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APPENDIX J

SAFETY


Safety is always a prime consideration of soldiers and trainers at all levels, especially when training exercises use live ammunition. Often, the implementation of safety procedures becomes counterproductive, preventing units from conducting realistic live-fire training. Units must be able to conduct realistic training using live or training ammunition while meeting all safety requirements. The procedures in this chapter are based on the principles of artillery safety in AR 385-63 and cover peacetime safety practices and procedures for MLRS firing. Units following these procedures can conduct safe, effective life-fire training exercises.


Section I

RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES


Responsibilities

AR 385-63, Chapter 11, implements the chain-of-command safety concept. Under this concept, the firing battery chain of command is responsible for safety during firing in both training and combat. This chapter reinforces AR 385-63, however, if local range regulations are more restrictive than the material in this chapter, the local range regulations must be followed.

Range Control/Installation Range Officer

The installation range officer provides to the officer in charge (OIC) a range safety card. This card states the location coordinates of the launcher firing area and the location coordinates of the target(s) to be engaged. The range officer also identifies any special instructions that must be followed in firing at that range (road guards, time constraints, Air Force overflights, and so on). He is responsible for constructing and verifying surface danger zones for MLRS firing areas. He prepares and maintains all waivers IAW AR 385-63. All waivers must be approved by a general officer at the installation command level.

Commanders of Field Artillery Units

Commanders establish and maintain a safety training and certification program for their unit personnel. The purpose of this program is to train and qualify individual members of the firing battery in the safety procedures for their specific areas of responsibility. When the responsible commander is satisfied that the individual members are qualified to perform the safety duties as required in the firing battery, he certifies them as competent to perform those duties. The FA battalion commander is responsible for safety during all phases of a firing exercise under his control. He selects, trains, and certifies the personnel necessary to help him discharge this responsibility. These personnel include, but are not limited to, the firing battery commander, battery operations officer, firing platoon leader, fire direction computers, and launcher section chiefs. If any position is not filled by a command safety-certified person, another person who is certified and qualified to fill that position performs the safety checks.

Officer in Charge

The OIC is the battery commander or his command safety-certified direct representative. The OIC is responsible for all aspects of safety in the firing unit and on the assigned firing range. Before the firing exercise, the range control officer provides the OIC the required safety data and any firing limitations. The OIC verifies that the unit is in the proper firing position. He supervises the conversion of the safety data into a safety diagram and ensures that this diagram is verified by another command safety-certified person. The OIC is responsible for ascertaining locations of friendly personnel who may inadvertently become exposed to artillery fires through the installation range safety officer. He ensures dissemination of this information to platoon leaders, platoon sergeants, and chiefs of section, as appropriate, so they are aware of potential situations which might result in fratricide.

Firing Platoon Leader

The firing platoon leader is responsible for the safety practices of the firing element. He ensures that section chiefs report firing data to the POC/BOC. He ensures that the launcher danger area is clear.

Platoon Sergeant

The platoon sergeant assists the platoon leader in his duties. He must be prepared to perform any of the platoon leader's duties in his absence.

Section Chief

The launcher section chief is responsible for the operation of his crew from the reload point through rocket launch(es). He ensures that all procedures in the launcher are conducted in accordance with applicable technical manuals and that all reports and checks are verified in accordance with the procedures outlined in this chapter. He is ultimately responsible for ensuring munitions are neither armed nor fired until firing data is properly verified as safe. Specific duties of the section chief are contained in subsequent paragraphs.

Procedures

The MLRS launcher FCS is designed to perform many repetitive self-tests during operations. Built into both the launcher hardware and software, these tests check and continually monitor the launcher throughout its operation. Additional manual checks should focus on crew-error, the area which has caused most launcher-related firing incidents. Checks which verify all data input into the FDS and launcher FCS eliminate most of the causes of firing incidents.

MLRS firing data (azimuth, quadrant elevation, and fuze setting) are computed by the FCS. The FCS conducts internal tests, all of which must be within system accuracy tolerances, before allowing the launcher to fire. To complete a firing sequence, the LLM must be oriented and maintain accuracy within 3 mils of the FCS ballistic solution (CMD vs actual data displayed on the FCP). If for any reason the launcher drive system (LDS) fails, (part wear, adverse mechanical failure, etc.) preventing the LLM from reaching or maintaining its computed ballistic firing window, the FCS will cancel the fire mission and not allow the crew to fire the rockets. Additionally, during the conduct of every fire mission, the FCS further verifies its LLM position by comparing its data against a mechanical reference provided by azimuth and angle position transducers. These transducers are fitted to the rotating band of the launcher turret and the launcher elevation actuator. A failure of agreement between the FCS and its mechanical resolvers will alert the crew through a warning message. Any indication of a system error (BIT light or prompt on the FCP) will cause the crew to immediately abort the mission in progress and troubleshoot the fault before continuing.

Operator error is minimized through verification of launcher firing data. This verification must be made by a safety certified individual. The independence of this check is maintained in one of two ways:

  • By ensuring data input is by two different methods for the firing and check launchers (i.e., manual entry vs data transmission) when conducting static firings. This includes meteorological data, update and target grid coordinates, altitudes and grid zones. It also consists of a comparison of the command firing data from a calibrated launcher FCS (firing launcher) and computed data from an independent launcher (non-firing).
  • By ensuring data input is observed by two safety certified personnel (e.g., gunner and section chief for the FCS; fire direction computer and operations officer for the FDS). It also includes a check by both the gunner and section chief of the actual firing data to ensure it falls within the safety "T" when conducting live fire exercises using the safety computations in Section II.

Additionally, the PADS-established SCP must always be verified. A hard copy of the data is sent via a location status message to the BOC and POC, where it is validated and retained. The BOC and POC file this information for historical record. In the BOC and POC, the operations officer (BOC) and platoon leader (POC) verify that the met data and impact area target location were correctly entered by the FDS operator and transmitted digitally to the firing launcher(s), where the data are automatically entered into the FCS. This independent verification of start-up data by the launcher section chief and the platoon leader ensures that accurate position data are used during fire mission computation. The gunner ensures, and the section chief verifies, that start-up and update data are properly entered into the launcher FCS.

The tolerances within which the launcher can accurately position and fire during practice firings are identical to those used in a tactical situation. This enhances tactical realism during training and validates the system capability. Procedures for firing safety involve a properly calibrated launcher, verification that the FCS is functioning properly, and verified launcher firing position within a designated firing area. Strict adherence to the operator's manual procedures and/or warning indicators and a hard copy of the launcher firing ballistic solution sent via a MFR to the BOC and POC for historical record are required.

Use of observers located near and properly oriented on the impact area to observe a warhead event (M28) or safe impact (M28A1) for safety verification depends on local installation range SOP. If spotting of the warhead is required, visual observers or radar tracking (AN/TPQ-37) may be used. A sample MLRS firing safety checklist is provided at the end of this Appendix.


Section II

COMPUTATION OF SAFETY DATA
(M28 and M28A1 Training Rockets)


Units using these procedures must be thoroughly familiar with the applicable terms and basic safety computations for each of the training rockets (M28 and M28A1) contained in AR 385-63. These procedures incorporate the procedures for developing the surface danger zones (SDZs) contained in that regulation. They apply the SDZ requirements around an installation impact area rather than a specific target. They also apply the launcher danger areas to either individual firing points or a larger firing OPAREA. In the event of a conflict, AR 385-63 has precedence. The examples described herein are based on the M28A1 Training Rocket (reduced range).

General

There are three methods to compute safety data for MLRS live-firing. The first of these is for point-to-point firings using the SDZ diagrams contained in AR 385-63 and the safety checklist at the end of this appendix. The other two methods allow the unit to develop a safety "T" for either a firing point or a firing OPAREA. Both of these latter methods apply all of the SDZ requirements established in AR 385-63.

The first method allows the unit to derive a safety "T" for a single firing point firing into a "target selection box." The second method requires a larger impact area, but allows the unit to derive a single safety "T" for an entire launcher OPAREA firing into a target selection box. Both of these latter methods allow the unit to conduct more realistic and tactically driven live-fire exercises, thus significantly enhancing training.

OPAREA safety works well when conducting live-fire exercises with the M28A1 Training Rocket (reduced range). Although these procedures can be used with the standard M28 Training Rocket, its much larger values for W, X, and Y (see Definition of Terms) necessitate exceptionally large installation impact areas (see Tables J-1 and J-2). Inordinately small impact areas may preclude the use of these procedures with the M28A1 Training Rocket (reduced range) as well.

Safety computations for each of these methods are completed in four phases. Phase I is the application of the SDZ requirements (for the specific munition) to the installation impact area. Phase II is the derivation of the firing limits in both azimuth (AZ) and quadrant elevation (QE). Phase III is the application of the SDZ requirements (for the specific munition) to the launcher firing point or OPAREA. Phase IV is the completion of the flight corridor.

Definition of Terms

AoF

Azimuth of Fire.

H

Height of the launcher above mean sea level.

W

A distance to either side of the target wide enough to include all debris (payload, warhead skin, and rocket motor) from normally functioning rounds.

Wmax

The maximum possible value of W. For OPAREAs, this is the value of W at a range from the rear edge of the OPAREA to the target (maximum range).

X

A distance beyond the target adequate to contain rockets when the fuze fails to function.

Xmax

The maximum possible value of X. For OPAREAs, this is the value of X at a range from the forward edge of the OPAREA to the target (minimum range).

Y

A distance short of the target sufficient to include all debris (payload, warhead skin, and rocket motor) from normally functioning rounds.

Ymax

The maximum possible value of Y. For OPAREAs, this is the value of Y at a range from the forward edge of the OPAREA to the target (minimum range).

Note: When firing the standard M28 training rocket. 320 meters has already been added to the value of W (to account for Area A), 1,300 meters has already been added to the value of X (to account for Area B), and Y will always equal 2,200 meters. W and X values for the M28A1 training rocket by definition include areas A and B respectively.

Firing Point Method

Phase I

Apply the SDZ requirements to the installation impact area:

STEP 1. Outline the usable portion of the installation impact area. Index the approximate geographic center of this area (target).

STEP 2. Index the firing point.

STEP 3. Draw a line segment connecting the two indices from steps 1 and 2.

STEP 4. Apply the values of Wmax, Xmax, and Ymax to the edges of the installation impact area (toward the target). These values should be based on ranges from the firing point to the near edge (minimum range) and far edge (maximum range) of the installation impact area. This is the SDZ Impact Area.

Phase II

Determine the Left and Right Azimuth Limits.

STEP 1. Draw line segments from the firing point to the right and left edges of the SDZ Impact Area which will keep all rounds within the SDZ Impact Area (safety fan). You must also apply any azimuth restrictions imposed by the installation safety office for the firing area. (See Figure J-1.)

Derive the Minimum and Maximum Values for Quadrant Elevation (QE).

STEP 2. Measure the minimum and maximum ranges to the near and far edges of the SDZ impact area (within the azimuth limits). You must also consider min and max range limits imposed by the range safety office. Using the current MET message, determine the associated firing azimuths and QEs with a launcher FCS by dry firing missions at the lower left and upper right corners. The lower left mission will determine the left azimuth limit and min QE. The upper right mission will determine the right limit and max QE. This completes the safety "T" for firing point method (see Figure J-2).

Phase III

Complete the Launcher Danger Areas.

STEP 1. Area F (Launcher Danger Area) is the area immediately to the rear of the launcher which is directly exposed to blast and debris. It extends 350 meters to the left and right of the launcher firing point (perpendicular to the AoF) and 400 meters to the rear of the firing point (parallel to the AoF). Personnel are prohibited from occupying this area.

STEP 2. The Noise Hazard Area (NHA) extends behind Area F. It can only be occupied by mission essential personnel wearing double hearing protection. Draw a box that extends beyond Area F an additional 300 meters (500 meters for the M28 rocket) to the rear of the firing point (Figure J-3).

Phase IV

Complete the Flight Corridor

STEP 1. Construct line segments from the left and right forward edge of Area F to the left and right near edge of the Installation Impact Area respectively that are parallel to the left and right azimuth limits (see Figure J-4).

STEP 2. The Exclusion Area is that area of the SDZ flight corridor within a specified distance of the downrange edge of the firing area. It is endangered by failure of the rocket motor (or early warhead event for the M28 rocket) during the boost phase. The distance is based on acceptance of risk (approved by the installation commander IAW AR 385-63).

Exclusion Area I

STEP 2a. Construct an arc, centered on the firing point, with a radius derived from Table J-3 (based on the level of accepted risk for Exclusion Area I). The area between the arc and the firing point is Exclusion Area I.

Note: The use of a 1:1,000 or 1:10,000 short round probability is used when calculating risk under waiver IAW AR 385-63.

Exclusion Area II

STEP 2b. The area between the arc of Exclusion Area I and the forward edge of the SDZ Impact Area is Exclusion Area II for the M28A1 Training Rocket (reduced range). Exclusion Area II for the M28 Training Rocket is that area between Exclusion Areas I and III.

Note: Exclusion Area II can only be occupied under waiver IAW AR 385-63. Exclusion Area I and III cannot be occupied.

Exclusion Area III

STEP 2c. This Exclusion Area applies only to the M26 Tactical and M28 Training Rockets. It is the area within the flight corridor that begins at the near edge of the SDZ impact area and extends 1,800 m toward the firing point.

The AZ and range limits determined in Phase I also describe a small area around the target. This is the target selection box. All targets selected from within this box will fall within the safety "T" for the firing point.

OPAREA Method

Phase I

Apply the SDZ requirements to the installation impact area (see Figure J-5):

STEP 1. Index the approximate geographic center of the installation impact area (target).

STEP 2. Index the center of the proposed firing OPAREA. Draw a circle around the index with a one kilometer radius. This distance may be larger or smaller depending upon the training area available to the unit.

STEP 3. Draw a line segment connecting the two indices from steps 1 and 2.

STEP 4. Apply the values of Wmax, Xmax, and Ymax to the edges of the installation impact area (toward target). This is the SDZ Impact Area.

Phase II

Determine the Left and Right Azimuth Limits of the OPAREA.

STEP 1. Mark the most forward rearward, right, and left positions along the circumference of the OPAREA circle from Phase I.

STEP 2. Draw a safety fan from both the left and right positions (from step 1) which will keep all rounds within the SDZ Impact Area. You must also apply any azimuth restrictions imposed by the installation safety office for the firing area. Measure the left and right limits of each fan (see Figure J-6). These are the initial left and right azimuth limits for the entire live-fire OPAREA. (You will determine the final azimuth limits with FCS in step 8.)

STEP 3. Apply the lower (or leftmost) value of the left azimuth limits (derived from the leftmost position) to the rightmost position. Apply the higher (or rightmost) value of the right azimuth limits (derived from the rightmost position) to the leftmost position. Ensure these limits are marked separately and distinctly from the previous fans. They will be used to complete a "target selection box" later (see Figure J-7).

Derive the Minimum and Maximum Values for Quadrant Elevation (QE).

STEP 4. Measure the minimum and maximum ranges (2 each) from both the forward and rear OPAREA positions to the near and far edges of the SDZ impact area (within the azimuth limits). You must also consider minimum and maximum range limits imposed by the installation range safety office (Figure J-8).

STEP 5. Derive the OPAREA minimum range by applying the minimum range from the rear position of the OPAREA to the forward position of the OPAREA (Figure J-9).

STEP 6. Derive the OPAREA maximum range by applying the maximum range from the forward position of the OPAREA to the rear position of the OPAREA (Figure J-9).

STEP 7. Draw the associated range arcs, intersecting both the left and right azimuth limits from step 3.

STEP 8. Compute the safety T using the FCS with the current met to fire four dry missions from left, right, front, and rear OPAREA extremes as listed below.

Mission 1. Forward most OPAREA position to the lower left corner. This yields the min QE.

Mission 2. Rearward most OPAREA to the upper left corner. This yields the max QE.

Mission 3. Left most OPAREA to the lower right. This yields the right azimuth limit.

Mission 4. Right most OPAREA to the lower left corner. This yields the left azimuth limit.

This completes the safety "T" that establishes firing limits for the launcher within the OPAREA (Figure J-10).

Phase III

Apply the SDZ requirements (for the specific munition) to the launcher OPAREA and complete the flight corridor.

This phase applies the Launcher Danger Area (Area F) and Noise Hazard Area requirements to the OPAREA to determine a "worst case" diagram. This is accomplished by applying those requirements around the rear half of the circumference of the OPAREA (Figure J-11). Although these actual danger areas are a function of the specific launcher location, controlling entry to the areas derived in this phase will allow more freedom of movement for the launcher, thus adding realism to the live-fire training exercise.

STEP 1. Area F (Launcher Danger Area) is the area immediately to the rear of the launcher which is directly exposed to blast and debris. Divide the OPAREA in half by drawing a line through its center, perpendicular to the AZ to the target constructed in Phase I. Extend outward along this line to a point 400 meters on each side around the rear half of the OPAREA. (See the shaded area of Figure J-11).

STEP 2. The Noise Hazard Area (NHA) extends an additional 300 meters behind Area F. It can only be occupied by mission essential personnel wearing hearing protection. There are two means of constructing the NHA. The first is the most simple, while the second method minimizes the size of the NHA thus allowing less use of training land. To construct the OPAREA NHA:

Method A:

STEP 2a. Draw a box that extends 1400 meters to the left and right, as well as 1700 meters to the rear, of the center of the firing OPAREA. The result is a box 2800 meters wide and 1700 meters deep. Go to Phase IV.

Method B:

STEP 2b. Place an index at a point 700 meters to the rear of the center of the OPAREA along the AoF (see Figure J-11, point number 1).

STEP 3b. Place two more indices 400 meters to the left and right of the first index, perpendicular to the AoF (points 2 and 3).

STEP 4b. From each of these last two indices, construct a 1000 meter radius arc through points 4 and 5 respectively (1600 mils).

STEP 5b. From points 4 and 5 extend line segments forward so that they are tangent to Area F at points 8 and 9 respectively.

STEP 6b. Connect the two arcs in the rear (between points 6 and 7) with a line segment to complete the rear edge of the NHA.

Phase IV

STEP 1. Construct line segments from points 8 and 9 forward to the near edge of the Installation Impact Area. The line segments should be parallel to the left and right azimuth limits respectively. Since these line segments begin at points 400 m to the left and right of the OPAREA, Danger Area A (320m) has been accounted for. This describes the general flight corridor (see Figure J-12).

STEP 2. The Exclusion Area is that area of the SDZ flight corridor within a specified distance of the far edge of the firing area. It is endangered by failure of the rocket motor during the boost phase. The distance is based on acceptance of risk (approved by the installation commander IAW AR 385-63).

Exclusion Area I

STEP 2a. Construct an arc, from the center of the OPAREA, with a radius that extends beyond the OPAREA by the distance in Table J-3 (based on the level of accepted risk for Exclusion Area I). The area between the arc and the front of the OPAREA is Exclusion Area I. The example in Figure J-13, shows both a 1:10,000 short round probability (2,500 m) and a 1:1,000 short round probability (1,000 m). The use of a 1:1,000 level of acceptable risk must be done under waiver IAW AR 385-63.

Exclusion Area II

STEP 2b. The area between the arc of Exclusion Area I and the front of the OPAREA is Exclusion Area II for the M28A1 Training Rocket (reduced range). Exclusion Area II for the M28 Training Rocket is that area between Exclusion Areas I and III. Exclusion Area II can only be occupied under waiver IAW AR 385-63. Exclusion Area I and III cannot be occupied.

Exclusion Area III

STEP 2c. This Exclusion Area applies only to the M26 Tactical and M28 Training Rockets. It is the area within the flight corridor that begins at the near edge of the SDZ impact area and extends 1,800 m toward the firing point.

The AZ and range limits determined in steps 3 and 6 of Phase II also describe a small area around the target. This is the target selection box. All targets selected from within this box will fall within the safety "T" for the live-fire OPAREA (Figure J-12).



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