COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS)
TOPIC: Crew-drill with crew-served CSS weapons, e.g., ring- mounted 50 cal and MK-19.
DISCUSSION: The ability of CSS units to protect themselves from within bases, as a part of base cluster, will be largely dependent upon proper employment of the available crew-served weapons. This prediction is based on the wide dispersion of units that will be mandated by the open terrain.
TOPIC: Physical Conditioning, Area Orientation, and Acclimatization
DISCUSSION: German operations during World War II in North Africa indicate that U.S. forces should require only a brief acclimatization period of 5 to 8 days. German experience in World War II indicates that this period is not absolutely essential since troops deployed without a period of acclimatization proved not less efficient in combat than those who lived for a time in a warm/temperate climate. German historical records indicate transition periods should be kept brief as longer transitions only contribute to a loss of efficiency in the force.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: During the transitional period, soldiers should receive training for desert operations. Historical evidence shows that peak efficiency can be maintained for a period of 1 year. After 1 year, unit and individual performance is reduced per year of exposure. Make sure that each soldier has goggles and eyewash to prevent conjunctivitis. Additionally, contact lenses should not be worn.
TOPIC: Battlefield Damage Assessment and Repair/Self-Recovery
DISCUSSION: Israeli operations in the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War demonstrated the importance of maintaining a capability to perform self-recovery.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: It is suggested that all wheeled vehicles be equipped with a rope ladder, pierced steel planking (PSP), or other type of material to place underneath the wheels should they become stuck in the sand. All drivers should be familiar with field-expedient methods of recovery and exposed to battle-damage assessment manuals. One tank in theater equals 10 tanks in CONUS. Everything possible needs to be done to recover and repair tanks within theater. Priority should be to fix, evacuate, strip, destroy.
TOPIC: Hot Refuel of Rotary-Wing Aircraft
DISCUSSION: the ability to conduct hot refuel operations in a desert environment will be limited to areas where stabilization of the sand/dust has been achieved either through the use of water, chemical stabilizers, or PSP.
TOPIC: Proper Use of Water-Reutilization by Categories
DISCUSSION: Water that has been used for washing, cooking, etc., can be strained and reused for filling radiators, etc. All water must be carefully managed by category: suitable for all purposes; suitable for cooking, but not for drinking; and suitable only for use in vehicle radiators of washing, etc. This management of water-holding capability for other than "potable" water.
TOPIC: Driver and Convoy Training in Desert Environment
DISCUSSION: the intense ambient light of the desert environment, in concert with the relatively open terrain, mandates that convoys be conducted during periods of limited visibility whenever feasible. The ability of a convoy to reach point "B" is often depended upon the use of a compass and the vehicle's odometer.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: Drivers must be trained in those navigational skills associated with the use of the compass and odometer, as well as with driving in a desert environment, in the intense sunlight, heat, unique terrain, etc. Assistant drivers should be the norm and not the exception.
TOPIC: Cold Protection at Night
DISCUSSION: The rapid drop in temperature in the desert as the sun sets can bring on the symptoms of hypothermia, and actual hypothermia.
LESSON(S) LEARNED: It is imperative soldiers be equipped with clothing and sleeping bags that provide protection against the night cold or soldiers will contract abdominal colds.
TOPIC: Rotation Cycle for Soldiers/Units
DISCUSSION: It was the experience of the Germans in North Africa in World War II that after 6 months to 1 year a soldier's ability to operate at peak efficiency was radically diminished. The time required to end sicknesses and heal sores was adversely affected. This reflected the cumulative effect of stress, poor diet, sanitation problems, and the effects of a harsh diet. Command efforts are required to deal with these factors. Additionally, consideration should be given to establishing a rotation cycle for units.
TOPIC: Treating and/or Preventing Heat Injuries
DISCUSSION: Insect sprayers that have not had insecticide in them make excellent misters to rapidly cool victims of heat exhaustion/stroke.
TOPIC: Pierced Steel Planking (PSP)
DISCUSSION: PSP or a chemical spray to retard dust and sand can be used to facilitate heliborne landing/refueling operations. PSP can also be carried by large wheeled vehicles to assist in recovery operations after a vehicle has become mired in sand.
TOPIC: Leather and Rubber Protectants
DISCUSSION: The intense heat can cause the premature destruction of leather and rubber items. The use of protectants can extend the life of these items, but any excessive use can result in an accumulation of dirt and dust on the item.
TOPIC: Handling of EPWs by CSS Units
DISCUSSION: Operation JUST CAUSE highlighted the realities of the handling of EPWs. The mission was delegated to a great extent to CSS units. CSS units must be prepared and equipped to conduct such operations.
TOPIC: Wind and Sand Damage to Protective Mask Eyepieces
DISCUSSION: Glycerine can be used to repair scratches on the eyepieces of protective masks.
TOPIC: WD-1 Wire
DISCUSSION: Any electronically generated transmission, e.g., radio, can be monitored at extremely long distances in a desert environment. This will prompt the extensive use of land-line communications and the accompanying increased demand for WD-1 wire.
TOPIC: Protection for Gun Tubes from Dust and Sand
DISCUSSION: Although tanks, howitzers, and even M-16 rifles are issued with a muzzle cap or protector, these items are often lost or missing. In a desert environment they are of the utmost importance and should be stocked in PLLs and ASLs.
DISCUSSION: Light forces as currently employed in the theater of operation are equipped with extensive quantities of man-portable radios, night observation devices, and the ground-mounted TOW Missile Guidance System (MGS). The battery consumption rates for these systems are high, and logisticians must plan to meet these needs. The batteries must be kept cool so the shelf life for these batteries is radically reduced. The batteries in vehicles also have a decreased life caused by the extensive heat.
TOPIC: Use of 5-gallon Cans for Fuel and Water
DISCUSSION: Experience at the NTC and by all forces in North Africa in World War II has shown that the use of the famous "jerry can" is essential to supplying outpost, supporting convoys, and supplementing normal resupply operations.
TOPIC: Decontamination Chemicals
DISCUSSION: The potential use of chemical weapons by a Middle East adversary will prompt the demand for extensive quantities of decontamination chemicals. The volatile nature of some of these chemical warrants special transportation (CONUS to OCONUS) and storage considerations.
TOPIC: Testing Protective Masks
DISCUSSION: The need to test protective masks prompts the need for banana oil, not always readily available in units.
TOPIC: Defensive Fortifications
DISCUSSION: Sand bags will be needed in extensive quantities for operations in a desert environment.
TOPIC: Sundry Packs and Female Hygiene Items
DISCUSSION: Sundry packs must be built in advance and, as females are introduced into the theater, stocks of feminine hygiene products must be increased to be commensurate with the demands.
TOPIC: Vehicle V-belts
DISCUSSION: The intense heat will prompt premature failure of vehicle V-belts. The increased demand must be planned for in advance. Wiping the sand and dirt particles off the V-belts periodically can help extend belt life.
TOPIC: Israeli Defense Force (IDF) 15-liter Water Bags
DISCUSSION: The IDF has innovated the use of a 15-liter water pack with a basis of issue of one per quad-sized element. These water packs have been used extensively and successfully by many CONUS-based light infantry divisions at the NTC. Logisticians should consider acquisition of same or similar type devices to supplement normal resupply operations and to facilitate the sustainment of outposts.
TOPIC: Markers for Minefields and Contaminated Areas
DISCUSSION: The threat of the use of chemical weapons against friendly forces prompts increased demands for the markers for contaminated areas. The lack of natural barriers mandates the extensive use of mines resulting in a corresponding increase in the demand for minefield markers.
TOPIC: Testing of Fuel, and the Army Oil Analysis Program (AOAP)
DISCUSSION: Lessons from various exercises in Southwest Asia have revealed that sand in that area is of such a fine texture that it will penetrate any opening easily. This becomes critical to engine life and operational safety of aircraft fuel systems. Dirt in fuel will be a constant aggravation and will cause units to change fuel filters more often than they have in other regions of the world. Locally procured fuel must be tested by an Army POL laboratory prior to use to ensure its compatibility with our equipment. The AOAP must be rigidly enforced to preclude catastrophic failure of drive train components.
TOPIC: Grounding Rods
DISCUSSION: Grounding rods must be placed deeper in the soil to bleed off static electricity at refuel points.
TOPIC: Class III(P) Increases
DISCUSSION: Class III(P) will increase due to dust ingested in the engine crankcase and increased requirement to lubricate exposed bearings.
TOPIC: Screens for Vehicle Radiators
DISCUSSION: Experience of units operating in hot arid regions has determined that screens affixed to the front of the radiator will shade the radiator and help decrease incidents of overheating.
TOPIC: Pye-Watson Device
DISCUSSION: The extreme heat experienced in the desert regions of the Middle East can have an adverse impact on tank guns. The heat can cause a phenomenon called "tube droop" causing erratic main gun rounds. The Pye-Watson device, a direct support maintenance tool, con be used to acquire proper bore sight.
TOPIC: Dry Nitrogen
DISCUSSION: The aggravated conditions of blowing sand and dust will prompt the need to frequently purge the optical sighting devices on the weapon systems, mandating the requirement for dry nitrogen. The unique requirement associated with the shipment of dry nitrogen aboard aircraft must be arranged.
TOPIC: Tire Consumption Rates
DISCUSSION: The nature of the soil in a desert environment will result in increased tire wear and damage.
TOPIC: Innovative Use of Camouflage Nets
DISCUSSION: In addition to the normal use camouflage netting can be used to protect equipment from the effects of harsh sunlight. This protection will help increase equipment life (generators) and shelf life of certain classes of supply.
The following items are recommended for the desert environment.
- Dust and sand effects on:
- Circuit breakers
- Collective trigger
- Electrical motors
- Circuit breakers
- Wear on:
head leading edges
- Exposed flight controls
- Increase Stockage of:
- rotor blades
- engines and gear boxes
- fire extinguishers
- rotor blades
the frequency of daily cleaning and flushing
- Replace air filters more often
- Perform maintenance in a shelter
- Check Teflon bearings daily
- Restrict runups in sandy area or sand that is not
- stabilized through the use of chemicals or water
- Position aircraft so they can take off from present
- Increase AVIM support
- Clean aircraft to reduce weight
- Cover optical surfaces to prevent pitting
- Cover windshields when not in use
- Check bearings for oil and sand contamination
- Replace air filters more often
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