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This appendix provides guidelines concerning Avenger safety issues prior to, or during, combat operations. Leaders at all levels must ensure that safety is an ongoing process during war. This includes doing a risk assessment for all operations. Although not all-encompassing, this appendix provides some basic rules of safety. Leaders should add to the subjects in this appendix as they deem necessary. Leaders should add to the subjects in this appendix as they deem necessary.


Tough, realistic training conducted to standard is the cornerstone of Army warfighting skills. An intense training environment stresses both soldiers and equipment, thus creating a high potential for accidents. The potential for accidents increases as training realism increases. Consequently, realistic training poses a risk to personnel and equipment. Commanders must find ways to protect their soldiers and equipment from accidents during realistic training to prepare for war. An accidental loss in war is no different in its effects than a combat loss; the asset is gone. Commanders must compensate for the advantages of the enemy by protecting their combat resources from accidental loss. How well they do this could be the decisive factor in winning or losing. Commanders and staffs can use the following information as a guide for managing risks as it applies to their organization and mission during peace and war.


Risk Assessment

Avenger Safety Precautions

Other Hazards

Vehicle Movements and Convoys

Safety Briefing Checklist


Risk assessment is a tool leaders can use to make smart risk decisions in tactical operations. It allows leaders to execute more realistic training scenarios not otherwise possible because of the high probability of accidents. Risk assessment is a common sense way of training with the least risk possible. It is a method of getting the job done by identifying the areas that present the highest risk and taking action to eliminate, reduce, or control the risk. Risk assessment must be a fully integrated part of mission planning and execution.


Risk assessment is not complex, technical, or difficult. It is a comparatively simple decision-making process to balance mission demands against risks. Once understood, risk assessment is a way to put more realism into training without paying a price in deaths, injuries, damaged equipment, or all three. Risk assessment is not limited to training scenarios. It is performed during actual combat as well as in peacetime. Leaders must learn to assess risks during actual training events and apply the same techniques during combat actions. During combat, risks may be taken, but only after they are evaluated and weighed as they are during training.


As in all other areas, commanders are responsible for the effective management of risk. To meet this responsibility, commanders--

  • Seek optimum, not just adequate, performance.
  • Select risk reduction options provided by the staff.
  • Accept or reject residual risk, based on the benefit to be derived from an informed position knowing what they are accepting or rejecting.
  • Train and motivate leaders at all levels to effectively use risk assessment concepts.


Staff members also have responsibilities in risk assessment. The staff--

  • Assists the commander in assessing risks and in developing risk reduction options.
  • Integrates risk controls into plans and orders.
  • Eliminates unnecessary safety restrictions that diminish training effectiveness.

Troop Leaders

The responsibilities of troop leaders play an important part in how risk assessment is viewed by their subordinates. Their commitment to managing risks will improve the fighting capability of their units. Troop leaders--

  • Develop a total commitment to mission accomplishment and the welfare of subordinates.
  • Consistently apply effective risk assessment concepts and the methods to operations they lead.
  • Report risk issues beyond their control or authority to their superiors for resolution.


The risk assessment process improves the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety in all operations. The payoff of the process is increased readiness as a result of safer, smarter, and more beneficial operations. The process involves four steps.

Identify Risks

Identify major events of the operational sequence and list them chronologically; then, if necessary, display them in a flowchart. This process will aid in the detection of specific risks-associated with all specified and implied tasks. Safety can be built into an operation by first seeing the operation in its entirety. Operations can be broken down into a series of phases, each with special characteristics and considerations. As soon as the commander states the mission and concept, it is usually possible to define the key events. Operations also have a time factor--beginning-to-ending series of events in which the timing of events is often as significant as the events themselves. The operations analysis is a useful tool in quickly defining the flow and time sequencing of events in an operation. The objective is to reflect the total operation from the preparatory actions until the operation is completed or until the next phase of operation is under way. The operations analysis is a simple but highly effective tool. It ensures that risk is evaluated in every aspect of the operation. Operations safety techniques are effective to a point, but they do not detect risk with the reliability required to achieve the degree of safety needed in today's Army.

Assess Risks

Determine the magnitude of risks by estimating loss probability and cost. Assess each event, determine whether it is routine, and make an initial risk assessment. Ensure that standards for routine events are adequate to provide an acceptable level of risk.

Risk matrix. Consider the value of a risk matrix or decision guide for all or part of the operation. Risk matrices provide a quick and ready method of breaking down an operation into its major operational aspects and eliminating or controlling the risks associated with it. Like other risk assessment tools, risk matrices can be used alone or with other risk analysis techniques to provide a quick overview of the risk situation. Risk matrices are simple enough to be routinely used by tactical leaders in operational planning. These matrices are nearly always more effective than intuitive methods in identifying the extent of risk. The Risk Assessment Work Sheet and Matrix (Operational) illustration below shows a typical matrix that can be used to estimate the level of risk associated with an operation. When using risk matrices, the risk assessor should--

  • Review each situation; ensure that all significant areas of concern are evaluated even if they are not included in the matrices.
  • Use the matrices to analyze the risk to target areas of concern for risk-reducing action.
  • Review the individual areas of concern before recommending an option (If an area of concern is off the scale in a particular situation, a higher decision level may be required than the risk gauge suggests).
  • Keep in mind that the risk assessment work sheet arbitrarily weighs factors; modify these factors to fit-particular missions and units.

METT-T. Consider using the mission, enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T) format as another means to assess risks. Leaders can subjectively determine the likelihood and extent of accidental loss based on this type of analysis. When using the METT-T format, the risk assessor should--

  • Determine mission complexity and difficulty.
  • Assess the enemy situation and identify specific hazards.
  • Consider all aspects of the terrain as well as weather and visibility.
  • Determine the supervision required and evaluate the experience, training, morale, and endurance of troops; also, determine the availability of equipment.

Make Risk Decisions

Make risk acceptance decisions by balancing risk benefits against risk assessments. Eliminate unnecessary risks. Reduce the magnitude of mission-essential risks by applying controls. Controls range from hazard awareness to detailed operational procedures. Focus on high-hazard events and events not covered by a good set of standards. Complete a preliminary hazard analysis of these events. The preliminary hazard analysis is the initial examination of the hazards of an operation and their implications. It is normally based on the mission analysis and database review and takes place before the details of an operation have been completely defined. The objectives of the preliminary hazard analysis are to define, at the earliest possible point in the operational life cycle, the hazards that can be expected. Doing this early means that these hazards can be addressed when they are still preliminary; that is, when the operation is still being planned.

Implement controls. Based on the preliminary risk analysis and products of analytical aids, develop a roster of options for command decision. Once risks are identified and measured as accurately as possible, the leader must act to eliminate or control them. These controls must not unnecessarily interfere with training objectives. The best options often come from reviewing doctrinal publications relevant to the operation to glean information about the proper procedures for hazard control. Merely reviewing the analysis and assessment will often suggest options. Some options will be more effective than others. AR 385-10 provides a convenient list of actions that commanders can use as an aid in ranking options. In order of priority, commanders should--

  • Eliminate the hazard totally if possible. Engineer out the hazard or design equipment to eliminate the hazard or incorporate fail-safe devices.

Example: A soldier in SWA was killed when his poncho was caught in a power takeoff shaft on a desalinization plant. Why was a metal plate or wooden box not placed over the shaft to prevent this?

  • Guard or control the hazard. Use automatic monitoring or alarming devices. Provide containment or barriers.

Example: In the example above, a barrier could have been placed between the soldier and the hazard. In combat operations, control lines that limit subordinate unit operations are an example of controls. At the unit level, limiting vehicle traffic within a perimeter is a control measure that keeps traffic away from sleeping areas.

  • Change operational procedures to limit exposure. Modify operational procedures to minimize exposure (numbers and duration) consistent with mission needs.

Example: In Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 5 soldiers were killed and 28 injured because of improper misfire procedures. Having soldiers clear their weapons and remove the magazine when not on guard duty may be an effective reduction measure if the enemy situation allows.

  • Train and educate personnel in hazard recognition and avoidance.
  • Provide protective clothing or equipment that will minimize injury and damage potential.
  • Use color coding and signs to alert personnel to hazards. Motivate personnel to use hazard avoidance actions.

Safety restrictions. Leaders can detect and eliminate unnecessary safety restrictions that impede the realism or effectiveness of training. With proper controls, these restrictions can be eliminated or scaled back. Check for residual effects before implementing risk reduction options. Visualize what will hap pen once the option has been implemented. Sometimes reducing one risk will only introduce others.


Determine the effectiveness of standards in controlling risk. The commander must enforce controls and standards. This is key to loss control. The commander may have approved a number of risk reduction procedures, but approval does not mean that the procedures are carried out. Leaders must monitor the situation to ensure that action is actually taken. The prudent leaders then follow up to see that personnel understand and accept the guidance. Leaders should also monitor the effect of risk reduction procedures to verify that they really are good ideas. This is especially true for new and untested procedures.

Monitor activities. Leaders must always monitor the operational activities of subordinate elements. Only by seeing the character of operations can leaders fully appreciate risk implications. When monitoring operational activities, leaders should--

  • Avoid administrative intrusions and not get in the way.
  • Go where the risks are and spend time at the heart of the action.
  • Analyze and think through issues, not just watch.
  • Work with key personnel to improve operational procedures after the action and not hesitate to address imminent danger issues on the spot.
  • Fix systemic problems that are hindering field effectiveness.

Cost of the risk. Leaders must be able to balance the cost of the risk involved with the value of the outcome desired in an operation. They must consider and manage risks in making decisions. Three general rules apply when leaders select a tactical procedure. They are as follows:

  • No unnecessary risk should ever be accepted. The leader who has the authority to acceptor reject a risk is responsible for protecting his soldiers from unnecessary risks. If a risk can be eliminated or reduced and the mission still be accomplished, the risk is unnecessary and must not be accepted.
  • Risk decisions must be made at the appropriate level. The leader who will answer for an accident is the person who should make the decision to accept or reject the risk. In some cases, this will be a senior officer. In other cases, it will be the first-line leader. Small-unit commanders and fist-line leaders will make risk decisions in combat. Therefore, they should learn to make risk decisions in training. Commanders should publish risk criteria information and ensure subordinates understand the parameters within which they may operate.
  • The benefits of taking a risk must outweigh the possible cost of the risk. Leaders must understand the risk involved and have a clear picture of the benefits to be gained from taking the calculated risk.


Two tools are provided to assist in risk assessment: the risk assessment work sheet and matrix, and the actual risk assessment. These two tools can be modified as desired and placed into safety annexes of SOPs. It then becomes the unit's standard, and modification should not be allowed.

Risk Assessment Work Sheet and Matrix

The risk assessment work sheet is a tool to help in the quantification of the risks. Events can be added and modified based on local unit missions and the commander's intent. See the Risk Assessment Work Sheet and Matrix (Operational) illustration above.

The Risk Assessment

The risk assessment should be used as part of the near-term training plan or OPORD. It helps first-line supervisors to think and plan for safety just prior to the mission or task. Oftentimes, the information on it can be used as a safety briefing just prior to the mission or task. With an OPORD or near-term training plan in hand, first-line supervisors have what they must do and how they should do it safely. See the Risk Assessment/Analysis illustration.


Personnel operating and maintaining the Avenger must be constantly aware of the hazards associated with the equipment. All personnel must observe safe practices and procedures.

The Avenger operations manual should be consulted for complete information on equipment hazards. Detailed first aid information and instructions are found in FM 21-11.

The following general safety precautions must be followed to prevent personal injury or equipment damage:

  • Never work on electronic equipment unless there is another person nearby who is familiar with the operation and hazards of the equipment and who is competent in administering first aid. A technician, aided by maintenance personnel, must warn all personnel about dangerous areas.
  • With power on, personnel must stand clear of the turret during movements.
  • Work only in well-ventilated areas when the Avenger is running. Carbon monoxide may be present and is deadly when inhaled.
  • Do not walk on tools or components removed from the system. Damage to equipment or injury to personnel can result.
  • Do not smoke or have any open flame near or around open containers of fuel or solvents.
  • Do not kink, twist, strike, walk on, or otherwise abuse cables and hoses.
  • Whenever exposed to smoke or gases, put on the protective mask, close heater ventilator intakes, and wear protective clothing. This will help ensure survivability.


The platoon leader must be concerned with all hazards, for the safety of his platoon. Practically all is fair in love and war; therefore, the platoon leader must protect his soldiers from harmful toxins at all times. The following paragraphs will discuss some of those safety measures. For more information, contact the installation safety and health hazards office.


Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, deadly poisonous gas which, when breathed, deprives the body of oxygen and causes suffocation. Exposure to air contaminated with carbon monoxide produces symptoms of headache, dizziness, loss of muscular control, drowsiness, and possible coma. Permanent brain damage or death can result.

Carbon monoxide occurs in exhaust fumes of fuel-burning heaters and internal combustion engines. It becomes dangerously concentrated under conditions of inadequate ventilation. You must follow these safety precautions to ensure safety of personnel whenever the heater or engine of any vehicle is operated for maintenance or tactical use. The best defense against carbon monoxide poisoning is adequate ventilation.


Toxic materials are located in the vicinity of the missile IR dome. If the dome shatters, mercury thallium liquid may be released. This material is toxic to unprotected skin. Avoid all contact with released material unless protective equipment is being worn (such as a respirator, protective gloves, and chemical goggles).


Solvents used in maintenance are volatile and flammable. They produce toxic vapors that are harmful when inhaled. Use only in well-ventilated areas and keep away from flame or sparks. For proper use of lubricants on the Avenger, see the operator's manual.


Electrolyte solution in vehicle and FU batteries contains sulfuric acid. Be extremely careful when handling or working with batteries. Battery acid can cause severe burns and damage to equipment and clothing.


Explosives are contained in Avenger machine-gun ammunition. All applicable safety regulations must be strictly enforced. Explosive components containing electrical wiring must be protected at all times to eliminate stray voltages. Missile-handling operations should not be performed during electrical storms.


Missile exhaust contains amounts of hydrogen chloride gas which may cause eye and throat irritation if inhaled. To prevent any irritation or exposure to potentially harmful concentrations of hydrogen chloride from exhaust plume, the gunner must ensure all hatches are closed and securely latched. For first aid, refer to FM 21-11.


A dangerous noise level exists in the vicinity of the Avenger system when weapons are fired. Permanent ear damage may result to personnel during weapons tiring if they are at close distances. For adequate protection while in the turret, the gunner must wear the communications-type headset provided.


The chemical solution used in the DS2 unit is highly combustible. Severe chemical burns may occur when improperly used. DS2 can severely injure eyes and skin, or may cause illness if inhaled. DS2 can also cause damage to NBC MOPP equipment. For proper use of DS2, see FM 3-5.


Proper planning and management of vehicle movements and convoy procedures will affect the number of vehicles on the battlefield, and more importantly, their timeliness in getting there. All leaders should ensure that the following conditions have been met during movement operations:

  • Are basic issue items on every vehicle in the convoy?
  • Are operators performing before-, during- and after-operation PMCS?
  • Are all radio antennas tied down properly to a length of not more than 7 feet?
  • Have operators been trained to drive in adverse weather and difficult terrain?
  • Are convoy drivers provided with adequate rest?
  • Are ground guides used in the appropriate circumstances such as backing in bivouac areas, and in limited visibility areas?
  • Are personnel prohibited from sleeping in vehicles while the engine is running? Are they prohibited from sleeping near or under vehicles?
  • Are vehicle dismount points clearly marked and ground guide procedures strictly enforced at all bivouac areas?
  • Are fire drills practiced on all vehicles?


The purpose of a safety briefing checklist is to provide leaders with a ready safety reference that encompasses most tasks common to a unit. The checklist should be used with DA Pamphlet 385-1. Users are encouraged to add additional checklist items that cover their particular mission needs.

When developing a safety brief checklist, ADA leaders should ensure that the following questions are covered:

  • Is the safety annex of the unit SOP current? Does it coverall field training operations?
  • Are adequate provisions for safe practices, procedures, and physical standards incorporated into unit predeployment exercises?
  • Is there an established procedure for informing the next higher commander of all accidents, injuries, and incidents? Are recommendations for corrective actions made?

The safety briefing checklist below should serve as a guide for ensuring that, as a minimum, these tasks are performed before engaging in training or hostile operations.

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