THE BSFV PLATOON
The Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle platoon plays an integral role as part of the combined arms team on the modern day battlefield. This chapter discusses BSFV platoon organization, personnel roles and responsibilities, and system capabilities.
The mission of air defense artillery is to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial and missile attack and surveillance. The FAAD mission is to provide low-altitude air defense protection to the force and its critical assets. FAAD contributes to force protection operations by countering threat reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition (RISTA) and lethal aerial platforms. FAAD weapon systems ensure the force has the freedom to maneuver during combat operations.
BSFV PLATOON IN ARMY OPERATIONS
FM 100-5 describes how the Army organizes and applies combat power. It describes synchronization of the combat functions to achieve victory. Within its framework, there are five tenets which describe the characteristics of successful operations.
While these tenets apply to the training and leadership doctrine of all combat, combat support, and combat service support organizations, an understanding of them by the BSFV platoon will aid in success on the battlefield.
Initiative sets or changes the terms of battle by action. It implies an offensive spirit in the conduct of all operations. Initiative requires that leaders anticipate events on the battlefield. This allows them and their units to act and react faster than the enemy. Applied to individual soldiers and leaders, initiative requires a willingness and ability to act independently within the framework of the commander's intent. The BSFV platoon must be able to anticipate enemy actions and organize its assets to defeat or destroy the enemy air threat.
Agility is the ability of friendly forces to react faster than the enemy. It is a prerequisite for seizing and holding the initiative. It is as much a mental as a physical quality. For the BSFV platoon, agility is the ability to adjust platoon capabilities to meet varying air threats. The decision support matrix and the execution matrix are examples of tools that may be used by the BSFV platoon to achieve agility. This is accomplished by the swift concentration of air defense fires against enemy aerial platforms.
Depth is the extension of operations in time, space, resources, and purpose. It is the ability to gain information and influence operations throughout the battlefield. The BSFV platoon achieves depth by integrating fires with other air defense systems, for example, a reinforced Stinger section.
Synchronization is arranging activities in time and space to mass at the decisive point. It requires a clear understanding of the supported unit commander's intent. The BSFV platoon achieves synchronization by massing fires at the critical point on the battlefield. An example of synchronization by the BSFV platoon is the proper positioning of sections on the battlefield to mass fires at a specific air target area of interest to destroy or defeat any enemy air threat.
Versatility is the ability to meet diverse mission requirements. The BSFV platoon must be flexible to meet diverse mission requirements. An example of versatility in a BSFV platoon is the ability to move laterally on the battlefield transitioning from a defensive to an offensive posture in a reinforcing role.
BSFV PLATOON ORGANIZATION
The BSFV platoon is organized into a headquarters section and two maneuver sections. See the BSFV Platoon illustration. The headquarters section consists of the platoon leader's Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) and the platoon sergeant's armored personnel carrier (APC) and 5-ton ammo truck. The maneuver sections each contain two BSFV squads. This configuration gives the platoon the capability to fight as an entire platoon or to task-organize and fight as sections. Air defense commanders may modify platoon organizations to fit specific mission requirements.
BSFV PLATOON PERSONNEL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Roles and responsibilities of personnel assigned to the BSFV platoon are varied. This section outlines the general roles and responsibilities of platoon personnel.
The BSFV platoon leader has several responsibilities. He commands the BSFV platoon and his BFV track. In this capacity, he is responsible for tactical employment, track commander tasks, and logistics. He is also the special staff officer for air defense for the sup-ported unit commander.
The platoon sergeant (PSG) is second-in-command of the platoon and takes charge of the platoon in the absence of the platoon leader. He is responsible to the platoon leader for maintenance and supply, and may assist in employment of the platoon and in dissemination of early warning. He may also act as an liaison officer (LNO) for the platoon. Depending on platoon task organization, he may direct the tactical employment of one section.
The squad leader is the BSFV commander and has overall responsibility for the squad. He identifies and designates targets, routes of movement, and vehicle positions. He determines weapon to be fired, fire command, and decides when to dismount the Stinger team. He also maintains communications and carries out the platoon leader's or platoon sergeant's directives. The squad leader has primary responsibility for the maintenance of the BSFV and the training of his squad.
The gunner, as second-in-command of the squad, assists the squad leader in the detection and identification of targets. He is the primary operator of the BSFV turret weapon systems. He is responsible for operator maintenance of the turret and its weapons.
DRIVER (ASSISTANT GUNNER)
The driver operates the vehicle under the squad leader's control. He aids in target identification and engagement. The driver is primarily responsible for operator maintenance on vehicle automotive and communications systems. When required, the driver will perform duties of an assistant gunner by aiding the gunner in the preparation and loading of ammunition.
The two-man Stinger team consists of a team chief and a gunner. The team chief is responsible for Stinger employment, target identification and engagement, and Stinger maintenance.
The gunner is responsible for assisting the team chief in the operation and maintenance of the Stinger. He must be prepared to assume all the duties and responsibilities of the team chief. The Stinger team may assist the Bradley crew in uploading 25-mm ammunition.
BSFV CHARACTERISTICS AND CAPABILITIES
The BSFV tremendously enhances air defense protection in the forward area of the battlefield. This section addresses the weapon system features which are responsible for the increased firepower, mobility, and survivability of air defense artillery fire units. Target engagement and weapon characteristics and capabilities are addressed in Appendix L of this manual.
Although the primary weapon system on the BSFV is the Stinger missile, other firepower systems provide target engagement alternatives. The weapons are characteristized as dismounted and mounted systems.
The Stinger is the primary air defense weapon in the BSFV. The Stinger team maintains a basic load of two weapon-rounds and four missile-rounds. See Stinger Technical Data and BSFV Stinger Storage illustrations.
The BSFV has three mounted weapon systems that support the surface-to-surface and surface- to-air mission. The following paragraphs explain each system's capabilities.
25-mm automatic gun. The BSFV has a 25-mm fully automatic gun. The dual-feed weapon system al-lows the crew to select two types of ammunition: Armor-piercing discarding sabot-tracer (APDS-T) and high-explosive incendiary tracer (HEI-T). See the BSFV 25-mm chain gun basic load illustration.
Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW missile system. The TOW is a command-guided surface attack weapon that can destroy stationary and slow-moving aerial targets as well as armored vehicles. It may also be used against fortified bunkers, gun emplacements, and other protected positions.
M240C 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun (coax). The coaxial machine gun is a belt-fed, gas-operated, fully automatic weapon which can be used against unmanned aerodynamic vehicles (UAVs), fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, dismounted infantry, crew-served weapons, and unarmored vehicles.
The BSFV has acceleration and speed far superior to the APC. Its mobility, survivability, and maneuver-ability is commensurate with that of the supported force. Its cross-country speed is 48 kilometers per hour, and its cruising range is 480 kilometers. Fuel capacity is 175 gallons. The BSFV is powered by a 600-horsepower (M2A2) turbocharged diesel engine. Power train efficiency is derived from a hydromechanical transmission. The suspension system has 14 inches of vertical wheel travel and high-performance shock absorbers. The following illustration contains additional details.
ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
The BSFV has additional capabilities and characteristics common to the Bradley family of vehicles. Some of the more important capabilities and characteristics are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Through the use of special armor plate materials, surface slope, and a unique laminate armor system, the BSFV has maximum armor protection for its weight. The BSFV can withstand projectiles up to and including 14.5-mm on all sides on the M3A0 and 30-mm on the M2A2. The BSFV cannot withstand fire from anti-armor weapons, but skillful application of the vehicle's mobility and suppressive firepower can decrease its vulnerability.
The BSFV has two onboard smoke systems. The first, a smokescreen generator, creates a dense smoke cloud by introducing diesel fuel into the engine exhaust system. It is not effective if the vehicle is fueled with JP3 or JP8. The BSFV also has two smoke-grenade launchers (eight tubes) mounted on the front of the turret, four per side. They are fired simultaneously and produce a dense cloud of smoke. The launchers must be reloaded from the outside of the vehicle.
Under certain circumstances, smoke obscurants may be effective as a defense against attacking rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft. They can be used for obscuring the vehicle from air or ground-launched optical-guided missiles. The use of onboard smoke may give away the user's vehicle position as well as obstruct aerial target acquisition.
The BSFV can ford up to 3.5 feet of water. With its water barrier erected, the BSFV can swim water obstacles with currents up to 6.4 kilometers or 4 miles per hour. Maximum speed is 7.25 miles per hour while swimming. Erection of the swim barrier takes about 25 minutes for the M2A2. The BSFV requires an exit bank slope not greater than 17 percent and can fire both its 25-mm automatic gun and 7.62-mm systems while swimming, though care must be taken not to hit the trim vane or water barrier. The 25-mm automatic gun may be fired in any direction while swimming how-ever, traversing the turret may upset the balance of the vehicle.
Operations During Limited Visibility
The BSFV is capable of operating in limited visibility. Operation of the weapons and the vehicle are aided by special sights and viewers.
Integrated sight unit. The ISU is the primary sighting system for mounted weapon systems on the BSFV. Using the integrated sight unit in the thermal mode, the BSFV commander and gunner can detect and engage targets during limited visibility, day or night. The day sight has normal optics. The night sight uses thermal imagery which enables the gunner to "see" through most limited-visibility conditions, including darkness, smoke, light foliage, camouflage, light fog, snow, and mist. Thermal sights normally remain on during combat operations.
Driver's night sight. The driver uses the driver's night viewer during periods of darkness. This viewer is an image intensification device that allows the driver to see to his front. The driver can also use the viewer to assist the BSFV commander and gunner in sensing rounds fired to the front from the turret weapons. The viewer is prone to "white out" (fade out) if bright light shines directly at the vehicle. When installed, the viewer obscures the speedometer or odometer. It may be battery powered or run directly off the vehicle.
Night vision goggles. The BSFV commander can assist in the control of the vehicle's night movement while wearing the AN/PVS-7 night vision goggles.
The BSFV's communications system provides for control of mounted and dismounted operations. All five Bradleys in the platoon, objectively, will have digital and FM communications capability. Digital communications is the primary means for communications, with FM as the alternate. The BSFV platoon must also be proficient in the use of visual communications. However, the effectiveness of visual communications may be reduced by battlefield obscurant and limited visibility.
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