JOINT AIRBORNE ADVANCE PARTY
Terminal guidance aids and control measures are used on the ground in the objective area to assist and guide incoming airlift aircraft to the designated DZs/LZs. Combat control teams comprised of Air Force personnel are organized, trained, and equipped to provide aircraft terminal guidance. Army teams from the LRSU, a divisional asset, are organized, trained, and equipped to deploy into the objective area and conduct R&S operations before the deployment of the airborne force. The combination of the CCT and LRS teams is known as the JAAP.
Section I. COMBAT CONTROL TEAM AND LONG-RANGE SURVEILLANCE UNIT
The CCT's mission is to locate, identify, and mark the DZ/LZ and to establish and operate navigational aids and ATC communications. This assists and guides airlift aircraft to the appropriate DZ/LZ. Long-range surveillance teams place under surveillance one or two NAI in the objective area. They observe and report to the ground force commander. One of the assigned NAI are usually the main body DZ/FLS.
The ground force commander develops plans to deploy the CCT and LRS teams during the planning stage of an airborne operation. Because of the risk of compromise in deploying teams into the objective area before the assault phase, the timing for employment and method of delivery is determined jointly by the airborne and airlift commanders. They consider the requirement for CCTs to be fully operational in minimum time after reaching the DZ/LZ. This allows navigational, identification, and directional aids to be available for the maximum number of aircraft. Early deployment of the LRS teams is also critical so that detailed and accurate information can be assembled and passed to the ground force commander.
a. The CCT and LRS teams can be delivered to the objective area by the following methods:
(1) Airdropped using static line or military free-fall parachuting techniques (HALO, HAHO) in advance of the airborne assault.
(2) Airlanded using STOL or rotary-wing aircraft in advance of the airborne assault.
(3) Airdropped or airlanded in the lead serial.
(4) Deployed over land by infiltration or other deceptive means.
(5) Deployed by submarine or small-surface craft.
(6) A combination of any of the above.
b. HALO is the preferred method of deployment for the JAAP. Insertion occurs about 24 hours before the insertion of the main airborne force.
c. The organization for deployment depends on the size of the CCT, the number of LRS teams, and the equipment to be deployed. Necessary airlift for the JAAP is from aircraft allocated to the Army airborne units.
d. The elements of the JAAP may operate independently in the objective area, or they may operate out of the same patrol base. They always remain in communication and conduct linkup immediately before the airborne assault to exchange information and report. Security of the JAAP is provided through stealth.
e. Unit integrity must be maintained if the JAAP is deployed with the main body. For airborne operations, they must be deployed with their equipment in a lead aircraft toward the front of the stick. In airland operations, allocate the JAAP and their equipment space in a lead aircraft to put required navigational and control facilities on the ground as soon as possible.
A-3. COMBAT CONTROL TEAM MISSION
The CCT's mission is to quickly establish assault zones (DZs/LZs) in austere and nonpermissive environments. The mission includes initially placing en route and terminal navigational aids; controlling air traffic; providing communications; and removing obstacles and unexploded ordnance with demolitions.
A-4. COMBAT CONTROL TEAM FUNCTIONS
For each tactical airlift mission involving the use of an assault DZ/LZ/EZ, a CCT performs the functions described below.
a. Formulates and issues ATC clearance, instructions, and advisories to effect safe, expeditious movement of air traffic in the assault zone area of responsibility.
b. Establishes an airport traffic area around each assault zone and controls all air traffic within this area under visual and instrument flight rules to include conventional approach control functions.
c. Relays advice and information to inbound aircraft about conditions in DZ/LZ/EZ areas that can have an impact on mission accomplishment. This includes any information deemed necessary to assist in guiding the inbound aircraft to the objective.
d. Develops terminal instrument procedures for assault zones.
e. Provides and operates navigational aids to support airlift operations that are not supported by a combat communications group or other agency.
f. Marks the assault zone. Army/Navy unconventional warfare forces employ a receiving unit on the ground to provide terminal guidance. A CCT is usually not required. Unconventional warfare forces use only the ground mark release system.
g. Removes obstacles and unexploded ordnance from assault zones.
h. Provides limited weather information and observation.
i. Establishes ground-to-air and point-to-point communications. For each mission, the CCT can establish any or all of the following communications nets:
(1) UHF/AM. Ground-to-air communications for the control of air traffic.
(2) VHF/AM. Ground-to-air communications for the control of air traffic.
(3) VHF/FM. Primary point-to-point communications with the CCT for intrateam C2. It is also used as point-to-point communications between CCTs and other agencies within an objective area (such as LRS teams, FDC, medical personnel) or as an alternate ground-to-air communications capability with Army and allied aircraft.
(4) HF/SSB, ground-to-air long-range communications net. This net can be used to control air traffic.
(5) HF/SSB, point-to-point. This communications net is used by CCTs, ALCC, TALO, and ALCE for the of the airlift forces.
(6) SATCOM, point-to-point. This communications net is used for like the HF/SSB point-to-point net.
j. Enters the objective area by the most feasible means in a combat situation.
k. Selects or assists in selecting sites for assault zones and recovery zones.
l. Gathers current ground intelligence data in the objective area, and coordinates with intelligence representatives to ensure the timely exchange of data.
m. Coordinates with Army and Air Force medical personnel on casualty and patient staging points.
n. In the absence of an ALCE, performs limited ALCE duties when directed by the airlift commander.
o. Records statistical data concerning airland extraction and airdrop operations, including circular error and short field landing assessment.
p. Due to its unique qualifications, also functions in related tactical operations such as special missions, combat search and rescue, USAF special operations, and forward air guide duties.
A-5. COMBAT CONTROL TEAM ORGANIZATION
The Air Force assigns combat control teams to MAC. MAC numbered air forces task CCTs to support joint airborne operations and training exercises, surveys, and other higher headquarters requirements. Each team consists of Air Force parachutists trained and equipped for mobile operations. A standard team is composed of 2 officers and 24 enlisted men; however, a commander may tailor manning authorizations as required. If a tactical situation does not warrant the use of an entire team, it is task-organized into smaller elements for simultaneous operation of DZs, LZs, or EZs.
A-6. ARMY LONG-RANGE SURVEILLANCE TEAM MISSION
The Army LRS team in the airborne assault conducts R&S operations on one or two NAI in the objective area. The team also observes and reports on the status of the DZ/FLS. All reports are made to the ground force commander over long-range, man-portable communications systems.
A-7. ARMY LONG-RANGE SURVEILLANCE TEAM FUNCTIONS
On notification of impending deployment into an objective area, LRS teams can perform any of the following functions:
a. One or two days before the insertion, LRS teams to be deployed to isolate with the CCT, receive an OPORD, and conduct mission planning.
b. Perform static line or HALO parachute operations to insert into the objective area.
c. Conduct surveillance operations on assigned NAI--for example, road intersections, bridges, main supply route in the objective area, enemy nodes, helicopter LZs. The main assault force DZ will be treated as a named area of interest.
d. Conduct surveillance of enemy high-value targets.
e. Conduct forward area limited observation program to provide limited weather and terrain information to the commander.
f. Establish communications with friendly forces in the objective area with the TF commander at the home station. For each mission, the LRS team can establish any or all of the following communications nets:
(1) URC-101 tactical satellite communications. Used to report to the TF commander en route to the objective area.
(2) PSC-3 data burst high-frequency transmission device. Used to send LRS SPOTREPs to the home station from the objective area.
(3) PRC-104 long-range high frequency. Used by the teams to report back to the base station in the objective area.
(4) PRC-77/126 FM radios. Used for communications within the team and with other agencies in the objective area.
g. Other potential missions as directed by the commander to include:
(1) Conduct radiological/chemical surveys of the objective area before the main body deploys.
(2) Emplace remote sensors, guidance beacons, or jamming equipment.
(3) Direct-fire missions for artillery and NGF.
(4) Conduct pathfinder operations as necessary to support airborne/air assault operations.
(5) Conduct damage assessment and NBC-1 report in the AO.
(6) Conduct linkup operations with conventional and unconventional friendly forces in the objective area.
(7) Assess indigenous communications systems for possible future friendly use.
(8) Collect information through eavesdropping and wiretapping.
A-8. ARMY LONG-RANGE SURVEILLANCE TEAM ORGANIZATION
The LRSU in the airborne division consists of six teams of six men each. The team leader is a SSG; his assistant is a SGT. There are three SP4 scout/observers and one PFC RATELO. All members of the team carry the basic infantry MOS and are required to be parachute qualified. The team leader is coded as an airborne ranger. A TF may employ from one to six LRS teams in the assault with two to three teams being the norm.
Section II. DROP ZONES
The selection and marking of DZs to support the airborne operation is a critical event in the planning stages and supports the ground tactical plan. The DZs must be large enough to accommodate the required number of personnel and equipment to be delivered by airdrop and must be identifiable from the air to prevent a disintegration of the unit as a result of dispersion on the ground.
A-9. DROP ZONE CRITERIA/SELECTION
Drop zone criteria/selection is the joint responsibility of the COMALF and the commander of the forces being supported. In accordance with AF Regulation 3-1, DZs are measured in yards when working with Air Force aircraft. They are measured in meters when working with Army aircraft.
a. Personnel From Single Aircraft. The minimum size DZ for one parachutist from a single aircraft is 600 yards wide and 600 yards long. For each added parachutist, 75 yards is added to the length. For example, to find the minimum DZ for a 20-man stick from a single aircraft, the calculation is as follows:
Length for one man = 600 yards
Length for 19 additional men = 19 X 75 = 1,425 yards
Length for 20 men = 600 + 1,425 = 2,025 yards
For unilateral CCT operations or training, the 75-yard increment allowed for each additional parachutist can be computed from the point of impact rather than added to the total length of the minimum size DZ for one man.
b. Equipment From a Single Aircraft. The minimum DZ is 600 yards by 1,000 yards for a drop of one heavy equipment platform from a single aircraft. For each other platform, 400 yards is added to the DZ length. (For C-141 aircraft, 500 yards is added to the minimum length for each added platform.)
c. Multiple Points of Impact. To meet specific operational requirements, multiple points of impact are authorized if the drop personnel have been properly prebriefed. If the points are placed laterally, the width must be increased accordingly. (This manner of placement reduces the amount of wake turbulence across the DZ.)
d. HALO/HAHO Personnel. The size of the DZ varies with the number of personnel to be dropped, their proficiency, the exit altitude, and wind. The CCT leader determines the suitability of a DZ for a HALO/HAHO jump. The CCT leader should be a qualified HALO/HAHO jumpmaster, or a member of the JAAP should be qualified to give advice about the DZ criteria. DZ suitability criteria arc identical for HALO and HAHO operations.
e. Container Delivery System. The minimum sizes of CDS DZs depend on three factors: the drop altitude, the number of bundles being dropped, and the number and type of aircraft. Tables A-1 provides the minimum DZ sizes consistent with these factors.
f. AWADS Formation SKE Procedures. The DZ width is increased by 400 yards.
g. Limited Visibility and Visual Formation Procedures. The DZ width is increased by 100 yards (50 yards on each side of the DZ centerline).
h. Instrument Meteorological Conditions Airdrops. When airdrops are conducted during instrument conditions, ceiling and visibility minimums must be enforced for Army personnel training drops. A 200-foot AGL minimum ceiling is required. For Air Force training, a 300-foot ceiling and 1/2 mile visibility are required for personnel and equipment. For combat, ceiling and visibility minimums are zero/zero. For joint exercises, AF personnel are authorized to use Army minimums. When the ceiling is less than a 600-foot AGL, all personnel, including CCTs, are cleared from the DZ no later than five minutes before the airdrop TOT. They remain clear until completion of the drop(s).
i. DZ Selection Criteria. Some DZs are selected to support highly mobile ground forces, but are not surveyed. Drop zone size is determined by mode of delivery, actual load dispersal statistics, and personal knowledge. Recovery of air items and air load are considered, For example, small trees covering the entire DZ might limit recovery of air items but allow 100 percent recovery of the air loads.
j. Area DZs. An area DZ comprises a planned flight track over a series of acceptable drop sites (1/2 nautical mile either side of track). This establishes a line of flight between points A and B. The distance between A and B should not exceed 15 NMs with a change in elevation of no more than 300 feet. The CCT or special operations reception committee is free to receive the drop at any location along the line of flight between points A and B. The selected DZ is marked by a beacon, prebriefed block letter, or GMRS.
k. Circular/Random Approach DZs. A circular DZ has multiple run-in headings. The size of the DZ is governed by mission requirements and useable terrain. A verbally-initiated release system can be used with no markings.
A-10. DROP ZONE MARKINGS (DAY)
Drop zones will not normally be marked for combat drops unless the CCT or pathfinder teams have been inserted before H-Hour. Daylight markings must be established and understood by all participants. (Figure A-1.)
a. Timing Points. For day VFR airdrop operations, the timing points are not marked. The lead navigator selects the timing point, which is usually a prominent terrain feature. In the absence of such a feature, two timing points can be selected (before employment, if possible) and marked by the CCT. If terrain allows, these points are an equal distance from the extended centerline of the DZ; no more than 1,300 yards before the point of impact, and between 300 and 350 yards on either side of the centerline (350 yards minimum for C-141).
b. Point of Impact. For computed air release point drops, except AWADS, the PI is marked with raised-angle markers or colored panels placed flat on the surface. These panels form a block letter a minimum of 35 feet by 35 feet; the only authorized letters are A, C, J, R, and S. (See MAC Regulation 55-130 for suggested circular/random approach DZ markings.) The letters H and O are authorized for circular DZs. Smoke (other than red) can be displayed adjacent to and downwind of the letter identifier to assist in visual acquisition of the DZ and to indicate the surface wind direction. For CDS drops, smoke should be displayed 150 yards before the PI (six o'clock position). The PI is not marked for AWADS drops nor will smoke be displaced other than red smoke.
c. Trailing Edge. The trailing edge of the DZ is not marked for daylight operations.
d. Red Smoke Flare Light. Red smoke flare lights on the DZ indicate a no-drop.
e. Signals Other Than Red. Smoke/flares/lights other than red on the DZ indicate clearance to drop.
f. No Smoke. When smoke is not displayed, a prebriefed signal displayed at the PI or a radio call from the CCT (or designated reception party) is clearance to drop.
g. Emergency Signals. Communications security permitting, visual signals should be confirmed by radio instructions to the aircrews. Temporary closing of the DZ or temporary postponement of the airdrop is indicated by forming the letter identifier into two parallel bars; they are placed perpendicular to the line of flight. An emergency no-drop or drop cancellation is indicated by red smoke/flares/lights or by forming the letter identifier into the letter X.
A-11. DROP ZONE MARKINGS (NIGHT)
Assembly of personnel and equipment at night on an unfamiliar and hostile DZ may be the most difficult task an airborne force must do. The marking of the DZ can be done using the same techniques discussed for daylight DZ marking. However, the uncertainty and confusion that is inherent with a night drop must be considered. (Figure A-2).
a. Timing Points. For night operations, timing points are marked (if the tactical situation permits). If terrain allows, these points should be an equal distance from the extended centerline of the DZ, but not further than 1,300 yards before the point of impact. The timing points should be between 300 yards and 350 yards (minimum 350 yards for C-141) from either side of the centerline. Each timing point is marked with a green rotating beacon.
b. Point of Impact. The PI is not marked for AWADS drops. If the hostile environment permits, the PI for VFR airdrops is marked with a minimum of nine white omnidirectional lights placed to form a block letter that is a minimum size of 35 feet by 35 feet. The only authorized letters are A, C, J, R, and S. The letters H and O are authorized for circular DZs. When more than one DZ is in the area, a different letter must be used on each. Besides the block letter, white ATC lights or flares are displayed on the PI. For CDS airdrops, the white ATC lights or flares are displayed 150 yards from the PI at the 6 o'clock position.
c. Trailing Edge. An amber rotating beacon is placed on the centerline axis of the DZ at the trailing edge (if the tactical situation allows).
d. Emergency Signals. A no-drop condition is indicated by a red beam from the ATC lights and flares. During unilateral training operations, the absence of prebriefed DZ markings indicates a no-drop situation. A cancelled mission is indicated by making the block letter into an X.
Section III. LANDING ZONE OPERATIONS
Airfield criteria to be used in a specific theater of operations are based on local conditions and determined by Army and Air Force staff engineers acting for the joint force commander.
A-12. LANDING ZONE CLASSIFICATION
The following general data are intended to relate the Army airfield classification system to the Air Force classification system. The correlation of these airfields cannot be exact; specifications depend on operating gross loads, use of aircraft arresting equipment, and criteria for the particular instrument approach planned, as well as the model and type of aircraft. Air Force airfields are constructed to standards that indicate the expected life of the airfield. Expedient airfields arc those surfaced with membrane, landing mat, or both. Airfields intended for longer use are of semipermanent construction and conform to the full operational standards of the theater of operations. Pavement standards are usually upgraded by using conventional asphaltic or portland cement concrete. They are constructed to the required thickness for extended use.
a. Assault Zone. This is an unsurfaced landing area, usually clay or compacted soil, which meets the following criteria:
(1) It is in uncontrolled airspace with no terminal ATC available.
(2) It is not published in IFR/VFR supplements.
(3) It is 3,500 feet or less in length.
(4) It is surveyed by a CCT.
Requests for CCTs to perform assault zone surveys are evaluated by MAC NAF CCT staff agencies on an individual basis. For example, the zone can be longer than 3,500 feet, paved, and require a CCT survey. Combat control teams are not qualified to perform engineering surveys and, therefore, do not survey sites for anticipated DZ construction.
b. Expeditionary Zone. This zone is surfaced with membrane, landing mat, or both. It is usually surveyed by Army or Air Force engineers. Combat control teams can conduct surveys of this type of airfield but require assistance from engineering personnel to determine the weight-bearing capacity of the landing surface.
c. Semipermanent/Permanent Zone. This is surfaced with asphalt or cement. It is usually surveyed by engineering units but can be surveyed by a CCT. Air Force survey teams may consist of an ALCC/ALCE commander or representative, a flight safety officer, a pavement evaluation engineer, and flight facilities personnel. CCTs can be tasked by the COMALF to conduct reconnaissance reports of captured enemy airfields of this type.
A-13. MARKINGS AND IDENTIFICATION
Specific details concerning the type and location of LZ markings as well as airfield identification procedures are agreed on at joint planning conferences. (Figure A-3.) Existing international agreements are considered. This information is a special subject at the final briefing to ensure all required ground and aircrew members understand the LZ recognition and identification procedures.
a. Airfield Markings. Landing zones are designated with conventional markings. The figures in this appendix pertaining to LZs reflect landings in only one direction. When landings can be expected at both ends of the LZ, the first 500 feet at each end are marked as the approach end. The COMALF directs the establishment of required communications and NAVAIDS. These communications and NAVAIDS are usually provided from within CCT resources during transitory operations.
b. Control Point Location. The control point should be located so the entire length of the landing, taxiing, and parking areas are in full view of the controllers. It should be upwind of the landing area so the dust and debris that rises from an unimproved landing strip dots not obscure the vision of the controllers.
A-14. DAY OPERATIONS
The usable landing area is marked with vertically mounted VS-17 panels. Orange panels are placed only at the approach end; all other panels arc cerise. The appropriate airlift commander reduces the panel markings to the approach end, touchdown area, and end of runway on well-defined runways during day VMC operations. The taxiways and ramp areas are not marked for daylight operations. For emergency signals, either a red flare or red light beam denotes a go-around. The ATC light gun is aimed directly at the pilot.
NOTE: All marker panels are erected vertically to enable the pilot to readily observe the markings when the aircraft is on the final approach. At the discretion of the mission commander, the panel markers can be erected to provide for landing in the opposite direction by folding the panels in half.
A-15. NIGHT OPERATIONS
The usable landing area must be marked with portable lights (or suitable substitutes). (Figure A-4.) Six green lights are placed at the approach end-three on each side (about 6 feet apart). Four red lights are placed at the departure end of the runway--two on each side (about 6 feet apart). All other runway lights are white. Reflectors can be used to supplement the lights.
a. Loading and Taxiing Areas. Loading and taxiing areas are marked as determined during mission planning. Suitable lights with blue lenses are used; they are placed 500 feet apart on straight parts of the areas. When possible, reflectors are placed halfway between the blue lights. Light spacing can be reduced to 75 feet on curves and at corners or intersections.
b. Visual Aids. Visual aids such as strobe lights, rotating beacons, or others may be needed. When strobe lights are used, they are placed 100 feet apart on the extended runway centerline. The light closest to the LZ should be placed at the outer edge of the overrun. The rotating beacon and other visual aids are positioned as determined during mission planning.
Section IV. LOW-ALTITUDE PARACHUTE EXTRACTION SYSTEM
Sustained ground operations after a successful airborne assault may depend on resupply by means other than airlanding of supplies and follow-on forces. A primary means of resupply is the low altitude parachute extraction system. LAPES is a low-altitude method of aerial delivery. This system employs a 15-foot drogue parachute deployed behind the aircraft and attached to a towplate on the aircraft ramp. At the release point, the parachute forces are transferred from the towplate to the ring slot main extraction parachute(s), which then extracts single or tandem platforms from the aircraft. Ground friction decelerates the load. The total distance from release to stopping point of the load depends on ground speed, size, number of extractions parachutes, weight of the load(s), and the type of terrain. Using LAPES with tandem platforms, loads up to 37,175 pounds can be delivered into a small EZ. Since proper site selection for the EZ depends on a variety of conditions, specific criteria to ensure safety must be used in physically locating the EZ. (Figure A-5.)
A-16. EXTRACTION ZONE CRITERIA AND MARKINGS FOR LAPES (DAY OPERATIONS)
The impact/slide-out zone should be clear of obstructions and relatively flat, but it can contain grass; dirt; sand; short, light brush; or snow.
a. The approach zone on the leading edge of the impact/slide-out zone should consist of two 400 foot zones (800 feet in total length).
(1) The 400-foot zone nearest the impact/slide-out zone can be a graduated slope. It can slope from a maximum of 1 foot at the leading edge of the impact/slide-out zone to 12 feet at the farthest end from the impact/slide-out zone.
(2) The next 400-foot zone can be a graduated slope from a maximum of 12 feet at the inner edge to a maximum of 50 feet at the farthest end.
(3) The inner portion of the approach zone must be clear enough so the impact panels are visible. Because of the steep aircraft approach, the approach zone slope must not exceed a 15:1 ratio.
b. The clear area can be a maximum of 1 foot high adjacent to the impact/slide-out zone, sloping upward to 2 feet at the outer edge.
c. The lateral safety zone can be a graduated slope with obstacles limited to a maximum of 2 feet at the inner edge to 12 feet at the outer edge.
d. The climb-out zone should contain no obstructions that would prevent a loaded aircraft from maintaining normal obstacle clearance climb rate after an inadvertent touchdown, delivery abort, or extraction malfunction.
A-17. EXTRACTION ZONE CRITERIA AND MARKINGS FOR LAPES (NIGHT OPERATIONS)
The impact/slide-out zone should be clear of obstructions and relatively flat but can contain grass; dirt; sand; short, light brush; or snow. (Figure A-6.)
a. The approach zone on the leading edge of the impact/slide-out zone should consist of two zones: one 600 feet in length and the other 1,000 feet in length (1,600 feet total length).
(1) The 600-foot zone nearest the impact/slide-out zone should be a level area.
(2) The next 1,000-foot zone can be graduated from a maximum of 1 foot at the inner edge to a maximum of 12 feet at the farthest end.
(3) The entire approach zone must be clear so approach zone and impact area lights are visible to the aircraft.
b. The clear area and lateral safety zone are the same as for daylight operations.
A-18. EXTRACTION ZONE CRITERIA AND MARKINGS FOR LAPES (MULTIPLE OPERATIONS)
Lane dimensions for multiple LAPES operations are the same as for single operations. When establishing two or more lanes, only the right side of the lane is marked. If available, radar reflectors are placed at the trailing edge of the first and last lanes. (Figure A-7.) When possible, additional lanes are staggered 100 feet down from lane one. However, additional lanes can be established side by side beginning at the same parallel starting point. There are always 150 feet between lane centerlines. Extraction lanes are designated in numerical sequence from left to right. The left lane in direction of flight is designated as lane one. The lead aircraft extracts on the downwind lane. Normally, aircraft spacing is either 10 seconds or 1 minute.
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