protect these units from air attack. For detailed employment doctrine and weapon handling techniques refer to this manual and FMs 44-18-1, 44-23, and 44-23-1. Classified weapon system capabilities and limitations and gunner ranging techniques of fire are found in (SNF) FM 44-1A(U).


Current tables of organization and equipment (TOE) do not authorize MANPAD personnel in non-ADA units. In the base TOE, these units are not authorized communications and other equipment to support the employment of MANPAD systems as in an ADA unit. MANPAD systems are employed by one soldier rather than as a two-man team found in a typical ADA unit.


Organization and Equipment

Command and Control

System Employment


The number of MANPAD systems for non-ADA units in the Army of Excellence heavy and light divisions are shown in the following tables.


Authorized equipment for the nondedicated gunner is shown in the following illustration.


The unit commander retains the responsibility and authority to direct self-defense gunners to engage known enemy targets. Other aspects of control for gunners are the same as used with small unit self-defense against air attack which are described in FM 44-8.

Self-defense gunners do not have equipment to effect access to normal ADA command and control communications channels. Based on their missions, only a simple communications system is required. FM radio, or wire communications between gunners and the unit command post, will serve to transmit necessary command and control information.

The gunner will fire only in self-defense (WEAPONS HOLD); for example, when fired upon or when the aircraft commits a hostile act. Hostile criteria is found in chapter 3, FM 44-18 and chapter 5, FM 44-23.


Currently, the MANPAD system which is used for non-ADA air defense employment is the Redeye guided missile system. In this context, the Redeye mission is to provide air defense protection for assets throughout the division area. It will be employed to supplement and enhance local small arms used in the air defense role.

Early engagement should be strived for if the asset is critical to the command or operation. The matter of early engagement is one of judgment on the part of the commander. Early engagement is achieved by placing the gunner out and away from the defended asset. This is accomplished so that the gunner can engage and destroy the target prior to the aircraft reaching the ordnance release line. The gunner cannot accomplish this if he is positioned on, or close to the critical asset, because the advantage of early engagement is negated. Therefore, a fast mover (fighter bomber) can approach the asset and accomplish target destruction before he is engaged due, in part, to the location of the gunner and his reaction time.

Gunners must be provided, whenever possible, sufficient time to ready their weapons. When not alerted they must have their MANPAD weapons close by even when they are performing their own MOS duties. System effectiveness largely depends on gunner reaction time.

It must be remembered that the gunner is not in the ADA command and control loop. He does not know the weapons control status in effect and does not need to. However, he does need to know if an aircraft is performing an attack maneuver. The maneuver may be difficult for the gunner to assess; therefore, he needs to be well indoctrinated in expected threat aircraft tactics.

During convoy movement, the gunners will provide self-defense against enemy air attack. The positioning of MANPAD systems will depend on convoy length and available MANPAD weapons. Convoy protection procedures found in chapter 7, FM 44-18-1 apply. Gunners may be pre-positioned along the route of march to provide air defense at key points such as choke points and bridges.

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